Linux Mint 18 | Michael Gorey

Linux Mint 18

Linux Mint desktop

Linux Mint 18 (Sarah) using Cinnamon desktop is the best operating system I've had the pleasure to use.

I had a previous KDE version of Linux Mint on my Lenovo Z50 laptop and forgot about it for several months after moving from Alice Springs to Darwin and buying a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in the meantime.

The Surface Pro is great for mobility and I'm very happy with it.

Linux Mint desktopBut the free, open-source character of Linux draws me back again and again. I've been flirting with it for many years, frequently getting frustrated however when hardware doesn't work or other issues arise.

Having rediscovered the Lenovo laptop, I tried to dual boot OpenSuse and Linxu Mint. The experiment failed and I lost my KDE installation of Linxu Mint.

The brief experience with OpenSuse reminded me of the pitfalls with Linux. It was a large installation file (4GB) and the display on my LG wide screen curved monitor was scratchy.

Apart from that it was pretty good. I could have fiddled around for a while and got it working to my requirements, but I knew that Linux Mint 17 was better.

So I downloaded and installed Linux Mint 18, dropping KDE in favor of Cinnamon. Everything worked immediately.

The Surface Pro had trouble connecting to my monitor, but Linux Mint appeared brilliantly and without fuss on the wide screen. The fonts were smooth and easily adjusted for size and type.

Software choices abound on Linux Mint. I have added to the free options by purchasing Softmaker Office and Moneydance.

For the average computer user there's nothing you can't do in a free Linux installation that you can do in Windows. Email, browsing, writing, file storage; they're all the same.

It can be daunting though if you're using Linux for the first time.

Linux Mint makes the adjustment easier and improves the desktop experience. It's worth the effort to experiment with a live version on DVD or USB and make up your own mind.

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