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:

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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:

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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):

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Mint Timeshift

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

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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:

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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:

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Mint Update Manager

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

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Software sources in Mint 19

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

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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:

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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 3.11 ( 112 votes)

26 Comments

  1. rhY

    July 4, 2018 at 6:32 am

    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.

    Reply

    • Sietse Z

      July 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      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

      Reply

    • John C.

      July 5, 2018 at 12:56 am

      > 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.

      Reply

    • Leo

      April 23, 2019 at 6:23 pm

      Why? Devuan is perfect as it is…

      Reply

  2. Denko

    July 17, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    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.

    Reply

    • Syd Martin

      July 19, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      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 go ahead and get version 19.

      Reply

  3. Torin

    August 2, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Auto-updates is a great new feature.

    Reply

  4. Grace Lee

    August 20, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    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.

    Reply

  5. Mario Mendez

    October 12, 2018 at 1:59 am

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

    Reply

  6. John

    October 18, 2018 at 8:12 am

    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.

    Reply

  7. Bob

    October 21, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    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 reviewers unfortunately, live in a bubble where they are not in touch with the average user.

    Reply

  8. Eddie

    October 23, 2018 at 2:30 am

    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?

    Reply

    • M.Hanny Sabbagh

      October 24, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      Hi there. You can ask the questions you have in askubuntu.com. If you are looking for general knowledge then it’s all over the web. You can start with books related to Linux, just Google for “Linux books” and you will see a wide range of recommendations.

      Reply

  9. Jonathan Jones

    November 2, 2018 at 7:18 am

    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 an internal fault I wouldn’t want to restore it but do a fresh install anyway.

    If the BackUp facility is not restored to its full capacity I will not be upgrading beyond !8.2.

    Reply

  10. jwillar

    November 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Does LM 19 use wayland or X?

    Reply

  11. Art

    December 1, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    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.

    Reply

  12. John

    December 3, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    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?

    Reply

  13. Bill

    December 8, 2018 at 9:40 pm

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

    Reply

  14. Bill

    January 1, 2019 at 2:36 am

    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 shade tree mechanic. Not to say these guys working on Linux aren’t smart. But it’s a hobby for them. Just my opinion but Linux will NEVER beat out Windoze, when it comes down to what works. I hate Windoze, but there simply is not a better solution. And yes I do know how to spell Windows.

    Reply

  15. Dominic Anfuso

    January 18, 2019 at 5:16 am

    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” 🙂

    Reply

  16. Zoltan Tarnoczi

    January 30, 2019 at 12:52 am

    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 cell, hit man, thief, nFS Most wanted, NFS Underground, Tom Clancy Ghost recon, and advanced warfare II. These are out of the box using old ish machine, and wine. With Play on Linux or virtual box, I am sure you could run even newer games with no problem not to mention that you can play even older games using dos box or only wine such as worms, prehistoric, doom,wolfenstein, prince of persia etc.and there are the own linux games for example oolite.
    I am very much a linux supporter since exactly linux is not for profit, it is something that grow out from a university (shed) and competes with huge brands and massive budgets. compare to that, Linux is much much better. imagine if they would get payed for it! 😉
    All the best!
    Go Linux go!

    Reply

  17. Michael C

    February 18, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    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 errors. Every time there is an LM upgrade, from 16 through 19, things break, steps and ‘solutions’ that worked on one major release, don’t work on the next. Just installed LM19 this weekend, on a 6 year old Dell Tower, Core2Duo, 8GB ram, GeForce 650, perfectly functional computer with plenty of life left in it. Windows 10 took 20 minutes to install, complete with configuration of printers, networking, local file sharing, VNC/Remote Access, video drivers, etc. This PC also at one time was a perfectly working hackintosh running El Capitan, in fact it was my Plex Media server for almost a year running 24/7

    After spending entire weekend trying to install LM19 on a fresh blank drive, at least 4 reinstallations, hours of fiddling, I have showing for my weekend of work a system that boots and almost no configuring done. First thing I needed was VNC remote access setup, so I could put the PC back in the closet, headless, and finish configuring remotely from my primary system, a Mac system running Mojave. So, I pulled out my notes from LM18 on how to setup VNC and …..oh wait, where’s vino-server?…oh, it’s not included in LM19..wtf? More web searching….ok, installed vino-server, now to configure, oh wait, have to install dconf-editor, to avoid using terminal commands….Installed dconf-editor, go to configure….oh wait, have to open up Firewall ports manually in Linux (on Mac and Win, this is all handled by an installer) Okay now configure….oh wait, VNC password can’t just be typed in, has to be converted to Base64..okay did that, type in…oh wait, is that within single quotes are not, web research…okay no quotes. Now the other option….oh wait some of the options are missing that used to be on LM18…okay I think those settings are on the Desktop Sharing app…..oh wait, that app isn’t in the menu…wtf? Web search…Oh it’s hidden since vino is not installed by default, and installing vino manually does not automatically add icon for the Desktop Sharing app. Found it…open it up….nothing appears on the screen…icon is loaded…click on it to open …error window ‘Unable to display preferences’. More web searching, what’s the frick’in command again to auto enable from sysctl…oh crap, maybe I’ll just put Desktop Sharing app in Autostart…okay finally able to connect from Mac. Let’s disconnect and re-connect a few times, make sure it’s stable…oh wait, LM didn’t disconnect the first connection, so now it says I have 4 remote users logged in after quiting and launching connection from Mac 3 more times. Start over, change the order of a few steps finally VNC working.

    Okay, now lets install NVidia drivers so I’m not using slower nouveau drivers, open up Driver Manager see what it recommends, okay I’ll install the one it recommends, disable nouveau, reboot…”Your display is using software rendering….you may need to check your drivers”. Try the second driver listed in Driver Manager, reboot….”Cinnamon desktop has crashed, do you want to restart?”…Really? Go to Nvidia site, download a THIRD driver, try to install, but can’t until I uninstall existing nvidia driver. Okay switch back to nouveau temporarily so can trash the nvidia drivers..”Error trying to remove package xxxx” Okay, web search, how to purge old drivers….okay open terminal, run purge….system is now in total unstable state…says I have nvidia drivers, but loading nouveau, even though it is blacklisted. REINSTALL LM19 AGAIN FROM SCRATCH, setup VNC, this time go straight for the 3rd nvidia driver..disable nouveau….finally I have hardware acceleration. Look at the clock…it’s Sunday evening, I started this ‘install’ Saturday morning. Desktop Sharing app still won’t load or show any preferences. Next up is enable file sharing….will the ‘solution’ I finally came up with for LM18 still work? Do I even want to deal with aggravation?

    I respect the Linux supporters, but just stop it with the kool-aid speech about how far LInux has come, blah blah, and how even ‘regular’ people can use Linux now and be just as productive as Windows and Mac users….in the words of old Bears Coach Mike Ditka ‘Stop it!’. I have 40 years of tech experience behind me…I frick’in use to program in assembly; I was building PCs as a hobby for friends from parts bought at computer shows and swap meets, at a time when most of my co-workers weren’t even born yet or just learning to talk. an entire weekend to install LM19 and I get as far as video drivers and remote access configured? Time previously invested finding solutions for LM18 out the window, cause they don’t work in LM19, and were different from what worked in LM17? And in two years when LM20 is released, how much will be different again?

    You really expect the regular people, the Uncle Henry’s and Aunt Em’s of the world, your Mom, to install and use Linux without geek assistance? I’ve decided I’ll spend the rest of the week in the evenings seeing if I can get LM19 fully configured to be productive, if not, reformat the SSD, install Mojave as a hackintosh system, dual boot with Win10 and be done with it. Installing a hackintosh isn’t easy either, but at least going in, you know it isn’t supposed to be, and once macOS is running, configuring is a breeze.

    No need to flame on me or shout me down Linux lovers; this is not personal. You are entitled to your opinions, so am I. All this effort spent on all these distros; new icons (oh wow), UI tweaks, making it look pretty…if just a tenth of that time were spent on actually fixing and enhancing usability, maybe Linux would attract mainstream users, otherwise it will always be a niche OS with some attraction in certain enterprise verticals.

    Peace.

    Reply

  18. Anon

    March 17, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    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.

    Reply

  19. jos

    April 3, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    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!!!

    Reply

  20. snappy

    April 4, 2019 at 9:34 pm

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

    Reply

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