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.
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
Desklets for Cinnamon
Control Center Changes
Various System Improvements
Improved Hot-Corner Configuration
Horizontal or Vertical Window Maximization
Software Manager Tweaks
Update Manager and Welcome Screen Tweaks
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?
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.
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.