The Linux Mint development team has announced the release of version 11 of Linux Mint – the project's latest major release of its Ubuntu-based Linux distribution. Code-named "Katya", Linux Mint 11 is based on Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" and includes the 2.6.38 Linux kernel – Linux 2.6.39 was released one week ago.
I highly recommend Ubuntu Unleashed 2011 Edition: Covering 10.10 and 11.04 (6th Edition) for learning more about Linux Mint and Ubuntu.
Unlike the latest version of Ubuntu upon which it is based, the distribution features the GNOME 2.32 desktop environment, as well as the traditional Linux Mint desktop layout – Ubuntu uses Unity, developed in-house by the Ubuntu developers, as its default desktop. In an email, Linux Mint Founder and lead developer Clement Lefebvre previously told The H that the developers initially wanted to use GNOME 3, however, "With GNOME 2 we could rely on one of the most stable desktops available, full compatibility with GTK (on which most applications including our own tools are developed) and our current themes."
Other changes include a faster update manager with several user interface improvements, updates to the desktop settings tool, and a "much more polished" software manager. Software selection updates include replacing OpenOffice.org with the LibreOffice office suite, Banshee becoming the default music player and gThumb replacing F-Spot as the default photo application – Gwibber is no longer being installed by default.
Highlights of Linux Mint 11 :
- Based on Ubuntu 11.04
- Linux kernel 2.6.38
- No Unity shell
- GNOME 2.32.1
- One-click installer for multimedia codecs and extra apps
- Lots of improvements to The Software Manager tool
- Performance improvements to The Update Manager tool
- Various improvements to The Desktop Settings tool
- A new set of wallpapers
- mint-search-addon for Firefox 4, Chrome and Opera web browsers
- Removed Gwibber
- gThumb as default photo viewer
- Banshee as default music player
- LibreOffice 3.3 office suite
- Overlay scrollbars
- Updated Mint-X theme
- Added 'apt download' command
- Adobe Flash Player 10.2 plugin
- Lots of bug fixes
More details about the release, including a list of known problems, can be found in a post on the Linux Mint Blog, in the release notes and on the New features in Linux Mint 11 page. Linux Mint 11 is available to download as a CD or DVD ISO image file for 32- and 64-bit systems from the project's site. A user guide and upgrade instructions are provided. The OEM Edition provides the same features as the standard version, but without including proprietary software, patented technologies or support for restricted formats.
Linux Mint aims to be user friendly and to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including support for DVD playback, Java, plug-ins and various media codecs. It is currently the second most popular distribution on DistroWatch.com behind Ubuntu.
To learn more about Linux Mint and Ubuntu, the book Ubuntu Unleashed 2011 Edition: Covering 10.10 and 11.04 (6th Edition) is highly recommended.
(Article copied mostly verbatim from H Online announcement.)