Although it's not one of the core 'Buntu distributions, we've given Mint a fair share of coverage in the magazine this year; Linux Mint 4.0 'Daryna' was Flavour of the Month in Issue #10, with the follow-up comparison to Unbuntu in Issue #11, both favourable write-ups by Mr Clipsham that we won't repeat here. But now release 5.0 is out named 'Elyssa'
It's worth another quick look for the sake of three key things:
- it's bang up to date
- it's still pretty
- it's really, really easy
- Compaq Deskpro, Pentium 3, 733MHz, 512mb memory, 20Gb disk, onboard Intel graphics
- Abit Pentium4, 2.14GHz clone, 1Gb memory, Geforce-IV AGP graphics card.
Mint 5.0 is now based on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy, which means all the underlying code, from the kernel to the utilities to the applications are the latest. That includes Gnome Desktop, Open Office and Firefox 3.
Elyssa, pretty as a picture...
I know it comes down to personal choice, but if you don't like Ubuntu brown or Kubuntu blue, then the default Mint theme of green and black will come as a pleasant change. Mint includes the restricted drivers for NVidia and ATI cards (handled by Envy) and again, it just seems to work. I expected the graphics to be fairly shoddy on my elderly Compaq machine; but no, its pin-sharp, all the resolutions and all the colours and on the basic settings (without 3-D effects) faster than you'd expect. If you don't like the theme, the Mint project thoughtfully provides a bookmark to it's own version of gnome-look.org pre-filtered for the Mint distro, so you can have confidence all the themes and engines work for Elyssa. So what?
The Mint main menu is laid out clearly and wouldn't put off a newcomer used to a Windows Start Menu. Which brings us on to the last point...
Elyssa, spelt 'easy'