Linux Mint 16 RC was released a few days ago, so a final release should be right around the corner. As someone who just rediscovered Linux Mint a few days ago (long story short; Ever since Linux Mint 11 I’ve hated it), I thought it might be a good idea to give Linux Mint 16’s release candidate a look.
In this article, I’ll be having a look at the Cinnamon edition of Linux Mint 16. There is also an image available which is using MATE as the default desktop environment. If you like yourself some nostalgia, I’d say you should give it a look. My first impression of it was “Wow! Flashback time! This is Linux Mint 10 with a new wallpaper!”, but by all means have a look at it for yourself.
Now, on to the review!
Probably the most important change to Linux Mint 16 is its desktop environment. With this release, Linux Mint’s own Cinnamon has received the version number 2.0. With just over 850 commits, it packs a healthy dose of new features and bugfixes.
While other Linux distributions were busy trying simplify the user interface and adding useless features nobody’s ever going to use, Linux Mint’s focus appears to have remained on customisability. And noticeably so. When opening the Sound Settings, I was pleasantly greeted with a feature that has long since disappeared from a lot of major Linux distributions; Assigning sound effects to certain events. Is it very useful? Perhaps not. Is it a nice addition? Definitely. As stupid as it might sound, I’ve missed this feature quite a bit over the last few years.
With Gnome’s user management module constantly getting dumbed down further to the point where you have to rely on the command line to get simple tasks done, Cinnamon’s new “Users and Groups” module is a welcome sight. It provides users with an easy to use user interface for managing users and group, while still managing to keep it simple enough as to not scare less technical users away.