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.

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23 thoughts on “Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 . . .

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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????

      1. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. 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?

      1. 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?

        1. 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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