Brief: This is a continually updated article to inform you about Linux Mint 19 release date, features and everything important associated with it.
The development of Linux Mint 19 codenamed “Tara” is coming to an end. The beta version has already been released. Let’s have a look at Linux Mint 19 release date and features.
Linux Mint 19 Release Date
Unlike Ubuntu, Linux Mint doesn’t follow a strict schedule. Therefore you don’t have an exact release date but just an estimate of the week.
Linux Mint 19 beta was released in the first week of June’18 and the final stable Linux Mint 19 release has been planned for the end of June’18. There is no more information available about Mint 19 release schedule.
What’s new in Linux Mint 19?
With the release of Linux Mint 19 beta, we have a pretty good idea about new features in Linux Mint 19. I made a video review of the Linux Mint 19 features so that you can see them in action:
1. GTK 3.22 gives a fresh look and feel
Linux Mint 19 is using GTK 3.22 and this gives Linux Mint 19 a refined look. You’ll notice that application windows and interface has a more flat and sleek look. This subtle change makes the Mint 19 UI more pleasant on the eyes.
2. Revamped Mint welcome screen
The Mint welcome screen has a revamp UI with links to the user guide and hint at things a user might want to do such as install codecs, popular apps, backups, opt for popular settings etc.
3. Cinnamon 3.8
Cinnamon 3.8 has been released for other Linux distributions but it won’t come to Mint 18 just yet. Linux Mint 19 will be the first Mint version to get the new Cinnamon desktop. You can read about the changes in Cinnamon 3.8 on Linux Mint official blog.
4. Cinnamon opens apps faster in Linux Mint 19
Linux Mint team noticed that applications load faster in MATE and Xfce editions of Linux Mint. This led to an investigation of Cinnamon’s performance in launching applications.
Based on the investigation, Cinnamon 3.8 has been improved to open applications quickly. Which means you Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon will feel slightly faster. A welcoming news for Cinnamon users.
5. Easy to use Backups with Timeshift
Linux Mint’s Timeshift is an excellent backup tool for Linux. With new and improved features, Timeshift becomes an integral part of Linux Mint.
With Timeshift, you can take snapshots of your system automatically and in case of a problem, you can easily revert your system to a previous state. This is an excellent new feature in Mint 19.
6. Changes in Mint Update
Mint Update has seen an overhaul as well. By default, it doesn’t show updates into various levels of recommendation anymore. Instead, it has Updates categorized into types: security, kernel and software update.
Update manager relies on Timeshift backups for the stability of the system. If the Timeshift is not set up, you’ll see a warning.
You can also enable automatic updates easily now. This way, your Linux Mint system will be updated on a regular basis without any manual intervention.
7. Revamped Software Manager
The user interface of Software Manager has been refined and new transition animations have been added. Search has become faster and it now allows to search within a category. Which means if you are in Games category, you’ll see only games for your searched query.
Flatpak support is enabled by default but this has been the case since Mint 18.3.
8. Configurable maximum volume
In earlier versions of Linux Mint, if you wanted to increase the volume beyond 100%, you could do that from the audio settings. However, this was not linked with the volume button on your system. You couldn’t go beyond 100% with the multimedia key.
This is changed in Linux Mint 19. You can now set a maximum volume anywhere between 0 to 150%. When you use the volume buttons on your system, it won’t go beyond the maximum volume you have set.
9. Improvements on the default PDF reader
The default PDF reader, Xreader, has been improved. You can now set the size of thumbnails, remove annotations and save ePub documents. Smooth-scrolling is also improved.
Based on your privacy settings, Xreader will show you recently opened documents.
10. Improvements in Nemo file manager
There are some performance improvements in Nemo file manager. It is now faster at showing directory contents and it doesn’t lag anymore while moving files to USB devices.
Search in Nemo is now faster and you can save the searched result by ‘adding a star’ to it. You can see your saved searches by right-clicking on the star icon.
11. No KDE edition
Linux Mint 18.3 was the last release to have an official KDE version. KDE is being dropped from Linux Mint 19. You can still install KDE on top of Linux Mint 19 (unofficially) and port Mint software to Kubuntu.
12. No data collection
One of the most talked about ‘feature’ in Ubuntu 18.04 was the collection of hardware stats and application preference stats. Though Linux Mint 19 is based on Ubuntu 18.04, it won’t be collecting any such data. One more reason why Linux Mint is better than Ubuntu?
13. Under the hood performance optimization
There is improved support for HiDPI. Expect a better-looking Cinnamon desktop on HD displays.
Apart from the visual changes, there are slight performance improvements as well. The Cinnamon desktop is slightly faster at boot. Compiler optimization brings optimized compiled binaries for Cinnamon/Xapps.
Download Linux Mint 19 (testing version)
Before you download, you should know that at this point, Linux Mint 19 is under development. The ISO of Linux Mint 19 Beta is available only for testing purpose.
You MUST NOT download and install Linux Mint 19 on your existing system because you’ll face various bugs and issues.
If you want to test it, I suggest installing it on a virtual machine or on a spare machine so that your real system is not impacted.
Linux Mint version number and release name trivia
I know you are here to know more about upcoming Linux Mint 19 features, but a little trivia will only increase your general knowledge about Mint.
Linux Mint version number trivia
A little bit of history and trivia here. You might already know that Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. Earlier, Linux Mint used to release a new version based on every release of Ubuntu, be it LTS or non-LTS release. But this was changed with Linux Mint 17 series which was based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release.
Instead of releasing a new version based on Ubuntu 14.10, 15.04 etc, Linux Mint team decided to keep the releases on Ubuntu LTS version. And thus instead of going like Linux Mint 18 directly, they released Linux Mint 17.1, 17.2.
So what is the difference between Linux Mint 17.1 and 17.2? They are both based on Ubuntu 14.04. So the base remains the same. However, 17.2 consists of several new improvements and features. This way anyone using Mint 17.1 will get all the new changes directly from the new ISO instead of getting 17.0 and then upgrading it after the install to get all those new changes.
If you were using Linux Mint 17.0, continuous system updates would automatically put you on 17.1, 17.2 and so on. Linux Mint 17 series will be supported till 2019.
Similarly, Linux Mint 18.x series is based on Ubuntu 16.04 and will be supported till 2021.
Linux Mint codename trivia
If you read my previous article about Linux distributions codenames, you already know that Mint uses a female name in alphabetical order. All releases in a series have codenames with the same alphabets. This is why Linux Mint 17.3 was called Rosa, 18 was called Sarah, 18.1 Serena, 18.2 Sonya and finally Mint 19 is codenamed Tara.
No prizes for guessing that 19.1 will also have a codename starting with letter T.
I’ll update this article with more details on Linux Mint 19 features in the future. Stay tuned.
Note: Some images have been taken from the official Linux Mint blog.