Linux Mint 20.1 is the latest edition of the popular Ubuntu-based Linux distribution codenamed Ulyssa. The base is still Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, but on the Cinnamon surface the developers have again put their hands on it. What Linux Mint 20.1 has in your luggage and whether you should upgrade now, we will cover everything in this post.
About the distribution
History of distribution:
Linux Mint originated in Ireland and has been based primarily on Ubuntu since each. There is also the Debian-based edition, but LMDE is now about the Ubuntu-based version Linux Mint 20.1. This is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and comes with three different surfaces: Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce. Now we’re looking at the main issue with Cinnamon.
Linux Mint has built up an incredibly good reputation in recent years and is almost always mentioned as a Linux distribution for beginners along with Ubuntu. Thus, Linux Mint is a distribution that wants to make the Linux change easy for newcomers, but is also a suitable tool for experienced users who simply want to work with the system instead of on the system.
Package format and package management
According to the Ubuntu base, we have a distribution that relies on the deb package format and also supports Flatpak and boycotts Snap.
Linux Mint only supports 64-bit architecture. This is due to the Ubuntu substructure. Linux Mint can’t change anything here. If you still use 32-bit architecture, you can still use an older version of Linux Mint, but you should look for another distribution in perspective.
Target group of the distribution
Linux Mint is suitable for all user groups. Newcomers to the Linux world will be picked up as well as more experienced users. The system runs excellently directly from the start and thus newcomers benefit from a system that is ready to go but also advanced users can look forward to a very reliable system.
What’s new with Linux Mint 20.1
- Cinnamon 4.8.3
- Cinnamon offers web apps
- Hypnotix as IPTV Player
- Favorites in Cinnamon
- Chromium is back as a non-snap package.
Preliminary work, commissioning & system measurement
What kind of preparatory work is there?
The entry into the Linux Mint world starts on the website of the project. You have to download the ISO image, burn it and then start it. This can be done with a physical installation as well as with a virtual machine for sniffing. So go to the Linux Mint Project page, navigate to the top of Download, and then you choose between outputs. If you want the Ubuntu based version, choose Linux Mint 20 or 20.1 and if you want the Debian output, you’ll take LMDE 4. We focus on Linux Mint 20.1. Below we have to choose a desktop. You can choose between Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. I chose Cinnamon and clicked on it. After that, you will select a mirror server and click on it. The ISO is already coming to you.
Let’s move on to system measurement.
The used disk space for my system is just under 7 GB. Currently we are at 7.2 GB.
The initial benchmark value for memory consumption for me is just under 660 MB OF RAM (exactly 661 MB).
This marginally undercut the performance values of Linux Mint 20.0. Thus, the general optimization of Linux Mint 20.1 in conjunction with the latest Cinnnamon edition is shown.
Desktop & Programs
Linux Mint 20.1 delivers Cinnamon in version 4.8.3.
At first glance, there are no such big changes to the predecessor. But the innovations need not be hidden. You can now easily set web apps. This allows your popular websites to appear like their own app. This could be very helpful, for example.B, on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Speaking of which, if you like to watch something on the computer, hypnotix can also be used to watch a limited selection of TV channels. But don’t expect an exorbitantly wide range of products. We are talking about free programmes. In the system itself, you can set Nemo favorites within the file browser. Once the first favorite folder has been selected, they appear as asterisks in the bar below. They are also listed in the menu.
This may not seem so spectacular at first glance, but the favourites can make their work noticeably easier and improve in everyday life.
Where we are at work with the desktop. The desktop may seem quite familiar with Windows switching. Below there is a bar on the left with a menu, followed by freely selectable program quick starters. On the right there are system indicators for e.B. volume, battery or updates.
Linux Mint 20.1 refines the Mint-Y themes and symbols without bringing revolutionary innovations this time. This is not a broken leg. On the other hand, as with any Linux Mint edition, there are major innovations in the background images. As always, they look great and clearly round off the desktop.
- Kernel: 5.4
- Browser: Mozilla Firefox
- Email Client: Thunderbird
- Office package: LibreOffice
- Software container: Flatpak
Generally pre-installed software:
There is little to complain about here. On average, it is similar to the minimal installation at Ubuntu. We get an operational system with little frills. Whether hexchat and transmission should have been there, let’s face it. In addition, everything is good.
But there is now a circumstance that I have to address without swearing too much at Ubuntu now. In the wake of the transformation of package management from Debian pacts to Snap, Ubuntu seems to be moving to provide programs with update in snap package format. Thunderbird is a very concrete example. While the deb package is tumbling to version 68, the snap package is delivered in the current version 75. This includes numerous plugged-in safety holes. A criminal recklessness or calculation? I can only speculate here. But there is a dangerous gap that can only be circumvented in this case by either incorporatethed the Mozilla Security PPA or installing Thunderbird as a flatpak. Unfortunately, only a crutch around the real problem.
Special features and conclusion
Linux Mint in the 20’s generation will only run on 64-bit architecture. But the farewell to 32-bit architecture was already introduced in the Linux Mint lager with version 20. If you have older arithmetic, you have to take preference with the Linux Mint 19er generation.
Linux Mint comes with its own backup function called Timeshift. When Timeshift is set up, system snapshots are automatically created, which, in the case of non-starting systems, allows you to swivel back after updates. It is important to note that Timeshift focuses more on the architecture and does not have the focus to back up your user data. Mint supplies the “data backup tool” for this purpose. This allows you to save personal data and a program selection on external media preferably.
As mentioned in the article on Linux Mint 20, the Snap package format is a point of contention between Linux Mint and Ubuntu. And as my Thunderbird example showed, I fear that this is just the beginning and that the gap is gradually widening. Linux Mint can only respond to this to a limited extent, as they probably do not have the resources to deploy the missing packages in the DEB package format itself. This was done with Chromium as an isolated case, but I don’t think they can keep it that way now with increasing numbers of packages. Ergo will sooner or later get the situation worse, so Linux Mint will eventually have to pivot the base if you ask me.
Linux Mint 20.1 will receive security updates until 2025. By 2022, the future editions of Linux Mint such as.B Linux Mint 20.1, 20.2 or 20.3 will have the same package base as Linux Mint 20. For this reason, a change from a 20 version to a subsequent version within the 20 family is almost without problems. In addition, the development team will focus on the Linux Mint 20 editions by 2022 and will not screw on the Ubuntu package base.
I really liked Linux Mint 20.1. There is a reliable Cinnamon desktop with meaningful further developments. Cinnamon agrees with this, because on the one hand it is not so playful and ready to go immediately after the installation, on the other hand because the further development is carried out selectively and sensibly. If you are currently using Linux Mint 20, you can switch to the upgrade path as soon as it is released. But before that, make a timeshift backup so that you are on the safe side. I liked Cinnamon 20.1 and I’m looking forward to the Cinnamon 4.8.3 packages being released for the LMDE edition.
When are you planing to switch to Linxu Mint 20.1? During the holidays or do you wait a few more days until the teething problems are ironed out? Or are you also satisfied with the LMDE? Please write this in the comments.
Thank you very much for the friendly attention. Take care. Stay healthy and take care of yourself. Until the next video on my channel. Ciao Ciao.
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I missed it: on what way is it the “most beautiful”? Pretty icons? Technologically?
Also, about the upgrade from earlier versions. Does it keep user settings? Like shortcut to the NAS, Firefox bookmarks, Thunderbird accounts etc. Not too late to add it to the article …
I’m updating soon this article based on when Linux mint 20.2 Stable build are available to daily driver use.
If I’d have to re-install the apps … Qt is some 15 GBytes download … must be some very-very convincing reason to upgrade if the apps need to be re-installed.