The CD/DVD starts as a Live CD and you begin to experiment with Mint. To install it, you double click on the installation icon. Select your language, time zone, partition, keyboard layout and go. The typical installation takes less than half an hour. After the installation, you will be asked if you want to enable root login. Although this is not recommended for security purposes, you can choose to go with it. The next window asks if you want to enable fortune messages. These messages can be fun, so why not give them a try? You can remove them later if you wish.
When you are done with these two screens, you can log on to your Linux Mint desktop. As I have mentioned above, you will be greeted with a familiar Gnome environment. The menu (Mint Menu) is very similar to openSuSE’s menu. After a couple of minutes you get used to it.
With the default installation you have Firefox 3.0.3, OpenOffice.org 2.4.1 (3.0 is available in the repositories), Gimp 2.6.1, and MPlayer 1.0 Release Candidate 2. The Network Manager is right on track with the 0.7.0 release. The support is added for connecting to GSM and 3G networks and Virtual Private Networks. Very well done.
For the supported graphics cards, there are settings for Compiz (installed version is 0.7.8.) and the settings are provided with two different programs accessible from the Mint menu. One is simple, so the users that are not familiar with Compiz do not get lost, and the other is for experienced users who can fine tune their effects.