Linux Mint 21 to Adopt Blueman for Better Bluetooth Support, Use a More Modern Mutter

Mint 20.3

Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre reports today on some of the initial features of the next major version of the popular Ubuntu-based distribution that should be released later this year, Linux Mint 21.

Linux Mint 21 will finally end the Linux Mint 20 series, which is based on the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series, featuring a newer base from the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellifish) long-term supported operating system series.

Of course, Linux Mint 20 will still be supported until April 2025 with software and security updates, but the Linux Mint team is now focusing on the next major series, Linux Mint 21, which will ship not only with newer core components (e.g. Linux kernel, Mesa graphics stack, GCC, GNU C Library) but also with a newer version of the in-house developed Cinnamon desktop environment.

Cinnamon 6 will probably be used in Linux Mint 21, whose window manager and JavaScript interpreter will be rebased on a more modern version of GNOME’s Mutter window and composite manager, as well as the GJS JavaScript bindings for GNOME.

“In preparation for Linux Mint 21, we are updating Cinnamon’s Javascript interpreter and rebasing its window manager on a more modern version of Mutter. This is a huge task and it requires many code changes in Cinnamon itself and causes a significant number of regressions. We needed a full development cycle for this so the timing is perfect,” said Clement Lefebvre.

In the latest monthly newsletter, the developer reports on the Bluetooth improvements that will probably be present in the Linux Mint 21 release due to the adoption of the Blueman GTK+ Bluetooth manager as a drop-in replacement for the Blueberry Bluetooth configuration tool that’s currently being used in the Linux Mint 20 series.

The biggest difference between Blueman and Blueberry is that the former uses BlueZ as a Bluetooth backend while the latter relies on the gnome-bluetooth backend. As such, Blueman appears to better support Bluetooth audio headsets and connect to a wider range of Bluetooth devices than Blueberry.

“On the development side of things, the latest version of gnome-bluetooth introduced changes which broke compatibility with Blueberry and its main developer isn’t keen on seeing his work used outside of GNOME. Blueman on the other hand welcomed a Mint migration and is open to changes. We’re currently testing Blueman and working on its integration within Linux Mint,” said Clement Lefebvre.

Clement Lefebvre also published Linux Mint 21’s roadmap for does interested in following the six-month-long development cycle. There’s no release date set in stone for Linux Mint 21, but if history serves as a guide, it should see the light of day sometime in early July 2022.

Last updated 2 months ago