Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Linux Mint is a comprehensive and beginner-friendly Linux distribution. To that extent it’s a rival to Ubuntu – and in fact it’s derived from the Ubuntu codebase, which means all the same software and drivers can be used. Releases run to a similar six-monthly schedule, with periodic long-term support releases following Ubuntu’s. This newest release is Linux Mint 15, known to its friends as Olivia.
In typical Linux style, there are two window managers to choose from, dubbed Cinnamon and MATE. Both look superficially similar to Windows, offering a taskbar along the bottom of the screen and a launcher button (blandly labelled “Menu”) at the bottom-left. In use, though, you’ll quickly notice that Cinnamon’s menus and preferences work in a more Windows-like way, while MATE – which builds on the discontinued GNOME 2 desktop – draws more on established Linux conventions.