Linux Mint 18.3 beta due for release this week

The final release of the Linux Mint 18 series, Linux Mint 18.3, is due to see its beta release sometime this week. The final release will follow in tow a week or so after the beta. Ever since July, we’ve been tracking the changes that are due for Mint 18.3 "Sylvia", however, the team behind the distribution have announced several last minute changes so it’s worth going over those now.

In a blog post, Clem Lefebvre, founder of Linux Mint, said:

“Some improvements got into Linux Mint 18.3 at the last minute. The include:

  • Better out of the box support for spell-checking and synonyms in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.
  • Easy installation of Skype, Google Earth and WhatsApp in the Software Manager.
  • In MATE’s mintmenu: Recently used apps [has been added].

There are also a couple of changes in Xfce and KDE, but it’s a bit too early to report on them (we’ll release these editions after Cinnamon and MATE).”

The last line of what Clem says there is quite telling about the project’s recent decision to scrap the KDE version of its Linux distribution. A quick look at the Linux Mint release history shows that the KDE version is always one of the last spins to be updated, with the Xfce build eeking out ahead of it on some releases if not being released at the same time. With Linux Mint 18.2, the team managed to release every edition on July 2, 2017, but it’s possible that maintaining four versions is hard to keep on top of, and why KDE could have been dropped.

Once stable, Linux Mint 18.3 will be available as an upgrade in the Linux Mint Update Manager; the upgrade will likely be fairly safe and shouldn’t have too much of a negative impact on your system, but as the Linux Mint team would tell you, if you don’t have a reason to upgrade, then don’t.

Source: Linux Mint

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