Linux Mint does it for the diehard geek
My confession is simple: Linux has been a part of my life for over 10 years. Granted, Linux never was a cup of tea for everyone but the curious. Once you got it to work right, it was the closest thing you got to perfection.
If you can get past the fairly steep learning curve and step into the “light” side of computing, then Linux Mint 15, “Olivia”, is probably where you should start.
We will not explore the history of Linux Mint since that is a well-trodden path, but the one thing that has become true is that Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu and Mint have won the day, taking out earlier contenders like Fedora and openSUSE heavyweights earlier on.
The first thing about Mint is that you must choose between using either Cinnamon or MATE — different desktops offering different approaches but doing the same task. So it is really a matter of taste. Nonetheless, the desktop of choice seems to be Cinnamon.