Following its launch in 2006, Linux Mint spent a long time in the number two position on DistroWatch's page-hit rankings, standing behind only the Ubuntu Linux distribution on which it's based. In the second half of 2011, however, Mint pulled ahead, and since then it has held the top spot on that list, surpassing Ubuntu considerably in the number of hits per day it gets.
DistroWatch rankings are just one indicator of popularity, but there's no doubt that Mint has come into its own in the past year or so. With a longstanding focus on usability, Linux Mint is now a favorite, especially in light of its flexible approach to today's new desktop environments. These days, it's a particularly good alternative for Ubuntu users not enamored with that distribution's mobile-inspired Unity interface, as well as for newcomers to Linux. And its forthcoming Cinnamon desktop holds even more potential for the future.
Wondering what the world's fourth most widely used home operating system looks like? Read on for a brief introduction in pictures to Linux Mint 12, aka "Lisa."