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.”
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.
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.
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:
Editor by pixlr
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).
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.