Ubuntu vs Linux Mint, Which One Is Better?

Both Ubuntu and Linux Mint are excellent Linux distributions. Their key differences are in target audience, user experience and philosophy.


The Foundation: Ubuntu is the base upon which many other distributions including Mint are built. It’s backed by the firm Canonical which makes their money by offering corporate support. So for you as a home user unless you need some very specific things it is technically completely free as long as you’re comfortable with working in a Linux based environment already.

Focus: Wide appeal, with a balance between stability, cutting edge features and ease of use.

Default Desktop: GNOME which is a modern, touch friendly and somewhat resource intensive desktop environment.

Release Cycle: Regular releases (every six months) and Long Term Support (LTS) versions every two years.

Best for:

  • Users wanting a modern Linux experience with a large community.
  • Developers looking for a stable base to build onto with access to the latest software.

Linux Mint

User friendliness: Mint builds on Ubuntu with a strong focus on classic desktop interfaces and simplifying the Linux experience for beginners.

Default Desktops:

Cinnamon: A familiar environment for Windows users, focusing on productivity.

MATE: Lightweight, ideal for older computers.

Xfce: Highly customizable and light on resources.

Release Cycle: Closely tied to Ubuntu LTS releases, prioritizing stability.

Best for:

  • Users transitioning from Windows looking for a more familiar layout.
  • Those wanting a stable and reliable system without frequent updates.
  • Users with older hardware needing a faster and leaner OS.

Decision Factors

Comfort level with Linux: If you’re a beginner, Mint’s user friendliness is a major advantage.

Desired experience: Do you prefer a modern experience (Ubuntu) or a classic Windows like feel (Mint)?

Hardware: If you have older hardware, Mint with Xfce or MATE desktops will run slightly better.

Features: Ubuntu often has access to the bleeding edge software versions, while Mint focuses on tried and tested stable releases.

Other Things

Customization: Both are highly customizable but Mint usually requires less testing and getting used to.

Community and Support: Both have large communities. Ubuntu’s reach is slightly wider.

Recommendation: It’s hard to go wrong with either. It’s worth trying both in a live USB environment to see which feels more comfortable for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *