Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distros out there. Moreover, it uses Ubuntu as its base and particularly the Long Term Support releases for up to 5 years of software support.
Now, we have a new version upgrade, i.e. Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa” based on the latest Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release, which was released in April. Thus, users can expect security updates until 2027.
Let’s take a look at the highlights of this release.
Linux Mint 21 Vanessa: What’s New?
Along with the stable and improved Linux 5.15 LTS kernel, Linux Mint 21 brings in a host of new additions, changes, and refinements.
Upgrade Tool for Existing Users
Existing Mint 20.3 users can easily update their system using the new GUI-based upgrade tool.
Users will be shown a list of new packages to be installed/upgraded. This also includes a check for third-party PPA repositories which you may have added manually.
New Bluetooth Manager
Blueman will now replace the GUI for GNOME Bluetooth manager i.e Blueberry.
The switch was done basically because Blueman simply offered more features, connectivity options, and better support for multiple desktop environments. Moreover, Blueman’s UI blends in perfectly well with Linux Mint.
Blueman includes some advanced options that may be irrelevant to most users, but it is a good tool.
New Process Monitor Tray icon
A very useful feature for both power and basic users is the introduction of a new tray icon that monitors processes!
The tray icon will notify users if any automated processes like updates and system snapshots are running in the background.
Mint users will easily know where to look whenever their system gets slow!
Enhanced Thumbnail Support
Previously, some file types did not have any thumbnails displayed. This wasn’t great for the user experience.
To address it, this release introduces a new project xapp-thumbnails, and brings thumbnail support for file types that include AppImage, ePub, MP3, RAW pictures, and WebP.
The ever-present Timeshift, the backup utility, is now a XApp and is officially maintained by the Mint team. In addition, the required space for the next snapshot is calculated and skipped if the snapshot leads to less than 1GB of free space on the disk in rsync mode.
Other improvements were also made to Xviewer, Warpinator, Thingy, and WebApp manager.
Linux Mint’s flagship desktop environment—Cinnamon—has received good under-the-hood upgrades.
The default windows manager, Muffin, is now re-based on the newer Mutter 3.36 codebase.
There were also subtle improvements to the window UI, including theming and animations.
Other Feature Additions and Improvements
Some other changes include:
- Improved support for AppImage, unlike Ubuntu 22.04
- A new set of beautiful wallpapers in the catalog.
You can explore more about its new highlights in our dedicated Linux Mint 21 features article.
Getting Linux Mint 21
If you are using Mint 20.3, you should be able to upgrade to Mint 21 in a few days. A graphical update process should be revealed in a few days.
You can opt for a fresh installation of Linux Mint by grabbing the ISO from its download page.
You can also get torrent links if you have slow or inconsistent internet.
Enjoy fresh Mint 🙂
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