Linux Mint 7 “Gloria” was released a few days ago, and given what I’d seen about from the comments posted in response to its release candidate the past couple weeks, I was anxious to give it a run. I updated one of my laptops (not the netbook) to it yesterday morning, replacing the Ubuntu 9.04 installation. Being based on Ubuntu, I didn’t expect any problems. The installation went smoothly, as expected, with just one minor hitch: the Mint install image doesn’t seem to include the needed Broadcom driver for the wireless card in this particular laptop so I had to briefly put it on a wired network connection here at home to go grab the needed third party driver. (This is the one significant difference I saw, compared to both previous Mint releases and Ubuntu’s release; given that it wasn’t a big deal to get past, I didn’t do much digging past that. For someone without a wired connection using a similar box, it might be more challenging to get past.)
This version continues the Mint team’s obvious emphasis on a polished initial experience with the distro. It is, in my opinion, the most polished of the Mints to date, with a dark GNOME theme and an emphasis on green for highlights, screen background, and icons. It is very attractive, even though I am generally not a big fan of darker themes.
Total time to back stuff up, install, and then get all of the usual stuff installed and configured was less than two hours. That includes the initial installation, along with getting Apache, PHP, MySQL, Eclipse (I went with the Galileo RC1 package this time) along with the AFAE plugin, Songbird, and Railo installed and configured, along with getting WordPress installed locally and running a development version of this blog, and hacking the default GNOME theme to squeeze the scrollbars down a skosh to a more efficient and attractive width.
YMMV but I’m very impressed.