Linux is no longer just the preferred operating system of geeks and nerds. Thanks to newly released distributions like Ubuntu, Linux has a substantially wider user base today. Transfer to Linux operating system from a Windows or Mac OS X platform is a lot smoother today than before, as the graphical user interface and application features provided by these operating systems can serve the needs of any average user. Known to be one of the most stable Linux distribution, Ubuntu is one of the most popular choices of Linux converts. An effective alternative to Ubuntu is Linux Mint, which is actually an Ubuntu variant. As you might already know, Ubuntu itself is a variant of Debian. The aim of the Linux Mint team has been to modify the original Ubuntu system and improve is for beginner level users of Linux. Having checked out both the operating systems, I decided to present a Linux Mint vs Ubuntu comparison for all those of you, who are considering moving over to Mint from Ubuntu.
Linux Mint Vs Ubuntu Comparison
The best thing about Linux and the open source software movement is the amount of choice it provides the end users in terms of features and applications. Ubuntu and Linux Mint are both Debian variants, which essentially the same software repositories. Let us compare the latest release of Ubuntu (10.10 – Maverick Meerkat) against the latest release of Linux Mint (Linux Mint 10 – Julia).
Linux Mint Vs Ubuntu: Features & Interface
To start with, the prime difference between Linux Mint and Ubuntu is regarding the default user interface. While Ubuntu is restricted to GNOME, Linux Mint offers GNOME, Fluxbox, LXDE, KDE Plasma Desktop and Xfce. There is a radical difference in the interface offered by Linux Mint. Users migrating from Windows will find it easy to navigate through it, as it’s modeled on those lines. The menu has a search feature which helps you easily locate programs and files.
Compared to that, the Ubuntu interface is the standard GNOME based interface. Moreover, the Linux Mint interface is customizable according to user’s requirements. It is easy to install and try out through a Live CD, like Ubuntu and is certainly a very feature rich computer operating system. Let us see the difference between Linux Mint and Ubuntu in terms of applications.
Linux Mint Vs Ubuntu: Applications
The major point of difference between these two Linux distributions lies in the applications. Linux Mint includes many of the restricted software programs that Ubuntu excludes, like the restricted codecs and DVD player program. Other than this, what sets Linux Mint apart is the upload manager, update manager and software manager. These programs developed by the Linux Mint team, turn system administration into a substantially easy task.
Just like Ubuntu, Linux Mint comes with plenty of applications including Open Office suite, Mozilla Firefox browser, Pidgin, Xchat, GIMP and transmission P2P client. Other than that, there are as many as 30,000 other applications to choose, which are the same as Ubuntu. To conclude, Linux Mint comes with all the good features of Ubuntu and makes it even more easier to use, by adding better system administration tools and software programs, along with certain applications and audio/video codecs which are not available in Ubuntu.
Hope the Linux Mint vs Ubuntu 10.04 or later version comparison presented here helps you choose between the two. Since Linux Mint is completely based on the latest releases of Ubuntu, it has all the inherent features of Ubuntu plus more features. The fact that it includes extra support for DVD playback and media codecs which are not available in Ubuntu, and has proprietary software like Adobe flash plug in, makes it a better option for a Linux beginner. The software manager and update manager, along with a simpler interface makes it one of the most popular choices for new Linux converts. Visit the LinuxMint website and download a Live CD version of the operating system to try it out. It is best to try out both the distributions before deciding which one suits you best!