Whenever there is criticism on Ubuntu, there are people advertising Mint. Coincidence?
As Mint is based on Ubuntu, it should rather thank Ubuntu than criticize it. I installed it and I think it is all right, but I went back to Ubuntu. It is a carefree system. I did however install the Cairo Dock and made the Launcher to hide. This gives me even more buttons, and I get many extra's like a classic app menu, a shortcuts box for favourite folders, a folder menu, a recent activities window, a drop box, a shortcuts box om which you can drop favourite documents and folders. And then you have these great applets like a clock, netspeed meter, workspace changer, weather, that you can also put on the deskop as gadgets. I like that because the screenlets and conki often get messed up.
Just installing Cairo Dock made Mint superfluous for me, because I love the Hud, but I also like a configuralble dock and a classic app menu. As it autohides on fullscreen it works perfectly together with the Launcher. I totally stopped configuring. I just install the the Cairo dock and I feel fine.
There are other distro's based on Ubuntu, I like Elementary OS best. They totally revamped the desktop and made it look pixtel perfect and made it minimalistic in a good way. It is a delight to work with and ideal for people new to Linux. I think it is great the interface now gets a lot of attention. KDE has become pretty good and Gnome3 works fine with all the extensions. There is plenty to choose nowadays.
But other distro's do not draw much new people to Linux, they try to draw them from Ubuntu instead. Ubuntu is drawing people to Linux. Canonical has the right contacts in the industry to get them to preinstall Linux on devices. Ubuntu has brought gaming to the Linux platform. Ubuntu is bringing Linux to phones and tablets. Ubuntu is installed in the cloud. Linux needs this spearhead. Without it the Linux desktop remains a backwater. The industry wants a professional partner. If Ubuntu becomes a huge succes, other distro's can profit from this, both in development as in attracting more users.
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