The Linux Mint team has released version 18.3 of the popular Linux distribution as MATE and Cinnamon versions to the public.
Linux Mint 18.3 is a long term support released; this means that the development team will support it with updates until 2021.
The new version of the Linux distribution comes with improvements to existing features such as the software manager, but also new features that are introduced in the new release.
The software manager was revamped in the release giving it a look that is more modern and more polished at the same time when it comes to the experience of users.
The new software manager runs in user mode which means that users can run it without supplying an administrator password. Elevation is still required for installing or removing applications, but the password is remembered over the course of the session so that you don't have to enter it repeatedly.
The interface has a new layout, and it starts up with a featured applications section that lists some of the most popular programs that are compatible with Linux Mint.
Linux Mint 18.3 supports Flatpak and comes with it installed by default. It allows you to install applications even if their dependencies are not compatible with Linux Mint.
Just click on the Flatpak category of the Software Manager to display them all.
Once installed Flatpaks run in their own environment and in isolation. They do not impact the rest of the operating system.
The developers have updated the built-in backup tool as well. The backup tool's sole purpose is to make it easy to back up the home directory. All files are saved as TAR archives, and the restoration of files restores them to their original location on the device.
Custom configurations are remembered across sessions to make it easier for users. It is now also simpler to select the software that you want backed up, as you get a listing of installed packages from the Software Manager now when you open the "software selection" backup option.
Linux Mint 18.3 features a system snapshots program called Timeshift. You may use Timeshift to create a backup of the operating system so that you may restore it at a later point in time.
Mike covered Timeshift recently as well, and you may want to check out his article for more details on the feature.
The new version of Linux Mint ships with a System Reports tool designed to provide users of the system with crash information, and general purpose information reports.
Downloads are already provided on the official Linux Mint website.´You can upgrade from another 18.x build to Linux Mint 18.3 in the Update Manager. The new version should show up as an option under Edit. If it does not, make sure that mintupdate and mint-update-info are up to date.
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