Top 5 GnuLinux operating systems you should try: #1 Linux Mint

Running Windows apps

We use applications and not the operating systems. So an operating system no matter how good it is without apps is as good as a library without books. It’s useless.

Luckily the world have moved on from Windows 95 era. Now most of what we do happens inside a browser. You can do almost everything that you need through Google’s Chrome web apps running on Linux Mint. However at times we do need native apps. The good news is most popular services and applications are available for Linux Mint.

If you do use some proprietary applications, the good news is that there are Open Source alternatives of proprietary applications which does the same work, but are available for free of cost. Here is a quick list of some alternatives:

  • Microsoft Office -> LibreOffice
  • Photoshop -> GIMP, Krita
  • Lightroom -> DigiKam, Darktable
  • Windows Movie Maker – Kdenlive
  • Internet Explorer – Firefox, Chrome
  • Windows Media Player – Rhythmbox, Amarok, VLC

So you are very well covered.

If you do need some legacy Windows applications for strange yet justified reasons then there is a tool called Wine which allows you to install some Windows applications in Linux Mint. Wine is available for free of cost and its website lists all the Windows applications that can be installed on Linux Mint.


There are thousands of native applications available for Linux Mint but the OS also benefits from it’s Ubuntu base as everything that’s available for Ubuntu is also available for Linux Mint. You can easily install Steam client or LightWorks, which were made available exclusively for Ubuntu, on Linux Mint.

Installing applications is extremely easy in Linux Mint and can be done directly from to Software Manager that comes built-in, so unlike Windows, you don’t have to hunt the web to find the right software.

Out of the box experience

Linux Mint comes pre-installed with most of the popular applications such as LibreOffice, VLC, FireFox, etc, and you can start your work as soon as you are finished installing it.


Linux Mint is more secure and privacy respecting than Ubuntu which now tracks every thing that happens inside its Dash and sends that data to Canonical servers. No one knows if NSA or GCHQ is tapping into that data – thanks to gag orders. There is no such backdoor installed on Linux Mint by default so you are quite safe.


Linux Mint is very well supported by its community and companies like Blue Systems so if there are problems it will be fixed immediately.

Getting Linux Mint

You can grab Linux Mint from this link. There are many editions available, but if you are looking for something easy and modern I will recommend the Cinnamon version.

If you need help in getting started with Linux Mint, you can check out this guide.

In the next article we will talk about another GnuLinux based operating system that I recommend.

About 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.

124 thoughts on “Top 5 GnuLinux operating systems you should try: #1 Linux Mint

  1. linux mint is not consider as gnu or free distro cause it contain non-free codecs and driver by default also it forked gnome and splitting the effort and it’s not contribution to other foss project .

    1. Technically, every distro that includes the GNU userland and the Linux kernel is GNU/Linux. What you meant is that it’s not GNU/Linux-libre (that is, with the kernel stripped of its proprietary blobs) and that it’s not endorsed by the FSF.

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