What is Linux Mint: one of the most popular Linux distributions

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 5, 2022
Updated 2022/01/05 at 6:29 PM

Linux Mint is a sleek, modern operating system that is user-friendly, efficient, and at the same time extremely user-friendly. An open source operating system that is available and usable is completely free for everyone. Its development began in 2006 and it is now the fourth most widely used home operating system after Microsoft’s Windows, Apple’s Mac OS, and Ubuntu.

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What is Linux Mint?

Linux Mint is a Linux operating system developed based on Ubuntu, which is characterized by its simplicity. Now its latest version is Linux Mint 12 “Lisa” (updated on November 26, 2011), based on Ubuntu 11.10, with many bug fixes, more stable and concise, and is currently the number one Linux distribution in the ranking of Distrowatch. You can see the list of the Best Linux Distributions of all Time.

Linux Mint is a distribution based on Ubuntu. It inherited the many advantages of Ubuntu and at the same time added many of its outstanding features on the basis of Ubuntu. Its aim is to provide a user experience that can be used more immediately, eliminating the need for users to install a series of software that meets the basic requirements of use after installing the system.

Linux Mint is undoubtedly one of the most popular distributions that offers three desktop environments: Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce. This often confuses newbies. The internet is full of articles on the topic of “how are they different and what should I choose?” General tips for choosing a desktop environment are as follows:

  • If you want a beautiful environment in modern look, your computer has at least 4GB of RAM (preferably 8GB or more), please choose Cinnamon. This is the “main” distribution of Mint, the prettiest and most likely to have updates;
  • If your memory is poor and you are willing to compromise a bit in the sense of “beauty,” try Mate.
  • If you want a very light system and the somewhat dated simple design doesn’t bother you, you might like it Xfce.

All distributions are 64-bit. You can download it from the official site. We will not go through the installation of the system step by step – all instructions are available on youtube.

Linux Mint appearance

The “Menu” button in the lower left corner looks like “Home.” A panel with active programs is visible on the right. In the lower right corner … wait a minute, this is our old friend: the systray (notification area)! With a sound volume control switch, a list of networks, information about the battery charge, hours

Those who were hoping to see something in the spirit of the black and green screens of spy and hackers action movies will be shocked. Linux Mint looks very modern and feels like Windows. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended for beginners. Users accustomed to traditional Microsoft navigation will not be surprised by the cumbersome new interface.

Here you can also change the color scheme, fonts in menu titles, icons, cursor, and customize other interface beauty to your liking.

Default programs

Many of them. I think you might need to do a lot more work than a novice user. These are just a few.

  • Celluloid: A simple multimedia player for movies and music.
  • Rhythmbox: Music center. Here you can organize your tracks, there are playlists.
  • Document scanner: Scan tool.
  • He drew: A primitive graphics bitmap editor like old Paint.
  • Pix: Utility to view images.
  • Transmission: Torrent tracker.
  • Firefox: The well-known web browser.
  • Thunderbird: Email client, another child of Mozilla.
  • Complete LibreOffice office suite: Writer (graphic editor), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Math (formula editor), Draw (vector graphics).
  • File cabinet, calculator, utility to take screenshots.
  • Programs to create / modify disk partitions and in general to work with disks.
  • Grades: You can create glossy post-it brochures and stick them on your desktop (great for those who love going offline).
  • File Renamer: Batch file renaming.
  • Virtual keyboard.
  • GnuPG: The famous encryption program.
  • Write an image to a USB drive. You can, for example, create a bootable USB flash drive with Linux without weird utilities.
  • Document viewer: For example PDF.
  • Text editor: Analog of Windows “Notepad”.
  • File manager: It’s simply called – “Files”.
  • Monitor system resources, power statistics, system reports.
  • Printer stand.
  • Update manager: It can be adjusted to different modes.
  • Program Installer: Install any of the many cool programs with one click.
  • Terminal mode.
  • Settings for any system component, from the touch panel of a laptop to the color temperature of a monitor.

Linux Mint Cinnamon Distribution

The Cinnamon edition is developed by the Linux Mint team and is clearly the flagship edition of Linux Mint. Almost a decade ago, when the GNOME desktop opted for the unconventional user interface with GNOME 3, development of Cinnamon began to maintain the traditional look of the desktop by forking some of the GNOME 2 components. Like Cinnamon for its similarity to the interface similar to Windows 7.

Linux Mint Cinnamon Performance Characteristics

The performance of the cinnamon desktop has improved over previous versions, but without an SSD it can feel a bit sluggish. The last time I used the Cinnamon desktop it was in version 4.4.8, the RAM consumption just after boot was around 750MB.

There is a big improvement in the current version 4.8.6, reduced by 100MB after boot. For the best user experience, a dual-core CPU with at least 4GB of RAM should be considered.

Linux Mint Mate distribution

The MATE desktop environment shares a similar story as it aims to maintain and support the GNOME 2 codebase and applications. The appearance is very similar to GNOME 2. In my opinion, the best implementation of the MATE desktop is, with a lot, Ubuntu MATE. In Linux Mint you get a custom version of the MATE desktop, which is in line with the Cinnamon aesthetic and not the traditional GNOME 2 established.

Linux Mint Mate performance characteristics

The MATE desk has a reputation for being lightweight and there’s no question about it. Compared to the Cinnamon desktop, the CPU usage always remains a bit lower, and this can translate to better battery life on a laptop.

Although it doesn’t feel as fast as Xfce, but not to the point of compromising the user experience. RAM consumption starts at under 500MB, which is impressive for a feature-rich desktop environment.

Linux Mint Xfce distribution

The XFCE project started in 1996 inspired by the common UNIX desktop environment. XFCE ”stands for“ XForms Common Environment ”, but since you no longer use the XForms toolkit, the name is written as“ Xfce ”. Its aim is to be fast, light and easy to use. Xfce is the flagship desktop for many popular Linux distributions such as Manjaro and MX Linux. Linux Mint offers a polished Xfce desktop, but it can’t match the beauty of the Cinnamon desktop even in a dark theme.

Linux Mint Xfce performance characteristics

Xfce is the most efficient desktop environment Linux Mint has to offer. When you click on the start menu, the settings control panel, or explore the bottom panel, you will notice that this is a simple but flexible desktop environment.

Despite the fact that minimalism seems like a positive attribute to me, Xfce is not a visual attraction, leaving a more traditional flavor. For some users, a classic desktop environment is adequate.

At first boot, RAM usage is similar to MATE desktop, but not as good. If your computer is not equipped with an SSD, the Xfce desktop environment can resurrect your system.

Linux Mint Security

Linux is, in principle, considered a more secure environment than Windows. Microsoft’s operating system is incomparably more popular than Linux on common computers and laptops (not servers). There are especially many fans of “windows” in the most vulnerable category of users: among newbies. This means that the creator of a computer virus has a much higher chance of “creation” success on Windows than on Linux.

The Linux architecture itself will not allow a novice user to constantly work with administrator rights and easily run .exe files, so prized by viruses. Even for an .Appimage file downloaded from the net, as mentioned above, deliberate special action is required; otherwise the file just won’t start. Open source Linux also plays an important role in detecting bugs and vulnerabilities.

This does not mean that Windows is critically and desperately dangerous, and Linux is quite the opposite. Microsoft has done a lot to protect its operating system in recent years. And let’s not forget about social engineering (phishing in particular), when attackers use less technical knowledge than the human factor and collect information about the victim. If the user opens the door to the villain himself, do not rely on technical means.

However, Linux Mint has security features. This is primarily data carrier encryption (LUKS). It can now be enabled during the operating system installation. As in Windows, it is possible to create accounts for different users and protect them with passwords. There is a firewall (here it is solidly called – “Firewall”), and there are two programs for making backup copies.

The “Backup” allows you to save a copy of your user files and your home folder in general (and restore from a backup if necessary). And the Timeshift utility is designed to create “system snapshots.” They can be very useful, for example, if you want to restore “as is” on another computer.

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