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I would say download both and run them as a live cd. Decide for yourself. Ubuntu has switched from gnome to their Unity desktop which has received a lot of controversy. Mint still uses gnome 2.x and is a better laid out desktop (in my opinion) Mint has all the same software repositories as Ubuntu with some additional user friendliness added in. But hard to say what you should use. It's all personal preference.
I personally prefer Mint for the same reason that bret381 says. either way, don't judge the linux, just by what desktop environment it uses by default, because unlike windows or macos, in linux you can install which ever desktop environment you choose, or even switch between different ones if you like more than one. If you would like to learn more about desktop environments for unix like operating systems, such as linux, google it, there is lots of info about the differences between them. I personally use kde4.x, but there are many others, and window makers too which are similar to de.
May be your are right unity is not very prefer in the beginning ,but he can use Gnome classic mode. I know beginners like unity more than classic gnome
Gnome classic is something that newbies are best off avoiding IMO. No point getting used to a desktop thats going to be very hard to keep using into the future.
How do you 'know' beginners like unity more than classic gnome? The only time I've sat a total linux newbie in front of unity they said it was 'much harder than the others'. I'd suspect that would be typical, but my sample size is too small to make much in the way of generalised assumptions.
...Am about to start using Linux,am not certain which one to install,Ubunthu or linux mint,I am looking to use something that is beginner friendly...
You should provide more information about what you want to do with Linux. Do you want it as an alternative to Windows? Do you have special needs? For example are you a programmer or do you want to learn programming? do you want to learn about Linux? or do you need the knowledge about Linux for your work?
Note that "Beginner friendly" is not necessarily the best choice on the long run, you're a beginner only for some weeks or month but a Linux-user for a long time (hopefully ) So you may take a look at distrowatch http://distrowatch.com/ and take a test http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/
I wouldn't recommend any distro. I would recommend burning a bunch of live CD's and seeing which one suits you. I use Debian and love it but I wouldn't recommend it to you since I don't know you or your tastes in software. So if you want to make a wise choice, get a few live CD's burnt and find out for yourself.
you're right, but there are so many distros around that it would be good to get an overview at first and then try several distros.
As you know there are many distributions which are not adequate at all (I think of Backtrack for example) and one can exclude them. Also it is easier to find the way with a rough understanding about the differences between the distributions. Therefore distrowatch is a valuable site.
Why not try the n most popular distros where n=the number you want to try before your patience runs out. I think the overview comes with use. Until you have tried a deb-based package system versus an rpm-based package it's difficult for you to get a general overview. Package management is one of the most important differences among distros. If you find a good overview, let us know. I have never seen one over the years. I just don't think there are any short cuts.
I know, you're right. I agree with everything you wrote.
Originally Posted by jdkaye
Why not try the n most popular distros where n=the number you want to try before your patience runs out.
which are the n most popular distros?
I think the overview comes with use. Until you have tried a deb-based package system versus an rpm-based package it's difficult for you to get a general overview. Package management is one of the most important differences among distros.
yes, this is true, but not because of the package-format alone (txz, deb or rpm) but also because the configuration of the system, i.e. how to configure this and that, depends on the package-manager.
If you find a good overview, let us know. I have never seen one over the years. I just don't think there are any short cuts.
I have none, I follow the threads here at LQ but I (same as you) am not looking for a new distro. But I think this is a good point: where can a newbie find an overview about the various distros and additionally the overview should be newbie-friendly so that one without knowledge about Linux can understand it?
In my opinion it is easier for a newbie to find his/her way when not only inserting the Ubuntu/Mint/Suse DVD and click "yes" on any button until it is installed but if he/she has some backgroundinformation before doing this. Otherwise there is enough information in the internet.