Linux Mint 17.3 KDE and Xfce released
Linux Mint has long proven to be one of the most popular desktop distributions around. And now the Linux Mint developers have released version 17.3 for KDE and Xfce.
You can download Linux Mint 17.3 KDE and Xfce right now from the Linux Mint site. You can also read the release notes and what's new for Linux Mint 17.3 KDE, as well as the release notes and what's new for Linux Mint 17.3 Xfce.
Details begin to emerge about Linux Mint 18
Speaking of Linux Mint, new details have emerged about what we can expect to see in Linux Mint 18. The Linux Mint developers are promising an updated look and feel, with new icons being a notable change in Linux Mint 18.
Paul Hill reports for Neowin:
Two years ago, the team behind Linux Mint released version 17, and since then have released incremental updates bringing new functionality, all of these release were based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Now, exciting details are beginning to emerge about Linux Mint 18, which will be based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and arrive sometime in May or June.
Lefebvre has confirmed - in two separate blog posts - that Linux Mint 18 will receive an updated look and feel, with a particular focus on delivering new icons. The Mint-X theme which is scheduled to be replaced or updated, has seldom changed since Linux Mint 10, which was released in November 2010.
Other details we have about Linux Mint 18 pertains to the upgrade path. Linux Mint is notorious for its "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude, as a result of this position it was previously only possible to upgrade to a new Linux Mint release by doing a clean install, the main reason given for this is that in-place upgrades lead to significant issues that could be avoided by doing a clean install.
As Linux Mint 18 is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, we will see most software in the repositories updated to later versions. Security updates will also be provided for five years, meaning users can stick with Linux Mint 18 until 2021.
DistroWatch reviews Solus 1.0
Solus 1.0 has caught the attention of many Linux users, but is it worth installing? DistroWatch has a full review of Solus 1.0, and considers it to be off to a decent start but with a few quirks expected in a 1.0 release.
Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:
On a non-technical note, I think one of the things that disappointed me while using Solus 1.0 was that the project's website had me excited for a new experience with a new desktop environment and new package manager, yet I do not feel as though Solus offers unique experiences in either case.
The eopkg package manager, at the moment at least, appears to just be a renamed Pisi package manager. The Budgie desktop, apart from the system tray widget, looks and behaves exactly like GNOME Classic, even down to the configuration steps and sluggish performance. While Budgie and eopkg work, I feel they are (for the moment) better described as familiar technologies under new brands rather than new inventions.
I ran into a number of minor annoyances during my time with Solus, and I suspect a lot of those experiences are a reflection of the project's "1.0" status. We can't expect perfection out of the gate. While several little things bothered me -- like Solus panicking and shutting itself down on my desktop machine, or the package manager's flaky behaviour or the desktop environment's sometimes sluggish performance -- most of the problems I encountered were not show-stoppers.
Most of us who have been in the Linux community for over a year have worked around a failed package install or tweaked a desktop environment and it's not a big deal. In short, I would say Solus 1.0 represents a decent start and I hope the project spends as much time polishing the existing features as it does exploring new ones.
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