Linux Mint 20.2 is now available
The team behind the popular Linux distribution Linux Mint released Linux Mint 20.2 "Uma" this week. The new version of Linux Mint is available as a standalone download and as a direct upgrade for systems running Linux Mint 20 and 20.1.
Linux Mint 20.2 comes in the three flavors Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. The distribution is based on Ubuntu 20.04 and is powered by Linux kernel 5.4.
The releases are supported until 2025, as they are long-term support releases.
The different desktop environment updates introduce new features and improvements; some are shared between the environments, others are only available in one or two of them.
Linux Mint 20.2 introduces a new bulk rename tool called Bulky in the Cinnamon and MATE versions. Bulky is not auto-installed in the Xfce release because the functionality is already available in its file manager.
You may start the tool from the application menu or by right-clicking on a selection of files and the selection of Rename from the context menu.
The Update Manager of the Cinnamon version supports Cinnamon spice updates now in the latest release. Cinnamon spices are addons for the desktop environment, e.g. themes, applets, desklets or extensions, that users may install to customize the environment.
The update listing resembles that of APT updates. The same level of information is displayed, and updates may be automated. Automatic spice updates are applied right after sign-in to the system. The desktop environment is refreshed as part of the update process.
All three desktop environments may display notifications to the user when updates are available that are considered important (security and kernel updates). Users have full control over the notifications. Dismissing the notification hides it for two days, installation of the updates removes it entirely.
A notification is shown if a matching update has been available for more than 7 logged-in days or 15 calendar days by default.
Linux Mint administrators may configure the behavior. Options to turn notifications off completely, and to change the interval in which notifications are shown or not shown, can be configured in the preferences.
The update manager takes care of the automation of Flatpak updates as well now in the new release.
The default note taking application GNote has been replaced by Sticky Notes. The application supports new features when compared to GNote, including the ability to place notes on the desktop and note formatting. Existing GNotes notes can be imported to Sticky Notes.
Warpinator, an application to transfer files between computers, has a companion Android application now to transfer files between desktop computers and Android devices.
The latest Warpinator release supports the selection of the network interface, e.g. to select cable or WiFi when both are available for the data transfers. Lastly, a new compression option is available which may reduce the file size and speed up transfers.
Cinnamon 5.0's file manager includes a new search feature. Previously, only file searches were supported but with the new release, content searches are also supported. The file search supports regular expressions and recursive folder searches.
Smaller changes include a new option to display favorites before all other files, and F6 to goggle panes in dual-pane mode.
The developers fixed several memory leaks in Cinnamon 5. The desktop environment includes a new monitor to detect and log memory use, and handle cases of excessive memory use. A new system setting allows users to set the maximum amount of RAM that Cinnamon can use.
Cinnamon restarts itself automatically if the maximum RAM is reached. The team promises that users won't lose their session or the open windows.
Overall RAM use was reduced by 20 Megabytes by running the Cinnamon screensaver daemon only when it needs to be activated instead of running it all the time in the background.
Alt-Tab switching between windows should feel snappier as well in the release.
All desktop environments share the following improvements:
- Printing and scanning improvements
- HPLIP updated to latest version to support the latest HP printers and scanners.
- ipp-usb and sane-airscan were backported, and may be used to make printers or scanners work on Linux Mint 20.2.
- XApps improvements
- image editor supports the .svgz images and slideshows can be paused/resumed.
- PDF file annotations appear below the text.
- Text editor may highlight white spaces.
If you run Linux Mint 20 or 20.1, you may use this guide to apply the new 20.2 upgrade.
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