LinuxMint Vs Ubuntu: A Growth Analysis

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When Linux Mint fans trumpeted that it was the most downloaded Linux distro in recent years, the distro was throwing itself open to debate on the ways and mechanisms by which it became the most downloaded or most viewed distro on opensource platform watchdog-Distrowatch.

Linux Mint 11 and now Linux Mint 12 are great versions that have grown in usage, thanks to the continuity, its founder developer Clement Lefebvre offers for Gnome users. While Ubuntu, backed by Canonical’s steady but firm vision of moving towards a ‘touch-based user experience’ for Ubuntu, continued with Unity desktop as default, Linux Mint proved to be a ‘fresh Mint of Gnome’ as it offered what Ubuntu users yearned for- the ultimate, satisfying experience of Gnome platform.

Statistics are being paraded and justifications are being made on how and why, Linux Mint is the uncrowned king of Linux and how Ubuntu is losing ground as the most favored distro, thanks to the unacceptable action of replacing charming Gnome with unnecessary Unity.

The first ‘statistics’ that set the entire debate rolling was a couple of months ago, when Linux Mint became the most searched and read distro on ‘distrowatch’ the industry log expert that lists open source distros and offers live accounts on which is the most downloaded/viewed distro.

While it can be expected that enthusiastic Linux Mint fans used it to reiterate the growing depth of their distro, it did not in any way indicate that it was a better distro in terms of performance or downloads.

Now, Distrowatch display continues to rank Linux Mint way ahead on the distro link, Ferram Roberto from lffl opens up the debate some more.
Statistics/graph of Linux Mint that Ferram Roberto found on Search on Google.
Statistics/graph of Ubuntu Search on Google, as discussed by Ferram Roberto.
The chart, plotting Ubuntu’s popularity from 2004 onwards records that there was a massive surge in Oct 2007 when Ubuntu 8.04 was launched. This popularity is retained with a few dips and rises until April of 2011, when Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal debuted with Unity in tow. The graph then shows a steady decline in users searching for Ubuntu.
The chart for Linux Mint, 2004 onwards is a steady increase that sees a massive spike in users looking for Linux Mint information, news was in Nov 2011.

Ferram Roberto and other passionate ubuntu users claim that the number of clicks on Linux Mint increased on the website, thanks largely to an active community that back-linked all posts to the distrowatch website. Roberto interprets the fall in Ubuntu’s most-searched ranking on Google was due to introduction of ‘Unity’ and not due to the ascendency of any other distro.

Clement Lefebvre has already demonstrated his commitment to user community and open source philosophy by developing what users want and not what business intelligence dictates. Again, his fork and development of Cinnamon gives a whole new dimension and direction to where Gnome can reach. Linux platform should not be limited by internal conflict on ‘best distro’ status between Unity users and Gnome users.

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