The Linux Mint team has released a new version of the popular Linux distribution to the public. Linux Mint 21, codename Vanessa, is now available.
Linux Mint 21 is a long-term support release that will be supported until 2027. Linux Mint 21 remains the base until 2024; expect several point releases with easy to perform upgrades. Development shifts to a new base in 2024, Linux Mint 22, but Linux Mint 21 will continue to be supported until 2027.
The Ubuntu-based Linux distribution comes in the flavors Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce.
Linux Mint 21
Linux Mint 21 follows Linux Mint 20, which was released in June 2020. The team released three Linux Mint 20 point releases, the last, Linux Mint 20.3, in January 2022.
The new Linux Mint release includes ne features, updated software and refinements. ISO images are already available for download and upgrade instructions will follow in the near future.
Linux Mint 21 changes
Linux Mint 21 includes many changes and improvements. Here is an overview of the important changes:
- Blueman is the new program for all things Bluetooth on Linux Mint. The new app offers better connectivity and options, including more information and command line support.
- New xapp-thumbnailers application that adds thumbnail support to several new file types, including webp, mp3, raw, epub, and AppImage.
- Sticky Notes supports duplicating notes in the new release.
- A lightweight processor monitor is included in Linux Mint 21 that monitors the system for automated updates and system snapshots. When it notices these, it displays an icon in the system tray to inform users about it and provide an explanation for potential slowdowns during the process.
- Several XApps have been improved in the new release:
- Timeshift calculates the required space of the backup before it creates it. Tasks are skipped when the creation of the snapshot would lead to less than 1 Gigabyte of storage space on the disk.
- Xviewer and Thumbnailers support Webp now.
- Improved directory browsing in Xviewer.
- Warpinator provides links to its Windows, Android and iOS counterparts when it fails to find other devices.
- Bulk renamer Thingy received UI improvements.
- WebApp manager supports more browsers and custom parameters.
- Printing and scanning improvements. Linux Mint 21 uses Driverless Printing and Scanning (IPP), which enables communication with most printers and scanners without the need to install drivers first. If printing or scanning is no longer working, users should “disable driverless printing/scanning by removing the ipp-usb and airscan packages” and install drivers provided by the manufacturer.
- Software sources, repository list, PPA list and key list support multi-selections.
- The uninstallation of apps from the main menu has a new precautionary feature. Linux Mint runs a dependency check now and displays a warning if another package depends on that app. The uninstallation will remove any dependencies that are no longer needed.
- The shutdown timeout has been set to 10 seconds.
- If you rely on lengthy operations to finish before shutdown, read /etc/systemd/system.conf.d/50_linuxmint.conf and override the timeout value in /etc/systemd/system.conf.d/60_custom.conf.
Linux Mint 21: Cinnamon
Linux Mint Cinnamon’s window manager Muffin is now based on Mutter 3.36. The development team plans to ensure that Muffin and Mutter codebases remain “as close as possible” in the future.
The display configuration is now available in Muffin, and no longer handled by csd-xrandr. The new release streamlines themes as well. In the new release, all windows are rendered with the GTK theme. Previously, it was possible that certain parts of the window were rendered using the Metacity theme.
In Linux Mint 21 Cinnamon, Metacity themes are no longer used.
All windows benefit from GTK antialiasing now, which should make “rounded corners look crispier”. Linux Mint Cinnamon users may also notice that window animations have improved. The team notes that it is no longer possible to “tune animations and make your own”, but there is an option to change the global speed of animations.
Now You: what is your take on the new release? Do you plan to run it?