New features in Linux Mint 18.2 KDE

Linux Mint 18.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable to use.

Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" KDE Edition

KDE Plasma 5.8

This release ships with the KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment.

For an overview of this desktop and its new features, please watch the video below:

Update Manager

The Update Manager received many improvements.

It still has the same mission and tackles the same issues as before (keeping your computer safe, providing bug fixes and protecting you from regressions) but it presents things slightly differently.

Policies and level definitions were refined to better filter updates depending on their level of impact on the operating system and without worrying about their origin. Most updates are now level 2. Application updates which do not impact the OS are level 1. Toolkits and desktop environments or libraries which affect multiple applications are level 3. Kernels and sensitive system updates are level 4.

Level 5 is extremely rare and not used by default. This level is dedicated to flagging dangerous or broken updates.

The Update Manager insists on staging and reviewing updates depending on their level. The notions of security, bug fixes, backports, updates and software regressions are central and these core concepts are better explained. A large help section now ships with the Update Manager and goes much more in details than before.

The new help section of the Update Manager

A lot more information was added on kernels. The help section now features explanations on how kernels are installed, how to summon the grub menu, how to check the DKMS status and how to revert to a previous kernel.

Support was added for Ubuntu HWE kernels in kernel updates and the kernel selection window was improved.

Many keyboard shortcuts and menu options were added to the main window to make it easier to perform common tasks, such as reloading, selecting updates of particular levels or applying updates.

Last but not least, advanced Linux users can now automate updates by writing scripts, routines or cron jobs thanks to a new CLI called “mintupdate-tool”. This tool supports all the features available in the UI, including level selection, security updates, kernel updates and blacklisting. You can use "mintupdate-tool" both to list and to apply updates.

mintupdate-tool in action

To get started with mintupdate-tool, type "mintupdate-tool --help".

Software Sources

Foreign packages are packages which are not provided by any repository or which version differs from the one provided in the repositories.

To make it easier to remove or to downgrade these packages, new "Select All" buttons were added in appropriate places within the "Software Sources" configuration tool.

Foreign packages are easier to select

System improvements

Brasero is still available in the repositories, but no longer installed by default.

The root account is now locked by default. You can use sudo with your own password to become root with "sudo -i".

Apt now supports the "markauto" and "markmanual" commands to mark packages as being installed respectively automatically or manually.

This release ships with linux-firmware 1.157.10 and the Linux kernel 4.8.0-53.

Artwork improvements

Linux Mint 18.2 features a superb collection of backgrounds from Ashim D'Silva, Eric Kilby, Guy Bowden, Grant McCurdy, Harald Hoyer, Jan Kaluza, Jeremy Bishop, Jens Enemark, Jason Leem, Jakob Owens, Luca Bravo, Matheus Bandoch, N. Feans, Robert Lukeman, Stanley Dai, Sezgin Mendil, Shontz Photography and srslyguys.

An overview of some of the new backgrounds

Main components

Linux Mint 18.2 features KDE Plasma 5.8, a Linux kernel 4.8 and an Ubuntu 16.04 package base.

LTS strategy

Linux Mint 18.2 will receive security updates until 2021.

Until 2018, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 18, making it trivial for people to upgrade.

Until 2018, the development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one.