Linux Mint 5 Review – Jun Auza

Jun is having a date with Elyssa and is telling us all about it.

Link to the review:

Comments on the review:

– Jun said: “After dating Cassandra and Daryna, I spend some time with the newest Mint girl in town. Elyssa is her name or you can simply call her Mint 5.

–> As you can see, it’s not the first date and it won’t be last, and Jun’s wife Beth seems to be OK with it. The codenames encourage the personification of Mint releases and if you’ve been reading Jun before or the Mint Cafe/House in the forums you’re probably used to call them “her” by now… not to mention that it annoys a few people, so even better πŸ™‚

–Β  Jun said: “Since Mint 5 is derived from Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, I expect it to be filled with exciting new features and should be more of like a much polished “Hardy Heron“.

–> Mint 5 is using Hardy’s repositories and its own on top of it. I just wanted to stress the fact that Mint is not a “better” Ubuntu, it’s a “compatible” Ubuntu which focus and purpose is different and which appeals to a different audience. Also, in terms of innovations and improvements Elyssa comes with things that you won’t find in Hardy, and the opposite is also true (for instance Elyssa doesn’t feature Wubi).

– Jun said: “Mint 5 installation was flawless as usual on my test machine, and I was not surprised. It’s actually the same straightforward installation similar to that of Ubuntu. However, unlike in Hardy Heron, you are not given an option to install the operating system right away. You have to boot to the Live CD desktop first for you to install Mint 5.

–> Mint is using Ubuntu’s installer (Ubiquity) and only changes a few minor things in it. We did notice the install option in Hardy’s isolinux and we considered adding it to Mint but I didn’t think it added much and I was interested in making the boot menu a bit more dynamic. In the end we opted for an isolinux menu developed by Fedora, with a nice countdown and a hidden menu.

– Jun said: “An interesting and handy feature of Mint is an application called MintAssistant. It’s a wizard that appears immediately after the installation

–> The idea was inspired by Fedora’s first-run assistant and the fact that I didn’t want to change Ubiquity too much as it was actively being developed upstream.

– Jun said: “Unlike Ubuntu, Mint utilizes a single panel with its very own MintMenu –a python-coded menu that allows for fully customizable text, icons, and colors. Some may like this setup but I still prefer the two-panel and classic GNOME-menu combination.

–> People usually love it or hate it, and they’re quite passionate about this. I guess this is the kind of choice that should make its way into mintDesktop or mintAssistant.

– Jun said: “The all essential list of software packages installed by default in Mint 5 is almost the same as that of Ubuntu 8.04. It has Firefox 3 […]plugins like flash and multimedia codecs for playing DVD and MP3 are already loaded […]

–> Firefox is version 3 RC1, Flash is version 10 beta 128 and Opera (which isn’t installed by default) is version 9.50. There are a few other differences in terms of package versions between Mint and Ubuntu but overall it’s mostly the same. In the default selection Ubuntu adds XSane, Remote clients, EvolutionΒ  and Gnome Games I think.. while Mint adds Thunderbird, OpenOffice Base and some administration/configuration tools.

– Jun said: “With Elyssa, Linux Mint has cemented its place as my top rated distro for Linux newbies particularly those who have just migrated from Windows. It is so easy to use that you can call it Ubuntu for dummies.

–>Β  “Ubuntu for dummies”… oh man… πŸ™‚ The purpose is clear, to make things comfortable for the user. It’s got nothing to do with Ubuntu even though Ubuntu is one of the major component in Linux Mint, and it’s not solely made with the novice user in mind, the purpose is also to make things comfortable for advanced users. That was funny though πŸ™‚


I really enjoyed reading this review.Β  The style was very nice to read and the part about the panels gave me an idea for the upcoming Mint 6. I keep note of what’s coming up here by the way:

Many thanks to Jun for this review and I look forward to reading about his date with Felicia.


  1. Clem,

    I think you became obsesed with the reviews πŸ™‚

    I don’t know what is your idea about the reviews of Mint. I assume is to get constructive critic to apply in the next releases.

    Anyway, I haven’t read anything bad in those reviews which is intersting because unfortunately I have experienced some discomfort with Elyssa and came back to Daryna and was never mentioned in any of the reviews.

    As I said I wouldn’t hold my breath to much on those reviews.

    See ya and keep the good work.


  2. Nah, Clem was a reviewer himself before the creation of Mint, so I think he’s just enjoying it sooo much πŸ˜‰

  3. I do have a question and a comment, Clem. I am new to Mint but am enjoying it emmensely. I am torn between the mintMenu and the Ubuntu menu that I’m used to. What makes this a hard choice, is that I prefer the structure of the Ubuntu menu but I enjoy the added features of the mintMenu, eg., Uninstall and ‘Launch when I log in’. Is there a way of adding these features to the Ubuntu menu?

    Peace be with you.


  4. I have been using mint 5 and really impressed with it. there is one draw back to it some sites require flash player and there is none available for mint 5.The KDE version works fine but i would like to stick with gnome any work around?

  5. I am writing this through Mint 5.
    It recognized my wireless network connection – what more can i say.
    Nice features.
    After years of reading hype from computer magazines about the
    “hottest new distro” disk included and finding out it didn’t play dvds
    time and time again this has been a refreshing feature of the Ubuntu family of distros.
    Very satisfied!


  6. I am enjoying Mint 5 and I like the reviews I have been reading. The reviews are helping to refine things. There is always room for improvement, and reviews like the ones featured on the blog point out areas where we can improve.

    Just look at how much the Mint tools have improved in the last couple of releases! Look how far the mintmenu has come since it’s introduction!How many people would have ever imagined Gnome having such an elegant look?

    The improvements and refinements to the tools are getting LinuxMint recognized for it’s own merits. We should all be proud of this!

  7. +1 for all the reviews

    the more the merrier

    just remember to take real “notes” on things to improve. not just keep them in the back of the head as those things are easily forgotten πŸ™‚

  8. I’m planning on reviewing a review a day, so you’re not finished reading posts like this one πŸ™‚

    I am obsessed indeed and for a very good reason. The toughest part in improving a desktop is not developing tools, it’s too know what to develop next and how to refine what’s already there. We’ve been thinking, preparing, developing, assembling and eventually releasing Mint 5 for about 6 months. Now that we’re finally done I have only thing in mind: direction. Do people like it? Why? What do they feel is missing? What’s our next move?

    Reviews are very important because:

    1. They promote Mint. They’re read by non-Mint users, and even sometimes by non-Linux users and they make people aware of what we’re doing.

    2. They sometimes carry information which is valuable for Mint users and help spread some messages across the community, by highlighting some good practices, giving some explanations..

    3. They provide ideas, feedback and constructive criticism which is one of the best way for us to improve Mint release after release.

    4. They rise points and questions which we can answer. They trigger discussions. They give us the opportunity to explain why certain choices were made and how Mint was developed.

    By reviewing Elyssa reviews we:

    1. Show reviewers the positive role they have on the distribution and encourage them to continue and others to do the same.

    2. Listen to the feedback given and actively plan fixes for Mint 5 and improvements for Mint 6 and further (see how our roadmap is already full of interesting items after reviewing just a few reviews:

    3. Reply to questions and points risen, we explain our choices and we create a closer relationship between the dev team and the community.

    As you can see there are many reasons to do this and it’s extremely good for the distribution itself, its promotion, and its community.

    Odysseus: No, it’s a mintMenu innovation. Hopefully the idea will make its way and inspire upstream Gnome developers πŸ™‚

  9. Clem,

    You are right. right, right!


    You may contunue running Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna because it is
    a very good Mint’s version. Please, do me (us) a favor.
    You have told several times you didn’t enjoy Mint 5 Elyssa so,
    we already know about that. You don’t need to be redundant
    all the time. Of course we are all friends here and Mint’s users.
    Lets live in peace. Don’t take my words as a shower on you.
    Folowing the context nobody here wants to shut your mouth up
    because we live in a democracy where each one can express your
    own thoughts and feelings but once said, once heard. That’s enough.

  10. Clem,

    I like the reviews especially the comments as to why things were chosen, changed, excluded or included. Imagine Bill Gates doing that!! He would need a weak to explain the reasons for changes in Vista.

    It takes me a while to adjust to changes but having a little understanding helps that process for me (e.g. the doing away with the System Tools menu items).

    Sincere thanks for your efforts

    John H

  11. I’ve really enjoyed reading these responses to these reviews. They’re quite informative. Now Clem, lighten up on the prepositions! (ha!) I appreciate you taking the time to respond as much as I appreciate the authors of the reviews taking the time to write them.

  12. Just one thing that would be nice for the newcomers, ACL support in nautilus with Eiciel (and in the FileSystem). Sometimes the users have to do some chmod commands and that can be confusing.

    I’ve found a nice tut how to do it, but i don’t think so that the newbies will do that, or even know that can do.

  13. Roberto,

    Everyhting it’s fine, I’m even a supporter of Mint so don’t make a big fuss of my opinions. Sorry to be repetitive. And thank you for reading my comments.


  14. @elbeto

    Thanks for your response to my post.
    I realize it came to me with elegance.
    From Freedom Came Elegance – Mint’s Slogan


  15. I agree with most of the above. Even that advantages are referrenced more than disadvantages. A main disadvantage is a good simple video editor for Linux as such, like Windows Video Editor 2.6, with our Avidemux not even coming close. WinFF is an interesting tool for wild conversions as is OggConvert. But you must find these on the Web. And I fear that nobody can do something about M$ preset laptops that won’t swallow Linux, or likewise periferals that went for approval through the M$ procedures to ‘be recognized’ (in whatever meaning)! MINT has nothing to do with that. The consequences do not belong to tests or commentaries on Mint releases, is my humble opinion.

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