Which version of Linux Mint is the best

Linux Mint: This is what the popular Linux distribution offers

Hermann Apfelböck

Linux Mint is the most popular Linux system among users switching from Windows to Linux. The reason: Mint shows a similar user interface as Windows and provides many good tools. Here you can find out what the new version offers.

The Linux system Linux Mint 20 (code name Ulyana) uses the Linux system Ubuntu as the technical substructure. This is because Canonical provides it with excellent drivers and system updates. Mint takes over many details from Ubuntu, such as the Linux kernel 5.4 and that the system is only available for 64-bit hardware, as well as updates until April 2025. Linux Mint also comes with updated standard software, such as Libre Office 6.4.2. In addition, the Mint team has again fine-tuned many areas, some of which are shown in all three Mint editions, some only in the preferred main edition with Cinnamon. Linux Mint is available in the editions Cinnamon, Mate and XFCE.

Moderate system requirements

No Mint edition has high hardware requirements. The Mint team states that the minimum requirement for all three editions is one GB of RAM and 15 GB of hard drive, which, however, is tight even for the XFCE edition. We recommend two GB of RAM for XFCE, four GB of RAM for Mate and Cinnamon. For a Linux Mint with years of continuous operation, at least 50 GB should be available for the system, updates, timeshift snapshots and software installation - correspondingly more for user files. An older dual-core CPU is sufficient for XFCE, for Cinnamon and Mate it can also be a little more modern.

32-bit variants are no longer available as a successor to Ubuntu, which anticipated this farewell. Mint users who rely on 32-bit support in terms of hardware) have to stay with Mint version 19.3, which will still receive updates until April 2023.

ISO downloads and major edition

Linux Mint 20 is available from the project page https://linuxmint.com/download.php, which links to the actual mirror servers for downloading. The download, which is just under two GB for all variants, is free of charge. The ISO image must then, for example, be copied bootable to USB with Win 32 Disk Imager (free, for Windows 8.1, 10) in order to then boot it on the target computer and install the system from the live medium.

Upgrade from 19.3 to version 20

Of course, users of Linux Mint 19.3 do not have to reinstall the new version, but can upgrade to version 20. How exactly, unfortunately, that is the only information gap on Mint 20 that we have to leave open due to the editorial deadline: The Mint team has announced the upgrade option, but has not yet published it. According to a blog reply from Mint boss Clem Lefèbvre, the most comfortable way via the graphic "update management" is apparently out of the question.

It probably boils down to an upgrade variant that is also already known and that had to be carried out in the terminal. In the past, the installation of the small tool "mintupgrade" was required to be able to use

complete the download and installation of the new components. You can find out which way the Mint team is planning in the current case at https://blog.linuxmint.com/.

"Welcome" to the color selection

EnlargeNew point in "Mint-Welcome": The "Welcome" window (all Mint editions) offers a general and simplified selection of the color theme.

The “Welcome” wizard (mint-welcome), which is initially set up as an autostart, but can of course be switched off, shows the familiar initial setup steps such as timeshift snapshots, driver management and system updates. The top item in all three editions is a global color selector and a switch for light or dark application optics. This general setting option is much simpler than the familiar point under “Settings -› Themes ”, which provides its own options for window frames, symbols, controls (program optics) and desktop (menu and bar). Beginners or users who do not want to bother with it will appreciate the new color selection under "Welcome". The "bar arrangement" immediately following in the "welcome window" is not new, but also deserves a warning under Mint 20: The selection of the bar layout as "traditional" or "modern" should only be used when setting up the system for the first time after installation be used. It completely resets the bar configuration to the standard settings. Changed position and size of the bar (s), equipping with applets, configuration of individual applets - everything is lost.

The bottom line is that the extended “Welcome” dialog in Mint 20 has a certain blurring problem: The previous items, bar layout, timeshift, and driver search are initial adjustments that you actually only have to and should do once. The new item “Desk colors”, on the other hand, is an optical option that can be used more often.

The warpinator

EnlargeData exchange with the Warpinator: The tool can be configured quickly and easily, but only solves problems that have long been solved.

The Warpinator tool developed by Mint boss Clément Lefèbvre was proclaimed a Mint 20 highlight. The paradox of these accessories: They work really well, but in the end nobody will really need them. The tool allows simple, encrypted data exchange in the local network - without a server and without Samba shares. The only requirement is that the Warpinator is running on all systems, which the editions of Linux Mint 20 take care of with an automatic autostart. So that others, at least the Ubuntu-based Linux distributions, can also play along, Lefèbvre delivers his tool via his PPA ( ppa: clementlefebvre / grpc ). Using it on other distributions does not seem to be problem-free yet, especially since we even had to observe compatibility problems between Mint 20 and Mint 19.3.

If the communication works, the Warpinator shows all computers in the network on which it is also running. Sending files is child's play: you simply click on the computer that is to receive files and use the mouse to drag the files you want into the Warpinator window. That's it. Each Mint user can decide for himself in which folder the files should end up using the Warpinator settings. The tool's throughput is badly okay, close to the optimum for overall network performance. In principle this is a nice tool, but is it really practical? What is the Windows computer doing, what are other Linux computers doing? And even in a homogeneous computer environment exclusively with Mint (20) systems, the exchange does not work without preconditions, because the software must run on every system. On top of that, the Warpinator does not eliminate any psychological stress: There is the very similar Nitroshare - and it is cross-platform (for Linux, Windows and Mac). In addition, shares can be created from the home directory in the file manager without Samba administration with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Tip:This Linux software should not be missing on your PC

Cinnamon with new monitor scaling

EnlargeMonitor scaling under Cinnamon: This function opens up new possibilities for optimal screen display in 25 percent increments.

A novelty in Mint 20 only affects the main Cinnamon edition and should be the real highlight of the version - the fractional scaling of the monitor image. This scaling applies regardless of the set resolution, which should always remain with the recommended native values. The function was developed especially for large monitors and offers scaling values ​​between 75 and 200 percent in 25 percent increments under "System settings -› Screen ". This function is made even better by the ability to use different scaling values ​​for the various monitors in multi-monitor operation. The option is translated into German with “partial scaling” (for fractional scaling), however. Note that the new monitor scaling can be supplemented and refined by the font scaling under "System settings -> Font selection -> Scaling factor".

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