As you may or may not know, Linux Mint 11 is based on Ubuntu 11.04 so it comes with all the features in the latest Ubuntu, but without Unity. The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use. Started in 2006, Linux Mint is now the 4th most widely used home operating system behind Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS and Canonical’s Ubuntu.
Some of the reasons for the success of Linux Mint are:
- It works out of the box, with full multimedia support and is extremely easy to use.
- It’s both free of cost and open source.
- It’s community-driven. Users are encouraged to send feedback to the project so that their ideas can be used to improve Linux Mint.
- Based on Debian and Ubuntu, it provides about 30,000 packages and one of the best software managers.
- It’s safe and reliable. Thanks to a conservative approach to software updates, a unique Update Manager and the robustness of its Linux architecture, Linux Mint requires very little maintenance (no regressions, no antivirus, no anti-spyware…etc).
Here are the release highlights:
- Linux Mint 11 comes with Linux kernel 2.6.38, Gnome 2.32, Xorg 7.6
- Many improvements to Software Manager and Update Manager
- Artwork improvements: a refreshed Mint-X theme, new backgrounds and overlay scrollbars by default
- Gwibber has been removed
- gThumb replaces F-Spot as default photo manager
- Banshee replaces Rhythmbox as default music player
- LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice.org
Excerpt From DistroWatch.com:
Linux Mint is one of the surprise packages of the past year. Originally launched as a variant of Ubuntu with integrated media codecs, it has now developed into one of the most user-friendly distributions on the market – complete with a custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, a web-based package installation interface, and a number of different editions. Perhaps most importantly, this is one project where the developers and users are in constant interaction, resulting in dramatic, user-driven improvements with every new release. DistroWatch has spoken to the founder and lead developer of Linux Mint, Clement Lefebvre, about the history of the distribution.
Some of the reasons for the success of Linux Mint are:
- It’s one of the most community driven distributions. You could literally post an idea in the forums today and see it implemented the week after in the “current” release. Of course this has pros and cons and compared to distributions with roadmaps, feature boards and fixed release cycles we miss a lot of structure and potentially a lot of quality, but it allows us to react quickly, implement more innovations and make the whole experience for us and for the users extremely exciting.
- It is a Debian-based distribution and as such it is very solid and it comes with one of the greatest package managers.
- It is compatible with and uses Ubuntu repositories. This gives Linux Mint users access to a huge collection of packages and software.
- There is a strong focus on making things work out of the box (WiFi cards drivers in the file system, multimedia support, screen resolution, etc).
- It comes with a lot of desktop improvements which make it easier for the user to do common things.
What is Linux Mint?
- Linux Mint is a free Linux-based operating system designed for use on desktop computers. It is based and compatible with another free operating system called Ubuntu (which is based on another operating system called Debian). This allows Linux Mint to take advantage of the large amount of software packaged for use with Ubuntu and Debian.
Is Linux Mint suitable for companies?
- Yes. Linux Mint offers paid commercial support to companies and individuals. Free community support is also available from the forums and the IRC channel. The main purpose of Linux Mint is to innovate and constantly bring the best desktop solutions to its users. For this reason, the release cycle is relatively fast, with a new version being released about every 6 months. Because of this rapid release schedule may make it impractical for some companies (and even individuals) to upgrade with each release, we have a timed support schedule with each release being supported for about a year and a half. We also make periodic Long-Term Support (LTS) releases which are supported for about 3 years and which are guaranteed to provide enough overlap to allow you to upgrade from one LTS release to the next.
Is Linux Mint suitable for individuals?
- Yes, definitely. We believe Linux is the best operating system on the market. There are more than 300 active Linux distributions and we’re working hard at becoming the best solution for your desktop. The competition is tough, as there are other great desktop operating systems and distributions out there. We have faith in the quality of our desktop and a lot of great ideas. If your computer is a PC and you have more than 512MB RAM you owe it to yourself to try Linux Mint and see what you think about it. If you’re running a years-old non-free operating system (such as Microsoft Windows XP, which is rapidly approaching being a decade old) you should definitely be impressed. We like hearing about your experience and listen very carefully to your suggestions, so please give us your feedback.
Our latest release is Linux Mint 11, codename “Katya”. If you’re new to Linux Mint or if you’re unsure as to which edition is right for you, choose the Main Edition. There are also a lot of minor but very useful changes such as a new command line tool called “apt download” that lets you download a .deb with all its dependencies (so you can distribute it to someone who doesn’t have an Internet connection for instance) or a black Plymouth – this is not fancy but at least it looks ok on any resolution and using any graphics drivers so you’ll no longer get a broken boot experience.
|MAIN EDITION (GNOME DESKTOP)||CODECS & APPS*||WINDOWS INSTALLER|
|DVD||32-bit||64-bit||The full-featured standard version||Yes||No|
|CD No codecs||32-bit||64-bit||A version which fits on a CD, without multimedia support and extra applications. For magazines, companies and distributors in the USA, Japan and countries where the legislation allows patents to apply to software and distribution of restricted technologies may require the acquisition of 3rd party licenses.||No||Yes|
|OEM||32-bit||64-bit||For manufacturers, to pre-install Linux Mint on computers without setting up a user account.||No||No|
* Missing codecs and extra applications can be installed with a simple click of the mouse.
Why does Linux Mint include proprietary drivers?
It doesn’t. If it did, it would be legally wrong (because it would violate the GPL) or ethically wrong (if some dirty trick was used for the user to link the code to the kernel for instance).
What about proprietary software?
We believe in the open-source philosophy and release the source code for all of our work. We owe a lot to the Free Software movement and to the GPL but we also owe a lot to all developers who have had good ideas and created great tools and who have been working to make software better. Some of them have released their source code as well and have thus granted us more freedom and more flexibility. Others released their software with proprietary licenses and no source code, and although this doesn’t give us the freedom we would like, it still contributes to make software better. We like Software in general, Free Software even more, but we do not believe in boycotting Proprietary Software.