Linux Mint's purpose was always to be a very user-friendly, simple, and up to date Linux and GNU desktop distribution. Besides being based on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope (and early on, really just a variant of Ubuntu with integrated media codecs, and Linux 2.6.28, it also incorporated the highly popular open source technology of Gnome 2.26, and Xorg 7.4.
Linux Mint 7 is nicknamed "Gloria" and it delivers on the ever-escalating promise of Mint--by giving users improvements that weren't really there to any significant degree with Mint 5 and Mint 6, which seemed for all intents and purposes to be versions of Ubuntu with a more blue and less green look and, to some (but not all) users, a little bit of an easier installation process.
So, what special stuff has come along with Mint 7?
The mintMenu allows you to filter the applications list so that you can quickly access what you're searching for.
- "Suggestions" feature: When filtering yields no results, the Mint 7 menu shows a list of suggestions relevant to what you are searching for.
So, what these two new features mean for you is that it's now easier to easier to install new packages and applications while you're "on the run" and also to search the repositories or your portal straight from the menu.
- Speaking of the menu, now it can be opened from your keyboard. You simultaneously press the left Control key and the left Super key (Windows key). You can, as you might expect, configure this so that you are able to re-assign it any key that you desire. Furthermore, the menu will close by itself when you press either Escape or the Super key.
- Your favorite applications now come pre-filled, with commentaries beneath the applications. While this ability has been around with Mint's previous versions, now it's much more up-front so that a lot more people actually know about it.
Mint, with its version 7 "Gloria", has now evolved into one of the most user-friendly OS distributions out there. You're getting the custom desktop and menus plus a handful of one of a kind configuration tools, and simple web-based installation interface. Mint is evolving so well and so dramatically due to the fact that the users and developers of Mint are constantly talking to each other.
So, Linux Mint is much more community driven than the average OS distributions. Users have experienced posting forum ideas and seeing them implemented in the latest Mint only a week later--although it must be remembered that there is a potential downside to this, as it's analogous to the "rush to market" approach that has made Microsoft so huge but also so full of bugs and the need to constantly send users updates via the Internet. But satisfied Mint users love the speed of innovations and the excitement of the seat-of-your-pants interaction.
Other things going for it include:
- Its Debian-based distribution, which makes it very solid and inclusive of one of the very best package managers.
- Since Linux Mint 7 uses Ubuntu repositories, its users have access to a gigantic array of software and packages--yet, at once, all of these latest desktop improvements mean that it's far simpler for users to do everyday things these days.
- Mint's designers give a huge amount of attention to making stuff such as WiFi card drivers, screen resolutions, and support for multimedia work right out of the box.
- One of our favorite new features of Mint 7 "Gloria" is that it has an option to "Start the installer only", another clear tip of the hat to its Ubuntu roots. Choosing "Start the installer only" puts you into a standard boot-up cycle, out of which you then are dropped directly into the installer sans desktop.
- Mint's LiveCD boots up nicely without taking up too much of your time.
- The new Mint desktop is more of a feast for the (geeky) eye and includes a whole new wallpaper, blue and black desktop coloration, the very tasty new "mintMenu", and a whole lot of new features in addition to those that we've listed above for users to get interested in and excited about. We have every reason to believe that Mint will just keep betting and better; we count at least 10 huge new improvements in addition to maybe as many as 20 smaller-scale ones in addition to the vast array of little tasty new background treats to be found all over the place. And while many of Mint 7's "new features" are just upgrades and updates to those that already exist, when you consider this entire ensemble together any Ubuntu and any Mint 5 or 6 user should be thrilled.
As a matter of fact, since Mint 7 comes Gnome 2.26, if you are a Gnome user you will love Mint 7 as well. This is some OS operating software that is sure to please.