Linux in The News 7-17-23

Last Updated on July 17, 2023 by KC7NYR

Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” Is Now Available for Download, Here’s What’s New

This release is based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and ships with Cinnamon 5.8, Xfce 4.18, and MATE 1.26 desktops.
Linux Mint 21.2

The Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” distribution appeared today on the project’s stable mirrors around the globe, which means that an official announcement will soon be posted by the developers to notify users who want to download the latest Linux Mint version.

Linux Mint 21.2 was in public beta testing since June 21st, 2023, which gave the developers enough time to fix remaining issues and offer users a stable and rock-solid release. Just like previous releases, Victoria is available with the Cinnamon, Xfce, and MATE desktop environments.

This is the second installment in the Linux Mint 21 series, which means that it’s based on Canonical’s long-term supported Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) operating system series and it’s powered by the Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series, which will also be supported for a few years.

While the Xfce and MATE editions include the same Xfce 4.18 and MATE 1.26 desktop environments that were present in the previous release, Linux Mint’s flagship edition featuring the Cinnamon desktop environment has been upgraded to the latest Cinnamon 5.8 release, which brings several new features and improvements.

For all editions, the Victoria release also brings a global Dark Mode setting to support GTK4/libadwaita apps, XDG Desktop Portal support to provide users with better compatibility for Flatpak apps, as well as support for Wayland sessions and multiple keyboard layouts in the login screen.

In addition, this release refreshes the look and feel of the distribution by adding new folder icons with different color variants, improves the consistency of the tooltips to look the same across different apps and desktops, realigns the titlebar buttons, and adds symbolic icons that adapt to their background.

Other changes include full support for HEIF and AVIF images, an updated Xreader document viewer app to properly support Adobe Illustrator documents, an updated Pix image viewer app with a rebase on the gThumb 3.12.2 image viewer, and an updated Software Manager app with a refreshed UI refresh, better scoring/sorting algorithms, and a tuned package list.

Moreover, the Warpinator app received support for the Landlock and Bubblewrap technologies to implement folder isolation, as well as the latest security patches. Also, NVIDIA GPU offload support has been updated to be handled by the libxapp library and delegated to switcheroo, which is used by Cinnamon and Mint Menu.

Since it’s based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Linux Mint 21.2 is also a long-term support release that will be supported until 2027 with security patches and software updates. The next release, Linux Mint 21.3, will use the same package base as Linux Mint 21.2.

You can download Linux Mint 21.2 with Cinnamon, Xfce, or MATE desktops using the direct download links below. If you don’t want to download them before an official announcement is made in the next couple of days (once all the official mirrors are synced with the main download server), keep an eye on the Linux Mint website.

New Peppermint OS Release Based on Debian 12

A new version of Peppermint OS is available to download based on Debian 12.

For those not familiar with it, Peppermint OS is a lightweight Linux distro designed to be fast, user-friendly, and optimized for both older hardware and modern machines.

Two versions of Peppermint OS are available to download: one based on Debian, and one based Devuan. Both use the Xfce desktop environment. This post concerns the Debian edition updated on July 1, 2023.

Peppermint OS uses the Xfce desktop

The July 2023 update to Peppermint OS inherits all the benefits of the Debian 12 release including the Linux 6.1 kernel, and an uplift to latest Xfce 4.18 release. Both give users of the distro a wealth of performance refinements and bug fixes.

Elsewhere, the branding of Peppermint OS has been updated. This is most notable at the boot screen. Included documentation is updated, and there are “adjusted features” in the Peppermint Hub based on user feedback – though exactly what, I’m not sure.

Kumo and Thunar in the latest Peppermint OS
Kumo and Thunar in the latest Peppermint OS

The distro now uses the Teela icon set by default and adds some additional Marawaita themes (a variant of which is the default). The Kumo single-site-browser tool (create web-apps) is now based on Lua and its UI has been simplified.

Peppermint OS doesn’t ship with many apps preinstalled. This is intentional (the distro’s slogan is ‘less is more’). The idea is that users can choose the packages they need. If they’re brand new to Linux they might need pointers so the distro includes a suggestions list.

New branding used throughout

Finally, the Calamares installer will no longer install/remove packages during installation as, in some situations, this was causing installation to take a long time or, worse, fail.

Download Peppermint OS

Interested in taking it for a spin? Peppermint OS’s minimum system requirements are 1GB RAM, a not-too-ancient 32-bit or 64-bit processor, and 10GB of available storage. Recommended specs call for 4GB RAM, 64-bit processor, and 32GB of disk space.

You can download Peppermint OS via the Peppermint OS website, which links to the latest up-to-date image hosted on Sourceforge (yes, it still exists). The Devuan-based edition is expected to get an update soon, if you’d prefer to wait for that.