G’morning, you magic beeings.
Let’s start with the usual wannabe statistic of the DistroWatch website, ok?
No, not much has changed in the Top 5 of the ranking. I guess there wasn’t much of movement in the following distros below the Top 5 neither. But we don’t care about those, do we? This is all a part of Linux consolidating and establishing itself as an acknowledged part of the small number of actively developed computer operating systems. Let’s see … Chrome, Windows, MacOS, Linux, BSD, Unix … after that we enter the realm of the obscure freakish systems only geeks could love.
Let’s examine a bit closer, so we notice of the Top 5, four are showing a downwards trend, only one a positively upwards movement: Linux Mint. More about that a bit later.
First let’s look at those charts. As I subtitled them they are fairly – in fact really and totally – insignificant. They don’t show factual distribution numbers, or how many copies of each distro are actually installed on hardware all over the world. The only thing it shows us are how many clicks each of the projects websites have received on a daily basis, the *HPD number. And there are many factors that determine the number of clicks. For example did the Mint team just release a BETA version of their new Linux 21 release. Of course such occurance creates heightened curiosity among the Linux community and the clicks are skyrocketing for a while.
Logical, no? So, the ranking doesn’t tell us anything about the “quality” of a dstro at all. And it doesn’t matter, your perception of quality probably differs wildly from mine. We wouldn’t be humans if it was any different.
But still, the Top 5 distros are at their ranks not completely without reason. We may assume that these distros have huge installation bases and many many users. Because they are good. Because for many people they are the best systems to run on their computers. Logical again.
And now finally, after that long intro, let’s talk about Linux Mint.
You might have heard about Ubuntu. Itself a descendant of the very very ancient Debian distro, it was the first distribution to make Linux approachable for human beings. Yes, even for littlest kiddies and old housewives. Ubuntu got rid of the terminal and keybord centered command line operation of the terribly geeky Linux of the time in favour of a mouse and keyboard operating style. Yes, as we know it from WinMac.
And then some rebels in the Ubuntu community started their own project: Mint. Which took Ubuntu’s ideas, ran away with them and made it even more comfy. Mint focuses on only three desktop environments: Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce.
Needless to say those are also the most easy to operate and comprehensive enviros to operate in. A KDE/Plasma spin would’ve been nice to have but they have their own geeky reasons for stopping development for that desktop. And who are we to argue with the experts? We don’t, and accept it as what it is: No KDE for Minty goddesses. 😐 If you really want an Ubuntu-ish experience with KDE, there’s always the wonderful Kubuntu available for you.
Why am I telling you all that boring shit? Because, as I do it for years already, Mint is my personal #1 favourite Linux to recommend for you. The devs never claimed their own creation to be explicitly a n00b distro, they just cared about making it friendly, easy to install and easy peasy to operate. In other words: Linux Mint is perfect for new users. But there is no shame in using it for the rest of your blessed life neither. Other, much less approachable distros are not better by any means, they are just more complicated. Enough old salts and Linux experts are using Mint happily as their daily rider.
Did I enlighten a few of y’all?
Wanna try out Linux for yourself now? As it so happened, a couple years ago I scribbled a little series for total n00bs. I guess it’s still a good starting point: