Difference Between Linux Mint and Ubuntu (With Table)

Linux Mint and Ubuntu are, undoubtedly, the most popular and the hottest Linux distributions on the market right now. Linux Mint and Ubuntu are closely related and have many similarities, but their philosophies had changed over time. As both of the Linux distros are putting out new updates, it is essential to understand the differences while choosing between the two.

Linux Mint vs Ubuntu

The difference between Linux Mint and Ubuntu is that Linux mint is more user-friendly which comes with pre-installed proprietary software that enables the users a hassle-free experience. While Ubuntu provides the user with advanced installation options and allows simple installing of dual booting on Windows PCs. Ubuntu and Debian are unique in a sense but are closely related to each other. Ubuntu complements Debian in the areas of Package releases, development community, and much more.

Linux mint is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Linux Mint was initially released on 27 August 2006. It is a community-driven program that provides users with a lot of free and open-source applications. Clément Lefèbvre created the Linux Mint project and continues to be a part of the Linux team.

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that is made up of free and open-source software. It is based on Debian Linux distribution and is developed by Canonical, which is another community of developers. It is an operating system used primarily for cloud computing and supports OpenStack. Ubuntu releases new versions frequently when compared to Linux Mint.

Comparison Table Between Linux Mint and Ubuntu

Parameters of comparisonLinux MintUbuntu
User interfaceMATE and Cinnamon can be chosen between for their desktop. Cinnamon UI is similar to the traditional Microsoft UI.Unity is Ubuntu’s default desktop which uses a GNOME UI. The GNOME user interface resembles Apple’s macOS.
PerformanceLinux Mint clearly provides the users a flawless performance and is faster than Ubuntu. Linux Mint provides better performance even with older hardware. Ubuntu serves the users a decent performance in updated hardware. But in slightly older hardware, Ubuntu’s performance slows down.
Pre-installed softwareEven as an open-source, Linux Mint comes with a few pre-installed proprietary software like Java, Flash, and VLC.Ubuntu does not come with pre-installed software except for a few but allows the users to download them with a click. LibreOffice and Firefox are some pre-installed software from Ubuntu.
OS customizationLinux Mint allows the users to customize the OS according to their will. Mint has several simple settings for the users to modify. Ubuntu limits the users from customizing the OS. There are fewer setting options to customize.
SupportLinux Mint provides the users with the support it can provide. The community behind Linux Mint ensures the necessary support is provided to a Mint user.Ubuntu does provide the users with enough support and help too. The company Canonical assists in developing Ubuntu to support its users.

What is Linux Mint?

The Linux Mint project was invented by Clément Lefèbvre in 2006. Linux Mint is a completely community-run Linux distribution. It is based in Ubuntu and is open-sourced. It allows the users to use open-source applications free of cost. Linux Mint continues to be supported completely by the Linux Mint community. The community behind Linux Mint is constantly working to support the users and improve the operating system. Mint provides the users’ updates every six months. The users can send constructive feedback to the community and can improve the OS.

Linux Mint’s purpose is to the elegant and comfortable OS which is power-efficient and simple to use. It believes in providing open access to all. Operating systems should be free of cost and lets users run applications for free. Users should be allowed to run, copy, download, study and improve the OS. They should be empowered to use the software in their own languages and regardless of their disabilities.

Mint’s latest release was Linux Mint 20.0 named “Uma”. An interesting fact of Linux Mint’s upgrades is that the new editions are named after Female names which end with a. There are 3 variants of Mint, Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce. Mint comes along with a few proprietary software like Flash and Java.

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is also a Linux distribution created in 2004. It is based on Debian, another Linux distribution. Ubuntu was developed by a company “Canonical” which is led by Mark Shuttleworth. Ubuntu and Debian are unique in a sense but are closely related to each other. Ubuntu complements Debian in the areas of Package releases, development community, and much more. Canonical is full of a team that is engaged in improving the Ubuntu OS. But Ubuntu is not a totally community-driven software, unlike Linux Mint.

The term “Ubuntu” is named after the philosophy of Ubuntu by Nguni. The African philosophy of Nguni uses the word “Ubuntu” to denote “humanity to others”. It also has a connotation of “I am what I am because of who we all are”. In 2005, Canonical announced initial funding of $10million for the development of Ubuntu. The team at Canonical, the foundation, is mainly to support the Ubuntu users and the development of the next versions for the Ubuntu project.

After the installation Of Ubuntu, the users are presented with a limited amount of software. It lets the users to decide in installing other proprietary software. Ubuntu’s user interface is similar to the macOS and is very popular among the public. But, Ubuntu’s performance has often been criticized by its users.

Main Differences Between Linux Mint and Ubuntu

  1. Linux Mint is a project which is totally supported by its own Linux Mint community. The community is not motivated by profits and work to improve the Mint project. But, Ubuntu is taken care of by the company Canonical. Although Canonical is similar to the Mint community, it is a commercial company motivated for profits, along with improving the Ubuntu project.
  2. Linux Mint’s performance stands out of the two. Mint provides the users with a easy and fast experience. The community ensures to maintain the fast performance with its constant updates. Ubuntu provides a decent user experience. But the latter tends to lag and perform slowly in old or outdated hardware.
  3. One of the user interfaces of Linux Mint is Cinnamon, which is very similar to the Windows UI. This allows most of the users to navigate easily without any trouble. Ubuntu’s GNOME UI stands out for its macOS-like user interface.
  4. Linux Mint provides a lot of official spins of their OS. They provide different flavours and colourful features which are preferred by the people. Ubuntu comparatively provides lesser features.
  5. Mint’s customisation settings of their OS are advanced and lets the users to customise according to their wishes. Ubuntu restricts the customisation of their OS and allows the users a very few options.


Both Ubuntu and Linux Mint are some of the popular alternative operating systems in the market. Their free and open-sourced nature attracts the users for a costless and easy experience. Performance plays an important role in people choosing their OS.

Newer hardware users tend to prefer Ubuntu, but for anybody else, Linux Mint serves their interests. UI preference can differ between people and it’s their choice to choose the UI they are comfortable with. The traditionally preferred Ubuntu is now being overtaken by the latest Linux Mint editions. Linux Mint and Ubuntu have their own special features and shortcomings.


  1. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-1392-6_8
  2. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-1-4302-3627-6
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