Linux Mint 20.2 is here with Cinnamon 5.0, an improved Update Manager, and more.


It's time again for another release of the solid and beginner-friendly Linux distribution Linux Mint 20.2, code-named "Uma".

Linux Mint is a Linux distro based on the long-term supported (LTS) version of Ubuntu, and it focuses on simplicity and ease of use.

Since last year, all Linux Mint releases are built based on Ubuntu 20.04, and the development team will not move to a new base until the next Ubuntu LTS release, which makes Linux Mint a very solid, and stable distro. This also makes the upgrading process between versions with the same base easy and smooth, as the core packages like the kernel, and most of the default apps shipped with the distribution already in their latest available versions, and therefore they are not downloaded and installed during the upgrade process.

Linux Mint is released with 3 desktop interfaces: Cinnamon, Mate, and XFCE, and as usual in every release, it is the Cinnamon version that gets the newest features because the desktop environment is also developed by the Linux Mint team, so the best user experience of Linux Mint is In the Cinnamon version, but that does not mean that the other two versions are deficient or not good in any way.

Installing updates is a necessity because they fix security bugs or bring new features to software installed on the operating system, and users have to check for available updates and install them as soon as they are available. But not all users are interested in updates and simply ignore them, leaving their computers unprotected and at risk of hacking and theft of their personal information, and since Linux OSes do not force users to install updates as Windows and macOS do, most distributions are just reminding users with a small icon in the system in their system tray (mostly invisible), which may make users unaware of their availability at all.

To help fix this, and keep users' computers safe and secure, Linux Mint 20.2 includes a new Update Manager feature that displays a notification if a particular update has been available for a while without installing it, and when a notification is dismissed, it is snoozed for 2 days.

 By default, the update manager will remind users if security or a kernel update has been available for more than 7 logged-in days or if it's older than 15 calendar days. These values can be configured to include all updates types and from 2 days to up to 3 months logging days.

The update manager also now includes a setting that disables these notifications if any update has been applied to your computer in the last 30 days, whether it's via the update manager or via another APT software, which is really useful.

The Update Manager also handles the automation of Flatpak updates now, and when this option is active, Unused Flatpak runtimes are automatically removed; and the computer's power source is now checked prior to the launch of automated updates to ensure they do not run when it is on battery.

On the other side, the Cinnamon edition users will benefit from spices updates right from the Update Manager, so they do not need to update every applet, desklet, theme, or extension manually, and one by one anymore. Users can also automate spice updates, where spices are upgraded shortly after you log in, and the desktop environment then gets refreshed, and a notification pops up to show you what was upgraded.

A new application called Bulky was included in Linux Mint 20.2 to add the ability to bulk rename files; and you can launch it from the application menu and then select files, or just select multiple files in your file manager, right-click and choose "Rename...".

Sticky Notes replaces GNote as the default note-taking app. This new application has all the features present on GNote and has multiple useful new ones, as notes can be in different colors, the text inside them can be formatted, and you can also put notes on your desktop and quickly access them from the icon tray.

Sticky Notes also features a backup mechanism and can import your GNote notes, so you don't have to worry about losing your old notes when you move to this new app.

Warpinator has acquired an Android app, which now allows users to transfer files between a smartphone, tablet, and computer over the local network, and the app now offers the ability to choose the network interface to be used in the transfer process (Wi-Fi or Ethernet),

The latest version of Warpinator enables file compression as well, accelerating the transfer process up to 3 times faster.

Linux Mint Uma ships also with a new version of the Cinnamon desktop environment, version 5.0, which comes with some new features and improvements:

Nemo, Cinnamon's file manager, gains a new search feature, and you can combine file search with content search (i.e files that are named a certain way and/or contain certain words) instead of just searching for files; regular expressions and frequent folder search are also supported in Nemo 5.0, F6 toggles panes in dual-pane mode, and a new option has been added to the file manager's preferences to lets you sort favorite files before other files.

 You can now also specify the maximum amount of RAM Cinnamon can use, using the system settings, and when that maximum amount is reached Cinnamon will restart itself but don't worry, You won't lose your session or your opened apps, the desktop will just be unresponsive for about a second while Cinnamon restarts itself internally.

The Cinnamon screensaver daemon is now only running on-demand when the screensaver needs to be activated, resulting in a net minimum gain of about 20 MB RAM on lean specs and up to a few hundred MB of RAM on some computers, and The response time for quickly switching between two applications using Alt+Tab was improved.

 Cinnamon 5.0 provides a new CLI dedicated to spice updates named "cinnamon-spice-updater" that lists available spices updates and has the ability to apply them and a Python 3 module that enables other Linux distributions to integrate Cinnamon updates within their Update Manager like it was done in Linux Mint 20.2.

Other improvements in this release include also svgz images support in The image viewer, with the ability to pause/resume its slideshow mode with the space bar; In PDF files, annotations now appear below the text and the document can be scrolled down using the space bar, the NVIDIA Prime applet now support AMD onboard chipsets, The WebApp manager received support for incognito/private browsing, and The text editor features new highlighting options for a variety of white spaces.

Linux Mint 20.2 ships with Linux kernel 5.4, and it will be supported till 2025, and you can grab your fresh copy right now from their website to enjoy all these amazing features and changes. 

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