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Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distributions of all time. I have been seeing people using Mint everywhere on their desktops, and when I used to ask them about “Why Mint?” they simply say “It just works”. And indeed, it does.

The distribution’s developers have been on a mission since 2006 to create a user-friendly Linux distribution which would suite almost any user for it. More importantly, everything a new user for the Linux world needs is installed/ready for installation in Mint, which is not the case in other distributions with other purposes.

Linux Mint 19 “Tara” was released few days ago with huge updates for its Cinnamon, MATE and XFCE spins. You can upgrade to the new release or download the ISOs now. In this post we would like to share our experience so far with Mint 19.

Linux Mint 19 Review

The default Linux Mint 19 desktop looks elegant:

Lengthy Review of Linux Mint 19: A Distro for Everyone 35
Linux Mint 19 Desktop

If you are coming from a new installation, a new welcome wizard will appear telling you what to do know with your system:

Lengthy Review of Linux Mint 19: A Distro for Everyone 37
Welcome Window in Mint 19

The good thing about it is that it allows the user to know what software he should launch after installation. If he checks these programs he will definitely be ready to go:

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Actions to take in Mint Welcome

And as you can see, there are links for the official documentation and support forums.

One of the new software in Mint 19 is a program called “Timeshift”. Which is a program that allows user to create continuous snapshots/backups of his current system (the entire disk). It supports both Btrfs (on Btrfs filesystems) and rsync (if you are using non-Btrfs filesystem like ext4):

Lengthy Review of Linux Mint 19: A Distro for Everyone 41
Mint Timeshift

The program is full of options and features. You can use it to automatically backup your system on specific time:

Lengthy Review of Linux Mint 19: A Distro for Everyone 43
Mint Timeshift Settings

The nice thing about is that it tries to not use much disk space for backups. On a Btrfs filesystem this is easy due to its structure, but via rsync, the first full system backup that you create will be used as a base for later backups, meaning that only changes will be counted from afterwards. So if you change a file after creating a backup, only that new file will be saved, not the entire system files.

When you click on a snapshot, you’ll be able to browse its files:

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Opening Backup Files in Timeshift

Mint Software Center got revamped. Now it also supports installing Flatpks (from Flathub), which will enable users to install modern up-to-date applications in a single click. However, due to runtime dependencies, it’s worthy to note that each initial application downloading size is few hundreds of megabytes even if it was a small app. It is also somehow weird that they went with Flatpak over Snaps despite the last one being developed by their parent distribution (Ubuntu):

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Mint Software Manager

Here’s the category page:

Lengthy Review of Linux Mint 19: A Distro for Everyone 49
Flatpaks at Software Manager

Browsing multiple apps and installing a bunch of them is fast and doesn’t cause a hang, unlike Ubuntu Software Center (or GNOME Software) which would take ages.

I really like Mint Software Manager, it mainly shows you graphical/desktop apps by default in its categories and in the main interface, but you can use it to install packages too. It’s so nice to deal with a beautiful graphical interface and a quick & functional one at the same time. I tried installing 10 applications in a row and all of them finished just one minute prior to choosing the last one. And with the new support for Flatpaks from Flathub, users will be able to put their hands on the latest releases of major open source programs.

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Installing an app from Software Manager

Synaptic, the best graphical package manager in the entire Linux desktop history, is also installed by default in Linux Mint 19 (and also previous releases):

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Synaptic Package Manager

The update manager continued to improve in Mint. This time it was updated by adding an option in the preferences window to enable auto-upgrades. Kernel packages management were improved. too. ere’s a GIF for its options:

Lengthy Review of Linux Mint 19: A Distro for Everyone 55
Mint Update Manager

Managing software sources in Linux Mint is still an easy process:

Lengthy Review of Linux Mint 19: A Distro for Everyone 57
Software sources in Mint 19

There’s also a small tool for viewing system reports:

Lengthy Review of Linux Mint 19: A Distro for Everyone 59
Mint System Reports

As usual, a nice set of new backgrounds is available in Mint 19:

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Linux Mint 19 backgrounds

Many colorful icon themes also exist:

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Linux Mint 19 Icons

One of the noisy things in Linux Mint is that the default search engine in Firefox is set to Yahoo. But Yahoo sucks and most likely people would want to use Google, but in Linux Mint, the option to use Google as the default search engine is removed:

Lengthy Review of Linux Mint 19: A Distro for Everyone 65
Search engines in Firefox on Linux Mint

This is due to an agreement between Yahoo and Linux Mint developers which enables them to receive money for each search query issued by their users. Mint developers use that money for paying the costs of the project.

Of course, such agreement is questionable but the real issue here is removing Google from the browser’s option. The original Firefox does include Google and users would have been able to choose it from settings, but in Mint, it’s removed, most likely to increase developers’ revenues with users who wouldn’t bother searching for a solution, which is a really horrible thing to do. Earning money over that much of users convenience is not good.

On our Lenovo Thinkpad x260 which comes with 4GB RAM and an SSD disk, Linux Mint 19 boots in an astonishing small time as just 5 seconds, which makes it the fastest distribution tested on that laptop so far:

mhsabbagh@mysimplepc:~$ systemd-analyze
Startup finished in 4.622s (kernel) + 1.037s (userspace) = 5.659s
graphical.target reached after 1.030s in userspace

Memory usage is not that high. Cinnamon feels way less heavy on the PC than GNOME Shell, and MATE feels even more lighter:

# Cinnamon
mhsabbagh@mysimplepc:~$ free -m
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:           3378         552        2245          66         580        2543
Swap:          4095           0        4095
# MATE
mhsabbagh@mysimplepc:~$ free -m
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:           3378         460        1588          54        1328        2614
Swap:          4095           0        4095

Linux Mint 19 is available in Cinnamon 3.8, MATE 1.20 and Xfce 4.12. All of which have their own new features and improvements in the latest release (except for Xfce which is 3 years old). Mint 19 also comes with Linux kernel 4.15, Firefox 60, LibreOffice 6.0.3, GIMP 2.8 beside many other small utilities and programs depending on the desktop environment you choose.

We didn’t suffer any hangs or bugs with the new distribution so far. It seems that it will be safe to upgrade to it as soon as the Linux Mint team pushes instructions on how to do it from older releases.

Overall, Linux Mint 19 is amazing. In just few minutes of using Mint’s set of system programs and tweaking the system to your needs you’ll be able to happily start doing your daily work. It really has everything in it.

Conclusion

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Linux Mint 19

Linux Mint continues to excel in all tasks. If you are someone who wants his PC to just work or if you are introducing someone to the Linux world, then Linux Mint 19 is definitely the choice to go.

Linux Mint through most of its history has been a stable, elegant and smooth Linux distribution for any type of users. Many Linux users would like to try something else after Mint in order to improve their skills, but as an ordinary user who wants to watch videos, browse the web, play games, study slides and any other similar activity, Linux Mint is way more than enough.

Linux Mint 19
Available software
Creativity & Inventing
Daily Use Purposes
Stability & Bugs
Customizability
Summary
Linux Mint is the typical Linux distribution which is capable of doing all the tasks a user may need. It comes shipped with many software and utilities by default which makes it easy to start working with it, and provides tens of programs of its own. Mint should be the default distribution for any new user trying Linux for the first time.
94 %
Best for Daily Tasks
User Rating 3.02 ( 120 votes)
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Alfred E NeumanDumb FuckersLeosnappyjos Recent comment authors
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rhY
Guest
rhY

Nice one! I am WAY too heavy of a user to hazard an upgrade without significant time backing up my current configs. But MATE 18.3 has been an amazing and reliable performer for me!!! Wish there was Devuan based Mint.

Sietse Z
Guest
Sietse Z

Soon Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 will be released,which is pure Debian based like Devuan, no Ubuntu stuff involved. Cinnamon will be the only Desktop Environment

John C.
Guest
John C.

> I am WAY too heavy of a user

Too “heavy” of a user to upgrade, but apparently not “heavy” enough to have automated hardware provisioning or disaster recovery. You’re just delaying the inevitable and making it all the more painful when it finally happens.

Leo
Guest
Leo

Why? Devuan is perfect as it is…

Denko
Guest
Denko

I first upgraded to lm19 from 18.3 – did mostly work, but too many annoying ‘flaws’. Then I did a fresh install and all was fine (besides some unrelated problems). Upgrades came out and the system was seriously dysfunctioning (new kernel buggy. I re-installed and was fine until cinnamon upgrades appeared- I thought it safe to upgrade these, but now again I have a dysfunctioning computer. LM has been great for years for me, but this new release they can not seem to keep stable and beginners-friendly – time to move away/on I think.

Syd Martin
Guest
Syd Martin

I have just installed LM 18.1 as that is the only disc that I have. Then I upgraded using [https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3462] to 18.3 No problems I then upgraded again to LM 19 ( my main objective) using a Joe Collins YouTube [https://youtu.be/AxiPv2WJwhw] This video is 30 minutes long but the upgrade is much longer and you may not like listening to the video. Well I followed the video and watched the Tour de France as the terminal took it’s time. I now have Linux Mint 19 with “””””No problems””””” and I am not a command line user. It is easy so… Read more »

Torin
Guest
Torin

Auto-updates is a great new feature.

Grace Lee
Guest
Grace Lee

I can’t even suspend.

I can’t even type properly on this site since all the silly icons cover up the left of the screen. This new Ubuntu release is horrible.

I can’t even use my laptop.

I can’t even select an option which lets me suspend and go to sleep. And suddenly it scrolls like crazy and I can’t even type here. You guys have Soros on your team or something? It looks like yoiu have some bad actors that are trying to ruin linux.

Mario Mendez
Guest
Mario Mendez

IS THERE ANY ISSUES INSTALLING A FRESH COPY OF THIS ON TO A RAID 0?

John
Guest
John

Choosing Google as a search engine is very well available on Firefox for Mint. Just click “Find more search engines” and you will be presented with more search engines including Google. Also, you make it as your default search engine.

Yahoo is made default only to supprot the development. But you can choose whatever you want.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Yeah? No. Linux Mint 19 isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Installation was a nightmare, it uses quite a lot of storage, it’s repository isn’t bigger or better than Ubuntu, it’s not as pretty as Elementary or Pop. Most critics love to cite Linux Mint as the most popular linux distro of all time, yet, nobody except critics uses Mint. If you check Google Trends, you’ll see that Ubuntu is much much more popular than Mint. Normal people – such as myself – prefer Ubuntu. Why? because Ubuntu is convenient. Linux Mint is not as convenient. Critics and… Read more »

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

As a noob to Linux, I find Mint 19 a good alternative to Windows. So far, it’s very intuitive and easy to use. Could you recommend a good site for me to learn how to get deeper into Linux so I can become a “believer” and finally give Windows the boot?

Jonathan Jones
Guest
Jonathan Jones

Lint Mint 19 is far from perfect. The icons are insipid, hard to read and not very distinctive. I found my laptop was over heating and turning itself off. Not a problem I had with Mint 18.3. But my biggest complaint is since 18.3 the BackUp feature has been crippled. I mainly use 18.2 because I want to copy several gigabytes of movies from an Archive to External drives. This BackUp feature is as good as Karen’s Replicator in Windows. All my data is already backed up and reinstalling Mint is a doddle. If the Mint installation died because of… Read more »

jwillar
Guest
jwillar

Does LM 19 use wayland or X?

Art
Guest
Art

After installing mint 19 on a usb stick i loaded it on to a old computer, i checked the installation from the usb before loading it on it was ok . After the installation i found that a lot of the programs would not open and it was very slow after looking on line where other people had problems and had tried sudo and the like. what i did was to reinstall it again this done the trick all programs installed ok and the BOOT TIME WAS LESS THAN ONE AND A HALF MINUETS.

John
Guest
John

I installed it on a older Haswell desktop, and personally it seemed to boot slow, launch Firefox slow, and was not what I experienced in the past with Mint. Used to be one of the main advantages to linux was its snappy and low resource behavior. Everything felt way faster then Windows especially on older hardware. Now honestly I think Windows 10 is by far faster on older hardware in every aspect from boot up to application launches. What gives?

Bill
Guest
Bill

Working great for me on two Lenovo laptops. Easy install. No problems.

Bill
Guest
Bill

Linux is a work in progress and I guess Windoze is too. It’s never done! But with Linux you get to fight with getting simple things done. Like sound. Try getting a printer to work with linux! This will take hours of aggravation to get setup. I’ve come back to linux after many years, and it is still so far behind the times it isn’t even funny. As I have played with Linux throughout the years, it just never catches up to modern computing. Look at it this way, you can take your car to a certified mechanic, or a… Read more »

Alfred E Neuman
Guest
Alfred E Neuman

It took me all of 3 minutes to connect Linux Mint 19.2 on a Thinkpad to connect to a Brother printer using LPD and do a test print. When you try to connect archaic Windows centric hardware that only accepts MS protocols to print of course you are going to have problems. The correct procedure is to plan your enterprise architecture so any interfaces you will use have been proven to work with UNIX protocols like LPD etc. The people having problems are using archaic Windows centric hardware that has no unix support on the various interfaces. It is called… Read more »

Dominic Anfuso
Guest
Dominic Anfuso

I was distro hopping for a while trying to find the best mix of speed and stability, I was enjoying the speed of Lubuntu 17.04 but was still having some issues. After trying Mint 19 XFCE I pretty much love it, really fast and haven’t had any glitches. I want to try 19.1 but don’t feel it’ll warrant the hassle of backing everything up again. Highly recommend I’ve been using it over a month now which for me is a long time to stay with “the same old thing” 🙂

Zoltan Tarnoczi
Guest
Zoltan Tarnoczi

Dear Dominic Anfuso! I understand your opinion and I can agree with that ,that sometimes Linux is feel amateurish, still an unfinished project. However, when it comes to stability, reliability,linux is long long ahead of windows. Many server ,banks even NASA used Linux / Lunix based systems because of its low demand on hardware, reliability,(hardly ever freezes)resistant against viruses, for home use is absolutely free, and so on. Gaming is a downside, but if you prefer to play games what came out around 2000-2008, you will be surprised how smooth these brilliant games run on Linux Mint for example; Splinter… Read more »

Michael C
Guest
Michael C

I’m fed up with LM. I’m not a noob, nearly 60y old, been in computers and tech since ’81, began as assembly lang programmer, up to a SVP of a Fortune 10 (ten) tech company. The simplest damn things that take a click or two, or a checkbox in Mac and Win, on LM and ‘nix in general takes hours (sometimes days) of web research to find how to do, only to find 20 different ‘solutions’, out of which the final solution that works for me usually is a mash up combining steps from these multiple ‘solutions’. Numerous trial and… Read more »

Anon
Guest
Anon

I’m not thrilled to be using LM. But it was the first Linux which I tried that could get my 2013 MacBook Air 11″ up and fully functional. All told, maybe 30 mins’ work.

I’ll probably try a more tinker-friendly Linux distribution in a few years, once I stop being so rusty with the command line/writing code. But hey, whatever works for now.

I heartily recommend LM for the new user who doesn’t want to hunt down arcane drivers on their own.

jos
Guest
jos

Mint v19 64b crashed as I tried to make my mouse working smooth again. Beside that Thunderbird did not recognize the Mint v18 folder and did not want to change the picture on the the login-screen. And so on……..
After all I reinstalled Mint v18 and all runs like I am used and expect it to run!!!

snappy
Guest
snappy

Same thing here. I went back to 18.3 and everything is as right as rain again.

Dumb Fuckers
Guest
Dumb Fuckers

It is a x 11 distro. They hate Wayland.