Linux Mint 12: Why it's the best desktop OS

Linux Mint 12: Why it's the best desktop OS

Summary: In terms of sheer user-friendliness, Linux Mint 12 Lisa has nosed ahead of other desktop operating systems, says Jack Wallen


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  • Linux Mint 12

    4. Start-up screen
    The start-up screen may be no more than a minor addition, but it has a significant impact on the user friendliness of the distribution. I've been arguing for some time that Linux desktops need a start-up screen to steer new users to relevant information. Linux Mint performs this task perfectly — and you can disable this feature once you no longer need it.

    Image credit: Linux Mint

  • Linux Mint 12 applications

    5. Included applications
    Linux Mint 12 comes with almost everything you need. Unlike many distributions, Mint didn't drop GIMP, and it comes with the LibreOffice office suite, Firefox for web browsing, Thunderbird for email, Nautilus for file management, Brasero for disk burning, Pidgin for instant messaging, Banshee for music, and VLC for video. I was happy to see the retention of GIMP, Banshee, and the addition of VLC.

    Image credit: Linux Mint

  • Linux themes controller

    6. Themes
    You can choose between two desktop themes — one light and one dark. These resemble Ubuntu's but are more attractive. The Mint-Z light theme is the default and looks both professional and attractive. In fact both the Mint themes are well suited for either a business or personal environment. And unlike standard GNOME 3 windows, Linux Mint windows offer the minimum of buttons.

    Image credit: Linux Mint

Topic: Operating Systems

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  • Mint has understood an important lesson that many of the other haven't - the way the desktop looks and feel is a personal thing.
    Gnome3, Unity Ubuntu, Windows 8, etc all aim for a decluttered desktop and an antipersonal (non-reconfigurable) method of working.
    Who complained of a cluttered desktop?
    Who couldn't navigate the menus?
    Virtually no-one!
    What does it give these companies? Now their logo/theme is superglued to your screen, and so is their methods of working, not yours. It is change for changes sake, not progress!
    Thankfully PCLinuxOS-Gnome is still safely in Gnome2 land.
  • I like Mint 11, which is on my netbook. I can't find out if Mint 12 is friendlier than OS X (on our other machines) because one of the setup screens cannot be used on a 600px netbook screen, as the buttons are BELOW 600px AND THERE ARE NO SCROLL BARS. So much for user friendliness. This was the version on a magazine disc, so I am downloading an official version, which is taking 6 hours on broad band from the mirror.
  • Not mentioned is the Cinnamon desktop that Linux Mint is developing as a fork of Gnome 3. It is available for LM12 and will be standard for LM13. I am anticipating that other distros will pick it up as well and ditch Gnome 3.
  • Just for clarification's sake. Cinnamon is actually a fork of "gnome-shell" as well as the engine that powers it (mutter). It is definitely not a fork of Gnome 3. In fact, it requires Gnome 3 to run. The only DE offered in Linux Mint 12 that does not require Gnome 3 is the MATE desktop which is a fork of Gnome 2.32.
  • >Mint has understood an important lesson that many of the other haven't - the way the desktop >looks and feel is a personal thing.
    The last part is THE MOST important thing when trying to switch someone to Linux.
    My brother LOVES sushi, I despise it. He loves chocolate ice cream, I prefer strawberry.
    Who is right? No one. Taste and preferences are a personal thing.
    So why should the desktop be different?
    Thats why I make it a point to always show people 2-3 desktops before I switch them to Linux.
    Make is simple but CONFIGURABLE so the user is the one who decides.

    On another point, Ive been using PCLinuxOS (which was the Mint of its time) since it was #1 on Distrowatch since about 2007 when I switch people over and its been truly amazing. It uses the best parts of Mandriva (the Mandriva control panel branded as the PCLinuxOS Control Center) and does what Mint is doing now: making it easy for people to use.
    I tried Mint last year and wonder how much different the newest version is because it didnt convince me then to switch away from PCLOS.
    I would have no problems switching to Mint but havent found any good reasons to leave PCLOS, its been great for 5 years now.
    I think its great and a credit to free software that developers can take Ubuntu and Mandriva and manage to make them better. It seems the bigger the company, the less they listen to users.

    I always offer desktop choice (too many people feel offended if THEIR desktop is rejected) but at home KDE (XCFE for our old computers and E17 to play with) has been the mainstay (everyone gets to choose and theyve all tried it but went back to KDE) and have to admit that I really like their how you can switch from desktop to the netbook look (which I guess we can now call tablet) more suited for touch.
    THATS how it should be done. One click and you go from one to the other... because.... NOT EVERYONE WANTS A TOUCH INTERFACE. Its the total opposite of Canonical and Microsoft Metro which think along the lines of "my way or highway".

    Of course 'best desktop' is also a subjective term, just like ice cream or desktop.
    There is no best desktop but rather a few excellent desktops.

    I have been looking for another Gnome replacement to offer people since Ubuntu decided to go
    with ToysRUS and havent been thrilled so far, so it looks like this might work. Still not sure about Cinammon and even less Gnome 3 though.
  • Everything perfect on Linux Mint 12. Unfortunatly is far away from "retina display". Image quality on Linux is very poor, dificult to read on the Net. Fonts and images are terrible. Seems to be a very old system, compared to IOS Ipad or Windows 7 1920x1080 quality.
  • Retina display has nothing to do with the image quality of an OS. Retina display is hardware only, in this case it's the display technology that's used in iPad 3 itself. I use Linux Mint 12 and the image quality is excellent on a wide screen LCD display.

    Now, if you're talking about the quality of fonts on a LCD screen then you need to set your font display to "sub-pixel" (for LCD displays) and "Slight".