New features in Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon
Linux Mint 16 is the result of 6 months of incremental development on top of stable and reliable technologies. This new release comes with updated software and brings refinements and new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.
Cinnamon 2.0 represents 5 months of development and 856 commits from 28 developers. It features a lot of bug fixes but also brand new features and many improvements.
Cinnamon is now able to play sounds when you perform common events such as closing windows, switching workspaces etc...
These sounds are configurable, can be disabled globally or individually and you can set the volume for them independently of the main sound volume.
Better User Management
A new applet was introduced to let you easily perform session and account related tasks (leaving, switching users, disabling notifications, accessing settings...etc).
You can also change your password, name and login picture easily from the new "Account Details" configuration screen.
System administrators also have access to the new "Users and Groups" configuration tool which allows them to administrate users and groups.
Edge-Tiling is the action of quickly moving a window to the edge of the screen and sticking it there for it to occupy half of the screen. It can be done by dragging the window towards a screen edge or by pressing pressing “Super_L” (The Windows key) and an arrow key.
Edge-Tiling was already there in Cinnamon but it just got much better:
- Tiled windows no longer need to occupy half of the screen, they do so by default when tiled but you can now resize them.
- In addition to the Left, Right, Top and Bottom edge of the screen, you can now also tile into the 4 corners of the screen.
- When you drag a window near a tiling zone Cinnamon shows that zone to you. This is called the HUD and its purpose it to bring awareness and make it easier for novice users to discover the Edge-Tiling and Edge-Snapping (explained in the next paragraph) features.
Edge-Snapping is the most impressive feature in Cinnamon 2.0. It was inspired by the Snap functionality of Xbox One. It is similar to Edge-Tiling (the window sticks to the edge or corner of the screen, occupies half of the screen and can be resized) but with one key difference: Maximized windows do not cover snapped windows.
Snapping is the star of the show, almost as good as having multiple monitors. Here we're working on the code in a maximized window while enjoying some music videos.
The idea behind Edge-Snapping is to let you keep an eye on a particular window without letting that window get in the way of everything else you're doing. If you have multiple monitors you can already do that by moving that window to another monitor, if you don't you'll probably love this new feature.
To snap a window in Cinnamon 2.0, drag it with the mouse towards an edge or a corner while pressing the "Control" key. Alternatively you can snap a window using "Control", "Super_L" and an arrow key.
Better MIME handling
MIME handling was drastically improved. Associating applications or commands to particular file types was a frustrating exercise. It is now a breeze.
System tray support for file operations
The File operations window appears when you move or copy files. It shows you the progress of current move or copy operations. Prior to Cinnamon 2.0, if you closed this window you couldn't bring it back.
In Cinnamon 2.0, if you close this window, it will show as an icon in your system tray. The icon uses a circular symbolic progress icon to give you an indication of the progress of the operations.
Other Nemo improvements
The overall performance and UI were greatly improved. Nemo looks better and acts faster than before.
Bookmarks and devices now appear in the "Move to" and "Copy to" context menus so you can quickly move/copy files towards your favourite destinations.
New extensions were ported to Nemo, in particular nemo-media-columns and nemo-preview (which is forked from Sushi).
Cinnamon 2.0 also features many other improvements. For a complete overview of the new features in Cinnamon 2.0, please visit http://segfault.linuxmint.com/2013/10/cinnamon-2-0-released/
MDM 1.4 was designed to work perfectly with Linux Mint 16 and Cinnamon 2.0, not only to log in but also to let you switch between users easily.
MDM received the following improvements:
- Drastic speed improvements and an easier codebase to facilitate maintenance, bug fixing and innovation (niche features and some 24,500 lines of code were removed)
- A streamlined user interface which focuses on important features
- The ability for the last logged-in user to simply log in by entering his/her password
- Num-Lock support
- The boot and login sequence no longer scan your system for btrfs partitions.
- The MDM display manager no longer listens or communicates over the network.
- The Update Manager is now started with a delay to make it faster for the session to load.
- The Software Manager features significant speed improvements.
- The Linux Mint 16 ISO images are not as compressed as before. They take more space and are bigger to download but also easier on the system and faster to decompress during the live session.
- Safer kernel updates.
- Faster boot sequence and faster login.
- Better EFI support.
- Better support for Steam and its addition in the repositories and the featured section of the Software Manager.
- Additional private/secure search engines in certain countries.
- APT "recommends" disabled by default.
- Better colors in terminal and the addition of "ll" as an alias to "ls -al".
- Better help support.
- Better support for GTK3 and a more consistent look between GTK2 and GTK3 applications
- Polished anti-aliased window borders
- Support for the new corner-tiling and snapping features introduced in Cinnamon 2.0
- New icons for several Mint tools and popular 3rd party applications (Handbrake, Tomahawk..etc)
- "Linux Mint", the default theme, was slightly refined and given semi-transparent panels and applets.
- "Mint-X", designed by zagortenay333 to look consistent with the default GTK theme.
- "Cinnamon", the default upstream theme.
New theme techniques were also implemented and featured in the default theme. The animated background and the user selection will inspire other artists to create a new generation of MDM themes.
LightDM (which was a popular alternative to MDM 1.2 in Linux Mint 15) was also improved. Cinnamon 2.0 fully supports it (including user-switching and guest sessions) and unity-greeter was adapted to properly integrate with Linux Mint 16.
USB Stick support
A new tool was developed to easily format USB sticks to NTFS, FAT32 and ext4.
Both the new formatting tool and the USB Image Writer tool were integrated with Nemo, so you can format or make a bootable USB stick by simply right-clicking on the stick or on an ISO file.
Linux Mint 16 focuses on the task at hand, it does less and does it better than before. It features many speed and performance improvements:
In Cinnamon 2.0, substantial performance improvements were made to fullscreen applications. Running "glxgears -fullscreen" without vsync for instance now gives 3 times more frames per seconds.
The Software Manager received many bug fixes and performance improvements. It's faster to start, faster to search, and uses less memory than before.
Its interface was also refined and applications can now show multiple screenshots.
Under the hood, Linux Mint 16 introduces a lot of improvements:
The new Mint-X theme brings:
There are 3 Cinnamon themes installed by default:
Linux Mint 16 features Cinnamon 2.0, MDM 1.4, a Linux kernel 3.11 and an Ubuntu 13.10 package base.