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Peppermint Ice 10012010

October 4, 2010

I write full reviews of Linux distros over on my other blog, Desktop Linux Reviews. Sometimes, however, there are distro updates that are interesting but not quite worth doing a full review. So I’ll be covering those over here on Eye On Linux; I call them “Quick Looks.”

The Peppermint Ice desktop.

Peppermint Ice has a new release out today, so I decided to make it the inaugural Quick Look for Eye On Linux. Peppermint Ice, if you aren’t familiar with it, is a cloud-oriented distro based on Ubuntu. I did a full review of it on Desktop Linux Reviews, and also a column called War of the Peppermint Gargantuas that compared it to its sibling distro, Peppermint OS One.

What’s New

Here’s a sample of what’s new in this release:

  • The default Linux kernel has been updated to version 2.6.35.  In an effort to continually try to offer the best possible hardware support, we felt this was a good move for the Ice release
  • A number of lower level updates such as Grep 2.7.0, Samba 3.5.5, File 5.04, Freetype 2.4.2 and others have been implemented in order to offer a more up to date system while remaining primarily on the LTS code base.
  • Ice now has improved support for Broadcom wireless cards, and some nVidia graphics cards.  The implementation is not as complete as in Peppermint One, but is an improvement over the initial Ice release.
  • The “Desktop Preferences” application is now available in the menu.  Due to an issue caused by enabling the window manager menu, this option was sometimes hidden, so we put it in the menu to make it more accessible to users.
  • The same mimetypes and application improvements from the last Peppermint One respin have been applied in order to offer a more cohesive desktop experience from the get go.
  • We have implemented a more appealing cursor theme due to community suggestion.
  • We’ve added a new default wallpaper that we thought looked wicked cool and have slightly adjusted some bits of artwork where necessary.
  • Our development with the GData API is ongoing and we’re currently trying out lots of things in that department.
  • There is a new screenshot application coming soon that’s written in pure Python in order to avoid adding extra dependencies to the iso file.
  • Also there are some upstream improvements in some of our default web applications.
  • Seesmic Web has added functionality for additional services and multiple accounts, Editor by pixlr has fixed the bug associated with saving files locally, and we’ve shifted the default eBuddy login screen to use an advertisement free version.

System Requirements
Here’s what you’ll need to run this update:

  • i386 or derivative processor (AMD64 and x86_64 are fine as well)
  • 192 MB of RAM
  • 4 GB hard drive space (this is an overestimate just for good measure)

Using Peppermint Ice 10012010
I took the new version of Peppermint Ice for a spin today and it worked very well. The install is quick and painless, even for newbies. Speed and stability both seemed fine to me, I had no problems running any of the applications I used and I didn’t run into any noticeable problems.

The kernel update is welcome, and should help to provide better hardware support than the last release.

Gamers will no doubt welcome better support for Nvidia cards. I’m not much of a gamer these days, so it’s not really an issue for me either way.

The new wallpaper looks good, though it’s still a bit bland for my tastes. I still like the wallpaper included with Peppermint OS One better, but at least this one helps to give Peppermint Ice 10012010 its own brand identity, to a certain extent.

Adding “Desktop Preferences” to the menu is nice, though I still find it easier to access it by right-clicking on the desktop.

One of the great things about Peppermint Ice is how connected it is via web applications. This update adds some upstream improvements to the default web applications. If you haven’t used Peppermint Ice before, here’s a sample of the web applications included with it:

Google Calendar
Google Docs
Google Reader
Seesmic Web
Editor by pixlr

Hulu running on the Peppermint Ice desktop.

Web applications open in an SSB (Site Specific Browser), so they use less space than a regular tabbed browser and are generally more stable.

Please note that you won’t find OpenOffice.org installed by default (though it is available via Software Manager). Peppermint Ice defaults to Google Docs and other web applications whenever possible.

As noted, there’s a new cursor theme in this release. Frankly though, I didn’t notice the last one so I can’t tell what’s different. Cursor themes generally aren’t something I pay a lot of attention to, but I’m glad to see the Peppermint Ice developers listening to their users (who apparently made the cursor theme request).

Google Docs is the default word processor.

Final Thoughts
Quite a lot of the improvements in this release of Peppermint Ice are “under the hood” so it won’t rock anybody’s world in terms of new desktop features, but based on my experience with it, I’d say it’s definitely worth an upgrade if you are already running Peppermint Ice. If you aren’t, it’s also worth checking it out.

Peppermint Ice is a Live CD distro, so you can just pop the CD in and boot into the Live CD desktop. You don’t need to do an actual install unless you like it enough to want to run it from your hard disk.

Click to the next page to view the full image gallery (20 screenshots) of Peppermint Ice 10012010.

What’s your take on Peppermint Ice 10012010? Tell me in the comments. For full distro reviews, visit Desktop Linux Reviews.


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30 Responses to Peppermint Ice 10012010

  1. True Reality on October 19, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    Jim Lynch it is always a pleasure and your reviews are always impressive this will be our last admission to the Peppermint Linux OS review. Looking forward to Peppermint Linux future builds hopefully to show it’s true cloud infrastructure.

    Question: Will it be Peppermint OS or Google OS making it’s way to the top of cloud computing? Good Luck!

    Flock of the Penguins look towards the Drupal web design


  2. True Reality on October 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Brian Masinick, you are correct in saying that the Peppermint Linux Distro can be of value or enjoyable to some, to me and my group of developers we believe linux is a simple build and it’s complexity has come to a boring halt. You may want to get out away from that keyboard and enjoy real life though as you stated “because of peppermint linux you spend countless hours browsing”. Lots of research the computer & code is great for work and research although the real world awaits you.

    We believe that Ubuntu & Canonical has already made a system worthy of the linux name. Although with the detail you have proclaimed in your yet very well thought out brief it would seem the point has been made. Linux and distros are made for each user. Each user has the ability to determine linux distro fit for needs based on machine specs, ability and inability.
    Now you have a point that is well made and an agreement.

    Although it still stands that the Cloud benefits of peppermint are no greater than any other distro. It is just that a fast distro or hobby. I would certainly agree peppermint is fast. Fast is good! Taken into account that the distro provides reliability, security and is up-to-date. Which should be the main goals of a Distro or OS. Peppermint OS is Fast and hopefully will Soon to prove it’s cloud ability. Awesome the way you have made the most impressive point as-of-day! Linux Peppermint although bland and not much different from Lubuntu or many other distros has a place in this everlasting bliss we call linux. There is a place for everyone in the linux world. Maybe the cloud computing of peppermint will soon show it’s face as it is an early derivative. This is my very reason for stating my beliefs, to urge the Peppermint Team to move toward cloud with the open mind of need for usefulness in the real world. Possibly curving the attitude of their irc hosts for their guests or users.

    Take some time to read Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary by Linus Torvalds.

    Later and great post Brian! Im calling it, fitting the needs. Looking at linux from the eyes of children. Too many distro’s or not!

    :Freax Fan!

    • ShaineT on October 20, 2010 at 4:52 AM

      Don’t know why you waited this long to make yourself clear. Now I can actually appreciate your viewpoint. Thanks and good luck to you!

  3. Brian Masinick on October 18, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    I happen to like Peppermint OS One. I don’t mind that there are even two flavors of Peppermint Linux: Ice and OS One. Sure, we all know that this distribution is based on Lubuntu. Some will prefer Lubuntu, some will prefer Ice, some like OS One, and apparently there are a few here that not only dislike the Peppermint releases, but they question the need for such a release and take shots at the team for releasing it.

    I disagree with such people. We have variety because it is possible, because some people just enjoy experimenting, either with a different look, a different collection of packages, and a different approach.

    For those who criticize Peppermint, especially those who complain either that it’s not a true Cloud based system, not a true Social Media distribution, not original, whatever the complaint, sure, those allegations have some truth to them. A better question, for those with a more open mind, is whether or not releases like Peppermint Ice and Peppermint OS One offer anything of value to you or not. To some, the answer is yes, and clearly, the answer for others is an emphatic no.

    I’ve never seen any claims by the developers or the community around it that either of the Peppermint releases would appeal to everyone. They started as an experiment, and it turned out that quite a few people enjoyed the experiment and continue to enjoy it. Count me among them. Do either of the releases meet all of my needs? No, not as they are configured. I have other systems that meet other needs. But when I want to get on my system quickly and use a lot of Internet based applications, I find Peppermint OS One to suit that particular need really well, so I use it for a change of pace, and I have found it to be very effective when I’m spending several hours exclusively on the Internet.

  4. brothergale on October 18, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Peppermint Ice was chosen to be installed on 50 -75 “Teen Machine” model computers. Theses are Dell Optiplex Gx1 etc. Pentium II 350Mhz. 256Mb. ram and 3.2Gb. hard drive with a seperate 1.6Gb. – 2.5Gb. swap_drv. I find the OS only takes 1.33Gb installed even with AbiWord and a few Mint utillities thrown in! I am thrilled with this ability to use such small resources. This computer is for middle school students wanting their own computer. And recycles some old computers.
    I use Mint-9 Gnopme on slightly better spec. computers with programs for “Young Familys”.
    Peppermint One is being used on my “College Bound” model This computer is a Pentium III 733Mhz. – 750Mhz. or better cpu. They have 512Mb. ram and 8.0 Gb. or better hard drives. Great on board software. Installed apps. use only 4.3Gb.!
    My ministry is called “OntoHim Computer Recycling”. In the last year over 100 College Bound and Young Family computers were given away. (They had LinuxMint-7 Gnome installed.) Many of my computers come from Closing the Digital Gap (www.CTDG.org) as orphans that they don’t want.
    I can use donations of hard drives, as I have many orphans without hard drives. My address is 3309 Viking St. Lansing, MI 48911
    Thank you for this blog and thank you Linux community for the marvelous free software. Free computers is my passion, but without software I would run out of money buying licenses.
    Best regards to all.

  5. True Reality on October 16, 2010 at 5:39 AM

    Peppermint Ice OS has no originality than other distros, just another remake from free open source with peppermints very bland backgrounds and startup. Sure it is fast it doesn’t have anything loaded on it. For the bull about cloud computing well you have not done any of that either. That comes straight from others who have done the work for you. Waiting to see some sort of fresh real OS. What can you expect from a distro programmed in a bar? Peppermint LINUX real OS or real stupid users?

    • ShaineT on October 17, 2010 at 2:28 AM

      Its not a new “OS” LOL its a distro. Make your own distro if you want, just a little choice in your life maybe.

      • True Reality on October 18, 2010 at 8:15 AM

        There are no needs for more distro’s on the playing field. Make one, come on it is so simple a child can do it now day’s. To take a DISTRO and put your name on it, just to say you did seems stupid and a waste of time. So you are customizing an already cloned linux. Wow you should be proud. Thats a distro worth wasting time talking about! Too many distro’s. Just something to do it seems. That is to much for my mathematical mind to process lol. STOP THE DISTRO”S ALREADY

        No need for new OS – I have already customized my Linux Clone OS lol for my liking. Thats all you did as well. You are just making it seem like you did some sort of great thing, when in reality you just customized and installed simple packages. With absolutely no originality. No Praise for that Shane sorry bro! Hacking an already hacked linux is like Suhana & Vogan washed up always dead drunk!

        • ShaineT on October 19, 2010 at 4:04 AM

          Not everyone out there knows how to “customize their Linux Clone OS to their liking” as you put it. The experimentation of new distros with new ideas is what furthes new ideas in Linux. The distro proliferates among those interested and feedback occurs, changes are made and bugs are fixed. Many new ideas and bug fixes end up benefitting upstream and benefit all other distros as a whole. If anyone is annoyed by that you can go on a flaming crusade to try and put it down but your efforts will have no impact. At least give some constructive critism that can actually be used rather than wasting your time flaming away.

          • True Reality on October 19, 2010 at 7:10 PM

            Shane thats the spirit, now go build, design, program, or wait for Kendall to do it for you. Or better yet ask Kendall, or Mint, Ubuntu, Canonical team what you should do next.

            It has been a true waste of time looking at this distro although we must be moving on. If not for the speed it would have been a waste of time for you as well. Although with an open mind they had to start somewhere. We will certainly be Looking forward to the cloud portion of PeppermintOS Linux, or was it distro?

            We will call this? Waiting for the cloud, will their be any originality to Peppermint Distro or will it end in flames? We will wait to see and hope for the best.

            Good luck Peppermint, , or was it, distro or OS again, hmm, cloud or just linux. HMM anyway good luck! We will be looking back on the Peppermint Website to see if it is Peppermint Distro or OS. Someone please clarify this lol. Maybe just Open Source OS

      • True Reality on October 18, 2010 at 8:26 AM

        My point exactly

      • True Reality on October 18, 2010 at 8:33 AM

        HMM, PEPPERMINT OS that os part seems to be your way of saying distro maybe, , well lets say lol, id say clone

        I think my point has been made

        Your Distro is bland and needs some originality. All that is left to say boring.

  6. OldSmokey on October 8, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    this os is very nice and is fast.as fas as nvidia if you add the ubuntu nvidia x ppa the drivers work gret.

  7. Jim Lynch on October 7, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    BTW, I uploaded the rest of the screenshots. So there’s a full image gallery available now. :cool:

  8. Kendall on October 6, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    @ Brian Masinick

    The new Ice release uses a backports repository that contains a few things relevant to the kernel update and a handful of other things. This was intentionally kept separate from the primary Peppermint repository in order to prevent any potential system borkage for those coming from prior releases. If you want to enable this repo in Peppermint One, just add the “backports-keyring” package, update apt, and run a system upgrade.

    Ice will continue to see edgier updates than One, though many of these updates will likely make their way into One in the near future. It’s our intention to keep things as current as possible while offering as smooth of an upgrade path as possible. One thing to note about kernel updates: I don’t see a reason to upgrade a kernel (outside of security issues) on a system that already runs fine. Doing so just introduces an unnecessary risk to the system.

    The biggest things being changed in the Peppermint respins are things such as default configuration and a few default packages, none of which are particularly mission critical). For those that have a working system my recommendation is to not worry about respins and update the system using the Update Manager unless you simply just want to. :)

    Kendall Weaver
    Lead Developer, Peppermint OS

    • Brian Masinick on October 6, 2010 at 4:51 PM

      Thanks for the information and the update Kendall! I had a feeling that you might stop by, but if not, I figured that when I had a moment, I could check the Peppermint forum. Thanks for saving me the time on that! :-)

      I’m using Peppermint OS One this morning and it’s working well. I haven’t put in the backport keyring yet, but I’ve noted the information, and may experiment later, “Just For Fun”! I am not concerned about breaking anything; if I do, it’s an opportunity to exercise my skills, and if necessary, simply reinstall (but I doubt that will become necessary).

      Keep up the great work, thanks again for clarifying once again; I appreciate you setting me straight on a number of the finer points of your excellent distribution! — Brian

  9. ShaineT on October 5, 2010 at 11:14 PM

    I rather like it lean and ready for the user to add/remove SSB apps and programs. Encourages new users to learn the package manager which is one of the things so great and flexible about Linux itself. The Peppermint community is committed to new users and patient. Cheers :)

    • True Reality on October 16, 2010 at 5:29 AM

      WOW that statement about patience is complete bullshit! Shuana, Vogan, and the rest of the team kick you off irc for being honest and being helpful. They like to rule the room. Control freak much. Come on Shane wake up and attempt to be honest. Build a linux os you have not stolen because of open source. Peppermint Linux is like other distros. Distros are changed open source with a want to be coders name on it.

      There are a few true linux os out there why don’t you find one and attempt to use it!

      • True Reality on October 16, 2010 at 5:31 AM

        Committed to new users wow another lie by the peppermint team. Might want to look at your irc chat for a better review.

  10. Barista Uno on October 5, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    I finally installed Peppermint Ice 10012010 on my Atom netbook. I was going to postpone trying out this distro but my Lubuntu got hopelessly messed up after I installed a newer apt package from the Debian (not Ubuntu) repository. My initial impressions:

    1) it feels faster and snappier than Peppermint One Respin, which is likely due to the newer kernel (2.6.35).

    2) most people would find the default theme and wallpaper rather dull but it suits the minimalist nature of Peppermint. The very subdued colour could in fact enhance one’s productivity as there no distracting elements in the desktop environment.

    3) i haven’t got around to testing Dropbox but the other default Prism site-specific applications (e.g. gmail services) seem to be working fine just like in Peppermint One

    4)Peppermint One and this latest version of Peppermint Ice are both very lean – which means the average user is likely to have to install additional programmes. I installed Firefox 4.06b (whilst keeping Chromium), Thunderbird, galculator (surprisingly there was no calculator included), wine, xpad and notecase notes manager. The additions have not in any way slowed down Peppermint Ice.

    Am I glad I switched from Lubuntu to Peppermint Ice 10012010. Lubuntu just didn’t seem to be tightly integrated as a system. It was also a bit quirky. For instance, newly installed applications would not show up in the menu or would be placed under the wrong sub-menu (I installed bleachbit and it was displayed under Preferences instead of System Tools).

    I won’t hesitate to recommend Peppermint Ice 10012010 even to those new to Linux. As for Peppermint One, I’d say: wait until the next respin with the newer kernel. It shouldn’t be long now.

  11. ShaineT on October 5, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Have had PeppermintONE respin on a low spec laptop and compared to AntiX & Puppy on this rig flash video runs very smooth with no choppy streams. Also it is good to note that running the SSB apps you have a lower RAM overhead than running in the full browser itself. ICE is also excellent with my only complaint being that some Google app links open a full Chromium-browser window rather than an SSB and doesn’t seem to be a way to reconfigure this. Other than that I don’t get this excited about a new distro very often.

  12. Brian Masinick on October 5, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    I do still stand with my basic comment that you can very easily make Peppermint OS One and Peppermint Ice behave virtually the same, just by manipulating the packages, the wallpapers and themes, and either adding or removing packages. Remember that Peppermint itself is based on Lubuntu, with a smattering of stuff thrown in from Mint, a few home crafted tools, and its own art work. Most distributions these days are built off components from a number of places. That’s what free software is designed to do: take advantage of software REUSE.

  13. Brian Masinick on October 5, 2010 at 2:26 AM

    Jim, over on the forum, I think I mentioned it already, but I did go back to Peppermint OS One and upgrade it today, and it DID NOT pick up the 2.6.35 kernel, for example, and there were no other updates, so the new Ice respin must have a unique set of packages and its own repository. I’ll have to research this and find out exactly what’s different, and when I find the answer, I’ll let you know. At least for now, this new respin of Peppermint Ice DOES represent a completely new effort.

  14. Bob Good on October 5, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    I for one have switched to Peppermint One from Ubuntu Gnome a good while back. I love it. It’s best feature is how light it is on my systems. It runs like lightning. The download size is something like 450 mbs. The developers are really involved on their forum. The kernel upgrade on Ice (2.6.35-22) and I assume for One eventually will be a problem for me. Kernel 2.6.35-22 doesn’t like my Intel video card (black bars on either side of the screen. I filed a bug with Launchpad just today. Still, I recommend Peppermint (One and Ice) to all.


  15. Jim Lynch on October 4, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    Hi Barista,

    Cool, post back when you’ve had a chance to use it. I’m curious to know what you think of it, especially compared to Peppermint OS One.

  16. Barista Uno on October 4, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    I recently switched from Peppermint One Respin (2) to Lubuntu, which is now my work-a-day distro. But after reading your post, I am tempted to try out the new Peppermint Ice and perchance make it my main platform instead of Lubuntu. The kernel upgrade is enticing.

  17. jim on October 4, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    I see, gotcha.

  18. Brian Masinick on October 4, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    Jim, I know that there has not been a new Peppermint OS One release, but the software that goes into both One and Ice is in a common repository, so anything that has changed ought to be accessible to me – a fact that I confirmed when Ice came out. I just grabbed the stuff of interest and tossed it onto OS One, and tested an instance of Ice in a virtual environment rather than install it. That should work here again.

  19. jim on October 4, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Hi Brian,

    I don’t think Peppermint OS One has been updated. This update is for Peppermint Ice only. Too many peppermints to remember! :blink: :wink:

  20. Brian Masinick on October 4, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    I was already thinking about Peppermint this morning, but I have not yet taken the time to work with it. I have Peppermint OS One installed on another partition, and Peppermint Ice available through Virtualbox OSE, so when I get some time, I’m going to upgrade Peppermint OS One and see if I get anything interesting there, and I may take some time to run Ice again in a virtual setting.

    I generally like Peppermint and typically use it a few hours a week when I am doing a lot of Web based work.

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