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Tired of having your search habits hoarded by Microsoft and Google and want a little anonymity online? Linux Mint could be your answer.

Linux Mint 12, just released, has been delivered with an independent search option: DuckDuckGo. It's Mint's default search engine under a partnership with the makers of the distro, also just announced.

DuckDuckGo is a three-year-old search project with venture backing that promises to torpedo the business model Google and Microsoft's Bing are predicated on: making money from your search data by selling it to others.

According to the DuckDuckGo site, here:

Unlike all major search engines, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. There is no search history, personal profile or any other information about you gathered, stored, sold, used or leaked.

Using this model DuckDuckGo also promises to deliver results based on what you're interested in, rather than what it thinks you'd like based on past search history - what it calls the search-engine filter bubble. Under the deal with Linux Mint, DuckDuckGo will share revenue generated by sponsored links within the search results seen by Linux Mint users. DuckDuckGo is calculated to have just under 200,000 unique users.

Mint 12 is based on version 11.10 of Ubuntu, although it does not feature Canonical's controversial Unity desktop. Instead it runs GNOME 3.2. You can download Mint 12 here. ®

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