Ubuntu has many well known spins but one of the more interesting ones is Peppermint (formerly called Peppermint OS). Peppermint is a distro that seeks to combine the power of the cloud with the convenience of the desktop. Peppermint Five is the latest release and is now available for download in a 32-bit or 64-bit version.
According to Peppermint:
Peppermint Five Highlights:
1. Peppermint Five is built on a Long Term Support (LTS) code base, Ubuntu 14.04. The upstream code base will receive updates for five years.
2. Peppermint Ice is our in house built SSB manager, it has been rewritten from scratch and is now significantly more stable and is more feature rich than past versions. The key new feature is that it now supports both Chrome and Chromium as a backend.
3. Peppermint Control Center is our new settings app which provides an intuitive interface to customize and manage your workspaces, window behavior, keyboard and pointer settings, keyboard shortcuts and more.
4. We’ve fixed a number of upstream bugs present in Lubuntu, the specific project we fork from. Most notable among these are that the network manager applet starts properly.
5. Peppermint-Light is our new window manager and widget theme designed to offer a clean and relatively flat look and feel.
6. In previous iterations of Peppermint OS we used Alsa for sound. Our users asked for a more robust audio backend with more options and more user-friendly, Peppermint Five delivers with PulseAudio.More at Peppermint
You can download Peppermint Five using these links:
If you aren't sure which one to download be sure to read the download and install instructions. You can also view a bunch of screenshots of Peppermint Five, and you can connect with other users to get help in the Peppermint Forum. The Peppermint User's Guide may also be a useful resource.
I have not had a chance to use Peppermint Five yet, but my experience with previous versions has always been pretty good. It's an excellent choice if you want to run cloud-based applications right alongside desktop applications on your system. In a sense it gives you the best of both worlds in a very convenient package, and the fact that it's based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS means that it will be supported for some time to come.
Ars Technica reviews Linux Mint 17
Ars Technica has a detailed review of Linux Mint 17 that covers the Cinnamon and MATE versions.
According to Ars Technica:
In the end, during testing, we preferred Mint with Cinnamon over Ubuntu with Unity simply because Mint doesn't require a user to uninstall anything just to maintain privacy. The Mint project also feels like it's more in tune with the needs of desktop users, solving real problems and adding useful features, rather than working toward some may-or-may-not-work future of "convergence."
Whatever ends up happening with future releases, Linux Mint 17 makes a fantastic Linux desktop right now. It's stable, familiar enough for Windows refugees to pick it up without missing a beat, and has all the familiar tools Ubuntu fans would expect. Enjoy the current experience, and we'll all stay tuned to see how Mint's major bet on stability plays out.More at Ars Technica