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06 May 2011, 11:30

Linux Mint 11 "Katya" to use GNOME 2.32 desktop

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Linux Mint Logo Linux Mint Founder and lead developer Clement Lefebvre has confirmed that the next major release of his Ubuntu-based Linux distribution will in fact feature the GNOME 2.32 desktop environment, not GNOME 3 as previously expected, along with "the traditional Linux Mint desktop layout, mintMenu and the same desktop elements featured in previous releases."

In early March, it was reported that Linux Mint 11 would use GNOME 3 following a blog post comment made by Lefebvre that said the developers were "going for GNOME 3 using a traditional desktop layout" without the GNOME Shell. However, Lefebvre now says that the development team have chosen to include "the best GNOME '2' desktop you’ve ever got to see."

Zoom The Linux Mint 11 Preview.
Linux Mint 11, code named "Katya", is based on the latest Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" release from late April. It will reportedly 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 with the LibreOffice office suite, making Banshee the default music player and replacing F-Spot with gThub as the default photo application – Gwibber is no longer being installed by default. "In many ways, Linux Mint 11 feels like a more modern and more polished version of Linux Mint 10" added Lefebvre.

Development of version 11 is reportedly on schedule, with a release candidate expected to arrive in the middle of the month, followed by a stable release before the end of May. However, Lefebvre says that: "As always, we release 'when ready' and we can delay a release if we’re not happy with its quality."

More details about Linux Mint 11, including a list of planned changes, can be found in a post on the Linux Mint Blog. The latest 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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