Linux Mint 9: A Fresh Spin on Ubuntu

Summary:Linux Mint 9 offers an interesting and fresh spin on Ubuntu 10.04.

Linux Mint 9 offers an interesting and fresh spin on Ubuntu 10.04

On May 18th, the Linux Mint project released version 9, codenamed "Isadora" of their popular re-spin of the Ubuntu Linux operating system.

What's the big deal about Linux Mint and why is it so popular among Linux users? It's because that it includes a number of improvements and tweaks that aren't set up out-of-the-box in the base Ubuntu distribution.

Also See: Linux Mint 9 (Gallery)

Linux Mint 9 follows Ubuntu's 10.04 LTS release, and shares many of the same components including the source package feeds, so in effect it is a "Superset" of what already comes in Ubuntu 10.04.

Also See: Ubuntu Linux 10.04

However in Linux Mint, there are a number of differences, most notably the use of the SLAB menuing system that originated in SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and openSUSE 11.x. This menuing system and the bottom-of-screen layout is similar to the "Start Menu" of Windows, so Linux newbies may prefer this over the default Mac-Like top of screen layout in GNOME 2.3x.

A KDE 4.x version of Linux Mint 9 has not yet been released, but is forthcoming.

In addition to the use of SLAB, Mint has its own Software Manager as well as its own Software Updater that look different and are more streamlined than Ubuntu's. Mint also includes its own software/file backup tool.

However, what may be considered the most significant improvement in Mint is the fact that many codecs and plugins are already preloaded, thus making for a better out-of-the box multimedia experience with Linux. Firefox 3.6.3 has been pre-loaded with codecs for DiVX, Quicktime, RealPlayer 9, Windows Media, MPlayer, Java Web Start (icedtea) and of course Macromedia Flash 10.

Linux Mint 9 is available for 32-bit and 64-bit Intel desktop platforms and can be downloaded here.

Have you downloaded Linux Mint 9 yet? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

Topics: Linux, Enterprise Software, Open Source


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet is a technologist with over two decades of experience with integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer... Full Bio

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