You want to know how to get your hands on one of the most popular, stable and user friendly Linux distributions? In this tutorial you will learn how to download the most recent version of Linux Mint.
This part of this beginners series of tutorials is probably the simplest. Our goal is to download the latest version of Linux Mint. But before we do that, first a piece of background about the release approach that the Linux Mint developers use.
Release approach of Linux Mint
Unlike many other distributions, the linux Mint developers focus on absolute reliability and stability and consciously choose not to be a leader in all bleeding edge developments. In order to do that, Linux Mint is always based on what is called an LTS, or Long term Support release. That deserves some explanation.
The basis of Linux Mint is Ubuntu. Ubuntu itself offers both a Long Term Support release and a short-term but more up-to-date / bleeding edge release. Canonical, the provider of Ubuntu, produces a new version of Ubuntu every six months, in which the latest and best applications are always made available. For this 6-month release you get up to 9 months of support and security updates. In addition, there is also an LTS release. A new LTS version is issued every two years. In older releases, an LTS version had three years of support on Ubuntu Desktop and five years on Ubuntu Server. From Ubuntu 12.04 LTS received both versions of support and updates for five years.
Probably the above makes it a bit clearer why the Linux Mint Team uses the LTS version of Ubuntu as a base. LTS receives 5 years of support and security updates compared to the only 9 months of the bleeding edge version. The consequence is that the age of the base for Linux Mint can be up to 2 years, namely the frequency in which a new LTS release for Ubuntu is delivered. Basically, as a Linux Mint user you start to lag behind modern developments, but how bad is that if you have a system in which all teething problems are solved and therefore stands as a house. And that lag is relative, since Linux Mint itself also comes with interim updates (point releases), but always based on the stable LTS releases.
The most recent version of Linux Mint is 19. This version is based on Ubuntu Bionic Beaver (18.04 LTS with release date April 26, 2018)) and thus have support until April 2023. Shortly thereafter, the Linux Mint team came out with a really new Linux Mint release, namely version 19 with the name Tara and thus based on the latest LTS release from Ubuntu. At that moment, Linux Mint is temporarily equally bleeding edge.
As said earlier, the whole strategy and base concept of Linux Mint is being more stable, reliable and secure while being the most user friendly system as well. Stable means to trust on proven technology which is in this case the LTS release of Ubuntu.
How to download Linux Mint
Downloading Linux Mint is incredibly easy. We assume that you want to use the most recent version, Linux Mint 19 with the name Tara. To do this, follow these steps:
1) Go to https://linuxmint.com/download.php
On this page you see 6 variants that you can choose from, namely 3 different types of desktop environments and a 32-bit and 64-bit version. My starting point is Cinnamon 64-bit. Cinnamon is the flagship desktop environment of Linux Mint. You can’t go wrong here.
2) Press the line of cinnamon on 64-bit
A new screen opens with a large number of Download mirrors.
3) Scroll down until you reach your country or the most nearby country and choose one of the mirror websites.
You will now be asked where you want to save the iso file to be downloaded.
That was it. In a following tutorial I explain how you can place the newly imported ISO file on a bootable USB stick so that you can use it as an installation medium or as a live USB drive.