Linux Mint VS Ubuntu: Which One Is Better for You?

Sherry li
3 min readSep 10, 2020


Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel. Linux Mint and Ubuntu are popular Linux distributions and wonderful Windows alternatives. The questions is: which one is better? Should you choose Linux Mint or Ubuntu?

To figure out the answer, you need to know more detailed information about them as well as the differences.

Linux Mint VS Ubuntu in System Requirements

Linux Mint and Ubuntu are forked of Debian and they are similar in the system requirements. Both of them are able to run on a wide range of devices.

The difference is that Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, which means Ubuntu is an older system. Ubuntu demands a bit more power than Linux Mint. If you are using a new computer, both systems can run properly. However, for older hardware, you’d better choose Ubuntu as the operating system, with Lubuntu or Xubuntu edition.

Linux Mint VS Ubuntu in Desktop Interfaces

Linux Mint and Ubuntu are quite different in terms of looks.

Linux Mint looks more like Windows (the Vista version). It has three versions of interface. The default one is called Cinnamon which puts the taskbar at the bottom and has the Start menu similar to Microsoft OS. The opened applications will appear as a button on the sidebar and you can add shortcuts to the taskbar.

Ubuntu will be more familiar to Mac OS X users. Ubuntu is also designed with various types of interfaces, and the default one is called Gnome. It has a dock panel located on the left side and a top bar consisting of notification area and app window integration panel. You can move the dock panel to the bottom or left as your needs.

Both desktop designs have their advantages and disadvantages, and you just need to choose the one you prefer.

Ubuntu VS Linux Mint Performance

Generally speaking, it seems that Linux Mint is better than Ubuntu in performance.

For the speed, Ubuntu is more suitable for modern devices with high-end hardware. On an old machine, it would run slower than Linux Mint. Different from Ubuntu, Linux Mint is able to run smoothly on both old and modern computers. As mentioned, if you prefer Ubuntu and you’re using an old laptop, you could choose Lubuntu or Xubutu.

If you are a game lover, you should know that Linux Mint and Ubuntu have the similar gaming experiences. Although Linux Mint consumes fewer resources, Ubuntu comes with less compatibility issues with modern hardware.

Both operating systems can be download and installed for free. If you need professional support of Ubuntu, you might need to pay for it.

For the upgradability, both of them come with easy-to-use updaters. For Linux Mint, you can use Update Manager app, and for Ubuntu, you can click the Dash icon in the dock.

For the compatible apps, Linux Mint and Ubuntu have been pre-installed a number of applications, like web browsers, music/video players, image editors, etc. Thanks to the Windows-like Start menu, it should easier to find these apps in Linux Mint.

Bottom Line

Ubuntu VS Mint: which one is better? I believe that everyone has a different answer. The two Linux operating systems have their advantages and disadvantages. If you are looking for more Linux operating systems, you can refer to the following post: 5 Best Linux Distros for Windows 7 Users.

Originally published at on September 10, 2020.