Peppermint OS recently announced version 9 of their GNU/Linux distribution, which is based at least in part on Lubuntu. This means that it inherits the security ecosystem from Ubuntu and therefore Debian, providing it with a stable core that makes it very useful for those deploying desktop software on relatively weak hardware.
As a result, this distribution has used a customized version of the LXDE desktop for the longest time. However, this new release includes more components taken from the Xfce4 environment. While not quite as lightweight as LXDE, Xfce is still very kind to system resources and is extremely customizable. This gives users the freedom to configure their desktop environment however they’d like without having to sacrifice security.
OS 9 install media from Peppermint is based on the repositories from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, which means the operating system should continue to receive important security updates for quite some time.
Some 32-bit Linux users have had problems because Microsoft no longer officially releases a Skype client for open-source operating systems running on i386 chipsets. They’ve had to rely on older software that either won’t work or has security problems. Skype Web Client SSB comes with Peppermint OS 9, which means that 32-bit users can install this distribution and expect Skype to work out of the box without security or performance issues.
Other important updates include packaging the 4.15 version of the Linux kernel. The ISO ships with 4.15.0-23 by default. A modern Chromium implementation ships as the default web browser, though users can also install other modern GTK-based browsers from the repositories easily. It even comes with htop by default, which may aid those who are looking for malevolent or badly performing software. Linux security and performance tinkerers who use it quite often will appreciate the fact that developers decided to give htop an independent menu item.
While not necessarily related to security, OS 9 ships with the Nemo file manager instead of LXDE’s PCManFM or Xfce4’s Thunar. Nemo is the official file manager from the Cinnamon environment, which makes it an interesting choice for something that’s based on other environments.