Linux Mint 8 Helena Final: Main and Universal Editions Released
Article by George Norman
On 30 Nov 2009
We’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of Linux Mint 8 ever since the software reached the RC1 (Release Candidate 1) milestone in its development process. Last week Lead Linux Mint Developer, Clem Lefebvre, announced that work on Linux Mint 8 Helena is almost complete and that a final, stable version of the operating system would be launched shortly. As you can imagine, this only added to the feeling of anticipation.

If you’ve been anxiously expecting the release of Linux Mint 8 Helena as well, then you will be glad to know that the wait is over. Clem Lefebvre officially announced the release of Linux Mint 8 Final this weekend.


“The team is proud to announce the stable release of Linux Mint 8 Helena. The 8th release of Linux Mint comes with numerous bug fixes and a lot of improvements. In particular Linux Mint 8 comes with support for OEM installs, a brand new Upload Manager, the menu now allows you to configure custom places, the update manager now lets you define packages for which you don’t want to receive updates, the software manager now features multiple installation/removal of software and many of the tools’ graphical interfaces were enhanced,” said Clem Lefebvre.

Here is what you can expect to get from Linux Mint 8 Helena:

- Based on Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic koala
- Linux 2.6.31 kernel, Gnome 2.28 and Xorg 7.4
- The user can define his own Places in Menu Preferences
- Enable/disable any button for the System and Places section in Menu Preferences
- The user interface has been enhanced. It is now easier to use and it displays more content.
- The Update Manager will automatically inform the user when a new version of mintInstall-data is available. This way the user does not have to manually refresh the Software Manager.
- Software Manager is ware of the APT status of each application.
- The user can mark several applications for installation/removal.
- The looks of the Update Manager have been improved.
- Update Manager now uses Synaptic to refresh the list of update. When Update Manager is visible, the user will see progress information on the screen.
- If a problem occurs, Update Manager displays an error message in the main window (previously the error message was displayed only in the logs).
- Software Sources tool can be accessed in the Edit menu (this is another Update Manager improvement).
- The user can define a list of packages for which updates will not be received. Wildcard characters can be used to define groups of package updates the user wants to ignore.
- Faster and more reliable update detection.
- Brand new Upload Manager (mintUpload has been split into Upload Manager and File Uploader).
- Gnome Colors icon theme and the Shiki gtk theme.
- Firefox comes bundled with the Stylish add-on.
- Removed branding from Mint tools
- OEM installation can be launched from the LiveCD boot menu.
- Community editions use their own repositories
- Community editions can pin packages to from the main edition
- Mint tools are more modular
- Added Inxi buttons to xchat

If you would like to get Linux Mint 8 Helena, you can download the Main Edition
here and the Universal Edition here.

The Universal Edition is a customized version of the Main edition. Here are the differences:
- The Universal Edition comes as a liveDVD, not a liveCD.
- The Universal edition comes with built-in support for the following languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese/Br, Portuguese/Pt, Arabic, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Galician, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Norwegian, Japanese, Ukrainian, Romanian, Slovenian, Catalan, Greek, Czech, Slovak, Marathi, Norwegian [nynorsk], Croatian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Hindi, Finnish, Hebrew, Serbian, Belarussian, Basque and Bosnian.
- There’s an extra item in the Sound & Video menu that lets you launch the installation of all missing codecs via a built-in .mint file
- The Universal Edition has no codecs, no support for restricted formats and no proprietary components.

“The purpose of the Universal Edition is to bring a localized live system to non-English speaking users of Linux Mint and to facilitate the distribution of Linux Mint in countries where software patents are enforceable (USA, Japan),” explained Clem Lefebvre.

Tags: Linux, Linux Mint, Linux Mint 8, Helena
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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