The Linux Mint team has released Linux Mint 19 final, codename Tara, in the desktop environment flavors Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce.
Linux Mint users who run Linux Mint 18.3 or a beta version of Linux Mint 19 will be able to upgrade to the new version directly. Those who don't need to upgrade to Mint 18.3 first or install the new version of Linux Mint manually instead.
Linux Mint 19 is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and a long term service released itself. The developers will support the operating system until 2023.
Linux Mint 19 Tara is available in three desktop environment versions. While many features are identical between environments, it is the case that some are unique to individual desktop environments.
One of the big new features of Linux Mint 19 is Timeshift. It is part of all desktop environments. Timeshift creates snapshots of the system so that users may restore a previous version of the system using the functionality.
Thanks to Timeshift you can go back in time and restore your computer to the last functional system snapshot. If anything breaks, you can go back to the previous snapshot and it's as if the problem never happened.
It works similarly to Windows' System Restore feature.
Along with support for Timeshift comes a change in the Update Manager. The Linux Mint 19 update manager suggests to install all updates in the new version of the operating system instead of a selection of updates.
The main idea behind the change is that users and admins may restore a previous system snapshot using Timeshift if the installation of updates causes issues. It is still possible, however, to deselect updates so that they are not installed.
Linux Mint 19 comes with one additional update related changes. Any user may enable automatic updates in the update preferences now. Linux Mint did not offer a switch to turn on automatic updates in the past because it required advanced knowledge of the distribution to restore broken systems.
The inclusion of Timeshift gives users of all experience levels the option to restore a previous snapshot of the system to repair it according to the Linux Mint Team.
The Software Manager was improved in several ways in the new Linux Mint 19. It features a faster search and new search in category option, better performance thanks to the use of a cache.
A quick overview of Cinnamon 3.8 specific improvements and changes:
A look at some of the new Mate 1.2 features:
Linux Mint 19 includes several major changes. The new Timeshift feature creates snapshots of the system to provide users with a reliable option to restore previous system snapshots if they run into issues.
Since Timeshift is now an integral part of Linux Mint, changes were made to the updating process. You can enable automatic updates and Linux Mint's Update Manager will suggest all updates to you automatically whenever you open the tool.
It is a stark difference from "don't install these updates unless you know what you are doing" to "install all and if things break, use Timeshift to go back".
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