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HealthCheck: Linux Mint

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In 2006, Clement Lefebvre, a French software developer and long time Linux user, was working for Ericsson in Ireland. Sometime in the summer of that year he began to toy with the idea of making his own distribution of Linux based on the Kubuntu Dapper code and using his own home made installer. The first release of Linux Mint was named Ada, perhaps in honour of Ada Lovelace, who wrote the first computer algorithm for Charles Babbage's never-built Analytical Engine in 1843. Mint's first release was more experimental than useful, and never achieved stability. But better things were to come.

Adding layers of usability to Ubuntu releases became Mint's speciality. Where Ubuntu set out to make Debian Sid accessible to the masses, Linux Mint made Ubuntu easier, or as one user put it: "Linux Mint made it easy to the point of mindless." Ease of use has the benefit of allowing the user to get on with his or her work, which is the first requirement for the kind of user who wants a system that "just works".

In subsequent releases Mint has added a range of utilities to simplify menus, software selection, desktop configuration, backup and update mechanisms; all this has added to its reputation as a distribution that does the simple things well.

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