The Linux Mint team has just released the long term support release Linux Mint 18.1 as a KDE and Xfce edition to the public.
The new version of Linux Mint brings software updates and refinements mostly. First, some information on Linux Mint 18.1 being a long term support release.
The Mint team will support Linux Mint 18.1 with security updates until 2021. Future versions of Linux Mint will use the same base package as Linux Mint 18.1 until 2018. This ensures that it is easy to update to new versions.
Starting in 2018, the Linux Mint team will work on a new base package and focus its efforts on it.
The previous versions of Linux Mint will be supported until 2017 (Linux Mint 13), or 2019 (Linux Mint 17.x).
Linux Mint 18.1
If you are upgrading from Linux Mint 18, you can use the built-in Update Manager for that as it offers the most convenient experience:
- Select Menu, and there Administration > Update Manager.
- Click on Refresh once the Update Manager interface has loaded.
- Click on "install updates" afterwards to start the process.
Check out our detailed how to upgrade Linux Mint guide for additional information on the process.
Some features of the new Mint version are available in the KDE and the Xfce release. Many are edition specific however.
Linux Mint 18.1 What's New
The Update Manager may display the Origin of an update in the latest version. You need to enable it under View > Visible Columns > Origin in the Update Manager menu before it becomes available.
Kernel updates are highlighted better in the Update Manager, and when you open the kernel window, kernels are now sorted by version and recommendations are given for the most stable, and the most secure kernel.
The Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce edition ships with updates to built-in applications, and even some changes. Xed for instance saw improvements to the on-page search functionality. Search opens at the bottom now instead of the top so that it does not obstruct part of the text anymore.
It is real-time now as well as it finds text while you are typing, and you may tap on the Enter-key at any point in time to jump to the first result quickly.
The editor supports dark themes fully in the latest version, and highlights to you if it is run with administrative privileges.
Xplayer, the media player, may blank secondary displays now when playing a video in full screen. Other improvements include full compatibility with EXIF orientation tags, and that the rotation plugin and the subtitle plugin are enabled by default.
The media player Banshee was replaced with Rhythmbox in Linux Mint 18.1. The reason given was that Banshee "suffered many regressions lately".
Other improvements in Linux Mint 18.1
- Software Sources supports anycast now which picks an appropriate server near your physical location automatically when selected opposed to selecting one of the available mirrors near your location manually.
- New selection of background desktop images.
- KDE Only: KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment.
- Xfce Only: You can navigate categories in the application menu using the keyboard now. The menu supports web search actions, for instance !w Ghacks to search Wikipedia for the term Ghacks.
- Xfce Only: Language settings checks are improved, as localized versions of "a lot more" packages are now installed. The Input Methods configuration screen has been improved to make the selection easier and better understandable for novice users.
Download links for the latest ISO image of Linux Mint 18.1 are provided on the official site. This is useful if you want to test the new version in a Live CD or virtual environment first, or install it from scratch.