The year 2022 has arrived with Linux Mint’s newest version, 20.3 Una, in tow. The titular OS carries over the enhancements of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and a mix from Ubuntu’s interim versions released simultaneously.
Linux firmware 1.187 and stable kernel 5.4 power up this new release, making it an elaborate yet stable version with a deep-set dark mode user interface. Nonetheless, the real highlights are Mint’s up-to-date software repository and robust feature augmentations, which improve the distro’s overall experience.
Let’s take a look at what new features the latest Linux Mint release has brought to the table.
1. The Updated Cinnamon 5.2 Desktop
The first thing about Una, which grabs your attention, is the freshly deployed Cinnamon 5.2 desktop.
The base desktop design in Una consists of rounded window corners, which promise to be easier on the eyes than the boxy-sharpness of the previous Cinnamon windows.
The grey-colored highlighting for active elements and window title bars go hand-in-hand with Cinnamon 5.2’s GTK4 support.
Additionally, most out-of-the-box apps support dark mode, gelling beautifully with the desktop environment. The dark mode within the multimedia apps boosts user productivity and convenience, taking the experience up a notch.
2. User Interface Enhancements
The new dark mode beautifully pairs the dark headers of each interface with lighter, contrasting windows. You will notice how the window layout and control buttons have more dimensions to provide straightforward navigation.
There’s a marked absence of color accents in the widgets within the UI themes. However, they are still available on radio buttons, checkboxes, and sliders. Every menu element has an icon to help you rapidly find them in a sea of applications.
These extend to the Nemo file manager and notifications panel. Apps like Celluloid, Hypnotix, Xviewer, Pix, and GNOME Tutorial support the dark mode as well.
The default UI theme is Mint-X; if you are not a fan of Mint-X, you can always change your desktop theme to Mint-Y. Mint-Y has gained more traction since it dynamically adjusts to the colors of the controlling theme.
3. Application-Specific Improvements
Una has a brand new XApp in store for you, called Thingy. It’s a PDF reader that comes bundled with Linux Mint as the default document management application. It offers excellent library management facilities and helps track your e-reading progress.
Additionally, Una offers enhancements to Xed, Xviewer, and other apps. For instance, Xed can now remove trailing white lines that would appear before a file saves.
You can also directly print a file from Xreader’s toolbar. Xviewer has a one-click full-screen feature and diaporama toolbar buttons, which are some noteworthy additions. Nonetheless, it also retains its maximization size, so you do not have to resize it manually as often.
The Nemo file manager has an improved media column and description columns for M4A and MP4 audio files.
You can also see some relative changes in the calendar app with its multi-account/source event support, online calendar sync, and synchronization with the evolution-data-server.
4. Miscellaneous Improvements
Some other worthy features, which are miscellaneous add-ons to the existing repertoire of features, include some pretty nifty improvements for the end-users.
You can now easily resolve file copy/move conflicts with Una. The Nemo file manager provides an option to rename conflicting files. Even after killing the app process, the file manager holds on to your clipboard contents, in case you wish to retrieve the data again.
Sticky Notes has a recently added search function for your convenience. You can title your notes to locate them quickly in a clutter. Plus, you can also change the text size from the toolbar for better visibility.
You will find a new design for the Run dialog box. Some added features include better support for right-to-left languages, new keyboard shortcuts, including Alt + Super + S for invoking the screen reader, and 3x fractional scaling support.
Unwrapping Linux Mint 20.3 “Una”
While Linux Mint is not the only lightweight distro in the Linux kitty, there are a few others that are better and far-enabled than Mint. Nonetheless, it stands on its feet with its trendy looks, new features, and easy-to-use functionalities.
Looking for a new Linux experience? Learn about the best Linux distros for all user levels, from beginner to expert.
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