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2016 is turning out to be an exciting year for GNU/Linux distro releases. First we had the release of the class- leading Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and from that a host of spin-off distros have been slowly appearing. The next most popular release is Linux Mint 18. Based on that LTS Ubuntu release, this next big Mint release brings with it a host of huge changes to the popular distro.

To celebrate Linux Mint 18 being released, we’re running a comprehensive feature on what’s new and exciting in this release of Mint, from its all-new X-Apps to the new improved Cinnamon desktop that so many know and love. We run you through the install process, look at how Mint is built, examine where it went wrong with its security in the past, show how it has fixed the situation and where Mint could still improve itself. We’re sure you’re going to love Mint 18, so we’ve got both the 64- and 32-bit releases on the disc.

As we know, Linux is expanding in all directions, and one of these is into more and more embedded applications. This issue we explain how you can build your own Pi-powered Linux-run drone. Importantly, it won’t break the bank and you don’t need to be Elon Musk to build it. It’s just another example of the expansion of Linux into real-time hardware applications.

We’re also continuing to look at the issue of open hardware, this issue by examining how useful LibreBoot – the completely open BIOS replacement – actually is. Would you want to try it? Read our feature to find out. There’s also much, much more this issue: with tutorials covering basic terminal tasks to the utterly involved ggplot2 and finishing looking at Rust plus the absorbing Play and Wrangle, we’re continually blown away by how varied and interesting living in the FLOSS world is. Enjoy!

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