June 24, 2014, 11:56 AM — Ubuntu has many well known spins but one of the more interesting ones is Peppermint (formerly called Peppermint OS). Peppermint is a distro that seeks to combine the power of the cloud with the convenience of the desktop. Peppermint Five is the latest release and is now available for download in a 32-bit or 64-bit version.
According to Peppermint:
Peppermint Five Highlights:
1. Peppermint Five is built on a Long Term Support (LTS) code base, Ubuntu 14.04. The upstream code base will receive updates for five years.
2. Peppermint Ice is our in house built SSB manager, it has been rewritten from scratch and is now significantly more stable and is more feature rich than past versions. The key new feature is that it now supports both Chrome and Chromium as a backend.
3. Peppermint Control Center is our new settings app which provides an intuitive interface to customize and manage your workspaces, window behavior, keyboard and pointer settings, keyboard shortcuts and more.
4. We’ve fixed a number of upstream bugs present in Lubuntu, the specific project we fork from. Most notable among these are that the network manager applet starts properly.
5. Peppermint-Light is our new window manager and widget theme designed to offer a clean and relatively flat look and feel.
6. In previous iterations of Peppermint OS we used Alsa for sound. Our users asked for a more robust audio backend with more options and more user-friendly, Peppermint Five delivers with PulseAudio.
Image credit: Peppermint
You can download Peppermint Five using these links:
If you aren't sure which one to download be sure to read the download and install instructions. You can also view a bunch of screenshots of Peppermint Five, and you can connect with other users to get help in the Peppermint Forum. The Peppermint User's Guide may also be a useful resource.
I have not had a chance to use Peppermint Five yet, but my experience with previous versions has always been pretty good. It's an excellent choice if you want to run cloud-based applications right alongside desktop applications on your system. In a sense it gives you the best of both worlds in a very convenient package, and the fact that it's based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS means that it will be supported for some time to come.
Ars Technica reviews Linux Mint 17
Ars Technica has a detailed review of Linux Mint 17 that covers the Cinnamon and MATE versions.
According to Ars Technica:
In the end, during testing, we preferred Mint with Cinnamon over Ubuntu with Unity simply because Mint doesn't require a user to uninstall anything just to maintain privacy. The Mint project also feels like it's more in tune with the needs of desktop users, solving real problems and adding useful features, rather than working toward some may-or-may-not-work future of "convergence."
Whatever ends up happening with future releases, Linux Mint 17 makes a fantastic Linux desktop right now. It's stable, familiar enough for Windows refugees to pick it up without missing a beat, and has all the familiar tools Ubuntu fans would expect. Enjoy the current experience, and we'll all stay tuned to see how Mint's major bet on stability plays out.
Image credit: Ars Technica
Ars obviously had some strong feelings about Linux Mint versus Ubuntu in the review. The beginning of the review notes why the Mint developers decided to stick with the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS base through 2016, and how this will benefit Mint users. I agree that it was a wise decision on the part of the Mint developers.
The comments later about Linux Mint Cinnamon being more focused on the desktop experience than Ubuntu with Unity are pretty tough to argue with as well, but I do feel compelled to point out that there are other Ubuntu spins that offer alternatives to the Unity desktop interface. Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Kubuntu are all based on Ubuntu but offer completely different desktop environments, so it's very possible for users to stay within the Ubuntu family but have absolutely nothing to do with Unity.
Five popular distros based on Ubuntu
Speaking of Linux Mint and Ubuntu, OMG Ubuntu reports on five popular distributions that are based on Ubuntu.
According to OMG Ubuntu:
Ubuntu might well be the world’s most widely used flavour of Linux distribution, but whether it’s the best remains a hotly contested, hugely contentious topic.
Obviously, with a name like ours above the door, we’re a little biased, but we’re not blind; many of you, our regular readers, prefer to use other Linux distributions for a variety of reasons. Some are championed because they use something other than Unity (a very poor excuse) while others find favour by trying new and innovative things on the desktop.
What follows are five of the top Ubuntu based Linux distributions as suggested by you.
Linux Mint 17
Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS
Image credit: OMG Ubuntu
This is a pretty good list, but I would have expanded it to include Lubuntu, Xubuntu, and, of course, Kubuntu. You could also add Edubuntu and Ubuntu Studio though they are more niche distros than popular ones.
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.