Its been a while since a noticeable Linux Based Distro got released, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Linux Mint 13 on my watch-List. Having been a gnome fan for far too long, I was intrigued to try out Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon edition. This is a review of the same.
Linux Mint is primarily based on Ubuntu, and as an extension, on Debian. There are direct Ubuntu and Debian based versions of Linux Mint in their download section, for those with discerning eyes. With Synaptic Package Manager, you just can’t go wrong, and most of the applications that you love, are available. The version I downloaded, was a 64bit, cinnamon DVD version with multimedia support. It is a relatively small dvd image (804MiB)
I tried out the Cinnamon Version, on my Fedora 16 Desktop with VirtualBox, and I was impressed with the fresh new looks. With a slew of new themes, clean and simple elegant looks, Mint 13 is a pleasant surprise. The term “Minty Fresh” comes into mind.
Lets have a walk through, shall we?
The cinnamon version comes with Cinnamon and Gnome (Classic) Desktop Environments, and you can switch to these (Cinnamon, Gnome Classic and Gnome Classic Without Effects, among other options) in the log-in screen.
The first time you boot into maya, you find this plain simple looking white themed desktop, with one panel, and a welcome screen that promises to get you acquainted with the OS. The welcome screen does its job all right. It links you to the how to sections of the Linux Mint Blog. You can disable this screen by un-ticking the “Show this dialogue at startup” CheckBox.
The Default Application settings page can be found in the Details app, and is one of the first things I change when I boot into a fresh OS. Here, the only change I needed to make was the audio and video options. Yes, VLC is pre installed in this version (multimedia supported version). There are other versions also available, which do not provide inbuilt multimedia support, but why would you go for that?
The Online Account Section is the next thing I jump to. Interestingly, I found a “Windows Live” Account integration option along with the usual Google Account option. Useful for those who use Windows as well, I suppose.
The Synaptic Package Manager will be a familiar application for those who happen to use Debian/Ubuntu derivatives, as its inbuilt into Mint 13. The repositories are the same as that of Ubuntu/Debian universe, depending on the version of Mint you use.
Tired of the simple white look, being a dark looks fan, I decided to look for a way to change themes. Easier said than done. Having never used cinnamon, I soon found myself groping around the settings panel for a way to change the looks, and only found desktop background changes in the Appearance settings. Finally, after a bit more of searching, I found the naughty little “Cinnamon settings” Application hiding in the Preferences Menu. The themes, as I mentioned before, are pretty nice, if you are a dark-looks lover like me. There are lighter themes too, and many more available online for those who wish to procure them.
I switched to a good looking theme, and chose a nice desktop background and what a transformation! Love how this desktop looks.
The applications Menu looks quite nice too, once you choose a new theme. The default one was just like the old Gnome Menu, and was plain boring, if you ask me.
I missed the usual effect I use in my fedora 16 desktop, where the left top corner of the screen acts as a hot zone to zoom out and see all my virtual desktops, and an accidental habitual move towards the top left corner left me amazed! Yes! The zoom effect is here in mint too! as you can see, the default is 2 desktops, but more can be added with the “+” icon on the right.
Parting Views . . . .
All in all, Linux Mint 13 is definitely an interesting and pleasant desktop option, and those who do not like the way Ubuntu has gone, with its Unity interface, or those who detest the Gnome 3 shift, may want to have a look at this, Cinnamon alternative. The bundled applications are few, but just enough for your daily routine.
In three words,