The first release candidate for Mint 12, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a choice between a highly customised GNOME 3 and MATE (a fork of GNOME 2) desktops, is out and ready for testing: “The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 12 ‘Lisa’ RC. Linux Mint 12 is a new step forward, using new technologies and a brand new desktop, built with GNOME 3 and Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE). MGSE is a desktop layer on top of GNOME 3 that makes it possible to use GNOME 3 in a traditional way. You can disable all components within MGSE to get a pure GNOME 3 experience, or you can enable all of them to get a GNOME 3 desktop that is similar to what you’ve been using before. The main features in MGSE are: the bottom panel, the application menu, the window list, a task-centric desktop (i.e. you switch between windows, not applications), visible system tray icons.” Read the release announcement and check out the what’s new page for more detailed information and screenshots. Download (SHA256): linuxmint-12-gnome-dvd-32bit-rc.iso (1,025MB, torrent), linuxmint-12-gnome-dvd-64bit-rc.iso (1,014MB, torrent).