Linux Mint – Linux Distribution

Created by Clément Lefèbvre, Linux Mint is the first OS that people from other major OS (such as Windows or Mac) are attracted towards when they have to switch to Linux in their work environment. If you are one of those people and want to know a little more about this Linux distribution before making the final decision, than I’ve got good news for you as I’ll be covering Linux Mint pretty in detail in this article. So, let’s begin.

What is Linux Mint?

Based on Debian and Ubuntu, Linux Mint is a community-driven Linux distro which has been around since 2006. According to its official website, the purpose of this Linux distro is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable OS which is powerful as well as very user-friendly. Used by millions of people across the globe, this free and open-source OS is one of the most popular desktop Linux distro around.

Features of Linux Mint

  • Linux Mint’s core difference is its UI and ease of interactivity.
  • Like typical Linux distros, this one too includes an integrated and pre-installed application suite. This is a great feature especially for newcomers who have no idea what software is available for Linux or what these programs are called. Also, it enables you to search, download and install additional applications through its application package manager utility which is very lighter and faster.
  • Aimed at your everyday computer user, the design of Linux Mint is very comfortable and user-friendly, but at the same time it is also powerful and configurable.
  • Everything is done to make the UX better. User feedback is very important and it is used to consistently improve the quality of this Linux distro.
  • It provides Long-Term Support (LTS) releases which are normally supported for duration of five years.

How to choose the right edition?

Linux Mint has 3 different versions, each featuring a different desktop environment.

  • Its most popular version is the Cinnamon edition. Primarily developed for and by Linux Mint, Cinnamon is slick, beautiful, and full of new features.

  • It’s also involved in the development of MATE, a classic desktop environment which aims to maintain and continue the latest GNOME 2 code base, frameworks, and core applications, Linux Mint’s default desktop between 2006 and 2011. In contrast to Cinnamon, MATE is faster, uses fewer resources and is more stable, but misses a few features and has slower development.

  • Linux Mint also develops a third version that features the Xfce desktop environment. Although, Xfce doesn’t support as many features as Cinnamon or MATE, but it’s extremely stable and very light on resource usage.

If you are confused about which one to choose, then the best course for you will be to start with the Cinnamon one. And then go through all of them (whenever you get the time). All 3 of them have their own audience within the Linux Mint community and they’re all very popular.

32-bit or 64-bit?

Well, that depends on your system, most computers made after 2007 have a 64-bit processor for them the 64-bit is recommended, while the 32-bit ISO images are provided for compatibility with older computers. You can try to boot Linux Mint 64-bit on your old computer too. If it isn’t compatible, you will just get an error message.

Pros and Cons of Linux Mint

Let’s, first go through the pros of using Linux Mint.

  • Ok, its first advantage (already mentioned somewhere above) is that its free of cost and open source.
  • Also, mentioned many times before, Linux Mint is very comfortable and user-friendly.
  • It’s community-driven, User feedback is considered an important part of the development process, which is used to consistently improve the quality of Linux Mint.
  • Based on Debian and Ubuntu, it provides about thirty-thousand packages and one of the best software managers.
  • Safe and reliable, this Linux distro requires very little maintenance (no regressions, no antivirus, and so forth) because of a conservative approach to software updates, a unique Update Manager and a robust architecture.

Now, before I wrap up the article lets go through a list of cons too:

  • No Device Manager.
  • This Linux distro has a conservative approach to new technologies. So, if you are someone that likes to keep up with the latest technologies or flashy desktops, then i guess you should go for a distro such as Fedora instead.
  • Considering its size, you’ll need a reasonably capable machine to run it effectively. So if you have a machine that is old and you can’t upgrade it, then i guess you should go for something else.

So, I guess that’s it. We went through a lot of details that I hope will be enough to get you started.

Thank you for reading!

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