"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Friday, 15 June 2012

Test Drive: Linux Mint 13 “Maya” on the EEEPC 900


I know I'm unforgivably late but, at last, I managed to give a look to the latest Linux Mint release running live on my EEEPC. I've been a bit busy in this time bu the truth is also that I'm quite satisfied with my Mint 12 installation so I'm not really eager to upgrade. On the other side I've been positively impressed by new Mint's desktop environment, Cinnamon, and I was curious seeing it on my netbook computer.

First impressions

As usual, I downloaded Mint 13 disk image, using bi-torrent protocol, from Linux Mint download page and prepared a bootable USB disk using Ubuntu's disk preparing utility.
After a relatively fast boot (for a live version) here is how Mint 13 appears.



Cinnamon user interface is similar to Mint 12's MGSE desktop I'm currently using. It offers a traditional application menu.


It behaves just like the LMDE one but appears to be more responsive at least on the EEEPC. A configurable “hot corner” brings to a very effective desktops selection and management screen.


On the configuration side Cinnamon is still a little limited. It offers a relatively small set system settings


and a not very wide selection of panel applets and extensions (mainly because of the young age of Cinnamon project)

extensions must be installed manually, not difficult but far different from the easiness of installing Gnome 3 extensions.

Worth upgrading?

Here come the key question: is Mint 13 worth the trouble of upgrading my EEEPC? It's not an easy answer unfortunately. One of the major Mint drawbacks is the lack of an an automatized distribution upgrade procedure, the suggested upgrade procedure is to back-up your home directory and perform a “plain install” of Mint 13. It's not a difficult task and, perhaps, faster than a dist-upgrade but ... will I have to go trough the same session of issues fixing I experienced after installing Mint 12? Since most of my interest is towards Cinnamon I could, as simpler alternative, install Cinnamon on Mint 12 or I could even Install back a plain Ubuntu distribution and then installing Cinnamon gaining back the dist-upgrade feature. Automated dist-upgrade might be not perfect (and sometimes even buggy) but it's great for “loyalizing” users.