Linux Mint 13 “Maya”: A Very Stable Release With Long-Term Support

linux mint logo   Linux Mint 13 Maya: A Very Stable Release With Long Term SupportThe “Linux release season” is starting to come to an end as the last few major distributions are coming out with their latest release, most notably Linux Mint. This time around the Linux Mint developers have released version 13, codenamed “Maya”. As far as major releases go, Linux Mint 13 doesn’t have a whole lot to offer as far as changes are concerned, but it is still a very solid update that rides on Ubuntu 12.04‘s LTS (long-term support) status. Therefore, Linux Mint 13 will be supported through April 2017 as it is based on Ubuntu and its packages. However, don’t confuse it as another Ubuntu, as it does include big differences.

MATE Desktop

mate desktop   Linux Mint 13 Maya: A Very Stable Release With Long Term Support
The “original” Linux Mint (not including KDE or Xfce variants) comes in two different desktop environments. The first one, called MATE, is simply the continuation of Gnome 2 in a separate project as upstream Gnome 2 has been abandoned. Linux Mint 13 includes MATE 1.2, which includes a handful of incremental updates since MATE was born and Gnome 2 had its final release. The MATE experience picks up exactly where Gnome 2 left off, so if you’ve been a fan of Gnome 2 and want to go back to using it, MATE is your answer.

Cinnamon Desktop

linux mint 13 cinnamon desktop   Linux Mint 13 Maya: A Very Stable Release With Long Term Support
The other desktop environment you can choose is Cinnamon. This desktop environment is based off of Gnome 3′s packages, and essentially uses everything that is Gnome 3 except for Gnome Shell. Instead, Cinnamon offers a more Gnome 2-like desktop experience. Therefore, Cinnamon doesn’t have a learning curve that hinders its use as it’s as easy as MATE. Even Windows users trying Linux Mint for the first time won’t have any problem from the get-go. Linux Mint 13 includes Cinnamon 1.4, which offers an “Expo” view of your open applications, new panel settings, and plenty more which you can read about in the release notes here.

Say Hello To MDM

linux mint 13 mdm   Linux Mint 13 Maya: A Very Stable Release With Long Term Support
Linux Mint 13 also replaces the Gnome Display Manager (GDM) with the MDM Display Manager (MDM). MDM is based off of GDM 2.20, which was among the last GDM releases that accompanied Gnome 2. People have always missed the old GDM because of all the things that could be easily configured, such as themes, scripts, and more. Linux Mint says “it provides graphical configuration tools, theme customizations, remote, automatic and timed login, event scripting, language selection and it comes with more features than any other Display Manager currently available.”

Miscellaneous Notes

Last but not least, Linux Mint 13 includes a few other subtle changes to round out the release. GTK3 support has been improved and the distribution’s Mint-X and Mint-Z themes have been updated. Of course, the choice of default wallpapers has also been refreshed with new choices. The developers have also replaced Duck Duck Go! with Yahoo! as the default search engine. This move was made because the developers had reached a deal with Yahoo!, and are now receiving shared revenue with the search engine. Linux Mint also uses Ubuntu’s Linux 3.2 kernels for this release cycle.

Conclusion

Overall, is Linux Mint 13 a worthy upgrade? Absolutely! Despite the relatively subtle changes, a lot of software has been updated, the desktop environments (especially Cinnamon) have been refined, and it is running very stable. Not to mention that this release has support for 5 years, it’s more of a question why you wouldn’t want to upgrade. And if you aren’t a Linux Mint user, now is a good time to try it out if you’ve been considering doing so.

What’s your favorite Linux Mint feature? Will Ubuntu or Linux Mint be more popular than the other in a few years? Let us know in the comments!

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46 Comments -

0 votes

Johnny

Thanks for the review.

0 votes

Danny Stieben

No problem, thanks for reading it! :)

0 votes

Saiful Zaree Johar

Been using Maya (Cinnamon) for several day now on my office desktop (C2D 2.13GHz, 3GB memory) and home laptop (Pentium M, 512MB memory). So far so good…

0 votes

Danny Stieben

Glad to hear! Did you use a different distribution before?

0 votes

Saiful Zaree Johar

Well, I’m not really an enthusiast, much less pro…just trying svrl distros (from Mandrake years ago) to Slax/ Puppy and now. Mint. So far, Mint is the best I’ve used. Gonna try Fedora 17 though…Just some minor prob, I just can’t kill the window manager (to install nVidia driver)…Looking around for solution(s)…

0 votes

Danny Stieben

Oh I see. If you mean installing nVidia drivers in Fedora 17, those can easily be done via the RPM Fusion repositories. It sounds like you’re trying to do a manual installation.

0 votes

Saiful Zaree Johar

Well, I’m not really an enthusiast, much less pro…just trying svrl distros (from Mandrake years ago) to Slax/ Puppy and now, Mint. So far, Mint is the best I’ve used. Gonna try Fedora 17 though…Just some minor prob, I just can’t kill the window manager (to install nVidia driver)…Looking around for solution(s)…

0 votes

ecd4a4d35dce1b96560e85a8ce64f578

Would you recommend this over Xubuntu?

0 votes

Danny Stieben

From an ease-of-use standpoint, yes. From a performance standpoint, I would not. Xfce, which Xubuntu uses, is still more lightweight than MATE. If you’re on a low-resource machine, I’d stick with Xubuntu.

0 votes

milliamp2

You may also be interested in LXDE, it is another super light window manager like XFCE and it has an Ubuntu offshoot called Lubuntu which has gained some popularity lately.

LXDE is a little newer I think and lacks some of the features but is just a tad faster than XFCE but check some reviews first.

It is also worth noting that you can probably just install LXDE in your current distro to test it out.

0 votes

Danny Stieben

Oh yes, I forgot that LXDE was also an option. However it’d probably still be easier for him to stick with Xubuntu if he already has it installed.

0 votes

Jackson Chung

Thanks for your useful comment, milliamp2. I’ve awarded you an extra 150 points! Keep it up!

0 votes

Reý Aetar

UBUNTU LOOKS MORE PRETTY EXCEPT THE FACT THAT COMPATIBLE THEMES ARE RARE

0 votes

Danny Stieben

There are plenty of GTK3 themes out there by now. A simple google search should pull them up.

0 votes

Rick

What about battery issues? Is Jupiter still an alternative?

0 votes

Danny Stieben

If you mean Jupiter, the elementaryOS distribution, then of course it’s an alternative. So is any other Linux distribution, really.

There aren’t any know battery issues with Linux Mint either.

0 votes
0 votes

Danny Stieben

Ah, I wasn’t sure.

The application Jupiter should work just fine, as Jupiter exists for Ubuntu, and Linux Mint is Ubuntu-based.

0 votes

Dany Bouffard

I prefer Mint to Ubuntu, I was with Ubuntu when using Linux before, but after trying Mint a couple of months ago I prefer Mint. I like the interface more than what Ubuntu has become.

0 votes

Danny Stieben

Is it Unity that you dislike in Ubuntu?

0 votes

Sacha Obado

well i tried Linux Mint 13 maya on my laptop. i tried both flavours but i can say linux mint 12 lisa is working perfectly for me.. but greak work Linux Mint.. been using linux mint since linux mint 6 til now..

0 votes

Danny Stieben

Just be aware that Linux Mint 12 won’t be supported nearly as long as LM13 will be.

0 votes

919263

Linux is a FAIL Big time.
Its a waste of time and brain cells.
If an OS does not have support for WiFi out of the box as every other OS has, it is no good.
Just downloaded the damn thing… installed it on my test Desktop and I cannot log on to the Internet, REASON: I have the WIFI card in my system and am not hooked up thru a patch cable.
But cant do anything, coz I cannot get the drivers and it would not open the windows drivers so what do you do……
Go back to Windows…. And not waste time

0 votes

Danny Stieben

I *highly* doubt vanilla Windows works out-of-the-box with your WiFi setup. The only possible way to get something like that to work is to either install the drivers or buy the computer from a manufacturer who loads the drivers beforehand. On the other hand, it’s getting rather rare that a WiFi setup isn’t supported out-of-the-box by Linux. It’s supported way more often than with Windows, in any case. What other OSs belong to “every other OS” besides Windows and Mac OS X?

0 votes

919263

Well,
Brain does have cells… so there/….dont believe me.. google it.. but make sure you are on a windows box….

Next, Vanilla Win7 out of the box has All the basic drivers.
On the same Box installed Win 7 Ultimate, fresh install mind you. Picked up the Wifi, and installed drivers for all the other connected devices.And this is before I logged on to the Internet.
As far as other OS’s are concerned I did mean the 2 that were pointed out and I believe they both support basic drivers for any Wifi Card.

0 votes

Danny Stieben

I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.

0 votes

Pit

excellent end (may I say ‘like it’ :) )

0 votes

kirk

3 year old Dell system and Windows 7 couldn’t get my chipset right which in turn did not turn on my wifi and gave me a dumbed down video driver with 800×600 resolution and of course no printer. Dual booting same box and Linux Mint supported all my devices and even gave me a generic NVidia driver and updated it with on click if I needed faster 3d support. Even supported my newer Lexmark printer right out of the box. But than again, I’m not scared of finding a driver or two in return for freedom to do what I want, but I was pleasantly surprised.

0 votes

elderpav

Not sure what 919263 is talking about, I recently tried Linux Mint and Easy Peasy on my netbook and both of them supported wifi right out of the box. They both had no trouble whatsoever finding & connecting to my home wifi network right away. I must say I’m sold on Mint. I love it. I used Ubuntu before, never was crazy about Unity. I love the Applications Menu, and the Compatibility Mode which made installation a breeze. It correctly detected & had drivers for all my hardware. I’m converted.

0 votes

paladin

” and brain cells”

It should not bother you!

0 votes

Tom

The OS is GREAT if you give it a chance…do your install ONLY with a cable connection and NOT WiFi. Then after installation work with your WiFi connection…do a Google search if you get stuck.

Good Luck!

0 votes

Le Mon

thanks for the information :)

0 votes

Danny Stieben

No problem! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

0 votes

shankar

using Lisa from the past 4months, experience was fantastic….liked it a lot……removed windows and running mint in all my systems at office and home…..downloaded Maya recently and performed a fresh installation, system freezing completely while using firefox……searching for solution over the forums and stuff but not able to find solution yet………tought of getting some help over here :). thanks in advance.

0 votes

Danny Stieben

I’m sorry to hear that, shankar. Be sure to keep your system up-to-date to see if that may resolve the issue.

If not, you may want to reinstall the system. Before you do, make sure that the ISO downloaded correctly (compare checksums) and that the burn to CD/USB went correctly as well (verify it).

0 votes

linuxlover

I am currently using rosalinux 2012 kde for some time now as I prefer kde 4 to gnome3(due to some awkward customization probs). Linux mint was my previous distro of choice before it switched to gnome 3 and mate on version 12.Thanks to your nice review,I will be trying the maya release(mate probably,but cinnamon also sounds nice).Thanks again for the review.:D

0 votes

Kshitij Verma

Alrighty 2 questions –
> How come you got that mint menu (like the one you have shown in the article) and i am still stuck with the original one in mint maya?
> Did you take these screenshots yourself or downloaded them from the internet?

Thanks! Great article by the way. Just installed from the 800mb disc on my brand new Acer 4736z. Works great!

0 votes

Danny Stieben

You mean the menu shown for the Cinnamon desktop? You’re probably with the original because you’re on the MATE desktop.

And I took those screenshots myself. :)

0 votes

Senad Jahic

“Linux Mint 13 “Maya”: A Very Stable Release” – this can say only somebody who hasn’t realy used Linux Mint 13.

I have this versioin of Linux on two computers and I am searching for different version, since I have some serious issues with this one:

- it destroys data on my USB – USB is not damaged, since I ‘ve tested it on Windows. This problem appears on both computers with Linux Mint 13, but not on Windows.

- when internet connection breaks down, I need to restart my computer in order to reconnect.

0 votes

Danny Stieben

Quite strange! I haven’t had any issues whatsoever. But you’re welcome to try any other distribution….Ubuntu maybe?

0 votes

ted zontag

“Even Windows users trying Linux Mint for the first time won’t have any problem from the get-go. Linux Mint 13 includes Cinnamon 1.4″

Are you on crack? This Cinnamon is broken as well as having a learing curve as it is very different than windows…Just stupid..please next time write a review that really makes sense…and be honest about this buggy hard to use operating system shell.
Cinnamon and all its Gnome 3 buggy NON INTUITIVE shenanigans can take a hike.
Your review is vapid and not a true reflection of what users will be up against with this broken piece of crap.

0 votes

kirk

New install for me and the only thing I ran into was some extra stuff I had to do cause I wanted to dual boot with win7 from a 2nd hard drive, but after some research it really was bsdEasy program I was using that was not up to date. I expected more of an issue, but so far has worked great. Yep new learning curve if you have used since Windows all your life (me since 3.11), but once you see where everything is, it sure is a lot faster to get to things and the kicker…it runs faster!

0 votes

Charles

Hi,

@Ted: I would recommend your googling up the word “netiquette”.

@Danny (reviewer): Thanks for your posting your review, it made a lot of sense of sense to me, and it was also quite considerate of you to take some time to share your knowledge with others. Although it might not be 100% accurate, as Cinnamon is stated by the Mint guys to be somewhat unstable as of yet, I learned a couple of new things on this great distribution. Thanks for sharing.

As for the desktops, I have been using Gnome 2 for some time now (since Mint 8, Ubuntu 9.04) and I have got used to the way this desktop works, as it is very simple to use and very similar in functionality to Windows; I completely agree with your stating that the average Windows user will, in most of the cases, feel right at home. So, I am using Mint13-MATE which has proved very stable and easy-using as previous Mint distros. I haven’t tried Cinnamon, but MATE provides the Gnome 2 functionality I’m looking for.

I have also tried Ubuntu 12.04 and its “Unity” desktop which I do not like too much, as for me, it is less productive (maybe not for others). BUT, I installed “gnome-session-fallback” on it, did a couple of simple tweakings, and I now have a Gnome-2 functionality, not 100% though, but which is good enough for me. I know it is better not to have to tweak anything, as everything should run out-of-the-box to choose your settings, just as with Ubuntu 11.04, where you could choose among different desktops (Ubuntu – default = Unity, Ubuntu classic = Gnome 2), but well, I like Ubuntu very much (not its Unity desktop) as it has a fantastic software install app (Synaptic – but need to install manually) which makes it just hassle-free to install any Linux software you want with a few clicks for FREE, and just works great in my PC, so I’m also using Ubuntu 12.04 with the “fallback session” (meaning Gnome-2 like desktop).

I also installed Fedora17, but unfortunately for die-hard Gnome 2 fans like me, it didn’t prove as easy to tweak to get a Gnome-2 experience. I installed “gnome-tweak-tools”, did some tweaking but I just ended up with an ugly-looking, non-functional desktop with Gnome-shell + app menus. Not that useful to me, so, I had to drop Fedora17. I must state that the desktop experience is very important to me for choosing a distro over another. Others might disagree, but I agree with them to disagree.

It must be mentioned, however, that Fedora has the most software installed by default than any other distro I’ve tried, and lets you choose among the latest and cutting edge software available, and that’s really good, as I installed lots of software that I use at work. Unfortunately, fedora 17 does not provide choices to users regarding the desktop, and that is not good for me.

CentOS is also a great Gnome2 distro, but it might prove too plain for some users, and it lacks the great software installation functionality that Ubuntu’s Synaptic provides, but if you just want to get your work done, this distro is just fine. I am also using this in my PC, and works just fine.

So Danny, thanks for the great review, I enjoyed it and I’m just adding my 2 cents.

0 votes

Boni Oloff

This distribution of Linux looks very beautiful. I think i love it.
Gonna try this system, better than the new Windows 8.. )

0 votes

fallen heart

I love LM too but i am stuck with lm12 due to sopme bug in lm13 with usb dongles……:(

0 votes

Vishal Srivastava

Thanks for the review!! I’ve tried a few flavors of Linux and have added Linux Mint to my list.