Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" released

Today Linux Mint 7, codenamed Gloria, was released. I downloaded it and wiped my Ubuntu 9.04 installation on my desktop so I could install Mint. Thus far I am very happy. Overall, Linux Mint is a great distribution that is really easy to use an friendly to all users, but there are a few things about it that are just really silly.

For example, Mint includes Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. These are both great applications that I use extensively. But they come with extensions preinstalled that cannot be uninstalled. Or, in Firefox, the search box that appears to the right of the address bar defaults to a customized Google search that add additional ads at the top of each results screen. Granted, this is probably one of the ways that Linux Mint gets funding, but its something annoying to the user. I had to delete that search engine and then install the standard Google search from here.

My only other real gripe with it is the "fortunes" that appear in new Terminal sessions. These "fortunes" are humorous text based images with quotes. In Linux Mint 6, you were prompted during setup if you wanted these to be enabled or not. This version automatically enables them. They are disabled by opening /etc/bash.bashrc and commenting out or deleting the last line.

I do love how Mint includes additional repositories of easily installable goodness that Ubuntu does not. Instead of fetching the appropriate .deb installers, I could use the default repositories to install Songbird, a music player, and Opera, a backup web browser. Still no Truecrypt, though; I had to download that application from its website.

Mint uses its own custom Main Menu rather than the traditional GNOME three menu system. The last time I had Mint installed I switched over to the latter of the two, but this time around I think I'll stick with the Mint Menu. They did some work on it between the last release and this one and it seems really nice. Two thing I never noticed before is that you can uninstall packages or tell applications to start at login with a right-click. Very convenient.

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