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A minty fresh start

We’re into a new year, so isn’t it time you thought about a fresh new start? Mint 16 is out and it’s easily the best version of Mint to date, packing Cinnamon 2.0 as its desktop. To celebrate its launch we’ve got eight pages dedicated to how the Mint community pushed through these key features, bug fixes, taking Mint 14 from what it was, to today; making Mint 16 a truly awesome Linux desktop experience. We also look forward to Mint 17, which creator Clement “Clem” Lefebvre and the Mint community have huge
plans for.

The question no one seems able to answer is whether Mint is truly the most popular flavour of Linux out there. Is it? According to Distrowatch it’s a country mile ahead of the rest, but that neither makes statistical sense, nor is it at all reliable. You can’t trust User Agent details, as they’re likely to return incorrect values, while Steam stats are Ubuntu biased, as that’s the Valve officially recommended OS. This all leaves limited
user surveys, these seem to put Ubuntu slightly ahead, which in reality is the likely situation.

The reality is, it doesn’t actually matter. No one here is Microsoft, worrying about slipping market share, crashing PC sales, shareholders demanding a pound of flesh or noisy-outgoing CEOs. Mint is certainly popular, but more importantly its community of users and developers are passionate and vocal about it. That passion has made it a distro that people love and embrace wholeheartedly. It’s an approach other companies could certainly do with emulating.

Talking of passionate users, Raspberry Pi is back into the bosom of Linux Format. After slipping out of the pages for a couple of issues, we’re happy to welcome it back, taking a look at how you can expand beyond the Pi board and get the Pi to control the world. Bless its tiny heart. So if you fancy brushing up on the Pi, getting starting in programming with Scratch, kicking off your own web server or hosting your own sharing service, we’ve got something to help you get a fresh start.


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