Ubuntu Linux 12.04, also known as Precise Pangolin was released just last month. It's known to be one of the most popular Linux distributions around. Another equally popular distribution is Linux Mint and it’s also based on Ubuntu. The next big release – Linux Mint 13, based on Ubuntu 12.04 also called Maya is now close to final release. If you want to give it a go, you can check out the near-final release candidate build that’s available for 32 and 64-bit systems. The operating system is freely available for download on their site. The distribution is available in two variants – one called MATE 1.2 and the other Cinnamon 1.4. MATE is considered to be a more stable build designed for all mainstream PCs, while Cinnamon is made specifically for 3D-capable PCs and has a more slick user interface, as compared to MATE. Among the smaller additions, there are new themes and a whole bunch of new backgrounds bundled with it.

An alternative to Ubuntu Linux

An alternative to Ubuntu Linux

User interface enhancements aren’t the only things new to Linux Mint 13. There’s also a new display manager called MDM that’s bundled with the distribution. Yahoo! is now the default search engine on Mint for some countries around the world. Users, of course have the option to use a search engine of their choice. The new release comes with the Linux 3.2 kernel. Linux Mint, like every Linux distribution out there is free for download. The system requirements for Linux Mint 13 aren’t too much, either. The OS can run on any PC running a 32-bit or 64-bit processor with 512 MB of RAM and 5GB of disk space. The graphics card and display needs to support a minimum resolution of 800×600. 

Considering that the release candidate is already out, the final release shouldn’t be too far away. Popularity of Linux Mint is also up off late for a number of reasons. Distrowatch claims that Linux Mint was the most clicked on distribution on their site. Ubuntu Linux’s use of Unity has made a few people upset and those users might have moved on to Mint, considering it uses Ubuntu Linux as a base, too.

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