New Features

Linux Mint 20.3 Cinnamon

Linux Mint 20.3 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.

Linux Mint 20.3 "Una" Cinnamon Edition


The Hypnotix IPTV player looks better than ever, thanks to Dark Mode support and a new set of flags:

The Hypnotix IPTV player

A new search function was added so you can easily find TV channels, movies and series.

Searching for TV channels

In addition to M3U and local playlists, the IPTV player now also supports the Xtream API.


Linux Mint 20.3 introduces a brand new XApp called Thingy.

The new Document Manager

Thingy is a Document Manager. It gives you a quick access to your favorite and recently opened documents and keeps track of your reading progress.

Sticky Notes

The Sticky Notes application now has a search function:

Search function in Sticky Notes

The look of the notes was improved by embedding the title within the note.

Multiple text size

A new control was added inside the notes toolbar to control the size of the text.

Theme Changes

Linux Mint 20.3 features an updated look and feel with larger titlebar buttons, rounded corners, a cleaner theme and support for dark mode.

Titlebars and corners

The titlebars were quite small. We made them rounder with bigger buttons to make the desktop look more pleasant and generous. The hover zone around the icons was also widened to make it easier to press the buttons.

Rounded titlebars and large window buttons

The maximize/unmaximize icon is more intuitive than before.

Accents and colors

An "accent" is a part of the theme which uses a vibrant color to catch your attention and look more noticeable than the rest of the theme.

Accents make the theme look nice, catchy, vibrant, fun even, especially on top of grey which can be quite austere. But they come at a cost. They compete for your attention and distract you from the actual content.

Accents, less is more.

To make the default Mint-Y theme more pleasant accents and feature colors were removed on some of the widgets (toolbar buttons, menus, filebrowser's sidebar) and the base color was changed to a brighter shade of grey.

Accents were kept on small widgets such as sliders, checkboxes, radios and the close button continue to provide your favorite highlight color while the rest of the theme takes a step back and looks cleaner than before.

Dark Mode

In the context of the Linux desktop, Dark Mode is the ability for certain applications to look dark without using a dark theme. In other words it makes it possible for some applications to be dark while the rest of the desktop remains light.

Linux Mint 20.3 features full dark mode support and takes advantage of this to give the terminal and multimedia apps a distinctive look.

The video player takes advantage of Dark Mode support.

The following applications are shipped in dark:

  • Celluloid
  • Hypnotix
  • Xviewer
  • Pix
  • Gnome Terminal

Other improvements

Mint-Y was streamlined to provide less complexity and to work better in a variety of cases. Instead of providing two separate titlebar themes (one light and one dark) it now provides a theme which dynamically adjusts its colors to the selected control theme.

The "darker" variants which mixed dark toolbars with light windows and had poor compatibility with mono icon themes was discontinued.

The Mint-Y Cinnamon theme provides a light panel (note that Mint-Y-Dark is still the default Cinnamon theme here).

Mint-X received styling for in-app notifications and a better looking Nemo toolbar:

Nemo toolbar in Mint-X
Legacy and Configuration

Visual preferences are always subjective. Although we received very good feedback on the changes we made in 20.3, we thought it was also important to support users who wanted to keep things as they were.

For this reason the original version of the Mint-Y theme was renamed as "Mint-Y-Legacy" and made available in the repositories.

If you want to make Linux Mint look exactly as it did before simply install the "mint-themes-legacy" package and change your theme to select the Legacy one.

In our default software selection, dark mode is also configurable everywhere it is used. If you don't like Hypnotix, Celluloid, Pix, Xviewer or GNOME Terminal to be dark, open up their preferences and simply disable the option.

Cinnamon 5.2

Calendar Integration

The star of the show in Cinnamon 5.2 is the calendar applet. It features multi-calendar events. Events you create in your calendars appear in your applet:

Calendar events in the calendar applet

Events in the applet use the same color as the calendar they belong to so it's easy to keep track of multiple calendars.

The applet syncs with evolution-data-server so it supports many online calendars and applications. For instance if you use GNOME Calendar it works out of the box. If you use Google Calendar, simply connect it in Online Accounts and it works as well. If you use Thunderbird, install an add-on to integrate it with evolution-data-server and it will start to sync as well.

Other Improvements

When files are moved or copied and some of them conflict with existing files of the same names, Nemo now shows a new additional option. Whereas in the past you could only either skip/ignore these files or overwrite the old ones, you can now choose to have them renamed automatically to avoid the conflict as they are moved/copied to the new destination.

Window animations were reviewed, tuned and simplified. This was done within the scope of an upcoming mutter rebase which will land in a future version of Cinnamon and provide even better effects.

A new radial shader effect was applied to clutter dialogs.

New configuration options were added:

  • Workspace switcher applet: Option to disable scrolling
  • Notification applet: Option to hide the counter
  • Window list applet: Option to remove labels

Along with bug fixes Cinnamon 5.2 also features the following improvements:

  • Increased support for right-to-left languages in the sound and menu applets and in the window settings
  • NVIDIA Optimus: Support for PrefersNonDefaultGPU field in .desktop files
  • nemo: The clipboard content no longer vanishes if the nemo process dies
  • grouped-window-list applet: icon fix for certain applications (virtualbox)
  • nemo-media-columns: m4a and audio mp4, composer and description columns
  • sound applet: support for base64 URI album art
  • nemo-actions: support for UriScheme
  • Support for non x86 architecture
  • menu applet: all applications shows an icon
  • settings daemon: trackball support
  • accessibility: new Alt+Super+S shortcut to active the screen reader
  • Support for 3x fractional scaling when the hardware allows it
  • nemo: xls2csv fixed

Printing and Scanning improvements

HPLIP was upgraded to version 3.21.8 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 20.3 repositories. Try them out if you can't get your printer or scanner to work with software drivers.

XApps improvements

The Xreader PDF reader received proper manga support. In Right-to-left mode, the direction of the arrow keys is now also inverted, so going left goes forward in the document, like it would when you read a manga.

Proper manga support in Xreader

The Xviewer image viewer was given the ability to quickly fit the image to either the height or the width of the window.

In the Xed text editor you can now navigate through tabs with Ctrl-Tab and Ctrl-Shift-Tab.

Xed and Xreader feature an option to hide the menubar. When it is hidden the application uses less space and fits in smaller screen resolutions. Pressing the Alt key makes the menubar visible momentarily.

Xreader no longer shows its toolbar in fullscreen mode.

Other improvements

To save battery life and reduce resource usage, the system reports, which previously ran every hour, now only run once a day.

A new report was added to ensure the filesystem is merged (according to the usrmerge specifications). By default new installations of Linux Mint 20.3 and 20.2 are merged, but this isn't necessarily the case for users who upgraded.

The WebApp manager has a new column to show which browser is used for each of the WebApps.

The WebApp Manager

Bluetooth can now be turned on or off straight from the bluetooth tray menu.

Artwork improvements

Linux Mint 20.3 features a superb collection of backgrounds from AaronBurden, AndrewCoelho, AndyHolmes, DerickDaily, DavidvanDijk, EnginEselioğlu, FakurianDesign, JungHoPark, JoniRajala, JillWarvel, KirSimakov, LorenaPreda, LiZhang, MikeU, MoEid, MarekPiwnicki, NathanWatson, PaulCarmona, SimonLee and YashBindra.

An overview of the new backgrounds

System improvements

This release ships with linux-firmware 1.187.

Flatpak was upgraded to version 1.12.

Main components

Linux Mint 20.3 features Cinnamon 5.2, a Linux kernel 5.4 and an Ubuntu 20.04 package base.

LTS strategy

Linux Mint 20.3 will receive security updates until 2025.

Until 2022, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 20.3, 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.