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How to Download Linux Mint and update to the latest version

Most of the new Linux Users don’t know how to Download Linux Mint and update to the latest version. Today you will get a master guide about How to Download Linux Mint and update to the latest version

Within the Linux ecosystem, we can find a great variety of distributions, systems based on the Linux Kernel (Read more about Linux and kernel) that includes a series of software packages to satisfy a certain group of users. The most popular and used distro in the world is Ubuntu, a distro based on Debian designed to be easy to use, intuitive and that all users can defend themselves with it without problems. However, there are other very interesting alternative distributions to Ubuntu that may be more suited to the needs of some users, and one of these alternatives is Linux Mint.

What is Linux Mint?

Linux Mint is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu and Debian in order to offer users a modern, elegant operating system that is as comfortable as it is simple to use. This distro comes with a series of applications by default so that users can use their computer and the Internet without installing any additional software. In addition, it also allows us to install all the applications that we want or need easily.

This Linux distro has its own alternative applications to those included in Ubuntu, such as:

  • MintUpdate, to install Linux Mint updates.
  • MintInstall, to download applications from the software catalogue.
  • MintDesktop, to configure the desktop.
  • MintConfig, to configure the distro as a control centre.
  • MintAssistant, for an initial configuration of the distro.
  • MintUpload, an FTP client built into Nautilus.
  • MintBackup, to make backup copies.
  • MintNanny, to protect the little ones from misuse of the Internet.
Download Linux Mint and update to the latest version
Download Linux Mint and update to the latest version

This distro is usually updated periodically to include patches and corrections, in addition to releasing new versions from time to time with greater support, new features, new packages and new features to ensure the proper functioning of the distro.

Next, we are going to explain how we can download the latest version of Linux Mint.

Linux Mint vs Ubuntu: main differences

While Ubuntu is based on Debian, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. Broadly speaking, it might seem that both distros are the same, however, they hide big differences. The first one is the desktop that both come by default. Ubuntu, on the one hand, bets on GNOME 3, while Linux Mint bets on Cinnamon, with the possibility of switching to XFCE and MATE.

Another important difference that we will find between both Linux is in the default programs. Ubuntu, for one, comes with its own desktop tools, GNOME. And in the case of using other desktops, it will use their corresponding tools. Linux Mint, as we have explained, has the Mint Apps, a set of tools that allow us to make use of the system much easier.

In terms of performance, Linux Mint is noticeably lighter than Ubuntu, at least as far as minimum requirements are concerned. And that, in the end, translates into better overall performance for the distro.

How to download the latest version of Linux Mint

As with most Linux distributions, the latest version of Linux Mint is available in ISO format for all users who want to try it from its main website.

Linux Mint Download
Linux Mint Download

From here we will be able to download the ISO of this Linux distro that we can use to install this distribution from scratch in a virtual machine or save it to a USB to install the distro on any PC.

As we can see, within the download page we are going to find several different editions. One is LMDE, another is Cinnamon, another is MATE, and another is Xfce. What is each of these versions?

Which version of Linux Mint should I choose?

Within Linux Mint as a Linux distro, we can find different versions, each with a different desktop.

  • LMDE, Linux Mint Debian Edition, is an edition of this distro based directly on Debian instead of Ubuntu. If we want a Debian experience away from Ubuntu, then we can try downloading LMDE.
  • Cinnamon is one of the defaults Linux Mint desktops. This desktop was born as a fork of GNOME Shell, although over time it has evolved a lot, it has included features and functions and, for some users, it has lost the north with its original philosophy. If you have questions about which version of Linux Mint to download, this is the one to start with.
  • Mate, an edition similar to the previous one but designed for users who do not like Cinnamon and prefer a more similar and pure experience to GNOME 2.
  • Xfce, finally, is the third desktop, or flavour, of Linux Mint. If we have an old computer, with the little processor or little RAM, this edition will work much better than any of the previous ones thanks to the Xfce desktop.

So which of them should we download? The official Linux Mint image is the one used by the Cinnamon desktop. If we want to experience this distro as it has been designed we must start with this edition. But if we don’t like Cinnamon, we will also be able to choose between Mate and XFCE by downloading their respective ISO images.

Also, if we are experienced users and want to move further away from Ubuntu, then we can choose LMDE, the Debian-based edition of Linux Mint. This one is much purer than the others and moves away from the Ubuntu philosophy to offer a much more “Linux” experience.

Requirements for using Linux Mint

Despite being a Linux distro, if we want it to work well, without performance problems, it is necessary to meet a series of requirements. Any more or less modern computer will meet the following requirements without a problem:

  • 1 GB of RAM.
  • 15 GB of hard disk space.
  • 1024 × 768 resolution screen.

Of course, if we want to be able to use the distro without problems, and avoid low free space warnings, we should think about having at least 2 GB of RAM and 20 GB of hard disk space.

How to update to the latest version without formatting?

Although as in any Linux distro we will be able to update our system from a terminal, Linux Mint wants to facilitate and simplify this process for all users.

As we said at the beginning of the article, Mint has a series of its own applications to facilitate the use of this distro. One of them is MintUpdate, a tool to install Linux Mint updates.

When there is a new version of Linux Mint available, Mint update will show us a warning. From here we simply have to follow the steps to complete the update. When it is finished, we will have our PC with the latest version of Linux Mint.

It is recommended to always make a backup of the data, so that it may happen. In addition, it is also recommended to install dependencies or remove obsolete packages such as those recommended in the official blog :

  • apt install p7zip-full xul-ext-lightning
  • apt remove –purge xscreensaver-data xscreensaver-data-extra xscreensaver-gl xscreensaver-gl-extra cinnamon-screensaver-webkit-plugin cinnamon-screensaver-x-plugin

When restarting the computer, we will already have the latest version of our favourite distro.

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