The new Linux Mint 19 has been released a few days ago and is available in two main versions. The main series is based on Ubuntu but the project also has a second version based on Debian, the Linux Mint Debian Edition.
Mint 19 is available in x86 and 64-bit x86 builds and comes with three different desktops: Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce.
Each of these versions is designed to run under the same core, and all that changes is the desktop environment.
Mint 19 is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, which means it will be backed up for about five years with security updates.
The new version brings some changes and many improvements. For example, the welcome window that is running when you first login. The application will guide you through the first steps you should take after installing the new operating system, and will install all software updates by default. Timeshift is another innovation of Linux Mint 19. It's a default snapshot manager and we'll talk about it later. The new MATE supports HiPI.
Another interesting feature worth mentioning for the new Mint is the support of / home encryption. It may not seem a big deal to you, but Ubuntu now encrypts the entire disk. Of course, all distributions based on Ubuntu have stopped supporting home encryption. All except the Mint which is an exception allows encryption during installation.
Mint uses the Ubiquity Ubuntu installer. The installation starts with the language selection and then confirms the keyboard layout. The next screen gives you the option to install third-party software, such as non-free firmware, Flash encoders and multimedia.
It then enables you to split your hard drive automatically or manually by providing format support to ext2 / 3 / 4, XFS, JFS and Btrfs. If you are thinking of using Timeshift you have to format your disk into Btrfs. The last two screens will ask you to choose our time zone from a global map, username and password of your account.
Distribution like any other Ubuntu-based distribution does not allow you to create a root account.
The new Timeshift feature can be found from the apps menu or directly started from the welcome window. The application starts with a wizard that lets you choose how to create backups. Use the rsync utility or create snapshots of the installed system on a Btrfs disk. You can configure how often you will have new snapshots of your system.
The Timeshift application in short will allow you to create, clean and restore entire snapshots to your system. If you do not understand it, let us give you an example.
You have a snapshot of a system that you have installed a great deal extra because it requires your job. The system is destroyed by a beginner (we do not name it) but you have the snapshot. You can restore your system the way it was, without having to install all the applications you want from the beginning.
Mint 19 comes with all popular applications preinstalled. By clicking on the menu you will see Firefox, Thunderbird, HexChat IRC Transmission, LibreOffice, Rhythmbox VLC and more.
Linux Mint 19 runs on systemd init software the Linux kernel version 4.15.
The Timeshift distribution we mentioned earlier also has a backup utility called mintBackup. The application can create compressed copies of home files, and store a list of installed applications on the system.
Linux Mint 19 will need about 6,6GB disk space and the MATE desktop needs about 360MB of RAM.
Distributing Linux Mint 19 from the beginning of the installation will identify any hardware you use and install the appropriate drivers. This is also the magic of Mint, making things much easier for new Linux users, or old ones who are tired of making adjustments.