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Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” BETA is Out for Testing

Get ready to test the next version of Linux Mint 21.2, “Victoria”, out now.

The highly anticipated release of Linux Mint 21.2 is almost here, and the testing copy of Linux Mint 21.2 BETA is now available for download for three official versions (“Cinnamon”, “Xfce”, and “MATE”). Download links to the BETA copy are at the end of the article.

Packed with exciting updates and improvements, this version is based on the latest Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (codenamed “Jammy Jellyfish”) and features the powerful Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS.

Let’s take a look at the key highlights.

Linux Mint 21.2 Desktop
Linux Mint 21.2 Desktop (Cinnamon)

Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” (BETA): Feature Highlights

Greeter and Software Manager

One of the notable enhancements in Linux Mint 21.2 is the improvement to the Slick Greeter, responsible for the login screen. Users can now enjoy support for multiple keyboard layouts, as the top-right indicator conveniently provides a menu to effortlessly switch between layouts. Furthermore, touchpad functionality has been enhanced, enabling tap-to-click automatically on the login screen.

The Software Manager has undergone a refreshing user interface (UI) overhaul in Linux Mint 21.2. The list of featured applications has been updated to include Flatpaks, ensuring users have access to a wider range of software choices. Moreover, the scoring system has been refined, granting greater visibility to new trending applications, making it easier for users to discover exciting software offerings.

Refreshed Software Manager
Refreshed Software Manager

Pix, the native image viewer of Linux Mint, has received a significant upgrade as well. Previously based on gThumb 3.2.8, Pix has now been rebased on gThumb 3.12.2. With this rebase comes a new user interface, adopting the sleek and modern design of headerbars and buttons instead of toolbars and menubars. Though it may require a slight adjustment for newcomers, the new interface offers a clean and intuitive look, allowing users to enjoy 168 new features and visible changes.

Look and Feel

Linux Mint 21.2 brings aesthetic improvements as well. Folder icons have shed their stripes and now showcase beautiful two-tone icons in various colours, including new variants for popular choices. The attention to detail extends to tooltips, which have been standardized and enhanced for consistency across different GTK versions and Cinnamon. Taking inspiration from the elegant Adwaita theme, tooltips now boast increased size, rounded edges, and wider margins. These adjustments ensure tooltips are visually pleasing and stand out effectively, highlighting important events or features.

Yaru Theme in Linux Mint 21.2 with Orange Colour
Yaru Theme in Linux Mint 21.2 with Orange Colour

The title bar buttons have also received a professional makeover, exuding a crisp and polished appearance. In Linux Mint 21.2, monochrome icons and all Dark icon themes have been removed, making way for full-colour icons that now default to Adwaita in applications that still utilize them.

Application Updates

For seamless compatibility between desktop environments and non-native applications, Linux Mint 21.2 introduces XDG Desktop Portal support to XApp for Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce. This integration enhances the user experience when using flatpaks or GNOME apps, such as taking screenshots or enabling dark mode. Dark mode becomes a global setting, configurable through cinnamon-settings for Cinnamon or mintdesktop for MATE and Xfce. Users can choose between three options: “Prefer light,” “Prefer dark,” or “Let the applications decide.”

In terms of security, Warpinator now benefits from landlock and bubblewrap technologies. These measures guarantee folder isolation, preventing Warpinator from writing outside of its designated download folder, and ensuring a higher level of data protection.

Furthermore, Bluetooth management utility Blueman has been upgraded to version 2.3.5 in Linux Mint 21.2. This release also fully supports HEIF and AVIF image files, offering broader compatibility and expanded file format options. Additionally, Xreader, the Document Viewer, now supports Adobe Illustrator documents, providing users with enhanced document viewing capabilities.

As a final touch, the iconic Mint-Y-Legacy theme has been renamed to Mint-L, making it easier for users to select their preferred “Darker” themes. With the removal of mono icons, Mint-L is now fully compatible with full-colour applications, ensuring a visually pleasant experience throughout the desktop environment.

Desktop environment updates

Linux Mint 21.2 Beta features Xfce 4.18, Cinnamon 5.8 and MATE 1.26 desktop. The flagship Cinnamon 5.8 desktop introduces Styles and many advanced features, such as gesture support which you can read in my featured article.

Xfce 4.18 has been introduced in Linux Mint since its release. Xfce 4.18 brings massive updates to the Thunar file manager, such as image preview and split view. You can learn more here about Xfce 4.18 features.

MATE 1.26 remains almost the same as the Linux Mint 21.1 release; hence, there are not many updates on that front.

Summary

Overall, Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” is an impressive update packed with new features, improved functionalities, and an enhanced user interface. With its strong foundation based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS, this release delivers a compelling and reliable operating system for users to enjoy.

You can download the BETA ISO files from the respective torrent files below.

A detailed changelog is available on the following pages.

Some image credit: Linux Mint team

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