Linux Mint 8 RC1 is now available. The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » Linux Mint 8 “Helena” RC1 released! I loaded it on my second laptop last night. The installation process was quicker than Ubuntu. The boot time is also faster than Ubuntu. For me, I saw a 15 - 20 second difference. There are a lot of new internal features, as well as some cosmetic ones. If you don't like the color scheme, you can easily change it. I have been putting the OS through its paces, and haven't had any problems. In my opinion, Linux Mint is the way to go. Give it a try.