Linux Mint Cinnamon 21 Vanessa Review

By Martin Jansen, Owner of Jansen-PCINFO

The new Linux Mint is now available for download and install.  It is based on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy (long term support until April 2027) and uses the familiar Cinnamon desktop environment.  Cinnamon is a customized version of Gnome 3 tweaked by the Linux Mint team.  Other versions of Linux Mint feature Mate and Xfce desktop environments.  LMDE was created for those who do not want to rely on Ubuntu for updates, instead favoring Debian as its base.

Linux Mint Upgrade

A new tool was created for those who want to upgrade from the older Una to Vanessa: mintupgrade.  I’ll spend some time describing the upgrade process on three home computers.  I will also perform a fresh install of the OS on an older desktop computer.

I first used mintupgrade to upgrade my converted Acer C740 chromebook computer described in My $75 Laptop.  The upgrade process requires a TimeShift backup of the OS, prior to cleaning up the system of foreign packages.  To be sure, some packages are going to be uninstalled before the upgrade begins.

Take note of the packages that are going to be uninstalled to reinstall after the upgrade.  The upgrade tool will also remove any PPAs – software from sources other than Linux Mint or Ubuntu.  Appimages (self contained software packages) are not removed in the upgrade process.

It took about a half hour to upgrade my laptop and things went as expected.  The upgrade cleaned up the old system nicely and upon reboot the system worked like new.  My old C740 booted up in seconds and upon logon, connected all my network drives.  I did have to reinstall some packages from the Software Manager.

Next up was my workhorse computer, a Dell Optiplex 7010.  Again, the upgrade process went off without a hitch.  I had to reinstall a few more packages, this being my main computer.  Once more, the computer worked better after the upgrade.

The last computer upgraded was my wife’s ZOTAC mini-computer.  Everything started out the same, but suddenly about half way through the process, the screen went blank except for a blinking cursor in the upper left corner of the screen.  No drive activity either, so no other option than to power off the computer and restart.  Amazingly, Linux Mint did boot up, but not in full desktop mode.  The Update Manager alerted me that I needed to update about 260 packages.  The updates took about 20 minutes to install.  Afterwards, I rebooted again and, behold, the desktop loaded with Linux Mint 21 installed.  Whew!  My wife is happy with the upgrade.

A Fresh Install

Finally, I installed Linux Mint 21 on a spare computer I have in my downstairs shop.  It’s a Dell Optiplex 3010 in small form factor with an i3 processor, 6 GB RAM and 240 GB SSD – a great computer for everyday use.  The computer used to run Windows 7, but now it is running Linux Mint 21 perfectly.  I added Google Chrome in addition to the standard Firefox and it is ready for home use.  I also added a USB Wireless adapter.  Here’s a YouTube video on how to install Linux Mint 21 from scratch:  And here’s an image of the computer:

If you’ve read my article this far, I am offering the Dell Optiplex 3010 to someone in the Appleton area wanting to try Linux Mint.  First come, first serve.  All you need at home is a spare HDMI monitor or TV, keyboard and mouse.  Wireless or wired internet is a must.  I will let you try this computer for one month and will install TeamViewer for some tutoring on how to use the computer.  If you want to buy the computer outright, I will let it go for $50.  Call or text me at 920-716-4384 to discuss.