Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” Released, Here’s What’s New

Linux Mint 21.2 "Victoria" may not offer groundbreaking features, but it reinforces Mint's standing as the go-to Linux OS for desktop users.

While some Linux distributions strive to introduce revolutionary advancements or cutting-edge technologies, Linux Mint takes a different approach.

Instead of chasing the latest trends, the team behind Linux Mint focuses on perfecting the essentials that desktop users value most: stability, simplicity, and familiarity. This is exactly the case with the just-released Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria.”

Building on the shoulders of the previous 21.1 “Vera” release, Mint’s developers continue their mission to provide a stable and user-friendly Linux experience without overwhelming users with unnecessary complexity or flashy features.

Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” Highlights

Linux Mint 21.2 "Victoria" Cinnamon Desktop
Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” Cinnamon Desktop

Based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and powered by Linux kernel 5.15 LTS, the Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” release comes in three varieties offering different desktop environments: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.

As always, the main focus and expectation is on the distribution’s hallmark – the Cinnamon desktop.

Cinnamon 5.8 Desktop Environment

Here users get its most up-to-date version, 5.8, which introduces a new concept called “styles.” In short, it is the ability to apply one of three global predefined modes – Mixed, Dark, or Light, to the selected style, as each can contain a color variant.

Cinnamon styles
Cinnamon styles

This way, with just a few clicks of the mouse, you achieve an aesthetically pleasing desktop environment without digging through menus and customizing each item individually.

The devs also realigned the titlebar buttons, but more importantly, Linux Mint 21.2 now relies entirely on symbolic icons (those that change color dynamically) with excellent support in GTK4 instead of monochrome ones.

Mint is known for its attention to every detail, and the “Victoria” release is no exception. In this light, the tooltips have been completely revamped, leaving the old grey-framed rectangles in the past.

They now use the chosen accent color, have a level of transparency, and are considerably more readable, giving the desktop environment a fresher look.

Cinnamon 5.8 tooltips.
Cinnamon 5.8 tooltips.

Lastly, the Cinnamon notifications have also been redesigned to feature the accent color.

Icons Redesign

In the previous 21.1 release, Mint’s developers decided to replace the view of the main folder icons with ones with a stripe. However, the community has not received it well.

So, keeping with its philosophy of being a user-centric distribution that listens to the users’ voice, Linux Mint 21.2 revert to a cleaner look for the icons, removing the stripe.

On top of that, being closely tied to Ubuntu, on which it is based, the new Linux Mint 21.2 release adds a new color scheme to its collection, greatly influenced by Ubuntu’s Yaru theme.

Yaru icons theme.
Yaru icons theme.

Pix Image Viewer

Pix, an image viewer and browser, has been rebased on gThumb 3.12.2, adopting the new gThumb UI. This rebase comes with an impressive 168 new features, most notably:

  • Better performance, faster image loading, faster navigation
  • Support for AVIF/HEIF and JXL formats
  • Improved zoom controls
  • Support for color profiles
  • Color picker
  • Search in multiple folders
Pix image viewer & browser.
Pix image viewer & browser.

Refreshed Software Manager

The Software Manager, the beating heart of Linux Mint, has received an update to its user interface in the 21.2 “Victoria” release.

The list of featured applications has been updated to include Flatpaks and the scoring system has been improved to give new trending apps more attention.

Linux Mint 21.2 Software Manager
Linux Mint 21.2 Software Manager

Other Linux Mint 21.2 Highlights

The other Mint editions, MATE and Xfce, include the most recent desktop environments, MATE 1.26 and Xfce 4.18, respectively. While the MATE has mostly stayed the same from the previous Mint 21.1 release, Xfce 4.18 brings significant changes.

Moreover, Linux Mint 21.2 comes with added gesture support for window management, workspace management, tiling, and media controls. Moreover, gestures are now supported on touchpads, touchscreens, and tablets.

Nemo, Cinnamon’s file manager, now features multi-threaded thumbnails. This means that instead of generating each thumbnail individually, it creates multiple thumbnails simultaneously, resulting in faster directory loading, especially for ones containing many media files.

Warpinator, a network file transfer and sharing application received support for landlock and bubblewrap. These techniques have been implemented with security in mind to ensure folder isolation, preventing the app from writing outside its specific download folder.

Lastly, Slick Greeter, Mint’s login manager, received support for multiple keyboard layouts. The keyboard navigation was also improved, and the revealer icon appears when the password is clicked or edited.

Mint's Slick Greeter
Mint’s Slick Greeter

Wayland sessions, LXQT/Pademelon badges, and a scrollable session list are now supported.

For a complete list of changes, please refer to the release announcement.

Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” is a long-term support release that Mint’s devs will support until 2027. You can grab the installation ISO images from the download section on the project’s website.

If you are currently running Mint 21.1 “Vera,” upgrading to 21.2 “Victoria” is simple and seamless. Here’s our comprehensive and easy-to-follow “How to Upgrade to Linux Mint 21.2 from Mint 21.1” guide.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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