Linux Mint 21.3 “Virginia”: Best New Features

4 min

Learn about the exciting new features of the Linux Mint 21.3 “Virginia” release.

After almost six months of development and testing, Linux Mint 21.3 “Virginia” was released with stunning new features and modern updates. Built upon the foundation of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, this release will be supported until 2027. This will be the package base for all future releases until the next major version.

Feature-wise, a few critical changes arrive, such as experimental Wayland support in the flagship Cinnamon flavour.

Let’s run down the feature set of Linux Mint 21.3 “Virginia”.

Linux Mint 21.3 Virginia
Linux Mint 21.3 Virginia

Linux Mint 21.3: New features

Core updates

Since the “21 series” is based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Linux Mint 21.3 features Linux Kernel 5.15. However, there are options to install the latest Kernel. Unless you need the latest hardware support, this Kernel version is perfectly fine to try out.

That said, this version is powered by Python 3.10.12 and additional stable packages, which come along with the Ubuntu base.

Cinnamon version 6 with experimental Wayland support

The most critical update in this version is the Cinnamon 6 updates. This is the major release which comes default with the Linux Mint 21.3 cinnamon edition.

Cinnamon 6 is bringing experimental Wayland support for you. For the first time, you get to experience Wayland in Linux Mint. Although it is not yet stable, you can give it a try. The idea is to prepare the Wayland version before the future Linux Mint release 23, which should be based on the Ubuntu 26.04. It’s far away.

To try, use the Wayland option from the login screen (Cinnamon edition only).

Experimental wayland support
Experimental Wayland support

New Action spices for Cinnamon

Get ready to experience a whole new level of interaction with your Linux Mint Cinnamon.

Introducing Cinnamon Actions, a collection of dynamic mini-apps and widgets that add functionality and fun to your workspace. Think of them as “spices” that you can sprinkle onto your Cinnamon experience, each one adding a unique flavour and purpose.

Just like desklets and themes, you can easily download and install Cinnamon Actions from the team or the community. These Actions seamlessly integrate into your Cinnamon workflow, acting just like regular applications. They’re interactive, customizable, and endlessly creative, letting you personalize your desktop and boost your productivity in a whole new way.

Here’s how it looks.

New Actions Spices in Cinnamon 6
New Actions Spices in Cinnamon 6

Desktop customizations

Linux Mint 21.3 gives you more control over your desktop environment. You can now resize the window with the menu editor, toggle the visibility of the microphone mute indicator, and choose the screen for notifications. Additionally, there is an on-screen gesture for zooming the desktop that adds a touch of innovation. You can also access detailed information about applications through a context menu option. Furthermore, a new option in the settings allows you to select the notification destination screen.

The Linux Mint team has added support for AVIF format for desktop wallpapers. They have also employed dithering for background gradient formation to ensure more effective colour blending, especially in lightboxes.

Hypnotix and application updates

Cinnamon 6.0 has some new enhancements, including expanded capabilities in the Hypnotix IPTV player. With this update, users can create a universal list of their favourite TV channels, regardless of the provider. This means you can consolidate all your preferred channels in one place, even if you have multiple subscriptions. Moreover, the update includes a built-in feature that ensures seamless updates for the yt-dlp application, which will keep it compatible with YouTube’s evolving protocol changes.

Warpinator has been updated with a new feature that allows users to connect to another device manually. This can be done by entering the device’s IP address or scanning a QR code on a mobile device. Additionally, Sticky, the notes app, has added support for DBUS commands, which makes it possible to manage notes from scripts or keybindings.

In Slick Greeter‘s login screen, the alignment of the login box can now be configured. Bulky, the batch file renaming tool, now supports thumbnails and drag-and-drop.

In Pix, video playback now automatically rotates based on video orientation. The Backup tool, mintbackup, features a headerbar and an about dialog. The Xapp XDG Desktop Portal now has a color picker.

Firefox 121 and LibreOffice 7.3 are available as the default browser and office suite.

Firefox 121 and LibreOffice 7.3 in Linux Mint 21.3
Firefox 121 and LibreOffice 7.3 in Linux Mint 21.3

So, that’s the recap of the key highlights. Here’s a summary of all the features of this release.

Feature summary of Linux Mint 21.3

  • Based on Ubuntu 22.04 & powered by Linux Kernel 5.15.
  • Experimental Wayland support in Cinnamon desktop session.
  • Xfce 4.18 and MATE 1.26 for the Xfce & MATE sessions.
  • Better handling of channels and YouTube in Hypnotix IPTV player
  • Desktop wallpaper now supports AVIF image format.
  • Resize the window with the menu editor.
  • Option to show microphone mute indicator always.
  • The middle mouse button now works while the SHIFT key is pressed.
  • Option to select screen for notification.
  • Gesture controls are now disabled when the screensaver is active, removing potential security issues.
  • You can now zoom the desktop with gestures.
  • New “action” spices.
  • The screenshot service is now able to determine the colour value of a selected point on the screen.
  • 75% scaling is available in Display (enable fractional scaling via settings for this).
  • Window opacity keybinding is now available.
  • Sound applet: new shift-middle click action
  • A bunch of stunning new wallpapers.

This release takes 10 GB of disk space (Cinnamon edition) for the default installation.

Download and upgrade

If you are running Linux Mint 21.2, you can upgrade using this exclusively published and tested guide.

For a fresh download, visit the below page to get this version.

There are a few known issues which you should read before on this page if you are planning to try this out, specially for NVIDIA users.

Wrapping up

Feature-wise, it might be a minimal update here and there. Mostly small enhancements. However, the experimental Wayland session is a big step forward for Linux Mint users. That said, cheers to the Linux Mint team for their endurance and for shipping an excellent distribution for everyone.

Via change log


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