Here's a sneak peek at what's coming in the next Linux Mint
The beta version of Linux Mint 18 'Sarah' made its debut this week, and a final release won't be far behind. Here's a look at what's coming to this popular free and open-source operating system.
A choice of desktops
Like the recent Ubuntu release it's based on, Linux Mint 18 is a good option for businesses because it offers five years of support. Mint also gives users a choice of desktop environments. Cinnamon 3.0, shown in the previous slide, was developed by the Mint team. Shown here is MATE, a fork of the popular but no longer maintained GNOME 2.
A new set of apps: images
A new set of apps: documents
Also part of the new set of default apps is Xviewer for documents and PDFs. Though X-Apps are the new defaults, the apps they replace are still available in the Mint repositories, so users can install them side-by-side and decide which ones they like best.
A new set of apps: videos
Xplayer, based on Totem, now acts as the default media player for music and videos. The transition to X-Apps should be smooth for longtime users: Xplayer, for instance, is actually much more similar to the Totem player included in Mint 17 than a newer version of Totem would have been, the Mint team said.
A new set of apps: organizing photos
For organizing photos, Linux Mint 18 includes Pix, which is based on gThumb.
An improved Update Manager
Linux Mint takes a conservative approach to software updates and includes a dedicated Update Manager to help make maintenance easier. In this release, the Update Manager has been given numerous improvements. Two new settings, for instance, let users see and select kernel updates.
A clear guide to update policies
Previous versions of Mint's Update Manager were configurable, but it wasn’t always clear how to do that or why you should. Now, a new screen clearly explains and asks users to select an update policy.
Mint-Y: A brand-new theme
Back in 2010, Linux Mint 10 introduced a metallic theme called "Mint-X." Now, aiming to reflect current trends, Linux Mint 18 ushers in a new theme called Mint-Y featuring a look that's designed to be modern, clean and professional. Shown here is the theme's light version on the MATE desktop.
Mint-Y: A dark version
The new Mint-Y theme comes in light, dark and mixed versions on both MATE and Cinnamon. Shown here is the dark version on Cinnamon. Mint-X will still be the default theme in Linux 18, giving Mint-Y time to mature, the development team said.
New backgrounds and more
Also included in Linux Mint 18 are a fresh assortment of new backgrounds as well as new security measures and version 4.4 of the Linux kernel. Security updates will continue until 2021. Beta versions are never intended for production purposes, of course, but if you want to check this one out, it's available as a free download on the project site.