With the release of Ubuntu 11.04, at the end of April, the countdown for Linux Mint new release had begun. As Lefebvre, the founder and developer of Linux Mint, announced the release candidate Katya for version 11 of Linux Mint, the moment of discovery is here.
The suspense of Unity or GNOME is coming on Linux Mint latest Ver 11 was quickly dispelled as it quickly became clear that despite the Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ base, it was GNOME that finally resides on it. However, the developers have decided to go with GNOME 2.32 the earlier robust desktop environment rather than the latest GNOME 3.
Why GNOME 2 continues
Lefebvre confirmed that GNOME 3 was deferred due to its just-minted flavor, lack of major distributions/releases; poor feedback to use it to support the Linux Mint 11 tools and applications developed for full fledged compatibility with GTK. GNOME 3 will need to be more ‘proven’ and one will have to wait for it with probably the next release. In fact, GNOME 3 as yet is more known for regressions, compatibility stiffness, missing parts of functionalities and topped off by regressions. GNOME 3 needs to find its place first and therefore the preferred logic and stability of GNOME 2.32.
This is in a way puts the whole build up to finally testing Unity on hold.
Some of the core frames of Linux Mint 11 will be a swifter update manager with better interfaces for multiple users; desktop settings tool updated as well as a software manager that is more sophisticated than its earlier version.
Typically, OpenOffice.Org is given up for the liberation of LibreOffice as default Office suite. Making music on Linux Mint by default will be Banshee and you can continue to explore photo applications with gThumb as F-Spot has been deferred. What is not being installed by default is Gwibber.
As Linux Mint repositions itself as a more flexible-easy to use distro and is therefore offering comprehensive ‘different’ experiences by including features such as playback on DVD, plug-ins and a host of multimedia codecs and Java.
Also available on the new list are bigger icons for the categories, new templates, new ‘fonts’. A big one is the Software Manager that will run through a simulation to help you decide before installation.
Stable release expected by end of May but comes with Statutory warning- Release subject to developer approval. Release will be delayed if it is not fine tuned to their satisfaction.
Though, presently viewed as tighter and ’polished’ version of Linux Mint 10, Linux Mint capability will be truly known when the stable release.