The Linux Mint Experience


So I am writing this new blog entry using LibreOffice 5. I didn’t have to pay for it, nor do I have a limited trial version. Not only that, I am also using LibreOffice from a newly installed “distro, Linux Mint.  It didn’t take me long to install Mint after writing my last blog entry about the operating system. I guess curiosity got to me. I installed Mint from bootable USB (and used Rufus to make the USB). My installation experience went rather smoothly. The only issue I had was selecting my time zone. I live near Vienna, and trying to select it for my time zone just wasn’t working for me. It wouldn’t even recognize Vienna. So I defaulted to Rome, which lies in the same zone. I don’t remember having that problem in other versions of Linux.

I installed Mint version 18 (codenamed ‘Sarah’) on an older laptop (which is perfectly acceptable for Linux). My processor is an Intel Pentium 2.16GHz dual-core. And I was originally running only 1GB of RAM when I installed Linux. In my last entry I wrote about the system requirements for Linux Mint. I mentioned that Linux requires only 512MB of RAM, and roughly 700MHz. After using Mint for just 30 minutes, I thought these figures might be a little downplayed. Linux states that for a comfortable experience you should install at least 1GB of RAM. Well, I think even that figure is a little low. With 1GB, I felt the OS was a little choppy. I could see the delay time when trying to pick my time zone. And there was even a big delay when only typing. It was definitely getting on my nerves having to sit there and wait for what I typed to even display on the screen before I could do anything. I cannot imagine what the delay would have been with only 512MB. I don’t even want to imagine that. The next day I found a 1GB stick lying around and quickly swapped it out with one of the 512MB sticks. I now run 1.4GB of RAM, and that extra bit actually helps dramatically, believe it or not. I still see a little choppiness on the log in screen when the background transitions to different pictures, but I can live with that.

I really like the layout of everything so far. It definitely takes more of a Windows approach with the Menu button (or Start button) and taskbar across the bottom of the screen. I would say Windows 10, to be more specific. That is a major plus for those migrating from Windows. As far as applications go, I haven’t used anything other than Firefox and LibreOffice which haven’t given me any issues. Windows usually comes pre-installed with useless applications that you end up deleting because they just waste valuable disk space. With Linux, I see more system utilities, graphics programs, and a couple multimedia programs that could prove more useful. It doesn’t seem clustered though! And they are sorted nicely in the Menu by type! This saves time of having to hunt! It feels clean because everything is very well organized. System updates seem pretty simple with the notifications. Although the Update Manager can be a little scary with the varied level of updates. Which makes me think, do I proceed with level 5 updates? They look rather intimidating.

Overall I really enjoy Linux Mint and definitely see myself using it more often. I’m looking forward to discovering everything it has to offer. Just need to get more accustomed to it first because, you know… that whole learning curve and all. 🙂


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