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Mint is all new to me, but I've played around with ubuntu a bit, which I understand is close to being the same thing. But in ubuntu there's an automatic update manager that tells you when upgrades are available. Isn't that available in Mint, and is not, then what?
How close to ubuntu is mint? Can I for example use ubuntu guides on mint?
Cassandra still has the update manager and auto notification. It was removed from Celena for reasons explained in the blog (you can still manually update).
Celena is sort of a slightly stripped down (or should that be streamlined) version that is a bit more noob friendly.
Cassandra is the full featured Mint.
Both versions are based on Ubuntu Feisty so they are really the same at the core. The differences are the artwork, and certain packages that were either added or removed (mostly removed, like Beagle and auto-updates). If you are new to Linux and want a distro that will perform well with a minimum of headaches, then Celena is the best choice. If you have experience in Linux (Ubuntu in particular) and want to run the most up to date packages, even if it means some occasional trouble shooting, then Cassandra might be the better choice.
I went over to Cassandra some days ago, after a long, fun and good journey with Ubuntu (been a 100% linux-user for some years now), and I find Cassandra a little better and faster than Ubuntu.
The wireless and desktop (Beryl and Emerald) is more stable, it's a little faster and it's looking gooooooooooood