Saturday, 19 July 2014

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon - The ultimate Windows 7 replacement

Posted by Gary Newell  |  at  15:42 26 comments

Introduction

I believe that there is a version of Linux out there for everyone. One of the hardest sells is trying to convince someone who is using Windows 7 that there is a version of Linux suitable for them.

I have already written articles giving 5 reasons why Lubuntu might be better for Windows XP users and that PCLinuxOS might be better for Windows XP users with more powerful machines and Windows Vista users.

For Windows 8 users, I would imagine that just about any flavour of Linux is preferable but I would probably lean towards Ubuntu as I think Ubuntu provides the killer new desktop that Windows 8 has tried to introduce but in a much better way.

Windows 7 users are not running out of support and there isn't all that much wrong with Windows 7, especially if you have used it for a while. Windows 7 is  probably the best version of Windows there has ever been.

The best Linux alternative for Windows 7 that I have found thus far is probably Zorin OS 8. That is up until now.

Today I am going to be reviewing Linux Mint 17 with the Cinnamon desktop environment which is the best that Linux Mint has to offer.

System Requirements

  • x86 processor (32-bit) or x64 processor (64-bit)
  • 512 megabytes RAM (1 gigabyte recommended)
  • 10 gigabytes disk space
  • DVD or USB support

Installation

Click here for my guide showing how to create a bootable Linux Mint USB drive.
Click here for my guide showing how to install Linux Mint as a virtual machine.
Click here for my guide showing how to dual boot OSX and Linux Mint 17 on a MacBook Air.
Click here for my guide showing how to install Linux Mint alongside Windows 7.

For now though I am going to take you through the installation steps to show just how easy it is.

You will need to follow the guide showing how to create the Linux USB drive first.

Before you begin, backup your computer using the Windows 7 backup and recovery tools.

Insert the USB drive and reboot your computer.



Your computer should boot into a live version of Linux Mint 17.

Click on the install icon on the desktop.


Choose your installation language and click "Continue".

 

You are then asked to connect to your wireless network. This is optional and to be honest I always choose not to connect.

The installer will use your internet connection to download updates as it goes which means when you boot Linux Mint 17 for the first time after installation it will be completely up to date. 

If you have a slow internet connection this can take ages and if your connection drops then it is hard to know the state of your installation. I prefer to get the installation done first and then apply updates later.

Select your preferred option and click "Continue".


 

The next steps shows you how well prepared you are for installing Linux Mint. If you have three green ticks then you are good to go. (The only one you really have to worry about is disk space and if you are not using a power source make sure your battery is charged).

Click "Continue".

 

If you are running Windows 7 then the image above will look slightly different but basically you get the option to replace the current operating system, install alongside the current operating system or something else.

In the past I have always recommended choosing something else as this will help during upgrades but because Linux Mint 17 is a long term support release with a number of years support it is OK to choose the option to erase the disk and install Linux Mint 17.

Choose your preferred option and click "Continue".

 

The rest of the steps are very straight forward. Choose your location.


Choose your keyboard layout.


 Create a default user and a name for your computer.


and wait for the installation to complete which for me took less than 10 minutes.

First Impressions

The best thing about Linux Mint is that the developers haven't tried to be too clever. 

One thing that turns people off Ubuntu is the Unity Desktop because the user interface just isn't familiar to them.

Don't get me wrong, I really like Ubuntu and I like the user interface that Unity provides. I get what the Ubuntu developers have tried to achieve and I think they have done an amazing job.

A few years ago people heard the word Unity and they said "Yuck". Now more and more people ask how to get Unity for their Linux distribution.

Linux Mint bucked the trend and stuck with the same principles that made Windows XP and Windows 7 a success. The user interface is completely familiar to anyone who has used computers for the past 20 years.

Linux Mint is also incredibly consistent. Whether you use the lightweight XFCE version, KDE, MATE or Cinnamon the look and feel is pretty much the same. The only thing that changes is the programs used to achieve the look and feel.

The Cinnamon desktop is extremely well polished and more than matches anything that Windows 7 has to offer in terms of asthetics.


Everything is just where you would expect it to be. The panel at the bottom works in much the same way as the Windows 7 task bar. There is a menu, a set of quick launch icons and a system tray.





The quick launch icons allow you to show the desktop, load the default web browser, open a terminal window and open the file manager. The quick launch icons can be customised.


The system tray has icons for helping you to manage common system settings. 

The default icons are as follows:

  • Notifications
  • User settings
  • Bluetooth settings
  • Network settings
  • Audio settings
  • Power settings
  • Updates
  • Clock
  • Workspace selector



The menus used by Linux Mint are slightly different depending on the desktop environment that you choose to use.

The Cinnamon desktop environment doesn't try and confuse you with new interfaces but enhances on the experiences that you are likely to already have encountered.

The menu is fairly straight forward. 

The left column has a series of icons for the applications that you will use regularly. (Favourites). 

By default the icons are as follows: (From top to bottom)
  • FireFox Web Browser
  • Software Manager
  • Settings
  • Terminal
  • File Manager
  • Lock Screen
  • Log Out
  • Quit
The second column in the menu is a list of categories and by hovering your mouse over a category the third column changes to show the applications within that category.

Dragging an icon from the applications column to the favourites column will make it more accessible next time you open the menu.

Connecting to the internet





















Connecting to the internet with Linux Mint is generally incredibly simple. Assuming that you have a network card that is automatically catered for then all you need to do is click on the icon in the system tray and select the wireless network you wish to connect to.

You will then also need to enter the security details for the wireless network (assuming that it isn't an open network).

To browse web pages use the FireFox web browser.

Flash and MP3

Some Linux distributions do not include proprietary technology such as the ability to play Flash videos and listen to MP3 audio.

Linux Mint has everything you need installed from the outset, so you can watch your favourite Youtube videos, play your favourite games and listen to your music collection with no further setup required.

Applications

Linux Mint has a great selection of applications that are installed by default.

Linux Mint is in a better state when it is first installed than Windows is and for the most part requires no extra specialist software to be installed for the most common uses of home computers.

Accessories

  • Archive Manager
  • Calculator
  • Document Viewer
  • Screenshot
  • Terminal
  • Text Editor
  • USB Image Writer

Graphics


  • GIMP image editor
  • gThumb image thumbnail viewer
  • Image Viewer
  • ImageMagick
  • LibreOffice Draw
  • Scan
For those of you that haven't heard of GIMP it is a fine picture editing tool. A lot of people liken it to Photoshop. Generally there is a debate to be had as to whether it really has everything that Photoshop has to offer but for the casual user it certainly is incredibly powerful.

Internet

  • FireFox Web Browser
  • HexChat IRC Chat Client
  • Pidgin Internet Messenger
  • Thunderbird Mail Client
  • Transmission BitTorrent Client

Office


  • LibreOffice Writer (think Microsoft Word but without the awful Ribbons)
  • LibreOffice Calc (think Microsoft Excel but without the awful Ribbons)
  • LibreOffice Impress (think Microsoft Powerpoint)
  • LibreOffice Draw
  • LibreOffice Math
LibreOffice complements Linux Mint very well as it provides the same sort of continuation and familiarity that Linux Mint provides. There are certainly none of those stupid ribbon bars making it impossible to find settings.

For home use LibreOffice definitely has all the features you will require and is perfect for children who have homework assignments or for parents to create budgets.

Sound and Video

  • Banshee Audio Player
  • Brasero DVD burning
  • Totem Video Player
  • VLC Video Player
One thing that Linux isn't lacking is good quality audio applications.

Off the top of my head there are Rhythmbox, Banshee, Amarok, Clementine, GMusicBrowser, DeadBeef, Noise and QMMS.

Linux Mint comes with Banshee. I have had problems with this application in the past but it works perfectly within Linux Mint 17.

Importing music is as simple as selecting the "Import Media" option from the "Media" menu. This allows you to select the folders on your computer that contain audio files.

Banshee lets you listen to music from your own collection or you can listen to online radio stations.

All the standard features are available such as the ability to create playlists.

Banshee works very well with external audio devices and picked up my Sony Walkman and Samsung Galaxy S4 without any issues.

The VLC media player can be used to watch online videos and also to watch videos stored on your computer.

Installing Applications

One area where Linux Mint is better than Ubuntu is the graphical tool used for installing applications.

The Ubuntu Software Centre is probably the biggest let down and the one area where Ubuntu really needs to improve.

Linux Mint's software manager is actually pretty decent.

The default view provides a list of categories and a search box in the top right corner.


If you just want to browse applications click on a category and a list of applications will appear.

The applications are listed by title, description, rating and number of people who voted.

To get more information about an application double click on the name.































The details page includes screenshots, version numbers, file sizes and reviews.

To install the application click "Install".

Gaming

One thing that isn't installed by default is games.

There are various ways of installing and playing games in Linux Mint.

The first way is to open the software manager and browse the games section.





The number of games listed in the software manager aren't incredibly extensive but there are first person shooters, platform games, racing games etc.

Another option is games emulation. The software manager has emulators for the Commodore Amiga, Atari 2600, Sinclair Spectrum, SNES, NES, Playstation One, N64 and many others.

If you already have a good selection of Windows games then the third option is to use PlayOnLinux which is also available from the software centre.
 

PlayOnLinux sits on top of WINE which allows you to run Windows applications within Linux Mint.















PlayOnLinux can be used for more than just installing Windows games and it can be used to install other Windows applications such as Microsoft Office.

The level of success with running Windows applications is improving but is still a bit hit and miss.

The games seem to work very well generally. I bought and installed Sensible World Of Soccer from GOG.com and it works really well.

The final but best option for playing games is through STEAM. More and more top quality games are provided for Linux via the STEAM platform.

You can install STEAM from the software manager.

Using STEAM you can buy, download and install games which can be used directly from your Linux Mint desktop.

Customising the desktop

The first thing that you might like to change is the default desktop wallpaper.

To change the wallpaper right click on the desktop and choose "Change Desktop Background".

Linux Mint comes with a nice selection of wallpapers but you can add your own by clicking on the "Add" icon.

Another thing you can add to the desktop is something called desklets. The "Add Desklets" option is available from the right click menu on the desktop.

By default there aren't that many desklets available but you can get more online. (Click the "Get More Online" tab.

The desklets for me look a bit clunky but they make it easier to view photos and provide instant access to your music collection etc.

Another thing you can customise is the panel at the bottom. You can add more items to the panel by right clicking the panel and selecting "Add applets to panel".

New features for Linux Mint 17

The release notes for Linux Mint can be found at http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_qiana_cinnamon.php.

The new features are as follows:

  • Improved update manager 
  • The driver manager can now install drivers without an internet connection
  • Refined MDM login manager and multi monitor support improved
  • HTML greeter comes with HiDPI support
  • MDM now has a recovery command
  • Language Settings tool added to make it easier to select your language
  • Improved Software Sources display
  • Welcome screen now uses less resources
  • Improved graphical interface for system settings
  • Power management and screen saver settings redesigned
  • Menu improvements
  • HUD and Hover Management Improvements
  • MPRIS support added
  • HiDPI and Retina display support added
  • The "WACOM" plug has been re-introduced
  • Windows opacity improvements
  • Better integration with Gnome
  • Better support for GDM
  • Support for MDM failback shutdown sequence
  • New shutdown hotkey
  • Lots of bug fixes
This list doesn't cover everything and may not make sense to new users so it would be beneficial to click the link above to get the full list.

What is important with Linux Mint 17 is the LTS strategy. Linux Mint 17 will receive support updates until 2019.

Until 2016 Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 17 making it easier to upgrade.

Until 2016 the developers won't begin work on a new base and will be focus completely on the current base.

Hot Corners and Workspaces 

The Cinnamon desktop has a configuration tool called "Hot Corners" which lets you determine what happens when you move your mouse into the corners of your screen.

Before thinking about hot corners it is worth discussing workspaces first.

In Windows you only have one workspace. This means if you have lots of applications open then you either have to make windows smaller to place them side by side or have them overlay each other.

To switch between applications you have to either alt and tab or click with your mouse.

Linux has virtual workspaces which means you can have for instance one workspace which you use to do work and another for emails, chat, Facebook etc.

To use hot corners open the settings screen and select "Hot Corners".

You can specify what happens when you click or hover in a corner. The choices are to show all workspaces, show all windows, run a command or show the desktop.

All four corners can be customised to work the way you want them to.

For instance if I hover into the top left corner on my computer I will see the following screen:

By default there are two workspaces and switching is as simple as clicking the workspace. To add a new workspace click the plus symbol.

Issues

There are a number of known issues listed as part of the release notes:

  • The "Replace OS with Linux Mint" option doesn't just replace the operating system with the Linux Mint it erases the entire disk. This is important for people who dual boot. You need to use the "Something Else" option.
  • There may be an issue with Skype which can be fixed by installing "ia32-libs". 
  • If VLC does not find your DVD player, click on Media->Open Disc, and specify '/dev/sr0' as the disc device.
  • HiDPI is detected automatically. You can however force Cinnamon to run in low or in high DPI mode by going to Menu->Preferences->General.
  • If your system is using secureBoot, turn it off.
    Note: Linux Mint 17 places its boot files in /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu to work around
  • Freeze issues with NVidia cards (there are workarounds provided via the release notes)
  • Booting with Non-PAE causes issues (refer to the release notes for the workaround)
Something that isn't on the list but that was reported via Reddit last week is that copying from a device to Linux Mint via the file manager can cause the file to get lost.

To try this out I plugged in my Samsung Galaxy S4 and moved files from the Samsung Galaxy to my Linux Mint 17 installation.














































As you can see from the images above I wasn't able to reproduce this issue.

My advice when moving files from one device to another would be to copy the files first and then when you are sure they have reached their destination delete the source files. This prevents the chance of the files getting lost.

I haven't had any other issues whilst running Linux Mint 17 and I have had it installed for around 2 weeks now.

Summary

Linux Mint 17 is a great choice for the everyday Linux user. It is easy to install, easy to use and has a good selection of applications.

There is nothing revolutionary about Linux Mint. It isn't like Ubuntu daring to enter new territory with a new user interface. It sits firmly in the camp of "things were and are working just fine so lets not change them".

The user interface for the Cinnamon desktop is visually pleasing and very professional.

The hardware support is extensive and the stability is incredibly good.

I would recommend Linux Mint for all users and not just Windows users looking to try Linux for the first time.

Linux Mint is a great example of how good an operating system can be.

Thankyou for reading.


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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.

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26 comments:

  1. Mint 17 Debian Cinnamon is newest and better than Mint 17 Ubuntu Cinnamon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried Mint Debian last winter and found it worste Mint distribution ever. Avoid it. One desktop i prefer is Mint MATE. You can much more customize your desktop compared to Cinnamon.

      Anyway Mint 17 has been impressive and might be even better than Mint 13. Especially Mint Update is now working better than ever before.

      Delete
  2. You cannot replace windows 7 stability, software like office/autocad/photoshop etc, easy encrypted sharing, options for everything, games, much better drivers, hardware acceleration for flash etc, optimus support just with updates ... etc etc etc...

    Linux is still a crap OS for desktop!

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  3. Hahahahahaha you crack me up

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  4. I have looked at all of these apps more than once and have tried to make Linux my "go to" operating system. The main issue with Linux as a true desktop alternative is due to the fact that it lacks corporate driven applications and it unfocused plethora of distributions. (Note, I am not talking about the server side.)​

    Secondly, there are truly no killer applications for the OS. Yes, you can virtualize. But if you are going to do that, it just make sense to run Mac OS or Windows.

    As for these apps:

    GIMP...it sucks royally and is nowhere close to being an alternative to Photoshop. It is not in the same league and the learning curve is horrible.

    LibreOffice. Sorry, Microsoft Office is the king here. You can use Office via the cloud or use Google Apps. I would not ever risk a proposal or dissertation with LibreOffice. The folks in Linux land need to get someone who understands human computer interaction. The interface is freakishly ugly and the application is bloated. I am sorry. You get what you pay (or not) for. Yeah, it is free, but it is needs work to compete. If someone would fun the application, I am sure that it could be developed the way it should. Right now, it is barely screaming Windows 3.0 aesthetically.

    In short, Linux has to grow up and someone has to put some funding behind it to make it shine. Mac OS X and Google Chrome should serve as an inspiration.

    I do think it is possible for Linux to be a desktop mainstay. It is just a geeks toy. In short, I do not know of one business that has Linux a replacement for their desktops. For all of the reasoning that the fanboys will fire at this post, I am sorry...outside of the server room, Linux is a dud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you are right, but for an user who surf the net, listen music, watch videos, and do some common task, LinuxMint is the perfect choice, because all it's working out-of-the-box, no need to install drivers,flash,codecs,browsers,players,etc.
      I do not say that GNU-Linux is better than Windows or vice versa, they both have they users and fans, hell you can even compare them, i like both ( i dual-boot ) and i think Mint it is one of the best GNU-Linux representative.

      Delete
  5. I was a confirmed Microsoft dude at home and work until 3 days ago when I found a fully functional Lenovo SL500 at the dump. I installed Mint 17/Cinnamon after figuring out how to create an .iso image and was up and running in no time. I became fully Mint capable in about 4 hours and find the OS very fast on what would have been a doggy Win 7 machine. AFAIAC, the OS with all budled software + a few extras could very easily replace my MS home computer (it may very soon). I found the interface refreshing and actually enjoyed the learning experience since the OS and most software was laid out so logically. The Libre layout may seem dated but I actually prefer that MS office 2003 style format which is what I still use at home. I've been hacking away at Office 2010 at work for years and can easily work all packages, but I just prefer the simple menu layout of the Libre package/Office 2003, it simply works. I would say function takes precedence over form, but the chosen Linux form factor still manages to be pleasant and logical. The entire software package is MUCH leaner than any MS product and I like the fact that it is open source and does not support a huge corporate entity. I'm hooked, I will donate some $$ and I look forward to learning and tweaking even more. Is it perfect, of course not-what is??!! Can it replace MS everything where I work, nope-not yet at least, but if it gains more acceptance in the corporate world, who knows. With proper IT support, maybe that day will come sooner for the macro business world. What I do know is think Mint 17 can easily replace Windows for me at home, a non-gamer power user dealing with PC's since 1987 when the 8088 processor ruled and a streaming image of a coffee poy from some college was the coolest thing on the web. As an aside, from an environmental standpoint, the OS is probably helping keep alot of decent computer hardware out of the trrash since it seems to run so well on what would otherwise be outdate inoperable computer hardware. Less e;lectronic waste is a GOOD thing. In addition, it may help get onine access to people who cannot afford a full boat Windows PC with MS office, another good thing. I say Bravissimo to the past present and future developers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm buying my old Windows XP laptop off my company this week. To protect the company data they will wipe everything off the computer (including OS). Paying only $150 for the computer I didn't really want to spend more on Windows + Office than the value of the computer in the first place.

    Instead I've been looking into Linux/LibreOffice. Previously I had looked at them but it all seemed too difficult. Linux Mint has made me change my mind. Finally it is looking like a real alternative which people in the mainstream could actually switch to.

    Anyways - I'll give it a shot next week so wish me luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you find that Cinnamon doesn't behave then try the MATE or XFCE options. You get the same experience but the desktops are a little lighter on resources

      Delete
  7. For those who are trying Mint for the first time, I strongly suggest that you use the forums for newbies. The people there are very helpful.

    I have PC's of various capabilities and capacities, so I'm actually installing different versions of Linux on each one. In some cases, I'm just interested in seeing how different they are to get a feel for what I do or don't like. The beauty of having so many options is that it's easy to find a solution that will breath new life into older hardware.

    Thus far, after installing a different Linux on 6 different computers (laptops and desktops), only one computer has caused me grief. Four of the 6 installed incredibly fast and easy (much better than ANY Windows install that I've every done, and there were MANY).

    I think it's very important for EVERYONE to know that they do NOT have to buy either a new PC or Mac. Linux is a wonderful option, and especially for older hardware.

    Sure, there are pluses and minuses regarding these choices, but there are enough pluses when considering Linux. I've been away from Linux for many years, and I've got to say that today's Linux, Like Mint 17 Cinnamon, are leap years ahead of the Linux that I once knew.

    BTW, all of my machines are dual-boot with Linux as the default. Only one machine will be used primarily for Windows. Good luck to you all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been using windows since DOS, I love XP, 7 and 8.1, but I can now do anything on Linux Mint that I did on Windows including CAD and GIS. It's way easier to install Linux than Windows. I've been using computers since 1985 and Linux is certainly now a viable option. Very easy to install, you no longer have to be a geek, anyone can do it, I think that bothers some Linux geeks, LOL.

      Delete
  8. Attempted to install driver for Netgear wireless adapter, found no help anywhere, chat on mint no one helped there either. OS should acknowledge hardware, does not. Stupid OS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just this past Saturday I had EXACTLY the same experience with my DLink wireless adapter under Windows 7.

      Delete
  9. I have been watching / trying Linux for years and have the same issues as most who try to convert from Windows. It installs ok but not great and it is NOT AS SIMPLE as everyone makes it out to be. I too have been working with pc's since pre 8088, am a network support specialist / consultant but when it takes me 3 days to get wireless working, it tells me Linux is still not ready. I could not imagine any home user trying to resolve issues and alot of the forums attendees are snooty snot nosed children

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an extreme case. In most cases getting wireless working is about a 5 second job. I would agree that on forums and in social media the attitudes of some people are at the best arrogant and at the worst ignorant and abusive but that is a symptom of society in general. Most people are very helpful and there are people in the chat rooms and on forums that go well out of their way to provide solutions for no reward other than the satisfaction of helping someone out

      Delete
    2. yup. If the poster really has been around a while "sincee pre 8088" he should know that forum crap exists in every...forum, always has. Yet I've had nothing but good experiences in official linux mint/ubuntu forums. Also, I've not had much trouble with mint at home. Not sure what the "not as simple" comment was. Depends what hardware you've got. I did have an old xp machine that wouldn't run win7 so I added the newest AGP card I could find and worked barely but Mint 17 was better but not good enough video using its stock drivers. The mobo and old GPU were just not supported anymore by anyone. so there are situations that any linux or other OS for that matter won't fix. But most hardware past say 2008 should be just fine in mint17

      Delete
    3. You say that you've been "watching / trying Linux for years". When was the last time, exactly? I've got Mint installed on 4 older computers, including 3 laptops. I've got Linux installed on 6 computers overall, and all installs are as of the past few months. In each case all driver issues were resolved within a few hours, and I'm no system administrator. I hate doing SA work. In every case, when Linux installed without driver issues (most of the time, but not always), the installs took between 20 and 30 minutes. Mint is almost trivial to install.

      I set up a Mint Cinnamon laptop (HP running at 1.7GHz with 2 GB RAM) for my wife, and she'll never use XP again. This was an older XP machine that she uses for business. She's totally non-technical, and as unforgiving as they get (she's an executive), and she absolutely LOVES Mint!

      I later setup another laptop (HP running at 1.6 GHz with 2 GB RAM) so that she can work with music, photo's, and videos. For this install I used SolydX, 32-bit. This was also an XP machine. In both the Cinnamon and Solyd install cases, the computers run better than they ever could under XP.

      I have to say, I'm most impressed with 32-bit SolydX on that old laptop. It is ROCK SOLID! Cinnamon is definitely better than XP, but SolydX is outright impressive.

      Delete
    4. Last week I bought a Dell laptop, with no OS.
      Have tried to install dual boot Windows 7 and Mint.
      Mint was up and running in less than 30 minutes, but the Genuine Windows 7 took me about a day to be ready. Had to use another laptop to find and download wireless driver to install it on the Dell. Then other tens of drivers for video, audio, ethernet, etc.
      So, which OS is not ready?!
      Have to mention that I am not involved in computer business, just an average computer user.
      I am using Mint for about 5-6 years, on all my desktops, laptops, netbooks I had for business and home. Had absolute no problems in these years! Stable and rock solid OS!

      Delete
  10. I am windows user till now from the childhood and very much new to LINUX environment, i still worked little bit with RHEL.

    Right now am planning to move to LINUX for my desktop machine since i am unable to upgrade to latest hardware at this moment.

    Currently running windows 7 Ultimate with Core2Duo 1GIG RAM, 360 GB HDD and LCD Monitor.

    Am not a heavy user when it comes to my desktop machine.

    My basic usages will be MS-OFFICE, PDF, Winamp, VLC, Yahoo Messenger, Skype, Surfing Net.

    Right now am experiencing very much lag in my desktop machine and i really lose my patience since everytime all applications taking time to open and freezes quite often.

    Since am running with low end specs that is normal i believe. Since i don have the option to upgrade my hardware am thinking of moving to LINUX after reading many blogs/forums.

    Right now am confusing with the configuration i have which LINUX flavor will be best suited for me?

    Kindly guide me in chosing one.

    Any help on this is much appreciated.

    Thank you Experts :)

    Regards
    Dinesh R

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My main purpose of changing from Windows to LINUX is to improve the speed.

      Delete
    2. Hi Peace, thanks for the comment.

      try this link: http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2014/08/the-5-easiest-to-use-linux.html



      Delete
  11. Thank you so much Gary, I can't wait to try out Mint, where can I download Mint 17 Mate and will my Huawei 3G modem work on it?.. No clue which Huawei modem it is but I got it last week so it must be one of the newer versions

    ReplyDelete
  12. Try this page for downloads: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
    The Huawei modem definitely works because I use one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am a Computer Engineer and did not know of Linux that much. I heard it was a geeks platform and that very few specialists could understand it. But while I was in university, I wanted to understand Linux and Ubuntu was in its infancy. The best distro at that time that I liked and closely resembled Windows was Vector Linux. I installed it on a Pentium III computer but it was so hard to use. Things simple as the clipboard for copy and paste was not engineered well i.e. you could not copy from one application and into another application. That is how bad things used to be.

    Then Ubuntu started taking fame but its orange desktop was just a complete turn off. They tried something different but no luck. In our Uni labs we would use Mandrake Linux and it had one of the ancient looking desktops. Windows XP was way way more sexy.

    Driver support was very limited. I was very passionate of doing my project using linux thinking it would be very sexy and it would have been if things were more well integrated.

    BUT I never lost hope in linux. Even during my years in uni I could see that linux was evolving and had potential. I have always been keeping an eye on it. Then one day Linux Mint pops out and I go through, install it and immediately fall in love with it. Sure it had its sets of problems and some things were new and difficult to learn but with persistence I learned quite a lot. I even designed my Wedding cards using Gimp...lol

    Linux has come a long way. I still use Windows and Linux together. I run simulations and I find Linux to be much better at handling that due to its better memory management and more CPU power then a Windows platform.

    Recently, I am beginning to move away from Windows due to its bloated size that just keeps increasing with each new release. Slows down the computer and the real power of the computer really lost in just the upkeep of the Window OS. Linuxmint does not do that.

    So for all those folks judging the book by its cover...you need to work Linux first before you really start admiring it. Here is what you should do....just use Linux and abolish Windows. Every time you face a problem with Linuxmint look for a solution. Keep trying and keep working. This way you will get a better understanding and then you would eventually start personalizing it. Once you do that...you will realise that there is no going back.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Our church had two older desktop computers that they wanted somebody to wipe, so that they could sell them at a garage sale.

    I wiped the computers, and didn't have any recovery software. So, I decided to install the Linux Mint XFCE that was recommended for older computers.

    The software installed without a hitch. I was able to get on the internet with Mozilla Firefox, and check my mail with Thunderbird.

    Next, I plugged in my Epson Scanner. The operating system recognized the scanner and installed the drivers. The scanner worked with no problems. I tried my Canon scanner and it installed as easily as the other scanner.

    Next, I tried my Samsung laser printer. It also worked without a hitch. When I updated to Windows 7, my scanners wouldn't work on Windows 7. I ended up buying third party software from Hammerick, for about $40 to get my old scanners to work with Windows 7. I was pleasantly surprised how easily I got my scanners and printer working on Linux Mint.

    The Llibre Office works well for me as a home user. I can open Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, or Excel documents with the supplied software.

    I also had no problems watching videos, or viewing photos. The Gimp software may not be as easy to use as Photoshop, but has similar features and tools. Photoshop is a very expensive program. Where else can you find a photo program that has layers, masks, brushes, selection tools, etc., for free.

    The Software Manager was another feature that I liked on the Linux system. It was fun installing games and other applications. Programs are easy to ad, and seem to be free of viruses and malware.

    In conclusion, if you have an old computer that you'd like to install a modern operating system on, I 'd recommend trying Linux Mint XFCE. I enjoyed playing with the church computers so much that I bought a 32GB flashdrive and made it into a Linux computer that I can boot too during start up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou for this comment. I have recommended the XFCE edition of Linux Mint to many people over the years. It is certainly a great option for older hardware

      Delete

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