Linux Mint 8 desktop

mintNanny is Mint’s attempt at implementing a parental control tool. However, it does not offer the same set of advanced control features that Mandriva’s Parental Control application has. With mintNanny, you can only block access to a site. On the other hand, Mandriva’s Parental Control tool allows for access control by user and time of day.

mintNanny
mintNanny

Mandriva’s Parental Control tool
parental control

What’s bad? There nothing about this distro that I can say is bad. But that does not mean that it is a perfect distro because it is not.

While preparing this review, an application crashed, and I proceeded to do what any responsible user would do – file a crash report. I’ll let the two screenshots below convey what happened.

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Crash warning
application crash

Crash report failure
Crash report

Now, how do you file a crash report about an application that is not a “genuine LinuxMint package?”

What would do if I were the lead dev of Linux Mint?: The most important feature that I’ll work to implement into a future release of Linux Mint if I were the lead developer is integrate support for configuring full disk encryption into the installer. And for that, I’ll look to Fedora’s implementation for inspiration (Fedora has the best implementation of full disk encryption).

Next feature that I would build support for into the installer is LVM, which contrary to what some think, has its benefits even on a desktop system. However, with B-Tree filesystem (btrfs) almost ready for production, I do not expect distros without support for LVM to bother too much about it. The subvolume feature of btrfs is supposed to be a replacement for some of the features of LVM.

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To close, Linux Mint, using the main edition, is one of a handful of distros that work out of the box. If it had support for disk encryption and LVM, it would be a strong candidate for a perfect distro.

Resources/Links: Home page. Download iso images.

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5 Responses

  1. I thought Zenwalk would be good when I tried to switch to it, was really disappointed that everytime I rebooted, anyhting I installed was partly wiped off the system. Was really rubbish experience and just decided it’s a bad franchise from my old/fond memories of SlackWare.

  2. One thing I would like to see in Zenwalk are meta-packages, for things like different de’s and for development (e.g. “build-essential”). For lack of an xfce metapackage, I tried to muster a minimal install of xfce 4.8 for zenwalk-core in VirtualBox, but gave up and downloaded the full zenwalk-xfce iso (I really only wanted to see xfce 4.8 with minimal fuss).

    I’ve got an earlier version loaded on an old K6-2 box, it runs ok, but not nearly as fast as Windows 98 and 2000, or SliTaz.

    It’s difficult to see what unique advantages zenwalk brings to the game, and I think unless you are aiming for a hobby project, each and every publicly-released GU-Linux distro has to address that on some level.

  3. Slackware and Salix also use LILO.
    Personally LILO is king, grub 2 being unnecessarily complicated.
    One needs enough complexity to make the system work appropriately. Any complexity above and beyond that is indulgent nonsense.

    1. I have to agree there, but you know, the cohort is unnaturally attracted to the Shiny. This is OK in and of itself, but it always seems to be attached to a degree of demonization of the old. That it works or is stable or easy rarely appears to enter the equation.

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