Version 20.2 of the Linux Mint attempted to address the thorny issue of notifications and automation of system updates.
Linux Mint (apart from the Debian edition) is based on Ubuntu, whereas Mint 20 editions are based on Ubuntu 20.04, this is the latest LTS edition (long-term support). The emphasis is more on stability and usability than cutting edge features. Linux Mint 20.2 will be supported until April 2025 – like all 20.x releases.
Upgrading from Mint 20 or 20.1 to 20.2 is pretty straightforward – essentially, it’s all about taking a backup snapshot, upgrading packages, and selecting “Upgrade to Linux Mint 20.2” from the Update Manager menu. The upgrade notes also suggest running a utility called usrmerge which simplifies the directory structure. This has been the case since Linux 20.
One of the main problems for the Mint team is how to handle system updates. The freedom to update at the user’s discretion seems like a good thing, but the security requirements also suggest that a level of automation is desirable. Linux Mint now offers options for automatic updates, although they are disabled by default. In version 20.2, automation has been extended to “Spice” updates, which are the applets and other enhancements that are part of Cinnamon, the primary Mint desktop.
The new version also made update notifications more urgent. “In the past, available updates were simply indicated by a small orange dot on the update manager’s icon in the system tray and could go unnoticed for a long time,” says the Release Notes.
The latest version tries to deal intelligently with update notifications by taking into account how long updates are available and how much the user was logged in during that time. There are user-configurable options for when and under what circumstances updates are displayed, e.g. B. only after an update has been available for 7 days and only for security and kernel updates. “The way this is handled in other operating systems such as Windows or Mac was an example that Linux Mint did not want to follow,” the notes read.
These changes are linked to a post Earlier this year by Mint maintainer Clement Lefebvre, who complained that Mint users are lagging behind with updates and putting their systems at risk.
There are also some new and updated apps in Mint. A utility called Bulk File Rename or Bulky does what its name suggests, based on strings or regular expressions. Sticky, a note-taking application, allows users to distribute colorful notes on their desktop. Warpinator, a file transfer application, now works on both Android and PCs.
Cinnamon 5.0, introduced in 20.2, has an updated file manager that can search for file contents as well as by name (or users could open a terminal and use grep). Memory leaks are handled better, not only by fixing some bugs, but also by adding an option to limit the amount of memory that Cinnamon uses. There are also fixes for focus management and for Wine applications in full screen mode (Windows applications that run on Linux).
Linux Mint 20.2 MATE (derived from GNOME 2) and Mint 20.2 Xfce (light desktop) were also released with similar refinements.
The notes add that the development team will continue to focus on refining Mint 20.x instead of focusing on the prospective Mint 22 at least until the end of this year. The next task according to according to Lefebvre, to work on the porting of packages for the next release of the Linux Mint Debian Edition, some of which is maintained as a guarantee that Mint will continue to run if something should happen to Ubuntu. ®