A lightweight Linux with excellent cloud connectivity


The installed version of Peppermint OS offers almost the same software inventory as in Live mode. You have a choice of more than 55,000 packages from Ubuntu repositories – in addition to the countless binary package archives available through individual projects. Peppermint OS comes with two graphical package management tools: In addition to Synaptic, you will also find the Software Manager tool with individual application groups from Linux Mint (Figure 4). Synaptic is aimed more at advanced users, and Software Manager provides beginners with a better overview of the available applications.

Figure 4: Suitable for experienced users and beginners: Synaptic (bottom left) and the Software Manager (top right).

You can reach Synaptic through the System Tools menu. Call the Software Manager through the Settings Panel.

In Theory

Peppermint OS views itself as a system for legacy computers, so we decided we'd better put it through its paces using old hardware. We used two 10-year-old laptops with 32-bit CPUs, one with a single-core processor and one with a first-generation Centrino dual-core processor. We tested the 64-bit Peppermint OS version on a device with a Core 2 Dual CPU.

On the two 32-bit computers, the long loading times for the system were noticeable in Live operation; this effect was not due to the processors but to the very slow hard disks (by today's standards). The hard disk proved to be the bottleneck even after the permanent installation. With such old hardware, it is therefore recommended to use the fastest possible mass storage to ensure agile system behavior. The main memory utilization, on the other hand, was quite low at 350 to 500MB each.

Even on the oldest test device, an HP Compaq nc6220 with an integrated GMA900 series Intel graphics card, which is poorly supported under Linux, Peppermint OS succeeded in conjuring up optical effects such as transparencies on the screen without pushing the graphics card to its performance limits. Movies played in full screen mode with VLC generated a high system load but ran smoothly. Only video transcoding, which requires instruction set extensions such as SSE4.1, overtaxed the old computer systems. Image processing tasks sometimes took the hardware to its performance limits.


Peppermint OS is a modern and innovative Lubuntu derivative that combines a full desktop with mobile technologies and some interesting innovations. In our tests, the system fulfilled its claim of making optimum use of legacy hardware. If there is anything to criticize, it would be the sometimes-inconsistent integration of applications into different menu groups. If you want to continue using an older computer and are looking for a powerful all-round system with seamless online integration, consider Peppermint OS.

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