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Linux Mint
Linux Mint Logo.png
Linux-Mint-Helena.png
Linux Mint 8 ("Helena")
Company / developer Linux Mint Team
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Free and open source software
Initial release 27 August 2006
Latest stable release Linux Mint 8 ("Helena") / November 28, 2009; 3 month(s) ago (2009-11-28)
Available language(s) Multilingual
Update method APT
Package manager dpkg
Supported platforms IA-32, x86-64
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux)
Default user interface GNOME (KDE & Xfce available in community editions)
License Mainly the GPL, and various others
Official Website www.linuxmint.com

Linux Mint is an operating system for personal computers, based on (and compatible with) Ubuntu,[1][2] with integrated media codecs.[3] Mint also has design differences from Ubuntu, including:

  • A distinct user interface, including the custom Mint menu.[3]
  • The Mint Tools, a collection of system tools designed to make system management and administration easier for end users.
  • As of Linux Mint 6 'Felicia', a Windows installer is included as one of the installation methods, called mint4win, a rebranded version of Wubi.[4] It is activated when the CD is inserted into a computer under Windows, providing AutoRun is enabled. However, in Linux Mint 8 'Helena' this feature was no longer available, due to incompatibility with GRUB 2, which was first used in that release.

Linux Mint is available for download in the form of ISO images, which can be used to create Live CDs or Live USBs.

Contents

Branches

Like many other GNU/Linux distributions, Linux Mint has different repositories, or "branches". The branch with the newest features, or "unstable branch" of the repositories, is called "Romeo". New packages are first released in "Romeo", where they are tested by developers and community members who use it. It is not activated by default in Linux Mint releases.

Editions

Linux Mint comes in several editions including GNOME, the main one being a x86-32 edition. There is also an x86-64 version, called 'x64 Edition', which is designed to be as similar as possible to the main edition. There is also the Universal Edition, which doesn't include proprietary software, allowing easier redistribution.[5] Linux Mint is also distributed via Community Editions, with the KDE, Xfce and Fluxbox versions.

Releases

Originally, Linux Mint did not follow a predictable release cycle. From the release of "Daryna", however, it was decided that Linux Mint will correlate with the 6 month Ubuntu release cycle and Linux Mint releases will now reach end of life when their corresponding Ubuntu releases do.

Starting from "Elyssa", the minor version number has been dropped (e.g. "Linux Mint 5.0" is now "Linux Mint 5"). This was due to a decision to follow Ubuntu's 6 month release cycle; there should no longer be more than one release per Ubuntu base.[6]

Colour Meaning
Red Release no longer supported
Green Release still supported
Blue Future release
Version Codename Edition Code Base Compatible repository Default desktop environment Release date
1.0 Ada Main Kubuntu 6.06 Kubuntu 6.06 KDE 27 August 2006
2.0 Barbara Main Ubuntu 6.10 Ubuntu 6.10 GNOME 13 November 2006
2.1 Bea Main Ubuntu 6.10 Ubuntu 6.10 GNOME 20 December 2006
2.2 Bianca Main Ubuntu 6.10 Ubuntu 6.10 GNOME 20 February 2007
Light Ubuntu 6.10 Ubuntu 6.10 GNOME 29 March 2007
KDE CE Kubuntu 6.10 Kubuntu 6.10 KDE 20 April 2007
3.0 Cassandra Main Bianca 2.2 Ubuntu 7.04 GNOME 30 May 2007
Light Bianca 2.2 Ubuntu 7.04 GNOME 15 June 2007
KDE CE Bianca 2.2 Kubuntu 7.04 KDE 14 August 2007
MiniKDE CE Bianca 2.2 Kubuntu 7.04 KDE 14 August 2007
Xfce CE Cassandra 3.0 Xubuntu 7.04 Xfce 7 August 2007
3.1 Celena Main Bianca 2.2 Ubuntu 7.04 GNOME 24 September 2007
Light Bianca 2.2 Ubuntu 7.04 GNOME 1 October 2007
4.0 Daryna Main Celena 3.1 Ubuntu 7.10 GNOME 15 October 2007
Light Celena 3.1 Ubuntu 7.10 GNOME 15 October 2007
KDE CE Cassandra 3.0 Kubuntu 7.10 KDE 3 March 2008
5 Elyssa Main Daryna 4.0 Ubuntu 8.04 GNOME 8 June 2008
Light Daryna 4.0 Ubuntu 8.04 GNOME 8 June 2008
x64 Ubuntu 8.04 Ubuntu 8.04 GNOME 18 October 2008
KDE CE Daryna 4.0 Kubuntu 8.04 KDE 15 September 2008
Xfce CE Daryna 4.0 Xubuntu 8.04 Xfce 8 September 2008
Fluxbox CE Ubuntu 8.04 Ubuntu 8.04 Fluxbox 21 October 2008
6 Felicia Main Ubuntu 8.10 Ubuntu 8.10 GNOME 15 December 2008
Universal (Light) Ubuntu 8.10 Ubuntu 8.10 GNOME 15 December 2008
x64 Ubuntu 8.10 Ubuntu 8.10 GNOME 6 February 2009
KDE CE Elyssa 5 Kubuntu 8.10 KDE 8 April 2009
Xfce CE Xubuntu 8.10 Xubuntu 8.10 Xfce 24 February 2009
Fluxbox CE Xubuntu 8.10 Ubuntu 8.10 Fluxbox 7 April 2009
7 Gloria Main Ubuntu 9.04 Ubuntu 9.04 GNOME 26 May 2009
Universal (Light) Ubuntu 9.04 Ubuntu 9.04 GNOME 26 May 2009
x64 Ubuntu 9.04 Ubuntu 9.04 GNOME 24 June 2009
KDE CE Kubuntu 9.04 Kubuntu 9.04 KDE 3 August 2009
Xfce CE Xubuntu 9.04 Xubuntu 9.04 Xfce 13 September 2009
8 Helena Main Ubuntu 9.10 Ubuntu 9.10 GNOME 28 November 2009
Universal (Light) Ubuntu 9.10 Ubuntu 9.10 GNOME 28 November 2009
Gnome x64 Ubuntu 9.10 Ubuntu 9.10 GNOME 14 December 2009
KDE Kubuntu 9.10 Kubuntu 9.10 KDE 6 February 2010
KDE x64 Kubuntu 9.10 Kubuntu 9.10 KDE 12 February 2010
Fluxbox Helena Main Ubuntu 9.10 Fluxbox 12 February 2010
9 Isadora Main Ubuntu 10.04 Ubuntu 10.04 GNOME May 2010

Team

Linux Mint is maintained by the following people:

  • Clement Lefebvre - Founder, project leader, developer and maintainer of the Main, Universal and x64 editions
  • Don Cosner - Release manager and internal tester
  • merlwiz79 - Maintainer of the Xfce edition
  • Jamie Boo Birse - Maintainer of the KDE edition
  • Shane Joe Lazar - Maintainer of the Fluxbox edition (for versions 5 and 6 of Mint)
  • Kendall Weaver - Maintainer of the Fluxbox edition (version 8)

A full listing is available on the distribution's website: http://www.linuxmint.com/about.php

Mint tools

mintUpdate, Linux Mint's update manager.
mintInstall (referred to as Software Manager), a tool that allows you to view and install programs from the Software Portal directly from your desktop.

Linux Mint comes with its own set of tools aimed at making the experience easier for the user.

  • MintInstall: Lets you run .mint files, which are files containing instructions to install packages. As of Linux Mint 6, this tool has been revamped, and now lets you view all the applications on the Mint Software Portal offline, providing you have an Internet connection to download the information first. Also allows you to install any of the programs listed directly from the desktop, instead of going to the site.[4] The option to use the old MintInstall program is available, where you can go to the Ubuntu Repositories or the Getdeb.net website from a search. Neatly organized in categories, featuring descriptions, ratings and reviews, applications couldn’t be easier to locate and install.[7]
  • MintUpdate: Update-software designed specifically for Linux Mint. MintUpdate assigns updates a safety-level (from 1 to 5), based on the stability and necessity of the update. Updates can be set to notify users (as is normal), be listed but not notify, or be hidden by default. In addition to including updates specifically for the Mint distribution, the development team tests all package-wide updates. This system is designed to prevent inexperienced users from installing updates that are unnecessary or require a certain level of knowledge to configure properly. If mintInstall is used to install a program from the default repositories, that program is able to receive updates via mintUpdate.[8]
  • MintDesktop: A desktop configuration tool for easy configuration of the Gnome desktop. Also acts as a background process to do various tasks upon login. Also network browsing is made easier (through fusesmb). MintDesktop has received a major overhaul in Mint 4.0.[9]
  • MintConfig: (Obsolete from Daryna.) A customizable control center. It gathers all the tools from "Preferences" and "Administration" and organizes them into categories. The purpose of mintConfig was to give users a control center since GNOME didn’t have one. In Daryna only the GNOME Control Center is present.
  • MintAssistant: A customization wizard that appears during first log-in for users, asking a few questions to customize Mint based on the user's level of knowledge and comfort with various components. It currently asks if the user wants to enable or disable fortune-cookies in the terminal, and if the root account should be enabled or disabled. As of Linux Mint 7, this tool has been replaced with MintWelcome.
  • MintUpload: An FTP client that uploads files to a server by right-clicking on the icons and selecting upload. The user will then be given a link he or she can give to other people for quick and easy sharing.
  • MintSpace: The larger sibling of MintUpload. Provides an additional 1 GB of storage space and files stay on the server for seven days (rather than 2 days).[10]
  • MintMenu: A python-coded menu that allows for fully customizable text, icons, and colors. It shares the same hotlinks to software as the Gnome main menu.
  • MintWifi: Drivers for quite a few wlan gadgets and mintWifi.py. Located in /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintWifi
  • MintNanny: A basic domain blocking parental control tool. Lets you manually add domains to be blocked system wide. This tool was introduced with the release of Linux Mint 6.[4]
  • MintMake: A command line tool that allows you to make .mint files for programs.
  • MintWelcome: Introduced in Linux Mint 7, MintWelcome is an application that starts on the first login of any new account. It shows a dialogue window welcoming the user to Linux Mint, and providing links to the Linux Mint website, user guide etc.

Comparison with Ubuntu

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and the two distributions have much in common. Both distributions use the same software repositories.[3] For instance, release 6 (“Felicia”) uses the package pools of Ubuntu “Intrepid Ibex” (8.10). Most packages are the same on both distributions, and as of Linux Mint 6 'Felicia', each Linux Mint release is based on Ubuntu, whereas before they were based on the previous Linux Mint release.[11]

Most differences are on the desktop. Linux Mint has a stated focus on elegance, and it includes a number of applications that are not available in Ubuntu and vice versa (see aforementioned Mint tools).

The Main version of Linux Mint also includes some propietary software and codecs such as out-of-the-box MP3 support, which makes quite a big advantage for the popularity of the distribution among inexperienced users.

References

  1. ^ "What's new in Linux Mint 7 Gloria?". Linux Mint. http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_gloria_whatsnew.php. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  2. ^ "The latest Linux Mint 8 Helena, now released". TechViewz.Org. http://techviewz.org/2009/12/latest-linux-mint-8-helena-now-released.html. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  3. ^ a b c "About". Linux Mint. 2007-09-24. http://www.linuxmint.com/about.php. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  4. ^ a b c "What's new in Linux Mint 6 Felicia". Linux Mint. 2007-09-24. http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_felicia_whatsnew.php. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  5. ^ "Download". Linux Mint. 2007-09-24. http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  6. ^ "Minor version number dropped". Linuxmint.com. 2007-12-28. http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=121. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  7. ^ "Linux Mint Review: Another Ubuntu evolution considered the best choice for your PC". Extra Reading Material. 2009-12-03. http://blogs.iium.edu.my/jaiz/2009/12/03/linux-mint-review-another-ubuntu-evolution-considered-the-best-choice-for-your-pc/. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  8. ^ "Blueprint: “Integration with mintInstall”". Blueprints.launchpad.net. 2007-10-20. https://blueprints.launchpad.net/mintupdate/+spec/mintinstall-integration. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  9. ^ "mintDesktop in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. 2007-10-16. https://launchpad.net/mintdesktop/. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  10. ^ "MintUpload tutorial and integration with mintSpace". http://linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php/MintUpload_tutorial_and_integration_with_mintSpace. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  11. ^ "The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » Mint 6 Review: Dedoimedo". Linuxmint.com. 2009-01-19. http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=560. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 

External links

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Linux Mint
File:Linux Mint Official
Company / developer Linux Mint Team
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Free and open source software
Initial release 27 August 2006
Latest stable release Linux Mint 9 ("Isadora") / May 18, 2010; 8 Template:Safesubst:plural:8 ago (2010-05-18)
Available language(s) Multilingual
Update method APT
Package manager dpkg
Supported platforms IA-32, x86-64
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux)
Default user interface GNOME, KDE Plasma Desktop, Fluxbox, LXDE, Xfce
License Mainly the GPL, and various others
Official website www.linuxmint.com

Linux Mint is a computer operating system based on the Ubuntu Linux distribution, which in turn is based on Debian.

Linux Mint provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. It is recognized for being user-friendly, particularly for users with no previous experience in Linux.[1]

Linux Mint is composed of many software packages, of which the vast majority are distributed under a free software license (also known as open source). The main license used is the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) which, along with the GNU Lesser General Public License (GNU LGPL), explicitly declares that users are free to run, copy, distribute, study, change, develop and improve the software. Linux Mint is funded by its community of users. Individual users and companies using the operating system act as donors[2], sponsors[3] and partners[4] of the distribution. The financial support from the community and advertising on the website helps to keep Linux Mint free and open source.

Contents

Origin and development process

Linux Mint started in 2006 with a beta release called 1.0 "Ada". The project wasn't well known at the time and this version was never released as stable. With the release of 2.0 "Barbara" a few months later, the distribution caught the attention of many people within the Linux community and started to build an audience. Using the feedback given from its new community, the distribution released a quick succession of releases between 2006 and 2008. 5 versions were released that way: 2.1 "Bea", 2.2 "Bianca", 3.0 "Cassandra", 3.1 "Celena" and 4.0 "Daryna".

Version 2.0 "Barbara" was based on Ubuntu 6.10, using its package repositories and using it as a code-base. From there, Linux Mint followed its own code-base, building each release from its previous one but it continued to use the package repositories from the latest Ubuntu release. As such the distribution never really forked. This resulted in making the base between the two systems almost identical and it guaranteed full compatibility between the two operating systems.

In 2008, Linux Mint adopted the same release cycle as Ubuntu and dropped its minor version number before releasing version 5 "Elyssa". The same year, in an effort to increase the compatibility between the two systems, Linux Mint decided to abandon its code-base and changed the way it built its releases. Starting with version 6 "Felicia" each release was now completely based on the latest Ubuntu release and built directly from it.

Linux Mint releases are timed about one month after Ubuntu releases. They are usually announced in May and in November.

Linux Mint uses primarily free (libre) software, making an exception only for some proprietary hardware drivers, Adobe's Flash plugin and RAR. Unlike many other Linux distributions, Linux Mint's philosophy isn't to restrict itself to free software but to prefer it over proprietary alternatives.

Features

Linux Mint focuses on usability. The Ubiquity installer allows Linux Mint to be installed to the hard disk from within the Live CD environment, without the need for restarting the computer prior to installation. Linux Mint also emphasizes accessibility and internationalization to reach as many people as possible. UTF-8 is the default character encoding and allows for support of a variety of non-Roman scripts. As a security feature, the sudo tool is used to assign temporary privileges for performing administrative tasks, allowing users to administer the system without using the root account.

Linux Mint comes installed with a wide range of software that includes OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Thunderbird, XChat, Pidgin, Transmission and GIMP. Additional software that is not installed by default can be downloaded using the package manager. Linux Mint allows networking ports to be closed using its firewall, with customized port selection available. GNOME (the current default desktop) offers support for more than 46 languages. Linux Mint can also run many programs designed for Microsoft Windows (such as Microsoft Office), through Wine or using a Virtual Machine (such as VMware Workstation or VirtualBox).

Installation

Installation of Linux Mint is generally performed with the Live CD. The Linux Mint OS can be run directly from the CD (albeit with a significant performance loss), allowing a user to "test-drive" the OS for hardware compatibility and driver support. The CD also contains the Ubiquity installer, which then can guide the user through the permanent installation process. CD images of all current and past versions are available for download at the Linux Mint web site.[5] Installing from the CD requires a minimum of 256 MB RAM.

Users can download a disk image (.iso) of the CD, which can then either be written to a physical medium (CD or DVD), or optionally run directly from a hard drive (via UNetbootin or GRUB). The main edition of Linux Mint is available in 32 and 64-bit.

Installation CDs can be purchased from 3rd party vendors [6][7].

A Microsoft Windows migration tool, called Migration Assistant (introduced in April 2007), can be used to import bookmarks, desktop background (wallpaper), and various settings from an existing MS Windows installation into a new Linux Mint installation.

Linux Mint can be booted and run from a USB Flash drive (as long as the BIOS supports booting from USB), with the option of saving settings to the flashdrive. This allows a portable installation that can be run on any PC which is capable of booting from a USB drive. In newer versions of Linux Mint, the USB creator program is available to install Linux Mint on a USB drive (with or without a LiveCD disc).

The Windows installer "Mint4Win", which is based on Wubi, is included on the Live CD and allows Linux Mint to be installed from within Microsoft Windows. The operating system can then be removed as any other Windows software using the Windows Control Panel. This method requires no partitioning of a Windows user's hard drive. It is only useful for Windows users; it is not meant for permanent installations as it incurs a slight performance loss.

Remastering

Various programs (such as remastersys and Reconstructor) exist to produce customised remasters of Debian/Ubuntu and probably can be used to produce modified versions of Linux Mint Live CDs.

Package classification and support

Linux Mint divides its software repositories into four components to reflect differences in their nature and in their origin.

  • main
    component only includes software that is developed by Linux Mint.
  • upstream
    component includes software which is present in Ubuntu but patched or modified by Linux Mint. As a result, the software present in this component behaves differently in each distribution. Notable examples are Grub, Plymouth, Ubiquity, Xchat, USB Creator and Yelp (the help system).
  • import
    component includes software that is not available in Ubuntu or for which no recent versions are available in Ubuntu. Notable examples are Opera, Picasa, Skype, Songbird, the 64-bit Adobe Flash plugin and Frostwire.
  • romeo
    component is not enabled by default. It is used by Linux Mint to test packages before they are included in other components. As such it represents the unstable branch of Linux Mint.

In addition to the above, there is a "backport" component in the Linux Mint repositories. This component is there to port newer software to older releases without affecting the other components. It is not enabled by default.

Releases

Version Code name Release date
1.0 Ada 2006-08-27
2.0 Barbara 2006-11-13
2.1 Bea 2006-12-20
2.2 Bianca 2007-02-20
3.0 Cassandra 2007-05-30
3.1 Celena 2007-09-24
4.0 Daryna 2007-10-15
5 Elyssa 2008-06-08
6 Felicia 2008-12-15
7 Gloria 2009-05-26
8 Helena 2009-11-28
9 Isadora 2010-05-18[8]
10 Julia November 2010[9]

There are two Linux Mint releases per year. Each release is given a new version number and a code name, using a female first name starting with the letter which alphabetical index corresponds to the version number and ending with the letter "a" (e.g., "Elyssa" for version 5, "Felicia" for version 6).

Releases are timed to be approximately one month after Ubuntu releases (which in turn are about one month after Gnome releases and two months after X.org releases). Consequently, every Linux Mint release comes with an updated version of both GNOME and X and features some of the improvements brought in the latest Ubuntu release. Selected releases (such as Linux Mint 5 and Linux Mint 9) are labeled as Long Term Support (LTS) versions, indicating that they are supported (with updates) for three years, as compared to the 18-month support period for other releases.

The current release is Linux Mint 9 "Isadora", released on May 18, 2010.

Editions

Linux Mint uses GNOME as its main desktop. Editions are also available for the following desktops:

GNOME, KDE Software Compilation, and Xfce editions of Linux Mint are available in both 32 and 64-bit. LXDE and Fluxbox editions are only available in 32-bit.

The distribution also provides an "OEM Edition"[10] (previously called the "Universal Edition"[11]) which is targeted at distributors and companies operating in countries where the legislation allows patents to apply to software (The USA, Japan and to a lesser extent, Australia and the UK). which does not include patented technologies, such as DVD playback.

Starting with Linux Mint 9 "Isadora", the distribution will provide liveCD, liveDVD, OEM and US/Japan installation images for its main edition in both 32 and 64-bit.

On September 7th, the Linux Mint Debian Edition was announced. The goal of this edition is to be as close to the main (Gnome) edition as possible, but based on Debian (as opposed to Ubuntu). Another notable difference is the rolling release distribution cycle. Currently it is only released in a 32 bit flavor.[12]

System requirements

Linux Mint currently supports the Intel x86 and AMD64 architectures.

Minimum Recommended
Processor (x86) 600 MHz 1 GHz
Memory 256 MB 512 MB
Hard Drive (free space) GB 10 GB
Monitor Resolution 800×600 1024×768

*Note: If visual effects are desired, a supported GPU is required.

Development

Linux Mint relies on user feedback to make decisions and orient its development. The official blog often features discussions where users are asked to voice their opinion about the latest features or decisions implemented for upcoming releases. Ideas can be submitted, commented and rated by users via the Linux Mint Community Website [13].

The community of Linux Mint users also participates in translating the operating system and in reporting bugs. Linux Mint uses Launchpad for translations and bug reports [14].

Most of the development is done in Python and organized on-line on GitHub.com, making it easy for developers to provide patches, to implement additional features or even to fork Linux Mint sub-projects. The Linux Mint menu was forked to be ported to Fedora. With each release, features are added that are developed by the community. In Linux Mint 9 for instance, the ability to edit menu items, is a feature that was contributed by a Linux Mint user [15].

The members of the development team are spread around the World and they communicate through private forums, emails and IRC.

Linux Mint reviews are tracked by the distribution and discussed by the development team and the community of users [16].

Development team

Linux Mint is developed and maintained by the following people:

  • Clement Lefebvre - Founder, project leader, developer and maintainer of the Main, Universal and x64 editions
  • Don Cosner - Release manager and internal tester
  • Jamie Boo Birse - Maintainer of the KDE edition
  • merlwiz79 - Maintainer of the Xfce edition
  • Shane Joe Lazar - Maintainer of the Fluxbox edition (for versions 5 and 6 of Mint)
  • Kendall Weaver - Maintainer of the Fluxbox and LXDE editions (version 8)

A full listing is available on the distribution's website: http://www.linuxmint.com/about.php

Software developed by Linux Mint

Linux Mint actively develops software for its operating system. Most of the development is done in Python and the source code is available on GitHub [17].

  • Software Manager: Lets you run .mint files, which are files containing instructions to install packages. As of Linux Mint 6, this tool has been revamped, and now lets you view all the applications on the Mint Software Portal offline, providing you have an Internet connection to download the information first. Also allows you to install any of the programs listed directly from the desktop, instead of going to the site. The option to use the old MintInstall program is available, where you can go to the Ubuntu Repositories or the Getdeb.net website from a search. Neatly organized in categories, featuring descriptions, ratings and reviews, it attempts to make applications easier to locate and install.[18]
  • Update Manager: Designed to prevent inexperienced users from installing updates that are unnecessary or require a certain level of knowledge to configure properly. It assigns updates a safety-level (from 1 to 5), based on the stability and necessity of the update. Updates can be set to notify users (as is normal), be listed but not notify, or be hidden by default. In addition to including updates specifically for the Linux Mint distribution, the development team tests all package-wide updates.
  • Main Menu: An advanced menu, featuring filtering, installation and removal of software, system and places links, favorites, session management, editable items, custom places and many configuration options.
  • Backup tool: Lets you backup and restore your files, your settings and your software selection to easily upgrade to newer releases by performing fresh installations.
  • Upload Manager: Lets you define upload services for FTP, SFTP and SCP servers. Services are then available in the system tray and provide zones where you can drag and drop files for them to be automatically uploaded to their corresponding destinations.
  • Domain Blocker: A basic domain blocking parental control tool. Lets you manually add domains to be blocked system wide. This tool was introduced with the release of Linux Mint 6.
  • Desktop Settings: A desktop configuration tool for easy configuration of the Gnome desktop.
  • Welcome screen: Introduced in Linux Mint 7, an application that starts on the first login of any new account. It shows a dialogue window welcoming the user to Linux Mint, and providing links to the Linux Mint website, user guide and community website.

Popularity

Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distributions. As of October 2008, Mint was listed as a major distribution in Distrowatch, replacing MEPIS in the category of user-friendly distributions.[19]

According to the distribution, Linux Mint is the 4th most widely used home operating system in the World behind Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS and Ubuntu [20].

Among Distrowatch readers, Linux Mint has 3 times more users than competing distributions openSUSE and Fedora, 3.8 times more users than Mandriva, yet 3.8 times fewer users than Ubuntu.[21]

Comparison with Ubuntu

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and the two distributions have much in common. Both distributions use the same software repositories.[22] For instance, release 6 (“Felicia”) uses the package pools of Ubuntu “Intrepid Ibex” (8.10). Most packages are the same on both distributions, and as of version 6, each Linux Mint release is based on Ubuntu, whereas before they were based on the previous Linux Mint release.[23]

Linux Mint has a stated focus on elegance, and it includes a number of applications that are not available in Ubuntu, and vice versa. Mint has a number of design differences from Ubuntu, including:

  • A distinct user interface, including a custom main menu.
  • A different approach to update management.
  • A collection of system applications designed to make system management and administration easier for end users.
  • A different software selection installed by default and a number of differences in the configuration of the system.

The Main version of Linux Mint has often been cited as a better beginner's Linux distribution than Ubuntu, due to the out-of-box readiness created by its default application choices and inclusion of restricted codecs (such as MP3 support and Flash).[24]

From a project point of view, the main differences are:

  • Unlike Ubuntu, Linux Mint does not communicate release dates. Releases are announced "when ready"; they can be released early when the distribution is ahead of schedule or late when critical bugs are found.
  • Unlike Ubuntu, the philosophy of the Linux Mint project is compatible with the use of proprietary software. Linux Mint favors Open Source technology but also considers proprietary alternatives, the user experience of the desktop being the main concern with licensing coming second. For instance, most editions of Linux Mint come with Adobe's Flash plug-in installed by default.
  • Ubuntu and Linux Mint adopt radically different update strategies. Ubuntu recommends its users update all packages and upgrade to newer versions using an APT-based upgrade method. Resulting problems and regressions are regarded as temporary issues that can be fixed by further updates. In comparison, Linux Mint recommends not to update packages that can affect the stability of the system and recommends the use of its Backup Tool and fresh installations to upgrade computers to newer releases.[25]

See also

General:

Free software portal
Linux portal

Further reading:

References

  1. ^ "Linux Mint 9 "Isadora" Review". http://cristalinux.blogspot.com/2010/05/review-linux-mint-9-isadora.html. 
  2. ^ "Linux Mint Donors". http://www.linuxmint.com/donors.php. 
  3. ^ "Linux Mint Sponsors". http://www.linuxmint.com/sponsors.php. 
  4. ^ "Linux Mint Partners". http://www.linuxmint.com/partners.php. 
  5. ^ CD images of all current and past versions are available for download at the Linux Mint web site.
  6. ^ "OSDisc.com". 2010. http://www.osdisc.com. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "On-Disk.com". 2010. http://www.on-disk.com. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Linux Mint 9 "Isadora" released!". 2010. http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=1403. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Linux Mint 10 "Julia"". 2010. http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=1485. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Editions for Linux Mint 9 "Isadora"". 2010. http://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=13. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Editions for Linux Mint 8 "Isadora"". 2009. http://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=12. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  12. ^ http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=1527
  13. ^ "Linux Mint Community Website - Idea module". 2010. http://community.linuxmint.com/idea. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Linux Mint on Launchpad". 2010. https://launchpad.net/linuxmint. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "Example of a user-contributed feature". 2010. http://github.com/linuxmint/mintmenu/commit/5f419d81f72eda682a3f1591d56e432f7ba92939. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Linux Mint reviews and discussions page". 2010. http://www.linuxmint.com/reviews.php. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  17. ^ "The Linux Mint GitHub repository". http://www.github.com/linuxmint. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  18. ^ "Linux Mint Review: Another Ubuntu evolution considered the best choice for your PC". Extra Reading Material. 2009-12-03. http://blogs.iium.edu.my/jaiz/2009/12/03/linux-mint-review-another-ubuntu-evolution-considered-the-best-choice-for-your-pc/. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  19. ^ Bodnar, Ladislav (6 October 2008), "Major distribution updates: Linux Mint and CentOS", Distrowatch Weekly 276, http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20081006#feature, retrieved 22 April 2010 
  20. ^ https://translations.launchpad.net/linuxmint/isadora/+pots/slideshow-giants/en_GB/+translate
  21. ^ http://distrowatch.com/awstats/awstats.DistroWatch.com.osdetail.html
  22. ^ "About". Linux Mint. 2007-09-24. http://www.linuxmint.com/about.php. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  23. ^ "The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » Mint 6 Review: Dedoimedo". Linuxmint.com. 2009-01-19. http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=560. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  24. ^ Purdy, Kevin (11 February 2010). "Why Linux Mint Might Be a Better Beginner's Linux Than Ubuntu". Lifehacker. http://lifehacker.com/5469575/why-linux-mint-might-be-a-better-beginners-linux-than-ubuntu. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  25. ^ "Recommended way to upgrade Linux Mint". http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 

External links


Simple English

Linux Mint is a Linux distribution for desktop computers based on and compatible with Debian.

While at the core Linux Mint is mostly based on Ubuntu, the design of the desktop and User interface are very different. These differences include a very unique desktop theme, a custom Linux Mint menu and the MintTools, a collection of system tools designed to make managing the computer easier for users.

Contents

Releases

Originally, Linux Mint did not follow a predictable release cycle. The project first defined the goals for the next release,[needs proof] and when all the goals are achieved a beta is released and a date is announced for the stable release. Recently however, it has been decided that Linux Mint will be with the 6 month Ubuntu release cycle

Colour Meaning
Red Old release; not supported
Yellow Old release; still supported
Green Current release
Purple Test release
Blue Future release

Fluxbox

Version Codename Edition Code Base APT Base Release Date
4.0 Daryna BETA 028 Fluxbox CE Daryna 4.0 Gutsy 3 Jan2008

GNOME

Version Codename Edition Code Base APT Base Release Date
2.0 Barbara Main Ubuntu Edgy Edgy 13 Nov2006
2.1 Bea Main Ubuntu Edgy Edgy 20 Dec2006
2.2 Bianca Main Ubuntu Edgy Edgy 20 Feb2007
2.2 Bianca Light Ubuntu Edgy Edgy 29 Mar2007
3.0 Cassandra Main Bianca 2.2 Feisty 30 May2007
3.0 Cassandra Light Bianca 2.2 Feisty 15 Jun2007
3.1 Celena Main Bianca 2.2 Feisty 24 Sep2007
3.1 Celena Light Bianca 2.2 Feisty 01 Oct2007
4.0 Daryna Main Celena 3.1 Gutsy 15 Oct2007
4.0 Daryna Light Celena 3.1 Gutsy 15 Oct2007
Test Debian ALPHA 023 Debian Debian Testing 3 Jan2008
5 Elyssa Main Daryna 4.0 Hardy 8 June2008
5 Elyssa Light Daryna 4.0 Hardy 8 June2008

KDE

Version Codename Edition Code Base APT Base Release Date
1.0 Ada Main Kubuntu Dapper Dapper 27 Aug2006
2.2 Bianca KDE CE Kubuntu Edgy Edgy 20 Apr2007
3.0 Cassandra KDE CE Bianca 2.2 Feisty 14 Aug2007
3.0 Cassandra MiniKDE CE Bianca 2.2 Feisty 14 Aug2007
4.0 Daryna KDE CE Cassandra 3.0 Gutsy 03 Mar2008
5 Elyssa KDE CE Daryna 4.0 Hardy TBD

XFCE

Version Codename Edition Code Base APT Base Release Date
3.0 Cassandra Xfce CE Cassandra 3.0 Feisty 07 Aug2007
4.0 Daryna BETA 008 Xfce CE Cassandra 3.0 Gutsy 2 Nov2007
5 Elyssa XFCE CE Daryna 4.0 Hardy TBD
  • As of "Elyssa," the minor version number has been dropped (i.e. "Linux Mint 5.0" is now "Linux Mint 5"). This is due to a decision to follow Ubuntu's 6 month release cycle; there should no longer be more than one release per Ubuntu base.[1]
  • The Debian base release is released as an alpha because "it is not intended to be used as your main operating system but to give you a technological preview of how Linux Mint would behave if it was based on Debian."[2] Also note that the ISO acts as a "non-installable" live CD.
  • Linux Mint 5 will see the addition of a Professional Edition with a desktop targeted at the core professional desktop.

Comparison with Ubuntu

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and both distributions have a lot in common. Both distributions use the same software repositories. For instance, release 2.2 (“Bianca”) uses the package pools of Ubuntu “Edgy Eft” (6.10). Most packages are the same on both distributions and the two systems behave almost identically.

Most differences are on the desktop. Ubuntu and Linux Mint both focus on usability, but Linux Mint offers a different user experience, and it includes a number of applications that are not available in Ubuntu (see aforementioned Mint Tools).

Many popular multimedia codecs are installed by default in Linux Mint. Ubuntu, and many other gratis GNU/Linux distributions, do not distribute these codecs with the initial install media due to patent encumberment issues.

Ubuntu has a vastly larger support community than Linux Mint. However, the majority of Ubuntu help and advice is also applicable to Linux Mint. Ubuntu supports more languages from the LiveCD, and comes with better localization.[needs proof] Lastly, whilst Linux Mint only supports x86 architectures, Ubuntu also supports x86-64.

Other pages

References

Other websites


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