Is Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” The Ubuntu Killer?

Danny Stieben 31-05-2014

The latest version of Linux Mint, the 17th release codenamed “Qiana”, is now out! The popular Linux distribution is a great alternative for people wanting to leave Windows as well as those who just don’t quite like Ubuntu.


Let’s take a look at what’s new and why you should use it!

What is Linux Mint?

For those two don’t know, Linux Mint is another highly popular Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. According to DistroWatch (which isn’t representative of how many people actually use each distribution), Linux Mint is actually the most popular choice. It was initially created to fix the usability issues that people had with Ubuntu, and quite honestly it still does that now.

Today, Linux Mint is known as the best distribution for alternative desktop environments to Gnome Shell, Unity, or KDE. Linux Mint offers Cinnamon, Linux Mint’s own desktop environment Cinnamon 2.0 Ditches GNOME, Features Enhanced User and Window Management Cinnamon, the desktop shell using in Linux Mint, has finally released v2.0, which features new window tiling and snapping, along with enhanced user management options. Read More , and MATE, the Gnome 2 continuation A Review of MATE: Is It a True GNOME 2 Replica for Linux? The world of Linux desktop environments has dramatically changed since then. Gnome 3 was born, Gnome 2 was essentially thrown to the side, Gnome 3 was forked to create Cinnamon, and so on. However, Gnome... Read More , as its two top choices, both of which maintain a layout pretty similar to Gnome 2.

What’s New in “Qiana”

The new version of Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, the Trusty Tahr Why Windows XP Users Should Switch To Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" If you're still trying to dump Windows XP but haven't found an alternative yet, Ubuntu 14.04 is a great choice. Read More , and is even an LTS release itself. Similarly to Ubuntu, it’ll be supported for 5 years, meaning that it’ll be safe to use until 2019. However, the Linux Mint developers already made a new decision with this new release — that the next 3 releases after “Qiana” will also be based on Ubuntu 14.04. Only Linux Mint 21 will have a new base, which is just about guaranteed to be Ubuntu 16.04.

This decision was made to simplify the work that the Linux Mint developers have to do in upkeep so that they can focus more on their own projects. It also promotes release stability, although it does also look like it’ll mean that you’ll only have access to older versions of software.


A great thing about Linux Mint is that, because it’s based on Ubuntu, any software that is released and packaged for Ubuntu will work in Linux Mint as well. So you can easily take advantage of Ubuntu’s large selection of software without worries.

This release does include a massive amount of improvements to the Linux Mint-specific additions.

The Update Manager now includes a history of updates, as well as an informational dialog for kernel versions so you know whether it’s safe to upgrade.

The Drivers Manager (which allows you to switch to proprietary drivers over their open source counterparts) can now install drivers offline via an installation disk or USB stick.


The Login Screen includes multi-monitor support, as well as HiDPI support. The Language Settings feature is new and drastically simplifies language management on your system.

The Software Sources feature includes a few improvements and generally is better designed than the Software Sources dialog in Ubuntu.

Finally, a new version of the Cinnamon desktop environment rounds out the major improvements, as it includes various settings improvements, hot corner and HUD support, and HiDPI support.

Other Linux Mint Tools

Linux Mint also includes other tools of its own that didn’t receive any noteworthy improvements in this release.


The Backup Tool allows you to backup and restore your personal files, as well as a list of your software selection so it’s easy to reinstall applications on a newly installed Linux Mint system.

Desklets are essentially gadgets/applets for your desktop which add a neat element of customization. Finally, the Domain Blocker allows you to block access to certain Internet domains, which is good as a parental control measure and as a way to keep yourself productive and off time-wasting sites.

For those of you who use Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE for short Linux Mint Debian Edition: Your Perfect Flavor Of Linux That You'll Never Have To Reinstall During recent years, many people have touted the ease of use that comes with Linux Mint compared to virtually all other distributions. As such, Linux Mint is now one of the most popular distributions out... Read More ), you’ll just need to wait a little while before all of these improvements reach your desktop in the form of Update Pack 9.

How To Download

You can download the latest version of Linux Mint from their download page. From there, you can burn the ISO to a DVD or write it to a USB stick and then boot off of that newly-created media.


The Mint Release For Anyone

This is another fantastic Linux Mint release that I would absolutely recommend to anyone, even complete Linux beginners. It’s easy to use, it’s functional, it looks great, and it’s supported for the next 5 years. What else can you ask for? Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Ubuntu — maybe because of Unity — give Linux Mint a shot. It might just impress you.

For more great Linux distributions, don’t forget to check out our Best Linux Distributions page The Best Linux Operating Distros The best Linux distros are hard to find. Unless you read our list of the best Linux operating systems for gaming, Raspberry Pi, and more. Read More !

What do you like or dislike about Linux Mint? If you don’t like Cinnamon or MATE, which Linux Mint release are you waiting for? Let us know in the comments!

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Joko
    April 30, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Hello, Mint users.

    I now using Ubuntu 14.10, want to move to Linux Mint. I've already read a lot of reviews and think Linux Mint is more suitable for me.

    Can anyone please share some of your knowledge, how can I move to Linux Mint easily without losing my data, user account, application settings, etc? My computer has GBs of data, my Firefox and SeaMonkey has Add-ons configured to my needs, and I have some Windows games on Wine.

  2. kemas
    November 11, 2014 at 3:03 am


  3. Martin
    October 30, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Mint is nice for Linux beginners but it has a few flaws that mean I prefer a basic DE version of Ubuntu these days like Xubuntu. My single biggest gripe with Mint is their religious refusal to provide an in place upgrade between releases, or to just move to a rolling upgrade ("always current") model like ArchLinux. Having to do a complete clean reinstall every 6 months to stay on the current release is just too much, especially as a I run a pretty heavily customised system.
    After that my other main gripe (or rather the sum of lots of small gripes) about Mint is how much stuff has been moved around or fiddled with from the basic Ubuntu/Debian model. Trying to find exactly where they have configured something can be a nightmare as virtually none of it is documented. For instance to actually change the default browser so it works everywhere you need to edit /usr/share/linuxmint/common/artwork/mime/defaults.list that's right a file a in a directory labelled "artwork" actually contains the default mime associations. How obscure is that?

    Mint is nice for a Linux newbie who never does anything complicated but if you are more sophisticated or want to become so, my advice is to use Xbuntu or even just Debian where everything works as you expect.

  4. Dave
    October 28, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Too many bugs in mint 17. Ubuntu works!

  5. JeffL
    October 1, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Mint ? That's a very good job, guys! I choose Mint Mate. My computer is now very sexy, and my (numeric) life easier. :-)

  6. Alessio
    September 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    I've used Ubuntu For years, since the 10.10 Ubuntu had become a teeth grinding experience with lack of usability, bugs, slow booting time etc... Personally I hate those damn Unity or Gnome 3 desktop environments, it are too much hexose on hardware requirements (even more than windows aero), a little bit unstable and they don't offer too many features . I think the original Ubuntu's philosohpy is lost, today Ubuntu is becoming the Microsoft Windows of the GnuLinux systems; its last real and best release was the 10.04. After my last quarrell with all the problems of the (although all in all good) 14.04 I've switched to Mint 17 with Mate 1.8, and now I'm more than fine.

    • Joko
      April 30, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Hello Alessio. I now use Ubuntu 14.10 and want to move to Linux Mint. As you mentioned you've already switched to Mint, can you please share some of the experience about the switching progress?

      Will I lost my data if I switch to Linux Mint? I system has 3 partition: Linux (bootable), Linux Swap, and data partition (mounted as /home).

      After the switching process, will I lost my application configurations? I have Firefox and SeaMonkey with proper configured Add-ons for my needs. Also I have some games on Wine.

      Does it any Ubuntu to Mint migration tool exist? Perhaps something like Wubi Installer.

  7. Linux Newbie
    September 2, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Just upgarded from Petra which I ran in parallel as an experiment when XP went unsupported. Now totally deleted XP and just running on Mint Qiana Cinnamon. I was told I was stupid by sooo many people who said Linux was for experts only. Load of tosh. It is a perfect replacement for XP and I find it a lot cleaner. The fact that it is now supported for 5 years seals the deal.

    • Anonymous
      July 20, 2015 at 6:02 am

      A lot of people still say that Linux is not for Windows users. Ordinary people know nothing bout Linux distros. Mint is the right choice for anyone who want to switch for example from old XP. Of course, you need to learn how it works but in Linux even learning can be fun. And what's more, you can run even some native Windows apps with little tweaking (this number grows). It is also said that Linux is not for gamers. Well, people are (partially) true but with growing number of Steam apps it will not be the truth anymore soon. I am surprised that my Steam games (Mount and Blade: Warband, Left for dead 2 for ex.) run a little smoother in Linux thanks to OpenGL which is less HW demanding. I even play some Linux-non-supported games like WoW thanks to PlayOnLinux app. In 5 years it will be the right gaming platform!

  8. Lonewolf
    August 16, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I would love to get Linux Mint LXDE back!!! XFCE is good but not as light as LXDE.

  9. Hasan
    August 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Slow on old system while ubuntu run smoot in old system

  10. Hasan
    August 15, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Slow on old system while ubuntu run smoot in old system

  11. André
    August 14, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    mint? only ubuntu with another DE like xubuntu or lubuntu or kubuntu, with a lot of bugs, cinnamon is slow and buggy, unity is far better and have future. linux mint is one of worst based ubuntu distros out there, is for old people

  12. A.D
    August 2, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Ubuntu kills mint. Unity is the best DE by far.

  13. john bartley K7AAY
    June 6, 2014 at 5:26 am

    LXLE is also a dandy alternative, and the 32-bit 12.04 LTS works well on auld machines without PAE; the 14.04 LTS 64-bit just screams on my CoreDuo machines. The Lubuntu 14.04 LTS is also a great improvement over Gnome, Cinnamon and Xubuntu, but not as well polished as LXLE.

  14. Big Jon
    June 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    If Mint kills Ubuntu, then there will be no more Mint.

    • Dr. Freak
      June 4, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Yeah man cuz Mint uses Ubuntu as its code base

    • James V
      June 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      They'll just base it off Debian if Ubuntu "dies", or more likely, gets too wierd. Hopefully they will both get HUGE, to the detriment of Windows.

  15. GraveDigger27
    June 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I have Linux Mint installed on my desktop and laptop systems as part of a multi-boot setup (along with Windows, Ubuntu and elementary OS) - I like the clean interface and the speed of Mint, but I don't consider it a Ubuntu-killer as much as an alternative to the direction that Canonical has taken by moving to the Unity interface and other changes that they have put in place.

    One of the best things about using Linux is there is a variety of interfaces to choose from and if you find that you don't like this one you can always try another that suits your tastes. And of course, competition drives innovation - one Linux distribution pushes others to improve.

  16. Dr. Freak
    June 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    There is no doubt that Linux mint is far more faster stable and useful than Ubuntu
    Well I love the concept of mint a distribution that has never been forked

  17. TucsonMatt
    June 1, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I use XFCE for most installations as they're older systems. Usually XP that won't run 7 or 8.

    Despite the head guy of Mint being an anti-Semite, the distro is pretty nice and smooths out some of the irritants with Ubuntu.

    • Rick L
      June 2, 2014 at 3:14 am

      An anti-semite? Proof please.

    • TucsonMatt
      June 2, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      In a post on the Linux Mint blog, the lead developer stated that he didn't want anyone to use or support Linux Mint if they were supporters of Israel or its current government. Ironically, the reason that Linux Mint users who speak Arabic can actually write it the way they're used to is because Israeli developers wrote the code that allows right-to-left languages. Not sure if he's going to go through the Linux source code and remove anything written by Israelis or their supporters and replace it with his own code, but I'm sure he won't. When called on it, he finally moved it to a personal blog and then deleted it from the Mint blog but never really backed down or apologized for what he said.

      Here's a link to read more about it if you'd like:

    • Anand
      June 3, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      "I think many people remember my silly outburst about Israel and if I learnt two things about this: 1. We have nothing to do with politics, we’re here for a reason and it’s our passion for technology… so especially when we share a common thing like this, we shouldn’t let borders divide us, 2. that conflict is much more complicated than it seems, there’s a huge amount of propaganda on both sides of the fence and it’s extremely hard for an outsider to make an objective opinion. I received a lot of info and comments after my reaction, and I have to say… I just don’t know what to think or who to believe on this anymore. The only thing I know, is that the people at CompuLab are dedicated, passionate and extremely nice people, and that what is going on between the two factions over there has nothing to do with either them or us."

    • Anand
      June 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      I suppose these words should be reassuring for anyone.

      "I think the one thing I regret the most is giving people the impression I cared about politics and getting involved in something that had nothing to do with me. I hurt some people by doing that and that's something I'll always regret. I try and apologize as much as I can to whoever queries me on that and reassure them that absolutely everyone is welcome to join me, no matter where they're from, who they are and what their political beliefs might be. Dividing topics such as these are an awful waste of time. We're passionate about what we do and we do it together with people who don't necessarily agree on everything but agree on the fact that these topics aren't important here, so yes, I deeply regret taking position on one of these and you can be sure I learnt a lot from that and won't get close to any of that again any time soon."

    • dragonmouth
      June 4, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      "Despite the head guy of Mint being an anti-Semite"
      If you are going to use products based on the developers/inventors/manufacturers personal philosophy, you will soon run out of acceptable products to use. Everybody's personal philosophy is objectionable to somebody else. Should Hindus refuse to use Linux because most of the developers eat beef? SHould veggans and vegetarians quit buying and using cars because most people involved in their production eat meat? Should Arabs refuse medicines made by Israeli and Jewish pharmaceutical companies? How many Israelis drive German-made cars?

    • TucsonMatt
      June 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      dragonmouth: I agree with you, mostly. However, in this case, the guy posted it on the product blog and EXPLICITLY stated he didn't want anyone to use Mint, or support Mint in any way if they didn't agree with his political views. I think that is more than a "personal philosophy."

      I'm sure that many products I use have people within the company at high levels that behave in ways that would make me cringe, or believe things I would be appalled by if I knew. However, they aren't posting on their company blog that unless I agree with them that we should enslave all women, they don't want me to use or support their product.

    • Marcel
      August 19, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      Saying someone is anti-semite becouse they are against the Israeli state is just ignorant. The Israeli state is run by zionists (not same as jews), wich believe jews to be a special people (much like the nazis...). Many jews are against the israeli state just becouse of this and the countless warcrimes it has commited, not to speak of the apartheidsystem it runs.

      If the head guy for mint said he didnt want anyone that supports the israeli state that is a reason for me to support it!

  18. deme
    June 1, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Linux Mint Xfce is the king !!

  19. JazzAzz
    June 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    OOPS>>TYPO alert, sorry. MEANT Mint 17 :-)

  20. JazzAzz
    June 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Does this Mont 17 Cinnamon work out of the box for most things?? Will my printer still print and most of all be able to still scan stuff into my PC/ a folder???

    Will SKYPE work for me, my Long Distance carrier since I fired ATT's Long Distance for being too greedy?? Etc. Etc

    • techno
      June 2, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      It should, why wouldn't it? SimpleScan for scanning, Skype has a native Linux client from Microsoft. I've been running Mint on one of my boxes for a while on my home network. My Arch setup, which is much less focused on user ease was able to do everything you're talking about. This one is also based on one of the most widely used Ubuntu bases. Get a live cd and take it for a spin, that way you won't even have to install to see if it works. On top of that you've got WINE which will run a lot of Windows software in an emulation layer, which isn't perfect, but generally works. WineHQ has a list of all Windows applications tried and their compatibility outcomes.

  21. dragonmouth
    June 1, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I agree with CJ. Mint is no more an Ubuntu killer than Ubuntu was a Debian killer or a Slackware, or SUSE, or Gentoo killer.

    Mint will not "kill" Ubuntu as long as all the pundits, bloggers and so called "experts" keep talking about Ubuntu as if it was the only Linux distro in existence. Linux is about choice and besides Ubuntu and Mint there are close to 300 active distros in the Distrowatch database.

  22. Obe
    June 1, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Ubuntu is mint killer. Mint wont surpass Ubuntu anytime soon.

  23. Bob Myers
    June 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    If Ubuntu ceased to exist, the so would the support Ubuntu provides for Mint and other Ubuntu deriviative users.. I wonder how Mint will continue to be innovative having to do all of the things Ubuntu did for all Ubuntu and derivative users.

    Okay, here it comes: Isn't that similar to cutting one's nose off to spite one's face?


  24. Ivan K.
    June 1, 2014 at 11:39 am

    What Linix Mint has done for the Linux community is great leap forward. It instigated and inspired others to create new Linux Distros that focus on usability and desktop readiness. In terms of complete Desktop OS, Mint is pretty functional but not bug free. I would like to see Linux Mint team move away from Ubuntu and start with fresh solid base.

    Yes, Mint solved lots of Ubuntu bugs and provides great desktop experience, however Ubuntu killer? Most certainly not. Ubuntu has totally different aspirations for their future development iterations.

    Ubuntu killer, yes Elementary ISIS, not Mint.

    IMHO, so far Xubuntu 13.10 is the most complete distro that works out of the box.


    • dragonmouth
      June 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      "I would like to see Linux Mint team move away from Ubuntu and start with fresh solid base."
      There is Linux Mint Debian Edition which uses Debian as its base.

      "Mint solved lots of Ubuntu bugs"
      But it has not eliminated others and has kept many of Ubuntu's bad habits.

    • Scott Beamer
      June 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      The thing is, having Ubuntu as a base, means that you can have access to all kinds of software that's not in the repos.

      For example, Spotify for Linux is only available in an Ubuntu version.

      And all the various apps that have PPAs. There are just more third party options for Ubuntu than any other distro. And since Mint is 100% compatible with Ubuntu, you can use all of them with Mint.

    • dragonmouth
      June 2, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      PPAs sound kind of proprietary to me. Besides, if the third party software exists in a .deb format, it can be installed in any Debian-based distro.

      What I don't like about any Ubuntu-based distros is that I can't uninstall the crapware, such as "cowsay" and "fortune", or unwanted language packs, video and device drivers. All software uses "ubuntu-minimal" as a dependency.

  25. Mint_BackupRestore
    June 1, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Update to Mint 17 without loosing your settings from Mint 16 (or other former versions):

    Please take a look at:


    or you can directly go to the project page:

    [Broken Link Removed]

    With best regards,

  26. Nikolay Kolev
    June 1, 2014 at 4:20 am

    These guys badly need a new logo and a better default wallpaper! It's 2014 already!

    • dragonmouth
      June 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Wallpaper is easy to change.

      Slackware, Debian, SUSE, Gentoo, Red Hat/Fedora have not changed their logos since their inception in the 1990s. Logo is what identifies each distro.

  27. Gimm
    June 1, 2014 at 1:59 am

    However I like Ubuntu :)

  28. jamieg
    May 31, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Waiting for xfce version. I recently started using elementary so not sure how long I'll stick with mint.

  29. CJ
    May 31, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Linux Mint isn't going to kill off Ubuntu just like Ubuntu didn't kill off Debian. Anyone making such a claim is an idiot, trolling, or both. Linux is about choice and as such there are distros out there to fit just about every taste.

    • J
      November 24, 2014 at 2:38 am

      Nope. The only idiot here is you. Idiot.

  30. mikia
    May 31, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    More than that, it s no.1 in OS.

  31. AriesWarlock
    May 31, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    I have been trying Linux Mint, I should download this new version.

    I have a problem, hoping someone can help me. I have a laptop with Windows Vista, made a partition and installed Zorin. It wasn't stable so I removed it and installed Linux Mint instead. But when I was installing it, I accidentally deleted the Windows partition losing some files. Is there a program that would allow me to recover files from a deleted partition?

    • Capagira
      May 31, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      try TestDisk or PhotoRec

    • Nicholas Cardenas
      May 31, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      ... sounds horrible. Try GParted's "recover data" feature, at first it will tell you that it needs some other program, so just fire up a terminal, and run apt-get install , then try again. It might be able to recover the partition.

    • sanch
      May 31, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      you should definitely try recuva or easeus recovery tool they both work perfectly

    • rishi raj
      June 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Try creating ntfs partition ( i suppose the partition tou deleted was ntfs type) in the place of the deleted partition. Do not use slow formatting method; only quick formatting allow scope for recovery. Boot with any Windows installation and use PC Inspector File Recovery tool for recovering your files. A word of caution: do not write newer files to the partition in question until recocery has been done.

    • jymm
      June 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      You should probably reinstall windows first, which will wipe out anything on your disk. Then install Mint.

  32. platform
    May 31, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Pretty much killed Ubuntu over a year ago.