Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” has been released so it’s time for another review of one of the most popular distros of all time. Linux Mint has always been one of my favorite distros, it has so much to offer any desktop linux user. This release doesn’t disappoint either. There’s quite a bit here for fans of Linux Mint, and it’s almost certain that most of them will want to upgrade to Linux Mint 15.

Please note that this review covers the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint 15. I’ll probably take a separate look later on at Linux Mint 15 MATE.

Linux Mint 15 Welcome Screen
Linux Mint 15 Welcome Screen
Linux Mint 15 Preinstall Boot Menu
Linux Mint 15 Preinstall Boot Menu

What’s New in Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

Ubuntu 13.05 Package Base
Linux 3.8 Kernel
MDM 1.2
Cinnamon 1.8
Software Sources
Driver Manager
MDM Greeters
Nemo Updates
Desklets for Cinnamon
Cinnamon Screensaver
Control Center Changes
Spices Management
Various System Improvements
Improved Hot-Corner Configuration
Coverflow Alt-Tab
Timeline Alt-Tab
Horizontal or Vertical Window Maximization
Software Manager Tweaks
Update Manager and Welcome Screen Tweaks

Linux Mint 15 Login Screen
Linux Mint 15 Login Screen

MDM now has three login screen applications (greeters).  There’s a GTK greeter, a themeable GDM greeter, and a new HTML greeter (also themeable).

These changes spice up (no pun intended) the login screen and should make things more interesting. It’s  now possible to create “animated and interactive” login menus.

Frankly, I’ve never been one to pay much attention to login screens. After all, you’re there to login not to savor the look and feel of the menu. But I don’t mind these changes at all. Why have a boring, drab login menu when you can jazz it up and give the user something different to see?

Linux Mint 15 Software Sources
Linux Mint 15 Software Sources

MintSources is the new Software Sources tool. It makes it easy to disable or enable optional components, and it lets you easily use back ports, source code, and unstable packages. Finding a faster mirror is also very easy, since you can do it with just one click by seeing a speed-test of available mirrors.

This is a great addition for power users of Linux Mint, who want a quick way to have more options in terms of software. The new tool looks great and performed well for me. Finding a faster mirror can be a huge timesaver, so I was very pleased to see that included.

Note that MintSources also contains PPA, authentication keys management and third party repository access.

Linux Mint 15 Mirror Speed
Linux Mint 15 Mirror Speed
Linux Mint 15 Driver Manager
Linux Mint 15 Driver Manager

Driver Manager (MintDrivers) is another great tool in Linux Mint 15. It uses an Ubuntu backend, and it makes it easy to deal with drivers in Linux Mint 15. You can see drivers by package name, along with their version. Known brands are clearly marked with icons.

Anything that makes driver management easier and faster is also quite welcome. Let’s face it, we’ve all had driver issues at one time or another, so Driver Manager will be a very useful tool for years to come.

Linux Mint 15 Desklets
Linux Mint 15 Desklets
Linux Mint 15 Get More Desklets
Linux Mint 15 Get More Desklets

Desklets lets you add widgets to your Linux Mint 15 desktop. Linux Mint 15 includes a launcher, clock and photoframe desklet by default. While it’s still early for desklets, it will be a nice option for some users.

Alas, I won’t be one of them. I’ve never liked widgets, and I still don’t. I may be a bit of a luddite on this, but they just seem like clutter to me. That’s my personal sense of them, however. I know that there are some people who will really enjoy them, so I consider it a plus that Cinnamon 1.8 offers them. But I won’t be using the damned things. Heh.

Linux Mint 15 Screensaver and Lock Settings
Linux Mint 15 Screensaver and Lock Settings

Cinnamon now has a screensaver that lets you set up an away message. I generally don’t lock my screensaver, but I’m sure there are plenty of people that do. So it’s nice to have this option to let people know when you’ll be back or whatever.

Linux Mint 15 System Settings
Linux Mint 15 System Settings

You won’t be needing Gnome Control Center to access certain config modules. Cinnamon Settings now includes all configuration modules. This is a good improvement, I like anything that streamlines system management tools. Why hop around from menu to menu, when you can do everything from just one? Makes a lot more sense to me.

Linux Mint 15 Applets
Linux Mint 15 Applets

Spices are applets, extensions, desklets or themes. You can manage them right from your desktop, without having to go to a web page. The menu is very easy to navigate, and makes it pretty simple to find what you are looking for, or to find what you have already installed.

System Requirements for Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

Here’s what you’ll need to run this Linux Mint 15 Olivia:

  • x86 processor (Linux Mint 64-bit requires a 64-bit processor. Linux Mint 32-bit works on both 32-bit and 64-bit processors).
  • 512 MB RAM (1GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 5 GB of disk space
  • Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution
  • CD/DVD drive or USB port

Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon Download

You can download Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon from this page. The file I downloaded weighed in at 959 MB.

If you’re a distrohopper then you might want to try it in a virtual machine via VirtualBox before running it on real hardware.

Linux Mint 15 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. You can choose the MATE desktop or the Cinnamon version. You can also choose to download a version with multimedia codecs or without (depending on the country you live in).

Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon Installation

Linux Mint 15 is a live distro, so you can opt to run it off a disc to check it out. It’s also very easy and quick to install it to your computer. You can watch a slideshow while your install completes.

Linux Mint 15 Install Type
Linux Mint 15 Install Type
Linux Mint 15 Install User Name and Password
Linux Mint 15 Install User Name and Password
Linux Mint 15 Install Slide Show
Linux Mint 15 Install Slide Show
Linux Mint 15 Install Complete
Linux Mint 15 Install Complete

The Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon Desktop

I covered some of the changes to the desktop above, so I won’t repeat that here. Suffice to say that this release of Linux Mint has added some very good improvements to desktop tools and bling.

The Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon desktop looks as good as it always has, and you’ll note that the wallpaper now has a “15” inside of a circle.

Click the menu button on the far left of the panel to access applications, update manager, system tools and all the usual stuff. It’s very easy to find your way around, even if you aren’t familiar with Cinnamon or Linux Mint.

Linux Mint 15 Desktop
Linux Mint 15 Desktop
Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon Menu
Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon Menu
Linux Mint 15 Backgrounds
Linux Mint 15 Backgrounds

Linux Software Included in Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

Here’s a sample of the linux software included in this release.

Games
Available in the Software Manager

Graphics
Document Viewer
GIMP
gThumb
Image Viewer
LibreOffice Draw
Simple Scan

Internet
Desktop Sharing
Firefox
Pidgin IM
Thunderbird Mail
Transmission
XChat IRC

Multimedia
Banshee
Brasero
Videos
VLC Media Player

Office
LibreOffice

Linux Software Management Tools in Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

Software management in Linux Mint 15 is primarily done via the Software Manager. It’s one of the best tools of its kind, particularly for those new to Linux Mint. There are more than 64,000 software packages available, so there’s plenty to choose from for your computer.

You do, however, also have the option of using Synaptic though I don’t recommend using it unless you really find a need. Synaptic is quite powerful, but the Software Manager is arguably a better option for most desktop users.

In this release, Software Manager includes automatic pagination. More results will load as you get near the bottom of a list. Large scores are no longer cut off, and you can search within a particular category. Packages that appeared in the Java section are now in the Programming category.

Take note of the Featured Applications category, there are some great applications there that you might find useful.

Adding or removing software is very easy. Just find the application, then click the Install or Remove button.

Linux Mint 15 Software Manager
Linux Mint 15 Software Manager
Linux Mint 15 Software Manager Featured Applications
Linux Mint 15 Software Manager Featured Applications
Linux Mint 15 Software Manager Games Category
Linux Mint 15 Software Manager Games Category
Linux Mint 15 Install Wine
Linux Mint 15 Install Wine
Linux Mint 15 Software Manager User Reviews
Linux Mint 15 Software Manager User Reviews
Linux Mint 15 Update Manager
Linux Mint 15 Update Manager

The Update Manager in Linux Mint 15 can now refresh the APT cache in user mode, without user intervention.

Problems & Headaches Found in Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

I didn’t run into any noticeable problems with Linux Mint 15. I didn’t expect to though as Linux Mint has usually run very well for me. However, if you’ve seen any problems or issues, please note them in the comments below. It’s helpful for other readers to be aware of any potential pitfalls before doing an install.

Here’s a list of known issues for Linux Mint 15 Olivia:

PAE required for 32-bit ISOs

The 32-bit ISOs of Linux Mint 15 use a PAE kernel. If your processor is not compatible with PAE please use Linux Mint 13 Maya LTS instead. Linux Mint 13 is supported until 2017.

EFI support

If your system is using secureBoot, turn it off.

If you installed Linux Mint in Virtualbox in EFI mode and it cannot boot post-install, type “exit”, choose “Boot Maintenance Manager”, “Boot from file” and select EFI/linuxmint/grubx64.efi.

Post-installation, the EFI boot file is located in /boot/efi/EFI/linuxmint/grubx64.efi. If your system is unable to find this file, copy it to /boot/efi/boot/bootx64.efi (alternatively you can write “fs0:\EFI\linuxmint\grubx64.efi” into a /boot/efi/startup.nsh file).

HDMI Sound output

If your HDMI Sound output does not work out of the box, you can try the following solution:

In a terminal, type the following commands:

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-audio-dev/alsa-daily
  • apt update
  • apt install oem-audio-hda-daily-dkms

Other issues

Linux Mint 15 is based on Ubuntu 13.04. Make sure to read the Ubuntu release notes.

Important information

Mint4win

When installing Linux Mint with mint4win, choose loop0 for both the target partition and the grub destination.

Local repository and GnomePPP

GnomePPP is not installed by default but it is present within the default installation of Linux Mint. Your Linux Mint system comes with a local repository which is disabled by default. You can enable it by using the “Software Sources” tool from the menu. This repository contains GnomePPP as well as a collection of drivers.

Where To Get Help for Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

If you’re having problems, please post your questions in the comments below or register for the DLR forum. Other readers might be able to assist you. You might also want to check out the linux mint community site, linux mint forums, linux mint blog, and linux mint documentation.

If you’re new to Linux, you might want to check out some of the books available about it at Amazon. You can learn quite a bit that you will probably find useful later on. You can also save lots of money with deals on laptops and tablets, desktops and monitors, components, and computer accessories.

Final Thoughts About Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

Linux Mint 15 stands supreme right now as the best all-around desktop Linux distro available. Oh sure, there are other distros that might serve certain readers better depending on their specific preferences, but for general desktop use Linux Mint 15 is probably the best choice available.

It’s the distro I usually steer complete newbies to Linux to, given all that it has to offer. I’ve never heard any of them complain about it either, after using it. That’s not to say that it’s perfect for everybody. Some people prefer a more minimalist distro like CrunchBang or a maximalist distro like Ultimate Edition. That’s the great thing about Linux, there’s always something available for everyone.

But Linux Mint 15 remains at the top of the heap for general desktop linux users. I highly recommend it to those seeking an alternative to Windows 8 or even Apple’s OS X. Linux Mint has matured over the years, and this release is like a sweet slice of cake, just waiting to be eaten.

Linux Mint 15 is suitable for beginner, intermediate or advanced Linux users. I encourage those totally new to Linux to try it out, it’s a great way to get your feet wet with Linux.

What’s your take on Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon? Tell me in the comments below.



Comments

  1. Jerry Kiley says

    Am building computer. What is good CPU for Linux Mint 16
    and what is chipset and socket for Linux Mint16. Thank you

  2. Fred says

    Have a couple of old Compac Presrio Vista units, perhaps 6 or 7 years old. Both have been in storage because Vista acted like it was slow/dead. The first one now runs Mint 15, 32 bit, so sweet, but of course the 64 bit is sweeter.

  3. FredJ says

    Have a Dell Core i3, windows 8 was like driving a junker, tried ubuntu 13.10, some things did not work well and decided to try Mint 15, so glad I did, so sweet. Hats of to all involved, a job well done.

    • Arne says

      As an old windows user I have recently started to explore the Linux world. I tried Ubuntu first but was disappointed over the desktop and user interface. It doesn’t work for me. Mint is more appealing – the desktop is easier to use because of the “windows” layout. I think that Mint has a more appealing user interface and I feel home straight away.

  4. CrazyPenguin says

    Running Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon on an Aspire One 722 netbook. Overall I am rather pleased with performance of Mint on the little netbook. I am running 8 GB ram and a 256 GB SSD. The only problem I encountered was a lag due to the C60 APU. After I installed the fglrx-updates video driver the lag issue improved dramatically. All other hardware tested worked out of the box with no additional tweeks. I’ll give Mint a solid 5/5.

    • Jeremy says

      What memory and SSD did you use in the AO722? Brand and model would be good as I want to upgrade mine and have found little input as to which works best.

  5. Steve C says

    I installed Mint 15 Cinnamon today and I have to say I am very disappointed. It seems to be riddled with bugs. Lots of freezing up and keep needing to re-start. This seems to happen across a range of admin and system tools as well as regular apps like Firefox. Problems installing several favourites, they froze and appeared not to have finished, but after forcing my machine off and restarting seemed to work. I wish now I had stayed with Mint 13 Cinnamon, which I found to be incredibly stable, almost flawless for my purposes. I can’t help thinking the Mint team (for all the credit due to them) have tried to achieve too much in too short a time, without enough testing. I’m off to try a completely different distro right now. I just can’t trust this version.

  6. Stan Moon says

    I’ve been using 15 since it came out a few days ago and I can’t tell any difference, which isn’t a bad thing 14 was really stable for me. I do like the driver manager, it is much more straight forward than what it has ever been, much more user friendly. I also like what they did to the Software Sources, once again much easier for newbies. I just don’t feel like it is radically different. When the release notes said it was the most ambitious release yet I got all excited and then was let down. I wouldn’t mind if it was all under the hood but it doesn’t feel faster and it has one negative. The negative I notice is on 14 with the latest graphic drivers Minecraft ran a lot better, now with the 3 choices I have(I have an ati card) I can’t get it to run full screen. I’ve been waiting for someone to post a fix but so far no one else that I know has this problem, I am even running on the fitpc3, exact same model as the mintbox pro. Oh well, for me mint has been so great that it just never ‘feels’ better anymore. Maybe I’m just getting bored and am ready for another distro . . .

    • Charles says

      You should consider installing the most recent ATI drivers manually by downloading them from their site. I had trouble getting a 7850 to work with various applications (including minecraft!) in full screen using the drivers available in the driver manager options, but upon installing the one that came directly from ATI/AMD, things have worked perfectly.

      • Stan Moon says

        I was going to try that eventually but man I can’t stop playing minecraft. My nephew is leaving for three weeks tomorrow and won’t get to play with me so I’ve been putting in time with his server before he leaves so I haven’t had time. Well, that and work. What I said about Mint was harsh to say about it, I love Mint. I guess visually just not as many things changed and I was a little dissipointing. It is still really stable and I love the more streamlined PPA and driver management so just ignore what I said above.

  7. Brian Masinick says

    I guess the main reasons I have not done much with Mint are that:

    1. I already have a lot of time, energy, experience, and interest with core Debian distributions, such as Debian Wheezy and Sid, as well as distributions that are based on those two solid, creative systems. Wheezy now represents the stable Debian distribution; Sid is always the unstable one.

    2. I tend to prefer distributions with a lot of flexible tools. They can be GUI-based, but if they are really good I will use them, but I often tend to move toward really interactive, command-based, systems. The aforementioned systems just provide what I need, so it takes some inertia and reasons to test to move to other systems, and the inertia needed tends to increase over time, so I’ve been using and testing Mint less and less over the years.

    • says

      Totally understandable, Brian. You are most definitely an advanced user.

      I think Mint works great for newer folks in particular. Even if they don’t stay with it, it’s a great introduction to desktop linux. And they can always move to Debian or some other distro as they become more familiar with Linux.

    • Emerson says

      Brian, it’s people like you that me very happy. You take your time to read a review of Linux Mint 15-which obviously you are “too experienced to use.” You waste not much time to tell us all that. Personally, if you are a power user and find other distros to suit your fancy, good for ya! It’d be real nice to keep that to yourself and just troll the posts on the distros you use/like. Really, inertia???? How much inertia did it take for you to post this? Best to take it back to what it’s best needed/used for…………power users who hates linux distros that are easy to use should stick to them and not use these “easy” distros. Bet your inertia gained a strength or two from being told you are a power user. Has it gotten that bad for you that you have to go through all that shtick just to hear from someone else you are a power user????

      • says

        Hi Emerson,

        I think you are being a bit unfair here. Brian has gone out of his way over the years to assist many people here on the blog and in the forum (and on other sites as well).

        His comments and contributions are always welcome. I’m sorry if his initial message rubbed you the wrong way, but I think you are jumping to conclusions in judging him.

  8. Brian Masinick says

    I have not tested Linux Mint yet; the most recent LMDE 2013 edition is the only Mint I have right now (it’s a very good one, too, if you like Mint), so I have not yet examined or used Mint’s idea of desklets for this release, and therefore I do not really know exactly what they do or what they are used for.

    I’d just make this comment and thought, in case they are implemented in a light and simple manner:

    I do know that application instances, now available in the recent version of both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Web browsers, allow you to run an instance of a Web page, most commonly, but not limited to, a Web application, offer significantly faster start up times and usually deliver a degree of independence from the main browser page, and they run very similarly to a desktop applet.

    Google was one of the first to provide quite a few Web-based applets, such as Web instances for weather, stock reports, news, sports, and that evolved into also providing Web-based services for spreadsheets, charts, graphs, Email, and Word Processing documents.

    KDE was probably next, at right about the same time, allowing and encouraging the use of KDE Plasma desktop applets to perform similar tasks.

    If these desklets provide equivalent functionality, then I could make the argument that they are a useful way to accomplish tasks, though certainly not the only way. I’ll say this: the infrastructure to support applets, desklets, and whatever else they may be called can tend to be someone resource intensive, but the invocation of the resource is fast, since the necessary resources are typically allocated at login time. If you have a system less than three years old with at least two processors and 4 GB or more of RAM, don’t even worry about resources; you have them. But if you have older hardware (3-7 years), you want think twice if it’s 3 years old, and seriously look for a different, lighter OS if you’re in the 5-7 year range.

    • says

      Good points about the hardware age and applets. The older machines can definitely have more problems with system resources being eaten up by them.

    • Emerson says

      Haha! Haven’t used Linux Mint yet. Then why are you posting a reply to a Linux Mint review? The moderator has been very kind to you. More inertia used to post something about something you have yet to use?

      • Brian Masinick says

        Actually I HAVE used Linux Mint – MANY times, and I’ve used nearly every version of Mint, now including LMDE 15.0 in the MATE form. I have probably used, at many levels, as a developer, tester, and desktop user, more different Linux distributions than, more than likely, over 99% of the overall population, and more than likely, more than any user (including both you and Jim) on this site, Therefore I do speak from real, practical experience.

        From my own perspective, I am an experienced user. From a reviewer perspective, I generally (though not always) try to take at least a few possible views of a distribution. For example, this distribution is useful and legitimate for as wide an audience as any distribution. The LMDE variation may be just slightly less so than the main Linux Mint 15 versions, but not by much. Most people could use either of them and get along just fine.

        As a test, a year or so ago I had my own 85 year old mother run a variety of systems. All she generally does is view Webmail, but she does occasionally search and research arts and humanities topics. A Linux distribution, from my perspective, better suits her than Windows or a Mac because networked applications grew out of the UNIX and Linux landscape and they do all that she needs.

        To validate that, I put her back on Windows XP; the system was more sluggish, failed to remember her passwords and favorites, and she was lost. She said, “It always used to work this way…” I told her, “No, mom, you have gotten used to the way that the systems I set up for you work… that’s the way that Windows has always worked. Needless to say, she was back on her antiX Linux Base system that I personally customized for her.

        As for Linux Mint, it worked fine for her, but it was more than she needed. I have antiX Linux Base set up with just what she needs and little else and it is less confusing to her.

        Tell us, Emerson, since you are such a vocal critic, what system have you used, what is your experience base, and what would cause any of us, other than polite manners, to listen to what you may have to tell us?

        • Emerson says

          Please make up your mind-“I have not tested Linux Mint yet” to “Actually I HAVE used Linux Mint – MANY times, and I’ve used nearly every version of Mint”. I am pointing out the discrepancies you yourself have posted. Not about what I use (I use only Mint) but what is is you SAY. You are a power user. I applaud you. But you REALLY have to make up your mind whether you have used Linux Mint or have not tested it……..

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