Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginners?

Chat about anything related to Linux Mint

Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginners?

Postby anandrkris on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:07 am

http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners - Review article i came across lately. Has some good points that're encouraging to Mint community. As pointed out in the article, Mint Software Manager definitely has scope for improvement. I prefer Synaptic over it.
Cheers,
If there is a drive, there will be a path
User avatar
anandrkris
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:13 am
Location: Chennai

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby craig10x on Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:28 pm

He did mention that a bit more then half of those people who were new to linux preferred ubuntu over mint...it was only that more "tech savvy" types that like to make a lot of changes and customizations to their systems where they edged more toward mint...those who wanted something simple and were happy to use it as it was, did prefer ubuntu...otherwise, you could say it was about half and half in terms of ultimate preference :mrgreen:

Very interesting article...
craig10x
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1503
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:44 pm

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby $panky on Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:12 pm

I'm more or less a newbie, and I can say that mint has proven nearly flawless for me. I've played with linux, off and on, going back to before Red Hat, but it there was always something that prevented me from really learning it. Hardware issues, not knowing what software to get and where to get it ect. I've watched it evolve and in the last few years I'm amazed at how far it has come in general. Just to give you an idea, I have and HTPC/home server and a desktop that are mostly used by the wife and kids which are both running windows 8. My laptop is my main machine which is running windows 7/mint 14 cinammon/ubuntu 12.10 atm.

There are certain basic things I look for in an operating system. First and foremost is installing it and knowing the hardware is going to work. The best OS in the world is useless if you can't use the hardware you have. Especially when searching for the issue typically leads you to advice that may or may not be relevent because it refers to different versions and/or distributions. I don't mind tweaking a little(hell I have a whole list I have to go through to make windows usable everytime I install it!) but I really don't want to read for a week and experiment to try and get a wireless driver to work! At that point it becomes a labor of love and I don't love any OS that much!

Score: mint 1 Ubuntu 0

Ubuntu had problems initially recognizing my wireless. It corrected itself somehow, but now connecting to my vpn is having problems. Mint: flawless

The Next consideration is navigating the interface. Going from windows to mint, if you even just have a vague knowledge of linux, is almost seamless. Ubuntu is pretty but not yet polished enough or customizable enough IMO. It's a work in progress. I can see where they are going but it's not there yet.

mint 2 Ubuntu .5

Finally, software. Both repositories look well stocked, so I will confine myself to preinstalled programs. The best thing linux has going for it is the ability to include an enormous amount of software preinstalled. Most distributions don't seem to use it as well as they could for one reason or another. Mint has more than any windows installation ever dreamed of, but it's not bloated. Firefox, Thunderbird, open office/libre office, VLC, Gimp, RDP client, check. Throw in XBMC for a little entertainment and it's a nice package. Other than replacing the RDP client that was very buggy for me, I haven't had to touch anything for basic usage. Ubuntu... well I must say it was very strange scrolling through the repository and seeing price tags on linux programs! Ideology aside, if you're going to do that at least include VLC or some sort of DVD playback! I'll give mint the edge.

Final Score mint 3 Ubuntu 1

I realise not everyone thinks like me, but they should! :wink:
$panky
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby anandrkris on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:49 am

@$panky - thanks for sharing your experiences.Glad to know that Mint scores high over Ubuntu. Definitely, wish that many more have a similar opinion. :mrgreen:
Cheers,
If there is a drive, there will be a path
User avatar
anandrkris
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:13 am
Location: Chennai

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby DrHu on Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:18 pm

I think, initially
  • If you find the desktop style to your liking
  • If you like the style of forum help/responses available

I don't think there is any best/good first choice, often that depends on the reviewers bias in regards to particular styles of applications being included as a default set
--there are some Linux OS distributions that may be more intimidating: naturally
    Some such as Gentoo, Linux from scratch, Debian (parent of Ubuntu and others)and the *BSD (not Linux) Unix-like OSs'
    --but really not as difficult to use as indicated by reviewers
You can of course change pretty much anything you want within a Linux distribution, but you can sometimes end up in a hole because of too much experimentation
--this is where a good clone/image/backup or archive plan helps a lot
    For example trying to use one distributor's package manager on another distributor's Linux release may cause too many problems for a new user
    --some of the package managers are pretty compatible across distributions (other(s) can do a similar process if they choose)), such as Synaptic, an original GUI package manager for apt..
User avatar
DrHu
Level 17
Level 17
 
Posts: 7093
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:20 pm

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby $panky on Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:01 am

Oh I forgot one other criteria that could sway new users: Names. Mint and cinnamon are things I can relate to, I still don't know what the hell an Ubuntu is! :) I do like this definition though.

1. ubuntu
Ubuntu is an ancient african word, meaning "I can't configure Debian"
$panky
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby MALsPa on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:43 am

$panky wrote:I still don't know what the hell an Ubuntu


It's really a beautiful and simple philosophical concept. You might want to take a minute or two to look it up sometime. Or maybe not.

As to which is better between Ubuntu and Linux Mint for a beginner, that will always depend on the beginner.
User avatar
MALsPa
Level 8
Level 8
 
Posts: 2030
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:17 pm
Location: albuquerque

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby anandrkris on Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:44 am

MALsPa wrote:
$panky wrote:I still don't know what the hell an Ubuntu


It's really a beautiful and simple philosophical concept. You might want to take a minute or two to look it up sometime. Or maybe not.

As to which is better between Ubuntu and Linux Mint for a beginner, that will always depend on the beginner.

Yes. http://www.amazon.com/Ubuntu-Inspiring-Tradition-Teamwork-Collaboration/dp/0307587886 - I read this book a while ago and found it be really interesting and inspiring. (Note - I am not avid reader of Management / Self-Help books but I did find value in this book)
Image
Cheers,
If there is a drive, there will be a path
User avatar
anandrkris
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:13 am
Location: Chennai

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby $panky on Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:42 am

I actually do know what it means, although I know nothing of its history. I was trying to be humorous. That looks like an interesting book anandrkris. Thank you,I will try to find a copy.
$panky
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby linrx on Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:21 pm

It's all GNU Linux isn't it :lol:
What was it that somebody said earlier about Debian being a more original flavour than Ubuntu and Mint
I spent the past while installing Bodhi Linux first on the Fujitsu LH530 that I carry along with me, then I put in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and following that VirtualBox on the Ubuntu partition which allowed me the freedom of running another few more - I went along the lines of ReactOS thinking that I might create a fork of that Windows-ish opensource experiment, and there were also Linux Mint 32 bit, StartOS (a China Chinese Linux derivative that looks and feels like Windows), and then I ended up putting in Windows 7 64 bit all on VirtualBox - what the h*ll
linrx
 

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby anandrkris on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:18 pm

$panky - Oh..k.. :oops: I have stopped reading between the lines these days. :)
Cheers,
If there is a drive, there will be a path
User avatar
anandrkris
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:13 am
Location: Chennai

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby The Dark Side on Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:55 am

If I had to recommend a distribution for beginners, today, I would recommend these five (in order of preference):

1) Linux Mint. 2) Ubuntu. 3) Kubuntu. 4) Xubuntu. 5) Mageia.-
Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon
Linux Mint 17 KDE
Manjaro Linux KDE
User avatar
The Dark Side
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby 3fRI on Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:09 am

Jose Manuel wrote:If I had to recommend a distribution for beginners, today, I would recommend these five (in order of preference):

1) Linux Mint. 2) Ubuntu. 3) Kubuntu. 4) Xubuntu. 5) Mageia.-


Since many Linux beginners start with Ubuntu, I'd put Ubuntu first and Mint second because it's where many former Ubuntu users move to. If the user is happy with an Ubuntu- or Debian-based distro, Mint is a good place to call home, whether a beginner or a more experienced user. The more adventurous may distro hop, but many of them often return to Mint because it's both stable and reliable.
System 76 Pangolin: 4x Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3230M CPU @ 2.60GHz, CrunchBang 11 Waldorf 64-bit
iMac 21.5: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.06 GHz, dual boot Mac OS 10.6.8, CrunchBang 11 Waldorf 64-bit

It's never too late to learn something new.
User avatar
3fRI
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:25 am
Location: Rhode Island

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby exploder on Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:38 am

I tried the latest Unity in 13.04, it was nothing to write home about... Cinnamon in my opinion is more feature rich. For example, try clearing out the recent projects in Brasero in both distros. Mint has the clear recent documents feature and it works perfectly! Little things like that give Mint a big edge when it comes to desktop environments.

Ubuntu and Unity are fine for getting people to look at Linux but people seem to flock to Mint because the user interface in Cinnamon is just right. :) Beginners just need things to work and be reasonably familiar. I have tried out a lot of desktop environments and in my opinion, Cinnamon is genuinely the most feature rich out of the box. Cinnamon will be even more organized in Mint 15 and I think new users will have a very easy time finding things.

I have tried new users on both Unity and Cinnamon and they seem equally happy. Some people just like the look of Unity and some like the look of Cinnamon. Users that are familiar with Apple products seem to favor Unity. People coming from Windows seem to favor Cinnamon.

Ubuntu does a good job of advertising these days and I think that attracts new users. Both Ubuntu and Mint are great choices for beginners, they are stable, attractive, reasonably simple to learn and most everything works right out of the box.
exploder
Level 15
Level 15
 
Posts: 5917
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:50 am
Location: HartfordCity, Indiana USA

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby klmmicro on Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:56 am

I have Mint 14 covered with Cinnamon on my netbook that is always seems to be close by. The other day I had walked away and my roommate asked if she could use my laptop to look something up real quick. She picked it up, did what she needed to do and then set it down. No confusion, no looking to figure out what was where...used it just as she would her own Win 7 laptop. It was a simple thing, but got me to start thinking about how far these distributions have come with their GUI development.

I have Ubuntu 12.04 (that was) covered by Unity on a desktop machine (triple boot) and that same roommate looks at it and tells me that it looks weird. That same Unity GUI looks "cool" to my Apple branded friend.

It seems the assessment that Cinnamon would be favored by Windows users is correct. It is familiar in the way it looks and the way it functions.

I think that under the hood is where there are some differences that seem to matter most to me. Mint 14 runs smoother and appears to use resources a little better than Ubuntu 12.* at the moment. Ubuntu will sometimes "pause" for a moment when it is trying to allocate things on my gaming desktop. The Mint 14 partition on the same machine does not.

Either would be a good distribution for a beginner. I would have to give my nod to Ubuntu, but only for one reason...it is so well documented that answers are to be found aplenty for just about any question that can be found. I know that Mint is based on almost all of the same code, but with Ubuntu there is not need to "translate" the answers with any substitution language. Mint is smoother in my opinion, but not so much that a totally new user would probably notice. As for the desktop GUI environment, Cinnamon is not exclusive to Mint, so that is a wash I think. I have an Ubuntu box that has been happily running it for a while now.

A new user would be served well by either distribution.
klmmicro
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:07 am

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby InkKnife on Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:08 pm

Speaking as someone who switched to Linux a year ago my opinion is that Mint/Cinnamon is the best for n00bs. I first tryed Ubuntu and I liked it, but very quickly I was having find and then download a bunch of stuff. Like I found out about themeing and I had to go find Gnome Tweak Tool, other basic stuff. Mint comes with codecs, Ubuntu you have to dig into the repo and find them.
It's 2013, one should not be telling n00bs to install codecs.
The basics of Cinnamon are going to be familiar to anyone who has ever used Windows and that's pretty much everyone and I think the general layout of Cinnamon is more discoverable than Unity.
Unity looks the best out of the box. It's big and colorful and very pretty and flashy but behind that really nice skin is a slightly steeper learning curve. Cinnamon is more austere graphically but richer in detail. I am not saying Unity is bad for n00bs, just not the best.
I have used every version of Windows and the MacOS since 1994 till Windows7 and OSX 10.7 and Mint14/Cinnamon is the best GUI I have ever used. The out of the box experience is better than Unity and the less gaudy presentation ages better.
User avatar
InkKnife
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby sammiev on Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:10 pm

The best answer is the one that best works with your computer and you. :)
User avatar
sammiev
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby GerryButton on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:51 am

I am very new to using Linux, and I have tried several distrobutions over the years to see what each one was like. Knoppix was the first one I ever used and I enjoyed it, well from what I can remember.

Now in the case of which is better for beginners? I would say Mint. I have tried several releases of Ubuntu on several different computers and each time I ran into trouble. Whether it was installing it, updating it, getting drivers for my hardware, or just over all buggyness. That distrobution just never seemed to want to work for me. Now with Mint, I have installed it a few times for trial runs and am now using it several times a day and for my summer project, Open Source Hiking. It's fast, stable, easy to update and find what I need. Coming from Windows and Mac OS X, it's a little different but still a wonderful operating system.

From now on, Mint will always be the linux I will suggest to friends wanting to try an open source OS.
User avatar
GerryButton
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:56 pm
Location: St. Johns, Newfoundland

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby smash72 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:53 am

In my opinion I would start with Linuxmint. I think it's just ready to go right after you have installed it. In Linuxmint very beginners and first time Linux users gets OS that is like install and forget type. All codecs are there by default and you can just start using, enjoying and learning :) No need to make different tricks to get it going. All you need is there and you haven't install new software unless you want to. All is ready: Browser, Libreoffice, multimedia players etc. I think you have to do some extra work in Ubuntu after the installation. Well, actually I am not sure if it is the situation with Ubuntu nowadays, is it 100% ready to use after installation or not. :?: :roll:

I love Cinnamon desktop too, it looks very nice, is very nice to use, nice and smooth. That's one big reason I won't switch to another distro. I have used Mint for two years now and haven't even considered to go to another distro. No way :)
Linux Mint 17 Qiana /64-bit /Cinnamon
smash72
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:36 am

Re: Ubuntu vs. Mint: Which Linux Distro Is Better for Beginn

Postby craig10x on Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:51 pm

These days, with ubuntu, really the only thing you need initially is to install ubuntu restricted extras package which gives you all the codecs, flash, etc...
firefox is pre-installed, as is libreoffice, rhythmbox, totem player and other things...mint is a bit more complete in already having things like pidgin, vlc media player installed already...

The ubuntu software center makes it very easy...but it does require they spend 10 or 15 minutes adding a few of these extra nice basics...and of course, unity desktop is pretty easy to get use to...
craig10x
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1503
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:44 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 
Next

Return to Chat about Linux Mint

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Cattleman and 6 guests