New features in Linux Mint 20.2 MATE
Linux Mint 20.2 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 the past, available updates were simply indicated by a little orange dot on the Update Manager's icon in the system tray and could go unnoticed for long periods of time. In Linux Mint 20.2 the Update Manager is now able to remember how long each update has been available for, how many days the computer was ON during that time and assess whether or not a notification would be welcome to remind you of available updates.
This new notification feature was designed to add comfort to the user experience, not remove any, so making sure it was a nice addition and not an annoying distraction was key. The way this is handled in other operating systems such as Windows or Mac for instance was an example Linux Mint did not want to follow.
For the notification to be welcomed and welcomed again it needs to happen for a reason, to be easy to dismiss if your are busy, to not come back constantly and to not come back at all for a long while after you apply the updates. When a notification is dismissed it is snoozed for 2 days. When updates are applied it goes away for a long time. The conditions for the notification to be shown in the first place are configurable.
By default, the Update Manager shows a notification if a particular update has been available for more than 7 logged-in days or if it's older than 15 calendar days. These values can be configured all the way down to 2 days or all the way up to 3 months.
By default the Update Manager also only counts security and kernel updates as being relevant for notifications but you can change that in the preferences.
The last setting is a grace period. If any update has been applied on your computer in the last 30 days, whether it's via the Update Manager or via another APT software, no notifications will be shown.
On computers where updates are not wanted and 3 months is not enough there's no need to keep the Update Manager running in the background and it can be disabled entirely.Other improvements
The Update Manager handles the automation of Flatpak updates. This was previously located in "Startup Applications".
Unused Flatpak runtimes are automatically removed when this option is active.
The power source of the computer is now checked prior to the launch of automated updates to ensure they do not run when the computer is on battery.
Bulk File Renamer
A new application was implemented to add the ability to bulk rename files. This new application is called Bulky and it is installed by default in Linux Mint 20.2.
You can launch it from the application menu and then select files, or just select multiple files in your file manager, right-click and choose "Rename...".
Sticky Notes replaces GNote as the default application for taking notes.
Similar to GNote, Sticky is developed in GTK3, supports HiDPI and integrates very well in the desktop environment. In addition to the features which were present in GNote, Sticky also lets you place the notes on the desktop and quickly access them from the icon tray.
Notes can be of different colors and the text inside of them can be formatted.
Sticky also features a backup mechanism and can import your GNote notes.
With Warpinator you could already transfer files from computer to computer across the local network but thanks to a new Android app you can now also do so with your phone and tablet.
To install Warpinator on your Android device simply search for it in the play store, or use the link below:
The latest version of Warpinator features the ability to select which network interface you want to use. If you are connected to multiple interfaces (Wireless + ethernet for instance) this allows you to select which network you want to share files on.
A new optional compression setting is also available. Once enabled on both computers, compression can make transfers up to 3 times faster.
Printing and Scanning improvements
HPLIP was upgraded to version 3.21.2 to bring the latest support for HP printers and scanner.
The latest versions of ipp-usb and sane-airscan were also backported and are available in the Linux Mint 20.2 repositories. Try them out if you can't get your printer or scanner to work with software drivers.
The image viewer now supports .svgz images and its slideshow mode can be paused/resumed with the space bar.
In PDF files annotations now appear below the text and the document can be scrolled down using the space bar.
The text editor features new highlighting options for a variety of white spaces.
In addition to Intel, the NVIDIA Prime applet which was designed for Optimus laptops and which let's you switch between your onboard and discrete GPUs now also support AMD onboard chipsets.
The WebApp manager received support for incognito/private browsing.
This release ships with linux-firmware 1.187 and the Linux kernel 5.4.
Linux Mint 20.2 features a superb collection of backgrounds from Aaron Thomas, Alexandre Chambon, Andy Holmes, Chase Baker, Chris Stenger, Danny Kidd, Daniel Lazar, Dan Smedley, Isaac Quesada, Kai Pilger, Malachi Brooks, Marita Kavelashvili, Maria Vojtovicova, Marek Piwnicki, Nadiya Ploschenko, Omar Ram, Robin Noguier, Tyler Duston, Vanessa Friedl, Zidhan Ibrahim and Zhang Kaiyv.
Linux Mint 20.2 features MATE 1.24, a Linux kernel 5.4 and an Ubuntu 20.04 package base.
Linux Mint 20.2 will receive security updates until 2025.
Until 2022, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 20.2, 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.