Linux Mint

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Linux Mint
Linux Mint logo and wordmark.svg
Mint 15 RC.jpg Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon.png
Linux Mint 15 (Olivia) running MATE 1.6 (top) and Cinnamon 1.8 (bottom)
Company / developerClement Lefebvre, Jamie Boo Birse, Kendall Weaver, and community[1]
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateActive
Source modelFree and open-source software and proprietary software
Initial release27 August 2006; 7 years ago (2006-08-27)
Latest stable releaseLinux Mint 16 ("Petra") / November 30, 2013; 2 months ago (2013-11-30)
Available language(s)Multilingual[2]
Update methodAPT (+ mintUpdate, Synaptic)
Package managerdpkg
Supported platformsi486, x86-64
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
UserlandGNU
Default user interface1.0: KDE
2.0-9: GNOME 2 / LXDE (also for some versions)
12: GNOME 3 with MGSE
13-16: Cinnamon/MATE/KDE/Xfce[3]
LicenseMainly GPL and various other free software licenses
Official websitelinuxmint.com
 
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Linux Mint
Linux Mint logo and wordmark.svg
Mint 15 RC.jpg Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon.png
Linux Mint 15 (Olivia) running MATE 1.6 (top) and Cinnamon 1.8 (bottom)
Company / developerClement Lefebvre, Jamie Boo Birse, Kendall Weaver, and community[1]
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateActive
Source modelFree and open-source software and proprietary software
Initial release27 August 2006; 7 years ago (2006-08-27)
Latest stable releaseLinux Mint 16 ("Petra") / November 30, 2013; 2 months ago (2013-11-30)
Available language(s)Multilingual[2]
Update methodAPT (+ mintUpdate, Synaptic)
Package managerdpkg
Supported platformsi486, x86-64
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
UserlandGNU
Default user interface1.0: KDE
2.0-9: GNOME 2 / LXDE (also for some versions)
12: GNOME 3 with MGSE
13-16: Cinnamon/MATE/KDE/Xfce[3]
LicenseMainly GPL and various other free software licenses
Official websitelinuxmint.com

Linux Mint is a Linux distribution for desktop computers, based on either Ubuntu or Debian. Linux Mint is aimed at being a "modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use." Mint provides full out-of-the-box multimedia support by including some proprietary software such as Adobe Flash. Mint's motto is "from freedom came elegance".[4]

New versions of Linux Mint are released every six months. The first release, named "Ada", was released in 2006. As of January 2014, the latest and 16th release is "Petra".

History[edit]

Linux Mint started in 2006 with a beta release of version 1.0, codenamed "Ada", based on Kubuntu. Following its release, version 2.0 was the first version to use Ubuntu as its codebase. Mint had few users from these early versions until the release of 3.0, "Cassandra."[5][6]

Version 2.0 "Barbara" was based on Ubuntu 6.10, using its package repositories and using it as a codebase. From there, Linux Mint followed its own codebase, building each release from its previous one but it continued to use the package repositories from the latest Ubuntu release. As such the distribution never really forked.[citation needed] This resulted in making the base between the two systems almost identical and it guaranteed full compatibility between the two operating systems.[citation needed]

In 2008, Linux Mint adopted the same release cycle as Ubuntu and dropped its minor version number before releasing version 5 "Elyssa". The same year, in an effort to increase the compatibility between the two systems, Linux Mint decided to abandon its code-base and changed the way it built its releases.[citation needed] Starting with version 6 "Felicia" each release was now completely based on the latest Ubuntu release, built directly from it, timed for approximately one month after the corresponding Ubuntu release (i.e. usually in May and November).[citation needed]

In 2010 Linux Mint released Linux Mint Debian Edition. Unlike the other Ubuntu-based editions, it is a rolling release based directly on Debian GNU/Linux and is not tied to Ubuntu packages or its release schedule.[6]

Releases[edit]

There are two Linux Mint releases per year, generally timed one month after Ubuntu releases. Each version of Linux Mint is given an integer version number and is codenamed with a female first name, based on a letter of the alphabet that increases with every iteration.[6]

Linux Mint does not communicate specific release dates, as new versions are published "when ready", meaning that they can be released early when the distribution is ahead of schedule or late when critical bugs are found.[7] The current major release is Linux Mint 16 "Petra", released on 30 November 2013.[8]

VersionCode nameRelease dateSupport status
Old version, no longer supported: 1.0 betaAda2006-08-27Obsolete since April 2008.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.0Barbara2006-11-13Obsolete since April 2008.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.1Bea2006-12-20Obsolete since April 2008.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.2Bianca2007-02-20Obsolete since April 2008.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.0Cassandra2007-05-30Obsolete since October 2008.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.1Celena2007-09-24[9]Obsolete since October 2008.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 4.0Daryna2007-10-15Obsolete since April 2009.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 5 LTSElyssa2008-06-08Long term support release (LTS), obsolete since April 2011.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 6Felicia2008-12-15Obsolete since April 2010.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 7Gloria2009-05-26Obsolete since October 2010.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 8Helena2009-11-29Obsolete since April 2011.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 9 LTSIsadora2010-05-18[10]Long-term support release (LTS), obsolete since April 2013.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 10Julia2010-11-12[11]Obsolete since April 2012.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 11Katya2011-05-26[12]Obsolete since October 2012.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 12Lisa2011-11-26[13]Obsolete since April 2013.[6]
Older version, yet still supported: 13 LTSMaya2012-05-23[14]Long term support release (LTS), supported until April 2017.[6]
Older version, yet still supported: 14Nadia2012-11-20[15]Supported until April 2014.[6]
Old version, no longer supported: 15Olivia2013-05-29[16]Supported until January 2014.[6]
Current stable version: 16Petra2013-11-30[8]Supported until July 2014.[6]
Legend:
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

Features[edit]

Linux Mint primarily uses free and open source software, making exceptions for some proprietary software, such as plug-ins and codecs that provide Adobe Flash, MP3, and DVD playback.[17][18][19] Linux Mint's inclusion of proprietary software is uncommon;[citation needed] most Linux distributions do not include proprietary software by default, as a common goal for Linux distributions is to adhere to the model of free and open source software.

Linux Mint comes with a wide range of software installed that includes LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, XChat, Pidgin, Transmission and GIMP. Additional software that is not installed by default can be downloaded using the package manager. Linux Mint allows networking ports to be closed using its firewall, with customized port selection available. The default Linux Mint desktop environments, MATE and Cinnamon, support many languages.[20][21][non-primary source needed] Linux Mint can also run many programs designed for Microsoft Windows (such as Microsoft Office), using the Wine software or using virtualization software (such as VMware Workstation or VirtualBox).

Linux Mint is available with a number of desktop environments to choose from, including Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, and Xfce. Other desktop environments can be installed via APT.

Linux Mint actively develops software for its operating system. Most of the development is done in Python and the source code is available on GitHub.[22]

Software developed by Linux Mint[edit]

The Linux Mint Update Manager.
The Linux Mint Software Manager allows users to view and install programs from the Software Portal directly from their desktop.

Installation[edit]

Installation of Linux Mint is generally performed with the Live CD.[27] The Linux Mint OS can be run directly from the CD (albeit with a significant performance loss), allowing a user to "test-drive" the OS for hardware compatibility and driver support. The CD also contains the Ubiquity installer, which can guide the user through the permanent installation process.

The main edition of Linux Mint is available in 32-bit and 64-bit. Installation CD images can be downloaded for free, or installation CDs purchased from 3rd party vendors.[28][29] Linux Mint can be booted and run from a USB Flash drive, with the option of saving settings to the flash drive. This persistent thumb drive version allows a portable installation to be run on any PC capable of booting from a USB drive. The USB creator program is available to install Linux Mint (Ubuntu, not LMDE) on a USB drive.

A Microsoft Windows migration tool, Migration Assistant, can be used to import bookmarks, desktop background (wallpaper), and various settings from an existing Windows installation into a new Linux Mint installation.

The Windows installer "Mint4Win", is included on the Live CD and allows Linux Mint to be installed from within Microsoft Windows, much like the Wubi installer for Ubuntu. The operating system can then be removed similar to any other Windows software using the Windows Control Panel. This method requires no partitioning of the hard drive. It is only useful for Windows users; it is not meant for permanent installations because it incurs a slight performance loss.

Installation supports LVM and disk encryption since Linux Mint 15 but only with automatic partitioning.

UTF-8 is the default character encoding and allows for support of a variety of non-Roman scripts.

Editions[edit]

Linux Mint has multiple versions that are based upon Ubuntu, with various desktop environments available. Linux Mint also has a version based upon Debian. Note that the table below shows the default environments, not the available environments.

Default desktop environments of Linux Mint 16 (2013) and LMDE 201303
CinnamonMATEKDEXfceGNOMELXDEFluxbox
32-bit64-bit32-bit64-bit32-bit64-bit32-bit64-bit32-bit64-bit32-bit64-bit32-bit64-bit
Linux Mint 16 (Petra)[30]YesYesYesYesOlder releaseOlder releaseNoOlder releaseNo
Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE)[31]YesYesNoOlder releaseOlder releaseNoNo
Windows Installer[30][32]Older releaseOlder releaseOlder releaseOlder releaseNoNoNo

Ubuntu-based editions[edit]

As of Linux Mint 13,[33] there are two main editions of Linux Mint, developed by the core development team and using Ubuntu as a base. One includes Mint's own Cinnamon as the desktop environment while the other uses MATE. Linux Mint also develops editions that feature the KDE and Xfce desktop environments by default, but these have secondary priority and are generally released somewhat later than the two main editions.

OEM version[edit]

The distribution provides a manufacturer-targeted OEM version.[34]

No Codecs version[edit]

The distribution provides a "No Codecs" version, previously known as the "Universal Edition",[35] for magazines, companies and distributors in the USA, Japan and countries where the legislation allows patents to apply to software and distribution of restricted technologies may require the acquisition of 3rd party licenses.[36] Multimedia codecs can be installed at any time via a link on the Mint Welcome Screen or a desktop launcher available for only No Codecs version.

Linux Mint Debian Edition[edit]

Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is based directly on Debian Testing, instead of Ubuntu. The purpose of LMDE is to look identical to the Ubuntu based edition and to provide the same functionality, while using "real" Debian as a base.[37] LMDE is available with the MATE and Cinnamon desktop environments.[38][39]

LMDE has a semi-rolling release (partially rolling) development model. This means that, unlike Debian Testing (a "real" rolling release) which constantly receives updates, LMDE periodically introduces “Update Packs” which are tested snapshots of Debian Testing.[37] Installing these Update Packs keeps LMDE current, and there is no need for reinstalling the system every 6 months like in Ubuntu based distros. LMDE does not use the Debian package repositories, but has its own, although it is indeed possible to track the Debian repos directly, be it Testing (currently Jessie) or Unstable (Sid), if users choose to do so at their own risk.

System requirements[edit]

Linux Mint 15 "Olivia" has the following system requirements:[40]

MinimumRecommended
Processor (x86)600 MHz1 GHz
Memory512 MB1 GB
Hard Drive (free space)GB10 GB
Monitor Resolution800×6001024×768

Both Intel x86 and AMD64 architectures are supported. A supported GPU is required for visual effects.

Development[edit]

Individual users and companies using the operating system act as donors,[41] sponsors[42] and partners[43] of the distribution. Linux Mint relies on user feedback to make decisions and orient its development. The official blog often features discussions where users are asked to voice their opinion about the latest features or decisions implemented for upcoming releases. Ideas can be submitted, commented upon and rated by users via the Linux Mint Community Website.[44]

The community of Linux Mint users use Launchpad to participate in the translation of the operating system and in reporting bugs.[45]

Most extraneous development is done in Python and organized on-line on GitHub, making it easy for developers to provide patches, to implement additional features or even to fork Linux Mint sub-projects (for example The Linux Mint menu was ported to Fedora). With each release, features are added that are developed by the community. In Linux Mint 9 for instance, the ability to edit menu items is a feature that was contributed by a Linux Mint user.[46]

The members of the development team are spread around the world and they communicate through private forums, emails and IRC.

Linux Mint reviews are tracked by the distribution and discussed by the development team and the community of users.[47]

Package classification[edit]

Linux Mint divides its software repositories into four main channels that reflect differences in their nature and in their origin.

main
Provides only software that is developed by Linux Mint.
upstream
Provides software which is present in Ubuntu but patched or modified by Linux Mint. As a result, the software provided by this channel behaves differently in each distribution. Notable examples are Grub, Plymouth, Ubiquity, Xchat, USB Creator and Yelp (the help system).
import
Provides software that is not available in Ubuntu or for which no recent versions are available in Ubuntu. Notable examples are Opera, Picasa, Skype, Songbird, the 64-bit Adobe Flash plugin and Frostwire.
romeo
Not enabled by default. Provides test packages before they are promoted to other (stable) channels. As such it represents the unstable branch of Linux Mint.

Additionally, there is a "backport" channel for ports of newer software to older releases without affecting the other channels. It is not enabled by default.

Reception[edit]

Linux Mint has been praised for focusing on desktop users.[48]

In 2012 Linux Mint surpassed Ubuntu as the most viewed distro on DistroWatch.[49][50]

In a 2012 online poll at Lifehacker, Linux Mint was voted the best Linux distribution after Ubuntu, with around 16% of the votes.[51]

In Issue 162, Linux Format named Mint the best distro for 2012.

In Issue 128 (July 2013), Linux User and Developer gave Linux Mint 15 ("Olivia") a score of 5/5, stating "We haven't found a single problem with the distro… we're more than satisfied with the smooth, user-friendly experience that Linux Mint 15, and Cinnamon 1.8, provides for it to be our main distro for at least another 6 months."[52]

The distribution has far surpassed the long-standing Ubuntu operating system as the most popular Linux operating system on Distrowatch by a factor of almost 2:1.[53][54][55]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Linux Mint Teams - Linux Mint". 
  2. ^ "Linux Mint - Official Documentation". Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Download - Linux Mint". Linux Mint. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Linux Mint - About". Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Happy birthday LinuxMint!". August 27, 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Releases - Linux Mint". 
  7. ^ Ivan Jelic (June 10, 2009). "Linux Mint 7 "Gloria"". Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Linux Mint 16 "Petra" Cinnamon released!". 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  9. ^ "Celena is out!". 
  10. ^ "Linux Mint 9 "Isadora" released!". 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Linux Mint 10 "Julia" released!". 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Linux Mint 11 "Katya"!". 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  13. ^ "Linux Mint 12 "Lisa"!". 2011. Retrieved 16 November2011. 
  14. ^ "Linux Mint 13 "Maya"!". 2012. Retrieved 24 May2012. 
  15. ^ "Linux Mint 14 "Nadia" released!". 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Linux Mint 15 "Olivia" released!". 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  17. ^ Linux Mint FAQ: What about proprietary software?
  18. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven (6 January 2012). "Fedora, Mint, openSUSE, Ubuntu: Which Linux desktop is for you? - Computerworld". Computerworld. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "DistroWatch.com: Linux Mint". 
  20. ^ "MATE Desktop Environment localization". Transifex. 
  21. ^ "Cinnamon 1.4 released". 
  22. ^ "The Linux Mint GitHub repository". Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  23. ^ "The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » Introducing Cinnamon". blog.linuxmint.com. 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  24. ^ "Misc. News". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » Linux Mint 12 Preview". Blog.linuxmint.com. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  26. ^ "New features in Linux Mint 12". Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  27. ^ "Installing Linux Mint". Happysysadm.com. 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  28. ^ "OSDisc.com". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  29. ^ "On-Disk.com". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  30. ^ a b "Download Linux Mint 16 Petra". linuxmint.com. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  31. ^ "Download Linux Mint Debian". linuxmint.com. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  32. ^ "Release Notes for Linux Mint 15". linuxmint.com. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  33. ^ "Editions for Linux Mint 13 "Maya"". Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  34. ^ Lefebvre, Clement (November 20, 2012). "Linux Mint 14 "Nadia" released!". The Linux Mint Blog. Retrieved March 28, 2013. "Manufacturers can pre-install Linux Mint on their computers using the OEM installation images." 
  35. ^ "Download - Linux Mint". 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  36. ^ Download - Linux Mint
  37. ^ a b "Linux Mint Debian 201204 released!". 
  38. ^ "Linux Mint Debian 201303 RC released!". 
  39. ^ "Download-Linux Mint". 
  40. ^ The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » Linux Mint15 “Olivia” released!
  41. ^ "Linux Mint Donors". 
  42. ^ "Linux Mint Sponsors". 
  43. ^ "Linux Mint Partners". 
  44. ^ "Linux Mint Community Website - Idea module". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  45. ^ "Linux Mint on Launchpad". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  46. ^ "Example of a user-contributed feature". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  47. ^ "Linux Mint reviews and discussions page". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  48. ^ "How Mighty Mint became one of the most popular Linux distros". TechRadar. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  49. ^ Ubuntu Shows DistroWatch Decline as Mint Soars | PCWorld
  50. ^ Linux Mint Touches All Time High On DistroWatch, Will Ubuntu Recover? - Muktware
  51. ^ Noyes, Katherine. "Which Linux Distro Is Fairest of Them All? Ubuntu, Survey Says". PCWorld. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  52. ^ Rob Zwetsloot (July 2013). "The Ultimate Linux Mint". Linux User and Developer (128) (Bournemouth, UK: Imagine Publishing). pp. 20–23. 
  53. ^ "Distrowatch: Page Hit Ranking". Distrowatch. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  54. ^ distrowatch.com. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  55. ^ Ubuntu popularity falls as Linux Mint flourishes - The Inquirer

External links[edit]