Linux Distro Evaluations: Linux Mint

Linux Mint is likely one of the maximum closely beneficial Linux distros to be had, particularly for customers switching from Home windows. Does Linux Mint reside as much as that recognition? Is it an similarly just right possibility for Mac customers? How does it stack up for extra skilled Linux customers?

On this access in our Linux Distro Evaluations layout, we’re taking a deep dive into Linux Mint and answering the ones questions.


Linux Mint used to be created by way of Clément (Clem) Lefèbvre, with the primary loose in 2006. The primary model of Mint used to be in keeping with Kubuntu, the KDE spin of Ubuntu, and in a similar way featured the KDE desktop order (DE). With 2.0, Mint switched to mainline Ubuntu as its bottom and Gnome as its DE.

Starting in 2012, Mint started the use of its personal Cinnamon as its flagship DE. Like any others within the Linux range, Cinnamon used to be a fork of Gnome then the last’s builders alone conventional desktop metaphors and UX design within the transition from Gnome 2.x to Gnome 3.x. Cinnamon used to be a conventional DE, extra similar to what customers had been familiar with, and Mint has persevered to create and evolve it through the years.

Along with Cinnamon, Mint additionally contains Xfce and Mate as DE choices week ultimately shedding KDE Plasma.

In 2010, the Mint group spared a model in keeping with Debian referred to as Linux Mint Debian Version (LMDE). LMDE used to be created and is still maintained as a fallback possibility will have to one thing occur to Ubuntu, or if basing off of Ubuntu ever turns into problematic because of selections of Canonical, the corporate in the back of it.

Along with the diversities between Ubuntu and Debian, LMDE these days best trade in Cinnamon out of the field, even though a consumer can indubitably set up Xfce, Mate, or any alternative DE in the event that they select.

Let fall Time table

Linux Mint is in keeping with the LTS (long-term backup) model of Ubuntu, week LMDE is in keeping with the original solid Debian loose. In consequence, each variations usually have main model releases each and every two years.

In between main releases, alternatively, there are level releases each and every six months. Pace the underlying bottom doesn’t exchange, the purpose releases deliver enhancements and updates to Cinnamon, in addition to Mint-specific apps.


Any dialogue or evaluate of Linux Mint could be remiss and not using a division devoted to Cinnamon. Pace the Mint group trade in Xfce and Mate and does an impressive task bringing as a lot parity as imaginable to the 3 DEs, Cinnamon is certainly the flagship providing, offering essentially the most options and varnish.

Within the years because it used to be created, Cinnamon has lived as much as the groups’ targets of offering a conventional desktop paradigm, together with tough options and the power to customise it out of the field. That is in direct distinction to Gnome, which has eschewed the standard desktop metaphor and frequently stripped out one of the most maximum ordinary options, forcing customers to depend on third-party extensions to deliver them again or to customise the DE to fulfill their wishes.

Pace the wave model of Cinnamon continues to importance the GTK toolkit for apps — like Gnome and Xfce — it has fairly appropriately been described by way of Nick at The Linux Experiment because the ‘KDE of the GTK world.’ This comes from Cinnamon’s wealth of options and customization choices, with choices for Subject matters, Icons, Panels, Keyboard Shortcuts, Applets, Extensions, Results, and a lot more in the primary Device Settings app.

Linux Mint Device Settings

Extensions are alike to Gnome extensions however supported by way of Cinnamon out of the field. In a similar fashion, Applets are widgets that may be added to the panel or taskbar and also are supported out of the field.

The outcome is straightforward, out-of-the-box customization that permits customers to build Cinnamon actually their very own. For instance, week Cinnamon seems very alike to Home windows 7 by way of default, I for my part come from a 22+ yr background at the Mac prior to switching to Linux. In consequence, Cinnamon’s default glance holds slight attraction for me since I used to be by no means partial to how Home windows appeared or functioned. Due to Cinnamon’s straightforward customization, I used to be ready to copy a Mac-like appear and feel in a couple of steps, the use of the local panels and best including the Clear Panels extension.

My macOS-inspired Linux Mint setup
My macOS-inspired Linux Mint setup

Most importantly, Cinnamon’s steadiness has been rock-solid. Early in my transfer to Linux, I gravitated towards KDE since I favored the way it appeared and the enough quantity of customization choices it equipped, however frequently bumped into steadiness and reliability problems. In my enjoy, KDE proved to be just like the 1963 Shelby Cobra: Gorgeous to take a look at and robust, to make certain, however not anything I wish to pressure every day.

By contrast, I’ve but to enjoy a unmarried strike in Cinnamon, week the DE nonetheless supplies 60-70% of the customization KDE trade in.

In a similar fashion, Cinnamon makes use of a lot much less RAM than Gnome week providing smoother efficiency on each a formidable Tuxedo Pulse and an growing old HP i3 pc.


Let’s hurry a more in-depth have a look at the some Linux Mint options and selections made by way of the group.

Flatpak Backup vs Snaps

A big department the place Mint differs from Ubuntu is by way of embracing Flatpak as a packaging structure. Each Flatpak and Snap are self reliant app packaging codecs that gather their required dependencies in lieu than depending at the machine to grant them. In consequence, each codecs can grant extra steadiness than conventional apps and are distro-independent. So long as Flatpak or Snap is put in on a given distro, all apps made for that structure will paintings on that distro. Flatpaks and Snaps are incessantly extra new than their opposite numbers in a distro’s repositories.

Pace Ubuntu has been pushing Snap, outdoor of the Ubuntu ecosystem Flatpak has emerged because the extra frequent possibility. On account of this, regardless of its flagship model being in keeping with Ubuntu, the Linux Mint group has got rid of Snap backup and added Flatpak backup.

Actually, Mint even features a configuration atmosphere that blocks Snap from being put in. That is in part as a result of Canonical only controls the Snap Bind backend, which some really feel is going towards seen supply rules. The alternative explanation why is simpler, with Ubuntu every now and then remapping conventional apt set up instructions to put in the Snap model with out obviously notifying the consumer, one thing the configuration atmosphere prevents. For customers who wish to importance Snap, alternatively, converting a unmarried form within the config record is all that’s wanted.

As a result of Snap isn’t incorporated on Linux Mint, that still way the distro ships with a conventional .deb model of Firefox, while Ubuntu and its spins best send with the Snap model.

Replace Supervisor, Motive force Supervisor, and Device Supervisor

Mint contains 3 apps that build week more uncomplicated for Linux customers, particularly the ones simply coming to the platform: Replace Supervisor, Motive force Supervisor, and Device Supervisor.

Replace Supervisor is an easy-to-use app that notifies customers when updates are to be had for his or her machine or apps and lets them carry out updates by means of the GUI. Not like some choices on alternative distros, the app contains backup no longer just for local .deb apps but additionally put in Flatpaks.

Linux Mint Replace Supervisor

The Replace Supervisor additionally supplies a straightforward technique to obtain, set up, and alter the Linux kernel.

Linux Mint Kernels

In a similar fashion, the Motive force Supervisor app supplies a straightforward means for customers to peer if there are any drivers to be had for his or her {hardware}.

Linux Mint Motive force Supervisor

The Linux Mint Device Supervisor is an especially succesful device heart that lists apps within the Ubuntu repositories along Flatpaks. This offers customers get entry to to tens of 1000’s of apps. Not like some alternative distros app facilities — taking a look at you Pop!_OS Pop Store — Device Supervisor could be very responsive and solid.

Linux Mint Device Supervisor


Linux Mint contains a lot of apps advanced and maintained by way of the group. Under is a listing of one of the most Most worthy XApps, a few of that are to be had on alternative distros:

  • Timeshift: Usefulness to hurry snapshots of the machine and rollback if one thing is going fallacious.
  • Pix: Photograph group app (suppose macOS Footage or Google Picasso) in keeping with the skillful gThumb.
  • Warpinator: App to percentage information between computer systems at the similar community. There may be an unofficial Android app to permit sharing between pc and get in touch with.
  • Internet Apps: Utility that may hurry nearly any web site and switch it into an area internet app, entire with menu/panel icon. I for my part importance this to have an Amazon Song app for the reason that corporate does no longer have a Linux-native consumer.
  • Xed: Default textual content writer
  • Sticky Notes: Assume Submit-it Notes, however in your desktop.

Any other main good thing about the use of Linux Mint is the phenomenal folk environment it. Refuse uncertainty as a result of Mint is aimed toward unused customers, the folk is especially welcoming to these customers, incessantly answering questions that may well be met with extra inflammation by way of skilled customers of alternative distros.

The folk has their very own boards, at, in addition to a wholesome subreddit.

My Revel in The use of Linux Mint

Linux Mint indubitably has many exceptional options and distinctive choices. However how does all of this come in combination when it comes to on a regular basis utilization?

I’ve now been the use of Mint as my day by day driving force for kind of 3 months. Previous to shifting to Mint, I had impaired Zorin OS, Kubuntu, Manjaro, KDE Neon, Fedora (Gnome, KDE, and Xfce), Pop!_OS, and openSUSE Tumbleweed (Gnome, KDE, and Xfce).

Of the entire distros I’ve attempted, with weeks or months spent in every one, Linux Mint appears like essentially the most complete and entire working machine of any of them. What’s extra, the OS has been extremely solid, with no longer one unmarried strike on both of my computer systems then months of large importance.

Between Cinnamon’s refinements, out-of-the-box Flatpak backup, straightforward updates and device control, a bunch of XApps that build week straightforward, and a degree of steadiness and reliability this is 2nd to none, Mint is a kind of uncommon distros this is similarly well-suited to unused customers, Linux veterans, and everybody in-between.

That’s to not say Mint is very best. The distro nonetheless does no longer but backup Wayland, the window show protocol that replaces the used X11, even though paintings has already been performed at the distro’s Muffin window supervisor to put the groundwork for it.

Mint’s Ubuntu LTS bottom additionally signifies that one of the most underlying programs can get a slight stale towards the tip of a two-year loose cycle. The turn facet is the LTS bottom performs a big position in Mint’s total steadiness, and customers can at all times depend on Flatpaks for extra new apps.


Regardless of the insufficiency of Wayland backup, Mint stands as certainly one of — if no longer THE — maximum well-rounded distros, combining a degree of energy, simplicity, and magnificence infrequently viewable in any working machine — inside of or outdoor the Linux ecosystem.

As well as, there’s a way of relief within the wisdom that Linux Mint is a folk distro in lieu than a corporate-owned or subsidized one. Clem and the group have persistently proven that they appreciate the folk, and they have got demonstrated an amazing quantity of forethought in developing and keeping up LMDE as a fallback possibility.

Actually, then a yr and a part of distro-hopping and not fairly being happy, Linux Mint supplies such an impressive enjoy that it’s THE distro I’ve settled on for either one of my computer systems.

Pace I will be able to proceed to study other distros, the ones critiques can be performed on distros operating in a digital gadget, no longer on naked steel. Operating on naked steel is now an honor reserved completely for Linux Mint.


5 out of five stars

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