The Linux Mint ISO images status page now shows that the final disc images are being tested by the project in anticipation of the final release of Linux Mint 19.3 due at Christmas. The fact that these images are being finalised suggests that any bugs discovered since the betas have been fixed.
It’s still unclear when the ISOs will be finalised but it’s likely to be very soon. Once the status page indicates that the builds are approved for stable release, we’ll then have to wait on an announcement from Clement Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project. Linux Mint 19.3 will be the final release of the series with attention shifting over to Linux Mint 20 in the new year.
Included in the new update, which will be supported until 2023, is the new Linux Mint logo, a new boot menu, a selection of refreshed wallpapers, and a new video player called Celluloid which replaces Xplayer. Some work has also gone into the System Reports app which is designed to notify you of any potential issues with your computer; in this update it’ll let you know if you’re missing a language package, a multimedia codec, a hardware driver, or if there’s a new version of Linux Mint available. The GIMP image editor has also been removed and replaced with a new, simpler tool called Drawing.
When Linux Mint 19.3 is finally released, you’ll be able to do an upgrade from Linux Mint 19.2 without having to perform a clean install. If you’re still on Linux Mint 18.x, then you’ll have to do a clean install. If you want to update, however, Linux Mint 18.x releases are still supported until 2021, so you could remain on your existing version.