Over the years, I’ve been experimenting with Linux desktop distributions one after another. But for over a decade I’ve been back in Linux Mint. Why? It’s easy. Over the years, Mint continues to be the best and most user-friendly Linux desktop. The same is true for the latest release of Linux Mint 20.2 called “Uma”.
I prefer the Gnome-2 based Cinnamon desktop (currently up to version 5.04), but Mint allows you to choose a fully supported interface. These include MATE, Gnome-2 forks, and ultra-lightweight Xfce. Most desktop users are happy with Cinnamon or MATE. However, if you’re using an older low-power system, or if you’re running Linux on a Chromebook or Windows 10 PC with Windows SubSystem for Linux (WSL) 2, Xfce is for you.
You can also run Mint on a PC built in the 2000s. If the box has a 64-bit processor, you can run Mint. The full version of Linux Mint requires only 2GB of RAM, but can run with just 1GB. This is not Windows-4GB will cause problems when trying to run.
Also, at least 20GB of disk space is required, but Mint recommends 100GB. Finally, you need a graphics card and monitor that supports 1024×768 resolutions. In other words, you can run Mint on any PC you find in a used junk shop.
I like running the fastest and best hardware, but let’s face it. You may also be able to buy the latest and hottest hardware. That can be a real problem. For example, Windows 11 will not work on pre-2016 hardware. Also, it will not work on some processors prior to 2019. Linux Mint? I know someone running on a 2009 Intel Core i5 desktop processor. To get the most out of your old gear, you should use Linux Mint.
This latest version of Mint is a long-term support (LTS) release. It will be supported until the summer of 2025. Inside, you’ll find Linux firmware 1.187 and Linux kernel 5.4.0-80. As a foundation, Mint is still based on Ubuntu 20.04. Mint has no plans to migrate from Ubuntu 20.04 until 2023. Unlike Fedora, Linux Mint is not a state-of-the-art distribution. It prioritizes stability over experimentation.
The first time you update from Mint 20 or 20.1 to Linux Mint, you can do it with just a few clicks, but you can hardly see it. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll find some great new features.
For example, Cinnamon’s updated Nemo file manager can now perform content searches. Previously, you could only search for files. Nemo 5.0 allows you to combine file and content searches into a single search. So, for example, you can search for all LibreOffice.ODT document files that contain the phrase “2ndQtr2021”. Nemo also supports regular expressions and recursive folder searches. This is very convenient.
The related program is Bulky. This new application allows you to rename files in bulk. myself? I’ll do this using a simple shell script, but if you don’t mind, Bulky is right there and it’s easy to use.
Another invisible improvement is that in the past, cinnamon could consume too much memory. It slowed it down. In addition to removing 5 memory leaks, Cinnamon now monitors the amount of memory used. When the user exceeds the amount of configurable RAM, the desktop is silently and invisiblely restarted. You probably won’t notice anything except a one second delay, but Cinnamon will reboot in the background, freeing memory in the meantime. result? Cinnamon feels almost as fast as Xfce. That is impressive.
Returning to LibreOffice, Mint 20.2 comes with version 6.4.7. For other popular applications, Mint includes Firefox 89.0.2 for web browsing, Thunderbird 78.8.1 for email, and the Bash 5.0 shell.
Update Manager also automates updates to Flatpak programs. In previous editions of Mint, this was in the “Startup Application”. The Flatpak program is a containerized application that is easy to install. Mint doesn’t natively support Snap programs that basically work the same way, but it’s clear that they’re putting more effort into supporting Flatpak.
Mint is now providing more information when security and kernel updates are available on Linux systems. The revised Update Manager not only displays a small orange dot on the Update Manager icon in the system tray, but also keeps track of how long each update was available and how many days the computer was up during that period. , I will notify you again. Of available updates. The developers at Mint decided to do this instead of pushing security updates to their users.
By default, Update Manager now displays a notification if a particular update is logged in and is available for more than 7 days, or if it is older than 15 calendar days. These values can be changed from 2 days up to 3 months. You can also change the notifications to do the same for application updates and patches.
myself? Every time I see that orange dot, I almost always upgrade. This is not Windows. Program updates are killing your computer. With Linux Mint, it’s safe to patch and upgrade. There are no meaningful update failures in Mint yet.
The same was true when I moved the main desktop of Linux Mint 20.1. This is the 2020 Dell Precision 3451. This model, which comes with Ubuntu 20.04, has an Intel 8-core 3GHz i7-9700 CPU. It also contains 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD. This is far more computers than Mintha needs.
It ran like the top. Once again, I was impressed with the speed at which Nemo processes files on SSDs as well as files on network-attached storage (NAS) devices, Windows servers, and local and remote Nextcloud servers with Samba.
If you don’t run your own file and cloud servers, Mint’s own easy-to-use local area network file sharing program, Warpinator, has also been improved. In addition to being able to easily drag and drop files from one Mint 20.x machine to another, it’s now available on most Linux systems and is now available on Android phones and tablets via the new Warpinator app. I did.
There are many other small improvements. Putting them all together gives you the fastest and most stable Linux Mint distribution ever.
Let me summarize this. I run Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Windows 10, Windows 11, Chrome OS, MacOS Catalina, and MacOS Big Sur on a regular basis. But what I use every day is Linux Mint. And today I’m using Linux Mint 20.2. This is the desktop operating system of my choice, and if it continues to improve the current method, it will be tomorrow.
Linux Mint 20.2 is here: Top desktop Linux continues to improve
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