Linux Mint 21, codenamed “Vanessa,” is now available packed with a slew of new features. This release is based on the most recent Ubuntu LTS release, 22.04.
This post will go over what’s new in Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa.” Thousands of people have been waiting for this stable release of Linux Mint, and once it is available, it will be fascinating to see if it is worthwhile to upgrade to the latest version.
One of the most popular Linux distributions is Linux Mint. Linux Mint is a great place to start if you’re new to Linux. It’s available in three flavours: Cinnamon, Xfce, and Mate. It works on practically all modern computers and supports both old and new hardware. The large community assists new Linux users in acclimating to the environment by providing quick resolutions to all typical problems.
However, there should be no mistake that it is solely for newcomers. I’ve been using Linux Mint for years due to its stability, timely updates, and a vast community that teaches new things about everyday.
With that being said, let’s dive-in and find out what’s new in Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa”.
What’s new in Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa”
First and foremost, Linux Mint 21 is based on the most recent Ubuntu LTS release, 22.04. Because each Linux Mint version is a long-term release, Linux Mint 21 will be supported until 2027 as well. If you are not a distro hopper, you can install Linux Mint and use it for years without issue.
New Application — Blueman
Blueberry has been replaced by Blueman in the latest distribution, which means I no longer need to install it manually. Blueman will assist you in connecting to other Bluetooth-enabled devices if your device is Bluetooth-enabled. Blueman is always more steady and works without a hitch.
Linux Mint 21 comes with three desktop environments, Cinnamon, Xfce, and Mate. For the purpose of this article, I used Mint’s flagship desktop environment Cinnamon. Linux Mint 21 features latest Cinnamon desktop version Cinnamon 5.4 which was released with various changes and new features.
Similarly, Xfce and Mate flavors have also been updated to their latest version, making everything available to users that environments have to offer.
No more snap store
Ubuntu developed and maintains the snap package management system. In this article, I went over the snap package management system in depth. Because each snap package contains all of its dependencies and the snap application itself runs in an isolated environment, the application runs seamlessly without installing a single package on the operating system.
Any snap application may be installed and run on any Linux distribution, regardless of whether it is based on RHEL, Debian, or Arch, after users enable snap on their distribution, which requires installing the snap core.
While snap offers numerous advantages, such as being runnable on any distro, it does take up a lot of disc space. Because each snap package has its own dependencies, the overall size of the snap application grows significantly.
Since the beginning, Linux Mint has been open about snap packages. The developers deleted the default snap support first, and now they have disabled the snap store (a store to download and install snap apps). This article is not about snap, however before making judgements, please read this advice from Linux Mint, which explains why the snap store should not be utilised. And I must say, they make some valid points.
Linux Mint 21’s applications have been upgraded to the most recent versions. Among the most noticeable application upgrades is the launch of a new Xapp project called xapp-thumbnailers, which improves existing thumbnail support. Users should now see the correct thumbnail for the following mimetypes:
- MP3 (album cover)
- RAW pictures (most formats)
Sticky Notes, as the name implies, is a note-taking tool that may be used to remind yourself of crucial chores. Vanessa has seen some significant upgrades, including the option to duplicate a note. The application employed random colours on each note to distinguish them from one another. Instead of randomising the colours of the notes, the most recent update cycles over the colour array, increasing the likelihood that each note’s colour will be different from other notes.
Process Monitor to show running automated tasks
Another significant change is the addition of a new icon in the system tray that displays the currently running automatic task(s), such as automated updates and backup. When automated processes run on low-end devices, the user may perceive a considerable decline in system performance with no knowledge of the ongoing automated operations. The small process monitor indicator will instantly provide information on the automatic operations and why the system may be performing slowly.
Aside from the aforementioned noteworthy improvements, there are a few minor modifications that will improve user experience and pave the way for future Linux Mint releases.
- Timeshift is now maintained as XApp.
- Timeshift can now calculate the required disc space for the next snapshot when in rsync mode. If the snapshot production results in less than 1GB of free storage space, the backup is skipped.
- Webp is supported by xviewer and thumbnailers.
- Xviewer’s directory browsing has been improved.
- Warpinator is a helpful tool created by Linux Mint developers that allows machines on the same network to share files. When Warpinator cannot find another device, it now displays links to download Warpinator for Windows, Android, and iOS.
- Additional browsers and custom browser parameters are now supported by the WebApp management application.
Download Linux Mint
You’re probably thinking about getting your hands on the release now. There are two ways to get the latest version –
Download the release, make bootable media, and do a fresh install, or upgrade from your existing Linux Mint installation.
Upgrade to Linux Mint 21
The official instructions for upgrading to Linux Mint 21 were not available at the time of writing this article. However, we can upgrade using a programme called
mintupgrade. It has the potential to render the present installation unbootable, hence I strongly advise users to create a backup.
sudo apt install mintupgrade
sudo mintupgrade check
mintupgrade will scan your system and begin the upgrade process, which may include disabling unsupported PPAs and removing/downgrading packages. I used
mintupgrade and successfully upgraded to Vanessa in approximately 30 minutes. I had installed PHP 8, which required some dependencies to be updated. To install Linux Mint 21, I had to uninstall PHP 8 and its dependencies.
Before you upgrade, I strongly advise you to carefully study the prompts to delete or downgrade packages.