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Those users who prefer the latest packages and technologies are forced to use the potentially buggy Debian testing or unstable branches.

The highly democratic structures of Debian have led to controversial decisions and gives rise to infighting among the developers.

Linux Mint does not adhere to the principles of software freedom and it does not publish security advisories.

The launch of Ubuntu was first announced in September 2004.

Besides Mint's two "Main" editions which feature the MATE and Cinnamon desktops, the project also builds editions with alternative desktops, including KDE and Xfce.

Its founder, Ian Murdock, envisaged the creation of a completely non-commercial project developed by hundreds of volunteer developers in their spare time.This has contributed to stagnation and reluctance to make radical decisions that would take the project forward.Cons: Conservative - due to its support for many processor architectures, newer technologies are not always included; slow release cycle (one stable release every 1 - 3 years); discussions on developer mailing lists and blogs can be uncultured at times Mageia might be the newest distribution on this list, but its roots go back to July 1998 when Gaël Duval launched Mandrake Linux.Linux Mint, a distribution based on Ubuntu, was first launched in 2006 by Clement Lefebvre, a French-born IT specialist living in Ireland.Originally maintaining a Linux web site dedicated to providing help, tips and documentation to new Linux users, the author saw the potential of developing a Linux distribution that would address the many usability drawbacks associated with the generally more technical, mainstream products.