Linux Mint 12 "Lisa" has been released, providing a major update to the world's most popular Linux distribution.
As with all flavors of Linux, Mint has had to deal with the ongoing drama of the love-it-or-hate-it Gnome 3 desktop. Mint has chosen to provide Gnome 3 with shell extensions side by side with a fork of Gnome 2 called MATE.
The new Linux Mint 12 arrives at a time when the distro has experienced a surge of popularity. DistroWatch last week reported that previous mass market Linux darling Ubuntu suffered a spectacular fall from grace, plummeting below openSUSE and Fedora.
The spectacular fall from grace has widely been attributed to a general level of hatred towards Ubuntu's new Unity desktop, prompted by the spectacular open source road crash of Gnome 3.
However ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has a different theory, pointing out that Ubuntu's decline started some time ago (although it's nothing at all like the plummet since Unity arrived) and suggesting that "Ubuntu got too popular and it tried to become all things to all Linux users."
This, Kingsley-Hughes suggests, has meant that Ubuntu increasingly fails to appeal to the hardcore base of Linux users. Given that Ubuntu's mission statement is to expand the appeal of the free desktop for the wider market, perhaps Ubuntu's failure is really a failure of Linux to main serious inroads against the major commercial operating systems of Windows and OSX?
32 and 64-bit DVD images are available as well as CD versions with no MATE or codecs. You can download Mint 12 from a wide range of mirrors around the world listed on this blog post.