*Linux Guide

GnoMint 2

Introduction

When was released the first time, i was enthusiast of GnoMint, and i installed it in my computer. GnoMint developer had made a great job, and continued his work on this distro to enhance it as much as possible.
The main goal of this distro, i believe, is to integrate Gnome 3 Shell with Linux Mint base as better as possible, with original solutions that are very different compared with that of the official Mint release.
I must say, with great pleasure, that Pedro (the developer) has completed a pharaonic job ... a perfect job!
If official Linux Mint 12 version is a very good product, that has satisfied Oneiric's disappointed users, GnoMint 2 is a better product, without doubts
I'm pleased to review this handicraft distro, that is a "unique" italian jewel.
Follow me in my exposition.

Characteristics

  • Name:GnoMint
  • Version: 2
  • Type: live/installable
  • Orientation: Desktop
  • Architecture: i686/x86-64
  • Based on: Linbux Mint 12
  • Desktop environment: Gnome 3 Shell
  • Kernel: Linux gnomint 3.0.0-15-generic
  • System requirements: At least a 1 GHz CPU, 1024 MB of RAM, optical reader or USB ports, graphic card for a 800x600 pixel resolution (preferred with graphical acceleration)
  • Release cycle: when ready
  • Upgrade method: Update Manager, Synaptic, APT

Test

My test was performed in Live session only, without installation, on a PC with this characteristics. All hardware components, and peripherals plugged-in, was correctly recognized and configured.
On boot screen i had no modified booting setup.

  • Kernel loading = OK
  • X server boot = OK
  • Screen resolution = 1024x768, modified once the system was completely loaded
  • English language support = OK
  • English keyboard support = OK
  • Devices Automounting = OK

Options and loading time

Booting options are:

  • Start Gnomint - to start the system with default setup
  • Start Gnomint (Compatibility mode) - To start Gnomint with particular graphic cards
  • Check DVD integrity
  • Memory Test
  • Boot from local disk - To start from a local operating system
There aren't action running from F1...F12 keys. Loading screen is very original. There is Gnomint logo on the center, with a dotted-faded ring that rotate in it. So beautiful! There are non need to intermediate configuration.
X server run smoothly, and desktop environment show his magnificience without a presentational splash.
Distro loading end in two minutes.

Installation

The graphical installer is the same of Linux Mint/Ubuntu and there are no issues, even for Linux newbies. In about 15 minutes the installation end, but if user choose to upgrade the distro online, the installation time could be longer.
For a detailed exposition of the installation process, search online for that.

Graphical environment and Look

GnoMint 2 is an excellent graphical distro, and as its name says, Gnome is the default desktop environment, in version 3 Shell. The desktop is clean, but with different features compared with official release.
First there is Conky, that's very nice. In it user can find much system monitors, and a beautiful analogic clock. There are usual desktop icons, plus the installer launcher.
Top panel is typical of Gnome 3, with a Weather applet on the center. At the left of the screen there is a self-hiding dock, that is very nice. In it there are launchers of the preferred apps. It's a useful tool, but if you need to use mouse pointer in its showing region, you could have some troubles. The messages panel is in its usual position and you can see its presence only in the empty desktop.
Main Menu is a great presence, useful, practical, and with a great look. The main button has a strange Ubuntu-logo in it. Why?
Windows decorations are very nice, unusual, but good. Windows management button are on top right corner.

Software

Gnomint is a Linux distro available as an ISO DVD image of 1.3 GB, and these dimensions allows to include a variety of packages for a wide system usage. Let me to show a brief list of the available software, that is at their last versions.

Office needs can be satisfied by the complete LibreOffice suite.
Graphics has the monumental GIMP in 2.7 version with a single window. gThumb manage pictures, SimpleScan allows you using your scanner, and Evince allows reading the PDF and PS files.
Internet and Networking are categories that Gnomint support very well, with aMule for file sharing, along with QBitTorrent. Remote file management can be performed by DropBox. Your emails can be managed by ThunderBird, while with a touch of class the developer has include Opera Browser instead of FireFox. Pidgin, XChat IRC, and Skype allows the real-time communication with your friends.
Multimedia supported by Brasero to burn CD/DVD, Cheese for your webcam, Clementine (yes, folk, yes!) for your own discoteque, VLC for movies, along the useless Totem. Off course multimeda codecs are included for your fun on 360°
The Other Software is represented by a galaxy of little/great apps and tools, and i want to underline Tomboy for desktop notes, SimplyLightdm Manager to change the login screen wallpaper, APTonCD for apps backup, Super Boot Manager for boot loader management.

Packages management is typically performed by APT on Terminal, Software Center and Synaptic. Update Manager manage software updates/upgrades.
Syistem setup is supported by the usual Control Center, dconf, and Gnome Shell Advanced Settings.

Usability

GnoMint usability is at least the same of that of Mint 12, even better. A great inclusion is the Main Menu that give a great usability to the entire distribution. It's a well done tool, in which all items has their relative illustrative text.
The desktop is clean, but with a usability touch represented by Conky.
The reactivity in live session is very good, with small commands latency. In my test i used a music player, GIMP to edit the pictures of this review, Opera to test this review, and i run a variety of software to test it. All these actions without problems.
Software included is very good, and GnoMint is a Linux distro for everyone.

Performances

GnoMint is a Linux distro not suitable for old computer, but its requirements aren't much more high compared to other main Linux distros. In my test i used the system in Live session with the following running applications:
- Opera Browser
- Gedit
- Clementine
The CPU was at 31% of its capacities, with a RAM use of 470 MB, without using Swap. Theses are requirements supported by modern computers.

Pros

  • Solid Linux Mint base
  • Great Gnome 3 customization
  • Usability and software equipments

Cons

  • Little high resources consumption that exclude computer with low hardware capabilities

Why using this distro

  • To have a system complete and ready for everyone
  • To go in the Linux World in a Limousine and without problems

Links

Conclusioni

It's very hard to get in the bulky and overfull Linux Distros Parking. In it needs original and useful solutions, adequate choices and much will-power. GnoMint has all this features, and you can see it.
This distro is stable, usable, intuitive, user-friendly, easy, and it can liked by all people all-around in the world.
Using GnoMint is a flight, without issues, and very funny. What are you waiting for?

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