Linux Mint 4.0: A Date with Daryna

Posted by jun auza On 11/17/2007
Linux Mint 4.0: A Date with Daryna - Daryna is the code name of the newly released Linux Mint 4.0. It is based on Celena and is compatible with Ubuntu 7.10 and its repositories. It also utilizes the package base of Gutsy Gibbon. The fresh Mint 4.0 promises some major improvements in terms of usability.

My date with Cassandra, the older version of Mint, turned out great. So, when I’ve heard that her younger sister Daryna has come out, I also wanted to get to know her well.

Just a little fact, Linux Mint is ranked #6 in Distrowatch for several months already; a proof of its vast popularity. I got the Mint 4.0 LiveCD installer from here. The size of the ISO is only 689MB hence the download didn’t take long, and I get to load Daryna on my test machine without delay.

Test Machine Specs:
Board: Intel D101GGCL
Processor: 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 with HT Technology
Hard Drive: Samsung 80GB with 8GB allocated to VM disk
Memory: 1GB 400 MHz DDR RAM with 512MB allocated to VM memory
Graphics Card: On-board

The installation was smooth as silk. I didn’t add or pass any parameter options on the boot menu. Mint’s 7-steps Ubuntu installer is idiot-proof. Even an extreme Linux newbie can install Mint without difficulty. The installation was completed in less than 10 minutes and without a single snag. My hardware were properly detected from CD drive, audio, video, USB, and Ethernet. On the first boot just after logging in, I find it amusing that I was given an option to turn off the ‘fortune message’, a unique feature of Mint which displays humorous quotes every time you open a terminal. I didn’t turn it off.

Look and Feel:
Daryna has a darker theme compared to Cassandra’s minty look. The images from grub, bootsplash, log-in menu, and default wallpaper are in the shades of black. But, the fabulous thing about Daryna is that its appearance can be easily changed to your own preferences. Thanks to its loads of included themes and wallpapers. There was an obvious improvement on Mint’s font because it now uses the Red Hat Liberation Fonts. To those who want some more awesome eye-candy, CompizFusion will take care of it as it is already pre-installed in Mint 4.0. But, a capable graphics card is needed in order for Compiz and its 3D effects to run properly. In addition, a graphical application called Envy will help you install the appropriate driver for your video card.

Package Management:
Daryna is loaded with highly functional and valuable software applications out-of-the-box. I can say that it has everything a regular desktop user needs. To name a few applications, there’s OpenOffice, Gimp image editor, Firefox web browser, Amarok audio player and a lot more. Multimedia support were also installed by default. Hence, playing MP3, Flash videos and encrypted DVD’s will no longer be a problem. Handy tools for system configuration, Linux web servers, and networking were included as well. If you want to download additional software packages, Mint has its own software repository that you can easily utilize for free with the help of MintInstall. Plus, there’s a vast Ubuntu repo if you want some more. In Mint, software can also be downloaded, updated, installed or removed using the ever reliable Synaptic package manager.

Mint 4.0 can be considered as stable for day-to-day computing tasks based on its ability to properly detect my hardware, and for its overall responsiveness and steadiness when opening and running several key applications. The only slight glitch I found was when my 19 inch monitor’s screen resolution was set to a high 1680x1050 at the start and after the install. But, I was able to easily and successfully change it to my proper screen resolution size.

I can honestly say that Daryna is yet another successful distribution release of Mint. It is highly recommended for those who want a hassle-free Linux distribution because of its exceptional hardware and software support, ease-of-use, and ever growing online community that can provide some technical assistance. I can also recommend Mint 4.0 to newbies as it can be painlessly configured without even opening a Linux terminal emulator or touching the Linux terminal. As a final point, Daryna undoubtedly maintained or even improved Mint’s natural elegance.

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