About a week ago Linux Mint 14, ‘Nadia’ was released. As much as I like Mint 13, this new release based on Ubuntu 12.10 looks very, very nice.
For a while I fell out of love with Linux Mint (11 and 12 versions, when many Linux distros were going through a desktop identity crisis when Ubuntu switched to Unity and Gnome 2 went to Gnome 3 Shell), but now that the Cinnamon Desktop, Mint’s Gnome Shell fork, is making great strides in development (see my earlier post), I would definitely recommend Linux Mint as one of the best distros for people new to Linux. Or if you prefer a familiar Linux desktop experience like Gnome 2 or Xfce, and are not a fan of Unity and the direction that Ubuntu is going, Linux Mint may also be your cup of tea. It’s modern, attractive and everything generally works great without much tweaking involved (though the first thing I do myself is change the desktop picture/wallpaper)!
The newest Cinnamon 1.6 comes with lots of pre-installed themes, applets and other goodies to configure your workspace. And Linux Mint has always come with a full but not overwhelming set of applications to handle most user’s needs. Plus you have the entire Ubuntu repositories and PPAs, as well as Mint’s repository, to install whatever software you desire.
But my main inspiration for writing this post is the Linux Action Show episode I just watched, which did a glowing and comprehensive review of Mint 14 and Cinnamon. They point out many of the strengths of Mint and the differences between Mint and Ubuntu. If you’re curious about Linux Mint, it’s well worth a look HERE. The Mint review begins at about 46 minutes into the show.
For Linux users who love Gnome 2 and Xfce, I think Cinnamon is a solid, rapidly-evolving and modern desktop alternative.