Linux Mint 21 released, that’s what’s new

The stable version of Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa” is now available for download.

This is the latest version of the Ubuntu distro, and it brings a ton of changes compared to the Linux Mint 20.3 we saw at the beginning of the year.

In this post, I show you what’s new in Linux Mint 21 download, and summarize how to upgrade to Linux Mint 21 from a previous version if you’re running one.

As always, Linux Mint 21 is available in three distinct distillations: the flagship Cinnamon version (which uses the Cinnamon desktop environment by default), the Xfce variant (using the Xfce desktop), and the MATE option (which comes with the MATE desktop by default). In this post I mainly focus on the Cinnamon version.

For more details, keep reading.

Linux Mint 21: What’s New?

Linux Mint 21 running

Linux Mint 21 is based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Ubuntu’s latest long-term support release. This provides Mint users with a series of basic mods and archive updates, Plus Peace of mind knowing that security updates for the system over the next five years are guaranteed.

yes: Linux Mint 21 is supported until 2027.

Kernel wise Mint 21 uses Linux 5.15. This brings (among other changes) a new NTFS file system driver (easy to use when interacting with Windows partitions), EXT4 file system improvements (Mint uses EXT4 by default), as well as better hardware support, security patches, bug fixes and all that jazz.

But what about the desktop?

Cinnamon 5.4

Linux Mint 21 comes with Cinnamon 5.4, the latest version of the relatively lightweight WIMP user interface. In this iteration, the developers are restoring the desktop base on top of a more modern version of Mutter, a move designed to bring its code base closer to the upstream and reduce delta.

As a result, there are prominent Performance, compatibility, and stability improvements in this update. Now, Mint has always been very fast, even on older hardware, but the improvements in this area are sure to be appreciated by those with high-end and mid-range hardware like low-end users.

Sees a related change Cinnamon window manager Muffin Display all windows using the GTK theme instead of a combination of GTK (CSD) and Metacity (SSD) window types as before. Applications look more consistent with each other regardless of their toolkit selection, and window elements look sharp and undistorted.

Screenshot of Linux Mint 21 beta
Enhanced partial scaling features in Mint 21

Enhanced animation window An advantage too, albeit at the expense of quick configurability. However, Mint developers have taken care of the default settings and strike a good balance between speed and slickness. A global control to adjust the animation speed is also included in Linux Mint 21, if you want.

Modest improvements to Displays The panel adds buttons for the fractional scale (instead of a dropdown), and there is a back-review on how the fractional scale is handled. The technical details are not as important here as the effects: Linux Mint 21 Many The most beautiful on high-resolution screens.

Other changes in Linux Mint 21

Linux Mint 21 screenshot showing notes app and bluetooth widget
Colorful notes and new bluetooth manager

Linux Mint offers 21 files New tool for connecting to bluetooth devices. blue man It is a desktop-neutral approach that integrates well into all environments, including Linux Mint’s Cinnamon Experience, Xfce, and MATE. Blueman is built on top of Bluez, the “official Linux Bluetooth protocol stack”.

There are also rich thumbnails for the following file types in nemo files manager:

  • AppImage
  • ePub
  • MP3 (album cover)
  • RAW images (most formats)
  • web

Plus some Xapps, like pix Image viewer, also capable of handling many of these formats.

Nemo File Manager displays thumbnails for more file types including epub and webp
Nemo can show thumbnails for more file types

mint complex Notes The app – my favorite, I must say – is able to duplicate existing stickers. It also gives each new note a different color (by moving through the group, not randomly). The system tray icon has been redesigned to look more in tune with the rest of the Mint icon pack.

When an automated task is running in the background (for example, system backups, upgrades, etc.), Mint now places a small cursor in the tray area. The idea is that this indicator will allow users to see if an active process that might (albeit slightly) affect performance is running.

Mint 21 also ships with the latest versions of popular Linux software, which are pre-packaged. This includes LibreOffice 7.3 for productivity needs, Mozilla Firefox 103 for web browsing, and Thunderbird 91 for Realizing you’ll never reach inbox zero E-mail.

The updated software suite comes pre-installed

Some other small changes:

  • Timeshift is now kept as an XApp
  • Xviewer document viewer Improves directory browsing
  • If Warpinator fails to find other devices, it now displays links
  • Web Application Manager supports additional browsers / custom browser commands
  • Uninstalling apps from the main menu will query dependencies
  • The NVIDIA Prime applet lets you unswitch the graphics card
  • copy system information Clipboard stats in one click
  • Right-click on the apps in the Mint menu to access the Quick Menu actions
  • Calendar applet now displays the full duration of current/pending events
  • Power applet displays text + value when adjusting brightness
  • The audio applet hides the microphone mute icon when the microphone is not being used
  • The Window List applet allows you to change the width of the button
  • Shutdown time reduced to 10 seconds

Plus a lot.

Download Linux Mint 21

The system requirements for Linux Mint 21 haven’t changed since Linux Mint 20, so if your computer is fairly new (64-bit processor, at least 2GB of RAM, 15GB of free space) you’re good to go. The Linux Mint website has a comprehensive installation guide if you need help installing Linux Mint 21.

Check the official Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa” release notes for more information, or skip straight to the procedure and download Linux Mint 21 from the Linux Mint website (where you have a direct download, selection of mirrors, and torrent options).

h/t meta

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