Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Monday, September 03, 2012

A fast look at Linux Mint 13 “Maya”

I have a Dell Inspiron 1420n that is a 14.1" consumer notebook. The Intel Core 2 Duo (Santa Rosa) processor and nVidia dedicated graphics made it a good buy 4 years ago. The 1420n came preinstalled with Ubuntu 7.10. Unlike Windows, Ubuntu did not make the system cost more and came bundled with a variety of useful software, including a fully-functional office suite. For the last 2 years, I have been using Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora" GNOME on my Inspiron . How has life been without windows? For me I do everything I want to do without requiring enormous resources.

Today I am posting this on a system running LM 13 (Linux Mint 13) a user-friendly version of GNU. As expected, Linux Mint comes with the usual set of proprietary codec’s; my laptop's volume keyboard shortcuts worked out-of-the-box, as did things like YouTube, Hulu and MP3 songs.

How do you get Linux Mint? Go to their web site.

Next you will have a choice or two to make.

MATE or Cinnamon desktop? LM 13 MATE, which features MATE, a desktop environment forked from GNOME 2, and Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon, which features Cinnamon, a desktop environment built atop GNOME 3.
32-bit or 64-bit? if you're in doubt, go for 32-bit. To be honest it doesn't make a huge amount of difference, except that you won't be able to access more than 4GB of RAM.

CD or DVD? The CD doesn't include multimedia support and a few extra applications. That's because support for some of that stuff is restricted in the US. Adding them later is only a matter of a single click.

Do you download via torrent or mirror? With good cable connection, torrents took 5-10 minutes whereas a mirror invariably takes 20-25. If you use a mirror, choose a nearby by you.

Note I chose 32-bit Cinnamon desktop on DVD.

After having successfully downloaded the ISO image, and I burned the image with Nero linux, my favorite burning application to a DVD. Note when you down load an "International Organization for Standardization" aka ISO, do not burn a data DVD/CD, but rather choose the option to burn an "image". Once done just pop in the disk and reboot. Boot from the DVD or CD.In case your computer does not automatically boot from CD/DVD, open the BIOS setup to allow booting from CD or DVD.  The system boots and starts a desktop that is run entirely in the RAM of your system (the Linux Mint installation DVD is also a Live-DVD) without changing anything on your hard disk. This has the advantage that you can test how Linux Mint works on your hardware before you finally install it.

Beneath the Cinnamon desktop, you'll find a Linux 3.2 kernel. Mint, like most Linux distributions, is still using ext4 for its file system.  Since it’s built upon Ubuntu 12.04, Mint gets access to the entire suite of Precise Pangolin software, along with updates.12.04 is an LTS release meaning that LM 13 will get the same five year support. Canonical focused a lot during the development of 12.04 on stability of the system. Cinnamon requires 3D acceleration and might not work well for you, depending on your graphics card and/or drivers. So, the Nvidia and AMD/ATI users should test live section before installing it on the system. Now Intel provides excellent driver support for GNU/Linux you rarely go wrong with one of their solutions. The LM MATE version of Linux mint is a great choice for those who don’t have the hardware to run the Cinnamon version.

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.


Post a Comment

<< Home