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Linux Mint

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Debian vs Linux Mint vs Ubuntu: What are the differences?

  1. Key difference 1: Package Management: One of the main differences between Debian, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu lies in their package management systems. Debian uses the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) to manage software packages, while Linux Mint and Ubuntu are based on Debian but use their own package managers, namely Mint's own Software Manager and Ubuntu's Software Center. Each package manager has its own unique features and interface, providing users with different options for installing and managing software.

  2. Key difference 2: Desktop Environment: Another significant difference between Debian, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu is the default desktop environment they come with. Debian offers multiple options for desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and more, allowing users to choose their preferred environment during installation. On the other hand, Linux Mint mainly focuses on the Cinnamon desktop environment, providing a user-friendly and familiar interface. Ubuntu, on the other hand, initially used GNOME as the default environment, but has now developed its own desktop environment called Unity.

  3. Key difference 3: Target Audience: While all three distributions are based on Debian and cater to a wide range of users, they have slight differences in their target audience. Debian is known for its stability and is often preferred by advanced users, system administrators, and servers. Linux Mint focuses on providing a user-friendly experience for beginners and those transitioning from Windows, offering a more streamlined and intuitive interface. Ubuntu aims to provide an easy-to-use Linux experience for both beginners and advanced users, promoting simplicity and accessibility.

  4. Key difference 4: Release Cycle: The release cycle is another area where these distributions differ. Debian has a more conservative approach with its release cycle, focusing on stability and security. It follows a "release when ready" philosophy without strict time frames. Linux Mint follows Ubuntu's release cycle and typically releases new versions following Ubuntu's long-term support (LTS) releases. Ubuntu, on the other hand, follows a regular six-month release cycle, with LTS versions released every two years, providing long-term support for stable versions.

  5. Key difference 5: Default Software: The default software selection varies between Debian, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu. Debian aims to provide a minimal installation, allowing users to choose and customize their preferred software during installation. Linux Mint includes a range of software such as LibreOffice, Firefox, and various multimedia codecs by default, providing a more complete out-of-the-box experience. Ubuntu also includes a selection of popular applications by default, such as LibreOffice, Firefox, and the Thunderbird email client, catering to everyday user needs.

  6. Key difference 6: Community and Support: Lastly, the communities and support systems behind each distribution differ to some extent. Debian has a large and active community of users and developers, providing extensive documentation, forums, and support channels. Linux Mint also has a dedicated and helpful community, with its own forums and resources. Ubuntu, being one of the most popular Linux distributions, has a vast community and well-established support channels, making it easier for users to find assistance and resources.

In Summary, Debian, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu differ in various aspects, such as package management systems, default desktop environments, target audience, release cycles, default software selection, and community support. These differences provide users with options to choose a distribution that aligns with their specific needs, preferences, and level of expertise.

Decisions about Debian, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu
Fullstack Dev at Synovo Group · | 10 upvotes · 41.4K views

Ubuntu always let people do what they want to do, it pushes its users to know what they are doing, what they want and helps them learn what they ignore.

Ubuntu is simple, works out-of-the-box after installation and has a incredibly huge community behind.

Ubuntu is lightweight and open, in the way, that the user has access to free AND efficient applications (most of the time, without ads) and, even if learning its folder structure is challenging, once done, you are really able to call yourself "someone who knows what is in your computer".

Windows, in comparison, is heavy, tends to make decision for you and always enable tracking application by default. grr

It has a simple user interface, of course, but on the stability point of view, it is hard to compete with something simpler (even with less features).

Personal preference : I prefer something simple that works 99% of the time, than a full-featured auto-magical system that works 50% of the time (and ask if the good version of the driver is really installed...)

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Dimelo Waterson

Coming from a Debian-based Linux background, using the Ubuntu base image for my Docker containers was a natural choice. However, the overhead, even on the impressively-slimmed Hub images, was hard to justify. Seeking to create images that were "just right" in size, without unused packages or dependencies, I made the switch to Alpine.

Alpine's modified BusyBox has a surprising amount of functionality, and the package repository contains plenty of muslc-safe versions of commonly-used packages. It's been a valuable exercise in doing more with less, and, as Alpine is keen to point out, an image with fewer packages makes for a more sustainable environment with a smaller attack surface.

My only regret is that Alpine's documentation leaves a lot to be desired.

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Ubuntu is much more faster over Windows and helps to get software and other utilities easier and within a short span of time compared to Windows.

Ubuntu helps to get robustness and resiliency over Windows. Ubuntu runs faster than Windows on every computer that I have ever tested. LibreOffice (Ubuntu's default office suite) runs much faster than Microsoft Office on every computer that I have ever tested.

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Jerome/Zen Quah

Global familiarity, free, widely used, and as a debian distro feels more comfortable when rapidly switching between local macOS and remote command lines.

CentOS does boast quite a few security/stability improvements, however as a RHEL-based distro, differs quite significantly in the command line and suffers from slightly less frequent package updates. (Could be a good or bad thing depending on your use-case and if it is public facing)

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I liked manjaro a lot, the huge support it has and the variety of tools it provides is just awesome. But due to its parent platform being Arch Linux it has bleeding-edge technology and that meaning, we get updated 'daily', and if we keep updating the system daily, due to the bugs in the recent updates the system sometimes used to crash, this made the OS really unstable. However, one can avoid such crashes using periodical and careful system/package updates. I now use LinuxMint which is based on Ubuntu, and this OS is completely stable with reliable(mostly tested) updates. And, since this OS is backed up by UBUNTU the concerns/questions one can encounter while using the OS can be easily rectified using the UBUNTU community, which is pretty good. Though this is backed up on UBUNTU it most certainly does NOT include the proprietary stuff of UBUNTU, which is on the bright side of the OS. That's it! Happy Computing.

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Simon Aronsson
Developer Advocate at k6 / Load Impact · | 7 upvotes · 270.5K views

At the moment of the decision, my desktop was the primary place I did work. Due to this, I can't have it blow up on me while I work. While Arch is interesting and powerful, Ubuntu offers (at least for me) a lot more stability and lets me focus on other things than maintaining my own OS installation.

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Pros of Debian
Pros of Linux Mint
Pros of Ubuntu
  • 54
    Massively supported
  • 50
  • 21
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
    It is free
  • 8
    Turnkey linux use it
  • 6
    Works on all architectures
  • 15
    Simple, Fast, Comfort and Easy to Use
  • 14
  • 12
  • 11
    Good for beginners
  • 10
    Free to use
  • 3
    Out of the box
  • 3
  • 1
    Good software support
  • 230
    Free to use
  • 96
    Easy setup for testing discord bot
  • 57
    Gateway Linux Distro
  • 54
    Simple interface
  • 9
    Don't need driver installation in most cases
  • 6
    Open Source
  • 6
    Many active communities
  • 3
    Software Availability
  • 3
    Easy to custom
  • 2
    Many flavors/distros based on ubuntu
  • 1
    Lightweight container base OS
  • 1
    Great OotB Linux Shell Experience

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Cons of Debian
Cons of Linux Mint
Cons of Ubuntu
  • 10
    Old versions of software
  • 2
    Can be difficult to set up on vanilla Debian
  • 3
    Easy to mess up with a few settings (like the panel)
  • 2
    Security breaches
  • 1
    Idiots can break it because it is open source
  • 5
    Demanding system requirements
  • 4
    Adds overhead and unnecessary complexity over Debian
  • 2
    Snapd installed by default
  • 1

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What is Debian?

Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel or the FreeBSD kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. FreeBSD is an operating system including a kernel and other software.

What is Linux Mint?

The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers.

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What are some alternatives to Debian, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu?
Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that provides users with access to the latest free and open source software, in a stable, secure and easy to manage form. Fedora is the largest of many free software creations of the Fedora Project. Because of its predominance, the word "Fedora" is often used interchangeably to mean both the Fedora Project and the Fedora operating system.
The CentOS Project is a community-driven free software effort focused on delivering a robust open source ecosystem. For users, we offer a consistent manageable platform that suits a wide variety of deployments. For open source communities, we offer a solid, predictable base to build upon, along with extensive resources to build, test, release, and maintain their code.
Arch Linux
A lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that tries to Keep It Simple.
The openSUSE project is a worldwide effort that promotes the use of Linux everywhere. openSUSE creates one of the world's best Linux distributions, working together in an open, transparent and friendly manner as part of the worldwide Free and Open Source Software community.
A clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliance.
See all alternatives