Initial thoughts on the beta release of Linux Mint 22 “Wilma”

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The beta iteration of Linux Mint’s much-anticipated forthcoming 22 iteration, known as “Wilma,” has just been released. This version is an LTS release, offering updates and maintenance until 2029.

Driven by Ubuntu 24.04 LTS and Linux kernel 6.8, Mint 22 comes with a range of upgrades designed to enrich the user experience on the desktop, taking it to new levels. Let’s briefly explore what the final release has in store.

Linux Mint 22 Beta: Primary Enhancements and Features

Linux Mint 22 has made significant progress in optimizing localization. The installation process now retains only essential language packs, significantly reducing the required disk space. Supported languages such as English, German, Spanish, French, and others are available during installation without needing an internet connection.

Enhanced Localization and Disk Space Management

With the new Ubuntu 24.04 package base, Mint 22 ‘Wilma’ introduces updated system components, including Linux kernel 6.8, to improve hardware compatibility. The default sound server has been shifted to PipeWire for better audio management, and the system now supports the modern Debian DEB822 format.

Updated Software and System Components

Themes have been revamped to support GTK4, and significant efforts have been put into enhancing HiDPI support throughout the system. These updates guarantee a visually appealing and sharp user interface, even on high-resolution screens.

Improved Graphical and Desktop Experience

Addressing security concerns, Linux Mint 22 has taken a vigilant stance on Flatpaks. Unverified Flatpaks are disabled by default, with explicit warnings about potential security risks. Verified Flatpaks now display maintainer names, fostering transparency and trust.

Emphasis on Security with Flatpak Integrations

The mintinstall Software Manager has undergone a revamp. It now loads quicker and showcases a cleaner, more user-friendly interface. It also incorporates improved multi-threading capabilities, a new preferences section, and secure Flatpak settings.

Simplified and Accelerated Software Management

As Hexchat is no longer in use, Linux Mint has transitioned to the Matrix network for community interactions. This modern platform supports persistent conversations and multimedia file sharing, akin to popular services like Slack or Discord.

Move to Matrix for Community Interaction

Cinnamon 6.2, the flagship desktop environment of Linux Mint, has undergone several tweaks and bug fixes. Enhancements such as a new layout editor for Nemo actions and enhanced support for multiple workspaces enhance productivity and user engagement.

Enhanced Cinnamon and Other Desktop Environments

The update also includes a variety of other enhancements, such as a more intelligent menubar in Firefox Web applications, a new thumbnailer for GIMP files, and enhanced configuration options in default applications like the Xed text editor and the Sticky notes app.

Furthermore, the release showcases a stunning array of new wallpapers from diverse international artists, further enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the desktop environment.

In Conclusion

Mint 22 “Wilma” seems poised to be another finely tuned release, solidifying its position as potentially the premier Linux desktop distribution currently accessible. Ubuntu, which held this position for many years, has fallen behind due to a series of unpopular decisions, an autocratic approach to its user base, and a shift in focus towards corporate users.

Regardless, the ultimate desktop champion has for years been decided by the most honorable standard: end users. Linux Mint intends to maintain the same package base until 2026, ensuring smooth upgrades to future versions for users.

For those eager to test the Mint 22 “Wilma” beta release, it is available for download with a clear emphasis: it is meant for testing purposes and feedback. Guidelines for the post-beta phase will include complete upgrade instructions and the transition to the stable release.

For additional comprehensive information on all the innovations in the upcoming “Wilma” release, visit this link.

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