Linux Mint 20.3 Beta released with a fresh new look, a new app, and Cinnamon 5.2


If you are thinking of switching to Linux or trying it out, and you are still looking for a suitable distro, Linux Mint is one of the best choices that I would recommend, as it is stable, beautiful, and easy to use. With each new release, this distribution becomes more solid, light, and smooth, and today the Linux Mint development team announced the beta version of the new 20.3 version with an attractive new look, important updates to the apps included with the distribution, and a completely new application that will make your life easier, especially if you are student or researcher.

Linux Mint is based on the long-term supported version (LTS) of the famous Linux distribution Ubuntu that gets supported for 5 years, making it a rock-stable distribution. Version 20.3 is based on Ubuntu 20.04, which means that it will receive security updates until 2025.

This new version - code-named "Una"- comes with version 5.4 LTS of the Linux kernel, with the ability to install higher versions of the kernel on the distribution in one click through the tool integrated with the update manager.

Linux Mint offers three different desktop environment options to suit all tastes: Xfce, Mate, and Cinnamon environment developed by the distro team itself, which makes it offer a better user experience compared to the Xfce and Mate versions, but this does not mean that these last two are not good or that the development team does not care It just means that the Cinnamon version gets special attention from the developers of the distro.

Linux Mint 20.3 features an updated look and feel with larger title bar buttons, rounded corners, a sharper theme, and dark mode support.

The title bars in this version are more rounded with larger buttons to make the desktop look more pleasant and beautiful. The hover zone around the icons has also been widened to make it easier to press buttons, and the maximize/unmaximize icon is more intuitive than before.

To help reduce distraction, the areas using accent colors across the system have been reduced, and replaced with a brighter dark color, giving the overall appearance of the distribution a cleaner look. Accent colors cover only important elements of the operating system's windows and parts such as sliders, checkboxes, radios, and the close button continue to provide your favorite highlight color.

Dark Mode is the ability for certain applications to look dark while the rest of the desktop remains light. Linux Mint 20.3 features full dark mode support for multiple built-in apps such as Celluloid, Hypnotix, Xviewer, Pix, and Gnome Terminal which will give them a distinctive look.

The distro's default theme, Mint-Y, has been simplified to provide less complex and to work better in a variety of situations: Instead of providing two separate title bar themes (one light and one dark), it now provides a theme that adjusts its colors to the selected control theme, and the "Darker" variants that mix dark toolbars and light windows have been discontinued due to the bad compatibility with icon themes.

 Last but not least, the Mint-Y Cinnamon theme variant now offers a light panel the default Mint-Y icon set has received some new emblems, and the ancient Mint-X theme gets a new design for in-app notifications and a better-looking Nemo toolbar. And for those who don't like change, the original old look of the Mint-Y theme was renamed as "Mint-Y-Legacy", and the distro team has packaged it into a package called mint-themes-legacy. Users can install it to get the same Linux Mint old look as before.

 The dark mode in the built-in apps is also configurable, so you can easily turn it off if you want.

Linux Mint Una comes with a new Cinnamon version, version 5.2, that comes with a lot of new features and improvements:

  • The star of the show in Cinnamon 5.2 is the calendar applet that now lets you display the events you create on your calendars right in the applet. The events in the applet use the same color as the calendar they belong to, making it easy to keep track of multiple calendars:

The applet syncs with the Evolution data server, so it supports multiple calendars such as the GNOME Calendar app that works directly without the need for any additional setup, as well as online calendars, including Microsoft and Google Calendar that can be set up from the Online Accounts section of the System Settings app. You can also make the Thunderbird calendar appear in the applet by installing the EDS Calendar Integration add-on.

  • When files have been moved or copied and some conflict with existing files with the same names, File Manager Nemo shows an additional option to have them renamed automatically to avoid the conflict as they are moved/copied to the new destination, whereas in the past you could only either skip/ignore these files or overwrite the old ones.

  • Window animations were reviewed, tuned, and simplified. This was done within the scope of an upcoming mutter rebase, which will land in a future version of Cinnamon and provide even better effects.

Along with bug fixes, Cinnamon 5.2 also features the following improvements:

  1. Increased support for right-to-left languages in the sound and menu applets and the window settings
  2. NVIDIA Optimus: Support for PrefersNonDefaultGPU field in .desktop files
  3. Nemo: The clipboard content no longer vanishes if the Nemo process dies
  4. grouped-window-list applet: icon fix for certain applications (VirtualBox)
  5. Nemo-media-columns: m4a and audio mp4, composer and description columns
  6. sound applet: support for base64 URI album art
  7. Nemo-actions: support for UriScheme
  8. Support for non-x86 architecture
  9. menu applet: all applications show an icon
  10. settings daemon: trackball support
  11. accessibility: new Alt+Super+S shortcut to activate the screen reader
  12. Support for 3x fractional scaling when the hardware allows it
  13. Nemo: xls2csv fixed

On the other hand, The Hypnotix IPTV player looks better than ever, thanks to Dark Mode support and a new set of flags, A new search function was added as well, so you can easily find your favorite TV channels, movies, and series, and in addition to M3U and local playlists, the IPTV player now also supports the Xtream API.

Linux Mint 20.3 introduces a brand new XApp called Thingy. Thingy is a Document Manager. It gives you quick access to your favorite and recently opened documents and keeps track of your reading progress.

The Sticky Notes application now has a search function, and the look of the notes was improved by embedding the title within the note. A new control was also added inside the notes' toolbar to control the size of the text.        


The Xreader PDF reader received proper manga support. In Right-to-left mode, the direction of the arrow keys is now also inverted, so going left goes forward in the document, like it would when you read a manga, and Its toolbar no longer appears in full-screen mode.

In the Xed text editor, you can now navigate through tabs with Ctrl-Tab and Ctrl-Shift-Tab.

Both Xed and Xreader also feature an option to hide the menu bar. When it's hidden, the app uses less space to fit on smaller screen resolutions, and the Alt key can be pressed to make the menu bar visible momentarily when needed.

The Xviewer image viewer was given the ability to quickly fit the image to either the height or the width of the window, and The WebApp manager has a new column to show which browser is used for each of the WebApps.

And new improvements in Linux from 20.3 also includes an upgrade to the HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPL IP) package to version 3.21.8 to bring the latest support for HP printers and scanner, alongside the latest versions of ipp-usb and sane-airscan packages to make more scanning and printing devices work properly in Linux mint. Bluetooth can now be turned on or off straight from the Bluetooth tray menu, and the system reports tool, now only run once a day instead of every hour to help you save battery life and reduce resource usage.

Linux Mint Una comes, as usual, like each new release of this brilliant distribution with a new set of beautiful wallpapers in high resolution. The distribution also provides, as we mentioned, both the Xfce (Version 4.16) and Mate (version 1.26) editions, along with the Cinnamon edition. What makes it truly a solid distribution suitable for all tastes.

It also comes with Mozilla Firefox 95.0 web browser, Thunderbird 78.14.0 mail and calendar client, and LibreOffice office suite.

You can download the Beta version of Linux Mint 20.3 through the following links, but take into account that the version is still in the beta phase, so some features may not work as they should yet, and if you discover a bug, we invite you to report it to the development team so that they can fix it before 

the final stable version of the distro is, which is expected to release later this month.

Download links: 

Cinnamon: Torrent | Direct

Mate: Torrent | Direct

Xfce : Torrent | Direct

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