Linux Mint KDE is out, LMDE 3 is in

Mike Turcotte-McCusker
Oct 27, 2017
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Linux, Linux Mint

In a blog post written Oct 25, the Linux Mint team has announced that Linux Mint will be ending the KDE flavor after 18.3 is released.

“In continuation with what’s been done in the past, Linux Mint 18.3 will feature a KDE edition, but it will be the last release to do so.”

Linux Mint most famously is used with Cinnamon, their own in-house developed desktop environment, and also many users tend to enjoy MATE as well. However, because these environments are both forks of GNOME code, there is less focus on KDE.

Linux Mint Blog

In the blog post the team says, “KDE is a fantastic environment but it’s also a different world, one which evolves away from us and away from everything we focus on. Their apps, their ecosystem and the QT toolkit which is central there have very little in common with what we’re working on.
We’re not just shipping releases and distributing upstream software. We’re a product distribution and we see ourselves as a complete desktop operating system. We like to integrate solutions, develop what’s missing, adapt what’s not fitting perfectly, and we do a great deal of that not only around our own Cinnamon desktop environment but also thanks to cross-DE frameworks we put in place to support similar environments, such as MATE and Xfce. When we work on tools like Xed, Blueberry, Mintlocale, the Slick Greeter, we’re developing features which benefit these 3 desktops, but unfortunately not KDE.”

The post went on to explain how Linux Mint users will still be able to install KDE into future versions of Linux Mint, and using things like the Kubuntu PPA will still be possible, just that the Linux Mint ream will no longer be releasing KDE ISO’s in the future.

However, LMDE, or the Debian Edition of Linux Mint, was spoken about briefly, “It is important for Linux Mint to continue to support LMDE as a fallback option in case Ubuntu ever disappeared and as a development target for the many projects and technologies we work on to guarantee compatibility outside of Linux Mint. It’s a lot of work to support two separate distributions of course (I can’t think of any other project doing that in fact) and LMDE which started as an experiment has obviously a much smaller audience than Linux Mint itself. For these reasons, LMDE is usually very important but not very urgent.”

A complete release date has not been given yet, but it does say on the blog post that a release will come in the first quarter of 2018, and feature Cinnamon 3.8 as its single flavour.

Now you: What are your thoughts about the decision to stop with LMKDE?

Linux Mint KDE is out, LMDE 3 is in
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Linux Mint KDE is out, LMDE 3 is in
In a blog post written Oct 25, the Linux Mint team has announced that Linux Mint will be ending the KDE flavor after 18.3 is released.
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  1. Zubin Singh Parihar said on October 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Guys and Girls,

    I’ve been a Linux Mint KDE user for years and loved it (Since Linux Mint 7). However, due to to the issues I experienced with the early Linux Mint 18 KDE releases and Plasma 5 bugs, I decided to give Maui Linux a try.

    Maui Linux:

    – Ubuntu 16.04 Base
    – Based on KDE NEON
    – Rolling upgrade of KDE Plasma ONLY (Currently on 5.10.2 @ October 2017)
    – Linux Mint tools integrated

    I’ve not looked back and would highly recommend the switch.


  2. Jozsef said on October 29, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Hey Mike,
    Do you suppose you might check out KDE Neon some time? I think it’s an appealing project but I’m not sure it’s a solid distro as opposed to a useful showcase for the very latest Plasma release. That impression is certainly given by their own website and I’ve seen no reason to dispute it. Yes, its fans say it’s bulletproof, but I fear they may just be blinded by love. ;)

  3. ben said on October 29, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Manjaro is like Linux Mint..

    lol, it is.

    1. fdpg1963 said on November 30, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      It isn’t, Manjaro (Arch) has less software available than Mint (Debian/Ubuntu). It looks nice though…

  4. dark said on October 28, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    You can switch to Manjaro KDE. Manjaro is like Linux Mint but based on Arch. :)

  5. STech said on October 28, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Lately I became a fan of Budgie Desktop. I tryed Solus but because of lack of software I returned to Ubuntu – to Ubuntu Budgie. I like it because is at the same time simple, but doesn’t lack features. So far Budgie is the only DE that I need to change/tweak only few basic things to meet my need.

  6. Szymon said on October 28, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Cinnamon is buggy, gnome with its Applications in the left top corner and hiding application menu bar just annoying me, MATE lacks features and have problems with Windows Key shortcuts, xfce also lack of features. For me, KDE is great. Customizable, stable and perfect with their details. I will try a Cinnamon once again, but if it will be still buggy, I’ll just switch to another distro…

  7. lehnerus2000 said on October 28, 2017 at 1:57 am

    My friend uses KDE on his Arch Linux PC.
    I tried it when I tested openSUSE, but I didn’t like it.

    In 2012, I had problems with the graphics driver for my new video card in Ubuntu 10.
    Since Ubuntu 12 came with Unity & GNOME 3, I switched to Linux Mint.

    I’ve used Linux Mint MATE since then.

  8. helix1234 said on October 28, 2017 at 1:42 am

    I am a Plasma user, so good bye Mint. I will switch to Kubuntu or Neon.
    As far as Ubuntu someday disappearing, this is FUD by people that hate Canonical for their own reasons.
    Most people I know who are Gnome users are switching to Ubuntu because now Gnome is a first class citizen there.

  9. Jason said on October 27, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    KDE has one huge advantage over the competition: fractional scaling of screen resolution. At the moment this is lacking from all the other desktop environments (as far as I’m aware). However, the decision for Mint to drop KDE is a good one for them. There will be a few hundred thousand annoyed users out there, but those users can easily switch to Kubuntu and get a pretty decent KDE+Ubuntu experience. (They will have to do without Mint’s nice software manager, update applet, bluetooth manager, and some other tools though.)

  10. RPWheeler said on October 27, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    I’m rather oldschool type, of those who 20 years ago preferred to have plain navy color background instead of Windows 9x wallpapers. I like Linux Mint for their devotion to Gnome2, Cinnamon is also good, and I never was into KDE. If they want to drop KDE in favor of Mint and Cinnamon, that’s fine with me.

  11. fromfelix said on October 27, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    As I see it, “Nothing lost, Nothing gained” KDE from the mint team was just “another” spin. With KDEneon, and all the (Ubuntu-Arch-Debian flavors) KDE is in good hands as I see it. When Ubuntu ditched Gnome 2, Cinnamon, was my intro to Linux Mint a couple of years ago and I still use it on my Desktop PC. Love it!

  12. Invisibleink said on October 27, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    KDE/Qt is not something they can contribute to either upstream or downstream and it isn’t very interesting for them as a result. Fair enough. There are plenty of excellent KDE Plasma 5 distributions (Kubuntu, KDE Neon, Tumbleweed/Leap, Manjaro/Chakra/KaOS, etc.)

    As far as Ubuntu someday disappearing, it will never do that but it might change beyond recognition in terms of package management. There is talk of Ubuntu eventually abandoning Debian’s APT in favor of all Snap packages. That would be reason enough to depart from Ubuntu for Mint.

    I personally have no use for Ubuntu beyond the ease of using non-free codecs and drivers. If Debian ever acquired a driver manager similar to Ubuntu’s which made installing non-free video drivers as easy as in Ubuntu or Mint, it would be bye-bye for Ubuntu. I say acquired, because none of the freedom-loving developers in the Debian Collective will ever be motivated to develop a driver manager to install drivers outside of what is already included with the kernel itself.

    1. andreflix said on October 27, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      I have no use for Mint too. I don’t think it should even exist. They should focus on Cinnamon DE. They really don’t have the resources for nothing more. They only fork and fork and fork.

      1. ams said on March 1, 2018 at 8:30 am

        check their 104 project repositories ~~ many (more than just a few) are original creations, not forks.

        Some of the original programs that I think are especially noteworthy: mintmenu, mintinstall, mintstick, mintnanny, mintwelcome

  13. noAUser said on October 27, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Shortly Linux Mint team said that their team could not write code in GTK and Qt (KDE Framework) at the same time. That’s why they’ll drop KDE support.

  14. Weilan said on October 27, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I never got into KDE, the desktop items being in a box like a folder has always bothered me, on the other hand, I liked Gnome 2.x the most.

    1. Gnome said on October 27, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Gnome 2.32 was the golden desktop environment when the horrendously slow and buggy KDE 4 was released.
      Its a shame they scraped it for their clunky unproductive gnome 3 sluggish ugly tablet design..
      The box is weird but you can switch back to icon view in right click properties on the desktop.

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