Is Linux Mint better than Ubuntu?

In today's open source roundup: Linux Mint versus Ubuntu. Plus: KDE releases Plasma 5.3. And screenshot tours of Debian 8 Cinnamon


Linux Mint versus Ubuntu

Linux Mint and Ubuntu are two of the most popular desktop Linux distributions around. But why do some people gravitate towards Linux Mint instead of Ubuntu? Is Linux Mint actually better than Ubuntu? A redditor asked why some folks have been opting for Linux Mint instead of Ubuntu, and got some interesting responses.

Oshirowanen asked his question in the Linux Mint subreddit:

What is it about Linux Mint that makes it better than Ubuntu in your view for desktop usage?

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His fellow Linux Mint redditors responded:

Engels777: "For me its mostly about not using Ubuntu's horrid gui. That and Cinnamon is pretty good."

Blinari: "For relatives that don't really know what they're doing, I can install Mint and have safe updates automatically install. Anything that might break the system I handle when I'm around."

Bengalitiger89: "Initially, for me, it was the fact that I was not comfortable switching over to Ubuntu's Unity Desktop, I like Cinnammon better, and over time Cinnamon has improved vastly (and with Numix themes installed, it looks very appealing, to me).

A MAJOR decision for me to ditch Ubuntu and move to Linux Mint permanently was the annoying Amazon search feature. I know it can be turned off, and/or removed. I don't care, I just think I should not have had to go through that hassle.

I made this decision, even though I think it would be easier for a novice/hoping to be intermediate user like me, to use Ubuntu, as apps, etc. are usually labeled as being compatible for Ubuntu and most tutorials and guides are for Ubuntu (I know LM can use the same stuff as ubuntu, but as a total newcomer, I knew that as well, but didn't go f the comfort of knowing I could always find help for Ubuntu, and LM might be slightly different in finding help online)"

G894h3i: "This is a good point. I've been on Slacko Puppy for about two months straight. It's the longest stretch I've ever been on any distro. I don't want to distro-hop like I use to and have been collecting info (a little at a time) on both Ubuntu and Linux Mint (and a couple of other security-focused distros).

One of the things I look for nowadays is the philosophy of the company behind a distro. It tells you what their long term plans are and whether they value the rights and privacy of the enduser. If I have to fight the producer of the OS (like I do on Windows, Android) just to protect myself, I'm probably not making the right choice as far as my concerns.

When Ubuntu integrated search with a 3rd-party without dialogue, they made a decision, internally, to turn their users into the product. To me, this goes against the Spirit of FOSS. In the end, you have to trust the OS you're on and not worry about other possible hidden code working against you. Not trusting Ubuntu too much these days but still investigating (happy that Puppy is getting the job done for now)."

Elmarko44: "Honestly, because it provides a more "Windows-like" experience out of the box."

Ageek: "Other than the multimedia/flash packages, I like the default configuration of Mint more than Ubuntu, for example in KDE, Dolphin includes a "New Directory" button in the toolbar, also Hibernation is enabled by default, etc.

However I get impatient and I install new releases of Ubuntu more often than not."

Tushn: "For my own part its the kernel ubuntu uses, wich I think is their own rendition? Atleast my uDAC does not work with ubunut, even the newset kernel. Linux Mint works perfectly fine with it.

And I dont particulary like Unity, so Cinnamon is my favorite of those. And yes, I know there are other versions of both Ubuntu and LM but with my uDAC-issues I'm sticking to LM on my desktop. Might try out the new Ubuntu on my laptop."

BurningFox: "I use it because it has Cinnamon Desktop.

Actually, if Ubuntu had proper support for Cinnamon, I'd probably switch back to Ubuntu.

I know there is a Cinnamon package available in Ubuntu repo, but a) It comes with horrible configuration. b) Ubuntu doesn't have Mint Dektop Manager and the only desktop manager in Ubuntu repos that seems to support Cinnamon is xdm, which is extremely barebones and sometimes even faulty. c) Last time I tried Ubuntu with Cinnamon, I was experiencing crashes of various programs from time to time.

Although apropos point b), I probably should try LXDM."

Jollysnowman: "For me, it's Cinnamon. I recently came back to Linux after a 2-3 year hiatus, and was kind of like, "I don't feel like going through set up again; I just want it work." So I bit the bullet and started looking at the Ubuntu family. Xubuntu felt too dated, Kubuntu was ugly af, and I absolutely hated the difficulty in customizing Ubuntu. I was pretty close to starting with Ubuntu minimal and building up with Openbox, but then I tried Mint.

The default look & feel is really nice, I got the "it just works" experience, and the hotkey + window management settings let me accomplish many, if not all, things I can do with Openbox. Everything else I've wanted to customize has been easy to change.

FWIW, I did try Ubuntu with Cinnamon alongside Unity, as well as the official but unofficial Cinnamon derivative, but couldn't gain any momentum after a couple days on each. I spent maybe 30 minutes with Ubuntu + Gnome, and the similarities to Unity at first glance (remember, 30 minutes!) were enough to make me not even want to try."

ArthurTrollington: "Ubuntu is trying to be cutting edge. With Gnome 3 and Unity, they're trying to bridge the gap between mobile and desktop, in the same way that Microsoft is trying to do with Windows 8. End users are basically being told what they want and that doesn't sit well with many of them.

Linux Mint doesn't do that.

On LM, if people want an interface that looks like Windows XP, they can have that. Sure, you can do the same with enough tweaking with Ubuntu, but why bother? LM functions, out of the box, the same way that Ubuntu does after you've spent a week playing with it and getting everything set up the way you want."

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