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Linux Mint 21 Released

Linux Mint
(Image credit: Mint)

Linux Mint - the Ubuntu-based distro available with three (opens in new tab) different (opens in new tab) desktops (opens in new tab) - has been refreshed with a new LTS version, Mint 21, that's available to download now.

Linux Mint

(Image credit: Mint)

Named Vanessa, this distro is based on Ubuntu 22.04 (opens in new tab) and offers support until April 2027. Versions are available with Cinnamon, Gnome MATE, and the lightweight Xfce desktop environments. System requirements are low, with a minimum of 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended), 20GB of storage, and a 64-bit processor required for installation.

Some will be pleased to hear that Mint jettisons Canonical’s Snap app installation system in favor of Flatpak, though this isn’t a new feature in Mint 21. What you do get is a new Bluetooth applet — Blueman instead of the Gnome-centric Blueberry — new thumbnails for previously unsupported filetypes including Webp, and some love for the Notes app, which can now deal with duplicate content, has a restyled systray icon, and cycles through colors instead of picking them randomly. Driverless printing and scanning now communicates with devices without, well, you guessed it, and there's now a visible switch for hopping between graphics cards using Nvidia Prime.

This isn’t earthshaking stuff, and while things like a big update to the Muffin window manager in Cinnamon (bringing it to Mutter 3.36 after 11 years at 3.2) and new GTK antialiasing on all windows make the desktop look cleaner and more modern, the fact is Mint and Ubuntu are mature products that get a lot of things right. 

With its green ‘go’ button in the bottom left corner exactly where Windows users expect to find it, Mint is a good choice for anyone with an old laptop they want to give a new lease of life, or for anyone interested in dabbling in the world of Linux, though sadly unlike Ubuntu you can’t install it on a Raspberry Pi (opens in new tab). An ISO of the Cinnamon version is a 2.4GB download from linuxmint.com (opens in new tab).

Ian Evenden
Ian Evenden

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.

  • aetolouee
    Linux Mint & PopOS are both based on Ubuntu and I'd say both are way better experience because of lack of snaps
    2 of the best distros for begginers. Cant go wrong with either
    Reply
  • plateLunch
    It's amazing how little Mint needs to run. Both my Mint machines are Core 2 Duos I've had for over a decade. They don't feel sluggish at all doing browsing and general messing around. Granted, Mint is running off of SSDs.
    Reply
  • eye4bear
    All Linux distros have much lower minimum requirements compared to Windows; everyone should question Microsoft WHY? Mint will do everything (and more) that Windows does with way less memory. My Solus KDE distro runs at ~700mb of memory at ideal.
    Reply
  • TheOtherOne
    I am still waiting (and most likely will keep waiting for long time) for Linux to run all AAA games without any shenanigans and issues. Until then Windows all the way!
    Reply