Ubuntu-based Linux Mint 21.3 'Virginia' Beta now available for download
The beta release of Linux Mint 21.3, code-named "Virginia," has been released today. You can choose from three desktop environments -- Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce. Based on Ubuntu 22.04, the Linux Mint 21.3 beta should offer a stable and versatile platform suitable for a wide range of software and applications. Scheduled for support until 2027, this version combines updated software with refinements and new features to enhance the desktop experience.
The beta version addresses several crucial areas to enhance user experience. The Snap Store is disabled by default in this release, aligning with Linux Mint's approach to package management. Users seeking to re-enable it can find guidance in the Linux Mint user guide. For those using Virtualbox, the beta provides solutions for common visual issues like black or garbled screens, including adjustments in graphic controller settings.
The process for adding Virtualbox Guest Additions is streamlined, improving the virtual machine experience with shared folders, drag-and-drop functionality, and enhanced display resolution. Additionally, the beta addresses a regression in home directory encryption due to the switch to systemd, affecting the unmounting of encrypted directories on logout.
Linux Mint 21.3 beta introduces changes aimed at refining the user interface and usability. Guest sessions, a feature allowing temporary user access, are disabled by default but can be reactivated through the "Login Window" utility. The beta also focuses on touchpad usability, offering "libinput" as the default driver with the option to switch to "synaptics" or "evdev" based on user preference and device compatibility.
The new beta also simplifies the installation of WINE, a popular tool for running Windows applications on Linux. Additionally, the release addresses sound and microphone issues by recommending the installation of "pavucontrol," which provides more advanced audio settings than the default volume control. Users of Lenovo laptops may find solutions to keyboard issues caused by an upstream kernel problem.
The Virginia beta also includes guidance for customizing the mouse pointer theme across different application environments, including root, Qt, and Flatpak applications. For VLC users facing DVD playback issues, the beta suggests a workaround that involves specifying the disc device.
While the Linux Mint 21.3 “Virginia” beta offers exciting new features and improvements, it’s important to exercise caution. Beta versions, by their nature, are works in progress and may contain bugs or instabilities. Therefore, it’s advisable not to install beta releases on production machines or in environments where system reliability is critical.
Using a beta operating system on your main or business computer could lead to unexpected issues, including data loss or software incompatibilities. For those interested in exploring the new features, consider testing on a secondary device or a virtual machine. If you understand the aforementioned dangers, you can download an ISO by using the below links.