7 Mar 2013

Linux Mint is better for those who come from the world of Windows

Back in 2010 I was looking for jobs and I´ve always had a hobby interest in computer and found out that some work ads were asking for basic Linux skills.

I had not heard of Linux until then.

So I started asking friends who’s into computing if they knew about Linux and pretty soon I was told that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was probably the easiest Linux and with GNOME 2.x it was awesome.

I discovered pretty quickly that Ubuntu Linux was very powerful and used almost no resources compared to Windows 7.

My laptop was reborn again and it had turned into a supercomputer!

Soon I discovered a lot more Linux Distros and started reading Linux Format Magazine.

While Ubuntu was great for me, the introduction of Unity and GNOME 3 made me look towards other distros. Linux Mint was actually better in the way that it’s a lot better suited (probably the best) for those who come from the world of Windows.

It has codecs, flash and other things that can be a little troublesome or even a pain in other distros.

Linux Mint Debian is my favourite and while I still try out a lot of other distros from time to time, Linux Mint Debian has come to be my "go to" distro from which I learn about Linux while still having everything I need.

Eventually I will run Windows in a virtualbox instead of dual booting.

When gaming and NVIDIA drivers work fully on Linux, I’m 100% Linux Mint user but now I still need 10% windows.

I tell my family and friends about Linux Mint and tell that if they have a old and tired Windows PC I can turn it into a ultra modern computer with a version of Linux Mint.

I just revived a work friends old laptop with Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon and he said “WOW, it’s great!” When he couldn't get messenger running I wrote him an instruction on how to add the i386 architecture and Skype so that he could continue using the MSN Messenger through Skype and talk to his friends.

I did this for free because I want to keep everything Linux free and spread the joy of Linux Mint system to all.

I also work in a hospital and they have about 80 000 clients and I've been trying to introduce Linux to them and pointing out all the license money they would save from using Linux instead of Windows.

So now I use Linux Mint Debian both Mate and Cinnamon to discover the differences and it's dominating my computer use.

This is a guest post by Gustav Fridell, which won the 1st prize in the Linux Mint contest. Gustav received a prize: the book Linux Mint System Administrator’s Beginner’s Guide.


  1. In your "About Me", you state:
    I became interested in Linux system long ago, but closely only in autumn 2010.

    In here you say:
    Back in 2010 I was looking for jobs[...]I had not heard of Linux until then.

    Very confused.

    1. "About me" section tells about myself, the blog owner, DarkDuck. It does not mean I write all the articles here.
      This particular post was written by Gustav Fridell for the Linux Mint contest. See the footnote at the end of the post.

  2. Ive been installing different distros throughout the past 5-6 years for friends and family and as someone who runs 3-4 different distros at home, I didnt do the usual Linuxy y desktop is best`song and dance.
    Because lets be honest, when using the same desktops most Linux distros are the same.
    Which is why the most importatn question is NOT what distro but rather which desktop suits you best.

    but I decided NOT to be like most users and offer newbies CHOICE and not simply say I like this, therefore you will like this.
    You know why? Because the user knows best and surprise, surpise... they know best what THEY like.

    So I usually offer them a run through on a lap[top that runs KDE, Gnome or XCFE.
    THEY get to choose... just like at Baskin Robbins.
    Some like vanilla, some like chocolate.
    And both choices are good.

    So the Distro X is the bestest mentality makes me laugh.
    It reminds me of the phase every Linux goes through where they discovered a distro they like and they feel the need to pimp it as thebestestestest in the world. Most of those people also grow up if they have some computer interest and find out that there are others that are just as good if not better: andf a new distro hopper is born.

    My only contribution to the which is bestest is to narrow down distros to whats easy for newbies and for me to keep running smoothly and KDRC makes my free computer help travell free.
    As much as I like Slackware and Gentoo, I usually dont suggest these to newbs even though I use it (think of the user, NOT your own ego. lot of people cant phatom the idea of not pimping their distro)

    And of the 30-35 installs I have done in the past few years of family and friends computer, the most popular desktop is KDE with about 2/3 of installs. Those distros have changed over the years and went from Mandriva-PCLinuxOS to Kubuntu which is what Ive been using for them for the past 2years (10.04)

    Thats a subjective question I have no interest in.
    It does however look and feel more familiar for Win users when they switch over (remember that Australian Win7 test?)
    Keeping the same paradigms helps as does KDE's legendary ability to customize everything (my sis in law runs Kubu on her 4yr old netbook) And it took me time to realize that people didnt like the 'feel' of Gnome because of the fonts and the GTK look.... it didnt 'feel' like something they knew. KDE doesnt have that.

    Is a desktop better than another?
    Dont care. I care only in helping making the swtich easier and the desktop that people like is the best for THEM.
    For olders computers I usually go straight for a XCFE but usually I try not to treat people like morons and let them in on the process.
    This implication is the difference between someone staying on Linux or not.

    I also find that for people nervous about switching that dual boots are excellent. It serves as a safety net which reassure people. Some people have needs on the Windows side (a games or software) that I solve with Virtualbox but most of the people who dont just dont bother with Win anymore.

    I get and remeber the excitement of fallin in love with YOUR distro and the need to let the world know. Thats ok.

    But still think that fanboism doesnt make for good switches from Windows.
    Respect the user and have them choose the desktop they will feel confortable in, this is one of the stregnths of Linux, lets use it.
    The distro choice? Not so important to the user (as it is to you).


    1. Greet input, Pedja!
      It is worth a separate post! Do you mind if I re-publish it as such?

  3. I love my Mint desktop. I've been a regular desktop Linux user for a number of years (6+?), and like many I started with Ubuntu. But then along came Unity; I ran it on my desktop at the office and gave up after 2 weeks of usage. I saw a reference on a casual blog about Mint, and took a look... Summary: I've been running Mint for a couple of years now and it's been great.

    Mint makes a desktop into a "real" computer which I can customize, run Windows 7 easily with Virtualbox, and run with many windows open. Unity (& now Windows 8) is trying too hard to make the desktop an appliance. My desktop isn't an appliance - if I wanted an appliance I'd buy a toaster... or a Mac.

    Nothing's perfect. Mint does not do seamless upgrades across releases (Ubuntu does), but this is my only reservation so far.

    (FWIW, I also run Damn Small Linux and AntiX on an old laptop).


  4. It's clear that Gustav Fridell is not working in a US hospital. Nobody in the US will adopt an EHR/EMR that is not meaningful-use certified. The only MU-certified FOSS EHR/EMR I can reliably point to is VistA. All others are captive products that only run on a captive OS.

  5. I think that the biggest plus for Linux Mint, which I have been using since Mint 8, is that it is arguably the distro that 'just works' right out of the box. To tell the truth, Mint is a more complete OS than a lot of freshly installed Windows varieties. What this means for the Windows crowd is that, while some of us with previous Linux experience have no qualms about diving in to the command console and installing codecs and media add-ons, with Mint, the Windows newbie to Linux doesn't have to in order to start using it right away.

  6. I have been using both Fedora running the Gnome desktop and Ubuntu with Unity. I also have a Linux Mint PC and a CEntOS box. In my opinion it's not so much the desktop that makes or breaks my choice as to which distro I will use, its what I want to use that machine FOR. I use the Fedora box for work mostly (article writing, document editing etc.) so the Gnome interface works for me there. When it comes to media and music I use the Ubuntu machine, videos just seem to run smoother on it, and the CEntOS box is my "practice" machine for installing / administering different servers...(LDAP...Apache...MySQL etc.) and finally the Mint machine is my "storage device"...every document, every link, every file or picture that means something to me is stored on it. I don't necessarily have a "favorite" desktop, and I agree with most of the concepts of the article and a few of the comments that, ultimately, it's the user's personal choice that should be considered at all times!....as this will determine if they "like" Linux or not. Too many people are used to the "it-works-with-Windows" mentality, but once they have seen and gotten a feel for Linux, and what they can do with it....a lot of people are willing to make the leap and cross over. I say the most important thing isn't the desktop, but the "conversion" of millions of people to an operating system that can do all they need it to, without breaking their pockets!

    Long Live The Penguin!!!