November 14, 2011, 1:27 PM — Just a week or so after revealing that Linux Mint 12 would be taking a hybrid approach to introducing GNOME 3, the project behind the free operating system on Saturday announced the debut of a release candidate of the software.
Based on the new Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot," the final version of Linux Mint 12 is due for release later this month, or as soon as the team feels it's ready. It will be supported until April 2013.
Here's a rundown of some of the key features you'll find in the new release candidate of the software.
1. GNOME 3 and MGSE
As I described last week, Linux Mint 12 will ease the transition to the controversial new GNOME 3 desktop by adding a layer on top that lets you use GNOME 3 in a traditional way.
MGSE, or Mint GNOME Shell Extensions, is the name of that layer, and it gives users numerous options with respect to GNOME 3. For a full-fledged GNOME 3 experience, for instance, users can disable all MGSE components; conversely, by enabling all of them you'll get a GNOME 3 desktop that's similar to what you've been using before. Alternatively, users can also pick and choose which components they want to enable for a custom-designed "middle of the road."
Also included in MGSE, meanwhile, are additional extensions such as a media player indicator and multiple GNOME 3 enhancements.