Linux Mint 21.3 ‘Virginia’ Is Here with Cinnamon 6.0

Linux Mint 21.3, backed until 2027, debuts Cinnamon 6.0 with experimental Wayland support, promising a forward-looking desktop environment.

Linux Mint 21.3, backed until 2027, debuts Cinnamon 6.0 with experimental Wayland support, promising a forward-looking desktop environment.

Linux Mint has long been recognized as one of the leading desktop Linux distributions, offering users a balance of stability, performance, and user-friendliness. This reputation is only set to grow with the release of Linux Mint 21.3, codenamed “Virginia.”

Linux Mint 21.3 “Virginia”: What’s New?

Linux Mint 21.3 'Virginia'
Linux Mint 21.3 “Virginia”

Powered by Linux kernel 5.15 and based on Ubuntu 22.04 package base, “Virginia” is the third in the row update in the Mint’s 21 series, following 21.1 “Vera” released more than a year ago in December 2022, and 21.2 “Victoria” which hits the streets in July 2023.

As always, each new Mint’s release concentrates heavily on improving its signature Cinnamon desktop environment. And guess what? With this update, we get a major new version.

Cinnamon 6.0: The Star of the Show

The highlight of Linux Mint 21.3 is undoubtedly the introduction of Cinnamon 6.0, the latest version of its renowned desktop environment. It brings various features and improvements, enhancing usability and providing greater customization options.

Action Spices

Until now, Cinnamon supported four types of “spices” – applets, desklets, extensions, and themes. These spices have allowed users to personalize and enhance their desktop experience extensively.

With Cinnamon 6.0, a new type of spice known as Actions, formerly “Nemo actions,” is introduced. They are essentially add-ons for your file manager’s context menu.

For example, the “mintstick” package provides you with actions that reveal new context menu items like “Make bootable USB stick” and “Verify” when right-clicking on an ISO file.

Action spices extend the file manager's capabilities.
Action spices extend the file manager’s capabilities.

Similar to other spices like applets, desklets, extensions, and themes, they allow users to download, enable, and rate them. Only actions deemed useful to most people will be shipped with the distro by default.

Experimental Wayland Support

Following the increasing trend away from Xorg in favor of Wayland, Linux Mint 21.3 starts the journey towards Wayland support, a significant challenge for the project.

In light of this, the new release includes a dedicated Wayland session option in the login screen as a preview feature to gather user feedback and gradually improve support.

While Wayland will not become the default over Xorg anytime soon, this feature is a step towards its integration, which is expected to mature in Mint by 2026. Until then, the developers intend to stick with Xorg.

Experimental Wayland Support

However, though not set to replace Xorg as the default just yet, Cinnamon’s experimental Wayland support clearly indicates the direction the distro is heading.

Other Enhancements

With new zoom actions and customizable gesture triggers, Cinnamon 6.0 makes desktop navigation more intuitive and efficient. On top of that, it also brings back 75% scaling and window opacity keybinding and adds new features like configurable notification monitors.

Hypnotix: Enhanced TV Viewing Experience

Hypnotix IPTV streaming application with support for live TV.
Hypnotix IPTV streaming application with support for live TV.

The TV viewer application Hypnotix sees significant updates in this release. Users can now set their favorite channels for quick access and create custom TV channels from any streamable URL.

This feature allows for a more personalized viewing experience, including streaming YouTube videos directly through Hypnotix. Additionally, the app has improved its yt-dlp update mechanism, ensuring continuous compatibility with YouTube.

Extended Support and Enhanced Compatibility

Linux Mint 21.3 is a long-term support (LTS) release, promising support until 2027. This version includes updated software, bringing several refinements for a more comfortable desktop experience.

It also introduces full support for SecureBoot and enhanced compatibility with various BIOS and EFI systems, ensuring a broader range of hardware compatibility.

Other Notable Improvements

  • Warpinator: Enhanced with manual connection options, including QR code scanning.
  • Sticky Notes App: Now supports DBUS commands for advanced note management.
  • Improved Tools: Bulky, the batch file renaming tool, has been updated to include thumbnail previews and the ability to drag and drop files. In addition, Pix now adjusts video playback based on the video’s orientation, automatically rotating it for a better viewing experience.
  • System Customization and Performance: New gestures, sound applet enhancements, and configurable notification monitors.
  • Artwork: A fresh collection of backgrounds adds a visual appeal to the desktop experience.

Mint 21.3’s MATE & Xfce Editions

But, of course, Linux Mint isn’t just about Cinnamon – two other lightweight desktops are available in their respective “Virginia” editions.

For those who prefer Xfce, just like in the previous Mint 21.2 release, its latest version, 4.18, is available. At the same time, if you like the good old GNOME 2 spirit, Linux Mint 21.3 MATE ships with version 1.26 of the desktop environment.

Additionally, there’s good news for those using LMDE 6, launched last September. It’s scheduled to integrate all the updates from Linux Mint 21.3 in the upcoming days and weeks.

For a complete list of changes, please refer to the release announcement. You can grab the installation ISO images from the download section on the project’s website.

Upgrade to Linux Mint 21.3 ‘Virginia’

If you are currently running Mint 21.2 “Victoria,” upgrading to 21.3 “Virginia” is simple and seamless. Here’s our comprehensive and easy-to-follow “How to Upgrade to Linux Mint 21.3 from Mint 21.2” guide.

Finally, just a quick heads-up: if you’re currently using the BETA version, there’s no need for a full upgrade because your BETA is becoming a stable Linux Mint 21.3 release. So, to keep everything up to date, use the Update Manager to apply only the available updates.

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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