The latest version of the Linux Mint operating system is here… and it’s sticking around for a while.
Linux Mint 19 “Tara” is a long term support release that’s based on Ubuntu 18.04, which means it’ll receive official support until 2023.
But extended support is only one of the things that sets Linux Mint 19 apart from its predecessors. The operating system has a updated Software Manager and Update Manager, improved support for computers with display featuring high pixel density, and a feature called Timeshift that makes it easy to restore your computer to an earlier state if you encounter a problem.
Linux Mint 19 is available for download with a choice of Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce desktop environments. There’s no official KDE option this time around.
The biggest change isn’t entirely new. Timeshift was first introduced in Linux Mint 18.3 and made available for older versions of the operating system. But it’s now more tightly integrated into the operating system.
Timeshift basically makes snapshots of your operating system so that if an OS or package update causes something to stop working, you could either choose to troubleshoot the specific issue or just restore from an earlier snapshot. It’s sort of like using system restore points on Windows.
Since Timeshift minimizes the risk that an update will damage your system, Linux Mint’s Update Manager also now makes it easier to enable automatic updates. Previously this was a feature for advanced users. But since there’s now an easier way to restore from backups, there’s less risk associated with automatic updates.
Update Manager will show a warning if it detects Timeshift isn’t configured though.
The Linux Mint Software Manager also has an updated layout and user interface, faster sync, and support for searching within specific categories.
Linux Mint 19 also includes updated apps and features that will vary by desktop environment. For example, the Cinnamon version ships with Cinnamon 3.8 which is said to load apps an render windows more quickly, reduce lag when moving files over USB devices, and incldue better support for dark themes thanks to new icons.
LInux Mint 19 Cinnamon also offers an option to crank the sound up to 11… or rather, 150 (you can set a maximum volume level between 0 and 150 percent in the Sound settings).