The Linux Mint developers announced that the new version of the system would be available before Christmas and that a nice holiday gift for fans of the distro, isn’t it? I’ve been testing it for a few days after the Beta announcement, and I have some interesting reports to make.
It is difficult to say what is missing for Linux Mint to become a great standard, probably “brand intelligence” is a good answer, and we speculate a lot about it. This is one of our programs on YouTube, a recent Diolinux Friday Show:
Just as Ubuntu has become as valuable a brand as Debian for the Linux world, will Linux Mint reach the level of «your brother»?
A few days ago we had the release of the Beta version of Linux Mint 19.1, codenamed “Tessa”, which maintains the Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS base and includes several improvements, you can see the full review in this channel video:
What’s VERY GOOD about Linux Mint 19.1?
I really like Linux Mint, along with Ubuntu, they are certainly my favorite distros. In favor of Mint, I have always seen common sense, in some cases even too much, in adopting new standards, in changing traditional things, etc. But version 19.1 is taking some steps in the direction of change.
Linux Mint’s guideline is not to discriminate against software of any kind, regardless of the license it uses, you can read more about it on the FAQ page of the system, directly from its official website and this is one of the factors that make me like the way the project works, however, in the middle of these work guidelines, there is one that manages me please and dislike at the same time, its conservative way of developing the system.
The good side
Linux Mint’s behavior pattern is only to incorporate technologies into the system that are super stable and popularly tested, that’s why you still don’t see Mint with official support for Wayland, for example. You will hardly see a lot of news and modifications implemented with each version, these changes happen, but they are very gradual.
The bright side of this is quite obvious, the system becomes more stable and reliable in the long run.
The bad side
I suppose the bad side is as simple to understand as the good side. Being more conservative in the inclusion of new features does not leave system users in direct contact with the latest in open source technology can, to some extent, of course. Certain components of the system end up updating normally, such as internet browsers and related.
But things are changing
The 19.1 Beta version is different in this sense, when compared to updates in recent years, it brings visual and functionality changes, which is rare to see in Mint.
The Beta version brought a new way of using the Desktop, something that Linux Mint has been carrying since … well … ever! Since the first version released, the standard behavior of the desktop was similar to that of Windows XP, organized in the “start” menu, application shortcuts and windows that open alongside independently, soon afterwards came the notification area, calendar, etc.
|The similarity is noticeable (Windows XP above, Linux Mint Cinnamon below)|
Despite the huge difference in visual faceting, it is easy to see that the concept is the same. And even in version 19.1 this panel is still available for those who want to use it, however, it has given way to another version that is now the system default.
|New Cinnamon dashboard – Linux Mint 19.1|
Now the icons are grouped and overlaid, as in Windows 10, macOS, GNOME, as it is possible to do in KDE Plasma too, that is, it was more in line with the current standard, which considerably improves space utilization, even though I have adapted to the previous Workflow over time, it will certainly not be difficult to use the new standard.
The good thing about this modification is that the implementation was not a “simple switch”, if you explore the settings of this view, right-clicking on any icon in the bar, going to preferences >> configure, you will see the various types of behavior possible, which is great.
The feature itself is not entirely new in Linux Mint, a few years ago there are extensions for Cinnamon Desktop (standard Linux Mint interface) that delivered this functionality, however, the positive side of the feature being part of the system is that it is now closer to the main developers and will never conflict with the rest of the interface, besides, for dealing with an official part of the system, the translators will also be able to do their beautiful work and have the resources already in Portuguese, all cute.
Missing “that” touch
If I could point the finger at the Mint project, putting defects, I would certainly point to the design and the color palette. I already understood the relationship between Mint, Cinnamon (Cinnamon) and the color green, even more in this color of lemongrass, but we agree that there are better colors to associate something with technology, maybe they just wanted to use the approach of something calm, relaxing and reliable, unlike Ubuntu that wants something more energetic with all that orange.
Understandable, but that doesn’t make the look more attractive.
The logo needs a rejuvenation, the icons need to stop changing the default design of the applications (at least so much) and it wouldn’t hurt to update the Mint website as well.
Review the standard version of Mint and one modified by me:
Tell me, which one would you most like to use?
For those who were curious, I’m using to customize Cinnamon in the second image:
– Papirus icon theme;
– Adapts GTK Theme
– “Transparent Panels” extension
Of course, just complaining is too easy, so this week I sent an email to the Linux Mint project leader, Clement Lefebvre, offering to help with distro marketing and who knows, try to adjust her look too . Often changing the palette to a bluish green can make a big difference. Let’s see if we have any answers, stay tuned here on the blog and I’ll keep you updated on that.
The difference is undoubtedly in the details, the Deepin say it.
Version 19.1 does not have a fixed release date, but it is bringing several interesting improvements and even some surprises for me, of things I didn’t expect to see in the project, like this new icon layout, in my humble opinion it is much better than the order, and look that the order was already good.
If you want to test the Beta version too, I found a very fast Brazilian mirror so you can download it, but remember, even though it is considerably stable, it is still a Beta, so avoid using it in production.
To the next!