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The beta version had been released in mid-July. On the last day of the same month, the final version was released. I speak of Linux Mint 21which brings “Vanessa” as alias. The distribution maintains a focus on ease of use, but now it does so with updated features. Among them are the desktop environment Cinnamon 5.4 and a new way of connecting to Bluetooth devices.
Not everything is exactly new. Linux Mint 21 is based on the Linux 5.15 kernel, for example, despite the fact that Linux 5.19 was released just a few days ago. But this is not a problem (at least not a serious problem), after all, it takes time for new kernel versions to reach distributions.
Let’s also take into account that Linux Mint 21 is based on Ubuntu 22.04, whose kernel version is precisely 5.15.
Cinnamon 5.4 and other advancements
It is undeniable that Linux Mint’s default desktop environment is one of the distribution’s strengths. In this sense, Cinnamon 5.4, the latest version of the environment, brings some interesting news.
For starters, the Muffin window manager is now based on another such tool, Mutter 3.36. Among the expected effects of this change are more performance and stability.
In addition, Cinnamon 5.4 now renders all windows using GTK (graphical interface development kit). This is also a detail that should contribute to system performance.
There are few visual changes, however. In this regard, the highlight is the new pack of wallpapers.
About Bluetooth devices, Linux Mint 21 starts using the Blueman tool to connect to them. Until then, the distribution used Blueberry, a feature that depends on the gnome-bluetooth library to work.
Blueman does not have this dependency and, as if that were not enough, it promises to improve connectivity, especially with headphones.
It is also worth noting that Sticky Notes, a “virtual post-it” application, was also updated. Now the tool can duplicate notes easily. Also, when notes with different colors need to be created, the app does this work in order to avoid color repetition as much as possible.
Among the other new features are a process monitor that shows when automated tasks are running, shutdown timeout reduced to ten seconds and implementation of the IPP protocol, which allows the operating system to communicate with printers and scanners without using drivers.
Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa”: download now!
Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa” can now be downloaded. In the link, you can also find versions of the distribution based on the Xfce and Mate desktop environments.
Because it is relatively lightweight, Linux Mint usually runs well on older machines. Despite this, there are minimum requirements. They include 2GB of RAM (at least 4GB is recommended), 20GB of storage space (100GB is recommended) and a screen with a resolution of 1024×768 pixels.
One last detail: Linux Mint 21 is an LTS (Long Term Support) version, that is, it has extended support (not least because Ubuntu 22.04 is also LTS). Security updates for the distribution will be released until 2027.