If you’ve visited Distrowatch.com lately, you probably noticed Ubuntu has slipped down to number 2 in terms of number of page hits on Distrowatch’s website. Linux Mint now holds the distinction of being number 1.
It wasn’t long ago, that Ubuntu held that prestigious position for months, perhaps years. What happened exactly to Ubuntu? Was it Unity, the new desktop environment that was introduced a couple of releases ago?
I think, a large part of the slide is indeed Unity, but it’s not solely the reason for the loss of its popularity. There are other issues. Ubuntu was already losing steam before Unity was first introduced.
You got to hand it to Linux Mint developers. They have done a great job of making Mint a solid distro that simply works out of the box with no fuss.
In the meantime, I went back to the two year old release, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, or Long Term Support. It’s still supported until 2015. It runs the stable Gnome 2.3.