New features in Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon

Linux Mint 19.3 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2023. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable.


Linux Mint 19.3 "Tricia" Cinnamon Edition

System Reports

You'll notice something new in your system tray after you install Linux Mint 19.3. A little warning icon tries to catch your attention and indicates there are a few things for you to review.

In the past, we worked on improving documentation (such as the Installation Guide) and the welcome you get when you first log in (the first steps section of the Welcome Screen for instance).

In Linux Mint 19.3, we're going a step further and we're trying to detect potential issues in your computer.

If you're missing a language package, a multimedia codec, if a hardware driver or a new version of Linux Mint is available, this little icon will let you know and provide solutions.


System Reports

In the documentation, the release notes and to some extent the welcome screen, we document broad issues which affect all users in general. With the system reports we're running a diagnostic which is specific to your computer and we're able to bring information which is relevant to you in particular.

Language Settings

Along with the locale and the region, the Language settings tool now let you set your time format.


Time format in the Language Settings

HiDPI Support

HiDPI support is almost complete: It is supported in all Linux Mint 19.3 editions and, with the exception of Hexchat and Qt5Settings, by all the applications which are included by default.

Thanks to XappStatusIcon, system tray icons can look crisp.

Flags in the Language Settings and Software Sources tools are no longer blurry.

In Cinnamon, HiDPI support was fixed in the screensaver flags and the themes previews.

Celluloid

Celluloid replaces Xplayer as the default multimedia player.


Celluloid

Playing a movie on a laptop can rapidly deplete the battery. If the CPU goes too hot, the fans also kick on and the computer gets noisy. If the resolution is too high for the CPU to handle, the video gets choppy.

Xplayer is based on GStreamer/ClutterGST and can only render videos via the CPU.

Celluloid is based on the excellent MPV backend which provides much better performance and hardware accelerated playback. It can handle much larger resolutions than Xplayer on the same computer.

Gnote

Gnote replaces Tomboy as the default application to take notes. With the exception of the tray icon, Gnote provides the same functionality as Tomboy but it is built on modern technology.


Gnote

Tomboy was the last application in Linux Mint which depended on Mono and one of the very few remaining apps which didn't support HiDPI.

Drawing

Gimp is an excellent application but it has a very steep learning curve and its user interface is quite intimidating for novice users.

In Linux Mint 19.3, Gimp was removed from the default software selection and replaced by a much simpler application called "Drawing".


Drawing

This new application lets you draw but also modify, resize and crop pictures.

Cinnamon 4.4

Panel zone text and symbolic icon size

Each panel zone (left, center, right... or top, center and bottom if the panel is vertical) now has the ability to have its own text size and its own size for symbolic icons.


Configurable panel zone text size and symbolic icon size

Nemo context menu

In the file manager preferences it is now possible to configure which actions should be visible in the context menu:


Configurable context menu in Nemo

Other improvements

  • Much improved startup animation
  • Following a crash, Cinnamon can be restarted without 3rd party spices
  • Speed optimizations in menu applet, theme settings and spices settings
  • Window focus mode is now configurable in System Settings
  • Support for silent notifications
  • Simplified window settings
  • Reworked panel settings and menu
  • HiDPI settings moved to display module
  • Option added to disable the touchpad when a mouse is attached
  • New sort option for spices (Applets, desklets, themes and extensions) according to whether or not they have an update available
  • Network applet rescans the network automatically when opened (rescan button removed)
  • Dbus and pulseaudio fixes in sound applet
  • Date and time settings rewritten in Python
  • Out-of-process Gtk dialogs used to show spices "About..."
  • Spices can be reloaded from their setting window burger menu
  • System-wide mechanism to let Linux distributions override JSON spice settings

XApps improvements

Status Icons

Version 1.6 of libxapp introduces a new system tray solution called XAppStatusIcon.

Here are its benefits compared to GtkStatusIcon:

  • HiDPI support
  • Support for dark themes and symbolic icons
  • No rendering, sizing or cropping issues
  • No dependency on obsolete GtkSocket/GtkPlug technology

It also provides the following benefits compared to AppIndicator:

  • Support for any mouse click, button-press and button-release event
  • Support for multiple menus
  • Native menus
  • Support for multiple trays

Symbolic icons are separated from fullcolor icons to make the tray look even more polished. The icons look crisp in HiDPI and they are rendered by the panel applet directly.

Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce have applets for XAppStatusIcon. LibXApp 1.6 also provides an API which makes it very easy to write applets for other desktop environments.

In Linux Mint 19.3, all editions ship with an XAppStatusIcon applet. As in the past, support for libAppIndicator is disabled by default, but applications which use this library no longer default to GtkStatusIcon, they default to XAppStatusIcon instead.

Icon Chooser

The XAppIconChooser widget was improved to support a default icon and custom icon categories.

Among other places, this is used in by the menu applet to let you choose from a variety of Linux Mint logos:


XAppIconChooser

Blueberry

Blueberry was given a visual overhaul.


Blueberry

Under the hood, it features better device detection, better error reporting and it supports more Bluetooth devices than before.

Other improvements

  • Pix: The the slideshow respects the zoom quality settings and the default quality was switched to High.
  • Xed: You can now right-click links to visit them.
  • Xreader: New annotation buttons were added to the sidebar.
  • Xviewer: Ctrl+KP_0 (the keypad 0 key) resets the zoom level.
  • LightDM Settings: You can now select a mouse pointer theme for the login screen.


LightDM Settings

System improvements

"Hardware Detection Tool" was added to the BIOS menu of the ISO images.


Hardware Detection Tool

This release ships with linux-firmware 1.173.9 and the Linux kernel 5.0.

Artwork improvements

The Linux Mint logo was refined and simplified from a complex design which used gradients to a simple "LM" shape which can be embedded in a leaf, but also in a circle, a badge, or used on its own. This gives artists a lot more freedom and flexibility when it comes to producing artwork and we're able to create symbolic icons and adapt to various colors much more easily than before.


Logo variants

The Plymouth splash screen now features what the team calls the "Washing Machine":


The "Washing Machine"

The boot menu was also redesigned:


Boot Menu

Linux Mint 19.3 features a superb collection of backgrounds from Alberto Restifo, Andreas Gucklhorn, Andrey Andreyev, Arto Marttinen, Brady Bellini, Bruno Fantinatti, Dawid Zawila, Hoach Le Dinh, Jan Kaluza, Jenna Beekhuis, Juergen Donauer, Julius Rinke, Kevin Young, Olivier Miche, Rob Bates, Ryan Booth and Thomas Tucker.


An overview of the new backgrounds

Main components

Linux Mint 19.3 features Cinnamon 4.4, a Linux kernel 5.0 and an Ubuntu 18.04 package base.

LTS strategy

Linux Mint 19.3 will receive security updates until 2023.

Until 2020, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 19.3, making it trivial for people to upgrade.

Until 2020, the development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one.