I have tried a lot of Ubuntu derivaties and a lot of ubuntu remastered editions starting from ulite,artistx , ultimate edition to super os but somehow entirely missed Linux Mint . I have had read about good reviews in the past about it but I never really gave it a thought. Things changed when I was given a task to install Linux (specifically ubuntu) on an old Dell Latitude C400 laptop. I had tried to install ubuntu 8.10 on it previously but somehow it never worked on it. Then PCLinuxOS was installed in it. But it failed to recognize the usb wifi dongle. Last week I was again given the same laptop to install the latest Ulite (Ubuntu LXDE) release as it was easily recognizing the wifi dongle. However after installing I found out that Ulite was not optimised for small 10 inch screens. The system options were going out of the screen. I wanted to install ubuntu netbook remix, but, I ran into two complexities. 1.> The system did not have a DVD drive. 2.> The system does not boot off a usb drive. Plus I did not want to get into the hassle of installing ubuntu and run around installing codecs and stuff ( I was very short on time as well). Then I turned to Linux Mint 7. It provided me with the perfect solution to all the troubles. It was a 650 mb odd file, exactly what I needed for , to burn into a rw-cd. Plus it had all the codecs, extra software needed to run mp3/video/flash saves so much time and energy and lot less hassle. The best part of Linux Mint 7 was that it very nicely picked up the correct display size of 1024 x 768 . Ulite didnt do that for me. The theme and the colour combination looked stunning in the small c400 screen. With 500 mb memory, & intel pIII it just works with ease. I really loved linux mint’s ease of use and “it (actually) just works”! I am attaching a screenshot of the hw-info page from ubuntu tweak for you guys to see.
Mint 7 on Inspiron 6400
After being pleasantly surprised by its performance in the PIII machine, I decided to install Linux Mint 7 on my 15 inch Dell Inspiron 6400. Installation was as easy as it should have been. Ubuntu afterall, king of easy installs!
After being greeted with quite a few pleasant interfaces which include the gfxgrub boot menu, splash screen and a very eye soothing theme & wallpaper, i was pleasantly surprised to see that my system correctly detected the screen resolution again! this time my 15″ with 1280 x 800. ubuntu 9.04 was giving me no more than 1024 x 768. Although I must say, that it is more due to the newer mesa drivers but credit still goes to Gloria for detecting the correct display! By the way, I have an ati x1400 legacy driver in which, unfortunately, the ati driver doesnt work. Nevertheless the opensource drivers are doing quite a good job(I dont play games! ;P). Mesa drivers are improving in leaps and bounds. I am able to see significant improvements in the graphical display ( currently using 7.5 rc4 from the launchpad ppa). With linux kernel 2.6.30-10 and the latest mesa drivers, Gloria run in full glory !
The only drawback of linux mint 7 that i found out was its inability to run software properties gtk. it is quite a hindrance. software properties gtk is a big help when adding 3rd party repos and adding the repo validation keys. it helps to do away with CLI. Hopefully the maintainers will be able to fix this issue. But anyway, all in all, Linux Mint 7 ( Gloria) is a good job done! Kudos !
Update:Just found out that the software properties gtk problem has been solved. Just enable the community repository of linux mint by going into /etc/apt/sources.list.
deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/gloria community
then do , sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install software-properties-gtk
or install it from synaptic package manager