And it’s about time as well, as Ars Technica is lagging a bit behind all the other mags and sites and YouTube channels who did reviews already. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since the reviewer took his time to really explore the distro and probably tested it thoroughly instead of just checking what goodies Mint has on board.
You know, I’m a sloppy blogger as well, mostly just skimming articles by Linux reviewers, but this one really grabbed my attention and I read it from start to finish as you should do as well!
Well, knowing you guys I know you won’t so I’ll pick some excerpts from the Ars Technica article and put them up here in addition to just linking to the original article.
Once again, in order to clarify why I make so much noise about Linux Mint 17.3 and have even edited my own old review 5 times (in words: five fukn times!!!). Because its worth it! Linux Mint is probably the most used Linux distro in the world. Just because friggin Ubuntu is more famous doesn’t mean people are necessary happy with it or using it. In fact is Mint THE LINUX … if there is such a thing.
So, and now, after countless other reviews by other people and other sources, Ars Technica finally comes up with the bestest writeup for Linux Mint … ever. As I said I really urge you to read the article – and then go download the ISO file and install it on your best available machine and be happy with it and shut the fuck up about »but in Windows we have…« and all that stupid shite and blah blah – well knowing you won’t do such a thing. Me really feels like a doctor who tells you to stop smoking to get rid of your chronic cough. It’s a hopeless endeavour. 😦
Knowing quite well you won’t follow my advice and since I can’t force you here are some nice excerpts from Scott’s review:
The Cinnamon edition is not just the most polished Linux desktop around, it’s possibly the most polished desktop period. Hyperbolic? Perhaps a little, but this really is the most thoroughly thought-out desktop I’ve ever used, Linux or otherwise.
Applause from me. But I know desktops are subjective, they are only the best for a personal, acquired taste. And that taste differs. Let’s say the Mint team prefers traditional desktops, following traditional operation paradigms. If you’re coming from Windows and Mac you’ll be perfectly able to use them. If you prefer your computer to look and feel like a smartphone or a tablet you should stick with the original Gnome 3 crowd.
If you don’t want to think about the OS you’re using—that is, if you want to click a button that says “Menu” to launch an app or open a folder named “Documents” to find your files—Cinnamon is going to make you happy.
Cinnamon is for people who want their desktop to get out of the way. It does not revolutionize any paradigms and it probably doesn’t work very well on that mythical Linux tablet that GNOME is still waiting for, but it does offer one of the best, most-polished experiences you can get on a laptop or desktop.
And by polish I don’t mean the theme looks nice—though it does, albeit not much different from the last few releases—I mean the functionality and workflow.
Zackerly! As much as the role of an OS has changed in the last couple years, oldbies like me are still clinging onto the good old way to operate our electronic tools: With a keyboard and touchpad/mouse. Orca loves to snack on chocolates while working, so a touchscreen and similar bullshit is out of the question for her. And an OS for me is nothing but a launcher pad for my softwares … or “apps” as it’s called nowadays.
The Cinnamon Edition of Linux Mint is very clearly the flagship release. However, while Cinnamon is Mint at it finest, there is also a MATE-based edition Linux Mint which could best be described as “Cinnamon light” and offers a good option for older or less-powerful hardware.
Only point my opinion differs from Scott’s is about the MATE edition. It’s not fukn “Cinnamon Light”, it’s more like Cinnamon’s father, like Darth Vader was Luke’s father. MATE is factually the evolution of GNOME 2, kinda what Gnome 3 should’ve become and look like now, if the official Gnome developers wouldn’t have gone on a wild goose hunt.
While Cinnamon is Mint’s own spin-off of Gnome 3, also without even touching the Gnome 3 official cul-de-sac and therefore becoming the much nicer desktop … anyhoo, whatever … MATE is still the richer, more customizable desktop, while Cinnamon is more modern and polished and shiny and shit. And yes, MATE is indeed lighter (=faster) than Cinnamon, so it will run better on older hardware. But that’s not the point of its existence. If you want a true light distro for your grandfathered hardware, you know to look elsewhere. In fact you won’t use Mint at all.
Indeed, it’s hard to look at Mint 17.3 without comparing it to its upstream base. While Mint has been continually working hard on the desktop and cranking out release after release, Ubuntu has stagnated. If Ubuntu wants to leapfrog past some of its pain points, its developers would do well to look downstream. Mint’s package management tools are simpler, more comprehensive, and easier to use than anything Ubuntu offers. Mint also manages to do all this without anything even remotely close to the resources Ubuntu enjoys.
Well, I don’t wanna bash on Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth and his company Canonical have done more for the advancement of Linux than any other entity, be it commercial or enthusiasts. But Scott Gilbertson speaks the truth here. Maybe Mark and his highly paid professional hackers became bored with the simple task of just developing and retaining a Linux distro and veered off the straight path, following more shiny butterflies, like the Ubuntu phone, tablets, weird desktops and stuff, meanwhile neglecting their core product.
Whoa, it was kinda hard for me to stop there and not quote even more stuff from the article.
Anyway, for all you care Linux Mint is available in both editions, and yes, for a
stu n00b new user Cinnamon is THE way to go! But hey, if you’re like totally fresh off the Windows boat there’s always Linux Lite as the recommended super beginners friendly first Linux distro.
So, now my children, go on and make yourself a nice little xmas present. It’s totally FREE and won’t even cost you any money but it will completely change your computer world … to the better. Become totally free of Microsoft and Windows! Cool eh? And wouldn’t that be a perfect start into the new year? The perfect resolution?