You’ve probably read an article from Falko Timme before. He’s famous for his “The Perfect Desktop” series. Falko recently looked at Linux Mint 5 Elyssa and detailed how to make a “fully-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop”. The article doesn’t try to review Elyssa but is more like a tutorial for novice users to quickly get a fully ready desktop up and running.
Link to the article: http://www.howtoforge.com/the-perfect-desktop-linux-mint-5-elyssa-r1
Falko said: “Linux Mint 5 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 8.04 that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for Linux newbies.”
–> Yes. This is one of the strength of our distribution. Thanks to Debian and Ubuntu we’re already sitting on one the biggest collections of packages. On top of this we’re actively trying to “import” extra packages and to maintain them in their latest version. For instance we’ve added Frostwire, ArgoUML, some GTK engines, Open Arena, Opera, Picasa, Real Player, Songbird, sunbird, Western Quake 3, Wine-Doors and we’re thinking of adding Urban Terror and Sopcast too. The more we grow as a distribution the more active we’ll become in maintaining our own packages.
Falko said: “When you log in for the first time, you will most likely see an open lock icon in the lower right corner which means that updates for the installed software are available.”
–> I really like the fact that Falko recommended the use of mintUpdate rather than APT or Synaptic to upgrade the system because by using APT or Synaptic the user would also apply all level 4 and 5 updates, which is considered a risk for the stability of the system. Having said that, I would also recommend to apply level 3 updates selectively. Starting with mintUpdate 2.8 level 3 will be considered unsafe by default.
Falko explained how to install various packages via Synaptic.
–> I don’t think Synaptic is appropriate for this kind of thing. I thought Falko should have given a command line to run here, it would have been much quicker. Anyway, this is an opportunity for me to talk about something I never mentioned before: Software packs. We can easily publish a .mint file in the software portal which will install a set of applications. This way, we can define packs. One particular pack which immediately comes to my mind is one that would install all the codecs and transform a Light Edition into a Main Edition. The .mint file could even be stored on the CD or on the desktop.. it doesn’t have to be only in the portal. We’ll have to think of other uses of this but if the idea of software packs becomes popular this is something we can easily implement. Who knows, the “Perfect desktop for Mint 6” could be as simple as “install this mint file: click here”, technically we’re not far from it.
I didn’t have much to say about this article. It’s quite well written and I’m sure it will help many people in getting their desktop closer to what they want. The instructions about VMWare in particular are quite handy. Happy reading everyone.