Saturday, March 21, 2009

Linux Mint - Great Linux Distribution

I have spent most of my years working with RedHat /Fedora. For the past year, I have been working with Ubuntu. Last night I found Linux Mint. This is the most flexible, easiest-to-install desktop Linux I have ever used. I have only been running it for a few hours, and I'm sure I will come across something that I need that I can't do. However, this is the best distro I have used in a long time.

 The reasons that I really like it include the following:

  1. The ISO comes with an exe installer that you run from Windows. This partitions part of your Windows drive (as much as you tell it to), creates an entry in add/remove programs so you can remove it from Windows, and creates a dual-boot menu.
  2. The install was extremely fast. It took me around 40 minutes to download, install, and boot to the desktop.
  3. The system worked flawlessly with my T60p hardware. The wireless had zero-config (aside from the key) and it gave a little pop-up that it recognized new wireless networks. The only driver that I had to install was the ATI graphics driver (the system worked fine with the default driver). This driver was "offered" by the system and had a GUI for the install; I didn't have to search it out with 800x600 resolution and fiddle with installing it.
  4. The desktop is beautiful. It's clean and comes with a (Start) menu that allows for similar functionality of "pin to start menu" in Windows using application favorites.
Some of the other realy nice features are:


Built-in "net nanny"



Right-click to upload




Backup software (mintBackup)





A driver application to help find and manage device drivers





mintUpdate




A very user-friendly firewall application



I made a 5 GB disk for it to use on my Windows machine and have been using it ever since. The best part is that if you don't like it, you just go to add/remove programs in Windows and uninstall.

This is by far the easiest, most user-friendly Linux I have ever used.

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