Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon Review
After a very successful launch of Linux Mint 12, we’re taking a look at the newest edition of Linux Mint to see what’s new with this edition.
Linux Mint 12 brought on a lot of fanfare and made people switch over, myself as well, and we will see if Linux Mint codenamed “Maya” will be a hit as well.There are currently two editions of Linux Mint, one that uses the MATE desktop which is a modified Gnome 2 desktop with added features and the one we’re looking at today, Cinnamon which is based on Gnome 3 and features the developers added to make it more complete. To find out which desktop environment is best suited for your system, please check out their release notes.
In keeping with tradition, Linux Mint is an installable Live media that is both available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions and is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and will also receive 5 years support. For those who have been wanting to upgrade from 12 to the newest edition, it is recommended that you perform a backup of your information through the backup tool Linux Mint developers have created.
If you have installed Linux Mint 12, the installation process has not changed and will feel right at home. For those who have not, it was fairly easy and quick to setup. Installation times will vary depending on your system, but overall it wasn’t too long on my system.
The Cinnamon desktop is very elegant with not too much bells and whistles going on to distract oneself. There are some window effects that are used when minimizing, restoring, closing and maximizing windows to give it a modern feel without going overboard.
Customizing the look and feel of Linux Mint is done very easily. Changing themes can be done by the Cinnamon settings and from there you can easily change the look and feel of your desktop and it is also where you can change the visual effects in your system. The visual effects only work if you have a good graphics processor that is capable of handling these effects or else it will fallback to a non-enhanced mode.
The menu layout in Linux Mint was very well detailed and has a three column layout. On the first column is where you can attach shortcuts to your most frequently used programs. To change this it is by dragging an icon off and putting a new one. the second column is the software category and the third is the programs in the category.
Applications is what usually makes or breaks a distribution and from what we see here Linux Mint comes with a good amount of apps. Internet and email is handled by Firefox 12 and Mozilla Thunderbird respectively, we have Pidgin for your IM client, The Gimp 2.6 is included as well as VLC media player for all your multimedia needs. Codecs are pre-installed to allow one to enjoy a variety of formats without pulling their hair out trying to figure out what is missing.
Taking care of which applications are on your system is handled by Software Manager. It is a very nifty and well designed program where you can search by name or look through categories of software to choose what you want to install; and also contains a good description of the application. For those who want to kick it old-school, Synaptic Package Manager is also available.
What can I say about Linux Mint 13? I couldn’t believe that the developers could improve on what I thought was absolutely perfect in Linux Mint 12. Everything is just right from the desktop effects, to the applications and as well as the amount of resources it uses.
The menu in Cinnamon is nicely done and overall the improvements that the developers have done is just astounding. If I had to say one thing that they could’ve improved on was the login screen. It seems it is out of place compared to the distribution as a whole.
Linux Mint has been very stable and did not experience any lockups.
Screenshots: Linux Mint Cinnamon