Linux Mint 19 MATE: Detailed Review and breakdown – another awesome release!

Hi everyone. As you can tell, I decided to review Linux Mint 19, seeing as it’s my distro of choice. Also, there was a lot of build-up to this release, and with good reason :).

The Video Review

Primarily, this review is a video, but I have also made a write-up for anyone who prefers that format / wants to do this faster.

The Write-up

Linux Mint 19: First Impressions

Well, I already upgraded my laptop and desktop to Mint 19, so as you might guess, I think it’s awesome. However, taking a fresh look with a clean install, I am at first very surprised by how quickly it starts. It’s not like Mint 18 was slow, but I guess the new Ubuntu 18.04 base plays a big part in this.

I also noticed that the Mint-Y theme is now the default, instead of Mint-X. I always used to prefer Mint-X, but this is pretty good I think – seems to be generally very polished, and it seems to fit nicely with a lot of applications. Installation was also easy.

The new Mint apps.

These seem pretty good:). I noticed Xed, the text editor I use to program, has now got an option for Python 3, which will be helpful. Moving on to changes people are actually interested in (:P), the welcome screen is now more clearly laid out, which helps new users set their machines up and find help. You have links to documentation, and the driver manager, and timeshift setup – all good things to get set up.

The update manager is also pretty cool – it installs all updates by default now, which is really a good idea – better for security. It also nags you to use timeshift to do system backups. I’m not normally fond of naggy stuff, but to be honest, if it makes people do the backups, it can’t be a bad thing. It does also look pretty good and simple, which is nice. Currently I use backintime, but I could see myself using this if I hadn’t already picked a backup solution.

As for the PDF viewer and the other app, I didn’t have anything to test them against, so I didn’t review them.


MATE is as usual, pretty solid and stable, but unfortunately with relatively few new features, as far as I know. Note that HiDPI support was added, but I don’t have a HiDPI monitor so I couldn’t show you. This is fine though, and by the sounds of it a lot of bugs are being squashed, so this is probably a super solid desktop environment :).

Linux Mint 19: A Summary

Another solid steadily-improving release from the Linux Mint Foundation. It comes with a fair few new features, and a lot of bug fixes, especially for newer hardware, which is always nice to see. That’s it from me for this post, but I have a lot of good ones coming up as I hinted in the video, so stay tuned!


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About Hamish McIntyre-Bhatty

I'm a self-employed software developer working on Free Software projects, as well as studying for my degree with the Open University. Being pedantic when it comes to detail is fortunately useful for both of these things! A strong believer in free software, I have a few pay-for programs available under the GPLv3 and enjoy reporting bugs and helping to improve various open source projects, including volunteering at Wimborne Model Town to work on their river control system.

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