📅 June 17, 2016
If you are excited like I am about the upcoming release of Linux Mint 18, then you will be pleased to know that a beta version was released a few days ago for your experimentation!
I installed and tinkered with Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon beta in VirtualBox 5.0.22 to see a glimpse of future Mint changes, and I am pleased.
Mint 18 BETA installs and runs fine in VirtualBox, but the GUI seems a little sluggish even after installing the VirtualBox Guest Additions. There were also a few graphical issues, such as an extra border around windows from a previous theme after switching themes. However, I suspect VirtualBox 5.0.22 for this quirky behavior. Real hardware will probably run Mint better. Since this is a beta OS, there is no point in being nit-picky. The default kernel is 4.4.0-21-generic, and updated versions of well-known applications are included.
From the start, the cosmetic changes are noticeable with the default dark desktop and new login wallpapers. They are beautiful. A new theme, called Mint-Y, is available in light and dark versions, and I already like it better than the default Mint theme used for so many years. It is a refreshing welcome.
So far, I like the changes and improvements made. They make Mint easier to use and offer improved tweaks and refinements to an already great Linux distribution. What was already easy for new Linux users is now simpler than ever without abandoning what made Linux Mint great to begin with.
Remember, “beta” usually means “buggy,” so avoid relying upon anything with the beta label on a production system — including this version of Linux Mint 18. The real test will be the final, stable release, which looks promising.
With continued improvements like this, Linux offers an exciting computing future!