Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Friday, August 17, 2018 at 21:10

Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon Edition ("LMCE") has been released on 29 June 2018. For long time users, it brings new improvements ultimately in its new "System Restore" (called Timeshift) and the Software Manager now has support for Flatpak+Flathub. For new comers, it is a just work desktop OS with complete set of applications by default and easy to extend thanks to its 10,000+ software in the repository. It has user friendly interface, safe and quick to install, beautiful wallpapers you'll love, nice System Settings, and everything you could expect from a desktop system. Here's the review and enjoy!

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New Things!

  • Timeshift, the new system restore feature
  • New Welcome Screen
  • Flatpak+Flathub support in the Software Manager
  • Cinnamon 3.8.6
  • HiDPI support (for Retina Display etc.)
  • PPA support in the Software Source
  • Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

System Info

  • Name: Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition
  • Version: 19 LTS
  • Codename: Tara
  • Support lifespan: 5 years until 2023
  • Release date: 
  • Desktop environment: Cinnamon 3.8
  • File manager: Nemo 3.8
  • Kernel: Linux 4.15

1. Desktop

Mint Cinnamon 19 at first glance ("Aso" wallpaper by Tom Vining)
For mostly new comers, this is how Mint Cinnamon looks like. It's very similar to Windows user interface with bottom panel and menu, and icons on desktop area. You can open the menu with Win key (also known as Super key).

Icons on desktop area

LMCE 19 supports icons on desktop, of course. You can easily add new icon by opening menu > right-click an application > Add to Desktop.

2. Welcome Screen

This is the brand new Welcome Screen. It links you to the most important links of the Features intro (Timeshift, Driver and Update Manager, and Multimedia Codecs), where to get Documentation and Help, and finally where to Contribute to Mint community. New comer will find this ultimately useful as it reduces their time to learn things by themselves.

It shows version "19" & "Cinnamon" & "64-bit"clearly

2. Menu & Panel

By default, Mint Cinnamon is bottom-oriented. The main menu is editable, for example to add/remove items manually, thanks to Main Menu Editor tool (right-click menu > Configure > Menu > Open The Menu Editor).

Add or remove app entry in the menu is easy

3. New Wallpapers

Versio 19 receives many brand new wallpapers from many artists. You find them by right-click on desktop > Change Desktop Backgrounds. My favorite one is really Burrard Inlet by J. Verland-Valois.

Here's Mint with Burrard Inlet wallpaper:

4. Memory Usage

It takes +/-800MiB of RAM at idle time. For middle-end users, it's still reasonable, comparable to Ubuntu Budgie (+/-800MiB), and still lighter than Ubuntu original (+/-1.2GiB).

Memory usage of Mint 19 Cinnamon

At first login, here's the processes sorted by Memory Usage: top five are cinnamon (70MiB), (28MiB), Xorg (26MiB), mintUpdate (20MiB), and cinnamon-screensaver (18MiB). You can reduce processes you think unnecessary with Startup Applications tool explained below.

List of processes at initial time

Like previous reviews, here I add Mint 19 Cinnamon to the comparison chart of memory usages along with Bionic Beta 2 systems:

Comparison of Mint 19 Cinnamon over Bionic systems

5. HiDPI Support

Confused with the term "HiDPI"? Read good explanation from elementary OS here.

When you use Linux Mint with "Retina Display" or other HiDPI displays, you will need HiDPI support otherwise icons and applications will look blurry. On Mint 19 Cinnamon, X-Apps got better HiDPI support and the theme Mint-Y has "@2x" icons.

Mint 19 is HiDPI ready with those iconsets of "@2x"

6. Startup Items

By default, there are 8 startup items enabled. Flatpak and Support for NVIDIA Prime are two among them in Mint 19. You may know those and easily remove any with main menu > Preferences > Startup Applications. All items are safe to remove for most users, for instance, you can disable NVIDIA Prime there if you don't use NVIDIA video card.

Checking what programs running at startup time

7. Dark Theme & 4-Tiling

For many programmers and graphic designer, you will like the dark theme available by default. You can enable it by going to System Settings > Appearance > Themes > select Desktop > select Mint-Y-Dark > OK.

Mint-Y-Dark: the black desktop theme for Mint 19

Yes! Cinnamon now supports quadrant-windows tiling just like KDE Plasma. You just need to drag a window into a screen corner > wait for a dark overlay showing > drop it > do the rest for another corners.

Four windows in one screen, side-by-side

8. Nemo File Manager

The file manager of Linux Mint 19 reaches version 3.8.3 by default. Now, the file search is asynchronous ("instant search") and has a Star Button to bookmark a favorite search. The search is really fast you will want to try!

Right-click on the Star to see saved searches

However, version 3.8.5 is already available at the time this article is written. Here's developer commits summaries from 3.8.0 to 3.8.5.

Here, for new comers: at a glance of the file manager with multitabs and vertical split (F3) features:

The file manager

The user friendly features, Open in Terminal and Open as Root, are embedded in the file manager:

These ease users with little knowledge about Terminal

9. System Configurations

There are some notable improvements such as:

  • Max volume is now 150%.
  • Mute input and mute output are now separated.
  • Shutdown immediately options.
  • Network Settings dialog is backported from GNOME 3.24 and has fixes from 3.26.

Right-click on audio volume applet to show Mute output and Mute input options. This way, we could easily mute/unmute any when doing screencasting.

New option "Shutdown immediately" is now added to Power Management for When laptop lid is closed and also When the battery is critically low. This way we could prevent our laptop to be turned off without proper shut down.

Closing lid or critical battery can be set to Shutdown

10. Timeshift: The System Restore

Now Linux Mint will automatically create "system restore point" for you everyday so you can revert back your system to a previous healthy point in case you experienced a serious error. It automatically deletes points that are some days old to save you your HDD space. To make it does its job, you need to enable it first from menu > Timeshift > select default selection > Finish > create your first Restore Point > and you can expect it to work well.

Our "system restore" on Mint 19

Of course, it gives you the ability to control the backup schedule from daily to weekly or even monthly. You also have all the choices to set up how many "restore points" to keep so Mint system will automatically delete the older ones.

Setup the schedule and the auto-deletion

11. PPA Support

In the Software Sources, it's pretty straightforward now to add and remove PPAs. Just go to PPA tab > press Add a new PPA > insert PPA URL > OK.

Adding PPA of Inkscape and others is now easier

12. Software Center & Flathub

The application store is called Software Manager, and it's already compatible with Flathub! Also, it is faster to run, faster to search within, and it can search by category now. 

For your information, Flatpak (originally founded by Alexander Larsson of GNOME Project) is a new method of software distribution for GNU/Linux that is cross-distro. Flathub, on the other hand, is a central repository when many Flatpak apps available. This means whatever distro are you using, you can install apps in one standard way: by using Flatpak. Mint 19 enables you to use Flatpak by the Software Manager!

The Software Manager is now faster than before!

Integration with Flathub means you visit Flathub website > see your favorite application available there > click the link "Install" > a dialog ask you to open with Software Manager > Software Manager opens > install the app > done.

Clicking "Install" on your browser brings up Software Manager

13. Update Manager

Now, the Update Manager is coupled with Timeshift System Restore. What it means? It means whenever an update breaks your system, you can go back to previous condition thanks to Timeshift. And, it includes many improvements such as informative tooltip about each update source, upgrades are sorted "by Type", and auto-upgrade is easier to enable.

Hovering your cursor shows the repo source of an update

Go to menu Edit > Preferences > Auto-upgrade to enable it

14. The X-Apps

The X-Apps collection was first introduced in Mint 18 "Sarah" as DE-independent utility programs.

Among the big changes, now X-Apps such as Pix Image Viewer, xed text Editor,  has Keyboard Shortcuts info under the Help menu. This is a table of shortcuts for each X-Apps.

Go to Help > Keyboard Shortcuts to open the table

15. Disk Formatter

Go to Nemo File Manager > main menu Go > Computer > right-click a USB flash drive > Format > you can format the disk volume into FAT32, NTFS, or EXT4 filesystem.

Right-click and Format a disk volume

16. Built-In Applications

Mint 19 Cinnamon brings these set of default applications:

  • Internet suite: Firefox 60, Hexchat 2.14 (IRC client), Thunderbird 52 (email client), Transmission 2.92 (BitTorrent)
  • Office suite: LibreOffice 6.0: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, Base
  • Desktop environment: Cinnamon 3.8.6: Nemo 3.8, System Settings 3.8
  • Multimedia: GIMP 2.8.22-1(image editor), Xplayer 1.8.3+tara (video player), Rhythmbox (audio player), Simple Scan (scanner tool)
  • X-Apps: Xreader 1.8.4 (PDF reader), Xviewer 1.8.1 and Pix 1.8.2 (image viewer), Xplayer , Xed 1.8.2 (text editor)

Xreader reading an electronic magazine (PDF)


LMCE 19 has a new star for the future: Timeshift. It makes updating now less-worrisome and will encourage users to experiment more without afraid to break anything. We can revert back easily now! A method to make stable system more stable and to prevent broken system easier for end-user. This is a very good thing for both long-time and new users, even I hope this feature to be exist on other distros as well. Second star, it supports HiDPI better now, which means Linux Mint will embrace more users from Retina Display-alike computers and more! Other features, such as faster Nemo and more extensive Software Manager, will make you love Linux Mint even more. It's really quick to install (15 minutes or less) and brings complete set of apps (LibreOffice, Firefox, and so on). Finally, I recommend Mint users to upgrade to this version or at least try it on LiveCD session. Enjoy!

Reviewer Info

I installed Mint 19 Cinnamon on Acer Aspire One 756 laptop with Intel Pentium 967, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of SSD.

Linux Mint Community Supports

Further Links

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.