Choosing Linux Mint for my Thinkpad X200

14 06 2009

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Having sold my Macbook Pro, I only had one computer to work with.  My Thinkpad X200 would be both my work and personal machine.  So my choice of which Linux distribution was very important.  (For those who don’t know, a distribution is simply a “flavor” of Linux, each with its own set of included programs and its own look and feel. There are several to choose from, the most popular being Ubuntu, Linux Mint and OpenSuse based on this great website DistroWatch).

I chose to install Linux Mint version 6 Felicia (at that time the latest version of Mint) on my Thinkpad X200 notebook.  I chose Mint mainly because:

  1. It works out of the box. Many important non-open source applications and plugins are not always included in most Linux distributions, such as Adobe Flash and MP3 players. There’s a lot of reasons why these are not already included, and while I don’t disagree with them, I simply wanted to avoid manual installations as was possible.  Linux Mint’s main edition has most of these important things included.
  2. It’s becoming increasingly popular. As of this writing, Mint is the second most popular distribution based on DistroWatch.  If more people are using it, this means that there’s a higher probability of Mint being used in the long-run.  Who wants to be using a piece of software that loses support in a few years?
  3. It’s based on Ubuntu. Similar line of reasoning as #2, and Ubuntu is the most popular distribution today.  This means there’s going to be better community support and most probably less bugs and problems.  Plus, I can tap the Ubuntu community for any questions or help needed.

So I downloaded the software in the “ISO” format from here.

The Thinkpad X200 is wonderful machine, but it does not have a CD drive.  So I needed to download and run the tool UNetbootin on Windows to get the Mint installation ISO file into the USB disk.  Followed the instructions on the same page of UNetbootin, which are dead easy to follow.

And voila, I was on my way to installing Linux Mint…

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