Should Linux Mint be the default distro for Dell and System76 computers?

In today's open source roundup: Why do Dell and System76 bundle Ubuntu instead of Linux Mint on their computers? Plus: Top Linux distributions to look forward to in 2016. And the top ten games released for Linux in 2015


Should Linux Mint be the default distro for Dell and System76 computers?

Linux Mint has long been one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions around. But companies like Dell and System76 don't use it as the default distribution on their computers. Instead they opt for Ubuntu, and that had one redditor wondering why they don't use Linux Mint.

Donbasbing asked his question in a discussion thread on the Linux subreddit:

”I know that Mint and Ubuntu are basically identical under the hood (they are both Ubuntu), but I will be talking about the desktop environment and user experience.

You can buy some NUCs with Mint preinstalled, (Librem laptop is using Mint's Cinnamon too, even though it's using Trisquel), however, all the big players like Dell or System76 are selling Linux machines with Ubuntu and the ugly and anti-multitasking Unity desktop.

Linux Mint Cinnamon is a brilliant Linux Distribution far better than Ubuntu with Unity, especially if you are a multitasker.

So, my question is, why isn't Linux Mint the default Linux distribution for Dell, System76 and others.

Because, Linux Mint with Cinnamon is far superior to Ubuntu with Unity and more easier to use for a Linux first timer coming from Windows.”

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And his fellow redditors responded with their thoughts about the choice of Ubuntu instead of Linux Mint in Dell and System76 computers:

Minimim: ”They don't have enough manpower to provide OEM support. Canonical signs contracts to offer expertise for the companies using their product. Mint is way smaller.”

Saxindustries: ”Ubuntu has the backing of Canonical, they're able to enter into partnerships with other companies and provide support.

Does Mint have the same OEM setup mode that Ubuntu has? On Ubuntu, you boot the alternate ISO and choose OEM mode. You install Ubuntu, do whatever additional setup you want (install programs, setup hardware, etc). When you're done, you run a script and shutdown. At next boot, the user gets walked through setting up and personalizing their computer - making an account, setting the timezone, connecting to wifi, etc.

I don't know of any other distro that has that feature, and it seems like a pretty important one for OEMs shipping PCs to consumers.”

Woegjiub: ”Mint isn't actually all that popular. It just has really vocal supporters, that really love making sure you know that they use mint. It's basically the beginner-friendly Arch, but with less marketshare.”

Jones-supa: ”Mint is kind of a hobbyist distro.”

Tsunami: ”So uninstall Ubuntu and install Mint. I never got the enthusiasm of "wooo, Dell comes with Ubuntu installed." So now you have to uninstall Ubuntu instead of Windows if you want something else. Like, what's the difference.

Product coupling is still product coupling, just because it's now coupled with some OS that uses the Linux kernel doesn't make it any less product coupling.”

Desktopdesktop: ”The biggest advantage as I see it is that it makes Linux more accessible to users who are not particularly good with computers and who wouldn't be comfortable installing a whole new operating system. I know you've written some on having a desire to keep the "unwashed masses" away from Linux, but if I have a relative who's getting a computer and I don't want them to have to worry about all the problems with Windows (malware, performance degradation over time that seems to be a problem with Windows, pre-installed trials and other junk), then I much prefer to have them on Linux, and having it pre-installed just makes that easier. Chromebooks are a good option too, under certain circumstances.”

Donbasbing: ”Ubuntu doesn't support some codecs/formats out of the box. Linux Mint does. That's important...for the newcomers to the Linux world. Aahhh!”

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