Linux Mint 14: Nadia - Fancy A Minty Fresh Linux Distro?

1/21/2013 9:20:17 AM

Fancy a minty fresh Linux distro? Nadia’s got you covered

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the dynamic world of Linux, Linux Mint is a distribution that offers both the new user and the advanced Linux advocate an operating system filled to the brim with all the stuff that makes Linux such an appealing alternative to the likes of Microsoft Windows.

With this new release, Linux Mint 14: Nadia, we see Canonical’s package base from Quantal Quetzal, mixed with the very latest desktop offerings from MATE and Cinnamon, along with the usual wealth of applications and rebranded software. However, the big question is: does it work?

Version 14 of Linux Mint running Cinnamon 1.6

Version 14 of Linux Mint running Cinnamon 1.6

Before we answer this, let’s see what you get here. To start with, Mint’s flagship desktop environment, Cinnamon has had an overhaul with version 1.6 and it certainly shows. Gone are the previous glitches, and it's now a very impressive environment, one that, dare I say it, represents a worthy investment for Windows 8 and Unity refugees.

The overall feeling of Cinnamon, with its vastly improved Workspaces, pop-up notifications, applets and the Window Quick List, is very similar to Android, but without the entire operating system becoming a slave to the tablet industry. The new features are many, and they work alongside each other without fighting for space or system resources. Indeed, Cinnamon 1.6 is as responsive a desktop as they come; install this onto a decently powered PC and you experience the exceptional.

The Window Quick-List is great to access windows across multiple workspaces

The Window Quick List is great to access windows across multiple workspaces

MATE, Mint’s brother desktop environment, hasn’t seen quite as much publicity as Cinnamon, but that’s not to say it’s the black sheep of the family. With Mint 14, MATE has been upgraded to version 1.4 and with it comes many an update and bug fix. It’s a high-quality desktop environment and certainly deserves the title of the new Gnome 2. As an active project, MATE goes well beyond the confines of Gnome 2, taking the baton from the former king of the DE’s and carrying it onward while removing the bugs that plagued Gnome for years. MATE isn’t going to be left without its fair share of decent features either. A new MDM, customizable notifications and a choice of thousands of themes means that MATE can easily stand toe to toe with other desktop environments and come out on top.

Back to the question of whether it works: in short, yes. In fact, I would go so far as to say Linux Mint 14, using Cinnamon in this example, is an absolute pleasure to work with. It represents the best example of when developers, contributors and the community work in tandem to produce something that not only works extremely well but contains the day to day elements that people actually want from an operating system.

Mint 14 is perfect for the home user, perfect for the new Linux user and can provide a safe haven for the experienced user in these times of tablet centric operating systems.

User lists and faces support in MDM

User lists and faces support in MDM

Clement Lefebvre and his team have undoubtedly come up with a winner. Will it sway users from the mainstream OSs and into the arms of Linux? Who can tell? Linux itself still has a long way to go in terms of offering the computing community an encompassing alternative, but as we’ve seen in recent months, with Valve taking an interest in Linux development of Steam, there could very well be a flurry of new users in 2013. And what better way to start their Linux experience off than by installing Linux Mint 14 and seeing what the best of Linux has to offer. Linux may not be to everyone’s tastes, and those who use it regularly have their favourites, but do try Linux Mint 14, and enjoy it.


·         Price: Free

·         Manufacturer: Linux Mint

·         Website:

·         Required spec: 32-bit PAE enabled CPU (or 64-bit CPU), 512MB RAM, 5GB HDD space, graphics capable of 800x600


·         Quality: 8

·         Value: 9

·         Overall: 8


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