Is Linux Mint a Better Choice than Ubuntu?: Page 2

Could the rapidly growing, user-friendly Linux distro attract converts away from the mighty Ubuntu?
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Security, stability and a long-term view

Something you might find interesting about Linux Mint is that it's not just about offering an Ubuntu derivative. While you can run with a LTS release of Linux Mint that will likely meet with your company's needs, there’s also a Debian release as well.

Going with the Debian option might make a lot of sense for your company in that it uses Debian repositories and software, and it also offers a rolling release, meaning you install once and update from then on out. The only downside to the Linux Mint Debian release is that it's Gnome only at this point. Which may not be a problem, since Linux Mint does Gnome very well by offering up professional-looking themes.

Smaller community, growing list of users

Something else that would be worth considering is that Linux Mint is one of the fastest growing distributions. Next to Ubuntu, some strongly believe that it's beating out all the other distributions.

I can't claim this as a fact myself, but I would agree that it's growing at breaking speed. Perhaps more important, though, is the fact that that Linux Mint community that is soliciting new ideas for future releases. While Ubuntu sort of offers this as well, sometimes a smaller community is better.

After all, it's because of the smaller community that Linux Mint offers many of the features that it does. From the single click installation of codecs to the enterprise-friendly option of a rolling release based on Debian. There is something here for everyone.

Reasons why Linux Mint might not be enterprise ready

Linux Mint is just a remastered Linux distribution. The same can be said, of course, of distros ranging from Ubuntu to Debian. The fact is, some people might feel a little uncomfortable about going too many steps down the Debian latter. Others still, will forget all of this and just reach for alternatives like Arch Linux, Fedora, and OpenSuSE.

Then there is the fact that Linux Mint seems best for people completing fresh installations over updated ones. In contrast, Ubuntu offers the option of updating their install. If you happen to be someone who prefers running an updated version of their OS, Ubuntu would be a better choice.

The last thing that comes to mind is the lack of paid applications showing up with Linux Mint. Don't misunderstand me, there are proprietary applications available for download with Linux Mint. However, the opportunity for new app developers to make a name in the Ubuntu Software Center is not at this point comparable in Linux Mint. There simply isn't a way to buy applications there.

Frustrated Ubuntu users need to consider Linux Mint

I have used Gnome Classic since the first week I put myself through the nightmare that is called Unity. I'm not alone, either, as countless other enthusiasts have balked at the desktop layout and have instead looked elsewhere.

I know many Ubuntu fans who've simply washed their hands of the distro and moved on to Arch or other more advanced distributions. I've leaned more toward Arch recently due to my wish to get away from Ubuntu's release cycle. And Arch can be both cutting edge and, in some instances, more stable to use than Ubuntu. But I digress, this is about Linux Mint. And I am doubtful that a more advanced distribution is what most in the enterprise are looking for.

Linux Mint offers an attractive, reliable and fun way to take a more serious look at the Linux desktop. And it should also be noted that when I've shown Linux Mint to small businesses, they don't freak out with confusion like I've experienced with other distributions.

The fact is, Linux Mint is among the user-friendliest Linux distribution I've ever seen. I might put PCLinuxOS in as a close second, followed by Ubuntu/Simply Mepis. But for my time, I recommend Linux Mint for the enterprise desktop. It offers a great balance of ease and choice. With great desktop environments, Ubuntu or Debian base, clearly this is a distribution to watch very closely.

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Tags: Ubuntu, Gnome, open source software, Linux Mint

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