The 5 first Linux Mint releases are coming back from Oblivion!
The following ISOs were added to the archive and are being synced to all our mirrors:
- Linux Mint 1.0 BETA-007 “Ada”
- Linux Mint 2.0 “Barbara”
- Linux Mint 2.1 “Bea”
- Linux Mint 2.2 “Bianca”, available with GNOME, KDE and as a “Light” edition.
- Linux Mint 3.0 “Cassandra”
If you’re thinking of downloading them, please be aware of the following shortcomings:
- These ISOs are added for historical purpose and nostalgia.
- Prior to version 2.2 we are in the realm of “personal tinkering”, Linux Mint at that time isn’t yet established as a serious distribution. It has no ambition and no allocated resources. You can see Ubuntu logos in 1.0, 2.0 and even 2.1, branding isn’t complete, and there is little attention to details.
- None of these ISO would pass QA nowadays. What was expected of them then was very different at the time.
- Only i386 is supported.
- The repositories for these releases are no longer available.
- The installer in Linux Mint 1.0 Ada never even met the standards set by 1.0 itself (which is why it was called BETA). We do not recommend you install 1.0 anywhere than in a virtual machine.
Linux Mint 1.0 BETA “Ada”
The very first version of Linux Mint used KDE. It was designed for myself, using the desktop environment I was using at the time, named after the first programming language I had learnt and featuring a home-made installer which I considered so buggy I wouldn’t even call “Ada” stable. So Linux Mint 1.0 stayed in “BETA” for that reason…. and yes, it is a scrolling RSS feed underneath the bottom panel, I know… please don’t comment about that :)
From the very beginning Linux Mint was based on Ubuntu. Although Ubuntu was pretty new at the time (2 years old with 4 releases out) it was already considered the best distribution out there. Linux desktop distributions weren’t easy to use, extremely rough around the edges and a lot of things which work out of the box now didn’t work at all then. Mandrake first contributed to set the bar high and was eventually followed by Ubuntu, which in 2006 was pretty much at the top and had set the bar higher.
Linux Mint 2.0 “Barbara”
In Linux Mint 2.0, although I was still tinkering, I started modifying things based not on what I’d want, but on what people needed.
I switched to GNOME and replaced the installer with Ubiquity. Multimedia codecs were also added including Flash, Java, MP3 and DVD playback etc…
Although codecs were a small detail in the history of Linux Mint, it was tedious to install them and make them work properly at the time, so “Barbara” attracted a lot of people for that specific reason and Linux Mint’s reputation grew a little bit too fast as “Ubuntu + codecs” (which was true in the case of Barbara). This made Linux Mint very popular very fast, but for the wrong reasons (even nowadays a lot of Linux users who don’t use Linux Mint tend to think we include nVidia/ATI drivers for instance).
Linux Mint 2.1 “Bea”
In Linux Mint 2.1, we start understanding the fact that shipping Ubuntu branding is an issue. There is no proper idea of what it should look like but Ubuntu branding is removed a bit.
This release is also the first to focus on ease of use and comfort. It adds quick-access to terminal and common places, the ability to delete files without sending them to trash etc.. and it introduces new tools such as mintWifi (which worked hand in hand with ndiswrapper and ndisgtk to ease installation of Wifi devices using Windows drivers.. this was a huge issue at the time) and mintDesktop (which made it easier to configure some aspects of GNOME).
Linux Mint 2.2 “Bianca”
In Linux Mint 2.2 “Bianca” things started to get a little more serious. By then the project was more than just a hobby and Linux Mint started considering itself a distribution, backed with a growing community.
Bianca is the first release which looks “Minty”. It adopts the bottom panel layout and introduces mintMenu, which we still regard as the best menu out there (and from which we intend to make the Cinnamon menu learn a little).
This release also introduced two tools which disappeared since:
- mintConfig brought a control center.
- mintDisk brought auto-mount and read/write NTFS support.
These two tools gave a significant edge to Linux Mint. They were later removed as GNOME shipped its own control center and the situation in regards to NTFS got much better in Linux since.
Linux Mint 3.0 “Cassandra”
Linux Mint 3.0 “Cassandra” is the first release to use the official Linux Mint logo.
It introduced mintInstall and its web frontend called the “Software Portal”. The idea of a Software Manager was inspired by the work done by PCBSD and mobile OS such as iOS. It was later widely followed and all major distros now ship their own solutions.