When comparing Nix os vs Linux Mint, the Slant community recommends Nix os for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux distributions for a backend developer?” Nix os is ranked 10th while Linux Mint is ranked 11th. The most important reason people chose Nix os is:
Since NixOS stores all its packages in isolation from each other in `/nix/store` and because of the declarative configuration model, upgrading NoxOS systems is extremely reliable. Furthermore, it gives you the ability to roll back upgrades.
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Pro Upgrading the system is extremely reliable
Since NixOS stores all its packages in isolation from each other in
/nix/store and because of the declarative configuration model, upgrading NoxOS systems is extremely reliable. Furthermore, it gives you the ability to roll back upgrades.
Pro Extremely reproducible state of installation
Every package in your system is generated from a configuration file. This makes it very easy to reproduce that environment. Just copy the config file into a new machine and it's done.
Pro Versatile snapshot system
You can use and test snapshots without rebooting. Booting into snapshots or test configurations is possible without risking the system's stability.
Pro Great for Haskell development
It has all of hackage in it's package manager (which is confusingly named "nix" as well) due to being based around hashing and allowing you to compile in a sort of virtual machine (really just changing the PATH variable temporarily) it solves many of the versioning problems that you commonly have with cabal. Here's a tutorial (there's many others as well) http://www.cse.chalmers.se/~bernardy/nix.html.
Also I should note that you can use the package manager a la carte on Mac and most any linux distro.
Pro Has docker like system built in
Pro Allows parallel configurations for multiple projects
As everything is isolated, you can have on the same machine multiple configurations to meet project requirements that would be mutually exclusive on other OSes.
Pro Compatibility with Debian and Ubuntu software builds and repositories
Mint gains a very strong package ecosystem and software manager of Debian, including more than 30,000 packages available from the Debian repositories.
Pro Familiar user interface
Mint is highly recommended for both users coming from Windows, as well as users coming from Ubuntu, but unhappy with Ubuntu's recent, rather dramatic interface changes. Mint provides an updated interface with a look and feel similar to Gnome 2, with an application menu reminiscent of the Windows 7 Start Menu, with categorization and search.
Pro Already functional out-of-the-box
Mint comes bundled with software for browsing the web, editing pictures, browsing files, watching videos and even a full office suite (LibreOffice). An average user can use Mint right away after a fresh install, using all the software that comes with the distribution to complete most of their daily tasks.
Pro Complete and stable
Pro Provides LTS (long term support) versions
Long Term Support versions are versions of software that are continuously updated for an extended period of time, even after newer versions are launched. LTS versions will typically get feature additions and enhancements for an extended period of time, then security updates up until its End of Life. An LTS release should typically be considered good for at least 5 years.
Pro Dedicated upgrade process
The Linux Mint team is very dedicated to upgrading and improving Mint, to the point where the releases are fairly predictable. They are also dedicated to their users, meaning that they are responsive to critiques, suggestions, etc.
Pro Good community support
There are several different ways to get support for this distribution, including the forums, their IRC channel, or their github repositories if you think their software isn't behaving as it should.
Linux Mint is currently the most hit page on DistroWatch. Because of its popularity, long-term support is pretty guaranteed.
Pro Easy installation and configuration
Linux Mint uses the same installer as Ubuntu. It is very easy to use for beginners, and also allows more advanced users to choose their own partitions. Linux Mint's Cinnamon desktop is highly customizable and can be made to look however preferred.
Pro Supports proprietary software
Linux Mint does maintain a free software environment, however, it does offer full support to proprietary software (Chrome, Skype, Teamviewer).
Pro The OS is great for both beginners and advanced users
The OS has different update settings for different users and has easy manual within the OS.
Pro There is a "system restore" tool to restore the OS if something breaks
This tool backs up the core OS files to an external drive with an option for full encryption.
Pro MATE desktop (as an option)
MATE is a classic desktop as opposed to the newer "Unity" desktop. For people who prefer the classic style this is one of only few modern distributions with still active MATE desktop development.
Con The configuration language is hard to figure out
For good reason. It's a purely functional language. However not even close to bash.
Con The Linux Mint website once provided malware
The website for Linux Mint was hacked in 2016 and its download links led to a modified ISO, which contained malware.
Con Does not handle multiple languages well
Con Security may be an issue
Linux Mint by default does not have auto updates turned on for important packages such as xorg or the kernel, thus leaving users with potentially insecure software.
Con System updates can lead the system to being unstable
While a new installed system is stable, after an update, there is a slight chance of something not working.
Con Upgrade process between version can be painful
The Linux Mint team offers a method to upgrade the OS between versions but they tend to recommend clean installs, which isn't always suitable for everyone. However, following the upgrade process currently is less than straightforward and is easily capable of leaving your system in a confused state.
Con Cheap Windows substitute
Mint tries to be like Windows when it could be different and provide options.
Con Outdated software centers
Many of the offered options are older versions.
Con Looks ugly
The default theme and wallpaper looks outdated and bland. Luckily that is easy to change in the settings.
Con Many proprietary (closed-source) packages
By default, Linux Mint includes almost all the proprietary packages just to improve the user experience.
Con Linux Mint tries to force people to use less powerful custom package management system
The custom package management system is slow, frustrating, and forces you to select and install one package at a time. Can't select a whole load of packages and then run the installations in one go.