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Linux Mint
Linux Mint 21 "Vanessa" (Cinnamon Edition)
DeveloperClément Lefèbvre and community[1]
OS familyLinux (Unix-like)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial release27 August 2006; 17 years ago (2006-08-27)
Latest releaseMain: 21.3[2] Edit this on Wikidata
12 January 2024; 6 months ago (12 January 2024) LMDE: LMDE 6[3] Edit this on Wikidata
27 September 2023; 9 months ago (27 September 2023)
Repositoryhttps://github.com/linuxmint
Available inMultilingual[4]
Update methodAPT (+ Software Manager, Update Manager & Synaptic user interfaces)
Package managerdpkg & Flatpak
Platformsx86-64 and x86
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
UserlandGNU
Default
user interface
LicenseMainly GPL and other free software licenses, minor additions of proprietary software
Official websitelinuxmint.com

Linux Mint is a community-driven Linux distribution based on Ubuntu (which is in turn based on Debian), bundled with a variety of free and open-source applications.[6][7] It can provide full out-of-the-box multimedia support for those who choose to include proprietary software such as multimedia codecs.[8] Compared to standard Ubuntu, it uses the Cinnamon interface in the most popular edition,[9] using a different, more traditional layout that can be customized by dragging the applets and creating panels. New applets can also be downloaded.[10]

The Linux Mint project was created by Clément Lefèbvre and is actively maintained by the Linux Mint Team and community.[11]

History[edit]

Linux Mint began in 2006 with a beta release, 1.0, code-named 'Ada',[12] based on Kubuntu and using its KDE interface. Linux Mint 2.0 'Barbara' was the first version to use Ubuntu as its codebase and its GNOME interface. It had few users until the release of Linux Mint 3.0, 'Cassandra'.[13][14]

Linux Mint 2.0 was based on Ubuntu 6.10,[citation needed] using Ubuntu's package repositories and using it as a codebase. It then followed its own codebase, building each release from the previous one, but continuing to use the package repositories of the latest Ubuntu release. This made the two systems' bases almost identical, guaranteeing full compatibility between them, rather than requiring Mint to be a fork.[citation needed]

In 2008, Linux Mint adopted the same release cycle as Ubuntu and dropped its minor version number before releasing version 5 'Elyssa'. The same year, in an effort to increase compatibility between the two systems, Linux Mint decided to abandon its codebase and changed the way it built its releases. Starting with Linux Mint 6 'Felicia', each release was based completely on the latest Ubuntu release, built directly from it, and made available approximately one month after the corresponding Ubuntu release (usually in May or November).[citation needed]

Linux Mint Debian Edition[edit]

In 2010, Linux Mint released Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). Unlike the other Ubuntu-based editions (Ubuntu Mint), LMDE was originally a rolling release based directly on Debian and not tied to Ubuntu packages or its release schedule.[14] It was announced on May 27, 2015, that the Linux Mint team would no longer support the original rolling release version of LMDE after January 1, 2016.[15] LMDE 2 'Betsy' was a long-term support release based on Debian Jessie.[16] When LMDE 2 was released, it was announced that all LMDE users would be automatically upgraded to new versions of MintTools software and new desktop environments before they were released into the main edition of Linux Mint.[17]

2016 incident[edit]

On February 20, 2016, the Linux Mint website was breached by unknown hackers who briefly replaced download links for a version of Linux Mint with a modified version containing malware. The hackers also breached the database of the website's user forum.[18][19] Linux Mint immediately took its server offline and implemented enhanced security configurations for their website and forum.[20]

Releases[edit]

Every version of Linux Mint is given a version number and code-named with a feminine first name ending in 'a' and beginning with a letter of the alphabet that increased with every major revision.[14] Version 18 broke from the pattern with the name 'Sarah',[21] though in English it retains the same final vowel sound as all of the other releases.

Initially, there were two Linux Mint releases per year. Following the release of Linux Mint 5 in 2008, every fourth release was labeled a long-term support (LTS) version,[22] indicating that it was supported (with updates) for longer than traditional releases. Versions 5 and 9 had three years of support, and all LTS versions following received five years of support.[23]

On May 31, 2014, with the release of Linux Mint 17,[24] the Linux Mint team adopted a new release strategy. Starting with the release of Mint 17, all future versions were planned to use a LTS version of Ubuntu as a base, until 2016.[25] Under this strategy, Mint 17.1 was released on November 29, 2014,[26] Mint 17.2 was released on June 30, 2015,[27] and Mint 17.3 was released on December 4, 2015.[28] The 17.x releases are intended to be an easy, optional upgrade.[29] All three versions included upgrades to the Cinnamon and MATE Desktop Environments and various Mint tools. In addition, Mint 17.2 and 17.3 included an upgrade to the LibreOffice suite.[30][31] The 18.x series follows the pattern set by the 17.x series, by using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as a base.[21]

Linux Mint does not communicate specific release dates as new versions are published 'when ready', meaning that they can be released early when the distribution is ahead of schedule or late when critical bugs are found.[32] New releases are announced, with much other material, on the Linux Mint blog.[33]

On January 3, 2018, the Linux Mint Team released news of Linux Mint 19 'Tara'. The team stated that the 19.x releases would use GTK 3.22 and be based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, with support provided until 2023. On June 29, 2018, Linux Mint 19 'Tara' Cinnamon was released.[34] Then, on December 24, 2019, Linux Mint 19.3, 'Tricia' was released, with security updates available until 2023.[35]

On June 27, 2020, Linux Mint 20 'Ulyana' was released. It is an LTS version with support until 2025.[36] On January 8, 2021, Linux Mint 20.1 'Ulyssa' was released.[37] On July 8, 2021, Linux Mint 20.2 'Uma' was released.[38] On January 5, 2022, Linux Mint 20.3 "Una" was released.[39]

Up to 2014 there had been two Linux Mint releases per year, about one month after the Ubuntu releases they were based on. Each release was given a new version number and a code name, using a female first name starting with the letter whose alphabetical index corresponds to the version number and ending with the letter "a" (e.g., "Elyssa" for version 5, "Felicia" for version 6). There is also an OEM version for ease of installation for hardware manufacturers.[40]

Releases were timed to be approximately one month after Ubuntu releases (which in turn are about one month after GNOME releases and two months after X Window System releases). Consequently, every Linux Mint release came with an updated version of both GNOME and X and features some of the improvements brought in by the latest Ubuntu release. Support for most releases was discontinued two months after the next release, but since mid-2008 v5, every fourth release has been labelled a long-term support version, indicating that it is supported (with updates) for longer, three years for v5 and v9, and five years thereafter.

Linux Mint 17 "Qiana" LTS was released on May 31, 2014, remaining current until the end of November 2014 and supported until April 2019.[40] In mid-2014 the, successor to 17 Qiana was announced to be 17.1 Rebecca; the development team said that from a technical point of view Linux Mint was no longer tied to the Ubuntu schedule, so it could be released at any time, although the six-month cycle provided rhythm, leading to a late November 2014 target.[41] Linux Mint 17 LTS would be the first release of the 17.x series, and for two years applications would be backported to 17.x, with security updates until 2019.[41]

The latest release is Linux Mint 21.3 "Virginia", released on January 12, 2024. As an LTS release, it will be supported until 2027.

Linux Mint Debian Edition, not compatible with Ubuntu,[42] is based on Debian and updates are brought in continuously between major versions (of LMDE).

Legend: Old version, not maintained Older version, still maintained Current stable version Latest preview version Future release
Version Codename Edition Codebase Compatible repository Desktop environment Release date LTS Support end
Old version, no longer maintained: 1.0 Ada Main Kubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) KDE 27 August 2006 Un­known
Old version, no longer maintained: 2.0 Barbara Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) GNOME 13 November 2006 April 2008
Old version, no longer maintained: 2.1 Bea 20 December 2006
Old version, no longer maintained: 2.2 Bianca 20 February 2007
Light 29 March 2007
KDE CE Kubuntu 6.10 KDE 20 April 2007
Old version, no longer maintained: 3.0 Cassandra Main Bianca 2.2 Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) GNOME 30 May 2007 October 2008
Light 15 June 2007
KDE CE Kubuntu 7.04 KDE 14 August 2007
MiniKDE CE
Xfce CE Cassandra 3.0 Xubuntu 7.04 Xfce 7 August 2007
Old version, no longer maintained: 3.1 Celena Main Bianca 2.2 Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) GNOME 24 September 2007 October 2008
Light 1 October 2007
Old version, no longer maintained: 4.0 Daryna Main Celena 3.1 Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) 15 October 2007 April 2009
Light
KDE CE Cassandra 3.0 Kubuntu 7.10 KDE 3 March 2008
Old version, no longer maintained: 5 Elyssa Main Daryna 4.0 Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) GNOME 8 June 2008 Yes April 2011
Light
x64 Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) 18 October 2008
KDE CE Daryna 4.0 Kubuntu 8.04 KDE 15 September 2008
Xfce CE Xubuntu 8.04 Xfce 8 September 2008
Fluxbox CE Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) Fluxbox 21 October 2008
Old version, no longer maintained: 6 Felicia Main Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) GNOME 15 December 2008 No April 2010
Universal (Light)
x64 6 February 2009
KDE CE Elyssa 5 Kubuntu 8.10 KDE 8 April 2009
Xfce CE Xubuntu 8.10 Xubuntu 8.10 Xfce 24 February 2009
Fluxbox CE Ubuntu 8.10 Fluxbox 7 April 2009
Old version, no longer maintained: 7 Gloria Main Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) GNOME 26 May 2009 No October 2010
Universal (Light)
x64 24 June 2009
KDE CE Kubuntu 9.04 KDE 3 August 2009
Xfce CE Xubuntu 9.04 Xfce 13 September 2009
Old version, no longer maintained: 8 Helena Main Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) GNOME 28 November 2009 No April 2011
Universal (Light)
Gnome x64 14 December 2009
KDE Kubuntu 9.10 KDE 6 February 2010
KDE x64 12 February 2010
Fluxbox Helena Main Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Fluxbox
Xfce Xubuntu 9.10 Xfce 31 March 2010
LXDE Helena Main Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) LXDE
Old version, no longer maintained: 9 Isadora Main Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) GNOME 18 May 2010 Yes April 2013
Gnome x64
LXDE Lubuntu 10.04 LXDE 18 July 2010
KDE Kubuntu 10.04 KDE 27 July 2010
KDE x64
Xfce Xubuntu 10.04 Xfce 24 August 2010
Fluxbox Lubuntu 10.04 Fluxbox 6 September 2010
Old version, no longer maintained: 10 Julia Main Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) GNOME 12 November 2010 No April 2012
Gnome x64
KDE Kubuntu 10.10 KDE 23 February 2011
KDE x64
LXDE Lubuntu 10.10 LXDE 16 March 2011
Old version, no longer maintained: 11 Katya Main Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) GNOME 26 May 2011 No October 2012
Gnome x64
LXDE Lubuntu 11.04 LXDE 16 August 2011
Old version, no longer maintained: 12 Lisa Main Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) GNOME 3 with MGSE[a] 26 November 2011 No April 2013
KDE Kubuntu 11.10 KDE 2 February 2012
LXDE Lubuntu 11.10 LXDE 9 March 2012
Old version, no longer maintained: 13 Maya Cinnamon
MATE
Xfce
KDE
Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) Cinnamon
MATE
23 May 2012 Yes April 2017
Xubuntu 12.04 Xfce 21 July 2012
Kubuntu 12.04 KDE 23 July 2012
Old version, no longer maintained: 14 Nadia Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) Cinnamon
MATE
20 November 2012 No May 2014
Xubuntu 12.10 Xfce 21 December 2012
Kubuntu 12.10 KDE 23 December 2012
Old version, no longer maintained: 15 Olivia Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) Cinnamon
MATE
29 May 2013[43] No January 2014
Xfce 12 July 2013[44]
KDE 21 July 2013[45]
Old version, no longer maintained: 16 Petra Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) Cinnamon
MATE
30 November 2013[46][47] No July 2014
Xfce
KDE
22 December 2013
Old version, no longer maintained: 17 Qiana Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) Cinnamon
MATE
31 May 2014 Yes April 2019
KDE 23 June 2014
Xfce 26 June 2014
Old version, no longer maintained: 17.1 Rebecca Cinnamon
MATE
29 November 2014[41]
KDE 8 January 2015
Xfce 11 January 2015
Old version, no longer maintained: 17.2 Rafaela Cinnamon
MATE
30 June 2015
KDE
Xfce
7 August 2015
Old version, no longer maintained: 17.3 Rosa Cinnamon
MATE
4 December 2015
KDE
Xfce
9 January 2016
Old version, no longer maintained: 18 Sarah Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) Cinnamon
MATE
30 June 2016 Yes April 2021
KDE 9 September 2016
Xfce 2 August 2016
Old version, no longer maintained: 18.1 Serena Cinnamon
MATE
16 December 2016
KDE
Xfce
27 January 2017
Old version, no longer maintained: 18.2 Sonya Cinnamon
MATE
KDE
Xfce
2 July 2017
Old version, no longer maintained: 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon
MATE
27 November 2017
KDE
Xfce
15 December 2017
Old version, no longer maintained: 19 Tara[48] Cinnamon
MATE
Xfce
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Cinnamon
MATE
Xfce
29 June 2018 Yes April 2023
Old version, no longer maintained: 19.1 Tessa[49] 19 December 2018
Old version, no longer maintained: 19.2 Tina 2 August 2019
Old version, no longer maintained: 19.3 Tricia 18 December 2019
Older version, yet still maintained: 20 Ulyana[50] Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa)
Supports only amd64 (64-bit)
27 June 2020 Yes April 2025
Older version, yet still maintained: 20.1 Ulyssa[51] 8 January 2021
Older version, yet still maintained: 20.2 Uma[52] 8 July 2021
Older version, yet still maintained: 20.3 Una[53] 7 January 2022
Older version, yet still maintained: 21 Vanessa[54] Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish)
Supports only amd64 (64-bit)
31 July 2022 Yes April 2027
Older version, yet still maintained: 21.1 Vera[55] 20 December 2022
Older version, yet still maintained: 21.2 Victoria[56] 16 July 2023
Current stable version: 21.3 Virginia[57] 12 January 2024
Future release: 22 Wilma[58] TBA TBA Yes 2029[59]
Version Codename Edition Codebase Compatible repository Desktop environment Release date LTS Support end
  1. ^ MGSE: Mint GNOME 3 Shell Extensions (providing a desktop environment similar to GNOME 2)
Linux Mint Debian Edition release history
Legend: Old version, not maintained Older version, still maintained Current stable version Latest preview version Future release
Version Codename ISO edition[a] Debian base Desktop environment Release date Support end
Old version, no longer maintained: 1 201403 Wheezy (Debian 7.0) Cinnamon
MATE
Supports both amd64 and i386
2 March 2014[60] 1 January 2017[61]
Old version, no longer maintained: 2 Betsy 201603 Jessie (Debian 8.0) 10 April 2016[62] 1 January 2019[63]
201701 13 March 2017[64]
Old version, no longer maintained: 3 Cindy 201808 Stretch (Debian 9.0)[65] Cinnamon
Supports both amd64 and i386
31 August 2018[66] 1 July 2020[67]
Old version, no longer maintained: 4 Debbie Buster (Debian 10.0)[68] 20 March 2020[69] August 2022[70]
Old version, no longer maintained: 5 Elsie[53] Bullseye (Debian 11.0) 20 March 2022[71] 1 July 2024[72]
Current stable version: 6 Faye[73] Bookworm (Debian 12.0) 27 September 2023[74] TBA
  1. ^ ISO Edition: Versions before LMDE 4 included a datecode in the bootable ISO image's filename. LMDE 2 images were issued twice; the second issue included updates to LMDE 2 up to that point.

X-Apps[edit]

In 2016[75][unreliable source?], the Linux Mint team released the X-Apps,[76] a collection of applications that aims to work across different GTK-based desktop environments such as but not limited to Cinnamon, Budgie, Unity, MATE, and XFCE; most of these applications have a traditional user interface (UI), for example, using a menu bar instead of a header-bar.[77][78] According to the team, the integration of many applications as tied to specific environments and that was the case of a growing number of GNOME applications.

As of 2024, the Linux Mint team is in the process of transitioning development for X-Apps applications from being part of the Linux Mint development process to being a completely independent project.[79] Most of them are forks of GNOME Core Applications.

Features[edit]

Linux Mint primarily uses free and open-source software. Before version 18, some proprietary software, such as device drivers, Adobe Flash Player and codecs for MP3 and DVD-Video playback, were bundled with the OS.[80][81][82] Starting with version 18, the installer provides an option to install third-party, proprietary software.[8]

Linux Mint comes bundled with a wide range of application software, including LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, HexChat, Pidgin, Transmission, and VLC media player. Additional programs can be downloaded using the package manager, adding a PPA, or adding a source to the sources file in the /etc/apt/ directory. Linux Mint allows networking ports to be closed using its firewall, with customized port selection available. The default Linux Mint desktop environments, Cinnamon and MATE, support many languages.[83][84] Linux Mint can also run many programs designed for Microsoft Windows (such as Microsoft Office), using the Wine compatibility layer.

Linux Mint is available with a number of desktop environments to choose from, including the default Cinnamon desktop, MATE and Xfce. Other desktop environments can be installed via APT, Synaptic, or via the custom Mint Software Manager.

Linux Mint implements Mandatory Access Control with AppArmor to enhance security by default, and restricts the default network-facing processes.

Linux Mint[85] actively develops software for its operating system. Most of the development is done in Python and the source code is available on GitHub.[86]

Software by Linux Mint[edit]

The current interface for mintUpdate, Linux Mint's Update tool
The Linux Mint Software Manager allows users to view, install, and uninstall programs.

Cinnamon[edit]

The Cinnamon desktop environment is a fork of GNOME Shell with Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE) on top. It was released as an add-on for Linux Mint 12 and has been available as a default desktop environment since Linux Mint 13.[87]

MintTools[edit]

  • Software Manager (mintInstall): Designed to install software from the Ubuntu and Linux Mint software repositories, as well as Launchpad PPAs. Since Linux Mint 18.3, the Software Manager has also been able to install software from Flatpak remotes, and is configured with Flathub by default.[88] It features an interface heavily inspired by GNOME Software, and is built upon GTK3.[89]
  • Update Manager (mintUpdate): Designed to prevent inexperienced users from installing updates that are unnecessary or require a certain level of knowledge to configure properly. Updates can be set to notify users (as is normal), be listed but not notify, or be hidden by default. In addition to including updates specifically for the Linux Mint distribution, the development team tests all package-wide updates. In newer versions of the operating system, this safety level mechanism is largely deactivated in favor of system snapshots created by the Timeshift tool.
  • Main Menu (mintMenu): Created for the MATE desktop environment. It is a menu of options including filtering, installation, and removal of software, system and places links, favourites, session management, editable items, custom places and many configuration options.
  • Backup Tool (mintBackup): Enables the user to back up and restore data. Data can be backed up before a fresh install of a newer release, and then restored.
  • Upload Manager (mintUpload): Defines upload services for FTP, SFTP and SCP servers. Services are then available in the system tray and provide zones where they may be automatically uploaded to their corresponding destinations. As of Linux Mint 18.3, this software is no longer installed by default but is still available in the Linux Mint software repositories.[90]
  • Domain Blocker (mintNanny): A basic domain blocking parental control tool introduced with v6. Enables the user to manually add domains to be blocked system-wide. As of Linux Mint 18.3, this software is no longer installed by default but is still available in the Linux Mint software repositories.[90]
  • Desktop Settings (mintDesktop): A tool for configuration of the desktop.
  • Welcome Screen (mintWelcome): Introduced in Linux Mint 7, an application that starts on the first login of any new account. It provides links to the Linux Mint website, user guide, and community website. It also gives a user some first steps such as choosing a desktop color, installing updates and drivers, and making system snapshots.
  • USB Image Writer/USB Stick Formatter (mintStick): A tool for writing an image onto a USB drive or formatting a USB stick.
  • System Reports (mintReport): Introduced in Linux Mint 18.3, the purpose of System Reports is to allow the user to view and manage automatically generated application crash reports. This application can also suggest users to take actions on their system such as installing drivers or taking system snapshots.

Installation[edit]

Linux Mint can be booted and run from a USB flash drive on any PC capable of booting from a USB drive, with the option of saving settings to the flash drive. A USB creator program is available to install on Ubuntu (but not LMDE) Live Linux Mint on a USB drive. Alternatively, the Linux Mint ISO can be burned to a DVD to boot from.

The Windows installer Mint4Win allows Linux Mint to be installed from within Microsoft Windows, much like the Wubi installer for Ubuntu. The operating system could then be removed, as with other Windows software, using the Windows Control Panel. This method requires no partitioning of the hard drive. It is only useful for Windows users, and is not meant for permanent installations because it incurs a slight performance loss. This installer was included on the Live DVD until Linux Mint 16 but removed in the Linux Mint 16 'Petra' release because the size of the Live DVD images would have exceeded what the software could reliably handle.

Installation supports a Logical Volume Manager (LVM) with automatic partitioning only, and disk encryption since Linux Mint 15.

Editions[edit]

Linux Mint has multiple editions based on Ubuntu, with various desktop environments available. It also has a Debian-based edition.

Ubuntu-based editions[edit]

As of Linux Mint 13, there are two main editions developed by the core development team and using Ubuntu as a base. One includes Linux Mint's own Cinnamon as the desktop environment while the other uses MATE. There is also a version with the Xfce desktop environment by default. Since the release of version 19 (Tara) in June 2018, the three editions are released simultaneously.[91]

Beginning with the release of Linux Mint 19, the KDE edition was officially discontinued; however, the KDE 17.x and 18.x releases were supported until 2019 and 2021, respectively.[88] Older releases, now also obsolete, included editions that featured the GNOME, LXDE, and Fluxbox desktop environments by default.

Cinnamon (Edge) Edition[edit]

In addition to its regular ISO images, Linux Mint sometimes provides an “edge” ISO image for its latest release. This image ships with newer components such as the kernel to be able to support the most modern hardware chipsets and devices. [92]

OEM version[edit]

Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon Edition's live CD boot menu

The distribution provided an OEM version for manufacturers to use;[93][94] however, this version was discontinued with the release of v18 Sarah in order to reduce the number of ISO images that needed to be maintained.[95] Manufacturers wanting to perform an OEM install can choose to do so in the live CD boot menu.

No Codecs version[edit]

The distribution provided a 'No Codecs', also called 'Light' version for magazines, companies, and distributors in the United States, Japan, and countries where the legislation allows patents to apply to software and distribution of restricted technologies may require the acquisition of third-party licences;[14][96][97] however, this version was discontinued with release of v18 Sarah. Users now have the option of whether or not to install multimedia codecs, now downloaded from the internet,[98] during the installation; additionally, multimedia codecs can also be installed via a link on the Mint Welcome Screen any time after installation.

LMDE[edit]

Demonstration of Cinnamon running on LMDE 6

The Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) uses Debian Stable as the software source base rather than Ubuntu.[99] LMDE was originally based directly on Debian's Testing branch, but is designed to provide the same functionality and look and feel as the Ubuntu-based editions.[100] LMDE has its own package repositories.

LMDE claims certain advantages and disadvantages compared to 'Mint Main' (i.e., the Ubuntu-based editions):[101]

  • LMDE is faster and more responsive than Ubuntu-based editions.[102]
  • LMDE requires a deeper knowledge and experience with Linux and Debian package management.
  • Debian is less user-friendly and desktop-ready than Ubuntu, with some rough edges.
  • The Driver Manager application does not work under Debian.

LMDE 1[edit]

The original LMDE (now often referred to as LMDE 1) had a semi-rolling release development model, which periodically introduced 'Update Packs' (tested snapshots of Debian Testing).[100] Installing an Update Pack allowed the user to keep LMDE 1 current, without having to reinstall the system every six months as with Mint Main. As of May 17, 2015, it has an upgrade path to LMDE 2.[103]

LMDE 2[edit]

LMDE 2 'Betsy' running Cinnamon 2.8

LMDE 2 (a.k.a. Betsy) was released on April 10, 2015.[104] LMDE 2 is based on Debian Stable, but receives automatic updates to the latest versions of MintTools and the installed desktop environment before they are released into the Mint Main edition.[16][17] LMDE 2 is available with both the MATE and Cinnamon desktop environments.[100] Both image versions received an update in January 2017.[105] As of the start of 2019, this version is no longer supported.

LMDE 2 remains based on sysvinit but with a 'functional logind' from systemd.[106][107]

LMDE 3[edit]

LMDE 3 (a.k.a. Cindy) is 'very likely' to complete the switch to systemd from sysvinit.[106] It is based on Debian Stretch, and was released on August 31, 2018,[108] shipping as a single edition with Cinnamon.[88] As of July 1, 2020, this version is no longer supported.

LMDE 4[edit]

LMDE 4 (a.k.a. Debbie) is based on Debian Buster (version 10), and was released on March 20, 2020. This version ships as a single edition using Cinnamon.[109]

LMDE 5[edit]

LMDE 5 (a.k.a. Elsie) is based on Debian Bullseye (version 11), and was released on March 20, 2022. It ships with the Cinnamon desktop environment and supports both amd64 and i386 architectures.[110]

LMDE 6[edit]

Linux Mint Debian Edition 6 "Faye" enters public beta with Debian Bookworm base, Cinnamon 5.8, and enhanced features, but only for testing purposes.[111] LMDE 6 was released on 27 September 2023.[112]

Development[edit]

Individual users and companies using the operating system act as donors,[113] sponsors[114] and partners[115] of the distribution. Linux Mint relies on user feedback to make decisions and orient its development. The official blog often features discussions where users are asked to voice their opinion about the latest features or decisions implemented for upcoming releases. Ideas can be submitted, commented upon and rated by users via the Linux Mint Community Website.[116]

The community of Linux Mint users use Launchpad to participate in the translation of the operating system and in reporting bugs.[117]

Most development is done in Python and organized online using GitHub, making it easy for developers to provide patches, implement additional features, and also fork Linux Mint sub-projects (for example the Linux Mint menu was ported to Fedora). With each release, features are added that are developed by the community. In Linux Mint 9, for instance, the ability to edit menu items is a feature that was contributed by a Linux Mint user.[118]

Reception[edit]

In a 2012 online poll at Lifehacker, Linux Mint was voted the second best Linux distribution, after Ubuntu, with almost 16% of the votes.[119] In October 2012 (Issue 162), Linux Format named Linux Mint the best distro for 2012.[120] In May 2013, David Hayward of TechRadar praised Linux Mint for focusing on desktop users.[121] In July 2013 (Issue 128), Linux User & Developer gave Linux Mint 15 "Olivia" a score of 5/5, stating "We haven't found a single problem with the distro... we're more than satisfied with the smooth, user-friendly experience that Linux Mint 15, and Cinnamon 1.8, provides for it to be our main distro for at least another 6 months".[122]

In 2016, reviews of Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" were somewhat mixed, with several that were quite favorable[123][124][125][126] and others critical of several specific new problems, with multiple reviews complaining about the lack of multimedia/codec support by default.[127][128] Multimedia codecs that had previously been included in the standard Mint distribution were no longer included in "Sarah", but could be loaded with a graphical application that one Ars Technica reviewer said should be obvious for new users.[124]

ZDNet Contributing Editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, reviewing Linux Mint 19 and LM 19.1 in the articles "The Linux Mint desktop continues to lead the rest" in July 2018[129] and "The better-than-ever Linux desktop" in December 2018,[130] noted Mint's quality, stability, security and user-friendliness compared to other popular distributions. ZDNet's review of Linux Mint 19.2 said: "After looking at many Linux desktops year in and out, Linux Mint is the best of the breed. It's easy to learn (even if you've never used Linux before), powerful, and with its traditional windows, icons, menus, and pointers (WIMP) interface, it's simple to use."[131]

Minimum hardware requirements[edit]

For Linux Mint Debian Edition 5 & Linux Mint 21.3, either Cinnamon, MATE, or XFCE edition:[132]

  • 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended)
  • 20GB of storage space (100GB recommended)
  • 1024×768 screen resolution
  • Either a DVD drive or a USB flash drive for the installation media (at least 2.5 GB/1.9 GB for LMDE [133])
  • Internet access is helpful

Versions prior to Linux Mint 20 allowed booting from either i386 (32 bit) or amd64 (64 bit) architectures.

Starting with Linux Mint 20 only the amd64 (64 bit) architecture will be supported.[134][135] This is because Canonical decided to drop 32-bit support from Ubuntu 20.04, which is the base from which Linux Mint 20 is derived.[136] LMDE still supports both the x86 i386 (32-bit) and amd64 (64-bit) architectures.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Teams". Linux Mint. Archived from the original on August 7, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  2. ^ "Linux Mint 21.3 "Virginia" released!". January 12, 2024. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Arturo Fernandez Montoro (2012). Linux Mint System Administrator's Beginner's Guide. Packt Publishing. p. 146. ISBN 978-1849519601.

External links[edit]