HealthCheck: Linux Mint

The success of Linux Mint is down to its usability – easy to set up and get running and then use. The latest development is a new user interface, Cinnamon. Richard Hillesley looks at the history of Mint, claimed to be the second most popular Linux distribution after Ubuntu, and considers whether Cinnamon marks a turning point for the distribution.

In 2006, Clement Lefebvre, a French software developer and long time Linux user, was working for Ericsson in Ireland. Sometime in the summer of that year he began to toy with the idea of making his own distribution of Linux based on the Kubuntu Dapper code and using his own home made installer. The first release of Linux Mint was named Ada, perhaps in honour of Ada Lovelace, who wrote the first computer algorithm for Charles Babbage’s never-built Analytical Engine in 1843. Mint’s first release was more experimental than useful, and never achieved stability. But better things were to come.

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