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How are the distributions Xubuntu 12.10 and Linux Mint 14 XFCE different given that the latter is based on Ubuntu 12.10? Simply the changes made to the XFCE desktop by the Mint team and the choice of pre-installed apps? Is there anything else?

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Mint 14 adds a different folder and installs things a bit differently than Ubuntu or Xubuntu. It also doesn't allow (as I found out) to directly update certain packages as Xubuntu does, such as Firefox. Latest version on Mint 14 is, 16. Xubuntu's is (I think) 22 (without adding repositories manually.) Mint also seems to block versions of Ubuntu software that are available in the ubuntu software center (as mint has its own versions.) I was NOT HAPPY at all with Mint 14 after using Xubuntu 12.04 and I'm going back to it (it is, after all, a LTS release.) I'm not ready for 13.04 and why bother when 12.04 was so stable. All personal opinions above, sorry.

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From what I know, most distributions only provide a different GTK / xfwm4 theme, or some patch to make it build against the libraries shipped with it, so there won't be a major breakthrough on features.

So what you can do to tell a difference, is to check the version of xfce4 shipped with it, by either running xfce4-about or just check the package version.

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