Ubuntu vs Mint – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

Ubuntu vs Mint – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons). In this guide, we will introduce both tools, then compare both operating systems by explaining their features, pros and cons.

Linux Mint and Ubuntu both are two of the most popular desktop operating systems available. They are free, open source, easy to use and have a variety of applications to suit all needs.

Ubuntu desktop powers millions of PCs and laptops worldwide. It comes with everything you need to run your organization, school, home, or business. So, Ubuntu competes well with all proprietary desktop operating systems available in the market, including Microsoft Windows desktop and Apple macOS.

Linux Mint was first released in August 2006 and is another operating system used for desktop and laptop computers. It is a fork of Debian and Ubuntu,  and is a very good alternative to the Ubuntu desktop. Mint is free of cost and open source and, above all, community driven.

Let’s continue reading this article blog about Ubuntu vs Mint – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons).

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution. It’s also one of the most popular operating systems on the Internet.

Compared to Mint, Ubuntu is also one of the best choices for people starting with Linux. This distribution is popular for its simple installation process and an easy to use interface that makes it suitable for new users who are unfamiliar with Linux systems.

Ubuntu Desktop comes in many editions, including Ubuntu or Ubuntu Mate (based on GNOME). Each edition features different features and applications. So it is important to choose your edition based on what you need from your operating system.

Features of Ubuntu

  • Free and open source operating system. That means anyone can use and customize it without any charge.
  • Thousands of free applications are available to download and install. For example, Firefox, Chrome, Skype, Thunderbird, VLC, Slack and more.
  • Provides built in email client that allows users to send and receive mails.
  • Most of hardware drivers are available and support out of the box.
  • Provides an easy to use search bar to find any application.
  • Doesn’t store and share personal information to anyone else.

Pros of Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu is a free operating system with two main flavors: the community supported Ubuntu Linux and the commercial Ubuntu. You can download both and, burned onto a CD or DVD, then boot from it.
  • It makes it easy to install, update and manage software, even on older computer hardware with less RAM or disk space. Also with Ubuntu it provides a wide range of applications, including LibreOffice or Google Chrome, for both its desktop and mobile versions.
  • You can use Ubuntu on both desktops and laptops. It’s particularly well suited for laptops because of its lightweight design.
  • Comes with special features include hardware acceleration for video playback, up to 64 bit hardware virtualization capabilities. Additionally Ubuntu also supports high resolution displays using dual graphics chipsets.

Cons of Ubuntu

  • Lacks compatibility with Debian. With Ubuntu’s frequent major changes are a double edged sword, tending to push users towards alternatives like Linux Mint.
  • There is a lack of a stable release schedule, that means, if you’re looking for long term support or bug fixes. Then, you’ll have to pay extra and wait longer than with other distributions.
  • Non LTS (or interim) versions only include nine months of security support. If you run an older version of Ubuntu and need support from Canonical. Then, you have to upgrade all your packages or wait until an LTS version  release.

Next in this blog Ubuntu vs Mint – What’s the Difference? is to find out more about Mint.

What is Mint?

Mint is an Ubuntu based community driven Linux distribution system. Well Linux Mint strives to be a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system that is powerful and easy to use. It is a free and open source operating system. Also, one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions currently used by millions of people.

Specifically Linux Mint uses the MATE desktop environment which provides a functional graphical environment with many themes and wallpapers.

Features of Mint

  • Free, open source and known for its user interface and ease of interactivity.
  • Provides a preinstalled application suite including LibreOffice, Mozilla, Chrome, VLC, and more.
  • Offers a package manager to download and install additional applications over the internet.
  • The design of the Linux Mint Desktop is simple, user friendly, comfortable, easy to use.
  • Provides long term support (LTS) versions that are supported till five years.
  • Built in process monitor the system tray to manage all processes and keep an eye on it.

Pros of Mint

  • World’s leading open source digital wallet and crypto currency eCommerce platform.
  • Offers a full suite of services, including an integrated digital wallet, marketplace for buying and selling goods, merchant payment gateway, cryptocurrency exchange, and more.
  • With more than 10 million users across 200 countries, Mint has become the largest mobile money app in Africa.
  • The product has been translated into 21 languages and enjoys an active user base in many countries.

Cons of Mint

  • A great distro, but it does not adhere to the principles of software freedom.
  • The Linux Mint project does not provide security advice and has been criticized for not doing so on at least one occasion.
  • Does not have support for a large number of popular applications and drivers. If you need these, you should consider other distributions such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint itself.

Find out the comparison of both Ubuntu vs Mint – What’s the Difference?

Ubuntu vs Mint - Key Differences

1. History

Mint and Ubuntu are great operating systems. They’re both based on Debian, the same operating system that’s used to power the likes of Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint.


Ubuntu is a stable and reliable operating system that has been around since 2004. It’s updated every six months, like Debian itself.

It is also based on Debian’s package format .deb, which means you can install applications using these packages via your favorite package manager.


Mint is newer than Ubuntu, it debuted in 2006 as a spin off of Ubuntu KDE (aka Kunbubuntu). That means it has a lot more features than its older sibling.

Both Ubuntu and Mint give their updates twice per year. Linux Mint gives their updates earlier because it relies on individual users and companies sponsoring its development.

2. Desktops interfaces and usability

Still Mint and Ubuntu differ in appearance. Although they are made in the same way, the user interface is the biggest variation between the two. Linux Mint is more Windows like, while Ubuntu will be more familiar to macOS users.


Ubuntu uses a user interface called Unity, with a Dock on your screen’s left side. The dock contains basic application icons like Firefox for browsing and Libre Office for productivity. To the right of that, at the top of your screen, are other icons that focus on settings based features, including network, language, sound, time and date, and others.

For everything else you’ll need to head to Ubuntu’s Dash menu (called “Launcher”). You can access it by selecting the Dash icon on the dock. Type in the program you’re looking for and Dash will search your hard drive to open it.


Interestingly Mint is a Linux distribution that is like Ubuntu. It has an interface called Cinnamon that places the taskbar at the bottom and has a start menu like the Microsoft operating system. Linux Mint also has a sidebar that lists shortcuts to use programs like Firefox and Thunderbird.

They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Mint is much easier to browse for apps, while Ubuntu’s Dock feature is easy to learn. It is easier to browse for newbies to find something right away.

3. Performance

If you have a new machine, the difference between Ubuntu and Mint may not be so perceptible.

Though Linux Mint may seem a little faster to use daily, but on older hardware, it will feel faster, while Ubuntu seems to work more better as the software ages. Mint becomes even faster when it runs, like Ubuntu.

The best way to see if your computer is ready for the performance of Ubuntu or Mint is by trying both out.

4. What's in the name?


When Ubuntu releases versions of the software it does it with a version number that includes the year and month of release. It uses the codename for its releases. These codenames consisted of an adjective and an animal’s name also began with the same letter. For example, 15.04 is called Vivid Vervet.

More recently, it has adopted a traditional number format such as Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS. LTS stands for “long term support”, a guarantee that the version will receive free security and other updates.


Mint gives each new version a feminine name ending with “a”; the current version 20.2 is known as “Uma”.

5. Versions

There are other versions of Ubuntu and Mint. There are a variety of desktop versions for Ubuntu with different desktop environments.


Besides the main Ubuntu that comes with Unity, there is also Ubuntu GNOME, Kubuntu (KDE), Lubuntu (LXDE), and Xubuntu (Xfce), and Ubuntu MATE.


Mint is available in Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce versions. Flavors like GNOME, LXDE, and Fluxbox will no longer be developed.

6. Cost


Let’s not forget Ubuntu is a trading company. While you can download, install and use Ubuntu for free. If you need professional support, there is a price to pay.


Mint is a community driven project, relying on donations from users, sponsors (such as hosting companies), and partners (who support, support, and provide services to the project).

7. Upgradability

Upgrading your operating system is a big step. Whether you’re upgrading from one version of Ubuntu to another or from one version of Mint to another, it’s important to know how to do it.


For Ubuntu users, all you have to do is click the Dash icon in the dock and search for Software Updater. This then checks for any updates (for the operating system or applications), downloads them, and then installs them.


For Mint users, the process is similar. Here you use the Update Manager app to update the operating system and applications.

8. Compatible apps

Both operating systems come with several pre installed applications such as web browsers, instant messengers, music players, video players, photo editors, and more.

Ubuntu and Mint both are Linux based operating systems, which means that they are designed to be lightweight, fast and secure.


Ubuntu seems to have more apps but finding them can be a hassle when you have to scroll through the Dash to find them. The result is that you may never know that Ubuntu had the application you needed but didn’t know the exact name.

This is where Ubuntu scores against Mint. It’s easier to find apps in its store than with Mint. Plus since the Ubuntu Software Center App Store is on the dock it launches whereas Mint requires a few extra steps to get started.


Mint covers all the basics and with its Windows like Start menu, finding these apps is super easy. But, if you want an app that isn’t installed, both operating systems have “app stores” where you can find and download programs.

Thank you for reading Ubuntu vs Mint – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

Ubuntu vs Mint - What's the Difference? (Pros and Cons) Conclusion

In this post, I have tried to explain both Ubuntu and Mint altogether with their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking for a Linux desktop operating system, you’ve got two excellent choices.

Summarizing Ubuntu is the leading Linux desktop operating system, and it’s also the most popular one on servers and in cloud computing. Mint, has seen rapid growth in recent years, it’s now the most popular Linux distribution by far. It’s mature and stable enough to use on your desktop or laptop computer without any problems.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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