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Linux Mint 9 RC arrives

Linux Mint 9 RC arrives

The Linux Mint development team have announced a release candidate for what will become Linux Mint version 9, code named "Isadora". Linux Mint aims to be user friendly and to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including support for DVD playback, Java, plug-ins and various media codecs. It is also the third most popular distribution on DistroWatch.com behind Ubuntu and Fedora.

Linux Mint 9 is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" and features version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel, X.org 7.4 and the 2.30 GNOME desktop environment. According to the developers, the Software Manager was "rewritten from scratch" and now includes more than 30,000 applications, compared to approximately 300 in the previous release. The Desktop Settings tool has also been rewritten and adds additional options, including the the option to easily move the window buttons to the left (Mac style) or right (traditional) side.

The developers note that Linux Mint 9 marks the return of mint4win, a Wubi based installer for Windows. When the LiveCD is loaded on systems running Windows, the mint4win application runs automatically and allows Windows users to easily install Linux Mint to an existing partition, without modification. Windows multi-boot is also set up for the user. To un-install, all a user needs to do is use the Windows Add/Remove Applications tool to remove mint4win, restoring the system to its previous state.

Other changes include the addition of a new incremental Backup Tool for both data and software selection, new desktop backgrounds and several Linux Mint Menu improvements, such as the ability to edit any application name and icon, opacity options for the menu to make it semi-transparent and Panel and Desktop shortcuts. As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.

More details about the release, including a full list of new features and known problems, can be found in the release notes, official release announcement and on the Linux Mint 9 what's new page. Linux Mint 9 RC is available to download for 32 and 64-bit systems from the project's web site and upgrade instructions are provided. The latest stable release of Linux Mint is version 8, based on Ubuntu 9.10, from the end of November, 2009.

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