back to article Like Ubuntu, just a bit less hassle: Linux Mint 21 'Vanessa'

Linux Mint 21 is here, with a tweaked Ubuntu 22.04 base, natively packaged Firefox, Flatpak instead of Snap, and strategically pruned systemd. Just a couple of weeks after we looked at the beta-test version, Mint 21 "Vanessa" is out. As usual, there are three different editions, each with their own release announcements: one …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Been using the Beta for a couple of weeks

    and no significant niggles. The only one I've noticed is that sometimes making a window full screen on a second monitor hops it to full screen on the laptop instead - youtube is a particular offender.

    One slight annoyance is that having set location as Berlin, even with UK-GB as keyboard and default language, it insists on using German-locale decimal separators. No amount of twiddling locales seems to sort this out. Though this was present in 20 also... and Firefox doesn't seem to understand using a UK spelling checker; another hang-over from 20.

    Nonetheless, a pint for Clem and the crew!

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: Been using the Beta for a couple of weeks

      "Firefox doesn't seem to understand using a UK spelling checker"

      That's been an intermittent problem for a few years now. It often switches to Canadian English or other English local and it proves impossible to set it to UK, or if you do it ignores the selection and still spell checks incorrectly. A tad annoying but not a deal breaker.

      Looking forward to trying the new Mint. Keep up the good work everyone. :-)

      1. fajensen

        Re: Been using the Beta for a couple of weeks

        impossible to set it to UK, or if you do it ignores the selection and still spell checks incorrectly.

        It is just striving to provide the same user experience that Microsoft Office so generously provides!

    2. Barry Rueger

      Re: Been using the Beta for a couple of weeks

      Since moving to France, and consequently sometimes needing to work in the French language, I've been fascinated by the ways that some parts of my system default to French, and other parts don't.

      I should know why, but can't be bothered.

      What I'd like to see is a simple to use switch to go back and forth between English and French menus, dictionariies, and formatting and conventions.

      Right now it all feels far too kludgy.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Been using the Beta for a couple of weeks

        Don't forget the time. Telling it I'm in Berlin gets me a German time server, which is what I want, but I want everything else in English, damnit!

      2. fajensen

        Re: Been using the Beta for a couple of weeks

        Oh, yes. And the "Missing Locale Bug". The one that always comes up after a few kernel upgrades.

        Each time, I think I should maybe try and dig into this for Glory, then I remember enthusiastically digging into why the printer suddenly didn't work and then I let that ancient evil be, less it rises and forces a reinstall from scratch to fix!

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "gets the job done with as little fiddling as possible, Mint readily beats Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, or any flavor of Debian"

    I had Mint on a rarely used laptop which got a few steps behind current. In that situation I found the update process convoluted to the point of being broken. It was easier to do a new install rather then update in place. In the end I decided a fresh install of Devuan was less fiddly.

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      [Author here]

      That's a fair point. Upgrades, especially version upgrades, were long Mint's weak spot.

      OTOH I have a feeling this is something a non-techie might well try to avoid doing. There was someone here in the Reg comments a few months back saying they never upgraded their Fedora, and preferred to wipe and reload, every time.

      Mint's upgrade process _is_ improving. I took my fiancée's desktop from 20 to 20.1 to 20.2 without a hitch.

    2. el_oscuro

      Mint updates have been a disaster for me

      I tried Mint twice, both times one an extra PC I had, not a VM. The first one was Mint 13 32 bit and the second time, it was Mint 16, 64 bit.

      Both installed just fine and worked flawlessly - until I tried an update. I'm not talking about any major version upgrades - just an apt-get upgrade to apply patches and such. I run these updates on Ubuntu and other distros about once a week and they work. Except for Mint.

      In both cases, the update broke the desktop in the same weird way. All of the navigation menus became scrambled, which made the desktop unusable.

      And it also changed the Firefox search engines, completely removing Google and making DDG the default. Now I actually like DDG, but still want to have Google as an option. I know you can go into about:preferences and change it back, but that didn't work either. I got some sort of error, and neither search engine had any solutions for either problem.

      Speaking of updates, that is where Ubuntu 0wns practically every other distro. Their LTS editions have 5 years support, and you can upgrade from one to another without reinstalling. I think the original version on this computer was 14.04 or 16.04. I have never reinstalled and am running 20.04, and will be running 22.04 in a few months. Debian makes you reinstall, as does the Redhat based distros. MX Linux which is based on Debian also expects a reinstall. As far as I know, only Ubuntu supports the upgrade in place.

      1. fidodogbreath

        Re: Mint updates have been a disaster for me

        I don't think that's a common problem with routine updates in Mint. Perhaps there was something unusual about your configurations.

        As the author notes in a previous comment, point-version upgrades have become somewhat less of a dice roll in the last couple of years. Major-version upgrades, though...oy.

    3. fajensen

      I got one of those disk-dup'er jobbies.

      So, now I buy a fresh SSD, duplicate the old disk to that, see how the upgrade goes, if theres anything I don't like, I reinstall from scracth and copy "/home" across from the old one.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suffer not the snap to live

  4. TVU Silver badge

    This is good news and Linux Mint Mate is my recommendation to converts from Windows because it is very easy to use and it is non scary Linux.

  5. Robert Moore

    Not only a beginners Linux

    I am far from a Linux noob. I installed my first Linux in the late 90's Slackware. I admin a large number of Linux servers and Mint is my go to desktop Linux. I have been working in IT for long enough that the last thing I need it to make things harder for myself. Mint works really well and painlessly for most desktops and laptops. Instructions written for Ubuntu almost always work unchanged for Mint.

    My gaming PC runs Mint, my new laptop runs Mint, I have one work laptop that runs Mint. My GF dumped Windows the day she got her new laptop and installed Mint on it (By herself.)

    The servers I admin, are mostly a mix of Ubuntu server, and Centos (And whatever the replacement for centos is.)

    1. ICL1900-G3

      Re: Not only a beginners Linux

      Agreed. I have used it since it first arrived. I don't get all this 'suitable for noobs' stuff, it's an OS, it runs programs, it does it reliably. Under the hood, it's pretty much Debian/Ubuntu. I've tried many other distros, including Arch, but always went back. For me, reliability and ease of use trump pretty much everything. Yes, version upgrades used to be slightly complicated, but now they're not.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Not only a beginners Linux

      Instructions written for Ubuntu almost always work unchanged for Mint.

      That's the important bit right there. Not only do instructions work, basically any software made for Ubuntu (ie, most linux software) will also work unchanged.

      I'm managing a whole bunch of Mint desktops at work and it's pretty straight forward.

  6. bofh1961


    Fedora Cinnamon is a better bet if you're into hi-fi audio or want to use Bluetooth audio devices - LM won't be getting PipeWire as default for another two years minimum.

  7. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Curse Flatpak

    ...but that is one of the easiest ways to install proprietary apps such as Slack or Zoom, which don't offer Linux repositories and so won't automatically get updated with the rest of the OS.


    Actually, Zoom is in the PCLinuxOS, Manjaro tree, repositories under Networking/Instant messaging; and Slack-Desktop under Networking/Remote access.

  8. neverending

    I joined to reply. Have you tried loading it on a Samsung nvme ssd?

    I have one new computer with a 970 evo+, and one about three years old with a 960 pro and mint can't see them.

    It can only see the storage hdd's. I tried several fixes but gave up.

    There is a post on the forums about this problem.

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      [Author here]

      I haven't, but supporting new tech can be a problem area for many OSes.

      Back in the era of Win NT there was a regular pain-point of having to press F6 at a particular point during Setup to insert a floppy with the device driver for your new storage medium, be that EIDE or SATA or whatever.

      The other thing is: get rigorous about firmware updates. Desktop/laptop vendors mainly test against Windows and other-OS support gets forgotten.

  9. Twanky

    If have a well-specified 32-bit machine that you can't affordably upgrade,

    Please correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think it's feasible to 'upgrade' a 32-bit machine to 64-bit.

    I think what you mean is 'if you can't or won't throw it out and replace it with something newer'.

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      [Article author here]

      Well, "feasible" is a flexible term. It can be done; see my recent story here:

      What I was getting at here was not software upgrades, though. For instance, I sold an old laptop to a friend a few years ago because it had 3GB of DDR RAM, and taking that to 4GB, let alone to more than 4GB, was not afforable. The hardware could do it, sure, but DDR SO-DIMMs did not normally come in such big sizes. They were rare in the noughties when DDR was standard, and they were extremely rare by a decade later... and that means expensive.

      So, if someone had an old laptop like that, it might be technically perfectly able to run a 64-bit OS but in practice there is no point since putting in more RAM than a 32-bit OS can support would cost more than the machine is worth.

      Thus, it makes more sense to stay on a 32-bit OS.

      Thus, you'd be better off with LMDE.

    2. The Unexpected Bill

      Sometimes You Can

      It depends upon what you have to work with. Some LGA775 era Netburst stuff and Core Solo/Duo systems were 32-bit only and will let you drop in a new processor having 64-bit support. You might need a BIOS update before installing the new CPU.

      These days it's probably questionable in terms of how well a modern OS will perform on such hardware and whether it's worth investing even a few bucks into a better CPU when a computer having a vastly better specification might only be slightly more expensive. Still, you can oftentimes perform such an upgrade if you want to...


    Mint Xfce user here. Just a shout out to the fantastic community at...


    Really, the community is an integral part of any Linux distro and the Mint community is super helpful however stupid your question. Compare this with the community at, for example FreeBSD, the difference is chalk and cheese.

  11. cantankerous swineherd

    it's 2022 and mint has frozen/is infinitely looping for the second time today. last one meant a hard reboot, fsck and losing a load of edits. I'm trying to get things done, not playing with computers...

    1. itzman

      Mint is looping

      ..then replace your hardware..

  12. ud6

    Not just for newbies

    Strange so many say for 'non-techies'. Truth is, almost all linux distros (and indeed even Windows)!is suitable for techies. If you programme and use terminal, you can do all this with almost all distros (and windows!). What is meant is ... It's suitable for non techies. Fundamentally it's user friendly, versatile and stable, even if you don't use the terminal. But why would a techie choose something that's not stable versatile or user friendly? Ok, you might be experimenting...but from software to programming it's as good or better than any other options.

    Mint has become bigger.. but as title suggests, instead of just being 'based on' Ubuntu, it is actually a large improvement on Ubuntu.

    I constantly look around for faster or better packages than Mint, but things like MX Linux etc, but they suck in comparison. Mint consistently outperforms others whilst being user friendly. Only drawback is that packages in repository can be a little dated. But unlrss you want something specific in new software versions that you can't get (and don't want flatpak), best to go with stability and usability.

    If you doing work, Mint. For personal use, Mint. For programming, Mint. For customizability, Mint. For stability, Mint. But hey, some people like their distro solwer or less stable, so choice is yours.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like