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Everything Linux: Linux Mint review


I was asked by one of my followers to do a review of Linux Mint. Now, as many of you know, I do not use Ubuntu or Debian based systems, but I will do my best for the sake of a review. I decided to go with an XFCE iso. I figure if I’m going to try to write a good review at least use something that I like.

The installer

Very user friendly, like Sabayons. I decided to make my own partitions, the same way I did in Sabayon. I opened a terminal, became root, ran cfdisk and 100MB on /boot, 512MB on swap and the rest of 16GB on /root. During setting up what partitions would be used as what, it brought me to a screen asking to change the partition options, and I couldn’t do anything unless I told it to use aforementioned partition. That’s fine and all, but I much rather would like it to let me choose a mount point, but I guess some people could really fuck up their systems, so as far as that goes, that’s fine.
As it was running the installer, copying files doing all that other shit it does, went through the normal steps, setting time zone, setting up a user, setting up hostname, setting up passwords etc etc. After doing all that, it start installing the system, doing all the rest of the shit it does. Pretty straight forward, got some messages about Firefox being default browser, to keep your system up to date and some other things of that nature. Installer is pretty good, well polished. Downloaded a lot of language packs which is cool and all but, I don’t need them. That took about 2 minutes.

Booting into the new system, first update

I was greeted with this screen, which is nice. The first thing I noticed was there was a lot of extra shit installed. I am very used to a minimal install, if Mint had a very minimal iso, I would have gone with that. But that’s alright.
As usual the first thing I did was update, but not before setting the root password. I have a habit of not using ‘sudo’ to do things, you can blame Sabayon for that one.

It went through it’s damn thing of updating, it’s actually still going, first updates are usually pretty large. Currently updating Libre Office. The huge thing I realized is, from using Gentoofor so long it’s nearly impossible for me to write reviews on these types of distros without saying negative things. People think compiling things takes time, but the difference is, this update has been going for about an hour and a half, and it’s installing packages that I really don’t need. That’s fine and all, but that’s a lot of bloat. Mint is a very good distro for a beginner, I will say that much. I wish it was around when I had first started using Linux. I don’t mean to sound like Mint is bad or anything, don’t get me wrong. I just notice these little things, and look at my system and compare. Booting the actual kernel took some time as well. It’s a big kernel, so it takes some time.


Mint, like many other distros, give you a choice on if you want to use the GUI package manager, or update via CLI. I choose to update via CLI, but their GUI package manager is called “Software Manager”:

I will say that it is easy to navigate and it’s very well polished. I have to say that the devs at Mint did a good job with it. As it’s still doing updates I can’t really do much. But again, very well managed, very well put together. And the fact that you have a choice is good too. Using the GUI you are prompted to enter your password everytime you want to add a package. This is good for those who install (even more) packages, but on the other hand if you put it in once, I don’t see why (in a certain ammount of time) you would have to put it in again.

I decided I would install a couple packages with it, and it went very smoothly. I had no problem, other than it asking for my password whenever I wanted to install something. I installed the kernel-sources and I installed ncurses-dev. I needed the ncurses-devpackages because running:

# make menuconfig

requires it. While looking through their kernel config, I realize (and yes I know, they roll out kernels that can boot up most machines), there’s a lot of stuff you don’t really need. I like rolling out my own kernels anyway, I did on my Sabayon VM, I did on a few other VM’s I have. Becuase the way I look at it, is that you should have somewhat of a choice. If you don’t have a RadeonTM card, then why should it be in the kernel? Maybe that’s just me, though.

Final thoughts

I know that this isn’t very long, but I have a lot going on in my life right now and the Sabayon review took me quite a bit of time to write as well. I spent about 6 hours writing this one. If I write more in the future I’ll try and make them longer, and more in depth, but I can’t promise anything.
Overall I would use Linux Mint again. But on a VM with 2 GB of RAM, it was slow. Booting up was slow, updating was slow, but I would use it again. I was definitely pleasantly surprised. I tried to keep an open mind, but that’s my review of Linux Mint.

(Source: linuxmint.mirocommunity.org, via everything-linux-deactivated201)

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