For a distribution based on Debian, the versions of applications installed by default and those available in the repository, are pretty close to or are the latest releases. For example, Firefox 11 is installed (the latest is Firefox 12). Opera 11.62 is in the repository, the same as the latest available for Linux, and the version of Chromium browser available is Chromium 17.
As on all Linux Mint editions, there are no games installed. There are, of course, several dozen available for installation in the repository. Installation can be from the command line using apt-get, or via the Software Manager, the same graphical interface to apt-get available on Ubuntu-based editions of Linux Mint. The problem with Software Manager, aside from the fact that it is slow in loading, is that true batch installation of applications is not supported, so that if you want to install more than one application, you will have to authenticate for each. That is the same problem with Software Center, the graphical package manager on Ubuntu, And that is why I prefer Deepin Software Center, the graphical package manager on Linux Deepin, another (desktop) distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop.
The main interface of Software Manager.
Partial view of featured applications in Software Manager.
Aside from Software Manager, Synaptic Package Manager is also installed. It is what I use if I want to install more than one application, as it does not require that you authenticate for each one. For installing .deb packages, GDebi is also installed, though, I think installing such applications using dpkg from the command line is a lot easier.
Almost every feature on Linux Mint Debian 201204 MATE/Cinnamon works out of the box. A connected printer with a compatible entry in the printer database is automatically configured. Adobe Flash plugin and Java JRE are installed. Libdvdcss, the library required for playing encrypted video DVD’s is also installed.
The only part that does not work as configured is removable media. The default setting is shown below. The problem is when an audio CD or video DVD is inserted, the window with a message that should ask you what to do, does not popup. What you get is an applet for the inserted removable media in the system tray.
Modifying the removable media setting to look like the one below works as configured.
On the security front, ufw, the command line frontend to IPTables, the firewall configuration application in Linux, is installed but inactive. Gufw, its graphical interface, is also installed, but that, of course, is not configured. This leaves a default installation of Linux Mint Debian 201204 MATE/Cinnamon wide open for network mapping. Running Nmap against it reveals its listening port, though only port 111 (rpcbind) shows up in the scan result. The firewall aside, none of the 3 application-level firewalls available in Linux is installed, though management applications for all three are in the repository. All this gives a default installation of Linux Mint Debian 201204 is a bad network security posture.
To sum, the only real negative about this distribution that is outside the control of end-users, is the installer. The firewall can be enabled and configured and missing applications can be installed, but the installer is a major drawback. If the developers could give it an installation program with most of the features available on Anaconda, the Fedora system installer, it could be in contention as one of the very best Linux distributions.
Screen Shots: More screen shots from test installations of Linux Mint Debian 201204 MATE/Cinnamon.
The login screen.