Linux Mint 13 Review


I recently wrote a quick article about the new release of Linux Mint 13 and as promised in that article, here is my review of Linux Mint 13. So I setup the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint 13 in a Virtual Machine with 1GB RAM and 3D graphics enabled.

First Impressions
The first thing that I obviously noticed was the logon screen (pictured below), it has changed from previous versions and is now slightly more up to date by other Linux distributions standards. I am disappointed with it though as in my opinion, it isn’t a patch on the Ubuntu LightDM logon screen. Also, you have to enter your username and password every time you logon. It’s common place in most Operating Systems now for the users to be ‘remembered’ so you click on yourself and enter your password. Even though the logon screen is new, it does look dated.

Linux Mint 13 Logon Screen

Once you get past the logon screen it’s business as usual. For anyone who is familiar with Linux Mint, or with Windows for that matter, you will have no problem using Linux Mint 13. There is a panel at the bottom of the screen, which has a few pinned applications including Firefox, Terminal and Natuilus (the file browser). There is a menu button to the left of the panel which gives you access to all the other applications on the system and a notification area to the right. The default wallpaper is also really nice looking, unfortunately the screen shot below doesn’t do it justice as the Virtual Graphics Drivers were playing up for some reason.

Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon Desktop

As I said at the start of this article, I am running Linux Mint 13 in a Virtual Machine with only 1GB RAM. I am running this on my work laptop which has 6GB of RAM in total and currently nearly 5GB of it is in use. I was expecting the Linux Mint 13 VM to not run all that well at all but I have to be honest, the performance is very good considering.

I opened up a few applications like LibreOffice Writer, Firefox and Terminal, flicked between them all, made a few test documents and browsed the internet. During this time I was monitoring the system usage and at no point did the RAM hit over 300MB. Moving between applications was quick and easy. Opening up the larger applications like LibreOffice Writer took around 10 seconds but this is very good considering its running within a Virtual Machine on only 1GB RAM.

Look & Feel
By default the look of Linux Mint 13 is very clean and smart. With an Elementary OS like window theme and the normal green icons, it does look very well put together. When I fired up Firefox, I was surprised to see that the Yahoo has replaced Google as the default search engine in Linux Mint but apart from that, the interface (as with everything else in Linux Mint) was clean and fresh.

Cinnamon, the user interface that runs on this version of Linux Mint 13 is based on Gnome 3 and I was really sad to see that they have kept the default fonts from Gnome 3. My personal opinion is that they look unfinished and rough around the edges and it takes away from the overall polish of the experience. I really like the Ubuntu font family and after changing the system fonts to ‘Ubuntu’ I thought that the UI looked much better.

Firefox on Linux Mint 13

I’ve never been a regular user of Linux Mint personally. My go to distribution is Ubuntu and in the past Pinguy OS, but I have to admit that the guys over on the Linux Mint development team have done a really good job of making Gnome 3 a lot more usable. I think that Linux Mint 13 will no doubt have a massive following as it always does, for me though it still doesn’t beat my beloved Unity interface.

What do you guys think of Linux Mint 13? Are you using it? Do you prefer the Cinnamon or MATE version? Why not tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

Linux Mint 13 Review
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