Linux Mint 9 review

The Linux Mint 9 has got enormous press coverage and why not? People say it is the most complete Linux distro out there. There are many reviews of it out there already, so does it need another one? Well, since you have landed on a netbook website, I will giving out my thoughts on how it performs on a netbook which are not as powerful as the Desktop systems.

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Background

I am a die-hard Windows user and have been using Windows since I started using computers. To be frank, I never gave a try to Mint or any Linux operating system so far because I never felt the the need to jump to the Linux bandwagon. But, I kept hearing all these praises about the Mint 9 and how great this distro had become. Various Linux reviews pointed out how easy it was to use. So, I downloaded the Mint 9 from a torrent and installed it with the help of my boyfriend on my netbook. Yes, I am a girl and it is the first time I am using Linux.

Installation

The installation was pretty much straightforward and has only 6 steps. The only hard part was to decide on which partition the installation had to made. Also, I did some search on Google where it was recommend to make a minimum 1GB of swap too. After the installation, I rebooted and I was greeted with a nice “Welcome” window

It has a collection of tutorials; link of new features; a user guide written in PDF; link to their excellent support forum;

Why I love Mint

Everything worked out of the box. It is magical. Even though my Acer Aspire D250 netbook came with Windows XP installed, everytime something went horribly wrong I’d to reinstall the OS and drivers. In case of Mint, just do a quick installation of the OS and you are good to go as every single component worked out of the box. No need to install any drivers or so, not even any plugin to play back your audio and video files. It just works! This is called good user-experience and that is how an operating system should work. I was blown-away when the YouTube worked! Turns out that the plugin is already pre-installed. *happy girl*

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The core reason is its simplicity. I love the software manager and the ratings feature. The ratings feature tells if the application is worth it or not, thanks to the wonderful Mint users out there who took-out a minute or two to write a review. I also love the one line description given just below the app name because the names are not enough to tell the a casual amateur Linux user like me regarding the functionality of the app. Good job!

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Application loading time is about 2-3 seconds and this is with the Windows effects enabled. I am sure one can shove off one second or two by disabling them, but hey, they look cool and I am no way going to disable them.

Start up and Shut down times

The mint takes 15 seconds from cold boot to the desktop and 7 seconds to completely shut down. Very nice!

Battery Life

My D250, like most netbooks out there came with a 6-cell battery. Under Windows, I get 5.5-6 hours of runtime. In Mint, I was able to get somewhere around 4.5-5 hours of runtime with Wireless on at all the times. It is not bad, but it could be better.

Backup tool

This tool is great for a clumsy person like me who likes to play around with the OS a lot. This tool is easy to use and lets me back up my files, apps and settings so that I do not need set up everything from scratch.

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GIMP

I also like that Mint ships with a Photoshop alternative called GIMP. Although it is also available for the Windows platform, and to frank, I never had a chance to try it. But, since there is no Adobe Photoshop for the Linux, you have no choice, but to use GIMP and it is good.

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Quotes

Hilarious quotes in the Terminal: Although I was lucky that I did not have to fire the Terminal for anything serious. But, I opened it just for fun and boy, I was greeted with a donkey saying some silly quote and it would display a different quote everytime you start terminal. Awesome!

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Final Verdict

So, Mint OS is an excellent choice and can definitely be used as a Windows alternative, unless you have to use a OS-specific app. I was impressed by its simplicity and easy of use on my netbook. It boots quickly and can get you connected online within seconds. Also, unlike Windows, there is no problem of being affected by the viruses.


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