Now it has been approximately a month since I'm using Linux Mint 18 "Sarah". There is no doubt this distro is solid and newbie friendly. I always suggest Linux newbies start with Linux Mint as it makes easier for them to move around and learn Linux system. Sarah takes the same legacy forward with better look and user experience.
LinuxAndUbuntu Distro Review Of The Week
I always try new Linux distributions to test them out and check whether they're user-friendly, whether new Linux users would face any problem or not. I have decided to put one Linux disro review a week. The new distribution review will be published on Monday.
Linux Mint 18 "Sarah"
I am writing this review after testing Linux Mint on my Lenovo AMD laptop. The system processor is AMD A8-6410 APU with AMD Radeon R5 Graphics x 4 and 16GB Ram and 64-bit operating system.
The installation of almost all Ubuntu based Linux distributions is super easy. There are no complexities in the setup. You can boot the setup from the Live USB or DVD. One more thing, Linux Mint 18 is fully UEFI supported.
Interface Cinnamon 3.0.7
Linux Mint default desktop environment is Cinnamon and it's also my favourite. Sarah ships with Cinnamon 3.0.7 that has many improvements since previous versions. In Cinnamon 3.0.7, the dialogue and windows animations are enabled by default.
Though I tested it on a laptop of higher configuration but it'll also work just fine on low configuration system. I used Linux Mint 15 on my Intel processor with 2GB Ram without any problem. Usually, I have to install tonnes of applications on my laptop so it should not give up. Using Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon is excellent for installing a copious number of applications.
Cinnamon is a familiar desktop environment for Windows XP or 7 users who want to migrate to Linux. Cinnamon start-menu-style is very similar to Windows XP or 7 start-menu-style. The similar way to set favourite applications in the start menu and access other applications from apps categories.
Stability Is Always At Peak
Linux mint is as secure as other Linux distributions like Ubuntu but Linux mint implements new settings for improving system stability. The update manager in Sarah lets you select updates that don't break the system. When I set my system to be secure & stable, update manager won't download & install any beta updates but it'll provide other security updates. There are other two options that let me download only updates that don't harm stability and the last option that download each and every update. The last may harm system stability by installing initial stage updates, such as Alpha or Beta.
Bunch of Pre-installed Applications & X-Apps
Linux Mint 18 already comes with a nice collection of pre-installed applications. If you require to boot it on a live DVD/USB then this distro will provide you lots of applications to work with. Almost all daily use applications are there. For example, LibreOffice office suite, Firefox Internet browser, text editor, Gimp image editor, Thunderbird email client etc.
Anther new feature that Linux mint team brought was X-apps. X-apps project is going to be an amazing project for users who use different desktop environments. X-apps have a generic user interface across different DEs. In Linux Mint 18, there are a couple of X-apps that work with no problem. These applications provide the same experience as used to be in their natives apps.
Gaming On Linux Mint 18
My gaming experience on Linux Mint 18 was very poor. Perhaps because I am using AMD processor. AMD Catalysts drivers are not compatible with Xorg 1.18 which is used in Linux Mint 18. AMD ended support for these drivers and indicated to use open source drivers.
I installed Team Fortress 2, Dota 2 and War Thunder from Steam game store. It always ended in system crash. While playing Team Fortress 2, mint crashed and stopped working. I had to shutdown every time using the power button. Dota 2 & War Thunder experience was even worse than Team Fortress 2. I could not play for 5 minutes.
Linux mint 18 is not built for gaming so facing problem with gaming is not a big issue. I don't suggest installing it for gaming purposes. For gaming, I have covered 5 Best Linux distros for gaming. Otherwise the distro is clean and stable. The new themes Mint-Y, Mint-Y-Dark and Min-Y-Darker are also available in Sarah.