Linux Mint is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions around, and version 21 was released earlier this year. The next update, a minor release, is now available for beta testing.
Linux Mint 21 was a significant update, with an Ubuntu 22.04 core platform and major changes to all the desktop environment options. Linux Mint 21.1, nicknamed “Vera,” is a smaller-scale upgrade based on the same release of Ubuntu. The system requirements also remain unchanged — 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended), 20 GB of disk space (100 GB recommended), and a screen resolution of at least 1024×768 resolution.
The main improvement in this release, at least for the Cinnamon desktop variant, is the inclusion of Cinnamon 5.6. It has a new Corner Bar applet in the panel enabled by default, which hides all windows and shows the desktop when clicked — similar to the desktop button in the Windows 7 and Windows 10 taskbar.
The Computer, Trash, and Network icons on the desktop are now hidden, as they can be accessed from the file manager, and the Linux Mint project said the desktop shortcuts “are only used occasionally.” The default colors have also been updated to be more vibrant, and the folder icons are now yellow instead of green. Finally, there are new system sounds adapted from Google’s Material Design resources.
Linux Mint has always had a focus on customization, so most of the design changes in the 21.1 update are reversable, if you prefer the old look and feel. Linux Mint 21.1 Beta is available to download in Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions.