Spotlight on Linux: Linux Mint 9
Linux Mint is another distribution that seems designed for new users, although many seasoned users find it as handy as anyone. Linux Mint takes Ubuntu and makes it usable by adding drivers and codecs and adjusting the default application stack for more mainstream appeal. In addition, they customize the appearance for a more universal demographic. Mint isn't just a revamped Ubuntu. Its developers actually write tools and utilities to increase user-friendliness. Best of all, it's one of the few distros that can truly be considered "install and go." All these factors are surely why Mint has soared into the top 3 of Distrowatch's Page Hit Rankings.
The installer is a customized version of the Ubuntu Ubiquity installer which walks the user through a simple and easy installation. Mint also shares Ubuntu's Restricted Driver tool that will install proprietary firmware for certain hardware, such as video cards and wireless Ethernet chips. Many familiar GNOME elements are present as well such as the Control Center and panel applet browser. But what sets one distribution apart from the others is the original work, and Linux Mint has done theirs.