The Linux Mint foundation has now released both the Cinnamon and MATE flavours of Linux Mint 17.3, with a load of new features and software updates. The kernel has been updated to v3.19, the X Server is now at version 1.17, and Mesa is now at version 10.5.9. All of this improves hardware support, especially on Apple hardware, so for example Macbooks hibernate much more quickly now.
There are a lot of improvements, especially on the updating side of things, for example the “Software Sources” tool now checks if you’re using the fastest mirror, and that the mirror is up to date. The priorities for the main package archives have been changed to so it’s easier to install third-party software via PPAs (Personal Package Archives) too. All of this is pretty helpful. 🙂
The driver manager has also been updated and now loads faster, and updates package info when opened to make sure the drivers listed are up to date. Drivers that are open-source are now listed clearly, and error reporting has been improved. All of this applies in both flavours.
Linux Mint Cinnamon
Various improvements to performance and appearance, with improved indicators. The sound indicator looks nicer and integrate the album artwork. Settings such as output device and input controls are labeled more clearly and are now accessible in a menu when you right-click on the indicator. The power indicator also displays battery status more clearly. For example when there is more than one battery present (like if you have a wireless mouse), it will use product names rather than generic device types in the menu.
The workspace switcher shows a visual representation of the windows in your workspaces too, and cinnamon indicators are now available for third-party apps that aren’t part of cinnamon, allowing programs to gel more with cinnamon’s look and feel. Window thumbnails are visible when you hover over the window-list too, but if you don’t like them you can turn them off again.
For more details on the Cinnamon flavour, you can read the Linux Mint Foundations new features page here.
Linux Mint MATE
The choice of two window managers is still there (in the MATE version), the options being Openbox (fast, lightweight) or Compiz (heavier but with the nice flashy effects). However, you can also use Compton now, which is a compositing manager you can use with either window manager. It is worth noting that Compiz was integrated in Mint 17.2 as well, but it’s better in 17.3, because there’s a one-click solution to fix your settings if Compiz isn’t working right, and wobbly windows are now enabled by default to make it look a bit nicer out of the box.
Mainly there are little fixes in MATE, like the screensaver is disabled when playing videos in Totem an VLC, but overall they all add up to make the whole experience better. Notably, touchpad and multi-monitor support have both been improved a lot, but other than that there aren’t a lot of new features.
For more details on the MATE flavour, you can read the Linux Mint Foundations new features page here.
As always, there is some nice new artwork for both releases, and Linux Mint becomes more stable and polished yet again, it should be another brilliant release by the Linux Mint Foundation. What did you think of this post? Maybe you want more details, pictures, or to see more of this kind of thing? Please let me know in the comments 🙂