This article summarises the best new features of Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria”.
Linux Mint buffs have reason to celebrate as the much-anticipated release of version 21.2, codenamed “Victoria,” brings many exciting updates and improvements. Based on the latest Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (codenamed “Jammy Jellyfish”) and powered by the formidable Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS, this release is set to elevate the Linux Mint experience to new heights.
The final release is imminent and under preparation by the team. Here’s a brief summary of the new features of this fresh release.
Table of Contents
Linux Mint 21.2: At a glance
- Based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS base with Linux mainline LTS Kernel 5.15.
- Improved Slick Greeter: Multiple keyboard layouts and enhanced touchpad functionality on the login screen.
- Refreshed Software Manager: Updated user interface featuring Flatpaks and refined scoring system for better software choices.
- Upgraded Pix Image Viewer: Rebased on gThumb 3.12.2 with a sleek, modern interface and 168 new features.
- Aesthetic Enhancements: Two-tone folder icons, standardized tooltips with Adwaita-inspired design, and polished title bar buttons.
- Seamless Compatibility: XDG Desktop Portal support for Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce, enabling smooth integration with non-native applications.
- Global Dark Mode: Configurable dark mode setting through cinnamon-settings (Cinnamon/Styles) or mintdesktop (MATE and Xfce).
- Enhanced Security: Warpinator benefits from folder isolation and improved data protection through landlock and bubblewrap technologies.
- Improved Bluetooth Management: Blueman upgraded to version 2.3.5, offering broader compatibility and support for HEIF and AVIF image files.
- Expanded Document Viewing: Xreader now supports Adobe Illustrator documents for enhanced document viewing capabilities.
- Mint-L Theme: The Mint-Y-Legacy theme is now named Mint-L, fully compatible with full-colour applications, providing a visually pleasant experience.
Linux Mint 21.2: Best New Features
Login and greeter
First, the greeter is revamped in Linux Mint 21.2, responsible for the login screen. Linux Mint users now enjoy keyboard layouts, effortlessly switching between them through the top-right indicator’s convenient menu. Moreover, the touchpad functionality on the login screen has been enhanced, automatically enabling tap-to-click, providing a smoother and more user-friendly experience.
Software manager updates
The Software Manager, a crucial component for software installation, has undergone a refreshing user interface (UI) overhaul in Linux Mint 21.2. Notably, the list of featured applications has been updated to include Flatpaks, expanding the available software choices. The scoring system has been refined to enhance discoverability, giving prominence to new trending applications. This improvement makes it easier for users to explore and uncover exciting software offerings.
Pix and aesthetics
Pix, the native image viewer of Linux Mint, has also received a significant upgrade. Previously based on gThumb 3.2.8, Pix now stands on the shoulders of gThumb 3.12.2. With this rebase comes a fresh user interface, adopting the sleek and modern design of header bars and buttons instead of toolbars and menubars. While newcomers may require a slight adjustment, the new interface offers a clean and intuitive look, allowing users to enjoy 168 new features and visible changes.
The aesthetics of Linux Mint 21.2 have also been enhanced. Folder icons have transformed, discarding their stripes and showcasing beautiful two-tone icons in various colours, including new variants for popular choices. Attention to detail also extends to tooltips, which have been standardized and enhanced for consistency across different GTK versions and Cinnamon. Drawing inspiration from the elegant Adwaita theme, tooltips now boast increased size, rounded edges, and wider margins, ensuring a visually pleasing and effective highlighting of important events or features.
The title bar buttons have not been left untouched in the pursuit of visual refinement. In Linux Mint 21.2, the professional makeover of these buttons gives them a crisp and polished appearance. Monochrome icons and all Dark icon themes have been replaced, paving the way for full-colour icons that now default to Adwaita in applications that still employ them.
Linux Mint 21.2 also introduces XDG Desktop Portal support to XApp for Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce, allowing for seamless compatibility between desktop environments and non-native applications. This integration significantly enhances the user experience when using flatpaks or GNOME apps, facilitating tasks such as taking screenshots or enabling dark mode. Dark mode becomes a global setting that can be configured through cinnamon-settings for Cinnamon or mintdesktop for MATE and Xfce. Users now have three options: “Prefer light,” “Prefer dark,” or “Let the applications decide.” The Cinnamon 5.8 version also introduces “Styles” to adapt to these changes. If you use Cinnamon Desktop in non-Mint distributions, you can also get options with limited features.
Regarding security, Warpinator, the file-sharing tool, now benefits from using landlock and bubblewrap technologies. These measures ensure folder isolation, preventing Warpinator from writing outside its designated download folder and providing more data protection.
Furthermore, Bluetooth management utility Blueman has received an upgrade to version 2.3.5 in Linux Mint 21.2. This release expands its capabilities to include full support for HEIF and AVIF image files, broadening compatibility and offering users an expanded range of file format options. Additionally, Xreader, the Document Viewer, now supports Adobe Illustrator documents, further enhancing its capabilities as a versatile document viewing tool.
Desktop environment updates
The Linux Mint 21.2 Beta features Xfce 4.18, Cinnamon 5.8, and MATE 1.26 desktop environments. The flagship Cinnamon 5.8 desktop introduces Styles and a plethora of advanced features, including gesture support, which can be explored in our featured article.
Since its release, Xfce 4.18 has made its way into Linux Mint, bringing massive updates to the Thunar file manager, such as image preview and split view. To learn more about the exciting features of Xfce 4.18, please refer to our comprehensive coverage.
While MATE 1.26 remains largely unchanged from the Linux Mint 21.1 release, users can still expect a stable and reliable desktop environment that many have cherished.
Linux Mint 21.2 is based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS package base and features Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS. This version is supported until April 2027 with security fixes. However, a new version of Linux Mint shall be released in 2024 alongside Ubuntu-LTS releases.
With the recent drama in the Linux distro space, the Linux Mint team continues to deliver a polished and user-centric experience. Packed with new features, aesthetic enhancements, and improved software management, this release solidifies Linux Mint’s reputation as one of the best distributions available, satisfying newcomers and experienced users alike.
You can download this version from the official website (awaiting release).
Few image credits: Linux Mint team