Linux Mint 5 Review – Jun Auza

Jun is having a date with Elyssa and is telling us all about it.

Link to the review:

Comments on the review:

– Jun said: “After dating Cassandra and Daryna, I spend some time with the newest Mint girl in town. Elyssa is her name or you can simply call her Mint 5.

–> As you can see, it’s not the first date and it won’t be last, and Jun’s wife Beth seems to be OK with it. The codenames encourage the personification of Mint releases and if you’ve been reading Jun before or the Mint Cafe/House in the forums you’re probably used to call them “her” by now… not to mention that it annoys a few people, so even better 🙂

–  Jun said: “Since Mint 5 is derived from Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, I expect it to be filled with exciting new features and should be more of like a much polished “Hardy Heron“.

–> Mint 5 is using Hardy’s repositories and its own on top of it. I just wanted to stress the fact that Mint is not a “better” Ubuntu, it’s a “compatible” Ubuntu which focus and purpose is different and which appeals to a different audience. Also, in terms of innovations and improvements Elyssa comes with things that you won’t find in Hardy, and the opposite is also true (for instance Elyssa doesn’t feature Wubi).

– Jun said: “Mint 5 installation was flawless as usual on my test machine, and I was not surprised. It’s actually the same straightforward installation similar to that of Ubuntu. However, unlike in Hardy Heron, you are not given an option to install the operating system right away. You have to boot to the Live CD desktop first for you to install Mint 5.

–> Mint is using Ubuntu’s installer (Ubiquity) and only changes a few minor things in it. We did notice the install option in Hardy’s isolinux and we considered adding it to Mint but I didn’t think it added much and I was interested in making the boot menu a bit more dynamic. In the end we opted for an isolinux menu developed by Fedora, with a nice countdown and a hidden menu.

– Jun said: “An interesting and handy feature of Mint is an application called MintAssistant. It’s a wizard that appears immediately after the installation

–> The idea was inspired by Fedora’s first-run assistant and the fact that I didn’t want to change Ubiquity too much as it was actively being developed upstream.

– Jun said: “Unlike Ubuntu, Mint utilizes a single panel with its very own MintMenu –a python-coded menu that allows for fully customizable text, icons, and colors. Some may like this setup but I still prefer the two-panel and classic GNOME-menu combination.

–> People usually love it or hate it, and they’re quite passionate about this. I guess this is the kind of choice that should make its way into mintDesktop or mintAssistant.

– Jun said: “The all essential list of software packages installed by default in Mint 5 is almost the same as that of Ubuntu 8.04. It has Firefox 3 […]plugins like flash and multimedia codecs for playing DVD and MP3 are already loaded […]

–> Firefox is version 3 RC1, Flash is version 10 beta 128 and Opera (which isn’t installed by default) is version 9.50. There are a few other differences in terms of package versions between Mint and Ubuntu but overall it’s mostly the same. In the default selection Ubuntu adds XSane, Remote clients, Evolution  and Gnome Games I think.. while Mint adds Thunderbird, OpenOffice Base and some administration/configuration tools.

– Jun said: “With Elyssa, Linux Mint has cemented its place as my top rated distro for Linux newbies particularly those who have just migrated from Windows. It is so easy to use that you can call it Ubuntu for dummies.

–>  “Ubuntu for dummies”… oh man… 🙂 The purpose is clear, to make things comfortable for the user. It’s got nothing to do with Ubuntu even though Ubuntu is one of the major component in Linux Mint, and it’s not solely made with the novice user in mind, the purpose is also to make things comfortable for advanced users. That was funny though 🙂


I really enjoyed reading this review.  The style was very nice to read and the part about the panels gave me an idea for the upcoming Mint 6. I keep note of what’s coming up here by the way:

Many thanks to Jun for this review and I look forward to reading about his date with Felicia.