Linux Mint


Linux Mint's Purpose

Linux Mint's purpose is to produce an elegant, up to date and comfortable GNU/Linux desktop based on Ubuntu.

Linux Mint Vs Ubuntu

Linux Mint is like a customized version of Ubuntu. It uses the same repositories and the same packages. It follows the Ubuntu releases and innovations. Basically, it is 98% Ubuntu, with a few differences:

- Ubuntu has a fixed 6 months release cycle. Between each Ubuntu release, Linux Mint produces one or more releases with up to date packages.

- The artwork is different in Linux Mint. Our goal is to make the desktop as pleasant as possible. Although Ubuntu's artwork is really good, we believe it can be better.

- We believe in choice. Ubuntu and Kubuntu tend to follow the "free software" philosophies and for this reason do not include "dirty" software (patented or proprietary technologies for instance). This is great and this is the way it should be. However, other distributions provide the choice to the user (for instance Mandriva 2007 can be downloaded as a "free" or "non-free" version). If you're like us, you probably do read encrypted DVDs  and listen to MP3 songs. It is important to understand why these formats are indeed "dirty" but since we'll end up adding them to our Ubuntu installation anyway, we decided to give an option to lazy users. In other words, if "freedom" is more important for you than "comfort" you should consider using a "clean" distribution such as Ubuntu (or Debian, or Fedora...), if it isn't then Linux Mint is made for you.

- Linux Mint doesn't necessarily use Gnome. For instance, when Linux Mint 1.0 was released KDE seemed a better option than Gnome. In version 2.0 it was the opposite. The desktop itself (home folder, places, panels) can also be changed if we believe it can give a better experience to the user. 

- The default selection of software and packages is different in Linux Mint. First universe, multiverse and unofficial repositories are configured to give more choice to the user. Then some software is removed and some added (for instance Amarok is preferred to Rhythmbox). Also a lot of codecs for "dirty" formats (encrypted DVDs, MP3, divX, win32) and plugins (Java, Flash, Realplayer) are added.  

Copyright 2006