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09 May 2011, 16:57

Linux Mint 11 "Katya" release candidate arrives

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Linux Mint Logo Linux Mint Founder and lead developer Clement Lefebvre has announced the arrival of a release candidate for version 11 of Linux Mint, the project's next major release of its Ubuntu-based Linux distribution.

The Linux Mint 11 release candidate, code named "Katya", is based on the latest Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" release from late April and features the GNOME 2.32 desktop environment, as well as the traditional Linux Mint desktop layout. Discussing the choice to use the GNOME 2 over the latest GNOME 3 release, in an email Lefebvre 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," adding that, "GNOME 3 was released only recently, with no major distributions releases supporting it and very little feedback and experiences to gather. There were known compatibility issues, regressions and missing functionalities."

Zoom The default Linux Mint 11 RC desktop.
Linux Mint 11 will feature a faster update manager with multiple user interface improvements, updates to the desktop settings tool and a "much more polished" software manager. Software selection updates include replacing replacing 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.

The final version of Linux Mint 11 is expected to be released before the end of the month. However, as Lefebvre previously noted, "As always, we release “when ready” and we can delay a release if we’re not happy with its quality."

Further details about the release candidate, including a more detailed new feature list, a list of known problems and download links, can be found in a post on the Linux Mint Blog and on the New features in Linux Mint 11 web page. The most recent stable version of Linux Mint is version 10 from mid-November of last year.

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 behind Ubuntu.

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