I downloaded the latest version of Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) and I decided to try it out and write about some of the basics to get you started.

(Please click on each screenshot for full size)

TEST SYSTEM:

  • Via 1.5GHz microprocessor
  • Nvidia GeForce 8400GS video card
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 1 GB of Linux Swap space on the HD
  • onboard NIC

The first boot attempt from the Live CD failed, so I had to add acpi=off to the Live CD boot parameters to get the OS to boot successfully. Once I booted into Mint 12, I was greeted with the desktop:

Linux Mint 12 desktop

Linux Mint 12 desktop

The first thing I decided to do is change the location since it always bothers me that Ubuntu-based distros always have the time many hours off, so, I clicked on the time at the top of the screen and selected my location:

adjusting the time/location in Mint 12

adjusting the time/location in Mint 12

Next, I decided to open a terminal, in this case Xterm from Applications | System Tools and execute one of my favorite tools, top to check the amount of RAM usage and a few other fun details:

The "top" command in Xterm

The "top" command in Xterm

 I would call those steps the first ones I always take when trying out a new distro. They work with just about any Linux distribution imaginable, but Linux Mint is special, and it’s quickly taking market share away from Ubuntu. “What’s next?”, you may ask…Well, I would take a look at all the cool apps available to you just a couple of clicks away in the Software Manager, located under Applications | Other:

Linux Mint 12 Software Manager

Linux Mint 12 Software Manager

Now that you’ve had a chance to peruse all the great games, graphics, productivity software available (and even installed a few with the Live CD!) you may be ready to install it as your primary operating system, or at least in addition to an existing OS. That is easiest enough to find, it’s got a handy icon on the desktop for your convenience!

p.s. This review was written using Firefox on the Linux Live CD!

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