I looked this up, OK so I played GBA games for years on VisualBoyAdvance-M, great emulator with a lot of features including a debugger and everything, been around a long time. But apparently one called NO$GBA is better for programming and debugging purposes if you don’t just want to play games, in fact it seems it originally started out as a debugger and later had emulation added too, but it is not quite as popular for playing games. Also there is a newer emulator called mGBA which is more accurate and faster but does not have as many features yet, but people really like it. You should probably try all 3.
There are other emulators too for GBA but they are not as good, at least according to what I read, those 3 are the only 3 you should bother trying.
OK so here are official download links for all 3 of them to get the latest versions:NO$GBA (currently version 2.9a, get the debug version for programmers)VisualBoyAdvance-M (currently version 2.1.0 Security Fix)mGBA (currently version 0.6.3)
VisualBoyAdvance-M and mGBA are both cross-platform while NO$GBA seems to be Windows-and-DOS-only, all 3 should be fine for you in Windows 7, but in Linux Mint, well you can use 2 out of the 3 but NO$GBA supposedly is the best for programming and debugging. And emulators have different interfaces and feature sets on different operating systems, I know VisualBoyAdvance-M for instance is definitely different on Windows and Linux. You might be able to use Wine to run the Windows version of NO$GBA in Linux but Wine is rather a pain to get working.
The easiest one to install on Linux Mint is mGBA, there are prebuilt binaries for Ubuntu there and you just need to pick the one for the Ubuntu version that matches your Linux Mint version. VisualBoyAdvace-M has WxWidgets, SDL, and GTK+ versions, not sure which one is best, they currently have the WxWidgets as the default version but I have found on Windows that the SDL version of VisualBoyAdvance-M is the best on Windows, at least the last time I checked. NO$GBA is supposed to be the best one for programming and debugging though and for that one, running it from Windows is best, unless you are really good at using Wine. Don’t even bother with the DOS version of NO$GBA since it lacks programming and debugging features.