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A Beginners Guide to Linux Mint: What is Linux Mint?

written by: KateG•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 9/22/2009

If you are interested in finding out exactly what Linux Mint is, and how it is different from other version of Linux then this piece is for you! Lets take a look at the basics of Linux Mint and the distribution specific tools included to make your life easier.

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    Whether you are new to Linux or an experienced user looking for a great Linux desktop, Linux Mint just might be for you. In this piece we are going to look briefly at what exactly Mint is and the tools that come with it out of the box.

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    What is Mint?

    Linux Mint is a Linux operating system designed for personal computers, not servers. Mint is based on the popular Ubuntu flavor of Linux, and enjoys full compatibility with Ubuntu. It is different from Ubuntu in two areas worth mentioning, integrated media codecs and a collection of system tools known as Mint tools. Mint tools enhance the operating systems functionality and make basic tasks simple enough for even an inexperienced Linux user.

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    What Are Mint Tools and Why Should I Care?

    You should care about Mint tools because they make your life as an end user easier. Mint tools include a wide variety of software. We will take a look at each below.

    Mint Update

    This software helps you to manage your updates. In addition to giving you update notification options it also rates possible updates on a scale of one to five, by stability and importance. This is particularly useful for an end user who does not want to get in over their head with updates that require a lot of configuration.

    Mint Upload

    Mint upload is a FTP client that allows you to send files to a server for file sharing. They will remain for two days.

    Mint Space

    A tool similar to Mint upload (see above) only it allows files to say for seven days.

    Mint Wifi

    This tool contains the drivers for several popular WLAN gadgets. As a Linux Mint user this tool will help you connect you wireless internet quickly and easily.

    Mint Make

    If you develop programs then you will definitely be interested in Mint Make. It is a command line tool that makes it easy for you to make a .mint file for your programs so that they can be installed and run on a mint based PC.

    Mint Nanny

    The Mint Nanny allows you to block domains system wide. Basically it is a parental control software which makes Mint ideal if you are looking to get a system for a family computer.

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    What is Mint Going to Cost Me?

    As an open source operating system Mint is free for download. If you choose to buy an installation disk rather then making one there will be a small fee for that but the operating system itself is completely free.

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    Now you can decide if Mint Linux is right for you. If you are interested in installing Mint then move on to the next piece in this series to get your Mint installed.