Pop!_OS VS Linux Mint, Which One to Select in 2023

Struggling to pick between Pop!_OS and Linux Mint? Our comparison guide will help you pick the best distro.

Both Pop!_OS and Linux Mint are targeted toward beginner users. Which one should you get? In this article, we’ll explore and compare them based on different aspects and metrics.

Let’s get started!

Pop OS vs Linux Mint


Pop!_OS has really proven to be top when it comes to user experience. They have improved Ubuntu’s already modern and easy-to-use desktop experience. Workspaces, application launchers, keyboard shortcuts, dock, and exclusive packages like Popsicle have improved it. But what differentiates it is that Pop!_OS also caters well to expert users.


Linux Mint is renowned for its user-friendliness. The installation process is straightforward. The Cinnamon version gives you an intuitive, Window-like interface that’s easy to navigate. It has a dedicated software manager for installing software easily. 

Software Availability

Pop!_OS and Linux Mint both have access to the Ubuntu software repositories, meaning they have a vast number of software packages available. But both distros offer their own packages too, and allow to the addition of third-party repos.

Pop!_OS supports Flatpak and DEB packages out of the box. You have the option to enable snap support. You can install your favorite applications from Pop!_Shop, their own software center.

Linux Mint offers many utility tools such as mintInstall, mintUpdate, mintMenu, mintBackup, mintUpload, mintNanny, mintDesktop, mintWelcome, mintStick, and mintReport.

Hardware Compatibility

Since System76 develops Pop!_OS, all their desktop and laptops come with it pre-installed. You can make the most out of the OS if you go for their hardware pieces. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use Pop!_OS on other hardware. Pop!_OS supports ARM64 and x86_64 devices. The Pop!_Pi is their tailored version for RASPBERRY PI 4. Another area where it shines is the support for out of the box support for Nvidia and AMD graphics drivers. Some 

Before Linux Mint version 20, it supported i386 (32-bit) and amd64 (64-bit) architectures. However, after Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, decided to stop support for 32-bit systems, Linux Mint also dropped support for those. From Linux Mint 20 onwards, it only supports amd64. However, Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) supports the x86 architecture.

System Resources Requirement

When you compare two Operating Systems like Pop OS vs Linux Mint, analyzing the minimum hardware requirements is essential to know which type of old hardware can have these Operating Systems. 

Pop!_OS requires the below hardware:

  • 4 GB RAM
  • 16 GB storage
  • 64-bit processor

The system requirement of Linux Mint is as follows:

  • 2 GB RAM (4GB recommended)
  • 20 GB of disk space (100 GB recommended)
  • 1024×768 resolution

Community Support

System76, the company behind Pop!_OS, offers immense user support. There are many extensive troubleshooting guides available. You can further open support tickets and receive expert help from them. There’s also an active subreddit with over 60k members.

Linux Mint contains many support channels. An official forum, an active subreddit containing about 80k members, a discord community, and local communities. The documentation includes user, troubleshooting, translation, and developer guides.

Update and Release Cycle

Pop!_OS follows the same release cycle as Ubuntu — a new release every six months. The Long-Term Support (LTS) versions are released every two years. The non-LTS versions receive support for 3 months, while the LTS versions receive support for 5 years. The latest version of Pop!_OS is 22.04 LTS.


Though an Ubuntu derivative, Linux Mint doesn’t strictly follow Ubuntu’s release cycle. The LTS versions are released every two years. In between the two-year interval, three-point releases come every six months. The major versions are supported for 5 years. The point release versions receive the same amount of support as the parent major release.


Pop!_OS enables full-disk encryption out of the box. Your privacy is not taken lightly. They don’t collect your data during installation. Packages require your permission to access any unnecessary data. Easy firmware management from the software settings eliminates any security risks.

Coming from Ubuntu, Linux Mint enjoys the same security features as Ubuntu. It’s as secure as the Ubuntu version it’s based on. The firewall is installed by default. You can turn on the firewall to increase network protection. Frequent security patches are released. Mandatory Access Control (MAC) is implemented with AppArmor by default.


Pop!_OS is already more customized than the regular GNOME. But you also have the flexibility to take it to another level. It allows many customization extensions like User Themes, Dash to Dock, Backslide, Window List, Gnomenu, Appindicator Support, TopIcons Plus, Internet Radio, Sound Output Device Chooser, CPU Power Manager, Extension Update Notifier, and Lock Keys.

Linux Mint is really lenient toward customizability. You can personalize the system to your heart’s content, making it more aesthetic, efficient, and functional. This ranges from changing the theme and icons, installing extensions, configuring different software and tools, and more.  

Default Desktop Environment

Pop!_OS comes with a highly-customized version of the GNOME desktop environment also known as COSMIC (Computer Operating System Main Interface Components) as default. It’s geared toward productivity and performance. You get a system-wide dark mode and well-support for high-resolution displays.


Linux Mint has a beautiful, crisp, and clean Cinnamon desktop environment as default. If you’re a Windows user, you’ll find similarities between the two in UIs. Linux Mint Cinnamon also has a start menu displaying all the categorized apps. 

Pre-installed Applications

Pop!_OS comes with all the basic and daily-use software, including LibreOffice, Firefox, and Geary. Other than free software, they also utilize proprietary software packages used for hardware drivers for discrete GPU, Wi-Fi, and media codecs.

Linux Mint has many applications installed, such as  LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, HexChat, Pidgin, Transmission, and VLC media player.

Final Thoughts

And that ends our distro battle between Pop!_OS and Linux Mint. Both are great contenders offering their own powers to attract Linux users. Especially for beginners, you can’t go wrong with either one.

If you’re totally new to Linux, we recommend your try out Linux Mint. If you’re looking for a Linux distro better suited for creative professionals, developers, and gamers, you can try out Pop!_OS.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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