Grab that empty USB and get flashin’ cos the Linux Mint 21.2 beta is now officially available to download.
The beta of Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” lands a couple of weeks ahead of the expected stable release, tentatively scheduled for mind July.
Linux Mint 21.2 is still based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (as are all entries in the Linux Mint 21 series) but a sizeable set of enhancements, new features, and UI changes feature.
At the heart of Linux Mint 21.2 is Cinnamon 5.8 — and it’s boasting a tranche of tactile improvements.
As recently reported, Linux Mint now supports touchpad gestures in its Cinnamon edition. This feature comes courtesy of the open-source Touchégg project.
However, Mint’s new touchpad gestures are disabled by default. You can turn then on easily from the new Gestures module listed in the settings menu/app – but only on devices with compatible hardware. If your touchpad isn’t multi-touch friendly you will see an “unsupported hardware” screen.
Mint uses 3-finger swipe gestures to control media playback and system volume. Window management is wired up to 4-finger gestures (which my touchpad doesn’t always detect).
These gestures are configurable so it’s easy to create a tactile set of interactions that work best for you. For instance, you could make a 3 finger slide up open the workspaces selector, and re-assigned a 4-finger swipe up to another supported action (pick from the ones available).
A small, but potentially bigger, Cinnamon change I like is that the Mint Menu applet is now resizable. Open the menu and drag the edge with your mouse to resize it to your desired width.
Elsewhere, Linux Mint 21.2 lavishes attention on its login screen, which is now able to detect and enable tap to click by default; lets you edit typed passwords; and now supports multiple keyboard layouts. Additionally, Mint’s login manager now supports Wayland sessions.
On the applications front, Mint’s photo manager Pix is rebased atop gThumb 3.12. This introduces, among other things, a new headerbar-based UI (rather than toolbars and menus); improved performance; support for more formats; new image tools; and more.
Mint added bright yellow folder icons with a “stripe” motif in its last release. These weren’t a hit with many of its user base. Victoria sees the team course-correct, introducing new two-tone folders (with no stripe) that respect the accent colour/Cinnamon style chosen by you.
Cinnamon Styles simplify Mint’s theming capabilities, making it easy to switch light, dark, and mixed mode by themes that support it; accent colours in the default theme come in colour pairs; and the appearance of tooltips and notifications have been refined.
Other notable changes not mentioned above include:
- Global Dark Mode setting
- XDG Desktop Portal support
- HEIF and AVIF image support
- Warpinator supports Landlock and Bubblewra
- Software Manager now shows featured Flatpaks
- Blueman upgraded to v2.3.5
- New desktop backgrounds
You can download Linux Mint 21.2 Beta from the official release announcement via official syndicated mirrors or, if you prefer, as a torrent.