Mint is designed for ease of use and a ready-to-roll out-of-box experience, including multimedia support on desktops. The operating system is easier to install than most Linux distributions. Mint includes software required for e-mail and online functionality as well as support for multimedia content, whether online or from a user's own files and physical media.
Unlike most Linux distributions, Mint includes proprietary third-party browser plugins, Java, media codecs, and other components to enable support for common accepted standards. This support allows for DVD and BluRay playback, as well as Flash for streaming media. Although the OS includes a firewall, Mint claims to have no need of antimalware. Mint is compatible with Ubuntu installer, which enables access to 30,000 existing pieces of free, open source software.
There are several different desktop editions of Mint, including Cinnamon, GNOME, XFCE and KDE, to best support various hardware. The operating system is also provided in an alternate Linux Mint Debian Edition for those that are more familiar with Linux. That edition is said to be less intuitive and user-friendly but also faster and more responsive.
Linux Mint is the third most popular home operating system, behind Microsoft's Windows and Apple's Mac OS.
Matthew Moore reviews Linux Mint 17.1: