Linux Mint 19.3 has been released - gHacks Tech News

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Linux Mint 19.3 has been released

Linux Mint 19.3 has been released. The update of the popular Linux distribution is available in the flavors Xfce, Mate and Cinnamon as usually. The new version of the Linux distribution is a long term support release that will be supported until 2023.

New and existing users may download the ISO images from the official project download site. The new version introduces several changes and new features, brings refinements, and bug fixes among other things.

Tip: Check out the how to upgrade to Linux Mint 19.3 guide for instructions on upgrading existing installations.

All three desktop environments feature the same core that is made up of a Linux kernel 5.0 and is based on Ubuntu 18.04.

linux mint 19.3

Let us start with something that is no longer included by default in any of the Linux Mint editions: GIMP. The image editor is no longer preinstalled but since we are talking Linux, can be installed just like any other Linux application with a couple of clicks. Our guide on installing third-party software in Linux Mint may help you out in case you are in need of guidance.

The developers of Linux Mint made the decision to focus on the simpler app Drawing which supports basic image editing options only. Windows users may be reminded of Paint, which is included natively in Windows, and third-party image editors such as Paint.net, Photoshop or GIMP that are more powerful but need to be installed manually.

Another change that will be noted by many Linux Mint users is the focus on the media player Celluloid in the new release. Previous versions of Linux Mint provided the app Xplayer instead. Celluloid is a MPV frontend and offers better performance and hardware acceleration according to the team.

The apps that got replaced does not end here. The note taking application Tomboy has been replaced with Gnote. Gnote offers the same functionality -- with the notable exception of the system tray icon -- but is based on modern technology unlike Tomboy (which, among other things did not support HIDPI).

Support for HIDPI is almost completed in the new release; it is supported by all applications except for Hexchat and Qt5Settings.

Linux Mint 19.3 users may set time zones in the language settings along with locale and region.

Linux Mint 19.3 features a new System Reports feature that displays an icon in the system tray area. The app is designed to inform users of the system about potential issues. The team notes that it may hint at missing language packs, multimedia codecs, or newer hardware drivers that are available.

Improvements for all editions:

  • New status tray application XAppStatusIcon that supports HIDPI, support for dark themes and more.
  • Blueberry app improvements with better detection and error reporting.
  • Hardware detection tool added to the BIOS Menu.Also, redesigned boot menu.

Cinnamon-specific:

  • Panel Zones may now have their own text and symbolic icon sizes.
  • Nemo context menu can now be customized to add or remove entries.
  • Improved startup animation and speed optimizations.
  • Option to disable touchpad when a mouse is connected.
  • Various other improvements across the board (see what is new for an overview)

Xfce-specific:

  • Latest Xfce 4.14 included which supports HIDPI.
  • Window manage supports vsync,  HIDPI, and for Xinput2.
  • Panel and desktop support RandR's monitor feature (improved window grouping, new default clock format, orientation option, advanced the wallpaper and more).
  • New settings dialog to manage color profiles.
  • Display settings support the saving and loading of multi-display configurations.
  • Session manager supports hybrid-sleep and comes with other improvements.
  • Thumbnails supports Fujifilm RAF format.
  • Application finder may be opened in a single window.
  • Notification service gets logging and do not disturb option.
  • Various other improvements across the board. See what is new in Xfce here.

Now You:Have you tried the new Linux Mint 19.3 already? What is your impression?

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Linux Mint 19.3 has been released
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Linux Mint 19.3 has been released
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Linux Mint 19.3 has been released. The update of the popular Linux distribution is available in the flavors Xfce, Mate and Cinnamon as usually.
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Comments

  1. Bobo said on December 18, 2019 at 8:42 pm
    Reply

    They’re not doing themselves any favours with that default wallpaper.. Looks like an advert for a car built in Albania. Linux Mint never cared for first impressions or looks, gotta admire their consistency. Under the hood of that fugly potato is luckily stuff to be excited over, I’m sure this release will please the Mint crowd.

    1. Anonymous said on December 19, 2019 at 10:29 am
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      That is just the default wallpaper,there are other backgrounds which the user can use.

    2. Gerard said on December 19, 2019 at 2:22 pm
      Reply

      Wallpaper is eyecandy and can be changed easily.
      Unfortunately, there will always be people who look for a reason to complain about something, even if that something is irrelevant, instead of being grateful for the beautiful gift they got free of charge and obligations. I suggest you take a long and critical look at yourself. And of course, you don’t have to use Linux Mint.

      1. Bobo said on December 19, 2019 at 8:10 pm
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        One can CHANGE the wallpaper????? Really? I am not grateful for the beautiful gift free of charge, it’s not beautiful and don’t you worry: I will most certainly not use Linux Mint. Not even if it’s free, because out of the box it looks like s**t and I can’t be bothered to change everything. Thank you for your patronizing though, it was funny.
        Let’s wait for Linux Mint 20, maybe by then they have spent some of their donations on hiring a UI design-person. Fingers crossed!

    3. Bryan Mills said on December 19, 2019 at 7:57 pm
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      @Bobo:

      I don’t know who you are; I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for a prettier default wallpaper in this release of Mint, I can tell you I don’t have the power to make that happen. But what I do have is a very particular set of wallpapers of my own … wallpapers I have acquired over a very long career … a timed slideshow of wallpapers that make me a *nightmare* for people like you. If you stop nitpicking at Mint’s default wallpaper, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you; I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you … I will find you … and I will install *Manjaro’s* default wallpaper on your computer. ;-)

      1. Bobo said on December 20, 2019 at 10:37 am
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        Look, Linux Mint is a good distro with many amazing and useful features. I just wish they would present it in a way that would bring in new users. Yes, make it prettier and more appealing. Now what they keep doing feels like if say Porsche releases a new car but they showcase it on a landfill, its painted turd-brown with vomit-green accents and there’s a hairy, sexy 68-year old alcoholic trailerpark lady laying on the hood, selling the crap out of that thing. Too many distros just don’t give a damn about aesthetics and it annoys me to no end. Oh and which distros get all the attention and hype from linux newbies or people just curious about this linux-thingy? That’s right: Deepin and Elementary OS. Aaaand why is that..? It’s not just because they have pretty wallpapers out of the box, their sense of UI styling goes way beyond a wallpaper. It’s a combination of wallpaper, icons, theme and whatnot. Linux Mint comes with that horror wallpaper, green icons right from 1995 and top it off with a dark moldy blob for a start menu. Who are they trying to please with all that fugliness? Old Dexter McGoo who goes crazeeeeee if anything is changed in his beloved Mint? Oh yeah, I’m aware how their fanbase exploded and wars were started just over the new round icon.. Almost everyone who knows anything about linux, recommends Mint for new users. But when it looks like that, it’s very hard to recommend it.. Many new users choose Elementary OS as their first linux, because it’s pretty.. And pretty soon they start hating linux because nothing in Elementary OS works like they had hoped. So yeah, dunno why the “good” distros don’t care.. To me, UI matters, design matters, first impressions matter and of course functionality, stability and features matter as well, why can’t I have it all?? I like pretty things. I am weird that way.

    4. Anonymous said on January 1, 2020 at 12:19 am
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      Bobo the Clown?

  2. Fifi said on December 19, 2019 at 8:21 am
    Reply

    @Bobo
    eF Off !

    1. michal said on December 19, 2019 at 9:46 am
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      @Fifi
      Well, I would use such strong wording. It’s a subjective opinion on the default looks of Linux Mint, and that is personal taste. Please note all the “under the hood” listed in this news post, much welcomed Bobo as well.

  3. Simon said on December 19, 2019 at 1:18 pm
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    Good.

    Now we only need to have hopelessly bloated Libreoffice replaced by something light like Abiword, and updating Mint might actually take less than a fortnight, in addition to making the download about a third smaller.

    Remember the old days, when linux user took efficiency seriously?

    1. Gerard said on December 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm
      Reply

      “hopelessly bloated”? Strange comparison, AW and LO. AbiWord is a only a word processor afaik, and not a very good one imho, certainly not an office suite.
      “We”? Pluralis majestatis? Well, well. You, a simple user, can uninstall LibreOffice and install another office suite or even AbiWord.
      “updating Mint might actually take less than a fortnight”? No, that’s MS Windows 8-10. Upgrading Linux Mint from 19.2 to 19.3 takes a few minutes!
      “making the download about a third smaller”. One third of the Mint 19.3 download is LibreOffice? Really? However, if you had uninstalled LibreOffice before the upgrade to Linux Mint 19.3 no new version of LO would have been downloaded and installed.

      1. Peterc said on December 19, 2019 at 11:40 pm
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        @Gerard:

        I *like* LibreOffice, but even I have to concede that it’s a honking big program, a honking big download, and a honking big install.

        On the plus side, you can choose to install only those individual LO apps you actually want (or, more to the point here, *uninstall* the ones you don’t want), and with Linux repo versions at least, the individual LO apps you’re left with are the only ones that updates get downloaded for. (A quick websearch didn’t turn up any Flatpaks, AppImages, or Snaps of individual LO apps, just of the entire suite. In Windows and Mac, I don’t think there’s any way around downloading the entire updated suite installer in order to update a subset of installed LO apps.)

        In short, if Simon has a slow computer, or slow or metered or capped Internet service, or limited drive space (or is just *really* impatient!), he could uninstall all LibreOffice components except (apparently) libreoffice-writer (since he mentioned only AbiWord) and his future updates would go a lot faster. Or, he could just uninstall the entire LibreOffice suite and replace it with lighter individual apps or a lighter suite, as you suggested.

        But Simon *does* have a point that might not be immediately apparent to users with fast computers, fast, unmetered, uncapped Internet, and ample drive space. I guess the issue is whether Mint should stop bundling LibreOffice out of deference to users who don’t fit that profile. Mint 19.3 has already made a step in that direction by replacing GIMP with a much lighter bundled alternative. Conceivably, Mint could make LibreOffice and other unusually large programs optional downloads/installs that can be selected during the OS installation routine, similar to how it handles proprietary multimedia codecs.

        Anyway, as a LibreOffice user I’m *personally* glad that Mint is “promoting” LibreOffice by bundling it — the more people who use it and provide feedback on it, the better it gets — but I can understand arguments on the other side.

        PS: Yes — anyone who complains about how long it takes to upgrade/update Linux Mint has forgotten how long upgrading and updating can take in Windows, or never done it in the first place. I think my personal Windows-updating record was *7 hours straight* (multitasking wherever possible) to install two missing Patch Tuesdays and a whole slew of non-Microsoft updates on my dad’s old Windows 7 laptop. I haven’t gone that long between updating sessions since, even if it means making a special trip, because while I may be more patient than Simon ;-), there *are* limits to what I can tolerate. Updating Linux Mint (including the full LibreOffice package) is *heavenly* by comparison.

      2. Gerard said on December 20, 2019 at 1:16 pm
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        @Peterc.
        Users can uninstall applications they don’t want after the first or a fresh Linux Mint install. That’s what I always do. There are numerous default apps I don’t want (but I don’t complain). These applications will not be reinstalled with a Linux Mint upgrade.

        The nice thing about Linux distros is the freedom of choice. Don’t like a distro? Experiment with its settings and options or install another distro. Don’t like the desktop environment? Experiment with its numerous settings and options or install another DE. Don’t like the default apps? Uninstall them and install what you do like. It’s all very simple and easy.
        MS Windows users may find the freedom of choice confusing at first. One needs a little time, patience and perseverance to get used to a completely different system.

        I think it’s fantastic that developers are offering great software, such as the various Buntus, Linux Mint, MX Linux, etc. and numerous applications free of charge and without obligations on the user’s part. There is no need to moan about imperfections. Users can try to live with them, try to change what they don’t like (settings, options!) or simply try alternatives. Besides, most distros have active forums where users can report bugs and things they don’t like or suggest improvements.

        Still an unhappy user? Try or go back to MS Windows! ;-)

        BTW, I have LibreOffice on an old and rather slow computer, but I only use the writer. No problems, but I wouldn’t mind a simpler stand-alone word processor with fewer options and settings. I don’t like AbiWord though.

      3. Klaas Vaak said on December 24, 2019 at 5:42 pm
        Reply

        @Peterc: it is not possible anymore to uninstall individual components from LibreOffice.

    2. Dean said on December 27, 2019 at 6:06 am
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      Could we please have OpenOffice installed instead? I much prefer this to all the other free office platforms, and am beginning to prefer it to the microsoft platform.

  4. Alinbin Foro said on December 19, 2019 at 3:04 pm
    Reply

    I got M19.3 Cinnamon and XFCE ISOs from the Softpedia site, which generally downloads a lot quicker than Mint’s servers, running them Live with persistence for a while to decide about updating M18.3 on two W7-Mint dual boots. Both doing fine, the changes seem incremental, Cinnamon maybe a bit livelier than before but XFCE has become very presentable at half the resources. Mint has put some effort into themes, especially for Cinnamon, but has never bothered to improve the crude stock 1990s style cursor packs – nice mouse cursors are in the repository. (I replace Thunar in XFCE with PCManFM to get a dual pane file manager like Cinnamon’s Nemo.)

    1. Peterc said on December 19, 2019 at 8:17 pm
      Reply

      @Alinbin Foro:

      Do you use Samba to network your Windows and Linux computers?

      In Mint 19.x, Samba has (or at least had) *serious* performance and reliability problems that were apparently inherited from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. I think this is the first non-trivial problem I’ve ever run into in Mint.

      I don’t know whether Mint 19.x’s Samba problems have been fixed or mitigated in 19.3, and last I read, Mint was still recommending that users who need Samba on a regular basis run 18.3 instead.

      Long story short, if you need Samba, thoroughly test how well it works in your live runs of 19.3 before replacing your 18.3 bare-metal installs.

      1. Peterc said on December 20, 2019 at 8:48 am
        Reply

        @Alinbin Foro:

        The release notes for Mint 19.3 still say that Samba is a problem and that frequent users should stick with 18.3. I’m upgrading from 19.2 to 19.3 (at this very moment!) to see what 19.3 is like, but I will *very* likely end up downgrading to 18.3 just to get a working implementation of Samba. I’m a relative newcomer to Linux and only recently tried to network my Linux and Windows machines. Being saddled with a networking protocol that’s fubar is the *last* thing I need.

      2. Albin Foro said on December 20, 2019 at 1:48 pm
        Reply

        Everybody has their own personal use case. I’ve been dual booting W7 since Ubuntu 10.04 and through various Mint versions of Ubuntu LTS. After years of happy Windows Networking LAN set up I wasted some time trying Samba back then, and gave up, never again. As far as I know Samba’s still a beast given the variety of Linux and Windows configurations it has to chase after. If I ditch Windows to go all-Mint at some point I might try it again.

        I sync small but important active data files across W7, Mint and Android through cloud services, using independent encryption when confidential – Dropbox has a good Ubuntu desktop client but the free service (all I need) recently restricted use to three “devices” and dual boots on two PCs is four devices. Mega storage has improved server speed recently and came out with an excellent Ubuntu/Mint desktop client very obviously copied from Dropbox’s and equally supports cloud sync on Windows and Android apps.

        For large file transfers I just use external storage via USB. Dual booting, I keep all large storage directories on the Windows partitions (backed up on external drives) which can be mounted and are perfectly readable and writeable within Mint (by contrast, Windows can’t recognize the Linux disk format) – since I routinely use Mint instead of Windows it doesn’t make sense to bother with Windows-only LAN networking, though it would be doable.

      3. Peterc said on December 23, 2019 at 3:03 am
        Reply

        @Albin Foro:

        I appreciate hearing back from you.

        I’m very likely to continue using Windows 7 past end of life, and *my* use case is to be able to automatically sync or at least selectively transfer select files between my Windows and Linux computers via LAN. I’m fed up with having to use USB drives as an intermediate step. It will be a bitter defeat for me if that turns out to be the easiest and fastest way to share files between the two OSes.

        I managed to get a stable Samba connection to my Windows 7 computer from Mint 19.3 — an improvement over 19.2, and hopefully not a fluke — but the fastest file-transfer speed I got was around 1.2MB/s — around a 100th of top real-world gigabit Ethernet speeds, around a 50th of top real-world Wireless N speeds, and around a 30th of top real-world USB 2.0 (yes 2.0, not 3.0) speeds — so it’s not looking good.

        Maybe I’ll get better results with Mint 18.3 or a different, non-Ubuntu-based distro. I vaguely remember reading one reviewer saying that he got Samba transfer speeds in Manjaro that were twice as fast as in Mint, but (1) I can’t swear to it, (2) that’s not necessarily saying much, and (3) Manjaro is simply not as beginner-friendly as Mint. (Sorry, Manjaro fans. Tried it; borked it.) I figure CentOS *must* be capable of providing enterprise-class Samba performance, right? Or is that only because businesses that use CentOS have professional network engineers fine-tuning and maintaining Samba?

        Anyway, I’m beginning to understand why you threw in the towel on Samba. I’m *very* motivated to switch to Linux and eventually dump Windows entirely, but networking difficulties and the absence of a bona fide substitute for “Everything” (a file search utility for Windows) are beginning to make me waver. (Catfish, Drill, and Recoll are slower than Everything by *orders of magnitude*. It’s like comparing a hobbyhorse to a Maserati. I’m not blaming the programmers. Maybe Ext4 is simply lacking some NTFS feature that makes Everything’s indexing and retrieval so damn fast in Windows. But the end result is the same.)

    2. Anonymous said on December 23, 2019 at 11:31 am
      Reply

      Alinbin Foro said on December 19, 2019 at 3:04 pm:
      ”I got M19.3 Cinnamon and XFCE ISOs from the Softpedia site, which generally downloads a lot quicker than Mint’s servers”

      Be careful where from you download. I have downloaded from links that are officially recommended, it is a little safer. I think that they are also quite fast, at least some servers of universities.

      Report: all major download sites serve potentially unwanted programs

      ”Emsisoft for instance analyzed the top 10 downloads of popular download sites including Download.com, Snapfiles, Sourceforge, Soft32, Softpedia and Software Informer and came to the conclusion that on all but one of them applications were bundled with some sort of PUP.”

      https://www.ghacks.net/2015/03/13/report-all-major-download-sites-serve-potentially-unwanted-programs/

      Yes, Every Freeware Download Site is Serving Crapware (Here’s the Proof)

      Softpedia

      ”So we clicked on a link for Unlocker from their homepage, and immediately we were told that the Delta Toolbar is popular and it makes browsing and searching faster and easier!”

      https://www.howtogeek.com/207692/yes-every-freeware-download-site-is-serving-crapware-heres-the-proof/

  5. Anonymous said on December 20, 2019 at 10:03 am
    Reply

    Some reason Flatpak requires repeatedly admin password for normal user account after login (Linux Mint 19.2 and 19.3 same). Wine didn’t start, maybe I have to delete user’s Wine config directory (first moving to other name).

    Graphical upgrade was easy.

  6. Anyplanet said on December 20, 2019 at 8:18 pm
    Reply

    I have LM v. 19.2 (LTS) and would like to stick with it because of all the configurations changes I’ve made in it.

    Is it required to update to v. 19.3 in order to continue getting periodic security and software updates, or if I stick with v. 19.2 will the updates continue as before?

    1. Anonymous said on December 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm
      Reply

      Linux Mint 19–19.3 (all versions) are LTS (long term support), so you have time to think what to do. For example ”Linux Mint 19.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2023.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Mint_version_history
      https://blog.linuxmint.com/

  7. Bill Gates said on December 22, 2019 at 4:27 am
    Reply

    After Linux Mint got hacked, I no longer trust them.

    https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2994

    Besides, Windows 10 is clearly so much better in every way.

    1. Anonymous said on December 22, 2019 at 1:04 pm
      Reply

      Thank you for your opinion. It is good that Windows 10 is clearly better for you every way and you trust it still.

  8. Anonymous said on December 28, 2019 at 10:38 am
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    With the continuous dumbing down of Linux Mint, exemplified by the simplified conversion to XApps, removal of GIMP and VLC, I wonder when a new forked project appears.

    We live in a world that already pushes 5G, 256Gb USB drives and 16 core processor CPUs, so why not build a Linux Mint with all creative tools like “Ubuntu Studio”, and also add some CAD tools, development tools and developer tools.

    This would make a great out of the box live system for emergencies in any business sector, and it would work as a FLOSS showcase.

    Mind that the main issue with mainstream MS Windows users is not not being able to use the programs, is not to know wish programs are worth using, so they go with the names they know (i.e. PhotoShop instead of GIMP, Adobe Premiere instead of OpenShot, LightRoom instead of DarkTable, MatLab instead of Octave, etc.).

    1. released.tv said on January 3, 2020 at 11:25 am
      Reply

      Why not build a Linux Mint with all creative tools like “Ubuntu Studio”, and also add some CAD tools, development tools and developer tools?

      Because they have limited resources and don’t get paid, thus they focus on what they do best and leave the simple to us.

      But I get it, some needy dolts like to be spoon fed everything in their special comfort zones.

      1. Anonymous said on January 17, 2020 at 9:04 pm
        Reply

        > But I get it, some needy dolts like to be spoon fed everything in their special comfort zones.

        Not about that. For extra tools installs (e.g. GIMP) you need internet connection. The distro is not complete without an internet connection and those downloads.
        Moreover, try to make those easy installs in 100 computers like in a school or university, even in a fast internet area and see how much time you lose. Or one download in a boat. Or in Central Africa.

        Before calling someone a dolt, contemplate at least some basic possibilities or you are the one that ends up looking dumb.

        > Because they have limited resources and don’t get paid, thus they focus on what they do best and leave the simple to us.

        Including in the install extra packages is trivial. That is why when you look for different distros there a dime a dozen.

      2. Anonymous said on January 17, 2020 at 9:07 pm
        Reply

        > Because they have limited resources and don’t get paid, thus they focus on what they do best and leave the simple to us.

        Well… looks like you have never visited the Linux Mint page. They seem to be very transparent about their finances. Check Sponsorships and Donations in any monthly blog topic. E.g. https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3853

  9. Neil said on January 18, 2020 at 4:04 pm
    Reply

    @release.tv

    > > Why not build a Linux Mint with all creative tools like “Ubuntu Studio”, and also add some CAD tools, development tools and developer tools?

    > Because they have limited resources and don’t get paid, thus they focus on what they do best and leave the simple to us.

    You mean that maintaining three different desktop environments, plus the Debian based edition – a very laborious task for each project – is reasonable, but keeping a few packages – a one line of code task that does not consume time, specially with snaps – is not?

    Buddy, do you have a horse on the race?

    I really hope that a “Mint Studio” would appear. Preferably by the Linux Mint Team, just by adding the download option to the most popular flavor of Mint, which is probably Cinnamon 64-bit.

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