Ask Difference

Linux Mint vs. Ubuntu — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 8, 2023
Linux Mint and Ubuntu are both Linux distributions, with Ubuntu being more mainstream and Linux Mint based on Ubuntu, offering a different desktop environment and user experience.
Linux Mint vs. Ubuntu — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Linux Mint and Ubuntu


Key Differences

Linux Mint and Ubuntu are two of the most popular desktop Linux distributions in the world. While both are based on Debian, they have distinct differences and unique attributes that cater to different sets of users. Linux Mint, for instance, is directly derived from Ubuntu, but presents users with a more traditional desktop environment, reminiscent of older Windows versions.
Linux Mint is often considered user-friendly, especially for those transitioning from a Windows environment. Its default Cinnamon desktop provides a familiar interface for newcomers. Ubuntu, on the other hand, uses the GNOME desktop by default, which might be perceived as more modern and streamlined but might have a steeper learning curve for some users.
In terms of software management, both Linux Mint and Ubuntu utilize the Advanced Package Tool (APT) for package management, with slight variations in their update managers. Mint places a heavier emphasis on stability, sometimes holding back certain updates that Ubuntu might release to its users.
When discussing community and support, Ubuntu, being older and more widespread, boasts a vast community and ample documentation. Its corporate backing by Canonical also means professional support is available. Linux Mint, though smaller, has a passionate community, and its forums are rich with user-generated guides and solutions.
Finally, customization and aesthetics differentiate these two distributions. Linux Mint offers various themes out of the box, making it easier for users to personalize their experience. Ubuntu's design is more uniform, but with the power of Linux, any advanced user can customize either to their preference.

Comparison Chart

Based On

Ubuntu (which is based on Debian)

Default Desktop Environment

Cinnamon (also offers MATE, Xfce)
GNOME (previously Unity)

Target Audience

Users seeking traditional interface
General audience, slightly more tech-oriented

Corporate Backing

Canonical Ltd.

Software Updates

More conservative approach for stability
More frequent updates

Compare with Definitions

Linux Mint

A distribution offering multiple desktop environments, including Cinnamon and MATE.
Linux Mint's Cinnamon is perfect for those who like a classic desktop feel.


An OS emphasizing user-friendliness and ease of installation.
I got started with Linux through Ubuntu because of its easy setup.

Linux Mint

A distribution that emphasizes out-of-the-box multimedia support.
With Linux Mint, I didn't need to install additional codecs to play my videos.


Known for its regular six-month release cycle and LTS versions.
I always choose Ubuntu's LTS version for its long-term support.

Linux Mint

An OS known for its stability and robustness.
Linux Mint rarely crashes, which is why I trust it for my daily tasks.


A distribution with extensive software repositories and robust security features.
Ubuntu gives me access to a wide range of software and keeps my system secure.

Linux Mint

A user-friendly Linux distribution based on Ubuntu.
I prefer using Linux Mint because it reminds me of the Windows interface.


A free and open-source OS with a modern GNOME desktop environment.
The default look of Ubuntu is sleek and streamlined.

Linux Mint

A free and open-source OS offering a traditional desktop experience.
Many Windows users transitioning to Linux opt for Linux Mint due to its familiar layout.


A popular Debian-based Linux distribution backed by Canonical Ltd.
Ubuntu's vast community support makes troubleshooting easier.


A philosophical doctrine or approach to life that emphasizes social unity and generosity of spirit.


(South Africa) A Nguni Bantu ideology focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other.

Common Curiosities

Are both distributions free?

Yes, both are free and open-source.

Can I run software designed for Ubuntu on Linux Mint?

Generally, yes, since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu.

Which one should I choose for server use?

Ubuntu is often preferred for servers, especially Ubuntu Server Edition.

Which is more beginner-friendly, Linux Mint or Ubuntu?

Both are beginner-friendly, but Linux Mint's interface might be more familiar to Windows users.

Which has better performance out of the box?

Both are optimized well, but the perceived performance might depend on the desktop environment chosen.

Do both use the same package manager?

Yes, both use APT for package management.

Are there other desktop environments available for both?

Yes, both distributions support multiple desktop environments, though they have different defaults.

Which distribution has better driver support?

Both are comparable, but Ubuntu might have an edge due to its larger user base and corporate backing.

Which has a larger community, Ubuntu or Linux Mint?

Ubuntu has a larger and older community.

Which is more stable, Ubuntu or Linux Mint?

Both are stable, but Linux Mint might hold back some updates to prioritize stability.

Is Linux Mint just a themed version of Ubuntu?

No, while based on Ubuntu, Mint has its own configurations, tools, and software choices.

Does Ubuntu have more software available than Linux Mint?

Most software available for Ubuntu can be installed on Linux Mint, so there's minimal difference.

Can I switch from Ubuntu to Linux Mint without reinstalling everything?

It's technically possible but a fresh install is recommended to avoid conflicts.

Do both distributions offer long-term support versions?

Yes, both offer LTS (Long Term Support) versions.

Can I use Ubuntu's PPAs (Personal Package Archives) in Linux Mint?

Yes, since Mint is based on Ubuntu, you can use Ubuntu's PPAs.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger

Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms