Which Linux version is best ? " Mint or Ubuntu " ?

Hey Everyone

Well i whis to know which version you think is the best to use ? I´m using Linux Mint 13 /Mate…Have use linux now in almost 8 years , before windows !!! Never again :o

My best to you

Hi christina1973, and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

It really comes down to a preference for the desktop environment . Unity Vs Cinnamon/MATE … and a few “mint” tools such as mintupdate Vs update-manager, etc.

There’s little in it between the 2 … Mint is based on Ubuntu and gets 99.9% of its packages directly from the Ubuntu repositories … under the skin, they’re the same thing.

Personally out of those 2 (not being able to choose Peppermint/LXDE) I’d go for Ubuntu, but possibly install the MATE desktop environment … or then again, I could go for Mint/MATE and replace the Mint tools with the Ubuntu ones … either way you’d end up with the same thing :slight_smile:

Which every one you find easier to say. Like Mark said, they’re basically the same thing.

Dont limit yourself to two options, have a look around (www.distrowatch.com is a great source of linux versions) at all the options. Admittedly Ubuntu is the most user friendly so why not look at Ubuntu based options (similar to Mint but in theory not so slow). Like Mark said, Peppermint is very popular, very fast and very user friendly.

But its up to you, ah the wonders of linux :slight_smile:


The only downside to that, as I found out when I first started, is that there are hundreds of different distros.

So by all means look around before you try but the best way to find out which one to use is to use them. Try some LiveCDs and just find one that you feel comfortable with…

Once you’ve done that you can tell us how great it is and we can have another Distro War! :stuck_out_tongue:

if i was trying linux for the first time now i’d go for zorinOS as it’s made for and comes with tools to make the transition from windows as easy as possible even down a “looks changer” to get the desktop looking like win’ 7 or xp

this is the install guide

I’d like to try Linux, can I use both Windows 7 and Linux together on the same computer as different programs?

I’d prefer to see what it’s like and if I can work with it before uninstalling Windows.

  1. If I transfer to Linus is it compatible with System Mechanic (Iola) software?
  2. Is it compatible with Zone Alarm?

Will this software have to reinstalled if they are compatible?

Hi juliac, and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

I'd like to try Linux, can I use both Windows 7 and Linux together on the same computer as different programs?

Yes it’s possible to set up a “dual boot” system, where at boot time you’re asked whether you’d like to boot into Linux or Windows.

I'd prefer to see what it's like and if I can work with it before uninstalling Windows.

You have 3 options here -
a) Run Linux from a LiveUSB (USB stick) … this will obviously be slower than running it from a hard drive, but will give you a taste of Linux without making any changes to your system.
b) Install either Linux Mint or Ubuntu “inside” Windows (kind of as an application … though really it’s a virtual hard drive) using the WUBI/Mint4Win installer … this would allow you to easily remove it from within the Windows control panel … downsides are it’s harder to fix if/when things go wrong.
c) Install something like Virtaulbox in Windows (free), then run Linux from a VM (virtual machine) inside Virtualbox … benefits are you can try lots of different Linux distributions easily, and the VM’s can boot really quickly … downside is your system is effectively running Linux on top of Windows so the system has to be up to the job.

1. If I transfer to Linus is it compatible with System Mechanic (Iola) software?

NO … Windows software will NOT run natively in Linux, but there’s nearly always a free Linux alternative in your software manager. From what I’ve seen of system mechanic most of its features are not necessary in Linux such as defrag/registry errors (linux file systems do not need defragging, and there is no registry), clearing of unused files can be done with something like bleachbit wich will be available in your Linux software manager for single click installation.

2. Is it compatible with Zone Alarm?

NO … but for a home setup (and if you’re behind a NAT router) you will need neither Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, or Firewall for Linux … and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

There are many reasons for Linux being a secure OS and not needing those … REAL security including file permissions, external files coming in without execute privileges, separation of kernel and user space, etc. … but the fact that all the software you install all comes from the same software repository (which is checked for malicious code) and is installed through your software manager is one of the easiest to understand.

Any other questions … feel free to ask :slight_smile:

Dear Mark:

Thank you for your reply it’s most informative as I’m completely new to Linux. I want to read up as much as I can now as to why it’s more safe to use than windows with the increasing malware, viruses and spam.

I’d have to get help to set up a “dual boot” system on my Windows 7 as I’m not very technical.

Can you give me a link to where I can download the Linux software which you consider easiest and best for a beginner.

Many thanks. And once again my thanks for replying in such depth.

“Best” is subjective … but here’s my opinion …

If your hardware is fairly recent (dual-core, 2GB RAM) … I’d go for Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS:

The reason I say 12.04 as opposed to the more recent 12.10 is 12.04 is a long term support release, so will be supported for longer than 12.10

If your hardware is old, or single core CPU … I’d go for PeppermintOS 3:

Peppermint 3 is based on Ubuntu 12.04 but uses the much lighter LXDE desktop environment … so is much quicker on older (or new) hardware.

But there’s also nothing stopping you from going with Mint 13 (based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) or Mint 14 (based on Ubuntu 12.10)
Personally I’d probably go for Mint 13 MATE 32bit … but tthe choice is yours.

We can help you through a “dual boot” installation with any of these.

Also, bear in mind that with Ubuntu or Mint (not Peppermint) … you could use WUBI/Mint4Win to install it INSIDE Windows … the upside is you don’t have to re-partition the hard drive, the downside is it is MUCH harder to solve any problems.

I can recommend Puppy Linux, lot’s of great features, especially for older machines with limited resources. the one downside that people always seem to mention is that it runs as root user. this might have changed since I last downloaded an ISO. runs completely in memory if you wish, so you can boot from a machine which doesn’t even have a hard drive.
Worth a look anyway.

For what it’s worth I’m now using Cinnamon on Ubuntu (!) which seems to be a halfway house between the slightly out-dated world of MATE and the completely off-worldly experience that is Gnome3 or Unity. I have enough of Gnome2 features to be happy, and enough of Gnome3 compatibility not to be frustrated with applications not integrating with the desktop.

There is a case for saying “why not just use MINT”, but that’s just a confidence thing … I have a number of machines and lots of slightly odd PPA’s which may or may not work properly with MINT … if/when I have the time I may investigate that option …

I’d stick with what you’re doing … beyond the desktop and a few Mint tools, thye’re effectively the same thing.


a) I’ve seen people have problems with some PPA’s … easily fixable, just replace maya with precise or whatever.

b) I don’t like most of the mint tools such as their daft update manager … again easily replaceable … but if you’re gonna need to be replacing stuff, why not do as you did and just replace the desktop in Ubuntu … and at least Ubuntu is a known quantity.

From my brief newby experience of a few months. I have Ubuntu on my desktop computer which is on two hard disk caddies interchangeable with window XP on a seperate caddy. Two notebooks, one has Zorin the other has Mint, both are a little faster than Ubuntu. I find Ubuntu better as the icons easily accessible for add on downloads, tweaks, etc. I don’t know if the extended abilities of Ubuntu would be suitable for notebook computers as they are limited in the purpose of their use. I would not use Zorin or Mint on a Desktop computer.

Mint. Because Canonical are insane.