In the past year, Linux Mint has overtaken Ubuntu as the most popular open source OS on DistroWatch — that might be because the latter has taken a new angle on the user interface and begun targeting mobile platforms. Now version 12 "Lisa" is available, bringing a new desktop based on Gnome 3 with some Mint-specific improvements and an open source-friendly default search engine called DuckDuckGo. Linux Mint is built on Ubuntu, so it has many of its parent's advantages while smoothing over some shortcomings and piling on a healthy serving of multimedia codecs. The extras make it a somewhat larger install, but you get to use a desktop interface that isn't trying to start a revolution.
Linux Mint 12 now available, lacks Ubuntu's UI experiments
Linux Mint 12 "Lisa" is available with some user interface improvements while maintaining a traditional desktop environment.