5 Reasons to Use Ubuntu and Not Linux Mint

While many arguments can be made for using Linux Mint and not Ubuntu, there is a counter argument to be had. Here, therefore, are 5 reasons why you would use Ubuntu and not Linux Mint.

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Unity Is Easier To Navigate Than Cinnamon And MATE

Ubuntu Unity
Ubuntu Unity.

When making the argument for Mint over Unity, I stated that Windows users would find Linux Mint more familiar because the Cinnamon desktop is much like the Windows desktop that has been used for the past 20 years.

Time has moved on though and whether people like to admit it or not, Unity is a dream to navigate and use.

The launch bar down the left gives instant access to all of your favorite applications and any other application can be access from the Dash.

I defy anyone to not find the application they are looking for within 3 or 4 key presses.

Unity is probably what Microsoft was aiming for when they came up with Windows 8. Unity does everything right that Windows 8 got so wrong.

There is nothing wrong with Cinnamon, and if you like the traditional desktop, it is perfect.

Ubuntu is breaking new ground and daring to try out new things and for those people who are yet to try Unity because they have heard bad things, give it one month and you will change your mind.

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Keyboard Shortcuts

Unity Keyboard Shortcuts
Unity Keyboard Shortcuts.

One thing that I really like about Unity is the keyboard shortcuts. More than that, though, I like the fact that it is easy to pull up a window showing what the keyboard shortcuts are.

Windows has loads of keyboard shortcuts and when you have learned them you will realize that it actually becomes quite usable. The trouble is that they aren't clearly documented.

With Unity, you can hold down the super key (Windows key) on your keyboard and a list of shortcuts appear.

This is a feature that every desktop environment should consider adding.

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Desktop Integration

Desktop Integration
Desktop Integration.

Another thing that Ubuntu does really well is to integrate audio, video, social media, photos, the internet and social media into the desktop.

When you use Linux Mint each program is a stand alone application.

Thanks to the way Unity works though it is possible to play music, watch videos, look at photos and view social media messages straight from the Dash.

This makes using Ubuntu a seamless experience and is another example of improvements being made to modern desktops.

One of the reasons I suggested to use Linux Mint over Ubuntu was that Ubuntu included shopping results as part of the search results.

The flip side to that argument, of course, is that some people probably like the shopping results (I know my wife does). For instance, if you are searching for a song to listen to and you see an option to buy another track by the same artist that is a good thing.

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Scopes And Lenses

Unity Lens
Unity Lens.

Lenses provide a way to integrate different types of data such as documents, music, videos, and photos onto the desktop.

A number of lenses are provided as part of the default Unity setup but there are a number of custom lenses made by third party developers which add to the Ubuntu experience.

Scopes make it possible to integrate the best of the web into your desktops such as Gmail and Reddit.

People probably spend as much time using online services as they do offline applications nowadays, so it makes sense to integrate online and offline results when searching for things on the desktop. 

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I was toying with which option to pick for number 5. I was tempted to go with the size of the community or the fact that Ubuntu is the base distribution of Linux Mint but instead, I have opted to go with the upgrade situation.

Ubuntu is the base for Linux Mint and therefore it is always one step ahead and the fact that Linux Mint has aligned itself with the LTS release of Ubuntu means that Ubuntu and Linux Mint are going to be very different by the time we get to the next LTS release.

Upgrading from one Ubuntu release to the next is fairly straight forward and has been that way for a number of years. Linux Mint however only lets you upgrade minor releases. 

I pointed out in the list of reasons for using Linux Mint over Ubuntu that you could use Linux Mint Debian Edition which means that you will be kept up to date without ever having to reinstall.


The reasons for using Ubuntu over Linux Mint are: 1. Unity is easier to navigate than Cinnamon and MATE 2. Unity has great keyboard shortcuts and a facility to show the available shortcuts 3. Ubuntu integrates audio, video, photos and social media into the desktop experience 4. Scopes and lenses make it possible to blend online and offline tools into a single seamless experience 5. It is easier to upgrade from one version of Ubuntu to another Before I finish one of the reasons to use Linux Mint over Ubuntu was the fact that Linux Mint installed third party codecs straight away and I said that there was a counter argument which I would list here. I didn't think this was worth a point on its own but not everybody wants the third party codecs installed. Ubuntu gives you the option whether to install them or not whereas with Linux Mint you have to uninstall them if you don't want them. It is a minor point however as I am sure that most people use them (especially the ability to play MP3s). The best way to find out which of these Linux distributions to use is obviously to try them both out.
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