Peppermint OS One made quite a splash when I reviewed it. Many people had never heard of it, and there was a lot of curiosity about a web-oriented remaster of Ubuntu. Some time has passed and there’s a related version that has been released. This new distro is called Peppermint Ice. Why is it called Ice? Well read on to find out.
Please note that development of Peppermint OS One will continue. Peppermint Ice is a separate distro and the Peppermint developers will be supporting both versions. The developers got a lot of requests from the Peppermint OS One community to do a version with Chromium as the browser and thus Peppermint Ice was born.
What’s New In This Release
The biggest difference between Peppermint OS One and Peppermint Ice is the inclusion of a new Site Specific Browser (SSB) written by Peppermint Ice developer Kendall Weaver. Ice is the name of the SSB, and it uses Chromium (the default browser in Peppermint Ice) to run web applications. Using an SSB, instead of running applications in a tabbed browser, for example, helps provide greater stability and uses screen space more effectively.
My experience with using web applications in Peppermint Ice via the Ice SSB was very good. I opened a bunch of web applications and everything ran very well, I had no problems with speed or stability (with the one exception of Facebook, which I’ll talk about in the problems section). I left the applications running for hours and didn’t notice any problems with them.
Since Peppermint Ice uses LXDE as its desktop environment, it’s very fast. If you have older hardware, you’ll be particularly pleased with Peppermint Ice. Booting up or shutting down happens very quickly.
Some might be thrown off by the inclusion of Chromium as the default browser for Peppermint Ice, but I think it’s a good choice. Firefox is still available via Software Manager if you want it, but Chromium seems to be significantly faster to me. That said, I also think it’s a good idea to keep Firefox around in case you bump into a site that isn’t quite compatible with Chromium.
And please note that Peppermint OS One will still have Firefox as its default browser.
As you can see from the Live CD desktop screenshot below, the desktop wallpaper and peppermint logo are different from Peppermint OS One. The red and white wallpaper and logo are gone; they’ve been replaced by blue and white versions. I’ll talk about that more in the desktop section.
Hardware Requirements & Installation
As you might expect, the hardware requirements to run Peppermint OS are quite modest. Here’s what you’ll need to run it:
* i386 or derivative processor (AMD64 and x86_64 are fine as well)
* 192 MB of RAM
* 4 GB hard drive space (this is an overestimate just for good measure)
The install is vintage Ubuntu. It’s quick, easy and painless even if you are completely new to Linux. The screenshots below guide you through the installation from beginning to end. Please note that Peppermint Ice is a Live CD distro, so you can test it without actually installing it. Just pop the CD into your system and boot up.
Booting & Login
The bootsplash screen has the blue and white logo and branding. The login screen also has the new colors, and features the Peppermint Ice desktop wallpaper in the background.
One of the things I found most attractive visually about Peppermint OS was the red and white wallpaper and peppermint logo. Peppermint Ice’s logo and wallpaper are blue and white instead. The blue and white is, frankly, a bit bland.
I very much prefer Peppermint OS One’s color scheme. Your mileage may vary, however. It’s easy enough, of course, to simply change the wallpaper if you don’t like it. So no biggie.
Beyond the branding and new colors, there hasn’t been much of a change to the Peppermint Ice desktop. It’s still clean and uncluttered, without a bunch of icons all over the place like some distros.
Here’s a sample of the software included in this release.
Editor by pixlr