Linux Mint 21.1 is now available in Beta to get testing, based upon Ubuntu 22.04 with kernel 5.15 it's a long-term support release so you'll be able to continue using it until 2027 before needing a major update.
There's quite a lot new with this release, other than a bump to the versions of various packages that comes with the updated Ubuntu base so here's a short run over some things to expect from it.
The first thing people may notice is an update to the theme, for a refreshed look and feel. This includes a removal of unneeded items from the desktop, more vibrant colouring for accents, a change to Aqua by default so say goodbye to Linux Mint being green out of the box and a new mouse pointer theme.
Other major changes include:
- Driver Manager no longer needd a password to launch, plus improved offline support and fixes for NVIDIA.
- Full Flatpak integration in the Update Manager.
- More places needing a password prompt were removed that don't need administrative permissions.
- Right click on desktop now has a Display Settings option.
- A refreshed interface for the Software Manager, that makes it easier to tell the difference between Flatpak and normal packages. Plus you can switch between them if an app has both.
- A Verify ISO tool was added.
- Other visual changes include a seperator next to the Mint Menu button, a corner bar applet on the far right of the panel inspired by Windows 10, selecting an item in the file manager Nemo only highlights the name now and not the icon as well.
All of which can be seen in the release notes.