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Linux Mint Forges New Deals with OEMs

The most recent buzz related to desktop Linux OEMs has centered around Canonical. But Linux Mint, the Ubuntu-based distribution that remains fiercely independent of Canonical, has been striking deals of its own with hardware manufacturers to preinstall Mint on their devices. Could there be a commercial future for this outspoken member of the open source channel?
Linux Mint traces its history back to 2006, when the project released the first versions of its flagship operating system. Those releases were based on Ubuntu, and Mint has remained closely associated with Ubuntu from a technical standpoint ever since. Mint pulls most of its application stack from Ubuntu packages, and its release cycle is coordinated with Ubuntu’s, with new versions of Mint appearing about a month after each new Ubuntu iteration.
But although Mint is very similar to Ubuntu software-wise, in some respects one might consider it the anti-Ubuntu of the Linux world. Mint owes much of the following it has enjoyed in recent years to its decision to replace unpopular components of Ubuntu — such as the Unity desktop interface — with alternatives that have proven more appealing to some users. It has also isolated itself from the political controversy and fallout that have

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