Saturday, 18 August 2012

Peppermint LINUX 3 - The mint with no holes

Posted by Gary Newell  |  at  00:15 37 comments

Introduction

There have been a number of reviews of Peppermint 3 already so I am somewhat behind the pace with this review.

I wrote a review about Peppermint 2 back in February but it didn't really contain all that much information except to say that Peppermint utilises the idea of cloud computing and wraps it up to make it look like you are running a local application.

As we have moved on a version I thought I'd have another look especially as the reviews have been mainly positive.

For this review I decided to do a full install to my Samsung R20 laptop alongside the Zorin 6 that is already there. The other reviews I have read have either been live reviews or were performed on a virtual machine.



So with the USB drive in I booted up the system and a blank canvas appears with just a small taskbar (LXDE) at the bottom.


The installation

(Skip to the next section if you aren't interested in the installtion)

I clicked the install icon in the top left hand corner and the installation begins. If you have installed Ubuntu or MINT before then the installation process is simple. (Click the images to make them bigger)

I will race through the installation as I'm sure you have all done this before and it is a fairly easy process. Step 1 - choose your language.

Step 2 - This is the pre-requisites screen. The two most important aspects are at the bottom of this screen. Choose whether you want to apply updates and also whether you want to install third party software which will enable you to play flash files.




Step 3 - Choose whether to connect to a wireless network to enable updates to be downloaded during the install.






Step 4 - Choose whether to replace the original operating system, install alongside it or go for the pimp my disk section or as it is termed custom.





Step 5 - Choose your timezone.
Step 6 - Choose your keyboard settings.






Step 7 - Create a user and password and choose whether to log in automatically.

Step 8 - Install.




The partitions were partitioned based on the settings in step 4 and the files were copied across and installed.

Peppermint 3 - The review

When I rebooted I was presented with a screen similar to the one in the live session except there was obviously no install icon anymore.

Setting up the internet was easy. My wireless card was found straight away and I was able to connect to both my Orange broadband and the Three mobile broadband.


As I had checked the box that installs the third party software as part of the install routine flash should work straight away. The easiest way to test this is to go to Youtube and see what happens.



As you can see from the image of Usain Bolt above there was no issue with regards to running Flash.

Peppermint is sparse when it comes to providing applications. It is not only marketed as a lightweight distribution it is marketed as a distribution where the cloud meets the desktop.

Some applications are necessary however and out of the box you get disk utility,  a file manager, a calculator, terminal, text editor, screen grabber, an IRC client, a music player and a media player.

By default you get Chromium installed as the default browser. As this is my favourite browser I obviously think this is good.

The music player is called Guayadeque. I had problems when I first tried to play MP3 files. There was an error about missing GStreamer plugins. This is a problem I have faced on both Ubuntu and Mint in the past and is quite common. (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1101525). After installing the missing plugins I had to restart Guayadeque and then it played the MP3s perfectly.



So what about office software? Well this is where the web meets the desktop. Peppermint 3 runs GWOffice as the office suite.


I tried this out and the first thing I noticed was that I had to log in twice to create a spreadsheet but if I ticked the box to keep me logged in within the site specific browser (SSB) which runs GWOffice then on a subsequent start of the GWOffice applications I will not be asked for the log in details twice. It is obviously a choice thing whether you like to stay logged into your Google account on your computer or not. Personally I like to log out.


GWOffice obviously gives you access to all the applications you might need from home including a calendar, word processor, spreadsheet software and presentation tool.








So lets move on to the Site Specific Browser (SSB). This is the unique selling point of Peppermint Linux and what sets it apart from other distributions.

The idea of the SSB is that you can visit sites that provide web applications and turn them into what appears to be a normal desktop application.

To add an application simply enter the URL to the site, the name of the application, which menu group you wish the application to appear under and the icon you would like to use to represent the application.

The SSB makes it possible to turn all sorts of web applications into standalone desktop apps.

There are thousands of games available to play online and these are perfect for converting into SSB applications. For instance I have added Lemmings to the games section of my installation. (http://www.elizium.nu/scripts/lemmings/)





Youtube is another good target to use as an application.

Creating SSBs is very simple. I was concerned about how popups and navigation would work but having created about 20 applications I am yet to find an issue.





I basically went down the favourites list on my browser and turned as many as possible into applications.

The BBC website and Sky websites are perfect because you can turn live feeds into small applications.

The BBC site lets you watch TV but then choose different channels by clicking icons at the bottom of the screen.

All in all my impressions of Peppermint 3 are positive. I like the minimalist approach because even if I don't want to use web based applications I have a fairly clean slate in which to start installing the applications I need and there is the software manager and Synaptic Package Manager available should I need to do this.

I think that there could be a fuller release of Peppermint with more examples of the Site Specific Browser in action. It takes up virtually no space and no memory so why not include a dozen or so games and a few more applications such as Youtube and Twitter.

I don't know if there are legal reasons why Peppermint can't provide more links but there could be a small application with a list of sites to make it easier to create SSB applications.

There is the small issue with the GStreamer plugins that prevents MP3s from playing and for new users this would be annoying. It might be a good idea for Peppermint to provide an SSB for Spotify or one of the other streaming music services. It would be a good way of monetizing the product.

Finally it probably goes without saying that if you are going to use Peppermint 3 in the way it was intended then you obviously need a persistent internet connection to use the applications.

Have you used Peppermint LINUX? What are your views?

Thanks for reading.

Click here for more information or to download Peppermint Linux







About the Author

Gary Newell started the Everyday Linux User blog in 2010 and has written reviews on dozens of different Linux based operating systems. He has also written a number of tutorials.

Get Updates

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

Share This Post

Related posts

37 comments:

  1. You will never get me to install peppermint os. The idea of pushing personal computing to the cloud is crazy and dangerous. Fine for business but terrible for personal computing. You might as well hand over the keys to your computing freedoms if we allow the cloud to become our main stream personal computers. Remember no hard drive= no freedom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've got it all wrong. Peppermint is Hybrid OS. That means it can be used in the cloud or as a great desktop OS or as both. I've been running Peppermint for almost 2 years now and I've never done anything in the cloud. It's really easy to build a great and fast desktop OS, I've done it on both my desktop and my laptop.

      Delete
    2. No Hard Drive = No Freedom?

      No Mobility = No Freedom
      No Cloud = No Mobility
      No Cloud = No Progression

      Sorry, cloud computing is especially interesting for private users.
      If you ever lose your stuff, or your laptop gets stolen with all your stuff on it, and you can't cancel access to these datas, you know what the cloud can do for you.

      Not even bothering to have my data locally anymore. And everyone can decide like he wants it. Fortunately.

      Delete
    3. What does Richard "Mad Dog" Stallman say about this? It's best to get the answer straight from the horse's (or dog's) mouth.

      C'est logique, non?

      Delete
  2. That is an interesting comment. You always have choice. At home you must have a broadband provider. Just because you have a broadband provider does that mean you have lost your freedom.

    Using Google's search engine doesn't lose you your personal freedom. Using any of Google's products and services is a choice. If you stop liking the product or the terms and conditions you move on and use someone else that provides the same service.

    With Peppermint you still have access to all the Ubuntu repositories so it is your choice if you embrace the web aspect.

    Everyday I use the web for so many things. I read the news, weather, sport, watch tv programmes I may have missed, post on this blog, post on other blogs, I use twitter, read LXER, Linux Today, watch youtube videos etc. I play games online. If I turned each of these into an SSB I don't think I would be handing over my computing freedom.

    ReplyDelete
  3. then explain to me how you would possibly switch operating systems if there is no hard drive?,, i'm quite sure your cloud terminal in the future will not be able to connect to different services. In other words if you have a google cloud terminal and want to switch to the ms cloud i'm sure you will have to buy a completely new terminal. Which is essentially locking you in.

    Also rest assured there will be a list of "approved" programs in which you can run/install on the cloud, because remember it is their computer/hard drive not yours. Don't be fooled into thinking their won't be a monthly fee for your cloud service on top of your existing internet bill.

    Also if you use more of the cloud resources you will need to pay a premium rate, ex if your a heavy gamer.

    Also the terrible inconvenience of having the internet go down and now you can't access your contacts for a phone number, or play an offline game or watch a video or tunes.

    Also anyone thinking that storing everything on a central server somewhere, without a real choose to not do so, is naive to think it will never be used for sinister purposes.

    Honestly, I don't see the draw to it. There is nothing the cloud can really do that one can't do with their system installed to a usb drive and some already existing software. Take it anywhere boot off of it and you get to keep what little control of your information that you actually have left.

    Lets not even really get into loss of data or access of data by outsiders because we all know to well that the corporations that may run these clouds will typically not take any responsibility because it was so vaguely defined in the policy/agreement when you signed up. So in other words tough luck.

    Last but not least, you think your getting tracked and your privacy is being violated now lol at least now you still have a hard drive and can't use software and stuff to do your best to opt out of the constant monitoring... If we go cloud then thats it, you've handed it all over and there will be nothing you can do about it. But hey who cares right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. typo correction last paragraph can't=can

      Delete
    2. you sir sound like a blubbering fool.

      Delete
  4. Yes, I use Peppermint 3, having upgraded from v. 2. I chose it specifically for a netbook, and it runs really well for that purpose. Since Peppermint uses the Ubuntu repositories, of course I can install any of the usual apps I want to as well as using web apps. The _additional_ functionality of Peppermint's implementation of SSB system and cloud computing shouldn't be any reason for avoiding the use of this really nice distro. But I guess that's why there are more than one distro: to each his own. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've used Peppermint as long as it's existed. Quick, light and smooth. Hardly ever any glitches. I often recommend it to people starting out with Linux, because it's so easily managed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why are comment sections always full of people that that haven't taken the time to try something before wading in with an opinion ?

    Peppermint in NO WAY forces the cloud on you, it's completely up to you whether you want locally installed applications, or to use web apps in SSB browser windows .. Peppermint Three uses the Ubuntu 12.04 software repositories, so has easy access to ALL the applications Ubuntu does.

    Where Peppermint wins is that it's a VERY light and fast distribution that can be tailored to your specific needs .. whether that be cloud oriented, local app oriented, or any mixture of the two.

    Please try it out, before making misinformed comments .. you may find you're pleasantly surprised :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Peppermint OS is really cool, reminds me of Linux Mint project but with some nice differences.

    It is so important to make the Linux Desktop accessible to people who are new users and by users I mean people who don't want to know how the whole thing works, they just need an OS that does what they expect. Well done on this new release!

    I think the cloudy comments are quite funny, I remember when the internet was referred to as the cloud back when broadband was new... It is just marketing speak for big data centers running lots of vms on nas with dedicated network trunks. I think the new 'cloud' providers are doing a great job and hope they keep it up. These companies need to make money, we are end users of their services and should be glad about this innovation.

    ReplyDelete
  8. hey mark its called progression toward the cloud. It won't happen overnight, although you will wake up one day and everything will be on the cloud. and it will suck and you'll think gee how did we get here? well, because you failed to recognize the very intentional path you were put on an ignored way back when. And my comments are far from misinformed... sounds as if you are misinformed about the true nature of the cloud. So maybe take your own advice.

    And Stephen it reminds you of linux mint because it is linux mint with a big push toward the cloud.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Also the last time I checked xfce was far from actually being light...not sure why they keep pushing it as such.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now you've proved my point about commenting on something you've OBVIOUSLY not tried .. Peppermint doesn't use Xfce, it uses the LXDE desktop environment.

      Delete
  10. Down here in Oz I have installed Peppermint 3 on my own Acer 1.4GHz 2 CPU notebook and my neighbour's Samsung N145 netbook (1.6GHz) and it flies on both..... Just love it. I am not personally enamoured of this cloud thing so took the liberty of un-installing some of the cloudy items and installing old favourites such as Firefox,Clementine,LibreOffice and a few others and I am very happy, so is my 65 year old neighbour (granny geek). It is nice to have all these choices, kudos to Peppermint 3 team.

    ReplyDelete
  11. XFCE?? who mentioned that? Peppermint doesn't use Xfce.
    Personally I install Xfce on Peppermint (it's a choice know its not lite) I don't use cloud stuff and install local apps. SSBs can take you to cloud apps or normal browser places like bookmarks.
    I take it he just hates the cloud or anyone that uses it or mentions it (Ironic he says he for choice).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey. Kendall from Peppermint here. I just wanted to say thanks to the author and note that yes, we use LXDE and very intentionally go out of our way to offer a very minimal setup from the get go. The point about some MP3 playback not working as it should has been noted and I'll try to work this into the first respin along with some other bug fixes and updates. Thanks for the kind words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey, I am using peppermint 3 on a small laptop and it's fast and great, but there is one feature I can't get working, it's the language swicher... I see perfectly how to add languages (spanish, french and german, not too exotic..) and how to put the language switcher into the panel, until there no problem, even switching works.......as long as I don't leave my session or shut down the computer, then everything is lost and I start again with only the standard language accessible (the switcher icon is still there, but the two other languages have gone, clicking doesn't do anything...)
      I don't know if this is the right place for that comment... thanks anyway

      Delete
  13. He lost any inkling of of knowledge of Peppermint. Xfce? LinuxMint with a big push to cloud?
    Besides his 'developing' for Mint in the past, the name (derived from Mint, Why they use name 'Cinnamon' now), and a few 'Mint tools/apps. They don't even use Mint repo's (they can any 'Buntu can).

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your right, I remembered that peppermint does use lxde, where i became confused was the integration of the linux mint sources and utilities and use of icons from mint particularly used in xfce environment. I should have kept investigating.

    I assumed by the screenshots and comments made like "Peppermint's namesake is Linux Mint.They felt that the concept was a "spicier" version of Mint so the name Peppermint was a natural fit." Just glancing over it lead my down that path that they must have switch out of an ease of use issue or something of that nature. Agreed that was a mistake. And since I personally plan to stay away from something that I find dangerous, personal user interaction is not that likely. So mistakes such as these will be made

    However, that does not take away from the original argument/concerns over the direction the cloud will take us. certainly a discussion worth exploring and demands approaching with extreme caution.

    Again previous version of peppermint os was easy to tell just by screenshot that lxde was bing used. This latest version, is certainly pretty and the style can be misleading to what is being used as the main desktop enviroment. Again my mistake.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love Ubuntu 10.04.. and then Unity got into the way. So I started looking around and trying the Ubuntu flavors until I happened upon Pepperment 2. I run recycled computers and a vintage PC EEE 701 SD netbook. Peppermint runs like a dream. Peppermint 3 also runs like a dream and will keep me updated.. bracing for the end of 10.04 NBE and this will be my choice. It just runs and runs well. I like cloud applications, and I dont mind getting data mined in exchange for the free software. My little corner of the Internet is just not interesting to anyone but me so who care if Google knows I love old motorcycles or Linux. I think Peppermint is minty fresh and the crew keeping the project going deserve support and a big thanks. I switch distros a lot, ( looking for the best for me and my old lean machines) and I really like this one. I like Puppy Lucid Linux also, but Peppermint mint is easier to set up and the Ubuntu software selection is excellent!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ive used Peppermint OS since version 2. It's so much more lightweight and quicker than any other ubuntu based OS i have ever tried. AS for the cloud...i have a big enough hardrive to keep my stuff on my computer. I haven't even wanted to learn about cloud support..so i dont bother with it. I use Peppermint Three as my everyday computing OS, for web browsing, gaming, Music, and Social Networks. I only use the free dropbox account of 2gigs, just for things i want to save when im constantly testing new distro's on my laptop and i want to keep something. I dont put anything personal in it, so im never worried about it. It's simple as that. Peppermint does not force anyone to use Cloud. It's my most fav Distro of Linux yet. I recommend it to anyone. It sure as hell makes old computers run like they are new!, and the latest up to date systems smoke windows installed systems.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's a good review. Thanks for taking the time to do it right.

    srdowns

    ReplyDelete
  18. Been using Peppermint since it's inception, and still had a couple of older machines with Peppermint OS One. I did try version Two, but found it glitchy. I am pleased to say that they got version 3 right. I have since upgraded both old, single core laptops, and my more modern dual core Atom netbook. Peppermint 3 runs extremely well on all three with 1gb ram. It also runs very well in VMWare Player on my Windows 7 desktop machine.

    I do not use Chromium or any of the web apps. I still prefer Firefox. Above all else I am a huge fan of the LXDE desktop, and I think Peppermint is the best implementation out there right now.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi... dual boot Peppermint3 and win7 on my netbook and find myself using Peppermint more than win7.I find all the apps I need without having to use the cloud and I am very happy with the way Peppermint doesn't suck resources.I also dual boot my home desktop with Peppermint3 and winXP....same experiance as on my net book....Keep up the good work Peppermint guys and thanks for the review Gary...

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nice review. I'll try this new version to keep my options fresh when I recommend something to my friends. I remember that the last time I used Peppermint was in a low-RAM Pentium II computer, but I ended changing to pure debian-lxde for resource consumption and responsiveness. Let's see how much this have changed. SALUDOS/REGARDS!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Peppermint 3 is a good, solid system. If you want to compare it to anything, it is, in many ways, close to Lubuntu; after all, it is BASED on Lubuntu. The Lubuntu distribution is nice and light, fast, and simple. It can be run live or installed to disk.

    What Lubuntu does not do is install a lot of software for you. With Lubuntu, you get the base system, a Web browser, a file manager, and a couple of other tools. However, you can choose to install whatever you want to it; the system has access to the full set of Ubuntu software archives.

    Peppermint 3 has the same roots, so it is compact. The value added by Peppermint 3 is that in addition to the browser and base software (solid) that is included in Lubuntu, Peppermint 3 adds its own distinctive appearance; it uses the Ubuntu archives, its own small archive, and it pre-configures the system with several sample Web application instances, which are stand alone Web based applications, such as Facebook, GMail... and you can create as many of your own Web application instances as you want.

    So both Lubuntu and Peppermint are light and flexible. You have thousands of applications at your fingertips through the Ubuntu software center. Peppermint, hinted at by its name, integrates just a couple of features that are borrowed from Mint - but the system as a whole is NOT based on Mint; it's based on Lubuntu. I think it's just the right mix - IF you are looking for a fast, light system. If you want a full-featured, pre-configured system, you may be better off starting with Ubuntu or Mint. If, however, you want a small, light, fast system and/or you want to customize your very own system, then Peppermint is an excellent starting point. IF you want a hybrid fast system with cloud-based network applications integrated into it, Peppermint 3 is perfect for that use case.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I use Peppermint OS3 on one Laptop and one desktop, both of which are older and don't have much in the way of graphics capabilities. The laptop was continually freezing on Windows and Mint (Cinnamon) when we were playing videos. PeppermintOS 3 runs great on both systems.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Herbert Thornton5 December 2012 at 06:00

    I have two computers and on the spare one I've tried many versions of Linux and found goS "gadgets" and Zorin Lite very much to my liking. However, (thanks to Distrowatch) I recently discovered Peppermint 3. For my purposes Peppermint 3 is quite the best yet.

    My other (main) computer is an older HP (model a1130n) that I have run Windows 7 on for several years, but a few months ago, the sound deteriorated really badly. I was wondering whether to buy a new sound card but decided (as an experiment) to install Peppermint 3 as well as Windows 7 so that I could boot into either. When booting into Peppermint 3 the sound worked perfectly - unlike when using Windows 7.

    The Synaptic Package manager (which sounds so mysterious to non-Linux users) is there to install and uninstal programs & is really very simple to use. So far, I've used it to uninstall Chromium web browser and install Firefox in its place; to install Thunderbird; to install Brasero (it burns discs including burning them from .iso files); to uninstall Gw Office and install Libre Office in its place; to install Wine (which works far better with Peppermint 3 than with a lot of other Linux versions). This version of Wine made it easy to install and use my favorite image programs - Photoshop and Faststone Image Viewer).

    After several days I found I was using mainly Peppermint 3 and didn't need to boot into Windows 7. That led me to uninstall Windows 7 and use Peppermint 3 only. I haven't activated the "cloud" capability because it's a feature that doesn't interest me.

    ReplyDelete
  24. how do I change the login screen on Peppermint 3

    ReplyDelete
  25. Does anyone know what version i can put on a advent 4490 netbook iv tried a coupple of time to no avail ChromeOS-Vanilla-3887.0.2013_03_21_1643-r67d9ef1a.zip, ChromeOS-Cherry.tar.gz, Peppermint-One-01042011.iso darren-tarmey@hotmail.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  26. please can someone help me how to change the login screen of Peppermint OS 3? i thank you in advance..i just need it for my project in school..

    ReplyDelete
  27. Please post a link to the official peppermint site. You want me to have to search for it? Why would I come back here?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know. I have added a link now.

      Delete
  28. A person that has the knowledge on how to use it, can utilize it perfectly. And for those that simply thinks its not suitable for them or dont know how to safely use it can choose other distro that they think much suitable for them. There are thousands out there anyway. Just stay out of Windows... For me, Peppermint is the faster and easier version of Ubuntu and Mint. One of my favorite so far.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

    Popular Posts

    Total Pageviews

    Subscribe

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    Popular This Month

    What are other people buying?

    Zorin OS Buy
    Ubuntu Buy
    Linux Mint Buy
    Lubuntu Buy
    PCLinuxOS Buy
    Lubuntu Buy
    Xubuntu Buy
    Linux Lite Buy

    Followers

    Feedburner Followers

Blogger templates. Proudly Powered by Blogger.
back to top Google