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Like Ubuntu, Mint is Debian based, and shares the Ubuntu and Debian repositories.
So what makes Mint special? Well for starters, there's no need to fiddle and fuss, ALL of the multimedia codecs you want are enabled and working out of the box! Want to play a DVD? Just slap that baby into you DVD drive! Like to listen to mp3s? Or flac? How about ogg-vorbis? No problem!
Flash videos? You'll be checking out YouTube within minutes of installation!
Then there are the Mint Tools. these are designed to make brand new users productive while still letting power users get at the innards like they want.
Especially useful is MintUpdate. If you've been using Linux for a while you stand a good chance of having broken your system by installing an update that changes something that either should not have been changed or that should not have been changed without changing other things as well...
Well MintUpdate is a tool whereby the Mint team vets updates and grades each one according to the risk that each one poses to your installation. It is completely customizable, so you can adjust it so you see all available updates, or only the ones that are very unlikely to break your installation.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0
Includes minty programs (especially mintMenu), excellent software portal (will be improved in mint 6), propietary codecs enabled, can use all Ubuntu programs, excellent for Windows users, excellent documentation. Nice theme, too :)
If Ubuntu screws something major up, chances are it will be screwed up in Linux Mint, doesn't do suspend/hibernate well on some computers (like Ubuntu)
Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, except it has a nicer theme, and minty tools - mintUpdate and mintMenu are some of the coolest. mintUpdate is the update manager and mintMenu is a much better-looking menu for Gnome. Naturally, it can use Ubuntu and Debian programs and repositories.
It comes with propietary codecs enabled out of the box. Youtube? Check. MP3s from your MP3 player? Check. Addicting Games? Check. DVDs? Check. Shockwave Player? Nope.
Then again, you can run it in the Windows version of Firefox, in Wine, because Adobe doesn't make a Linux version. It ran faster than it did when I had Windows Vista on the same computer. Habbo Hotel is a bit funny, though.
Unfortunately, while there are many pros to being based on Ubuntu, it also suffers from some problems if Ubuntu messes something up - in particular, the installer, as Linux Mint just ports Ubiquity from Ubuntu.
I'd definitely recommend Linux Mint, especially if you're trying to convert a Windows user.