For the past week or so I’ve been basking in the glorious eye candy that is Linux Mint.
Getting it up and running on my stock Eee PC 901 took but three steps:
- Install Linux Mint from a USB stick using UNetBootin;
- Install the Array.org kernel for WPA-encrypted WiFi support;
- Tweak Firefox for my SSD as per Roy Tanck’s instructions.
Plugged into the wall Linux Mint performs acceptably well on my lowly netbook, stalling for a moment or two when I open a lot of tabs in Firefox simultaneously but otherwise fine. But switching over to the battery slows down everything noticeably — not bad enough to be unusable, just noticeably slower.
But what I get in return for the sluggish performance is a fantastic user experience. The window effects are exactly what a Mac user would expect, and pressing the big green button at the bottom-left reveals a Windows-like Start Menu — but better. Much better.
There’s a leaner version of Mint which uses XFCE as a desktop environment, but the default distribution is so drop-dead gorgeous I can’t give it up. And if it runs acceptably fast on a bargain-basement netbook, I’m sure it will scream on a properly-spec’d desktop or notebook computer.
I just wish I had put Linux Mint on my old MacBook before I gave it to my sister in law. She’d had never known the difference…