New features in Linux Mint 20.1 MATE
Linux Mint 20.1 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2025. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable.
In Linux Mint 20.1 you can turn any website into a desktop application.
Launch the new Web App manager and create your Web App:
Web Apps are easy to create and you can make as many as you want:
When a Web App runs it behaves like a desktop application and has its own window:
It has an entry in your application menu, just like any other apps:
It's easier to multi-task between applications on the desktop than it is between tabs in a web browser. As more and more useful tools are available on the Web, it was important for Linux Mint to make it easier to create web-apps.
In addition to Electron wrappers, Web-apps also provide a solution for tools which do not support Linux very well. WhatsApp, Github among others provide rich Web interfaces but no desktop support in Linux.
Another application which is new in Linux Mint 20.1 is Hypnotix, an IPTV player for M3U playlists.
It supports live TV:
And if your playlist or IPTV provider also has a VOD section, Hypnotix can support movies:
or even TV series:
By default Hypnotix comes with a free IPTV provider called Free-IPTV. This provider only provides freely and publicly available live TV channels. Linux Mint itself is not an IPTV provider and does not provide any live channels, movies or TV series.
Printing and Scanning improvements
In Linux Mint 19.3 (and Ubuntu 18.04) and prior releases printers and scanners relied on the availability of drivers (whether these were included in the Linux kernel or added manually).
In Linux Mint 20 (and Ubuntu 20.04), the distribution shipped with ippusbxd, an implementation of IPP over USB. Thanks to IPP, also referred to as driverless printing/scanning, devices can be detected and used without the need for any drivers and in a standard way. Unfortunately the presence of IPP over USB also means drivers are bypassed and inhibited. Ippusbxd turned out to be a disappointment and created more problems than it solved.
In Linux Mint 20.1 ippusbxd was removed so printing and scanning work the same way as in Linux Mint 19.x and prior releases.
HPLIP was upgraded to version 3.20.11 to bring the latest support for HP printers and scanner.
Documentation sections were added to the Linux Mint User Guide for IPP-USB and Sane-Airscan, two very new yet promising projects which might be included by default in future releases.
Both ipp-usb and sane-airscan are available in the Linux Mint 20.1 repositories. Try them out if you can't get your printer or scanner to work with software drivers.
The clock format in Slick Greeter (the login screen) is now configurable.
Xed can now automatically close brackets when it's used to edit source code.
In Xviewer, the behaviors of the primary and secondary (tilt) mouse wheels are now configurable.
Pix is now able to filter by rating.
Hardware video acceleration is now enabled by default in Celluloid. On most computers this results in smoother playback, better performance and reduced CPU usage.
The driver manager was migrated to PackageKit. It features a stronger resolution of package dependencies and its user interface was improved.
Some projects such as mintsystem and mintdrivers are now backported to earlier releases and contain their own translations.
Chromium was added to the repository.
The upload manager, mintupload, features better a looking user interface and a better drop zone.
Linux Mint 20.1 features a unified filesystem layout.
This release ships with linux-firmware 1.187 and the Linux kernel 5.4.
Linux Mint 20.1 features a superb collection of backgrounds from Bruno Fantinatti, Evgeni Tcherkasski, Fabien Bellanger, Jan Kaluza, Jase Bloor, Joanna Kosinska, James Donovan, Jung Ho Park, Llyoyd Blunk, Lucas Marconnet, Lerone Pieters, Paul Carmona, Ryan Booth, Rohit Ranwa, Simon Berger, Samuel Ferrara, Mohammad Shahhosseini, Sandro Schuh, Smit Shah, Szabolcs Toth, Scott Umstattd and Tangerine Chan
Linux Mint 20.1 features MATE 1.24, a Linux kernel 5.4 and an Ubuntu 20.04 package base.
Linux Mint 20.1 will receive security updates until 2025.
Until 2022, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 20.1, making it trivial for people to upgrade.
Until 2022, the development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one.