Sibling Rivalry: Linux Mint 11 vs. Ubuntu 11.04

Lately, we've been covering a lot about Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, Fedora 15, and Linux in general. However, we haven't really talked about another popular distribution that has been around for quite a while. The distro is called Linux Mint and it currently holds the second spot on Distrowatch.

Though the popularity of Ubuntu amongst the Linux-curious crowd is immense, Mint has quietly found itself a spot in the hearts of many new users. This gradual rise in the popularity of Mint makes it a distro that simply cannot be ignored anymore. So, let's compare Linux Mint 11 ‘Katya’ with our very own Natty and see how it holds out.

User Interface / Look and Feel:

The user interface is the most important part of a distribution. Most often, it is the first thing a user notices or cares about, if of course, he's trying it on a live CD. Many times the User Interface is the sole deciding factor that can compel a Windows user to switch to a Linux-based distribution. While Ubuntu has recently moved to the controversial Unity interface, Linux Mint, with Katya, has decided to stick with the good old GNOME 2.x. Unity takes advantage of the powerful effects Compiz provides in order to create a beautiful shelled desktop. There are transparencies, different kinds of new effects and functionalities that give a modern look to the desktop. While this may work for new users who have never used Linux before, many seasoned Linux users have disliked this move, and many of them have even moved to Mint.

The elusive launcher on the left, the locked down panels and dash, lack of integration with default applications has brought down Ubuntu's popularity down a notch. For experienced Linuxers, the changes are too many to handle at once. Linux Mint in this case, steps up as a good, easy to use, viable alternative to Ubuntu. Of course, Ubuntu does ship with the GNOME 2.x desktop. However, that is going to change in the next version. Hence, Ubuntu users either have to get used to Unity or simply switch to another desktop. Linux Mint on the other hand, makes this switch possible for many users by keeping things really simple.
For those who don't know this, Linux Mint is Ubuntu-based, so users can enjoy all the goodness of Ubuntu but with a fresh minty flavor. From installation steps, Linux Mint makes sure that new users don't have any trouble installing it on their systems. They've kept the installer similar to the one Ubuntu has except for a few aesthetic changes. At the boot up itself, Mint pleases the user with one of the best GRUB splash screens that we've ever seen. Ubuntu however, sticks with the plain aubergine. When we compare the desktops, Mint has a fresh minty-green feel to it. Ubuntu on the other hand, pleases the user with the perky aubergine desktop that gives it its trademark look. Mint has modified the classic GNOME by combining the top and bottom panels into a single panel at the bottom. The real show stealer though, is the Start Menu (known as Mint Menu). This is what Unity should have incorporated instead of the locked-down dash. The menu includes links to ‘Places’ and ‘System’ on the left, and on the right there is a place for pinning the favorite applications. A search bar at the bottom makes it a complete menu. Dash on the other hand, simply includes shortcuts and a search bar.

Coming to the taskbar, Unity employs a modern-looking launcher that sits at the left of the screen. It comes with various functionalities like Quick lists, Lenses, Shortcuts and more. The launcher also has the ability to dodge windows intelligently. Mint on the other hand, employs the familiar task bar, which will please all the folks who long for the look and feel of a traditional desktop interface.

Also, when it comes to default selection of themes, Mint beats Ubuntu hands down with its collection of minty fresh themes that work perfectly. Ubuntu also comes with a wide variety of themes, but some of them aren't compatible with the buttons on the left. Also, few of them look ugly with the new Unity interface. The wallpaper collection in Mint is kept to bare minimum. It comes with around 9 Linux wallpapers but all of them look wonderful. Ubuntu however, has a much wider collection of wallpapers.

So, after looking at the UI aspect of both the desktops, there is no doubt that Mint Katya beats Ubuntu Natty hands down. Unity tries to do too much leaving the user both perplexed and agitated at times. Mint however, sticks to the minimal basics yet pleases the user aesthetically.

Winner: Linux Mint

Software Management:

Ubuntu has its own software center that was updated in Natty to include ratings and reviews. Mint users on the other hand, were already enjoying those features. What's more, Mint's software manager even has a pretty splash screen. Ubuntu's Software Center (USC) comes with all the features Mint's Software Manager provides including a few more. It includes support for installing paid applications like Family Farm, World of Goo and many others. Other than that, there's not much of a difference between both the Software managers. So, solely on the merit that USC lets users install paid applications, Ubuntu just wins this round.

Winner: Ubuntu Natty

Default Applications:

Lately, Ubuntu has been playing around with its default application set. However, no matter how hard it tries, it can never match up to what Mint brings to the platter. Don't believe me? Here, take a look at what Mint offers:

Graphics: GIMP, Simple Scan, gThumb, LibreOffice Draw
Internet: Firefox, Pidgin IM, Giver, Sun Java 6, Thunderbird, Transmission, XChat IRC
Multimedia: Banshee, Brasero, GNOME Mplayer, Movie Player, Sound Recorder, VLC Media Player
Office: Dictionary, LibreOffice

Now, with applications like those, a user doesn't have to install anything extra to get started. The very fact that Mint includes applications like VLC and Mplayer puts it miles ahead of Ubuntu in this round. Ubuntu does have a decent set of applications but it simply isn't as impressive as the one Mint provides. Hence the winner here is Mint.

Winner: Linux Mint


Again, Linux Mint being Ubuntu-based, performs almost the same way as Ubuntu does. However, if we consider the performance while using the actual desktop, Linux Mint takes the lead. This is because, even if you have a powerful graphics card, the quality of proprietary drivers that are out there for Linux aren't up to the mark. So, Unity having features that take advantage of the graphics card, many users may feel a significant drop in performance. Moreover, with Unity, the time to load the desktop from the GDM login screen has visibly increased. Linux Mint, as it stays on the safer side, works as snappy as ever. So, based purely on how the desktop performs, Mint wins this round.

Winner: Linux Mint

Ease of use:

Reiterating the point we made before, Ubuntu tries to do too much with Unity. It's not something that a new user will get used to straight away. Mint on the other hand, retains all the principles of the standard desktop. Hence, a new user will get accustomed to the interface within no time. Also, users who are switching from Windows will love the non-fussy minimalist look of Mint. The winner here of course, is Mint again.

Winner: Linux Mint

Reliability, branding and support:

Reliability here is not to be confused with stability. If you're a frequent distro-hopper and are using Ubuntu, moving to Mint after reading this review, would be a child's play for you. However, if you use the computer for doing actual work and your productivity depends on its stability, you'll be a bit reluctant to switch right away. About a couple of years ago, switching distributions wasn't a big deal as most of them offered similar features. However now, with the whole GNOME 3 and Unity bifurcation, switching distros is like moving to another operating system. Hence, no matter how good Mint is, there will be people who'll be a bit hesitant to switch.

The very fact that Ubuntu is backed by a big company like Canonical makes Ubuntu more reliable as a 'product'. Moreover, Ubuntu has a strong community, a good fan following (P.S: Bandwagon effect), and a branding that is the best a Linux distribution can have. Also, some users are willing to stick with Ubuntu simply because it dared to make some brave moves. They believe that, with some added effort, Ubuntu has the potential to become the best operating system around. As far as support is concerned, Ubuntu offers top-quality professional Linux support (paid support) and sites like and have large amount of active users helping each other. So, considering its popularity and the prospects it has for the future, this round goes to Ubuntu.

Winner: Ubuntu Natty

Software Compatibility:

Linux Mint being Ubuntu-based, almost 99% of the applications that are available for Ubuntu will work for Mint. However, inexperienced users who have just switched to Mint may find it difficult to find applications that are outside the software center. For example, if a new user goes to the Dropbox website to download the official application, he or she might get confused by not seeing an option to install the same software on Mint. That person might not be aware of the fact that any software that works on Ubuntu will also work for Mint. This has been a problem for Mint despite being so popular. Also, with new Ubuntu-only features like indicator applets, quicklists and lenses, the list of applications that make use of those features just keep on growing. In fact, popular applications like Dropbox online backup have even added support for Indicator applets. So, this round goes to Natty again.

Winner: Ubuntu Natty

Extra Features:

Since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, there is not much of a difference between both the distros. One key feature that Mint offers is that it comes with all the codecs installed. But now that Ubuntu also allows users to install the codecs beforehand, there's not much of a difference between the two distributions. Hence, there's a tie here.

The Results:

[Drumroll please] Ladies and Gentlemen, the results of the most epic desktop battle are out. The reigning champion Ubuntu Natty has scored 4 points. [Wait for Applause]. Linux Mint however, wins by scoring 5 points and becoming the new World Desktop Champion. [Some cheers amidst booing from Ubuntu fanboys]

But wait, we will be giving sort of a "People's Choice Award", so you may now cast your votes below:


Although Ubuntu 11.04 comes with tons of new features, it simply fails to impress as much as Linux Mint 11 does. Mint is fast, easy to use and just fresh. Ubuntu Natty though, has a lot to work upon. Earlier, Mint was always a step behind Ubuntu, but by sticking with GNOME classic, it has proven itself as a superior distribution. Only time will tell whether it can retain the top spot as Ubuntu is readying itself for bigger challenges.

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.


  1. AnonymousJune 13, 2011

    Firstly, I am not a ubuntu fan boy. How can you compare default application available in ubuntu (CD) with default application available in Linux Mint (DVD)? What about update manager? and don't tell me that here also Linux Mint thumbs down ubuntu. It takes hell lot of time to list all available updates on Linux Mint.

  2. AnonymousJune 13, 2011

    Tried Natty from the release date. Had been using Ubuntu for some time. Natty, with Unity I really TRIED to like it and give it a serious run for the money. Sorry, Unity just to much. I found "classic" Gnome my choice. BUT, I found Natty to buggy. The random RE BOOTING got to be very annoying and trying to trouble shoot why it was happening just ridiculous. The sudden losing the applets from the bar a real pain. Having to re boot to reload em to much. Otherwise all was fine till this past Friday I logged in and my MENU disappeared and that was that. To much troubleshooting and repairing with Natty. Loaded Linux Mint Friday night and have been VERY happy with! NO rebooting,NO disappearing applets, NO disappearing Menu button. IT JUST WORKS and no goofy UNITY, NO Gnome 3. JUST my Gnome. AND STABILITY! So much so I just converted a hardcore windoze XP fanatic to MINT on Saturday afternoon and he is VERY happy. No former LINUX experience and by Sunday night he was raving out about how much fun he was having learning and NOT crashing.
    I am sticking with MINT. Can only imagine the next Ubuntu release with the UNITY / Gnome 3 train wreck. If it makes you happy, great! I can't see it.

  3. AnonymousJune 13, 2011

    Give Pinguy OS a try.

  4. AnonymousJune 14, 2011

    Is the battery laptop issue regarding the new linux releases(specifically ubuntu) been solved yet? I really wanted to shift from MS to Ubuntu or linux mint but this problem has been holding me back from the big move.

  5. AnonymousJune 14, 2011

    Ubuntu 11.04 For me not work. I've been trying installed on many computer and have always problems. So I don't bother with this version.

  6. AnonymousJune 15, 2011

    Great review, thank you.
    I use Windows 7 as my main desktop, and play with all the available Linux distros by installing them in VMware Workstation.
    I gave Ubuntu 11.04 a try - both virtually and installed as the main OS - and was very disappointed. I do not like Unity AT ALL. I find it difficult to work and just move around the system.
    Recently I tried the latest version of Mint, intrigued by its newer ranking in distrowatch, and was completely blown away. Without too much fuzz or hesitation, I installed it in a virtual machine, and played with it for a few minutes.
    Needless to say that, when I got home from the office, I downloaded the full x64 DVD version and installed it on my system, replacing Windows 7.
    Mint is looks clean, feels fast, and doesn't try to overdo things.
    I also tried Fedora 15 on the Gnome desktop and was disgusted by it. So sad that one of my favorite distros (Fedora) has been ruined by Gnome 3. Yes, there are other desktops available, but I prefer Gnome 2, since I have previous experience.

    Anyways, excellent article. Thanks!

  7. AnonymousJune 15, 2011

    I took a look at PINGUY OS, which is based on Mint Linux 11.04 and after a hour of exploring and using I FELL in LOVE and reformated and installed it and IT IS a great experience! A lot comes with it, that's ok, it can be dealt with. Fun and STABLE and IT HAS NOT CRASHED or RE BOOTED ONCE like Ubuntu 11.04.....AND NO UNITY!!! This has been a VERY pleasurable experience. PINGUY least give it a try.....found this video review which was the real reason I downloaded it....
    Review is later in the program.

  8. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    1. UNITY works great on my old eee 901

    2. UNITY is annoying on my 18.5" acer laptop and my 22" inch desktop displays.

    3. MINT works very, very well on all three

    4. and my honeycomb 3.1 Xoom is more fun than any of therm

  9. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    I'm going with Mint since the Unity interface isn't really feature complete and perfect. Mint sounds like a more solid release then Ubuntu right now.

  10. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    i just took 14 minutes to post a comment and out of know were nattey just crashed, I'm so disgusted!

  11. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    Dropbox is a bad example. It's available directly from the Mint repositories. Same goes for Virtualbox, Opera, Picasa, Google Earth..etc. Most websites list their .debs as Ubuntu debs, but most Mint users know Mint is based on Ubuntu and most of these apps are available in the Mint repositories.

  12. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    You're obviously a Mint fanboy. That's fine, but you shouldn't try writing objective comparisons. You're just disabled for that.

  13. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    Personally I use Debian Squeeze stable, it does everything I need it to.

    I installed Mint 11 on my wife's laptop and she hasn't complained, and that is key.

    You left out Mint Tools like mint backup in your comparison, I don't believe Ubuntu has these.

  14. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    I'm so disgusted with the horribly ugly un customizable mcdonalds cash register looking interface of ububtu that i wont ever be giving ubuntu another look ever. i dont care how they change it , im done with it. unity is a GIANT step backwards in desktop computing, c'mon seriously, big giant ugly buttons that lock me into doing what the OS manufacturer decides im allowed to do with my computer, no thanks i'll set my comp up to look and work the way that I want it to . i dont need canonical trying to turn my desktop computer into an Iphone clone ... next thing you know you wont be able to share any of the files in your comp with other computers because of canonicals built in DRM

  15. For me Unity was the reason to switch to Mint Debian Edition. It contains the Mint goodies, but it is based on Debian instead of Ubuntu

  16. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    Does the Mint Design team use open source programs in their design unlike the Ubuntu Design team that uses the Adobe Products and the folks at omgubuntu who use them? That is the main reason I switched to Fedora since their design team uses Gimp, Inkscape etc and not Adobe products. I feel any Linux Design Team should be using Gimp, Inkscape etc... instead of Adobe Products.

  17. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    I'm a long time Mint user and have always acknowledged that without Ubuntu Mint would be nowhere. That says, there is a reason mint is so popular. They really do a fantastic job of making Ubuntu a joy to use while making easy for users of any skill level. that and the mint tools are brilliant (this is especially true of the Mint menu and the package Updater).

    I still check every new version of Ubuntu, and every time I find myself going back to Mint main edition. however come this fall, there is a very distinct possibility that I might make the switch to Linux Mint Debian XFCE (LMDX). The main reason is that with Gnome dumping the standard look and questions still open on whether mint will be able to modify the basic gnome three classic look to perform like Gnome 2, the closes thing to the mint we all know and love is LMDX. Sure I'll miss many of the Ubuntu goodies (love the floating scrollbars), but at least as it currently stands, I just can't stomach unity. Give me a traditional set up with Docky instead.

  18. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    I respect Canonical's decision to develop Unity - it's about time the Desktop Environment market became more interesting. Arch Linux all the way!

  19. AnonymousJune 18, 2011

    Hello I'm a mint user and I'm fell free. I was trying lot of distros and Open suse is the worst not drivers for my think pad t61, fedora no thanks freeze... Ubuntu 10.10 I had in office and work well, I trying 11.04 and I think it's not for me. Linux Mint 11 is stabile, simple with support and I love it is my primary distro. Thanks Mint.

  20. AnonymousJune 18, 2011

    I like Unity - it's much more stable now than it was a month ago. Definitely better than gnome 3. I don't understand why default programs are an issue anyway - everything is a few keystrokes away. I generally like a simplistic, minimalist desktop, but mint is starting to look dated - I mean it's pretty much a windows XP taskbar along the bottom of the screen...

  21. AnonymousJune 18, 2011

    I was once a Ubuntu extremist but after a year of using Mint I feel I have come home to stay. Mint works so well that I often forget what OS I am using and simply focus on that task at hand.

    I have never had a failure with Mint regardless of the machine I have installed it on. From netbooks to high end desktops Mint excels.

  22. AnonymousJune 19, 2011

    I am a Mint user however I installed The new Ubuntu to see what all the noise was about. After a few days of use and a little tweaking I decided it would meet all my needs. However I deleted it and returned to my Mint install mainly because i was more familiar and thus comfortable with it. I applaud the Ubuntu folks for their efforts and willingness to break the mode and I look forward to what they have in the pipe.

  23. AnonymousJune 25, 2011

    I am using Mint 11 via the distro released by PINGUY. What a very decent release. It has become the OS I use on my 2 production machines. VERY stable and I customized it further to make it my own and proceeded to produce my refined version. If you want to try a great version of Mint 11 do yourself a favor and look at this distro.

  24. KHerring7383June 27, 2011

    Having used Ubuntu 10.10 and many other previous versions, I find that 11.04 with Unity was a definite mistake. If 11.04 and 11.10 are an indication of what to expect I will definately switch to Mint. Currently, I use both 10.10 and Mint 11 and to be honest I really like the fresh and clean UI of Mint. In the last month I've had enough time to install my 10.10 apps and with a few tweaks Emerald too. So far every thing seems to run stable with the exception of an occasional resetting of Emerald. Other than that, It's great!

  25. AnonymousJune 27, 2011

    For most of my life i have been a Windows user, however from time to time i would check out a few of the top listed linux distro's. I have always wanted to take the plunge and switch to linux full time, but in the past was let down by various bugs and/or compatibility problems with software i needed to use. I recently bought an Acer Aspire One HD 522 (AMD C-50 Fusion based) netbook and decided to try out Ubuntu 11.04. Well to say the least it was a nightmare!!!

    It installed fine but Unity was pretty buggy. However the thing that really forced me away from Ubuntu was the Broadcom wifi issue. Basically every single time i tried to connect to the net via wifi, the whole computer would lock up...requiring a hard reset! I read up on the issue and tried so many different supposed "fixes" for said issue but most of them either didnt work at all, or caused my OS to not even boot anymore, definitely not a good sign for a new user like me.

    So what im going to do now is try Linux Mint Debian Edition, so since it isnt based on Ubuntu the problem should'nt exist.

    100% going to be removing Ubuntu from my list of distro's to try in the future!

  26. Great review!

    Mint it's the best solution for the users who try to use Linux for the first time.

  27. AnonymousJuly 05, 2011

    I'm a follower of Ubuntu since 8.04, and I decided to install Natty in to my new notebook... One of biggest mistakes of my life, I've tried to run Ubuntu in every possible way, nothing, due to Unity and the graphic related bugs of the proprietary drivers, I gave up. Downloaded and installed Mint 11, even since Live CD I noticed the differences in Compiz effects support. After installation, without any proprietary drivers, the OS simply runs perfectly, just some minor issue due to some handmade setting, but truly it's a true deal. I'll wait for Ubuntu 11.10; 11.04 and Unity just GTFO

  28. AnonymousJuly 09, 2011

    I switched early today to Linux Mint 11 (from 11.04) and so far couldn't be happier. Everything worked (wireless keyboard and mouse, belkin wireless adapter, video card, etc.) right after the install. I also appreciate the return to the gnome desktop. Great article, it definitely helped me make the switch!

  29. AnonymousJuly 12, 2011

    I'm a new Linux user coming from windows and currently running natty. Overall I'm enjoying the experience but for the love of GOD who's idea was it to put the launcher on the left side of the screen? As far as I can tell you can't move it. Any time I try to use the back button in Firefox the stupid launcher pops out and I end up clicking on the home folder. It looks exactly like the Win 7 toolbar, but at least in Win 7 you can move it wherever you want. Overall the Unity interface reminds me very much of Windows 7, which isn't a bad thing, I'm just sick of the windows feel. That's why I think I'm going to try Mint, just seems so fresh and minty!

  30. AnonymousJuly 18, 2011

    If you want ease of use in ubuntu, just log on in classic mode and you wont be struggling like a noob, like you would if you were to have the launcher on the left side.. Ubuntu rules for me personally

  31. Ubuntu is mother to Mint.. and it always will be.. like Debian is to Ubuntu... if u talk about stability Ubuntu and Mint are same. and talk about ease use Ubuntu in the Ubuntu Classic mode. so Ubuntu is better with better app support, I am a regular Mint and Ubuntu user, and there are times when apps take trouble running on Mint. never have had it on Ubuntu

  32. At the end of the day its called user preference. Apparently people have forgotten about that!

  33. Pues yo estoy muy contento con Ubuntu 11.04, de hecho es mi sistema predeterminado por encima windows 7. TIenen su propio gestor de softwares tiene mucho mas compatibilidad que linux mint 11.


    This. I'm trying Mint, because after months and months Ubuntu can't make thousands of user's windows run properly. GLX Gears reports 20,000 FPS on my system, but updates at 1 FPS on screen. This is horrid. I hate Unity, but the sluggish response to a major bug has me looking to Mint for salvation.

  35. i used ubuntu..didn't like switched to be fair Mint is the best among Linux..i'm dual booting it with issues at all...i'm spending more time in mint than in win7..There is something 'freshening about mint!!'

  36. This is not the firts "Ubuntu vs XXXX" I've seen, the web is full of them, but one thing is true. So far Ubuntu have out performed all the Distros it had been compared to throught out the years. I have the feeling it won't be different with this "XXXX". I know for sure that in 5 years from now the comparison it will again be "Ubuntu vs SOME OTHER XXX".

  37. Debian for server + Mint for desktop.

  38. Ubuntu couldn't detect my wireless card, wich Mint did flawlessly. I don't care why or why not, and only that reason is enough for me (and probably for the thousands of users that go back to windows after giving ubuntu a try), to keep mint as my distro

  39. Using linux Mint 11 with LXDE desktop on an ancient Compaq nc4200. Works perfectly, no complaints. Better than XP which was on the laptop.

  40. I didn't like Unity but sticked to it. I tried to upgrade to 11.10 last night. It completely crashed to the point that my computer is totally useless, I can no longer access all my personal files (good thing I have a back up).
    I've just downloaded the Mint 11 iso file. I will try it tonight and let see how it works. I've been using ubuntu since 8.04 and I'm pretty disappointed with Canonical...

    Solves the battery issue.

    Ubuntu screwed the pooch forcing everyone to Unity. 11.10 is the worst nightmare I've experienced yet with Ubuntu... it even trashed my Compiz Fuzion so it won't run under Gnome Desktop.

    Ubuntu has successfully fallen into the 800 lb. gorilla status in Open Source. I hope Mint never decides to hold their user base over a barrel because that's where I'm headed.

    Goodbye Ubuntu, Mint here I come... thanks for the headaches Ubuntu.

  42. Oh BTW, Ubuntu got rid of "classic mode" in 11.10 (newbies are stuck with Unity unless they figure out how to install Gnome Desktop themselves)... this is in response to those who posted how easy it is to just flip over to that "classic". Furthermore... Ubuntu now trashes all your Classic desktop settings, leaving you with having to re-configure EVERYTHING back to your liking.

    Ubuntu 11.10 is a FAIL. Complete and utter FAIL.

  43. ubuntu 10.04--good
    ubuntu 10.10-best
    ubuntu 11.04-very bad
    ubuntu 11.10-boring ui

    But Linux Mint -100/100.
    outstandig 'OS' with good ui.
    i use mint 11 since 2month.

  44. Another Ubuntu 8.04 - 10.10 user here. 11.04 upgrade messed up my machine and after fresh install of 11.10 Unity-only version, it was clear time to look elsewhere. So i tried Mint 11. Nice, clean, works out of the box -> A+ Awesome!

  45. I've been using Ubuntu since 2007 (Feisty) and tried and installed every new version on different computers until 10.04 as I wanted to stick to an LTS version. Unfortunately trying to enhance my Ubuntu 10.04 I ended up installing incompatible libraries (yeah, I know... who does that anyway?) and completely messing my system. At this point I had heard about Unity and all the problems and decided to give Mint another try (did my first back in 2008 and didn't quite like it). I knew I was going to start with the left foot because I love my desktop cube and even the LM official site warns you that there is a bug (granted not from LM itself) and that it should be avoided... So I installed LM 11 and everything seemed to be working OK (and I would've been pissed if it didn't because there were no hardware issues with previous versions of Ubuntu). Then I proceeded to install software and tried doing it the 'preferred' LM way... oh boy, what a waste of time... navigating through the software manager combined with having to input your password every single time you want install something made it for a very unpleasant and unproductive afternoon (come on, if I close and then reopen the software manager I get it but on the same session?). Fast forward a full month and although my Mint is usable it randomly crashes on me dumping me into the login screen, sometimes it goes to sleep and my screen never comes back. I have to manually kill the xserver... I am guessing it might be that the newer kernel I am using in LM might not play along well with my xserver but that doesn't leaves me less disappointed.

    Anyway my 2 cents.

  46. drivers made me stick to the julia (linux mint 10)... I tried ubuntu because its the most popular out there and i was disappointed I couldnt get my wifi to work.. really at this day and age.. I love mint and am about to move to the katya.. thanks for the post.

  47. I installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on my new 64-bit box that I just built. The problem I'm having is the keyboard and mouse lock up after a random amount of time. No pattern to it other than lockup is inevitable. I surfed the Ubuntu forums for a solution, but the best advice was to install 10.04 LTS, or enter three lines from the Ctrl-Alt-F1 screen. Well, I already had 10.04 LTS installed, and when the keyboard locks, Ctrl-Alt-F1 is moot.

    So I asked my brother (Linux geek) to recommend something that might work better. He suggested Mint. I made it through the umpteenth "minty fresh!" reference without throwing my face through a glass door and decided to give it a try. I have nothing to report as I haven't installed it yet, but being based on Ubuntu, is that a possible issue? Or is the issue Gnome 3.x? I just want something stable...

    As I have been told I am not.

  48. Been a linux user for years (started with RH 2 or 3...can't remember anymore). Have several RH servers in my job. Used Fedora on my desktop, moved to Ubuntu, and it looked like the was the "year of the linux desktop" distribution. It was fast, polished, easy for n00bs to use and I told a few people to try it...and it was good.

    But then 11.04 came out,...not too bad. Then, 11.10 with Unity. I tried it several times only to go back to the gnome classic logins...which were getting less and less configurable. I could see the rift growing...

    Only this week I decided to save my /home and format for Katya. This is what Ubuntu was trying to be! It's a great, polished, well done distribution. Beautiful desktop for the n00bs, configurable for the experienced, apparently a great support structure (via their site or the vast information on the 'net). Simple for first time users without robbing all the linux configurability for the old timers, plus a much easier name to say (especially to new users in public!).

    My hat's off to the Mint team. I may try and get to the roots with LMDE if Canonical screws up Ubuntu anymore, but for now, it's just a lovely dist. Great job guys!

  49. Maverick Meerkat 10.10~ a fine distro, the best Ubuntu can be with a classic Gnome apps. A show stopper, for beginner or pro.
    Natty Narwhal 11.04~ Washed up on shore to die, Unity can't configure a butthair. This whale failed. What a disappointment.
    Mint 11~ Pinnacle of Linux vision. Can it get better than this? A masterpiece of simplicity and grace. Bravo Mint developers. Great decision making.

  50. Biased biased biased biased BIASED!

  51. I had no choice. After a few years of being devoted to Ubuntu, I had to move to Linux Mint. Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10 just won't run on my HP All-in-One. I sure as hell am not going to buy a new computer just to run Ubuntu. So fare-thee-well, and God save the Queen.

  52. Mint was such a downer--locked up every time I booted up after installing, screen would go fuzzy around the edges, could barely make out words--going back to ubuntu

  53. UNITY is getting a good deal of beating here, but if you are a keyboard jocky who loathes mousificated slowness, the UNITY interface is crazy awesome.

    If you are a developer who is flying with EMACs let's say - UNITY allows all the ease of pointy-clicky plus all the flexibility of a more technical interface..

    that said - the hardware integration of MINT is nicer... no doubt.

  54. Who prevents you from installing a base Ubuntu and a lightweight desktop on top of it? I run Ubuntu with LXDE. It is super fast and has all pros. of Ubuntu!

  55. I can't get my sound to work on Linux Mint Debian on firefox

  56. I've used mint 9,10,11, and 12, on AMD64 based laptops. I never had a problem with 9,10, but 11 and 12 were always crashing even with latest updates, Isadora was ok on one HP but, now I switched to Ubuntu 11.10 and its runs like silk compared to mint 12 which on an different partition crashes on anything whether its libre office, FireFox etc..Ubuntu has never failed.

  57. Haven't tried Natty without Pinguy OS on top of it. I got hooked on it with the last release. It is very Minty. :-)

  58. Just made the jump from ubuntu to mint this week. not bad at all/

  59. AnonymousMay 09, 2012

    I installed Linux Mint because of the friendlier interface. However, to my dismay, it freezes quite frequently. I did not have this problem with Natty.

  60. I have tried from linux ubuntu 8.04 to 12.04 and linux mint 9 to linux mint 13, the perfect based on my opinion and my experience is LINUX MINT 11, I like it replace windows...