10 Reasons to Fall in Love With Linux Mint
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Which version of Linux The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Linux... Answered The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Linux... Answered Thinking about using Linux? You probably have some questions... and we have answers! This article will save you a good deal of confusion and stress. Read More should a new user try out first? Ask around, and someone’s bound to recommend Linux Mint. Why? It’s simply one of the friendliest, most versatile distributions of Linux out there.

Here are a few reasons why Linux Mint is the one to try.

1. Cinnamon Feels Familiar to Windows Users

reasons to love linux mint

Why are you switching to Linux? There are many reasons, from saving money to privacy concerns. For many people, the idea of learning a new way of using their computer is NOT what they’re looking for. Linux Mint understands.

Linux Mint’s Cinnamon interface feels right at home Cinnamon Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Windows-Like Desktops Cinnamon Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Windows-Like Desktops When you see a screenshot, what you think is the "operating system" is more likely to be the "desktop environment" -- and Linux has a bunch of them, including this one called Cinnamon. Read More if you know how to use Windows or a Chromebook.

You launch apps by clicking a button in the bottom-left. Your open apps and windows line the panel across the bottom of the screen. System indicators and the time sit in the bottom-right corner. Windows have minimize, maximize, and close buttons. You access options for most apps using a traditional menubar.

Ultimately, Linux is not Windows. The file system is different. Apps aren’t bundled in the same format, nor will software made for Windows run on Linux without jumping through a few hoops. There are plenty of new things you will have to learn when switching to Linux, but with Mint, the interface is NOT one of those things.

2. All Essential Apps Come Pre-Installed

why Linux Mint? - preinstalled apps

When you install a Linux distribution (or distro), you might be surprised by the amount of software that’s already available. Not only do you not have to pay for it, but you don’t even have to download it separately! This is great for newcomers who have no idea what software is available for Linux or what these programs are called.

Like many distros, Linux Mint comes with Firefox as a web browser and LibreOffice as the full-featured office suite. Pidgin is there for instant messenger, and you have GIMP for editing photos. These are tools millions of people download on Windows. On Mint, they’re included as part of the package.

But when you are ready for more apps, here’s our list of recommended Linux software and apps The Best Linux Software The Best Linux Software Awesome apps are available for Linux. Whether you're new to the operating system or you're a seasoned user, you'll always find new and useful Linux software to love. These are our favorites. Read More .

3. Linux Mint’s Software Manager Is One of the Best

why Linux Mint? - best software manager

On Linux, you don’t download most software from websites. Instead, there’s a single program you can launch to find apps and games, like an app store Linux App Stores Compared: Which One Is Right for You? Linux App Stores Compared: Which One Is Right for You? Windows users are being guided to an app store. macOS has had one for a while. Linux, meanwhile, has had an app store-style experience for years. But which one is right for you? Read More .

On Mint, this program is called the Software Manager. Software Manager balances the simplicity of a modern app store with the power of a traditional Linux package manager. You can view apps by category, see how many packages are available in each section, and change the sources you download software from.

You can also rate apps and leave reviews, which is particularly helpful for people new to the Linux desktop who don’t already know what programs they want.

4. Linux Mint Is Easy to Customize

why Linux Mint? - easy to customize

Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distros that default to the GNOME interface hide the ability for you to customize your environment. This isn’t the case with Mint. With a simple right-click, you can tweak many aspects of your desktop.

You may be surprised by the number of themes that are available for your panel, applications, window borders, and icons. There’s enough to tweak Mint to your liking without having to download anything extra.

5. X-Apps Are Both Traditional and Modern

why Linux Mint? - traditional and modern x-apps

Times have changed. More people are computing from mobile devices. Many versions of Linux are trying to reinvent the wheel, creating interfaces that work on touch screens or reduce the amount of options presented at one time.

Linux Mint’s developers see little need for that kind of change. Instead, they’ve made it a point to preserve programs that use a classic interface. X-Apps are the Mint team’s gift to people who prefer apps that fit in on any traditional free desktop How to Install Linux Mint's X-Apps on Ubuntu How to Install Linux Mint's X-Apps on Ubuntu If you're switching between Linux desktops, you'll need to get familiar with a bunch of new built-in apps. Can Linux iron out that bump that with the X-Apps project? Read More .

6. Linux Mint Is Easy Enough for Beginners

why Linux Mint? - easy for beginners

Different distros aim at different audiences. Some pride themselves on being hardcore. Mint, on the other hand, is aimed at your everyday computer user.

Mint makes it easy to do things. The interface is nothing unexpected. There are no excessive animations, nor do windows move around as you enter a dashboard. Apps are easy to find, themes are easy to change, and concepts are easy to grasp.

Mint also holds your hand through some of the more complex tasks. You can download the codecs you need for audio and video files by clicking the “Install Multimedia Codecs” option in the Sound & Video section of the app launcher. You can install hardware drivers via a tool called Driver Manager.

There’s a lot that comes with Mint, and there’s a lot you can do. But thanks to the way things are named and presented, it’s hard to get lost if you’re comfortable with computers in general.

7. Linux Mint’s Interface Is Consistent

why Linux Mint? - consistent interface

In the Linux world, there are many different desktop environments for developers to target, and there are different toolkits for them to use. The result is that apps come in many shapes and sizes (though software design is perhaps even less consistent on Windows).

On Ubuntu, for example, some applications have a header bar that contains buttons for settings as well as window controls. Others have a titlebar and a traditional menu bar.

By sticking to a traditional interface, apps on Mint largely function in similar ways. Using LibreOffice isn’t jarringly different from editing text files or listening to music. Each has titlebars, menubars, and buttons in similar places.

8. Linux Mint Doesn’t Require Powerful Hardware

why Linux Mint? - no powerful hardware needed

Many people leave behind Windows because a new version requires more juice than their aging PC can provide. Linux is less demanding, though some versions still require more memory and processing power. With Mint, an old PC will work just fine.

This isn’t because Linux Mint’s running old or outdated software. On the contrary. Your computer will still get the latest version of web browsers, office tools, multimedia programs, and open source games. You’re breathing new life into a machine Defeat Planned Obsolescence with Linux and Open Source Software Defeat Planned Obsolescence with Linux and Open Source Software Unlike a 5-year-old PC, a 5-year-old smartphone can barely run any modern apps. But there is a way to enjoy the benefits of technology without buying new hardware: embrace Linux and free software! Read More that manufacturers and retailers tell you needs to be replaced.

9. Linux Mint Includes All the Ubuntu Goodies

reasons to love linux mint

Ubuntu is the most popular version of desktop Linux. This means many developers create software with Ubuntu in mind. Steam, for example, makes sure games run on Ubuntu. The same is true of GOG.com.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to games. It’s not uncommon for a developer to provide a DEB file for Ubuntu users and to direct everyone else to instructions on how to build their program for source.

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu What's the Difference Between Ubuntu and Ubuntu-Based Distros? What's the Difference Between Ubuntu and Ubuntu-Based Distros? Linux Mint and elementary OS are both popular Linux distros based on Ubuntu, but aren't the same as Ubuntu. If you're new to Linux, this distinction can be confusing. Read More . That means the overwhelming majority of the code is identical across the two versions of Linux. Software that runs on Ubuntu will also run on Mint. So if you like having access to most Linux software but prefer a more traditional interface, go with Mint and have fun.

10. Linux Mint Is One of the Most Popular Distros

why Linux Mint? - popular distro

Popularity isn’t everything, but when you’re troubleshooting problems, it sure helps to have millions of other people using the same desktop as you. There’s a good chance that someone else has already spotted the bug you’ve noticed and figured out how to fix it. Someone has provided a workaround. Someone else has released a patch.

Again, Mint is based on Ubuntu, so you also benefit from all the eyeballs keyed in on that code as well. Between the amount of people focused on Ubuntu and Mint, your bases are covered.

Have You Fallen in Love With Linux Mint?

Mint is one of the most popular versions of Linux around, adored by newcomers and experienced users alike.

If you’re looking at a great way to give this whole Linux thing a try, you may want to skip past Ubuntu and try out Linux Mint Linux Mint vs Ubuntu: Which Distro Should You Choose? Linux Mint vs Ubuntu: Which Distro Should You Choose? Linux Mint and Ubuntu are two of the most popular Linux distros, but there are real differences between the two. Which one is right for you? Read More .

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  1. Friar Tux
    August 1, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    Oh, yes. Definitely. I have tested and retested dozens of Linux distros over the years, and Linux Mint seems to consistently outshine them all. It installs, boots, and you're flying. The Wife and I have been using it for a couple of years, now, without a glitch.

  2. Cogreeg
    June 7, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Nice article but the Mint Mate is a very nice DE, along with Ubuntu Mate. Linux Lite is another I have and use daily, plus the Linux Lite 4.0 just released that is supported until 4/23.

  3. etim
    June 4, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Personally, I prefer Elementary OS.
    Not at all Windows-like, (that I'm sick of) but simple and easy to get the hang of, gorgeous and doesn't install a bunch of apps that I'll never use.
    Their update schedule to the newest Ubuntu trails 'buntu by a few months--which I consider an advantage, since 'buntu's early bugs from a major update are already (usually) ironed out. Elementary's attitude isn't to stick with a strict date to update, but "when it's ready".
    -----------------
    A note to anyone thinking of switching over to ANY Linux distro--- be sure to make a separate "/home" partition for your personal data. Google it, or ask a Linux user. Having a separate home partition saves all your stuff when you update in a few years or if you decide to check out other distros.

  4. ChrisM
    May 31, 2018 at 1:41 am

    I have searched for a Win-doze replacement since they left Win7.

    I tried distro after Linux distro with various desktops, and I kept coming back to Linux Mint. Manjaro didn’t seem as smooth or intuitive. I like Peppermint for awhile, Lubuntu, Ubuntu (Unity), Puppy (great for computer-on-a-USB), and a number of other flavors. My 2nd choice would be MX Linux. Pretty smooth too and intuitive. But Linux Mint is the one I snuggle up to every night.

    • Tony
      June 1, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      My I recommend you to give Linux-Lite a try?

      You will be amazed at how stable, light, fast and polished this distro is.

      Oh yeah! and the new release (4.0) is just fresh out of the oven.

  5. dragonmouth
    May 30, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Is this article targeted at Windows users contemplating a switch to Linux?

    These 10 reasons can equally well be used to justify falling in love with dozens of other Linux distros, none of them Ununtu-derived.

    As a long-time Linux user, there is very little danger that I will ever "fall in love with Mint". Old Cape Cod - definitely, Mint - probably not.

    "1. Cinnamon Feels Familiar to Windows Users"
    So? If Windows users want to switch to Linux, they should get used to Linux DEs.

    "2. All Essential Apps Come Pre-Installed"
    All essential apps come pre-installed on 99% of Linux distros. Mint is NOT unique in that respect.

    "3. Linux Mint’s Software Manager Is One of the Best"
    Not by a long shot. It is one of the prettiest but capability and feature-challenged. It cannot hold a candle to Synaptic in terms of features and capabilities.

    "4. Linux Mint Is Easy to Customize"
    Depends on what you wish to customize. If you mean the interface, then definitely. If you want to remove any of the packages installed by default, forget it. All packages have system files as dependencies. So if you try to uninstall some package, you will be told that a system package will also be uninstalled, making the entire system inoperable. This is one of the goodies Mint shares with all Ubuntu-derived distros.

    "6. Linux Mint Is Easy Enough for Beginners"
    So are dozens of other distros.

    "7. Linux Mint’s Interface Is Consistent"
    So are the interfaces of other distros.

    "8. Linux Mint Doesn’t Require Powerful Hardware"
    That is true for most distros, not just Mint

    "9. Linux Mint Includes All the Ubuntu Goodies"
    You mean like tie-ins with Amazon? Or inability to uninstall programs? Or no explicit root login?

    "10. Linux Mint Is One of the Most Popular Distros"
    Big, Fat, Hairy Deal! Let's not forget that Windows is the most popular O/S in the world. Does that matter any if you are a Linux or a Mac user?

    • KLP99
      June 8, 2018 at 6:33 pm

      You are behind the times. I've been using mine as my everyday driver since PCLinuxOS went stale because of medical issues TexStar had.

      You can uninstall major packages without destroying the system. Even for the few remaining packages, you still can, if you are very bright.

      True, the software manager isn't as useful as synaptic, which is why synaptic is the default package utility in Mint, or didn't you pay attention the last time you tried Mint?

      To other readers, Mr Dragonmouth doesn't know as much about Mint as he supposes. Each point, while based in fact, is old news.

      I agree with other posters that Linux Lite is pretty nice. It's default DE is XFCE which is a nice change from Windows-like DEs. But frankly, I don't think Cinnamon is that much like MS's DE, but maybe having been a Linux-only user for 22+ years has let the similarities sneak up on me.

      Uh, nope. I support Windows servers (reluctantly) and get frustrated by their constraints.

      • dragonmouth
        June 8, 2018 at 8:51 pm

        Methinks you dost protest too much. If you use Mint, that is your choice. I have nothing against Mint. I'm just not all gaga over it. All I am saying is that the same 10 reasons can be used to "love" any distro, not just Mint. You have chosen to misinterpret my comments just so you can have something to argue about.

        With the possible exception of points #4 & #9, all others are as valid today as they were when Clement gifted us with Mint. I wouldn't know if one is able to delete any Mint software installed by default from the current version. It was still true as of Mint 15, the last version I tried. However, in the past year I tried Zorin, Ubuntu, elementary and one or two other Ubuntu-based distros. In none of them was I able to delete any software without making the system inoperable. I repeat, this only applies to any software installed during the initial install. Any software installed through Software Manager or Synaptic can be uninstalled.

        "since PCLinuxOS went stale because of medical issues TexStar had."
        Define "went stale". I've been using PCLOS regularly for the last 3 years and the only change I do not like is KDE 4 to KDE 5. But that is for another discussion.

        • Karl
          October 9, 2018 at 2:50 am

          I loved KDE for a while, but it's too bloated, but beautiful. Bloat makes me dismiss it though.

          As to your points? I'm not arguing. I know I sound like it. My wife reminds me of that often . . . But that's a personal problem.

          So, is PCLOS moving forward? It's been a few years since I used it last, and then I used the Full Monty, which was just a bit too much.

          KLP

        • dragonmouth
          October 9, 2018 at 1:14 pm

          @Karl:
          "I loved KDE for a while, but it's too bloated, "
          Why, because it takes up a lot memory when it runs? People complain about 'bloat' but then demand that programs be full of features, user-friendly and beautiful looking. Adding features to a program, making it more user-friendly and good-looking doesn't come free. It adds many lines to the source code. More code, bigger program, the more memory it takes when it runs. OpenBox, fluxbox, XFCE are 'less bloated' than KDE but they are less configurable, less user-friendly and have less features. It is like comparing a mobile home (fluxbox) to a Mac mansion (KDE).

  6. Sergey
    May 30, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Linux mint has KDE version ! https://linuxmint.com/download.php

  7. Jose D. Diaz
    May 30, 2018 at 8:25 am

    One reason lo leave Mint (my case): no KDE version

  8. Jerry
    May 29, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    I've used both Mint and Ubuntu along with Windows for years. They both work fine. I like the Mate versions.

  9. Rob
    May 29, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Linux Mint Debian Edition most of all these postive aspects without the Ubuntu. This also allows a relatively easy transition to raspbian and the like.

  10. tom
    May 29, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Did you Photoshop (or should I say GIMP) the first photo in this article? That looks exactly like a Lenovo Yoga Book running Mint, but to my knowledge this was not yet feasible due to their strange bootloader. The size of the bezel is also suspicious, because it looks slightly smaller than the real device. I also doubt the holo keyboard/wacom tablet have Linux drivers, but I could be wrong.

    I would love to run a Linux distro on my Yoga Book, because it is a great tablet. I use Windows 10 Pro with WSL Ubuntu to get my CLI tools, and that works much better than expected. All of my problems with the device are Lenovo's fault due to poor driver support.