Last week, the Linux Mint team announced that the betas for the Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions of Linux Mint 19 would be made available today. Sticking to that promise, all three versions are available today and also come with a full log of the new features as well as an interesting tidbit regarding the upgrade path from Mint 18.3.
Before we get into the new features arrive in Linux Mint 19, it’s interesting to look at the upgrade situation between Mint 18.3 and Mint 19. In the past it was only possible to do an in-place upgrade between point releases via the update manager, now it sounds like that option will be available to jump from Mint 18.3 and Mint 19. It isn’t 100% confirmed that you'll be able to upgrade via the update manager but the blog post makes it sound like the feature will arrive, it reads:
“It will also be possible to upgrade from Linux Mint 18.3. Upgrade instructions will be published after the stable release of Linux Mint 19.”
Some of the biggest new features in Mint 19 are the changes made to the update manager. In the past, Mint didn’t select all updates automatically to be installed and it received a lot of backlash for this choice. Now the update manager urges users to use Timeshift to make system snapshots to restore the system if the update manager causes damage to the system when installing updates, this change means that Mint can push all updates to users.
In addition, the update manager also has a new auto-update feature which is disabled by default. This gives users the choice to check a selection box to have updates install automatically on a daily basis. The change is nice to see as many distributions don’t include this feature out of the box and require manual updates.
Another big change is that this release ships with Cinnamon 3.8, this should make your system feel snappier because applications launch faster and window rendering is more efficient. The team managed to make Cinnamon operate at the same speed as Metacity - that's about four times quicker!
The Software Manager has received several under the hood changes which sees the layout and transition animation become more refined, keyboard navigation has been improved, search is faster and asynchronous, and the caching used in the program has been sped up resulting in the program starting more quickly.
Source: Linux Mint