Review: EasyMiNT - @January 8th 2002

I can admit, that I am rather impressed with EasyMint. Mostly because, the amount of work that goes behind a linux distribution installer is excessive, but even more work must go behind a MiNT installer. I've setup a MiNT distribution entirely by hand and I can appreciate the work this programmer has done. No matter what the challenge though, Easymint installer did it perfectly.

One of the things I couldn't help but to notice was that the easymint installer must have been thoroughly tested, because every level of detail was paid attention to, right down to the auto folder sorting.

Using Easymint was a breeze, I simply read the file important.txt and made sure my file tree looked properly. In this case I wanted to intall every package available to me. Since I already have a freemint installation on one partition with ext2, I was a bit worried when the installer first came up with "Found one LNX partition" "writing stuff". But fortunately, it does not write things to the LNX partition without warning you several times. This gave me a chance to actually go into hddriver and add the other LNX partition that I wanted to use.

The other uncommonly nice thing I noticed was that attention was paid to install order. Most Atari systems are slow and installing a full featured MiNT distribution can take a long, long time. But easymint handles all configuration and light install details first, then installs the packages, without requiring any silly prompts to be followed, allowing you to leave the computer and do something else, like sleep, for the hours and hours of time it takes to install. Being that EasyMiNT was created recently, it's very up-to-date, using a recent RPM system, fully setup RPM database, ext2 file system and more. It is a realistic linux competitor now on the Atari's amongst more common users now mostly because it's the perfect mix of unix and TOS.

There weren't really any problems per say. Easymint is missing some of the finer features of a unix environment. There's not even the "find" utility. I suppose that's fine if you have all of the RPM's for the sparemint distribution lying around but I don't think that counts. There was also not any options to install daemons for things like ssh, inetd, and ftpd, leaving you to handle all server setup yourself. There was no vconsole programs around leaving you to find that all for yourself too.

Easymint is in fact easy, and it gets you a properly setup MiNT system in record time, with very little effort. I do hope though that development continues and that you have options to install server oriented programs and a selection of vconsole programs is available as several authors out there have written modified versions.

Related Link: EasyMiNT Download

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