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 Post subject: Reviewing PeppermintOS 2 - My thoughts.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:01 am 
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3 years ago, I was introduced into the wonderful world of Linux by Mark Greaves on the UK Linux Forums and I must say, even from that day till the present, I cannot thank him enough. My first distro of choice was Ubuntu Ludic Lynx. I enjoyed that distro very much, then when Ubuntu Maveric Meerkat was released I upgraded, and then so from there, that's when the ball started rolling.

When Natty Narwhal was released, I told myself I'd stick with that distro for as long as possible to get used to the Unity interface and see how it would grow on me. Funnily enough, after about 4-5 weeks of using it, after it had mature a little through updates I started to see Mark Shuttlesworth's vision. A lot of people bashed Unity, and yes it's partly is down to the design team putting it in there without it even maturing first, but it's also because a lot of people don't like change. I was one of those people, but I managed to hold myself back a little and give Unity a chance.

Indeed for the past 12 months Unity was awesome to use. The keyboard shortcuts, the dash, I liked it. It was definitely a new way of doing things but doing them faster IMO.

After learning a few things, like terminal commands and having the security of knowing I was in a safe environment I started to recommend it all to my friends and family. They too loved it, and so I felt as if I was able to contribute to the Linux world of free open source OS's and software seeing as I'm no programmer or developer.

So after 2 years, where am I at in the learning stage? Well, I'm now able to take a lot more risks and not rely so much on people helping me through unless I really need it. I've also changed to PeppermintOS Two. I feel brave enough to leave the mother loving Ubuntu somewhat and move on to explore the rest of the Linux world.

So what do I think of PeppermintOS two then?

Well, as I was in the process or backing up, and moving things around I knew that I would have some issues and indeed some issues did arise but fixes were found and after finally setting it all up the way I like, it's pretty neat. When you first log on, you'll notice the first step they've taken to reduce the resources that Peppermint uses, by having a basic log in box. Instead of the click your username and then enter your password, you need to enter both your username and password. Personally I think this gives me a little more security as well, seeing as people wouldn't know my username. As you log in, you'll come to a very basic desktop top, almost Gnome 2 reminiscent. With panels at the top and bottom. After doing the fixes, the first thing I did was compare the resource usage between full fat Ubuntu and semi-skimmed Peppermint.

To say I was impressed was an understatement . It's amazing to see how much lighter LXDE is compared to Unity. The speed comparisons are impressive as well. It only takes Peppermint 30 secs to boot up from turned off to logging in, and 4 seconds to shut-down. Now, give that to your hardcore Windows fan and he'll faint because of the shock. Unity would boot up in a considerable 50-70 secs and shutdown in around 10-13secs. So yes, I'm impressed.

Even just now whilst I'm writing this review, I also have Thunderbird, Docky & Pidgin open and all I'm using of my 3GB of RAM is 880mbs. If this was Unity I'd be well up into the 2000s. Which brings me onto my next subject. Software.

Seeing as Peppermint is based on Ubuntu Natty Narwhal, more specifically Lubuntu 11.04, I can rest in peace that I could install most of the apps I had would run in Peppermint 2, there were I few I had to install manually, but there are tutorials listed on the UK Linux Forums for those, thanks to Mark Greaves. After installing most of the software I decided it was time to give my CPU a real challenge within the LX desktop environment to see how fast and responsive it really is. So I installed LFS (LiveForSpeed) which is a racing simulator for the Windows platform. I used to play this game a lot in Ubuntu through WINE and I'd only really get 30FPS max, but under LXDE I get double that without the CPU even straining. I didn't even get that much on Windows, 3 years ago!!! Again, LXDE & Peppermint impressed me, and I'm really starting to like it all that bit more, heck I might even swear by it if I get too comfortable with it. :o

Things I like in Peppermint?

Well I like the nostalgic panels, that takes you back to Gnome 2 days. I like how it's lightweight and even despite this fact, it comes with a bunch of really awesome things. Things such as, Faenza icons, CPU temperature applet, Dropbox comes. pre-installed and a dedicated shortcut to Youtube.

Things I dislike?

I dislike most of the applications being "web-based" to save resource usage. I dislike that everytime I log in I have to reapply my wallpaper because for some weird reason Peppermint didn't save it and I also dislike that there's no compositing whatsoever, not even a light-weight compositor but that's all that I really dislike. Everything else is pretty cool.

As you can tell, Peppermint is a very light, very fast distro with the safety net of Ubuntu behind it. For those reading this, I would most definitely recommend this distro even if you aren't on limited hardware, take it for a test drive! Once you've got your head around things, you'll start to notice the little things you pick up on the way, and if you are a keen person wanting to learn how to solve some things without having to land back here for help (in a good way), then stray from the mothers den, where the full fat Ubuntu lays and test yourself with Peppermint.

Peppermint has taught me a few things, like how to install kernels, and how the command line is the most efficient way of installing or fixing things. Indeed Linux distros are a learning curve, but on that learning curve you'll come across some interesting things, perhaps some brief moments of frustration but you'll pick up a lot of things and I guess that concludes this review.

Hopefully it's been somewhat helpful for you, or a good read.

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 Post subject: Re: Reviewing PeppermintOS 2 - My thoughts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:20 pm
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Good read, interesting and makes sense to me.
The following threads may be of interest to you.

re/ compositing, etc.
viewtopic.php?f=59&t=3733

apps to enhance desktop and others.
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=3867

more responsive desktops,
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3978

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 Post subject: Re: Reviewing PeppermintOS 2 - My thoughts.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:46 pm
Posts: 652
Location: somewhere in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona
great thoughts... and thanks for taking the time to do so... just wanted to note that i can't say that i've ever had the wall paper disappear... many installs across four separate laptops....

that said, i'm still learning about all the ins & outs of linux, and enjoying most every minute of doing so

thanks guys & gals

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'12 HP Pavilion G6-1D26DX ~ peppermintFour 64 bit
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with patience all will be revealed,
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 Post subject: Re: Reviewing PeppermintOS 2 - My thoughts.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:25 am
Posts: 5
Location: Scotland
mimi owner wrote:
Good read, interesting and makes sense to me.
The following threads may be of interest to you.

re/ compositing, etc.
viewtopic.php?f=59&t=3733

apps to enhance desktop and others.
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=3867

more responsive desktops,
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3978


Thanks Mimi! I should've added that since that review, I'm using xcompmgr and Peppermint is still running smoothly.
I also have Conky setup, and using Docky. All is good. :D

spence wrote:
great thoughts... and thanks for taking the time to do so... just wanted to note that i can't say that i've ever had the wall paper disappear... many installs across four separate laptops....

that said, i'm still learning about all the ins & outs of linux, and enjoying most every minute of doing so

thanks guys & gals


The only real problems I had were trying to "test" Peppermint from the LiveCD, and since the "Test" option wasn't working I had to load the installation option, quit the installation and that brought me to the testing session desktop.

I also didn't have lxpanel during installation, but lucky if you right click on the desktop you can open a terminal and just run:

Code:
lxpanel


Which is handy to note. Apart from that, and the background issue, everything else is fine. :)

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BkS Media | Peppermint 2 User | Linux Enthusiast

If you try to look through Windows, you can see what the person is doing.
If you try to look through a Penguin, it WILL bite you.


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 Post subject: Re: Reviewing PeppermintOS 2 - My thoughts.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:10 pm
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This is in the Installation tutorials section here on the forums.
http://www.peppermintos.net/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3177

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