A brand new beta build of Linux Mint 21.1 “Vera” is available to download.
Linux Mint 21.1 beta builds are up on the Linux Mint servers for download, though the milestone is yet to be “officially” announced. This beta is in advance of a planned stable release later this month. It is still based on the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release, albeit with scores of home-grown software on top.
As updates go, Linux Mint 21.1 isn’t the biggest one Mint has put out. “Vera” is more of a collection of iterative improvements rather than a mass of major new ones — exactly as most point releases are.
At the heart of Linux Mint 21.1 is Cinnamon 5.6. This is the latest stable release of the nimble (and rather traditional) Cinnamon desktop environment. It offers a few new features, including the new Corner Bar applet we wrote about last month. Corner Bar is enabled by default, and lets you click the end of the panel to instantly hide all windows and show the desktop.
There is a Corner Bar setting to enable a ‘peek at desktop on hover’ effect. This is something many Windows users may be familiar with. Mint add an option to blur foreground windows too, and configure the opacity of the peek effect itself:
Because the new ‘Corner Bar’ in Linux Mint 21.1 offers similar functionality to Linux Mint’s older ‘show desktop’ applet, the latter has been removed. This results in minor rearrangement of the default panel layout. The Mint Menu remains on the far-left but is now followed by a separator, and then shortcuts for Nemo and Firefox.
You might also notice that there are no longer icons for “Home” or “Trash” on the desktop. These are now hidden from view, giving the default desktop a minimal, modern feel. Miss them? You can re-enable them from the Desktop Icons settings.
New settings lets you control how long notifications appear on screen for (which is great if you find yourself regularly missing notifications, or not having enough time to read lengthy ones:
Linux Mint 21.1 introduces new folder icons, which are most noticeable when opening the Nemo file manager for the first time. I’m not sure what the blue diagonal line on folder corners is meant to represent (if anything), as it does look more like a status-signifier than a part of the folder concept.
Elsewhere, Linux Mint 21 gives its Driver Manager and Software Sources tools some new capabilities, including the ability to run Driver Manager in user mode (i.e., without needing a root password). The update also intros a new ISO verification tool you can access by right-clicking on an ISO image in the Nemo file manager.
There are likely a few more changes than these, with more detail expected to be, well, detailed once the official Linux Mint 21.1 Beta release notes go live on the Linux Mint.
Download Linux Mint 21.1 Beta
The Linux Mint 21.1 beta is available to download from the Linux Mint website, and from official Linux Mint download mirrors (just navigate to the ‘testing’ folder in the root directory of the mirror server as this is a beta release).
If you plan on trying it out do keep in mind it is a beta release. It’s not stable. You should expect to encounter bugs, breakages, rough edges, performance hiccups, and similar. Most folks are better off waiting for the stable Linux Mint 21.1 release in a few weeks time.
If you’re interested in trying out the new Linux Mint 21.1 Beta be sure to download it from the links above. And if you have any feedback or bug reports you can file them on the Linux Mint bug tracker.