Is Linux Mint 17 the best desktop distro ever?

In today's open source roundup: Linux Mint 17 could be the best desktop distro ever. Plus: The "How Linux is Built" video, and a user's experience with Linux in the early days

By , ITworld |  Open Source, Linux

Linux Mint has been one of the most popular desktop distros for a long, long time. Linux Mint 17 is almost here and ZDNet thinks it could be the best desktop distro ever released. It's a bold statement and no doubt there are some who would vehemently disagree with it. As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

According to ZDNet:

Over the decades—yes decades—I've been using Linux desktops, I've had many favorites. Now, I have a new one: Linux Mint 17. I expect it to be my favorite for a long time to come.

I love Linux Mint 17 with the Cinnamon 2.2 interface. This GNOME 3.x-based desktop is a great windows, icons, menus, and pointer (WIMP) interface. Windows XP users will find it far more familiar than Windows 8's oddball tiled desktop. I also like the MATE interface, which builds on top of the GNOME 2.x interface; but for simplicity's sake I'm going to focus just on Cinnamon.

More at ZDNet

Linux Mint 17 Desktop
Image credit: ZDNet

I'm always hesitant to declare this distro or that distro as "the best" for the simple reason that every user's needs and tastes are different. One of the best things about Linux is that there's a distro for everybody. As good as Linux Mint 17 is right now, there are plenty of other desktop distros that will work as well if not better for some users.

I did a slideshow of Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon RC recently and there's no doubt that it's a terrific Linux distribution. Most users will really like it, but I know that there are some who would prefer other distros and desktop environments regardless of how good Linux Mint 17 is in its final release.

Download the Linux Mint 17 release candidate for yourself to check it out.

How Linux is built video
The Linux Foundation has a great video that explains how Linux is developed, and how often people are using it each day without even realizing it.

According to YouTube:

While Linux is running our phones, friend requests, tweets, financial trades, ATMs and more, most of us don't know how it's actually built. This short video takes you inside the process by which the largest collaborative development project in the history of computing is organized. Based on the annual report "Who Writes Linux," this is a powerful and inspiring story of how Linux has become a community-driven phenomenon.

More at YouTube

This is a great video to share with friends or family who don't know much about Linux. It will give them a good overview of how Linux is developed, but it will also show them that Linux truly is everywhere.

A user's experience with Linux in the early days
Engadget has a look at Linux in its early days through the eyes of one user.

According to Engadget:

I'd heard of Linux before, but had never actually seen or used it until the age of 15. Mine was a home filled with Windows and DOS boxes for as long as I can remember. But my father found himself in the position of having to learn about the open-source operating system for work -- his company was going to start moving all of its servers to Linux, and he'd have to support them. If the company's internal home page went down or someone couldn't access the shared folders, that would be his problem to deal with. And so Linux entered my life.

I'd been told that Linux was only for nerds, but at first glance, I couldn't fathom how people were confused by the upstart OS. There was something immediately familiar about it. Probably, the fact that it looked almost exactly like Windows 95: There was the desktop interface loaded with shortcuts, a taskbar and even a start menu.

More at Engadget

This article reminds me of how far Linux has come since the beginning. These days it's mostly a piece of cake to install and configure most desktop Linux distros. Some would even argue that some distros are easier and less of a headache than dealing with Windows.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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