Linux Mint 16 RC

I noticed a couple of days ago that Linux Mint 16 (Petra) release candidate is available, so I downloaded the iso and burned it to a DVD.

I’ve been a fan of Mint for a few years, up until Linux Mint 10. With Mint 11 and 12 and the transition to Gnome 3, Mint got a bit fragmented and I strayed to other distros; but the past year or two I’ve been drawn back to Linux Mint, and especially the Cinnamon desktop. So even though I am very happy with Zorin OS 6 on our main machine, I had to try out the spanking new Mint 16 with the new version of it’s Cinnamon 2.0 desktop environment!

After booting from the DVD and playing around with Mint 16 ‘Petra’ for about half an hour today, here is what I found:

Mint 16 Screenshot01

The Good: 

Mint 16 had no trouble with my Nvidia graphics card, even only using the open source nouveau driver (unlike OpenSuse 13.1 RC that I tried a couple of weeks ago).

Mint 16 looks as lovely as ever. After changing the desktop picture from the default white one, I checked out the Cinnamon 2 System Settings. Under ‘Themes’ there are only three default themes installed. But when clicking the ‘get more themes online’ button, it refreshes and you have a choice of many dozens of new themes that you can install in seconds, which I did.

Under ‘Extensions’ you can also install a vast number of new extensions to increase the functionality of Mint 16. As shown below, there are a huge number of new and exotic-sounding applets (since I last checked out Cinnamon 1.6) that can also be added to the Cinnamon panel. The Cinnamon panel is extremely configurable compared to when it first came out! As well as adding applets, you can resize the panel, or move it to the top of your screen, or have two panels if you want. I even added the weather applet to the panel, and, unlike in the past, it worked with no mucking about!

Mint 16 Screenshot02

Mint 16 Screenshot03

Even when I had System Settings, System Monitor, several open File Manager windows and Firefox running a Youtube video, Mint only used a little over 500 Mbs. of RAM, with very low CPU usage. It definitely seems lighter and quicker than the previous Mint 15!

The Bad:

In my time playing with Mint 16, the only thing that didn’t work flawlessly was a sound effect for unmaximizing a window! In the Sound preferences for Cinnamon there is a new (at least I never noticed it before) section where you can configure groovy sound effects for different functions. And Mint 16 comes with Firefox 24 instead of version 25, which was updated in my Zorin OS a couple of weeks ago.

Among some other nice changes I discovered: Nemo (the Cinnamon File Manager) version 2.0.4, and the Software Sources application now has a built-in PPA Manager, which is very cool. For a comprehensive list of changes and improvements in Mint 16, look right HERE.

If you’re looking for a polished and easy-to-use Linux distro, the new Mint 16 Petra is just beautiful! Sleeker, faster, more features, and I am loving the Cinnamon desktop environment more than ever! And this is not the final release yet! It should be available very soon, though.

Keep watching Linuxmint.com for more news.

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One comment on “Linux Mint 16 RC

  1. Cinnamon crashes in my PC one time after another when I boot from the Petra version Live CD. That happened with Maya version too. I have been waiting since then and thought that problem would have been solved but nothing!
    The PC is quite normal:
    DELL, hw is ok but a bit old: Pentium 4, 1400MB RAM, VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82865G Integrated Graphics Controller

    If you log out (only because you know that you can use ctrl-alt-del since there is no hint and no button in the classic menus) you can’t choose nothing, nothing at all, and you can only wait. That is horrible.
    The menus in the version without cinnamon are horrible!! Accesories in the Utilities menus, utilities in the accesories menu, system tools in the utilities menu, System settings under preferences that are under system tools, etc. When one sees that, he gets scared. After so many years, Linux developers are still incapable of placing themselves in a normal, average user, head…. the names of the programs continue to be hidden, but the you need them to learn about them or to call the in unity … the ABC of interface design and interactive communication are absent. The information system informs very little about itself and is caotic. Why are there identic programs in different directories? Just hace a look to mintupload-manager and mintupload.
    Pretty graphic design though, but a lot of spce lost in big buttons, etc.

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