Linux Mint 21 Released, This is What's New

Linux Mint 21 Released, This is What’s New

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

This is the latest version of the Ubuntu-based distro, and it includes a sizable set of changes compared to the Linux Mint 20.3 release we saw earlier in the year.

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

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

For more details, keep reading.

Linux Mint 21: What’s new?

Linux Mint 21 in action

Linux Mint 21 is based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, the latest Long Term Support release of Ubuntu. This provides Mint users with a number of basic tweaks and file updates, plus peace of mind knowing they have guaranteed security updates for the system for the next five years.

Yes: Linux Mint 21 is supported until 2027.

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

But what about the desktop?

Cinnamon 5.4

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

As a result, there are notable performance, compatibility, and stability improvements in this update. Now, to its credit, Mint has always been pretty fast, even on older hardware, but improvements in this area are sure to be appreciated by those on high-end and mid-end hardware as well as low-end users.

A related change sees the Cinnamon window manager Muffin render all windows using the GTK theme instead of, as before, a mix of GTK (CSD) and Metacity (SSD) window types. Applications appear more consistent with one another, regardless of your choice of toolkit, and window elements look sharp and undistorted.

Linux Mint 21 beta screenshot
Improved fractional scaling features in Mint 21

Improved window animations they also count, albeit at the cost of quick configurability. Still, the Mint developers have paid attention to the default settings and struck a good balance between speed and dexterity. A global control is also included to adjust the speed of animations in Linux Mint 21, if you wish.

Modest improvements in screens add panel buttons for fractional scaling (instead of a dropdown), and there’s a back-end setting for how fractional scaling is handled. The technical details here don’t matter as much as the effects: Linux Mint 21 looks much better on high resolution screens.

Other changes in Linux Mint 21

Linux Mint 21 screenshot showing notes app and blueman bluetooth tool
Colorful notes and new Bluetooth manager

Linux Mint 21 introduces a new tool to connect to Bluetooth devices. Blue Man it is a desktop-agnostic approach that integrates well with all environments, including Linux Mint’s Cinnamon, Xfce, and MATE experience. Blueman is built on top of Bluez, the ‘official Linux Bluetooth protocol stack’.

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

  • Application Image
  • ePub
  • MP3 (album cover)
  • RAW images (most formats)
  • webp

Also, some Xapps, like the Photo image viewer, are also capable of handling many of these formats.

Nemo file manager showing thumbnails for more file types including epub and webp
Nemo can display thumbnails for more file types

mint’s included grades The app, one of my favorites I must say, is capable of duplicating existing sticky notes. It also gives each new note a different color (walking through the set, not randomly). And 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 (eg system backups, updates, etc), Mint now places a small indicator in the tray area. The idea is that this flag will let users know if/when an active process is running that may (even slightly) affect performance.

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

Updated software suite comes pre-installed

Some other smaller changes:

  • Timeshift is now maintained as an XApp
  • Xviewer document viewer improve directory browsing
  • If Warpinator can’t find other devices, it now shows links
  • Web Application Manager supports additional browsers/custom browser commands
  • Uninstall applications from the main menu check dependencies
  • The NVIDIA Prime applet allows you to cancel the change of graphics card
  • Copy System information statistics to clipboard with one click
  • Right-click apps in the Mint menu to access ‘quick list’ actions
  • Calendar applet now shows full duration of current/pending events
  • Power applet shows text + value when adjusting brightness
  • Sound applet hides microphone mute icon when microphone is not in use
  • The window list applet allows you to change the width of the button
  • Power off timeout reduced to 10s

And much more.

Download Linux Mint 21

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

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

h/t target

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