A little Linux Mint love

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.

DeLorean Dark theme available for Linux Mint 14

Voyager Linux reviewed on The Linux Action Show

I just checked out this week’s Linux Action Show and noticed that their main segment was a review of the the top 3 Xfce distros as recommended by their viewers. Since I’m a big fan of Xfce these days, I was curious to see what their favorite distros were. And it turns out their top favorite is also the distro I’ve been using on our main machine for many months: Voyager Linux! Below is a link to this episode. The Xfce review portion of the video starts at about 44 minutes in; with the review of Voyager Linux starting at 50:34.

http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/24671/best-xfce-distro-las-s23e07/

My thanks to the guys at Jupiter Broadcasting and The Linux Action Show for putting on such a great, informative weekly broadcast about all things Linux! I hope to return soon with recommendations for a few of my favorite Linux applications.

Bye for now!

Kubuntu, Netrunner and The Linux Action Show

Last week the news was all over the internet about Kubuntu Linux getting sponsored by Blue Systems. Here’s the notice from the Kubuntu website. And there were many other blog posts that went into more detail about the story. This was great news for those of us who use Kubuntu and were a little concerned about it’s future development since Canonical decided recently to drop support for Kubuntu and would no longer be paying it’s lead developer, Jonathan Riddell to work on the KDE version of Ubuntu.

Then along comes the mysterious company called Blue Systems, who will be employing Mr. Riddell to continue working on Kubuntu with the next version, 12.10, that comes out in October. Just after this announcement I discovered a new episode of The Linux Action Show was featuring some info on Blue Systems and the Kubuntu developments. The Linux Action Show is a video production of Jupiter Broadcasting that comes out once a week. I just discovered this show a couple of months ago. Each episode is about an hour long. It’s entertaining and informative; featuring Linux and other computer related news, reviews, how-tos and interviews. Some of the info can be a bit geeky, but they cover a lot of interesting topics for newbies as well.  It’s quite a hoot!

But during the discussion about this company (Blue Systems) that will be sponsoring Kubuntu 12.10, I discovered they also sponsor the KDE version of Linux Mint and another distro that is based on Kubuntu called Netrunner. I seem to have heard of the Netrunner OS, but wasn’t familiar with it at all, until the guys at Linux Action Show brought it up and showed it off.  Netrunner OS is to Kubuntu what Linux Mint is to Ubuntu. As Mint started as a modified version of Ubuntu that was prettier and easier to use with it’s own added software; so Netrunner seems to be an improved version of Kubuntu that somehow integrates Gnome and GTK applications into KDE/Kubuntu. At least that’s the theory.

I downloaded the Netrunner Live DVD ISO and tried it out on our computer that is running Kubuntu 11.10. It’s pretty nice “out of the box”. And the website has some nice documentation and forums; and they even have a pretty slick Netrunner Web Magazine. Though I’ve been very happy with Kubuntu and KDE and am looking forward to Kubuntu 12.04 in a couple of weeks; I might also be interested in trying the new version of Netrunner when it’s released later in May. The only things I don’t like about Kubuntu are that it seems to use a lot of RAM on my machine and some GTK apps that I like don’t work well with it. If Netrunner improves on that integration it may be interesting to install on this machine. Besides that, and some extra applications (including Wine) and some Firefox addons, everything else is Kubuntu. Check out the link above if you’re curious. And also check out This Link for a short youtube review of Netrunner 4.

That’s all for now…