Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon

Linux Mint has long been one of the most popular desktop distributions, so it’s always a big deal when a version is released. This time around it’s Linux Mint 17. This review covers the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint 17, but much of it also applies to the MATE version with the exception of changes to the MATE 1.8 desktop.

As to which desktop environment you should use, I think it just gets down to your own personal preference. MATE is a more traditional desktop while Cinnamon has a more modern feel to it. If you aren’t sure which one you might like better, my advice is to try both of them and then make your decision.

Linux Mint 17 is a long term support release. It will receive security updates until 2019. The Linux Mint developers plan to use this package base until 2016, so upgrading should be a piece of cake once you start using Linux Mint 17.

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Desktop

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Desktop

What’s new in Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon

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

Update Manager

Drivers Manager

Login Screen

Language Settings

Software Sources

Welcome Screen

Cinnamon 2.2

System Improvements

Artwork Improvements

Main Components

LTS Strategy

Update Manager

The Update Manager has had some serious improvements to it in this release. It’s faster, and you don’t need root mode to load it. It also doesn’t look for an Internet connection, and it doesn’t lock your APT cache when it starts up. You can also see kernel information in a new section of Update Manager.

There’s also a type column that lets you see differences between traditional and security updates, backports and romeo updates. Update history now also includes all updates on your Linux Mint 17 system, including apt-get, Update Manager or via gdebi or dpkg.

Kudos to the Linux Mint developers for making Update Manager a much more useful tool. Update Manager is far better now it ever was in the past.

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Update Manager

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Update Manager

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Linux Kernels

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Linux Kernels

Driver Manager

The Driver Manager can install drivers now even if you aren’t connected to the Internet. You’ll be asked to insert the disc or other install medium in order to add your drivers.

Linux Mint 17 Driver Manager

Linux Mint 17 Driver Manager

Login Manager

Login Manager (MDM) has also been improved. Multi-monitor support is better, with more options. And the HTML greeter offers HiDPI support. You can even use a user name that’s not present in the usual list of users, and the animation in the background uses less CPU resources.

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Login Menu

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Login Menu

Language Settings

Language Settings is a new menu that replaces Language Support. You can easily select a language, apply it to your entire system and also install new languages.

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Language Settings

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Language Settings

Software Sources

The Software Sources menu has gotten improved usability and a few interface tweaks. You’ll see a warning now against use of backport and romeo components. That should come in handy for those who aren’t sure what they are but like to experiment anyway.

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Comments

  1. says

    I like mint & Ubuntu the U was my first and now it is my home when I get frustrated then run back although Debian I have a fondness for ( if I partition it correctly ) along with some rolling release style ones and can’t forget the most packed & Ubuntu derivative Ultimate edition by Thee Mahn.Yes,I am a distro hopper but,I found one I might settle down with “Robolinux” only problem is I have to be connected Hard Wire-ethernet I mean. Last Ultimate Ed. was like that really dissapointing, I like Linux review blogs.

  2. randy trachsel says

    first time user of linux for all of about 2 days but so far so good. miss some things i know how to do in windows but in time im sure ill figure it out in linux. just damn happy to be running an os thats not tied to mr bill. thanks linux guys.

  3. Steve says

    I use linuxmint on my Dell e1505. It’s fast, system works great. I’ve tried several of the more popular distros but I either didn’t like the interface or they ran slow. Linuxmint just works.

  4. sheldon cwinn says

    First of all thank-you for a great review. As I posted in your Lubuntu review, I am running three versions of Mint on 4 different machines. Each one feels so similar to the others that the actual window management environment doesn’t really matter. It is the elegance with which Mint is weaved together, no matter which version, that makes it outstanding.

    After using every varient of Windows and OSX, and being in the software business for 30 years, I can honestly say that Mint is not only the best Linux version that I have ever tried, but it is also perhaps the best OS I have ever used.

  5. Paul Johnston says

    I’d appreciate some guidance… I ran an upgrade on my Lenovo Ideapad which was running Mint 15. I ran the update from 15 to 16, and then immediately from 16 to 17. When I boot up in 17, I get to the login screen and am prompted to enter my login and then password (I did not have this enabled in the 15 install). My login and password are rejected as incorrect… so I can;t even get past the front door.

    Any suggestions?

    • Paul Johnston says

      searching forums I found and tried this solution:
      CTRL-ALT-F1.
      Console-login as your normal administrator user.
      Do sudo adduser foobar and answer the simple questions…what is your name…what is your number?
      Log out.
      Log in as foobar.
      Try a startx command.

      now however I get an error message “Failed to load session “cinnamon”, and am only given the option to log out.

  6. Paul Johnston says

    I’d appreciate some guidance… I ran an upgrade on my Lenovo Ideapad which was running Mint 15. I ran the update from 15 to 16, and then immediately from 16 to 17. When I boot up in 17, I get to the login screen and am prompted to enter my login and then password (I did not have this enabled in the 15 install). My login and password are rejected as incorrect… so I can;t even get past the front door. Any suggestions?

  7. jazz says

    If only I could install this. I’m tried installing it 5 times on my MacBook Pro, running Mavericks. Using VirtualBox, which has had no problems installing other OSs that I wanted to try.

    This Linux Mint 17 is like a bucking horse… it always does the “Installer Crash” before it makes it to the end.

    And when it asks if I want to send a bug report, that screen never shows.

    After Googling the endless crashes, I came to the conclusion, that this thing isn’t ready for prime time. This is the ONLY operating system that refuses to install.

    • sola says

      This is very unusual and shouldn’t be happening. I have seen Linux Mint 17 in Virtualbox on a colleagues’ machine (although that was on a Windows box).

  8. Nic says

    In my case I ended up finding another Brother Driver that worked. Found that the Brother 9600 makes the 7420 work like it did before. Not all functions but it prints fine. Think I found the fix on a post somewhere. Anyway I tried to get an HP printer to work but never found a driver for it that would work.

    • Jon says

      For Brother printers, go to Software Manager and install all appropriate Brother support. This works for my Brother MFC-210C. Doing this adds loads of Brother printers to the standard printer install choices. Should I have another printer, I would try the same augmentation for the brand in Software Manager. Some printers are notably Linux friendly so keep that in mind when choosing a new one. HP is particularly Linux Friendly and has augmented support in Software Manager too.

  9. Liron says

    On every version Mint proves what Ubuntu should have been.
    In my experience no matter which system I’ll install or use live cd mint will work from the box.

  10. John K says

    Mint 17 Cinnamon is fantastic. I tried KDE and xfce……Cinnamon is my preference. It is a completely professional OS. I have been running Mint 15/16 on a Desktop and laptop, as my primary OS, for a year. I prefer it to Windows, but do use a dual boot and VM to run Windows if I have to. I pretty much never have to use Windows, and I don’t really want to. Windows is fine, but Cinnamon 17 is full featured and stable. The software manager is awesome….you can search it for solid free open source software with easy installs. It very reliably runs as my music server. It is lightweight and fast. I occasionally try other operating systems, but I do not even foresee giving up Mint Cinnamon. It’s too solid and too easy to run. My girlfriend uses it, with no issues.

  11. Nic says

    I have installed Linux Mint 17. It works great except can’t get my printer to work. I have an MFC 7420 Brother printer. It worked on the previous verson of Mint that I had though I had to use the drivers for the MFC 9600. I’ve tried the new recommended drivers and it shows the printer is there but doesn’t print. I’ve tried the 9600 driver and no change. Does the same thing on an HP printer I’ve tried using. It shows the printer and queries etc as if it was there but it doesn’t print. I have a text file that trouble shooting made for reporting. The trouble shooter program said there was no explainable reason for it not working. I don’t know how to send that text file here or where to send it. Can somebody get me an email address to forward the trouble shooting file to?

    • Chris says

      Did anyone ever get you some help with this? I’m new to Linux and am running Mint 17 and having the exact same problem with my Brother MFC-J475DW. I downloaded the drivers and the printer shows up, if I probe the printer through the IP address the LCD on the printer lights up but it never receives the print request. Any help is appreciated.

    • Jon says

      See my reply to Nic above. I used to download the driver software from the printer sites but Software Manager has proven to be the better avenue for me.

  12. Stan says

    I’ve been using it since a few days after it’s release. I usually start at the RC but just didn’t have the time on this release. I find it hard to believe that Linux Mint keeps getting better and better, most distros would let me down by now and I would have moved on.

  13. NottinghamPCuser says

    Using Linux Mint 17 now as a dual boot system with Windows 8. Very impressed with LM17, looks good, feels good, fast and sharp responding, excellent range of softwares included, like the essential Libre Office (equivalent to MS Office) and including some video editing software Kino and OpenShot – all free of course! XP users could fine Linux Mint a useful MS replacement for home and office use.

    • maurice heneghan says

      How did you managed to dual boot LM 17 Cinnamon with Win 8? I failed miserably even though I had done some research. There seems to be no definite way of doing it.
      On another machine it was easy to dual boot LM 17 with Win 7.

      • NottinghamPCuser says

        Mint 17 / Win 8 dual boot. Bit tricky. The key is the BIOS settings, which must be set to legacy boot or something similar. My original M17 dual boot installation would only boot into Win8. There were no BIOS adjustments available for ‘legacy’ mode. I upgraded the BIOS and hey presto GRUB was active on startup and I could select M17 or Win8. It would appear that the BIOS upgrade enabled ‘legacy boot’ in my case.

        There is a ‘dirty’ clumsy work around if you can’t set the BIOS parameters – always start with the MINT 17 installation disk in and select boot from hard drive in the opening installation screen, which will find the boot sector for Mint 17 on your hard drive and load Mint 17. For Win8 leave the Mint17 installation disc out and reboot – it will go straight into Win8

  14. Maurilo says

    Great review. Thanks! I like so much Linux Mint. I’ve used Ubuntu and Linux Mint since 2012. They’ve greatly improved. Particularly this release is the best one so far.

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