Peppermint OS Three: The real-deal desktop cloud Linux

Peppermint OS Three: The real-deal desktop cloud Linux

Summary: More and more operating systems are integrating the cloud into the desktop, but Peppermint OS really marries the desktop and the cloud.

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Say hi to Peppermint OS Linux, which combines the traditional desktop with the cloud.

The desktop and the cloud are getting hitched. You see it in everything from Windows 8 with Office 2013 to Ubuntu with WebApps to Mac OS with iCloud. And, of course, there's Chrome OS, which is just the Chrome Web browser running on a thin-layer of Linux. Then, there's Peppermint OS Three, a real Linux marriage of cloud and desktop.

Unlike Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com), which adds some cloud functionality to a Linux desktop, call it 90% desktop and 10% cloud, or Chrome OS, which is 90% cloud/Web browser and 10% desktop, Peppermint is the closest desktop I've seen to a 50/50 blend of desktop and cloud.

Peppermint Three, the just released new version, is based on Lubuntu 12.04. Lubuntu, in turn, is an Ubuntu-based Linux desktop that uses the lightweight LXDE desktop environment. Unlike the more popular GNOME and KDE desktops. LXDE is designed to be very fast and to use as little in the way of system resources as possible. As the name indicates, Peppermint also uses some features from the Linux Mint.

For its Web browser, Peppermint Three uses Chromium the open-source version of Chrome. Instead of using such Linux desktop applications as LibreOffice for office work or Evolution for e-mail, Peppermint uses Google Web applications instead. Specifically, it uses Google Web Office (GWoffice), an Ubuntu project, for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. This is a beta desktop front-end to Google Drive, the successor to Google Docs. For e-mail, as you might guess, it uses Gmail.

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Let's say that you want traditional desktop applications instead of Google-based ones. No problem, you just install them from the software repository. No muss, no fuss.

Peppermint also comes with its own system for using other Web Applications and Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) applications: Site Specific Browser (SSB) using a framework called Ice. From an end-user's viewpoint, SSBs act like local applications but they're actually delivered from the Web.  You can also easily create your own SSBs with the Ice application.

According to the developers, the key “difference in using an SSB as opposed to using a tabbed browser is that only one function is assigned to the SSB.  In a tabbed browsing system, with several open for example, if one service or site in any given tab crashes you run the risk of losing data by crashing the other tabs and potentially the browser itself. since an SSB is isolated and dedicated to only operating the web application of your choice, if it crashes or hangs, it does not effect the rest of the system. And, because the SSB’s are so sleek, they are perfect for running apps that display better using the most screen area as possible.”

Are they really slick? Well, you can see for yourself. You can download Peppermint Three in either a 32 or 64-bit version. You can run Peppermint on pretty much any computer. You can go all the way down to pretty much anything with an x86 processor, 192MBs of RAM (No, that's not a typo, 192 Megabytes) and 2GBs of disk space. Trust me, though, you'll be happier with 1 GB of RAM and at least 4GBs of disk space.

Since Peppermint Three just arrived today I haven't had much of a chance to play with it, but I like what I see of it so far. It's fast, it's simple to use, and it does a real nice job of marrying cloud and local functionality and letting you decide how much of either one you want on your desktop. Give it a try. I think you may like it.

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Topics: Linux, Browser, Cloud, Open Source, PCs

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47 comments
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  • This is really cool!

    I had not known of LXDE before this. Should be a natural for 3rd world nations.
    droidfromsd
  • Peppermint OS Three: The real-deal desktop cloud Linux

    Right, right... this is the desktop linux people are supposed to use until you review one more next week and that will be the desktop linux you should use until the week after when some other one is released. Do you see the problem here with linux? None of the developers can decide on just one so you have a giant mess of linux garbled code spread throughout the linux community. That means you need to install a new version every week now. I thought the 6 month upgrade was bad, now its weekly. That's a lot of backup and formatting.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Right, right... this is the desktop linux people are supposed to use

      Still threatened by Linux I see, I don't know why you bother, Linux dominates in nearly all areas, windows in comparison is in the minority, so give it up and just accept it.
      And no one is supposed to use anything, they have the freedom to choose what they want to use.
      guzz46
      • ROTFLMAO!!

        Are you high? Are you on crack? Linux doesn't dominate sh*t. Why would anyone be threatened by Linux's laughable market share. Since when is less than 1% market share going to threaten anyone. I also hate to tell you, but Windows dominates Linux in servers too, despite what sycophantic Linux fanboys like you claim.

        http://blogs.computerworld.com/15675/idc_windows_dominates_linux_in_servers_not_just_the_desktop

        Please spare me the Android sales numbers. Android is not, nor has it ever been Linux. It's built on a Linux kernel, but it is not Linux. Considering Android is a failure on tablets, and Chromebooks are an even bigger failure, the point is moot.

        So no, Linux doesn't dominate anything. It does well in servers, but it doesn't dominate and doesn't have anywhere close to a majority share in that market. Windows does. That's all.
        jhammackHTH
        • "Android is not, nor has it ever been Linux."

          Actually - it is: mine say "kernal version 2.9.29".
          vgrig
        • Linux refers to the kernel

          When saying just "Linux" alone like that, that is supposed to refer to the kernel. When referring to Ubuntu, Red Hat and others, these are "Linux distributions".

          So in that way Android is a highly customized Linux distribution. It most likely will not be able to run most standard Linux applications which are found in regular distributions, but it still have to count as Linux.
          lepoete73
        • Are you High?? Really?? Eat your words!

          Here is the Linux marketshare for you (Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems )

          Desktops and Laptops - Linux 1.9% (yes that includes Android; and yes Android is linux)
          Netbooks - Linux somewhere 20-30% range
          Tablets - 39%
          Mobile Devices - 52%
          Servers - 63%
          Mainframes - 28% (guesstimate as per wikipedia)
          Super Computers - 91%

          So please wake up! Linux does dominate markets just so that you are not competent enough to know well.
          nsingh_jr
          • nsingh_jr

            You may want to take a closer look at those stats you throw around before you claim that Linux is dominating markets. I'll rate them as pass/fail.

            Desktops and Laptops - Linux 1.9% (yes that includes Android; and yes Android is linux) - Okay, 1) show me an Android based desktop or laptop... there is none. 2) 1.9% is hardly dominating a market... that leaves 98.1% of the market to Microsoft and Apple respectively. FAIL.

            Netbooks - Linux somewhere 20-30% range - Again the math does not add up... this leaves 70-80% of the market to Microsoft and Apple. FAIL.

            Tablets - 39% - Once again the math betrays you - 61% of the tablet market is Apple. No dominance here although this may change if the OEMs can make a decent tablet for a low price. FAIL.

            Mobile Devices - 52% - Ahhh, now we are getting somewhere. That leaves 48% of the market for Apple, RIM, and Microsoft... granted Linux has a high percentage of the market but still not quite dominating. One thing I do find interesting about this claim is that you guys claim Android as Linux when it concerns market share but distance yourselves from Android when the issue of malware comes up... double standards? FAIL.

            Servers - 63% - Getting a bit warmer... this leaves 36% of the server market for Microsoft and Apple... in fact I'm pretty sure we can say Linux does dominate the server market. PASS.

            Mainframes - 28% (guesstimate as per wikipedia) - 28% Really?!?!? This is leaving 72% of the market for others. Nope, no Linux domination here. FAIL.

            Super Computers - 91% This market yes Linux hands down and beyond a shadow of a doubt dominates. PASS.

            So out of the markets listed you have 5 FAILS and 2 PASSES. Not too bad but even a broken mechanical clock is right twice a day.

            I had to do this as you posted a huge amount of FUD and misrepresentations and I just could not let it slide. Linux does dominate in 2 markets but you are not competent enough to differentiate which markets it does dominate in and so claim it dominates in all markets even though the data you posted says otherwise.

            Saying this I do not dislike Linux at all - some of the distros look interesting, I do like Ubuntu, but Linux cannot sync my iPhone nor can it run the latest MMOPRGs or PC games so for me Linux is a hobbyist OS. Some of you guys can rock it as a daily driver OS and that's cool. But extremists like this nsingh_jr guy and Linux Geek - wherever he is - make people who are fans of Linux look like religious nutjobs.
            athynz
          • Why would anyone be threatened by Linux's laughable market share?

            Well it's idiots like jhammackHTH and Lovie Dovie that are, that's why!

            Oh I get it. You weren't smart enough to read into the context of who and why @guzz46 responded to and just knee-jerked your way into it.

            Really @jhammackHTH, lay off the sugar. Fatso.
            CaviarBlack
          • You always claim people are threatened by Linux

            I wonder why? Perhaps you did that introspection suggested on another thread and found many of your own insecurities?

            While Linux is strong, and in places like tablets handily beats Microsoft (as does everyone else by the way), Linux is only one of several choices.

            Even on the desktop, Linux is a choice, but the majority have chosen other operating systems. Does that threaten you?
            Cynical99
          • Pwned99, why would you give 2% of the desktop market...

            ...that much attention?

            Think about it.

            You're the amateur psychiatrist. Use those two brains cells God gave you and then come back to us.

            Doh.
            CaviarBlack
          • You always claim people are threatened by Linux

            Thats because they are, or else they wouldn't be here would they, after all why comment on an article about an OS you claim only has 1% desktop marketshare?

            "Perhaps you did that introspection suggested on another thread and found many of your own insecurities?"

            What insecurities?

            "While Linux is strong, and in places like tablets handily beats Microsoft (as does everyone else by the way), Linux is only one of several choices."

            Let me rephrase your comment... Linux is strong, and handily beats Microsoft in basically every area bar the desktop.

            "Even on the desktop, Linux is a choice, but the majority have chosen other operating systems. Does that threaten you?"

            No the majority haven't chosen, the majority don't have a choice when it comes to Linux, windows is forced upon them, and you want to know why? because when people have a choice they generally don't choose windows (eg.. windows phone) hence microsoft takes that choice away.
            guzz46
        • In sales?

          Maybe Windows dominates in profit margins or *sales* or something. Not in use or number of installs on servers.
          Natanael_L
        • jhammackHTH

          It looks like others have bet me to it, but next time just do a bit of research please, windows only dominates the desktop, thats only one market, Linux on the other hand has the majority share of Servers, dominates Supercomputers, has the majority share of mobile devices, Linux dominates in Hollywood in the motion picture business, Linux is also on embedded devices... how many? who knows, others could probably expand on that list also.
          Do you get the picture now? windows is in the minority.
          guzz46
          • And speaking of Hollywood

            You see a lot of Apple machines in the movies. Apple isn't ashamed of this, unlike Micro$oft who's fear is that a malware infection may happen on the screen at any moment.

            They wouldn't want that recorded now would they?

            lol...
            CaviarBlack
          • And speaking of Hollywood

            Everytime I watch a "making of" special feature on a blu-ray movie I always try and catch which OS they are using, and a lot of the time you can see they are using KDE 3.5
            guzz46
          • Good for them

            I hope it's Linux Mint.
            CaviarBlack
          • Linux Mint....Have a look here...

            Linux Mint...
            Have a look here;
            http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2083330
            Chdslv
        • http://blogs.computerworld.com/15675/idc_windows_dominates_linux_in_servers

          That article is almost 3 yrs old...
          GlxTre
    • Only in a very narrow interpretation

      That might be true, if everyone were only using one computer, no such thing as dual-booting, and there were no other way to test distros than by installing it.

      This whole Linux thing isn't about You Absolutely Must Change Your System, but rather, having the option to do so. I liked Peppermint Two (it's on our low-resource computer), and while I don't intend to switch for the time being, I like knowing that if tomorrow I hate Xubuntu, I have more options. Other OSes don't offer that much flexibility.
      AshleyMP