Peppermint 3 (Linux)

For those interested in running Linux directly or through a virtual machine, this distribution is worth a look. In my case I first tried it on a virtual machine then later on a few bare metal installations. For years I have been saying operating systems (all of them) have become bloated with useless software. The people who created this distribution have proved my point. When running a virtual machine a significant hit in performance is expected. In this case the virtual machine was actually faster than the host operating system. What’s more, I was able to get Peppermint to run on machines at the lab which normally don’t like running Linux.

First the good… Peppermint is based on Ubuntu/Debian/Mint. Which means the installation of software is easy. They make decent choices with respect to the default applications. In cutting out the bloat they have made the whole operating system FAST! For example Libre Office (a real resource hog) loads in two seconds instead of thirty (longer if one uses Windows). It is also current so people aren’t sacrificing updates for speed. It is still possible to install other software which does not get installed by default.

Next the confusing… The creators describe Peppermint as a hybrid OS. Essentially this means they try to send as much processing out to the cloud as possible. In North America at least, the speed of the internet is far slower than that of the local computer. Local storage is very inexpensive at the moment. Also because privacy concerns I can see most people choosing to use local applications rather than cloud based ones.

Now for the bad… So far the only merely bad thing I have found is the inconsistent performance of the menu. When items are added or removed from the system, the changes may or may not appear in the menu. One of my colleagues at the lab has a real hatred for Google Chrome. He removed Chromium from the system but the menu item remained. I installed gnome-system-monitor to gauge the speed of the system and half the time it didn’t show up in the menu at all. I had to use a terminal to run it.

Finally the ugly… The colleague I mentioned before installed Peppermint on his laptop. An update broke his wireless access. As a friend in a computer club said… “Wireless access in Linux is at the same state as it was in Windows ten years ago; and the lack of cooperation from the manufacturers doesn’t help the situation either.”

My opinion is Peppermint is an excellent project. I strongly encourage the creators to continue with it. They are absolutely headed in the correct direction. At the lab I will continue installing it on some machines. At home I am almost, but not quite, convinced to install it on my primary system. I would like them to fix the problem with the menu and offer more choices of alternative software (for review and utility) first. More likely than not I’ll install it when version four comes out.

It can be downloaded free from…

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About the Author


Mike Pfaiffer was President of A.P.P.L.E. and also the president of Digital Civilization magazine, a monthly UNIX magaine. Mike wrote a number of articles for A.P.P.L.E. and sadly passed away 19 July 2013 at age 54.