gOS and Linux Mint are two of the many Linux distributions based upon Ubuntu, but they provide their own spin of things. gOS, for instance, ships with WINE and Google Gears by default and focuses upon providing an easy and rich experienced catered around Web 2.0 services. Linux Mint ships with its own set of customizations and its focus is on providing an easy-to-use Linux desktop by having a distinct user interface, its own set of system, and shipping with various proprietary drivers, plug-ins, media codecs, and other packages. We had a question though from a reader asking whether the performance of these Ubuntu derivatives is vastly different from Ubuntu itself. With that inquiry, we have run a couple benchmarks comparing the performance of Ubuntu 8.10, gOS 3.1, and Linux Mint 6.
For this testing we used a Lenovo ThinkPad T400 notebook with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 processor at 2.80GHz, 160GB ST9160823AS SATA HDD, Intel GMA 4500 Mobile graphics, and 1440 x 900 display. As to the key packages found in each of the three distributions being tested, Ubuntu 8.10 uses the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, GNOME 2.24, X Server 1.5.2, xf86-video-intel 2.4.1, Mesa 7.2, and GCC 4.3.2. While gOS 3.1 Gadgets is a new distribution, it's still shipping with packages based on Ubuntu 8.04. gOS 3.1 uses the Linux 2.6.24 kernel, GNOME 2.22.2, X Server 126.96.36.199, xf86-video-intel 2.2.1, Mesa 7.0.3-rc2, and GCC 4.2.4. Linux Mint 6 is following the Ubuntu 8.10 package set and it features the same key versions as what is found in Ubuntu 8.10. All distributions were installed with their default options and during testing each distribution was ran with everything being at their defaults.
Running our tests was the Phoronix Test Suite and to provide some overall numbers we chose Bork File Encrypter, timed PHP compilation, BYTE Unix Benchmark, LAME MP3 encoding, FFmpeg, GnuPG, OpenSSL, SciMark 2, and SQLite.