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Linux Mint Touches All Time High On DistroWatch, Will Ubuntu Recover?

There was some nasty mud-slinging when Linux Mint topped the DistroWatch ratings, beating Ubuntu. Those who understand how DistroWatch ratings work knew that higher rating did not mean more users. Ubuntu by far has much more users than Linux Mint. But the way Ubuntu fans attacked DistroWatch for being ‘useless’ and some Ubuntu developers coming out with suggestions to game DistroWatch and bring some unknown distro on top to show it is flawed was disgusting. If they believed in gaming the system so much, why they did not game the system and bring Ubuntu on top again?

Now, Linux Mint has assumingly broken all time record on DistroWatch and looks huge with 3160 rating which is more than 1,077 more than Ubuntu. There is no way that Ubuntu will cover this distance in the near future, unless they change something dramatically.

As I said earlier, DistroWatch is not an indication of ‘how many users’ but it is clearly an indication of what users are looking at. And, at the moment Linux Mint is what users are looking at. I love Ubuntu because it is based on Debian. Ubuntu makes using Debian easier. Why is Linux Mint succeeding? Because it is focusing on what users want and not what developers thing is cool.

Unity is very much uncustomizable, unlike the Gnome 3 shell where you can get back pretty much the functionality of Gnome 2 which you need on a desktop. With Cinnamon, Linux Mint has once again showed that they do care for what users want and are capable of delivering it.

I love Ubuntu and want it to succeed, but I don’t see that happening at the desktop front, which is a non-profitable business for Canonical. I don’t see any plans for 12.04 which will bring back the functionality of  Gnome 2 under Unity. Lenses and Scopes are buzz words which no one else but a few Ubuntu developers understand.

The worst part is the new Ubuntu community, dominated by zombie like fans who will crush you if you say anything bad about Unity.

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Do you think Linux Mint will continue to grow or do you think Ubuntu will make a comeback?

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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