Why Linux Mint Might Be A Better Beginner’s Linux Than Ubuntu

Why Linux Mint Might Be A Better Beginner’s Linux Than Ubuntu

On nearly any post about Ubuntu, or Linux in general, the Ubuntu derivative Linux Mint is offered as an alternative, or comes up (multiple times) as a recommendation in the comments. What sets Mint apart? Blogger (and obvious Linux lover) Jeff Hoogland makes five cases for Mint over Ubuntu.

The default software picks (Pidgin over Empathy, Thunderbird included), the graphical look, and the general ease of use for newcomers used to Windows are all valid considerations, but we’d consider the default inclusion of “restricted” stuff like MP3 codecs, Java and Flash to be the true killer app for beginners. What puts Mint over Ubuntu in your mind or vice versa?

Thoughts on Technology


  • Linux Mint is good for Brand new users, but still after you have used a linux box for a few months, it’s probably better to stay away from it.

    It doesn’t take long or much learning to install codecs, remove and add applications and configure ubuntu to how you want, the only good thing about MINT is it comes pre-installed with ‘some’ applications and codecs… nothing fantastic if you ask me.

    Sabayon 5 is a good alternative.

    p.s your connect with facebook link is broken.

    Invalid API key specified

    The application you are trying to access does not exist or has been disabled.

  • I am very new to Linux but always wanted to try it (especially after we bought Windows 7 thinking it would cover all our home computers and realising (after 30 days) that we only had a licence for ONE!!) and previously tried Ubuntu. I found Ubuntu difficult to use as a newcomer and couldn’t get anything to work so ended up deleting it off my system and going back to Windows.

    I was determined to give Linux another shot so I’ve just installed Linux Mint 8 on my laptop (side by side with Windows). It’s awesome. I love it. So easy to use and everything that I need just works. So go Helena!!

    When I feel brave enough I think I will ditch Windows altogether.

  • The inclusion of Flash and other codecs is why I am moving to Mint from Ubuntu-neat. In a year of using 9.04, I haven’t been able to get the latest Flash working at all – I can watch the older videos on Youtube, but nothing recent.

  • @Kate Russell: That was my experience, exactly! And I couldn’t have said it better. By the way, It always puzzles me why many Linux users take such an elitist attitude towards Windows users who find Linux distros too complicated. How will Linux ever be No1 if it’s(unnecessary?)complexity just plain puts people off? Mint has shown that a Linux OS can be user-friendly. And what’s so wrong with that?

    • In my experience of testing software usability and user experiences, Linux distros such as Ubuntu and Mint are much easier for computer novices to pick up. Many of the issues, in terms of difficulties, stem from the user’s ‘predisposition’ to Windows operating systems. I’ve found that the learning curve is just as steep, if not steeper, when introduced to Windows or OSx for the first time. The fact that Linux is difficult to use is not due to its inability to connect with the user. If you’ve been a Windows user for ten or fifteen years, then the transition is likely to be a difficult one.

      I think Linux is a wonderful operating system. It’s used in many places in Africa, India and China, where software licenses are not a feasible option. As an enabling technology, I find it a wonderful invention. As a technical user with a relatively low end PC, Linux also enables me to regain some of the functionality that I lose with Windows.

      I’m pleased to see so many people embracing open source technology!

  • IT JUST WORKS !!!!

    MINT is better because

    1..it plays MP3 and DVD “out of the box”

    2..conservative update, it wont be broken by updates. so no problems for users to deal with

    3..conservative upgrade, backup user data and then install..no problems for user with upgrade disasters

    4..the vast majority of people just want something that works..remember Apples Number reason to switch to Apple “it just works”

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