On the last day of July, the Linux Mint project delighted its fans by announcing the general availability of version 21, “Vanessa.”
Linux Mint is a well-known distribution in the Linux community. It is often associated with what Ubuntu, on which it is based, is supposed to represent.
The distribution includes all the characteristics that the average Linux user seeks, including a beautiful and functional desktop environment, ease of use, and reliability and stability. But unlike Ubuntu, Linux Mint provides predictability, with no unexpected moves or experiments with its userbase.
As a result, every new Mint version is eagerly awaited, and the recently released Linux Mint 21 is no exception.
Not deviating from the tradition of naming its releases only with female names ending in the letter “a” Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa” is now generally available. So let’s see what it offers us.
What’s New in Linux Mint 21 (Vanessa)
Linux Mint 21 is based on Ubuntu 22.04 and is a Long Term Support (LTS) release, with support lasting until 2027. It includes updated software, improvements, and new features to better your desktop experience.
Under the hood, the distro ships with the Linux kernel 5.15 LTS. Currently, the LTS period projects Linux kernel 5.15 LTS to reach End-of-Life in October 2023. However, as is usually the case, this can be extended by years, given enough industry support.
Now back to the topic. Linux Mint 21 (Vanessa) is generally available in three popular flavors: Cinnamon, Xfce, and MATE. Each includes the most recent version of your preferred desktop environment: Cinnamon 5.4, Xfce 4.16, and MATE 1.26.
Of course, the Linux Mint 21 Cinnamon edition piques our curiosity the most, including the brand new Cinnamon 5.4 desktop environment.
There are many novelties here, the most noteworthy of which is a major rebase of its window manager. More precisely, Muffin is now based on Mutter 3.36, and its codebase is significantly more close to upstream than it was previously.
On top of that, in Cinnamon 5.4, all windows, whether they contain a header bar or not, are now rendered with the GTK theme. In addition, themes for Metacity are no longer used, window animations are improved, and GTK antialiasing is now used on all windows.
The other two desktop environments, Xfce (4.16) and MATE (1.26) provide the most recent versions that are already well-known to all Linux users.
One of the new features in Linux Mint 21 involves Bluetooth connectivity, specifically the desktop app we use to manage our Bluetooth devices. The point is that Blueman has taken the place of the previously utilized Blueberry app. There is, of course, a reason for this.
Blueberry relied on
gnome-bluetooth, explicitly created for the GNOME desktop environment. On the other hand, Blueman is based on the standard Bluez stack, which works everywhere and may even be used or queried from the command line.
The next improvement relates to how the file manager in Linux Mint 21 visualizes the various file types. Associating them with the correct thumbnail previews improves the user experience significantly. At the same time, the lack of thumbnails for some commonly used file types was always annoying.
To help with this, Linux Mint 21 launched a project called xapp-thumbnailers, which is now integrated into the new release of the operating system. As a result, file formats such as AppImage, ePub, MP3 (album cover), RAW pictures (most formats), and Webp are now represented correctly in the file managers included in the various Linux Mint 21 editions.
Another popular app, Sticky Notes, has also been improved. It is now capable of duplicating notes. Additionally, when the app is instructed to choose different colors for newly created notes, it no longer does so at random. Instead, it cycles through the color palette to increase the probability that each note has a different color.
We won’t forget to highlight that a process monitor has been included in Linux Mint 21 to detect automated background updates and system snapshots. As a result, the monitor displays an icon in your system tray whenever an automatic task is running.
So, if your computer begins to function slower than usual or registers a high load, a quick look at the system tray area can provide an instant answer to what’s happening in the background.
Of course, Linux Mint 21 includes many additional minor improvements. For example, Xviewer and thumbnailers now support Webp image format. In addition, annotations can now be created directly from the document in Xreader by right-clicking selected text and selecting “Annotate.”
Moreover, the software source management and printing and scanning support have been improved, the Mint-X theme has been redesigned, and so on.
For a complete list of changes, please refer to the official announcement.
Since Linux Mint 21 is an LTS release, it will continue to receive security updates until 2027. As a result, until 2024, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 21, and the development team will not start work on a new base but will remain entirely focused on this one.
Download Linux Mint 21
System requirements are as follows:
- Minimal: 2GB RAM, 20GB of disk space
- Recommended: 4GB RAM, 100GB of disk space
If you are currently running Linux Mint 20.3 and want to upgrade to Linux Mint 21, you will find our extensive guide, “How to Upgrade to Linux Mint 21 from 20.3: The Proper Way,” very helpful.
We are sure you will enjoy the new edition, so we wish you a lot of fun time with this much-anticipated new Mint release.