||This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
Linux Mint 15 (Olivia) Release Candidate running MATE 1.6 (top) and Cinnamon 1.8 (bottom)
|Company / developer||Clement Lefebvre, Jamie Boo Birse, Kendall Weaver, and community|
|OS family||Unix-like, based on Ubuntu, optionally based on Debian (LMDE)|
|Source model||Free and open-source software and proprietary software|
|Initial release||27 August 2006|
|Latest stable release||Linux Mint 14.1 ("Nadia") / November 30, 2012|
|Latest unstable release||Linux Mint 15 RC (Olivia) / May 16, 2013|
|Update method||mintUpdate (and APT)|
|Supported platforms||IA-32, x86-64|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux)|
|Default user interface||9: GNOME 2
12: GNOME 3 with MGSE
Linux Mint is a computer operating system based on the Linux distribution Ubuntu. Linux Mint has a more complete out-of-the-box experience than Ubuntu by including proprietary software like Java and the Adobe Flash web browser plugin, which are not installed by default in most Linux distributions. Due to issues with licensing, proprietary drivers for hardware such as wireless cards are not included by default, though they can be downloaded for free after installation. Linux Mint is popular because of its simplified user experience and a Microsoft Windows feel.
Linux Mint introduced its first release, named "Ada", in 2006. Its latest and 14th release is "Nadia". The names of the releases are in alphabetical order (1 is Ada, 2 is Barbara, 3 is Cassandra, etc.)
Linux Mint started in 2006 with a beta release called 1.0 "Ada". The project wasn't well known at the time and this version never had a stable release. With the release of 2.0 "Barbara" a few months later, the distribution caught the attention of many people within the Linux community and started to build an audience. Using the feedback given from its new community, the distribution released a quick succession of releases between 2006 and 2008. 5 versions were released as follows: 2.1 "Bea", 2.2 "Bianca", 3.0 "Cassandra", 3.1 "Celena" and 4.0 "Daryna".
Version 2.0 "Barbara" was based on Ubuntu 6.10, using its package repositories and using it as a codebase. From there, Linux Mint followed its own codebase, building each release from its previous one but it continued to use the package repositories from the latest Ubuntu release. As such the distribution never really forked. This resulted in making the base between the two systems almost identical and it guaranteed full compatibility between the two operating systems.
In 2008, Linux Mint adopted the same release cycle as Ubuntu and dropped its minor version number before releasing version 5 "Elyssa". The same year, in an effort to increase the compatibility between the two systems, Linux Mint decided to abandon its code-base and changed the way it built its releases. Starting with version 6 "Felicia" each release was now completely based on the latest Ubuntu release, built directly from it, timed for approximately one month after the corresponding Ubuntu release (i.e. usually in May and November).
In 2010 Linux Mint released Linux Mint Debian Edition. Unlike the other Ubuntu-based editions, it is a rolling release based directly on Debian and is not tied to Ubuntu packages or its release schedule.
There are two Linux Mint releases per year. Each release is given a version number and a code name, using a female first name starting with the letter whose alphabetical index corresponds to the version number and ending with the letter "a" (e.g., "Elyssa" for version 5, "Felicia" for version 6).
Linux Mint does not communicate specific release dates. Releases are announced "when ready"; they can be released early when the distribution is ahead of schedule or late when critical bugs are found. Releases are timed to be approximately one month after Ubuntu releases. The current major release is Linux Mint 14 "Nadia", released on 20 November 2012.
|Version||Code name||Release date||Support status|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.0 beta||Ada||2006-08-27||Obsolete since April 2008.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.0||Barbara||2006-11-13||Obsolete since April 2008.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.1||Bea||2006-12-20||Obsolete since April 2008.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.2||Bianca||2007-02-20||Obsolete since April 2008.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3.0||Cassandra||2007-05-30||Obsolete since October 2008.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3.1||Celena||2007-09-24||Obsolete since October 2008.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 4.0||Daryna||2007-10-15||Obsolete since April 2009.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 5 LTS||Elyssa||2008-06-08||Obsolete since April 2011.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 6||Felicia||2008-12-15||Obsolete since April 2010.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 7||Gloria||2009-05-26||Obsolete since October 2010.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 8||Helena||2009-11-29||Obsolete since April 2011.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 9 LTS||Isadora||2010-05-18||Long term support release (LTS), obsolete since April 2013.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 10||Julia||2010-11-12||Obsolete since April 2012.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 11||Katya||2011-05-26||Obsolete since October 2012.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 12||Lisa||2011-11-26||Obsolete since April 2013.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 13 LTS||Maya||2012-05-23||Long term support release (LTS), supported until April 2017.|
|Current stable version: 14||Nadia||2012-11-20||Supported until April 2014.|
|Future release: 15||Olivia||End of May||Supported until January 2014.|
Linux Mint uses primarily free and open source software, making exceptions for some proprietary software, such as plug-ins and codecs that provide Adobe Flash, Java, MP3, and DVD playback. Linux Mint's inclusion of proprietary software is uncommon; most Linux distributions do not include proprietary software by default, as a common goal for Linux distributions is to adhere to the model of free and open source software.
Linux Mint comes installed with a wide range of software that includes LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, XChat, Pidgin, Transmission and GIMP. Additional software that is not installed by default can be downloaded using the package manager. Linux Mint allows networking ports to be closed using its firewall, with customized port selection available. The default Linux Mint desktop environments, MATE and Cinnamon, support many languages.[non-primary source needed] Linux Mint can also run many programs designed for Microsoft Windows (such as Microsoft Office), using the Wine software or using virtualization software (such as VMware Workstation or VirtualBox).
Linux Mint actively develops software for its operating system. Most of the development is done in Python and the source code is available on GitHub.
Software developed by Linux Mint 
- Cinnamon: A fork of GNOME Shell based on the innovations made in Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE). Released as an add-on for Linux Mint 12 and available as a default desktop environment since Linux Mint 13.
- Software Manager (mintInstall): Runs .mint files, which are files containing instructions to install packages. As of Linux Mint 6, this tool has been revamped, and now enables viewing of all the applications on the Mint Software Portal offline, provided an Internet connection is available to download the information first. Also enables installation any of the programs listed directly from the desktop, instead of going to the site. The option to use the old mintInstall program is available; from here the Ubuntu Repositories or the GetDeb.net website may be searched.
- Update Manager (mintUpdate): Designed to prevent inexperienced users from installing updates that are unnecessary or require a certain level of knowledge to configure properly. It assigns updates a safety-level (from 1 to 5), based on the stability and necessity of the update. Updates can be set to notify users (as is normal), be listed but not notify, or be hidden by default. In addition to including updates specifically for the Linux Mint distribution, the development team tests all package-wide updates.
- Main Menu (mintMenu): An advanced menu, featuring filtering, installation and removal of software, system and places links, favorites, session management, editable items, custom places and many configuration options. Also ported to MATE in Linux Mint 12 (Lisa).
- Backup tool (mintBackup): Enables the user to back up and restore data, as well as upgrade to newer releases by performing fresh installations.
- Upload Manager (mintUpload): Defines upload services for FTP, SFTP and SCP servers. Services are then available in the system tray and provide zones where they may be automatically uploaded to their corresponding destinations.
- Domain Blocker (mintNanny): A basic domain blocking parental control tool. Enables the user to manually add domains to be blocked system wide. This tool was introduced with the release of Linux Mint 6.
- Desktop Settings: A desktop configuration tool for easy configuration of the desktop.
- Welcome screen (mintWelcome): Introduced in Linux Mint 7, an application that starts on the first login of any new account. It shows a dialogue window welcoming the user to Linux Mint, and providing links to the Linux Mint website, user guide and community website.
- Remastering tool (mintConstructor): A tool for remastering Linux Mint. It is not installed by default in any Linux Mint edition, but is included in the repositories and used by the developers for creating ISO files. Users interested in creating their own distribution based on Linux Mint can make use of this tool to do so.
- Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE): A desktop layer on top of GNOME 3 to make it feel like GNOME 2. Includes a bottom panel, an application menu, the window list, task-centric desktop (i.e. switches between windows, not applications) and system tray icons. It is designed to give users a traditional desktop environment. This was included in Linux Mint in version 12 (Lisa).
Installation of Linux Mint is generally performed with the Live CD. The Linux Mint OS can be run directly from the CD (albeit with a significant performance loss), allowing a user to "test-drive" the OS for hardware compatibility and driver support. The CD also contains the Ubiquity installer, which can guide the user through the permanent installation process.
The main edition of Linux Mint is available in 32-bit and 64-bit. Installation CD images can be downloaded for free, or installation CDs purchased from 3rd party vendors. Linux Mint can be booted and run from a USB Flash drive, with the option of saving settings to the flash drive. This persistent thumb drive version allows a portable installation to be run on any PC capable of booting from a USB drive. The USB creator program is available to install Linux Mint (Ubuntu, not LMDE) on a USB drive.
A Microsoft Windows migration tool, Migration Assistant, can be used to import bookmarks, desktop background (wallpaper), and various settings from an existing Windows installation into a new Linux Mint installation.
The Windows installer "Mint4Win", is included on the Live CD and allows Linux Mint to be installed from within Microsoft Windows, not unlike the Wubi installer for Ubuntu. The operating system can then be removed similar to any other Windows software using the Windows Control Panel. This method requires no partitioning of the hard drive. It is only useful for Windows users; it is not meant for permanent installations because it incurs a slight performance loss.
|Cinnamon||MATE||KDE Plasma Desktop||Xfce||GNOME||LXDE||Fluxbox|
|Linux Mint 14 (Nadia)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Older release||Older release||No||Older release||No|
|Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE)||Yes||No||Older release||Older release||No||No|
Ubuntu-based editions 
As of Linux Mint 13 , there are two main editions of Linux Mint, developed by the core development team and using Ubuntu as a base. One includes Mint's own Cinnamon as the desktop environment while the other uses MATE. Linux Mint also develops editions that feature the KDE Plasma Desktop and Xfce desktop environments by default, but these have secondary priority and are generally released somewhat later than the two main editions.
The distribution provides an OEM version that is targeted at manufacturers.
No Codecs 
The distribution provides a "No Codecs" version, previously known as the "Universal Edition", for magazines, companies and distributors in the USA, Japan and countries where the legislation allows patents to apply to software and distribution of restricted technologies may require the acquisition of 3rd party licenses. Multimedia codecs can be installed at any time via a link on the Mint Welcome Screen or a desktop launcher available for only No Codecs version.
Linux Mint Debian Edition 
Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is based directly on Debian Testing, instead of Ubuntu. The purpose of LMDE is to look identical to the Ubuntu based edition and to provide the same functionality, while using "real" Debian as a base. LMDE is available with the MATE and Cinnamon desktop environments.
LMDE has a semi-rolling release (partially rolling) development model. This means that, unlike Debian Testing (a "real" rolling release) which constantly receives updates, LMDE periodically introduces “Update Packs” which are tested snapshots of Debian Testing. Installing these Update Packs keeps LMDE current, and there is no need for reinstalling the system every 6 months like in Ubuntu based distros. LMDE does not use the Debian package repositories, but has its own, although it is indeed possible to track the Debian repos directly, be it Testing (currently Jessie) or Unstable (Sid), if the user chooses to do so at her own risk.
System requirements 
Linux Mint 14 "Nadia" has the following system requirements:
|Processor (x86)||600 MHz||1 GHz|
|Memory||512 MB||1 GB|
|Hard Drive (free space)||5 GB||10 GB|
Individual users and companies using the operating system act as donors, sponsors and partners of the distribution. Linux Mint relies on user feedback to make decisions and orient its development. The official blog often features discussions where users are asked to voice their opinion about the latest features or decisions implemented for upcoming releases. Ideas can be submitted, commented and rated by users via the Linux Mint Community Website.
Most extraneous development is done in Python and organized on-line on GitHub.com, making it easy for developers to provide patches, to implement additional features or even to fork Linux Mint sub-projects (for example The Linux Mint menu was ported to Fedora). With each release, features are added that are developed by the community. In Linux Mint 9 for instance, the ability to edit menu items is a feature that was contributed by a Linux Mint user.
The members of the development team are spread around the World and they communicate through private forums, emails and IRC.
Linux Mint reviews are tracked by the distribution and discussed by the development team and the community of users.
Package classification 
Linux Mint divides its software repositories into four main channels that reflect differences in their nature and in their origin.
- Provides only software that is developed by Linux Mint.
- Provides software which is present in Ubuntu but patched or modified by Linux Mint. As a result, the software provided by this channel behaves differently in each distribution. Notable examples are Grub, Plymouth, Ubiquity, Xchat, USB Creator and Yelp (the help system).
- Provides software that is not available in Ubuntu or for which no recent versions are available in Ubuntu. Notable examples are Opera, Picasa, Skype, Songbird, the 64-bit Adobe Flash plugin and Frostwire.
- Not enabled by default. Provides test packages before they are promoted to other (stable) channels. As such it represents the unstable branch of Linux Mint.
Additionally, there is a "backport" channel for ports of newer software to older releases without affecting the other channels. It is not enabled by default.
|This section requires expansion. (February 2012)|
Linux Mint has been praised for focusing on desktop users.
See also 
- "Linux Mint Teams - Linux Mint".
- ""Linux Mint - Official Documentation". Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "DistroWatch.com: Linux Mint".
- "Releases - Linux Mint".
- "Linux Mint Releases". 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Linux Mint 9 "Isadora" released!". 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "Linux Mint 10 "Julia" released!". 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- "Linux Mint 11 "Katya"!". 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Linux Mint 12 "Lisa"!". 2011. Retrieved 16 November2011.
- "Linux Mint 13 "Maya"!". 2012. Retrieved 24 May2012.
- "Linux Mint 14 "Nadia" released!". 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- Linux Mint FAQ: What about proprietary software?
- Vaughan-Nichols, Steven (6 January 2012). "Fedora, Mint, openSUSE, Ubuntu: Which Linux desktop is for you? - Computerworld". Computerworld. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "MATE Desktop Environment localization". Text " Transifex" ignored (help)
- "Cinnamon 1.4 released".
- "The Linux Mint GitHub repository". Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- "The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » Introducing Cinnamon". blog.linuxmint.com. 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- "Misc. News". Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- "The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » Linux Mint 12 Preview". Blog.linuxmint.com. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "New features in Linux Mint 12". Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Installing Linux Mint". Happysysadm.com. 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "OSDisc.com". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "On-Disk.com". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "Download Linux Mint 14 Nadia". linuxmint.com. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Download Linux Mint Debian". linuxmint.com. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- "Release Notes for Linux Mint 14". linuxmint.com. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Editions for Linux Mint 13 "Maya"". Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- Lefebvre, Clement (November 20, 2012). "Linux Mint 14 “Nadia” released!". The Linux Mint Blog. Retrieved March 28, 2013. "Manufacturers can pre-install Linux Mint on their computers using the OEM installation images."
- "Download - Linux Mint". 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- Download - Linux Mint
- "Linux Mint Debian 201204 released!".
- "Linux Mint Debian 201303 RC released!".
- "Download-Linux Mint".
- The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » Linux Mint14 “Nadia” released!
- "Linux Mint Donors".
- "Linux Mint Sponsors".
- "Linux Mint Partners".
- "Linux Mint Community Website - Idea module". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "Linux Mint on Launchpad". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "Example of a user-contributed feature". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "Linux Mint reviews and discussions page". 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "How Mighty Mint became one of the most popular Linux distros". TechRadar. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- distrowatch.com. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Ubuntu Shows DistroWatch Decline as Mint Soars | PCWorld
- Linux Mint Touches All Time High On DistroWatch, Will Ubuntu Recover? - Muktware
- Ubuntu popularity falls as Linux Mint flourishes - The Inquirer
- Noyes, Katherine. "Which Linux Distro Is Fairest of Them All? Ubuntu, Survey Says". PCWorld. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
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