MakeUseOf | Linux Mint vs. Ubuntu: Which Distro Should You Choose?


Linux Mint and Ubuntu are each referred to as two of essentially the most newbie-friendly Linux desktops round. Ubuntu is the most well liked—such a lot in order that Linux Mint is according to it. But there are actual variations between the two.

If you are making an allowance for Ubuntu or Linux Mint, how have you learnt which one is best for you?

Ubuntu vs. Linux Mint

Ubuntu and Linux Mint are each Linux distributions. That might sound difficult, but it surely simply method Ubuntu and Mint are each techniques of packing in combination quite a lot of parts in conjunction with the Linux kernel to create a functioning desktop running gadget. Ubuntu or Linux Mint are each able to changing Windows, macOS, or Chrome OS for your present laptop.

To distinguish between the two, let us take a look at them one via one.

What Is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu 19.10 desktop

Ubuntu is a model of desktop Linux that took place in 2004 when millionaire Shuttleworth based Canonical. The first free up was once model 4.10, regarding October 2004.

A brand new model of Ubuntu turns into to be had for download each six months. Every fourth iteration serves as an LTS (long-term improve) free up. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS introduced in April 2020.

For the primary six years of the undertaking, Ubuntu’s tagline was once “Linux for Human Beings.” While Canonical has modified the branding, Ubuntu stays a distribution aimed toward normal laptop customers and is your easiest guess if you wish to proceed the usage of business apps that started on Windows or macOS.

What Is Linux Mint?

Linux Mint desktop

Linux Mint first hit the scene in 2006. The distro is constructed on best of Ubuntu however takes further steps to take away hindrances for rookies. The default interface, referred to as Cinnamon, will really feel extra acquainted to folks pleased with Windows.

While the numbers are other, Linux Mint releases normally come a couple of months after every Ubuntu model. Starting with 17, each LTS marks a brand new model quantity, with the three next releases being x.1, x.2, and x.3.

As a undertaking according to Ubuntu, Linux Mint can run the similar tool to be had for Canonical’s distro. You will simply to find and have interaction with that tool in some way that many to find extra welcoming.

Ubuntu and Linux Mint System Requirements

Ubuntu and Linux Mint can each run on machines with specifications not up to the numbers under, however the revel in is also lower than preferrred. These beneficial numbers will most likely result in a greater first influence.


  • 4GB RAM
  • 25GB of disk area
  • 1024×768 display screen solution

Linux Mint

  • 2GB RAM
  • 20GB of disk area
  • 1024×768 display screen solution

Linux Mint has decrease gadget necessities, basically because of their other default interfaces. As you acquire revel in with Linux, you’ll cut back Ubuntu’s gadget necessities via swapping the default interface for a lighter choice.

The Installation Process

Ubuntu and Linux Mint each use the similar installer. This method if you’ll work out methods to set up one, you know the way to put in the opposite. The revel in is not similar, however it is shut.

Linux Mint's installer

That’s to not say that Ubuntu and Linux Mint improve similar {hardware}. That can trade relying on which model of the Linux kernel comes preinstalled. Other tool selections too can affect what runs the place.

Linux Mint and Ubuntu each improve UEFI, so you’ll dual-boot both one along Windows or change Microsoft’s pre-installed running gadget completely. With Linux Mint, it is important to disable Secure Boot sooner than making an attempt set up. With Ubuntu, you’ll depart Secure Boot enabled.

The Look and Feel

Ubuntu and Linux Mint each have distinct designs that depend closely on colourful colours and themed icons. While those first impressions topic, know that you’ll trade each just about side with fairly little effort.


Ubuntu 19.10 app drawer

For a few years, Ubuntu used its in-house Unity interface. Now it has long past again to the GNOME desktop surroundings, essentially the most widely-used interface for Linux.

GNOME makes use of a minimum design with a unmarried mobile-device like panel around the best of your display screen. An Activities button opens the Activities Overview that presentations your to be had apps, open home windows, and digital workspaces.

Ubuntu’s number one colour is orange, which you’ll to find splashes of right through the desktop. App home windows have a gloomy black titlebar. Ubuntu has its personal customized icon theme that differentiates it from different Linux desktops.


Mozilla Firefox and LibreOffice Writer on Linux Mint

Linux Mint’s Cinnamon desktop started as a substitute for GNOME 3 again sooner than the latter received over the hearts of many long-time Linux customers. Cinnamon supplies a well-recognized really feel for folks shifting over from Windows or a Chromebook. Applications seem within the panel alongside the ground, with a launcher menu within the backside left and gadget icons at the proper.

Liinux Mint has a gloomy taskbar however shiny home windows. The desktop’s glance makes use of the Arc theme and Moka icons.


Ubuntu used to increase its personal interface, its personal show server, and its personal package deal layout. Today, maximum of that paintings has long past away, however the snap package deal layout stays, and it is one of essentially the most distinct facets of the usage of Ubuntu.

Yet the snap layout has additionally got rid of one of the important thing causes to desire Ubuntu. Snap is a common layout that allows you to set up tool on nearly any Linux desktop.

So whilst business app builders proceed to focus on Ubuntu over the choices, now that you’ll download apps from the browser-based Snap Store, you are now not restricted to the usage of Ubuntu to get the ones apps.

While Ubuntu now not has a lot of its personal unique tool, Linux Mint continues to deal with a couple of core parts. There are X-Apps, generic programs aimed toward conventional GTK desktop environments. They proceed to make use of titlebars and menubars, parts the GNOME desktop phased out for GNOME 3.x.

The screenshot under presentations Nemo and Xviewer, choices to GMOME Files and the Gedit textual content editor.

Nemo file manager and Xviewer image view on Linux Mint

The workforce develops many apps particularly for Linux Mint. The distro has its personal backup instrument, replace supervisor, and others. It’s this effort is what attracts folks to Linux Mint over Ubuntu.

For essentially the most section, you’ll use the similar tool on Ubuntu and Linux Mint alike. The Ubuntu neighborhood has extra sources and customers to indicate issues, so chances are you’ll to find higher improve there. On the turn facet, the Linux Mint workforce prioritizes the desktop, which is now not the case with Canonical and Ubuntu.

Official Spins

There are a number of variations of Ubuntu indexed at the distro’s site. Besides the GNOME desktop, you might have choice “flavors” that default to KDE, LXQt, XFCE, and MATE. There also are specialised distributions, equivalent to Edubuntu for schooling, Ubuntu Studio for multimedia manufacturers, and Ubuntu Kylin for Chinese customers.

Linux Mint has three primary choices. There’s Cinnamon, MATE, and XFCE.

Both distros help you arrange your personal desktop environments, however if you wish to experiment with a host with out configuring issues your self, Ubuntu is find out how to move.

Ubuntu vs. Linux Mint: Which Will You Choose?

Ubuntu is the extra well known of the two distros, however Linux Mint could also be one of the most well liked in the market. Both supply customers with an ideal creation to Linux. More Ubuntu-related internet content material exists because of the scale of its neighborhood, which is a huge lend a hand when you find yourself beginning off. But a lot of what applies to Ubuntu additionally applies to Mint.

Yet when deciding between Ubuntu or Mint, you might need to move with neither. There are many different Linux distros to make a choice from.

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