Mint - good for graphics work ?


Rene Thomas

Can anyone tell me whether it's true that Linux Mint is better for graphics / graphic design than Liniz Ubuntu (which I am currently using).

I can only use the 32-bit versions though.

as objectively as possible, please.

It makes literally no difference whatsoever!

Mint is based on Ubuntu, which in turn is based on Debian. All three have exactly the same selection of graphics software in their repositories. And that software selection is the same as most other distros too! So it really doesn't matter if you are running Mint, or Ubuntu, or Debian, or Fedora, or Arch etc etc. All of them have the most commonly used graphics applications like Gimp, Inkscape, Xara, MyPaint, Krita, Blender, Scribus etc available in their repos.

So if you ask me, the distro you are using doesn't make a single bit of difference. Whatever distro you are running, you have all of the graphics tools you need right there in the repos! The only exception to that rule might be some of the smaller, more lightweight distros, which might only have more lightweight graphics apps, or a more limited selection. But if you are using one of the major, 'full-fat' distros, there is no difference at all. Each are equally capable.

The only thing that might make a little difference is perhaps the desktop environment.
Sometimes things like launcher-bars/docks, status bars and window-decorations might take up a bit too much screen real-estate, when trying to work on something graphical, or they might get in your way a little. But that is more of a workflow thing - not having parts of the desktop environment wasting valuable screen-space, or otherwise blocking you.

I found that problem with all of the typical desktop environments to differing degrees, which is one of the reasons I switched to using a tiling window manager (w3m, or i3) - no dock, no status bar (unless you want one), no unnecessary window decorations taking up extra space, just the application/applications you have open, tiled neatly.

I tend to work with code more than graphics, so it gives me a few extra lines of code on the screen. But the few times I have had to do some serious graphical work, it has been just as nice having that little bit of extra screen-space to work with.

The other thing about using a tiling wm like dwm is that you can quickly switch between applications and make them fullscreen with a couple of keybinds. So no unnecessary faffing around with the mouse. Just hit a keybind to put dwm into monocle mode and another to bring your application into focus and then use the entire screen to work on.
No more dragging windows around to find the one you are looking for; no more having to reach for the mouse to point and click the 'maximise' button. Again, this is more of a workflow thing. Tiling window managers like dwm and i3 might not be everybodies cup of tea, but I definitely prefer it!

So other than Destop Environment, or Window Manager related issues that might affect workflow, I don't think it makes a single bit of difference! If I need to do something graphical, I could do it equally well in pretty much any Linux distro, but if I have w3m or i3 installed, I can probably get it done a little bit quicker and with less frustration! :) Heh heh!
Dear JasKinasis,

Thank you.

Your advice has saved me much unnecessary work learning how to switch distros, even more if I factor in the work I'd have been likely to have to put in trying to fix the inevitable errors I would have made doing it.

Actually, I knew that the advice to use Mint coming from this particular techie (God rest his soul) was suspect. He told me he'd got through about 30 laptops which lay broken in his girlfriend's spare room!
I have used Ubuntu before, decided to see whats Mint was all about, installed it and for me is just an Ubuntu with some "shortcuts" like personalization and some specialized packages installed (the personalization is very good, BTW). Now I'm back in Ubuntu, okay for me.
Thank you Nathan, and welcome to the forums. Nice to see new knowledge coming in

Since you've blessed me by sharing the advantages you have found Mint to have, I may reconsider installing it once I've found out how to locate and delete some superfluous kernel files*
Since my version of Ubuntu is no longer receiving updates, and the newer version isn't sufficiently mature to be stable, I could do with having an Operating System with Long Term Support.

* cf.

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