Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre announced an important decision taken on the Mint release cycles. Starting immediately with Linux Mint 17 “Qiana”, the Ubuntu-based operating system will be based only on the LTS releases.
The decision is significant as this shows the direction is which Mint is moving with more stability in mind. Fewer releases immediately means that the focus of the development will be on the same package base for the next 2 years. The complexity involved in the upgrade paths from version 17 to 17.1 to 17.2 will also be reduced to a great extent.
Of course this doesn’t mean that users will need to sacrifice the latest updates in important applications. Clement confirms “Important applications will be backported”. However, the change in the release mode will boost the pace of development as developers can focus more on development than spending more time in regressing each new Linux Mint release.
With the change in the release mode which takes effect in Linux Mint 17.x, the imminent release is now very important to the Mint developers. This is going to be the release which will receive security updates till 2019, backports and new features till 2016. This is also going to be the only package base on focus (besides LMDE) till 2016.
So while users will be seeing lesser number of major releases of this extremely popular OS, there will be no lack of important application features which will keep getting backported.