MX Linux, one of the best desktop-oriented distros, including Xfce as its flagship desktop environment, is an (almost) systemd-free Linux distro based on Debian’s stable branch. As a result, it is lightning-fast and is a perfect mixture of simplicity, ease of use, and appeal to more seasoned users.
Today, less than five months after the previous 21.2 release, MX Linux’s devs released the third update of the 21 “Wildflower” series, so let’s see what’s new.
MX Linux 21.3 “Wildflower” Highlights
MX Linux 21.3 builds on the Debian 11.6 base focusing on bug fixes and application updates rather than new features. However, one big exception is the inclusion of the brand-new Xfce 4.18 in the distribution’s flagship release.
Of course, the desktop environment includes all of the benefits of the new version. For example, the Thunar file manager can now display the count of containing files for directories in the “Size” column in the list view. Moreover, it can now undo and redo basic file operations such as move, rename, trash, link, and create actions.
Furthermore, Xfce 4.18 brings to the scene a file highlighting, making the user experience more colorful in the literal sense.
Under the hood, scaling has been improved with UI scaling support, and there is a newly redesigned Clock plugin which includes a sleep monitor and a new binary time mode.
Aside from the flagship Xfce edition, the MX Linux 21.3 Fluxbox flavor now includes a new mx-rofi-manager utility for saving and managing Rofi window switcher configuration. Furthermore, the MX’s KDE flavor is now fully AHS-enabled and uses kernel 6.0 by default.
For those not in the know, AHS (Advanced Hardware Support) is a special MX software repo that allows users to install things like new graphics stack and firmware, as well as updated mesa packages and Xorg drivers.
On the other hand, under the hood, the flagship Xfce edition and the Fluxbox flavor of MX Linux 21.3 are powered by and stick to Debian’s stable kernel 5.10. We will not fail to mention that all MX releases feature updated firmware packages.
Finally, we’ll look at the new applications in MX Linux 21.3. The first is deb-installer, a new tool that replaces the previously used GDebi for local DEB package installation. In addition, MenuLibre also replaces the previously used mx-menu-editor for editing start menu items.
You can refer to the official announcement for detailed information about all changes.
If you want to give MX Linux 21.3 a try, the links to the installation ISO images are at the bottom of the official announcement. The distro also offers 32-bit and 64-bit versions, as only the KDE flavor doesn’t have a 32-bit option.
Of course, if you are already running MX Linux 21, there is no need to reinstall. To upgrade to the latest 21.3 release, run the commands listed below:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade