Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre announced today in a monthly newsletter some details, including the codename of the upcoming Linux Mint 21 release.
First and foremost, Linux Mint 21 has been dubbed “Vanessa” and it will come with the same three editions that you’ve been used to, featuring the Cinnamon, Xfce, and MATE desktop environments. So no, a KDE Plasma edition is not in the works for the next major Linux Mint release.
Second of all, as you might have expected, Linux Mint 21 will be based on the next major Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) series, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish), which means that it will also be supported for a long period of time and that it will be powered by its Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series.
On top of that, Clement Lefebvre also revealed the fact that with the next Linux Mint release the team is also working on a new upgrade utility to make things significantly easier for newcomers who will want to upgrade their current Linux Mint installations to a major release, such as Linux Mint 21.
The new Linux Mint upgrade tool promises features like a fully graphical interface, localization in various languages, the ability to perform more checks to ensure the upgrade process will go smoothly, fully configurable, the ability to preserve the user’s choice of mirrors, as well as the ability to provide and handle various upgrade scenarios.
In addition, the new upgrade tool won’t force users to remove their custom repositories and PPAs and warns them about orphaned packages, but lets you keep them.
Clement Lefebvre says that the new upgrade tool is the number one priority for the Linux Mint team at the moment of writing, which means that it will be released as soon as possible and used for upgrades from LMDE 4 to LMDE 5, and then for upgrades from Linux Mint 20.3 to Linux Mint 21.
An alpha version is available for public testing here. As for Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa”, the final release should be out at the beginning of the summer, probably in June, and a beta version could arrive for public testing in late May or early June 2022.
Last updated 1 month ago