Linux Mint is a Linux LiveCD based on the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution. Linux Mint's purpose is to produce an up to date, comfortable and elegant GNU/Linux distribution. Barbara is the name of the latest version of Linux Mint, which was released three days ago and is powered by GNOME 2.16.1 desktop environment.
Linux Mint project uses the same repositories and the same packages as Ubuntu. It follows the Ubuntu releases and innovations. Basically, it is 98% Ubuntu, but with a few differences. For example:
- Ubuntu has a fixed 6 months release cycle, but Linux Mint produces one release with up to date packages, every 3 months.
- Linux Mint's artwork is different then Ubuntu's.
- Ubuntu and Kubuntu tend to follow the "free software" philosophies and for this reason, they do not include "dirty" software (patented or proprietary technologies for instance). This is great and this is the way it should be. However, other distributions provide the choice to the user (for instance, Mandriva 2007 can be downloaded as a "free" or "non-free" version). If you're like us, you probably read encrypted DVDs and listen to MP3 songs. It is important to understand why these formats are indeed "dirty" but since we'll end up adding them to our Ubuntu installation anyway, we decided to give an option to lazy users. In other words, if "freedom" is more important for you than "comfort", you should consider using a "clean" distribution such as Ubuntu (or Debian, or Fedora...). If it isn't, then Linux Mint is made for you.
- Linux Mint doesn't necessarily use Gnome. For instance, for Linux Mint 1.0 KDE seemed a better option than Gnome, but in version 2.0, it was the opposite.
- Linux Mint has a different selection of packages. First universe, multiverse and unofficial repositories are configured to give more choice to the user, then some software is removed and some added (for instance Amarok is preferred to Rhythmbox). Also, a lot of codecs for "dirty" formats (encrypted DVDs, MP3, divX, win32) and plugins (Java, Flash, Realplayer) are added.
Let's have a look at the installed applications :
￭ F-Spot Photo Manager
￭ Evolution Mail
￭ Mozilla Firefox Web Browser
￭ Gaim Internet Messenger
￭ OpenOffice.org Suite
￭ Totem Movie Player
￭ RealPlayer 10
￭ Serpentine Audio CD Creator
￭ Sound Juicer CD Extractor
￭ Sound Recorder
￭ GNOME Partition Editor
￭ Synaptic Package Manager
Please enjoy some screenshots of Linux Mint in action:Softpedia.