Linux Mint 8 vs Ubuntu 9.10

Where Karmic Koala is better:

  1. Updates manager – After a fresh install and reboot, the first application that is launched on Ubuntu is the update manager, which brings up a list of all the applications that needs to be updated. And this is how it should be, how all distros should have their system configured out of the box. On Mint, the first application that is launched is mintWelcome. mintWelcome has it’s place, and has a number of good links on it, but nothing to prompt a user to update the system. In fact, if you do not launch mintUpdate from the Control Center, Mint will never inform you that their are updates that need to be applied to the system.

    Ubuntu's Update Manager

    The Update Manager is the first application that is launched on first boot up of Ubunut

  2. Games – Ubuntu ships with the full set of games that is standard on GNOME-based distros. Mint does not install any by default. It’s a space saving measure, but worth pointing out. On both distros, you can install any game packages you want after the system is up and running.

    Ubunt'su menu showing games

    Ubuntu's menu showing the full range of games installed

  3. USB Startup Disk Creator – With this utility Ubuntu allows you to create a persistent Ubuntu image on a flash drive. Once created, this “Live USB” may be used to install Ubuntu on another computer or take Ubuntu out for a spin without installing it on your PC.
  4. Cloud service – Ubuntu comes with a cloud service dubbed Ubuntu One. With a Ubuntu One account, you create your own personal cloud service. A service you can use to “back up, store, sync and share your data with other Ubuntu One users.” I’m not a fan of cloud services like this, simply because I do not think it is a wise decision to upload your personal documents to a place (another computer) that you do not have complete physical access and control of. But that’s just me. I’m paranoid by nature. And as far as I am aware, this service is not encrypted.

What both distros lack and need to improve upon:

  1. Better installer – Ubuntu’s installer has a very clean interface, and it’s easy for anybody to use, point-and-click easy. But because it is lacking in features, you are robbed or denied the opportunity of configuring some of the standard features of the Linux kernel. Some people refer to these features as advanced, but I just consider them standard features. They should be made be made available to all.
  2. LVM, RAID and disk encryption – These three are some of the advanced features I referred to above. Though Ubuntu has the text installer edition, which has support for LVM, soft-RAID, and full disk encryption, it would be better to upgrade the main edition’s installer to incorporate all these features. If you use Ubuntu or any considering distro-hopping to Ubuntu, and need to use these features, your only option is to use the text installer edition.

    Mint users are out of luck. There is no edition of Mint with support for setting up LVM, RAID and full disk encryption. Perhaps Mint developers should just write their own installer in much the same way that they been doing with their graphical administrative tools.

  3. A better graphical firewall client than Gufw, and one that is fully integrated with the network manager, just like the one on Mandriva.

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69 Comments

  1. Great article… helped me a lot to make a decision! Thanks.

  2. Best Bankruptcy Lawyer in San Antonio says:

    While I haven’t played much with the latest version of Ubuntu, I’ve always found it to be very customizable. While the customization options are not always obvious, I’ve always been able to figure out how to make Ubuntu my own, whether it’s by getting rid of the Unity interface altogether (and reverting back to Gnome’s traditional desktop), or installing a new window manager altogether.

  3. linux mint is great, but is just lack of deb packages.

    for instence mint only uses .mint or getdeb.net which ubuntu has alot of packages from ubuntu server.

    i suggest that they should combine

  4. In linux mint you can’t format a drive by right-clicking on its icon. Also, the panel graphics and support is not the best.

  5. linux mint is good i like it coz it user friendly, this is a good post.thanks.

  6. Lucky,

    There’s no need to dual boot any more….

    Install your first choice OS, then use Virtualbox, or Xen, or VMWare, or even Red Hat and Windows 2008 has its own virtualization built in. My point is, why should you have to restart your computer to boot to another OS? You shouldn’t, just fire it up in a VM.

    • I think there’s still a need to dual-boot. When running a guest OS, you are basically sharing resources especially RAM. As a result, you might not get the same performance if you do not have sufficient RAM. So yes, there is still a need to dual-boot

  7. I’d suggest that rather being 100% Ubuntu, which is a very bad thing, that distros try to stay focused on being 100% compatible to Debian. Ubuntu is drifting away from Debian and taking the lesser distros with it. This can only lead to frustration when you try to use a program saying its packaged as a .deb file and finding it doesn’t want to play with Ubuntu. No thanks, I’ll play with Debian, at least I know what I’m getting and I can add good stuff to it without breaking the system.
    Ubuntu will probably fail I’m certain, but we need to make sure it doesn’t drag the rest of the other Linux distros down with it.

  8. I’ve started a list…

    ( These are the first mission-critical applications I just attempted to install on the brand new Linux Mint 9 yesterday. The fact that they don’t work on Mint is a total deal-breaker. )

    Applications that Don’t Work with Linux Mint

    ubuntu-10.04-start
    fails with the error: “You are not running Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS”

    remastersys
    it’s not even in the repositories, and I’ve read of many problems
    with trying to use it with Mint

    dropbox
    apparently there is some sort of a patch program included in Mint, but sorry…
    I don’t trust that. I want the actual supported version of dropbox on my machine.

    It appers that the developer has spent most of his time removing the word Ubuntu from occurring or appearing anywhere within the OS. This includes everythig from removing all wallpaper that does not have the “Linux Mint” logo on it, to renaming actual core programs to remove the word “ubuntu” from the name, and replace it with “linuxmint”… which of course breaks lots of things. Lots of apps will not run on Mint for this reason…. unless the developer specifically provides a “Mint-ified” version of the app. What a horrific nightmare. He seems most concerned that the user has NO IDEA that he is actually using Ubuntu. He wants the user to only know about Mint…. and thus only DONATE to Mint…. Ok. Whatever. He is definitely correct about one thing. Mint is NOT Ubuntu.

    • Oh where to begin on the faults in this comment…

      1) That’s a post-install script that checks what Linux-based OS you’re running. If you’re using GNOME, open up your system monitor and go to the “system” tab. You’ll see “Release” with the operating system release you’re using right after that. The script fails because it CHECKS for THAT SPECIFIC VARIABLE (or a similar one) and since it says you’re running Mint instead of running Ubuntu specifically, it quits itself. For pete’s sake, man, just edit the script to check if you’re running mint instead of Ubuntu and I PROMISE it will work 100% CORRECTLY.

      2) Remastersys works fine (I’ve used it myself with Mint). Remastersys isn’t in the Ubuntu repositories either. If you actually TRY to use Remastersys with Mint, I can guarantee it will work fine as long as you don’t screw up the system too much (like, completely changing the repository lists).

      3) Did you actually TRY installing Dropbox? The patch IS FOR FLUXBOX, NOT GNOME. I’m running Dropbox on mint right now using the official .DEB from their website and it works great, absolutely no problems here. Besides, if you thought about it, you’d see absolutely no reason for Dropbox to NEED a patch to work on ANY Linux distribution (I have the official Dropbox running on Ubuntu, Mint, AND Arch Linux right now).

      4) Read the Linux Mint User Manual. Read the Linux Mint About page. Read the Wikipedia article. Open up the Synaptic Software Sources. Or maybe INSTALL Mint and look at the installation slideshow? You can very plainly see that Linux Mint isn’t afraid to admit they’re “standing on the shoulders of giants”, particularly Linux itself, the GNU project, Debian (which Ubuntu is based on, but they seem a little afraid to admit it unlike Mint) and Ubuntu are listed. They removed the wallpapers that come with Ubuntu because they want to have THEIR OWN IDENTITY. Is that so much a crime?

      I’m sorry for yelling, but your comments lack very little evidence and it shows how little you actually know about how Linux-based operating systems work. If it’s “so horrible” for Linux Mint to be based on Ubuntu and change things that EVERY OTHER DISTRIBUTION CHANGES

    • Oh where to begin on the faults in this comment…

      1) That’s a post-install script that happens to checks what Linux-based OS you’re running. If you’re using GNOME, open up your system monitor and go to the “system” tab. You’ll see “Release” with the operating system release you’re using right after that. The script fails because it CHECKS for THAT SPECIFIC VARIABLE (or a similar one) and since it says you’re running Mint instead of running Ubuntu specifically, it quits itself. For Pete’s sake, just edit the script to check if you’re running Mint instead of Ubuntu (or remove the whole “checking” part) and I PROMISE it will work 100% CORRECTLY.

      2) Remastersys works fine (I’ve used it myself with Mint). Remastersys isn’t in the Ubuntu repositories either. If you actually TRY to use Remastersys with Mint, I can guarantee it will work fine as long as you don’t screw up the system too much (like, completely changing the repository lists).

      3) Did you actually TRY installing Dropbox? The patch IS FOR FLUXBOX, NOT GNOME. I’m running Dropbox on mint right now using the official .DEB from their website and it works great, absolutely no problems here. Besides, if you thought about it, you’d see absolutely no reason for Dropbox to NEED a patch to work on ANY Linux distribution (I have the official Dropbox running on Ubuntu, Mint, AND Arch Linux right now).

      4) Read the Linux Mint User Manual. Read the Linux Mint About page. Read the Wikipedia article. Open up the Synaptic Software Sources. Or maybe INSTALL Mint and look at the installation slide-show! You can very plainly see that Linux Mint isn’t afraid to admit they’re “standing on the shoulders of giants”, particularly Linux itself, the GNU project, Debian (which Ubuntu is based on, but they seem a little afraid to admit it unlike Mint) and Ubuntu are listed. They removed the wallpapers that come with Ubuntu because they want to have THEIR OWN IDENTITY. Is that so much a crime?

      I’m sorry for yelling, but your comments lack very little evidence and it shows how little you actually know about how Linux-based operating systems work. If it’s “so horrible” for Linux Mint to be based on Ubuntu and change things that EVERY OTHER DISTRIBUTION CHANGES, why is it any better for Ubuntu to base itself on Debian and ask people to “support them”? Clem (the Linux Mint project owner) advocates supporting ALL free software, not just Mint! It’s not any worse for Mint to ask people to support them than Parted Magic, Debian, Ubuntu, or anything else to ask to support them for their efforts! If Ubuntu died one day, then Mint would just move on to be based on Debian or Fedora or Arch or something and there won’t be any huge differences because LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS ARE ALMOST 100% INTER-COMPATIBLE BY DESIGN.

      Get your facts straight. Stop hating on Mint for barely any reason. Realize that Mint isn’t doing anything worse than Ubuntu is doing (if not, then better than them).

    • to Bruce Wagner,

      Linux Mint 9 just came out a couple months ago. I’ve tried it as well. For me, it is full of bugs. However, Mint 8 works perfectly for me. I’ve ran it on two systems… A latest and greatest laptop, and a supped-up 6 year old desktop. It installed every driver on both of these PCs. I’ve also gotten all the apps I need to use working with relative ease on Mint 8.

      I suggest you try Mint 8 for now, and perhaps wait another couple months before trying Mint 9. Hopefully they’ll get the bugs worked out soon.

      Other distro’s I’ve used…. Fedora, Gentoo, Mandriva, and Puppy. Gentoo and Fedora are nice for servers, but Puppy and Mint are much better for workstations. Mandriva… I could never get it to work and that was probably around December of last year.

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