It has been a very long time since I did a full evaluation of a Linux distribution however there isn’t any higher place to start out than Linux Mint 19, the newest within the lengthy line of robust and constant releases from the Linux Mint group.
Linux Mint 19 is the go to Linux model for anyone considering of utilizing Linux for the primary time after years of Home windows abuse and in addition for Linux veterans like myself.
I’m not a hardcore developer writing Linux software program and I’m not a sysadmin with years of expertise behind me. I’m nevertheless a very long time Linux convert who has been utilizing Linux on my desktop and laptop computer machines for about 15 years.
If you need a contemporary wanting working system which supplies a terrific consumer interface, is straightforward to put in and straightforward to make use of then you possibly can’t actually go far improper with Linux Mint.
On this information I’ll present you what it’s essential to do to get Linux Mint, present hyperlinks for making a USB drive and putting in Linux Mint, learn how to confirm that your obtain is legitimate, give an summary of the options of Linux Mint 19 and take you thru a few of the setup challenges that I confronted and a number of the nice new options coming your approach.
Linux Mint 19 could be downloaded from https://linuxmint.com/download.php.
Click on right here for a information to making a Linux Mint 19 USB drive
Click on right here for a information to confirm the Linux Mint ISO obtain
Click on right here to learn how to put in Linux Mint 19
You should purchase USB drives or DVDs with Linux Mint already put in as a reside picture which you should use for check functions or to put in the complete system utilizing the information above.
Click on right here to purchase a 16 gigabyte Linux Mint 19 USB drive – $14.95
Click on right here to purchase a Linux Mint 19 64-bit DVD – $5.95
Linux Mint 19 is a long run help launch which means that you simply get a full 5 years value of help earlier than you should improve. It’s based mostly on the newest Ubuntu 18.04 long run help launch.
There are a selection of various variations out there every with totally different desktop environments together with Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce. On this evaluation I shall be wanting on the flagship Cinnamon model as this exhibits Linux Mint off in the easiest way attainable.
Cinnamon is a slick desktop surroundings with nice visuals, nice styling and is accompanied by a robust number of software program. In case you have a half respectable pc you need to be utilizing this model.
For these of you not eager to wade via the entire article listed here are the newest options out there inside Linux Mint.
You understand how Home windows has had the rollback function that lets you set system restore factors in order that if one thing occurs you will get again to your present state shortly and simply? Linux Mint now has that functionality as nicely.
I’ll exhibit this function extra absolutely as a part of this information and in depth in a later article.
Replace Supervisor not promotes vigilance and selective updates, as an alternative you’re inspired to put in all updates. The thought behind that is that in the event you set a restore level utilizing Timeshift and an replace fails you’ve a restore level to fall again to.
Welcome Web page and Documentation
Linux Mint 19 has a brand new Welcome display and work has gone in to enhance the documentation together with an set up information though you don’t want that as you possibly can simply comply with my information above.
Software program Supervisor
Inside the Software program Supervisor you possibly can set up each Flatpak packages and apt packages. This isn’t new to Linux Mint 19 however enhancements have been made to the best way this works to make it extra seamless.
The Cinnamon desktop has been improved in order that it performs a lot better than it did earlier than.
Now you can set the utmost quantity for inside the sound settings.
Inside the Nemo File Supervisor you can find looking for information works snappier and higher than it did earlier than.
The notifications have been improved in order that they’re now simpler to eliminate and also you aren’t spammed by a number of notifications from the identical supply many times.
For extra info
For extra details about the brand new options in Linux Mint 19 click on right here for the discharge notes.
The Linux Mint 19 splash picture is simply sensible isn’t it. The theming and styling for Linux Mint 19 can also be unimaginable.
Once you first boot in to Linux Mint you will notice the brand new Welcome display. It has been cut up into 5 sections:
- First steps
The welcome web page merely describes the appliance. The primary steps web page nevertheless is to not be taken flippantly.
When you have booted Linux Mint 19 for the primary time and it seems good then you realize you will have finished every part proper to date. Nevertheless the primary steps let you arrange your system in order that it really works in a greater means.
Primarily you’re inspired to set your first system snapshot so that you’ve a restore level ought to issues go fallacious, you possibly can set up the drivers in your hardware resembling your Nvidia graphics playing cards, run updates to deliver your system updated, tweak techniques settings in order that Linux Mint behaves the best way you need it to and go to the software program supervisor as a way to set up any purposes that you could be want.
The documentation tab hyperlinks you to the official Linux Mint documentation, highlights new options and hyperlinks you to the discharge notes.
The assistance tab hyperlinks you to the official Linux Mint boards and chat rooms and these ought to be your first port of name when you need assistance.
Lastly the contribute web page hyperlinks to the Linux Mint – become involved web page on their web site the place you possibly can contribute financially, present bug reviews or for those who fancy your self as a developer contribute to the challenge itself.
It’s extremely possible that you simply gained’t need to see this display each time you boot your pc so uncheck the “show this dialogue at startup”. You can also make it seem once more by clicking on the menu icon and seek for “welcome”.
The Linux Mint menu might be pleasure to these of you coming from Home windows who ark again to a extra Home windows 7 fashion. All purposes are sorted into classes however you possibly can simply search by merely typing into the search field on the prime of the window.
On the left aspect of the menu there are some generally used gadgets such because the software program supervisor, file supervisor, lock display and the power to sign off.
The bar on the backside of the display which for Home windows customers can be the duty bar or for Linux customers, referred to as the panel has a set of fast launch icons. My display picture above exhibits how I’ve customised it to have excess of the default set which usually consists of a file supervisor, net browser and terminal. You’ll be able to add gadgets to this fast launch bar just by discovering the appliance within the menu and dragging it into place.
On the backside proper of the display is a system tray with choices for putting in updates, bluetooth settings, consumer settings, community settings, energy administration and the clock.
All in all of the Cinnamon desktop works precisely as you’d anticipate it to, there are not any hidden gotchas, simply plain, easy and constant.
In case you are utilizing a wired ethernet connection then you’ll mechanically be related to the web however in case you are utilizing wi-fi then you possibly can click on on the community icon within the system tray:
An inventory of networks will seem and you may join just by selecting the community you want to hook up with. If the community is safe then you’ll be requested to offer the password. By default after choosing a community the subsequent time you click on on the community icon solely your chosen community will seem. To show the entire record click on on the “rescan for wireless networks” hyperlink.
I’ve put in many extra purposes than the defaults however lets begin with the usual set first:
Net browser – Firefox
File Supervisor – Nemo
E mail Shopper – Thunderbird
Graphics Software – GIMP
Workplace Suite – LibreOffice
IRC Chat Shopper – Hexchat
BitTorrent Shopper – Transmission
Audio Participant – Rhythmbox
Media Gamers – VLC and Media Participant
Firefox is the default net browser and the model put in with Linux Mint 19 is Firefox Quantum 60.zero.2. The newest model of Firefox is definitely model 62 so Linux Mint is a few variations behind however that is the commerce off between secure and bleeding edge.
Personally I choose Google Chrome so put in it by going to the Chrome obtain web page and clicking the obtain hyperlink. This downloads the 64 bit Debian model. You’ll be able to click on on the downloaded file and this can load within the Mint software program supervisor the place it could actually then be put in.
Nemo is a straight ahead and straightforward to make use of file supervisor. The left pane supplies an inventory of locations corresponding to your Residence folder, the desktop, your paperwork folder, music, footage, movies, the file system and community drives. You possibly can seek for information by clicking on the magnifying glass or you’ll be able to navigate down the folder construction just by double clicking on every folder. Most options akin to copying, shifting and deleting information and folders is completed by proper clicking and mentioning the context menu. You can too drag and drop information and folders. Principally the whole lot you anticipate of a file supervisor.
The one factor I don’t know is whether or not Nemo was named after a small Disney Pixar fish or the Nightwish track.
I’ve to confess that I eliminated Thunderbird from my machine. I can by no means perceive why that is the default e mail shopper all Linux distributions thrust upon us when there’s a a lot better shopper referred to as Evolution which may be put in from the software program supervisor.
GIMP is a picture modifying suite alongside the strains of Photoshop. Personally I’ve the inventive expertise of a lifeless frog though in the event you dipped the lifeless frog in purple paint and threw it at a little bit of paper its expertise would in all probability be 10 occasions higher than mine. Nevertheless if you wish to discover extra out about GIMP go to this web page which has plenty of tutorials.
The LibreOffice suite is put in and for these of you who don’t need to pay Microsoft a premium as a way to sort up your CV or an indignant letter then that is the most effective you’ll get. It has a lot of the options of Microsoft Workplace with none of the fee. Sensible.
Hexchat is an honest IRC shopper and is beneficial when you need assistance because it provides you with prompt entry to the Linux Mint IRC chat rooms:
I haven’t used a torrent shopper in fairly a while however once I did used to make use of them BitTorrent was greater than satisfactory for my wants.
Rhythmbox is among the greatest audio gamers for Linux. So long as your audio information are saved within the Music folder Rhythmbox will decide it up and you may simply choose albums to play or create playlists. It’s also possible to select to take heed to on-line radio stations, podcasts, Final.fm or Libre.fm.
Lastly there are the media gamers VLC and Media Participant. If you wish to watch movies then you’ll be able to decide from on-line streams or native information they usually play seamlessly.
The Linux Mint software program supervisor is straight ahead and straightforward to make use of. Whenever you first begin the software program supervisor you’re proven an inventory of classes and in addition some editor’s picks which lists the highest purposes comparable to Spotify and WhatsApp.
You possibly can browse the repositories by clicking into the classes or for those who already know what you need then you need to use the search bar.
Whenever you click on on one of many software program hyperlinks you’re given the choice to put in it. You can even see screenshots, learn the outline and skim consumer’s feedback.
The yr is 2018 and I’m conscious that not everyone pays to obtain music anymore and never everyone has transformed lots of of CDs into MP3 format to take heed to their favorite tunes. Fortunately for all the young-uns there’s a Spotify shopper inside Linux Mint and it really works completely.
Merely login to your account and you may seek for music, click on in your playlists and select to play one of many advisable day by day mixes.
Steam is obtainable from the software program supervisor. Whenever you run Steam for the primary time it can obtain a reasonably meaty replace of round 200 megabytes after which you’ll be able to log in.
If that is your first time logging into Steam on the gadget a safety code can be despatched to your e mail and you may then log in whereby you may be greeted with the Retailer. You may as well go to your library of video games and set up them.
A few of you might have heard that you could’t run Home windows video games in Linux and to some extent that is true however to a larger extent that is boo-hockey. The Steam builders have been working with Codeweavers to create Steam Play which is like WINE on steroids and this lets you play many Home windows video games without having to put in WINE, PlayOnLinux, Winetricks or a digital machine.
This can be a nice stride ahead for Linux and I did a few checks to see how nicely it labored. (Observe that there will probably be a extra in depth take a look at Steam in a future article)
Okay so the primary recreation I put in was referred to as Simply Fishing which is a free to play recreation which helps you to fish. Sure I’m that thrilling. The outcomes of Simply Fishing are as follows:
That didn’t actually work out too properly.
My subsequent check was for one in every of my favorite video games ever “Grand Theft Auto – Vice City”. Now Grand Theft Auto 5 is clearly the newest and biggest however I really like the setting for Vice Metropolis and the 80s music. So how nicely did I fare with this one:
The sport ran simply high quality and with no glitches. I’m led to consider there could also be save recreation points with Steam typically for GTA however I haven’t stumbled throughout them but. I’ve nevertheless encountered the odd exception when beginning the sport.
So Steam Play isn’t good they usually have an accredited set of video games which can be found for it, so you possibly can be happy to experiment with video games you already personal or decide from the accredited listing.
This can be a unusual topic for a distribution evaluation however I’ve handled music, leisure, artwork, gaming and now I’m on to the enterprise topics. I want to make use of Citrix once I do business from home to hook up with my workplace.
Citrix on Linux typically is a bit hit or miss. You possibly can obtain both the online shopper or full software by clicking this hyperlink.
There are a number of hoops to leap by way of even after putting in the appliance nevertheless as you’ll doubtless be greeted with certificates errors which may be fastened by following the directions on this web page.
Even then on some distributions this isn’t the one repair as a result of the newest model of Citrix brings up all types of errors. The repair? Return to a earlier model of Citrix Receiver (see right here).
Now I do know most of your aren’t going to be utilizing Citrix however for these of you who do want it, it’s value figuring out that there perhaps some hoops to leap via.
A few of you could be considering, why hassle, why not simply stick to Home windows? Take into consideration the 80/20 guidelines. Linux will give you a minimum of 80% of what you get with Home windows and also you may need to do a number of tweaks for the opposite 20%. What meaning is, nearly all of what you do now you are able to do in Linux.
Consider it this manner, in the event you had been utilizing Linux your whole life would you actually change to Home windows with the archaic approach it makes use of to put in updates, forcing you to reboot and wait… and wait…. and wait… and wait till it feels that it has wasted sufficient of your time. Would you surrender Linux to waste valuable processing energy wasted on Anti-virus software program constantly battering your CPU? Would you surrender an entire load extra disk area as a result of Home windows can’t clear up after itself.
I nonetheless want some Home windows purposes for work as a result of I’m on the finish of the day a software program developer and my office makes use of the Microsoft stack. To get round this I run Home windows in a digital machine. Clearly you will want a machine which has an honest quantity of reminiscence and CPU to be able to do that and lets face it, in case you are operating Home windows to do work then you’ll need this anyway.
To run Home windows in a digital machine I’ve put in Virtualbox after which created a Home windows 10 digital machine. I then put in the Virtualbox extensions and visitor additions which provides me full entry to my hardware from my digital machine together with graphics drivers and USB drives.
The method is straightforward sufficient to carry out and in a future information I’ll present you find out how to do it.
One of many key new options of Linux Mint 19 is the power to make restore factors.
The preliminary setup for Timeshift asks you whether or not you need to use RSYNC or BTRFS. You’re then requested to decide on which disk you need to retailer the restore factors on and the way typically you want to create restore factors and what number of you want to hold.
You’re then introduced with this display which lets you create restore factors, restore from restore factors and delete restore factors.
A full restore level on my system takes about four minutes to make. Nicely well worth the time to stop misplaced time ought to the worst occur.
While we’re with reference to sustaining your system you need to use the replace supervisor to maintain your system updated.
The interface could be very straight ahead to make use of and as straightforward as clicking “Install Updates” for probably the most half.
You’ll be able to modify every thing about the best way Linux Mint from the desktop backgrounds to the menus and themes. Merely seek for system settings within the menu or proper click on on the desktop and select “desktop settings”.
There are a selection of Linux Mint background options (though I feel the default is superb). You can too select from numerous photographs provided underneath the Tara folder.
Linux has come alongside means up to now 10 years and now hardware help is nearly as good for Linux as it’s for Home windows, if not higher.
You’ll be able to add the drivers on your graphics playing cards utilizing the driving force supervisor and your graphics card must be routinely detected. The really helpful driver will probably be displayed and you may choose to make use of the official driver or the open supply model.
Printers may be configured utilizing the printer supervisor. It discovered my Epson WF2630 printer with out fuss and I can print and scan utilizing Linux Mint. (Sarcastically Home windows all the time has points making an attempt to hook up with the printer. I may be lower than a metre away and Home windows will say that it might’t join regardless that it’s on the identical community).
Nicely, there you will have it. I’ve coated all the things that I can consider on this evaluation.
Set up is as straight ahead as downloading an ISO picture, copying it to a USB after which navigating a number of set up screens.
The Cinnamon consumer interface is first-class. It appears extremely trendy and could be very straightforward to make use of.
The default software program with Linux Mint is ideal for many functions though I might all the time go together with Chrome over Firefox and Evolution over Thunderbird however they’re private preferences.
The software program supervisor makes it straightforward to seek out new software program and you may set up both flatpak packages or debian format packages.
Steam is accessible for enjoying video games and now you can play Home windows video games with out putting in WINE however it isn’t but 100% good.
For those who want Citrix then I’ve coated the truth that it really works however there are a number of pitfalls. These usually are not distinctive to Linux Mint and are usually the identical on each distribution.
I’ve proven that it’s attainable to run Home windows 10 in a digital machine which means you need to use Linux Mint for many duties and swap right into a digital machine for every part else. No have to waste disk area twin booting.
Timeshift is a superb new device for including system restore factors and there are numerous instruments for maintaining your system updated, altering the feel and appear of your system and for establishing hardware reminiscent of graphics playing cards and printers.
It’s straightforward to see why Linux Mint is so fashionable. It’s straight ahead, straightforward to make use of and constant.