Home  |  News  |  Articles  |  Forum  |  Polls  |  Blogs  |  Videos  |  Resource Library

Keywords: Match:
Linux Mint 11 ships with retro GNOME 2.32 UI
May 27, 2011

The Mint project released the final Linux Mint 11, which is based on Ubuntu 11.04, but skips over the new Unity and GNOME 3 desktops in favor of GNOME 2.32.1. Linux Mint 11 updates the Software Manager and Update Manager, and adds LibreOffice, Banshee, and gThumb.

Linux Mint 11 arrives just two week after the Release Candidate was made available. As with Linux Mint 10 and other minty offerings, the Katya release is based on Ubuntu and the GNOME desktop. Although Mint 11 mimics the latest Ubuntu 11.04, the Mint project has taken a pass on Ubuntu's controversial new default Unity desktop environment. Instead, it offers GNOME, but it's the earlier GNOME 2.32.1, not the new, almost equally controversial GNOME 3.

Linux Mint 11
(Click to enlarge)

The Mint project's retro move could attract some disgruntled Ubuntu users -- and perhaps even a few Fedora 15 users -- who don't like the looks of Unity or GNOME 3, respectively. On the other hand, it also sticks Mint users with an aging desktop that will receive "no more upstream work from the GNOME project," writes Susan Linton in Ostatic. It may be a popular move in the short-term, she argues, but it could just be a needless case of "slowing ripping off the band-aid" instead of making one clean break.

Then again, by waiting one or two six-month release cycles, it will give time for the GNOME Foundation and the Ubuntu project to iron out some of the rough edges to their new environments, and perhaps reverse a few of the most unpopular UI "enhancements. And it also gives the Mint project and its users some time to choose between them.

Based on Linux kernel 2.6.38 and X.Org 7.6., Linux Mint 11 offers Live DVD and Live CD installation options, and easier installation of codecs. The new release carries through structural improvements found in Ubuntu 11.04.

Mint 11's new-look Software Manager
(Click to enlarge)

For example, the Software Manager has an updated UI with a splash screen, bigger icons, and a new fonts category. A simulator shows which packages will be added or removed from the system prior to downloading, says the Mint project.

The Update Manager is said to be faster, and offers improved rules and "look for package" updates. It also offers enhanced dependency handling, and now shows updates, not their dependencies, which "makes it much clearer which updates are available and what effect do their installation have on the system," says the project.

New Mint 11 backgrounds

Linux Mint 11 uses the same GTK and icon themes as the previous release, but offers a new 3D default background. There is also a greater choice of alternative backgrounds (see image above).

At the system level, a new "apt download" command is available that downloads a .deb package locally along with all its dependencies, says the Mint project. In addition, on 32-bit systems, the stable Flash 10.2 and Beta Flash 10.3 plugins can now be installed separately.

Mint 11 adds the new LibreOffice productivity suite in place of In addition, gThumb replaces F-Spot for photos, Banshee replaces Rhythmbox for music, and Twitter alternative Gwibber is no longer a default install, says the project.


Linux Mint 11 is available now for free download. More information and links to downloads may be found in the Mint 11 blog announcement, as well as the Mint 11 release notes.

-- Eric Brown

Do you have comments on this story?

Talkback here

NOTE: Please post your comments regarding our articles using the above link. Be sure to use this article's title as the "Subject" in your posts. Before you create a new thread, please check to see if a discussion thread is already running on the article you plan to comment on. Thanks!

Related Stories:

(Click here for further information)

Home  |  News  |  Articles  |  Forum  |  Polls  |  About  |  Contact

Ziff Davis Enterprise Home | Contact Us | Advertise | Link to Us | Reprints | Magazine Subscriptions | Newsletters
Tech RSS Feeds | ROI Calculators | Tech Podcasts | Tech Video | VARs | Channel News

Baseline | Careers | Channel Insider | CIO Insight | DesktopLinux | DeviceForge | DevSource | eSeminars |
eWEEK | Enterprise Network Security | LinuxDevices | Linux Watch | Microsoft Watch | Mid-market | Networking | PDF Zone |
Publish | Security IT Hub | Strategic Partner | Web Buyer's Guide | Windows for Devices

Developer Shed | Dev Shed | ASP Free | Dev Articles | Dev Hardware | SEO Chat | Tutorialized | Scripts |
Code Walkers | Web Hosters | Dev Mechanic | Dev Archives | igrep

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Except where otherwise specified, the contents of this site are copyright © 1999-2011 Ziff Davis Enterprise Holdings Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Ziff Davis Enterprise is prohibited. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.