Brief: This is a continually updated article to inform you about Linux Mint 19 release date, features and everything important associated with it.
Linux Mint 19 codename has just been released. The first release of the upcoming Linux Mint 19 series will be called “Tara”.
Linux Mint 19 Release Date
Unlike Ubuntu, Linux Mint doesn’t follow a strict schedule. Therefore you only get an estimated release date for Linux Mint. Normally, a new major Mint version comes out around two months after the base Ubuntu release.
Linux Mint 19 series will be based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Considering that Ubuntu 18.04 is coming in April’18, you can expect Linux Mint 19 somewhere around May or June 2018. Linux Mint team has hinted the same.
Linux Mint 19 series will be supported until 2023.
What’s new in Linux Mint 19?
The development of the new version has just started so it’s a bit early to give details about the new features in Linux Mint 19.
1. GTK 3.22
So far, the only information is that Linux Mint 19.x will use GTK 3.22.
GTK 3.22 is a major stable release for GTK3. From there on, the theming engine and the APIs are stable.
2. 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.
3. Revamped Mint welcome screen
The Mint welcome screen will have a UI revamp with links to the user guide and hint at things a user might want to do such as install codecs, popular apps, opt for popular settings etc.
4. Cinnamon will open 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 will be improved to open applications quickly. Which means you Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon will feel slightly faster. A welcoming news for Cinnamon users.
5. Changes in Mint Update
There will be some changes to the Mint Update as well. The update process will be slightly more strict with a safeguard against sensitive package removals. It will also notify to reboot the computer after an update when required. There will be systray icon or info bar to notify users of the availability of new Mint versions.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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?
10. Under the hood performance optimization
There will be improved support for HiDPI. Expect a better-looking Cinnamon desktop on HD displays.
Apart from the visual changes, there will be slight performance improvement as well. The Cinnamon desktop will be slightly faster at boot. Compiler optimization will bring optimized compiled binaries for Cinnamon/Xapps.
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.