Linux Mint, one of the popular desktop distributions that's based off Ubuntu, has come out with version 5.0 "Elyssa" that builds upon the 8.04 Hardy Heron release. Linux Mint 5.0 brings updates to the unique Mint Tools, GNOME 2.22, performance improvements, and other features that come because of rebasing against this latest Ubuntu release. In this article we are taking a brief look at some of the Linux Mint features, for those that have never explored this fast-growing distribution.
One of the features that distinguish Linux Mint from Ubuntu and its derivatives is MintTools. MintTools is a collection of GUI-based utilities for managing the desktop via custom easy-to-use applications such as MintUpdate, MintConfig, MintSpace, and MintBackup. MintBackup is a utility for backing up a user's home directory with support for excluding specific files/holders as well as hidden paths. It's basic but it gets the job done. Rather than using Ubuntu's update-manager, Linux Mint ships with MintUpdate. The MintUpdate interface lists the updated packages available, the level (priority) of the package update, old/new versions, and other relevant information. While not a Linux Mint innovation, another distinguishing factor between it and Ubuntu is that Elyssa ships with the ndiswrapper GUI utility for easily setting up wireless cards using the Windows drivers.
MintAssistant is a utility for configuring some aspects of the Linux Mint system. The MintAssistant on the LiveCD enables the user to control whether to have a root account and fortune quotes in the terminal. Sadly, MintAssistant is rather of limited used in our minds.