Update, January 2009: I have written a new review / tutorial on the latest
release: 6.0 Felicia. If you're interested, take a look. The featured
stuff includes Compiz on both Nvidia and ATI cards on two different laptops, Wireless, Skype, Web camera, and
multimedia support, installation highlights, and a review of several popular applications like Gnome Do, Giver,
APTonCD, and others.
If you are a beginner Linux user looking for a simple, friendly distribution, you might want to look at Linux
Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and shares the same repositories. The default version ships with the Gnome
desktop, although the KDE, Xfce and Fluxbox desktop managers are also available. Like Ubuntu, Linux Mint offers
a highly versatile and friendly environment, with Aptitude interface and Synaptic package manager.
For those of you who might have preferred my Kubuntu tutorial to have been a Ubuntu one, this is a very good
chance at bridging the gap and getting answers to open questions. While the two distributions have much in
common, there are some differences, offering the new Linux user to enhance his/her experience on familiar
grounds and yet gain a different look from another angle into the free world of Linux.
What are we going to see in this article?
In this article, I'll demonstrate the classic GUI installation, but also a few things more, including guided
text installation of an application from an archive, troubleshooting compilation and installation problems,
troubleshooting post-installation problems, editing system configuration files, adding new startup programs,
tweaking the resolution and mouse settings, all these while using both the GUI and the command line to achieve
the desired results, and some basic insight into wireless adapter configuration. It should not be boring.
This guide builds on the other Linux tutorials I have published; you are advised to invest some time reading
them before you try this one because some miscellaneous elements might be skipped.
For your convenience, please refer to these articles (if you haven't done so already):
Installing SUSE Linux - Full tutorial
Installing (K)ubuntu Linux - Full tutorial
Installing Slackware Linux - Full tutorial
Installing Mandriva Linux - Full tutorial
Installing PCLinuxOS - Full tutorial
To understand how to setup virtual machines, try VMware Player - A great
To get into dual booting, try Dual booting - Windows & Linux - Full
To learn about Linux command line, read Highly useful Linux commands &
To learn about the GRUB bootloader, read GRUB bootloader - Full tutorial
Ready? Let's install Linux Mint
As said, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. New users will find it extremely convenient. For Ubuntu users, the
transition is painless. Like most modern distros geared toward usability and fresh Windows converts, Linux Mint
offers a live CD installer, allowing the computer users to test the distro and check the hardware compatibility
before installing. Furthermore, there's the usual assortment of great programs, out-of-the-box support for
graphic drivers, even a simple installation procedure for wireless adapters, and of course, an animated
To download Linux Mint, please visit the official site
. At the time this
article was written, the latest release was Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna
. Daryna is
compatible with the latest Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon.
Furthermore, under the Release notes
, you may find lots of
interesting information, some of which I will not repeat here. These notes concern the new features in the
software management, update and installation, and various desktop improvements.
To successfully install Linux Mint, you will need: A computer with a modern processor, minimum of 256MB of RAM
and a CD/DVD-ROM drive; Linux Mint CD (or an .iso image if you prefer to test the distro in a virtualized
environment); Optionally, a virtualization product like VMware
, VMware Server
, or others. I recommend the VMware Server, as the most wholesome
package. That's about it. If you're ready, head on to the next page.
Warning for the 56K dial-up users: For the purpose of better readability, I will use full-size images rather than
thumbnails that link to images. This may cause some slowdown during the loading of the pages.
Again, you do not have to really do any of this. You could just read and practice the next time you really
install from scratch. But I suggest you try to follow the instructions and do it for yourself. You will only
benefit from it.