Linux Mint

A few months ago I wrote about the Ubuntu operating system which is an open source operating system.  This issue we will discuss another open source system called Linux Mint. Linux Mint was built on the Ubuntu architecture which enables both systems to run the same types of software packages.  With that said the questions becomes why develop the Linux Mint operating system if software can run on Ubuntu?  Unlike Microsoft and Apple where their operating systems are very different and their software is proprietary, open source systems allow all open source software to run on a Linux based system. There are some                                                      differences between Ubuntu and Linux Mint.  Let’s take a look at them.

Community and Popularity

Ubuntu: Ubuntu is the most popular Linux based operating system. With a large number of users, you can easily find a solution to an issue using the online communities.  There are also detailed tutorials and explanations for just about anything especially for beginners.

Linux Mint: The Linux Mint community is very helpful and active as well.  Although, they have a smaller user base, you can still easily find solutions or ask for help in the official Linux Mint community.

Desktop Environments

Ubuntu: Ubuntu has a desktop environment that is very similar to a MAC desktop. It is comprised of large icons for a number of applications.  Trying to locate an application without knowing the name of it can be difficult.  If you are a MAC user you will have no difficulty moving around locating files and doing daily tasks.

Linux Mint: Mint has a desktop environment with the look and feel similar to a Windows 10 desktop.  It has a taskbar on the bottom of the screen and a “start”.  Shortcuts can also be added to the taskbar.  This is ideal for someone who wants to learn Linux but is not intimated with a new design. The directory structure is also similar, making locating files more easily.



Ubuntu: Ubuntu appears to have more applications, but finding them can be a chore when having to look through the PC to find them.  You may never know that Ubuntu has the application you need but didn’t quite know the name.

Linux Mint: Linux Mint covers all the bases and having the Windows based desktop, all that is required is clicking on the Start menu to see all your applications.


Ubuntu: Ubuntu is a commercial company, so while you are free to download, install, and use Ubuntu, should you need professional support that comes at a price.

Linux Mint: Linux Mint is a community driven project which relies on donations from users, and partners who give the project backing, support and services.


Business Use:

Ubuntu: Ubuntu has made great efforts in getting their operating system onto desktops of corporate users and has managed to get most major PC manufacturers to pre-load Ubuntu onto desktops and laptops.

Linux Mint: Linux Mint is aimed at enthusiasts.  There is no apparent push by the project to market the operating system to corporations.  Linux Mint is a capable replacement for anyone that has been running Windows 7 or even XP and has no wish to move beyond.

Both Ubuntu and Linux Mint have much to offer.  How it is implemented as far as user interfaces and support is what counts.  If you have newer hardware and want to pay for support and services, then Ubuntu is the one you should use.  However, if you are looking for a non- Windows alternative but looks like and feels like Windows, then Linux Mint is a good choice.



I hope that you found this information helpful.  Please feel free to forward it to others.  If you would like to learn more about this topic or would like to request a topic, please contact me. If you missed any past newsletters or would like a

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About Michael DeFlorio
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at

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