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April 26, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 or Linux Mint 12

Ubuntu 12.04 is here! Or is it? The expected release date for Ubuntu 12.04 is 26 April 2012, which for me is today. With more than half the day gone already and still no sign of release I wonder if I was a bit too early to wait. Then I realized that my time zone is GMT +10 which meant most of the world will be still on the 25 April 2012. So no problems there.

After using Linux Mint 12 for a while now I have come to love the Cinnamon interface more than Ubuntu's Unity. My big decision here is to decide whether to switch to Ubuntu 12.04 or stick with Linux Mint 12. In the end, after considering many factors I decided to stick with Linux Mint. Here are some major influences in my decision.

Ubuntu and Linux Mint's interfaces are completely different. Ubuntu has more of a traditional orange and purple colour scheme that seem to lack in appeal. Of course everyone's tastes are different but Linux Mint's cool green and gray colour scheme just simply hooked me in. Also, Cinnamon simply fulfil my needs more than Unity does. The amount of customizability on the Cinnamon interface is just simply amazing. Unity is good, but Cinnamon is better.

One thing that annoyed me the most was Ubuntu's decision to not include Sun Java in their default repositories. This left OpenJDK and IcedTea Java which don't run Minecraft! I know there are workarounds to install Sun Java on Ubuntu but those methods are such a hassle. I've tried installing Sun Java 7 and I eventually got Minecraft working properly but then my eclipse IDE broke. In the end, I switched back to Linux Mint 12.

Speed and Updates
For me, I felt that Linux Mint 12 was faster than Ubuntu is opening software and running system scripts. Also, Linux Mint has a handy system update menu app that automatically detects if there are updates available for me to download. Finally, I prefer Linux Mint's software centre over the Ubuntu Software Centre.

My final decision? Always Linux Mint. What about you? Will you download and try Ubuntu 12.04 or will you stick with Linux Mint 12? I read a blog post on the Linux Mint website stating that Linux Mint 13 will be released at the end of May 2012. I can't wait for that!