The Linux Mint project has decided version 18, scheduled for June 2016, will end out-of-the-box installation of multimedia codecs.
The reasoning is straightforward: shipping with codecs involves a lot of work that other mainstream distributions don't bother with, instead leaving users to choose what they want post-install.
As the maintainers explain in this Friday post, pre-configuring codecs was “very costly and only slightly improved our distribution”, so out they go, with the post providing instructions on codec installation.
Snipping the codecs out of the default images means the project will be able to cull its release cycle to four events with 12 ISO images to test in each event.
Mint 18 will use Ubuntu 16.04 as its package base, with project leader Clement Lefebvre writing that the choice fixes a number of hardware issues “out of the box”, including touchpad drivers, Nvidia support, Logitech wireless keyboard support, and better installation on Macs.
The post says many Mint applications have been ported to GTK3/Python3/Gsettings and been given better HiDPI support.
Applications developed to support the Xapps Initiative included the xplayer media player; xed text editor; xviewer picture viewer; and xreader document reader.
The post says these will all ship as defaults in Linux Mint 18, “where they will replace totem, gedit, pluma, eog, eom, evince, atril and possibly ristretto.” ®