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Review: Linux Mint 21

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Linux Mint is one of the better known, beginner-friendly Linux distributions. The project's main branch is based on Ubuntu's long-term support (LTS) releases with an alternative branch based on Debian. The project's main branch is further split into three editions: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.

The latest version of Mint features a handful of key features. This long-term support release will be maintained through to 2027. It includes a new rebase of the Muffin window manager to import improvements from the upstream Mutter window manager. It also includes a switch from the Blueberry Bluetooth software to Blueman for better cross-desktop support. This release also includes a process monitor which will let us know when automated tasks are running in the background and may impact system performance. A few other improvements and cosmetic changes are mentioned in the project's What's New document.

I downloaded the Cinnamon edition of Linux Mint 21 which is approximately 2.8GB in size. Booting from this media brings up a menu asking if we want to launch the live desktop, launch the desktop in compatibility mode (in case of video card issues), or launch the OEM installer. Taking the default quickly launched the Cinnamon desktop. On the desktop we find icons for launching the file manager and system installer. At the bottom of the display is a panel where we can find the application menu, task switcher, and system tray. The system was responsive and my hardware worked fairly well out of the box so I dived into installing the distribution.
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