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Mint 11: The “Un-Unity” Ubuntu desktop Linux


I like Ubuntu’s Unity interface, but I wouldn’t use it all the time, and I know many of you don’t like it at all. Like me, you like getting your hands dirty with the operating system and Unity is meant for new Linux users. That’s why for day-in, day-out use I’m now using the Ubuntu Linux-based Mint 11.

Instead of Unity, Mint 11, which is now at the release candidate stage, uses the old Linux Mint desktop layout, mintMenu system, and the same desktop elements featured in previous releases. It also doesn’t use GNOME 3.0. That’s fine by me since I don’t care for GNOME 3 at all, but my reasons for that are a story for another day. Today, I want to tell you why I think Mint 11 is a great desktop Linux for experienced Linux users.

To put Mint 11, Katya, which is based on Ubuntu 11.04, through its paces, I first installed it on one of my main Linux workstations. This is a Dell Inspiron 530S powered by a 2.2-GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor with an 800-MHz front-side bus. This box has 4GBs of RAM, a 500GB SATA (Serial ATA) drive, and an Integrated Intel 3100 GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) chip set.

How well did it work? Well, after a week on it, I also installed the Mint 11 release candidate on my main work laptop. This is a Lenovo ThinkPad R61 with its 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7500 and 2GBs of RAM. In other words, it not only worked well, it had already proved trustworthy enough that I’d switched to using it on a production machine.

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