Linux Mint 12 “Lisa”- A Short Review

by Ken

OK, so this isn’t actually a “review” that you might expect on a place like Desktop Linux Reviews, but I’ll call it a review anyway 😛 .

If you’re a Linux user, you’ll probably know that right now, there’s a problem with the desktop environments. GNOME, the most popular desktop environment, recently switched to using GNOME Shell (which is part of GNOME 3) which some people really love and some people really hate. I haven’t tried out GNOME Shell yet, but I think I’d like to if I have time.

However, some major players out there really don’t like GNOME Shell. Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distro, switched to its own shell, Unity, which has its own lovers and haters. This certainly affects Linux Mint, because it’s based on Ubuntu. However, the Mint developers decided to preserve the old GNOME 2 interface by developing MGSE (Mint GNOME Shell Extensions)  and also having MATE (a GNOME 2 fork) as another option. This won Mint lots of users who were unhappy with Unity or GNOME Shell.

I tested out both Mint 12 on MGSE and MATE, and I have results.

I think MGSE is really nice, so kudos to the Mint Developers on that. It acts just like GNOME 2 (which I did use for a bit in Ubuntu 10.10 and Edubuntu 8.04), and it is stable. No crashes or anything.

However, I have to say that as much as I liked Linux Mint, I still think some areas of its appearance is ugly. For example, the GNOME icons are really ugly (although the Faenza icons sometimes included look really good). However, appearance is all about individual taste, so I won’t talk about that a lot.

What I have to compliment the Linux Mint team on is the great selection of green default wallpapers, so let’s have a cheer for them.

Linux Mint 12 (MGSE)

MATE is also very good looking and stable. I haven’t done much testing on it, but it’s pretty good.

In conclusion, I think Xubuntu 11.10 is still my Linux desktop of choice. (After all, I’m an Xfce fan :p ). What do you think?