REVIEW: Linux Mint 17.3 delivers better interface plus long-term support

Interface improvements make “Rosa” the best Mint yet

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The latest version of Linux Mint, dubbed “Rosa,” offers long-term support and in our tests we found that it delivers an improved user experience no matter which interface is selected.

Linux Mint is a desktop operating system for non-tablet, Intel/AMD-powered systems, in 32- or 64-bit processor families, based on Ubuntu core components, but without Ubuntu’s Unity UI.

There are four main UI options, and, personal preferences aside, the most complete version for most users is the Cinnamon GUI. The other options are Xfce, KDE, and Mate. There is also an OEM version designed for use by hardware manufacturers, or those desiring to create multiple instances for VDI use. There’s also a version aimed at free-open source software purists that doesn’t include proprietary drivers.

The main changes from previous versions of Mint are in the UI, but several important hardware differences are possible. The first is compatibility with machines that use UEFI boot, a secure boot method that has become more prevalent, due in no small part to Microsoft’s desire for UEFI security in all levels of supported hardware.

The 32-bit version of LinuxMint 17.3 is strictly for computers with BIOS or BIOS-compatible boot methods, while the 64-bit can use BIOS-compatible or UEFI boot. One cannot change from BIOS to UEFI and back without serious work.

+ MORE LINUX MINT: FAQ: What the heck happened to Linux Mint? +

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