New features in Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon

Linux Mint 17.1 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable to use.

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" Cinnamon Edition

Cinnamon 2.4

Smoother Experience

A lot of care went into attention to details and Cinnamon 2.4 received many little improvements to make your experience smoother and more enjoyable than before.

Responsiveness and memory usage

CJS was rebased on a newer version of GJS in an effort to reduce memory usage and provide faster execution times.

All Cinnamon components were reviewed and their source code was checked with static analysis tools. Although most of them were small, about 30 memory leaks were fixed.

Icons used in Cinnamon Settings were added to the Mint-X icon theme. This increased responsiveness (This is specific to Linux Mint so we encourage all artists and distributions to do the same).

More polish

Credit to and similar to GNOME Shell, the Cinnamon desktop now starts with a zoom animation.

The login sound is now handled directly by Cinnamon (as opposed to cinnamon-settings-daemon) and plays in sync with the login sequence.

Modules in Cinnamon Settings and categories in the application menu are now sorted alphabetically.

Similar to Windows, “Super+e” now opens up the home directory.

Cinnamon 2.4 ships with many small refinements (multiple panel launchers, improvements in the sound applet...etc) and a lot of bug fixes.

Internationalization and localization were greatly improved.

More settings and hardware support

Single-button touchpads are now supported (like the one used on the Macbook) and actions for 2-finger and 3-finger clicks are configurable. By default they correspond to right-click and middle-click.

Compositing in full-screen mode is now configurable and does not require to restart Cinnamon. This means less screen-tearing by default for most users and the option to undirect windows for gamers and users requiring an application to run at full speed without being impacted by the composition manager.

The desktop font is now configurable.

It is now possible to give the screensaver a custom date format, and custom fonts.

Improved Settings

The Theme Settings were completely redesigned:

Themes selection

The Background Settings were also completely redesigned and now support background slideshows:

Backgrounds selection and slideshow

Note: This change is accompanied by a new “Slideshow” applet. Add it to your panel to quickly pause/resume the slideshow or to skip to the next desktop background.

The Network Settings were rebased on GNOME’s latest configuration module:

Network settings

Privacy Settings were added:

Privacy settings

And Notification Settings:

Notifications settings

Nemo improvements

The Nemo toolbar was redesigned and its buttons are now configurable. A new button (hidden by default) was added to open a terminal in the current directory.

The Nemo file manager

Support for emblems was added to Nemo. Files and directories can be given little emblem which are displayed on top of their icon:

Emblems can be added to directories and files

Finally, the sidebar is also improved, with highlight effects on hover and a smarter dynamic bookmark section.

Update Manager

More meaningful updates

The Update Manager now groups packages together according to their source package. A line no longer represents a single package but a software update which consists in one or several packages.

When a developer fixes a bug or writes new features, the source code is modified and all packages which are related to it become available under a new version. It is therefore futile and sometimes dangerous to apply some package updates and not others within the same source package.

In the screenshot below, the Update Manager shows 10 software updates. These updates represent a total of 70 packages. The LibreOffice update is selected and the Update Manager shows the 22 packages it contains. At the bottom of the screen, the Mesa update contains 18 packages, some of which are known to break your system if you were to apply them individually.

More meaningful software updates

By grouping these updates the Update Manager prevents you from applying incomplete updates while making it easier for you to review them (updates make more sense and there's far less than before to review).

Kernel selection

As more and more kernels become available, the kernel selection screen was redesigned to quickly let you review known security fixes and known regressions:

Kernel selection in the Update Manager

Other improvements

Short descriptions were added. Both short and long descriptions now appear in your own language.

The main window no longer hides after installing updates.

Proxy support was added for the retrieval of changelog information.

Language Settings

The user interface of the Language Settings was redesigned to show more information but in a simpler way:

Language Settings

There are now two settings for locale selection: "Language" (which corresponds to the language you speak) and "Region" (which corresponds to the country you live in). This is an important addition for users who live abroad, or which language is from a different locale than their regional settings.

Support for Input Methods was also added. This is important to people who want to write Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and a few other languages which require characters or symbols which aren’t present on the keyboard. The Language Settings now let you choose and install your input method. The interface also tells you if required components are missing (typically if you’re missing a package for things to work correctly).

Login Screen

Visual improvements

The Login Window Preferences were redesigned:

The Login Window preferences

The new layout features icons in the sidebar to access the different categories of settings.

The concept of "greeters" was confusing to users so it was replaced by a simpler theme selection. All themes (HTML and GDM) as well as the GTK greeter are now available from the same list.

A preview button, to quickly visualize the active theme, was added.

Under the hood improvements

The session output is now limited to 200KB (between 2000 and 4000 lines of logs), to prevent warning spam issued by toolkits, libraries or programs from filling up the .xsession-errors file, sometimes resulting in loss of performance, lack of HDD space, or the inability to log in.

The session output can also be filtered, to prevent warnings and errors from GTK, Glib, Gio, Gobject, Glade etc… from getting into .xsession-errors.

Note that the session output limit is enabled by default and the session output filtering is disabled by default. Both options are available in the MDM Setup tool.

In the login screen, touchpad taps are now disabled while the user is typing.

System improvements

Linux Mint 17.1 features the following system changes:

  • A new pastebin command was introduced. You can pipe a command into it or simply give it a filename. The text is then available online for 2 days:
    • echo "Hello World!" | pastebin
    • pastebin myfile.txt
  • The 'search' command now uses the current folder by default, so these three commands are now the same:
    • search in . for somekeyword
    • search for somekeyword in .
    • search for somekeyword
  • The 'apt' commands now feature bash completion

Artwork improvements

Linux Mint now uses the Noto fonts by default. They're good looking and provide better support for some languages (CJK in particular).

The Linux Mint theme, Mint-X, now comes in Aqua, Blue, Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Sand and Teal.

Mint-X in glorious colors

In addition, you can now right-click any directory and change its color (credits to Marco Alvarez Costales and the Elementary project for original work and ideas). That's quite handy to quickly recognize your favorite places in a long list of directories.

The default MDM theme for the login screen now features a slideshow. Additional HTML themes were also installed by default, including some of the great retro-looking themes from Sam Riggs, a new modern theme from Philipp Miller and some flat themes from Bernard.

Finally, there are backgrounds galore in Linux Mint 17.1. All the backgrounds since the previous LTS (Maya, Nadia, Olivia, Petra, Qiana) were added, as well as a nostalgic selection of the best backgrounds from the early days of Linux Mint. You'll even find the notorious Dew background from Linux Mint 7 Gloria in there :)

Other improvements

The USB Image Writer now shows the percentage of completion in its titlebar, so you can minimize it while it's working and see its progress without having to switch back to it.

The Software manager now warns the user much more explicitly than before when an operation is about to remove other packages.

The Software Sources tool now checks the speed of repository mirrors much faster than before and in parallel. It also uses a retry mechanism on timeout and removes erroneous mirrors from the list.

The English version of the Official User Guide was ported to DocBook and is now available from Menu->Help. PDF versions in multiple languages are also still available at

Main components

Linux Mint 17.1 features Cinnamon 2.4, MDM 1.8, a Linux kernel 3.13 and an Ubuntu 14.04 package base.

LTS strategy

Linux Mint 17.1 will receive security updates until 2019.

Until 2016, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 17.1, making it trivial for people to upgrade.

Until 2016, the development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one.