LINUX MINT 17 has been released, marking a significant milestone because it's a long term support (LTS) release that will be updated for five years.
Distrowatch reported the news, quoting Clement Lefebvre, who said, "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17 'Qiana'. Linux Mint 17 is a long-term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use."
The Mint distribution of Linux is a derivative of Ubuntu 14.04, also known as Trusty Tahr, which in turn is cobbled together from various heavily modified bits of the Debian stable, unstable and testing branches. Many Linux users prefer Mint over Ubuntu because it departs from the Ubuntu Unity desktop by offering the Mate and Cinnamon desktop environments instead.
The distribution team said that it has "hugely improved" the Update Manager to show more information, look better and work faster. The Driver Manager can now install drivers without an internet connection, if you can find the installation disc. The login screen and multi-monitor support have been improved, and now there's "HiDPI" display support. In addition, both the Mate and Cinnamon desktop environments have seen many bug fixes and rafts of improvements, as has the Mint artwork.
There are still some problems in Linux Mint 17, however, so potential users are encouraged to read both the Ubuntu 14.04 release notes and the release notes for either the Mate or Cinnamon version, respectively, before downloading.
In particular, apparently the 64-bit version of Skype might not work, the VLC media player can have trouble finding the DVD device, Bluetooth is not installed by default, secure boot doesn't work, some Nvidia Geforce GPU cards cause system lock-ups, a workaround is required to boot on non-PAE CPUs, and there are still a few other, relatively minor bugs.
However, it seems quite likely that all of these various problems with Linux Mint 17 will be fixed relatively soon. µ