Linux Mint 20.2
Linux Format|October 2021
Jonni Bidwell is running low on mint metaphors and time, but the promise of some budget mojito mix expedited this review.
Jonni Bidwell

IN BRIEF

A long-standing, well regarded, Ubuntu-derived distribution that puts the needs of its users first. Mint is aimed at both home and professional users with wide business use.

SPECS

RAM: 2GB

Disk: 20GB

OTHER EDITIONS

The main text covers the Cinnamon edition, but the other two flavours (MATE and Xfce) are well worth your attention. Both of these desktops are a little lighter than Cinnamon, but we still wouldn’t recommend using them with less than a gigabyte of RAM. In our testing the Xfce edition had the smallest memory footprint, but only by a whisker. For reference, Cinnamon used around 750MB, MATE weighed in at 600MB, and Xfce scored a slimline 550MB. Don’t read too much into those numbers though; fire up a web browser on any of them and open couple of popular websites, and you’ll soon see your memory usage skyrocket into the gigabytes.

the newest MATE 1.26 isn’t included in this Mint. That’s a shame, but something to look forward to in Mint 20.3. Mint Xfce includes the latest 4.16 edition of the desktop, released back in December. Xfce 4.18 is probably a long way off, but we’re still looking forward to it.

There’s another, lesser-known, edition of Mint too – Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). If you have 32-bit hardware this is the only version you can install, but if you want to learn more about Debian (or don’t like Ubuntu) then this is well worth checking out too. It is only available in Cinnamon flavour, but it’s easy to switch that out for something more lightweight. See the Customise Mint feature for some pointers. There’s no new release of LMDE this outing, but now that Debian 11 is out hopefully we won’t have to wait too long.

Well, it’s quite the Mint-fest this issue, what with it being on the cover, the disc, Jonni’s virtual machines and (as always) Effy’s laptop. Why all this attention? For a start we’ve always liked Mint, and, spoiler alert, this outing does nothing to change that. Next is that there are some nice under-the-bonnet changes with this release that we think you should know about.

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