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January 6, 2014

Linux Mint 16: A Personal Experience


Ever since Linux Mint 16 hit the public stage with it's Release Candidate, I have been wanting to try it out so bad. This was back in November 2013, just a few weeks before the final release. I've read the blog post about 'What's New' in Cinnamon 2.0 and my mouth just hung wide open. This new release had killer features that (in my experience) no other operating system have natively support. That is, Edge-Tiling and Edge-Snapping.

Let me tell you about Edge-Tiling. If you are a frequent multitasker like myself, you would find yourself with many different programs and windows open. In Windows (and previous versions of Linux Mint), you only had the choice of snapping your window to the left or right side of your screen. However with the improved version of Edge-Tiling, you are now able to snap windows to all 4 corners of your screen! I found this extremely helpful for my multitasking. This meant I could check my emails, watch videos, view my file transfer progress and work with terminal all on one screen!

Edge-Tiling is so handy to use!

There were also plenty of other features that caught my attention. such as improved user management, faster and smoother Software Manager, and Nemo file manager improvements. So I anticipated for the release date which nobody knew. I waited patiently through the days of November, checking the Linux Mint website frequently for any new updates. But alas, it was still the same. However, on the final day of November, nearing midnight, suddenly the ISO images appeared on various Mirror sites. I was overjoyed!

I instantly downloaded Linux Mint 16 but I never got around to installing on my laptop. Why? Because I still had an attachment to Windows. My important programs which I used on Windows (Photoshop and Sony Movie Studio) weren't supported on Linux. After a couple of months of regret, I decided to finally give Linux Mint 16 a go. Let me tell you, I did not regret it one bit.

The installation of Linux Mint 16 went extremely smooth. It did the whole process within half an hour. After the installation was complete, I was greeted by the default Cinnamon interface of Linux Mint 16. It looked the same as before, but I could tell the back-end had been improved drastically.

My desktop on Linux Mint 16.

Apart from the improvements to Cinnamon, I found the system overall to be quite smooth and stable to use. I have not encountered any system freezes or lag so far in dealing with basic system operations and daily activities. Everything just ran fine out-of-the-box. Even if there was some component or software that was needed, I could always search for a solution on Google and most of the time it worked.

Overall, I am impressed with this release of Linux Mint and I would totally recommend it to new Linux users as well as those who are still using Ubuntu or older versions of Linux Mint. This is definitely worth the changeover. That said, I'm really amazed at what the Linux community can achieve within 6 months (per release). There's always something "new" and "innovative" with each release. There's nothing Linux can't do that Windows can. Even if they 'copy' features from Windows, Linux does a better job at it. So the next time you are thinking of trying Linux or you feel like something different from your current operating system, definitely give Linux Mint 16 a go! You never know, you may come to love it as much as I did!