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Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" has been released and is available as usual in two main editions: MATE and Cinnamon. Let's take a look at what's new!

Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca is a long term support release, based on Ubuntu 14.04 (just like Linux Mint 17), which will be supported until 2019.

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca": changes shared between the MATE and Cinnamon editions

With Linux Mint 17.1, the artwork has received some interesting improvements. For instance, Linux Mint 17.1 uses the Noto fonts by default - the reason behind this change, besides being good looking, is that they provide better support for some languages.

Also, the default Linux Mint theme, Mint-X (both the icon and GTK themes), is now available in 9 colors variations: Aqua, Blue, Brows, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Sand and Teal:

With Linux Mint 17.1, the Update Manager has received a couple of very interesting improvements.

- The application now groups packages according to their source package. For instance, in the screenshot below you'll see only one entry in the Update Manager for LibreOffice, which contains 21 packages:

- The Linux Kernels section was redesigned and it now displays known security fixes and regressions:

Another change, which is not identical because Cinnamon and MATE use different file managers, is the addition of two new Nemo / Caja extensions, which add emblems support and the ability to change individual folder colors:

Nemo Emblems extension (Cinnamon)

Nemo Folder Color Switcher extension (Cinnamon)

Caja Emblems extension (MATE)

Caja Folder Color Switcher (MATE)

In Linux Mint 17.1, the Language Settings module was redesigned and there are now two settings for locale selections: Language and Region and also, Input Methods support was added, useful for those who want to write in Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and so on:

Other changes shared between the Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE editions include:
  • redesigned Login Window Preferences;
  • the default MDM (login screen) theme now uses a slideshow;
  • the Software Sources tool now checks the speed of repository mirrors much faster than before and in parallel. It also uses a retry mechanism on timeout and removes erroneous mirrors from the list;
  • the session output is now limited to 200KB (between 2000 and 4000 lines of logs), to prevent warning spam and also, it can be filtered ro prevent warnings and errors being collected from GTK, Glib, Gobject and so on. Note that the session output limit is enabled by default and the session output filtering is disabled by default. Both options are available in the MDM Setup tool;
  • the 'apt' commands now feature bash completion;
  • the English version of the Official User Guide was ported to DocBook and is now available from the menu (under Help).

Changes in Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon edition

You can see most of the changes in the latest Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon, in the video below:

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Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon ships with Cinnamon 2.4 which comes with improved settings, a redesigned toolbar for Nemo along with various other changes which bring a smoother overall experience.

Most important changes in Cinnamon 2.4:
  • smoother and more responsive desktop: about 30 memory leaks were fixed, CJS was rebased on a newer version of GJS in an effort to reduce memory usage and provide faster execution times and also, the icons used in Cinnamon Settings were added to Mint-X icon theme, which should provide increased responsiveness;
  • compositing in full-screen mode is now configurable and does not require to restart Cinnamon;
  • added support for single-button touchpads and the actions for 2-finger and 3-finger clicks are configurable;
  • Cinnamon Settings:
    • the theme module was redesigned and it now includes previews for themes which support this;
    •  background module was redesigned and it now supports slideshows (to control this, a new slideshow applet is available, but it's not added to the panel by default);
    • the Network Settings were rebased on GNOME's latest configuration module;
    • two new Settings modules were added, for privacy and notifications;
    • the desktop font is now configurable;
    • the screensaver now supports custom date format and custom fonts;
  • Nemo:
    • redesigned toolbar;
    • improved sidebar with highlight effects on hover and a smarter dynamic bookmark section;
    • a new button (hidden by default) to open a terminal in the current directory was added;
    • two new extensions for folder emblems and changing individual folder color were added by default (already covered above, in the changes shared between the MATE and Cinnamon editions);
  • similar to Windows, "Super+e" now opens up the home directory;
  • the Cinnamon desktop now starts with a zoom animation, similar to GNOME Shell;
  • the login sound is now handled directly by Cinnamon (as opposed to cinnamon-settings-daemon) and plays in sync with the login sequence;
  • other small refinements and a lot of bug fixes.

Here are a few screenshots with some of these changes:

The Background settings module now supports slideshows (to control it, a new panel applet was added)

New Cinnamon Notification settings

The screensaver now supports custom date format and custom fonts

New Privacy settings

Redesigned Cinnamon Themes settings module, which now includes previews for themes that support this

Changes in Linux Mint 17.1 MATE edition

Besides the changes shared with Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon, the MATE edition didn't receive too many changes.

There is one very important change for Compiz fans though: Compiz is now installed by default. Marco (MATE's window manager) is still used by default, but you can easily switch to Compiz, by opening "Desktop Settings" from the menu and then on the Windows tab, select Compiz for the window manager:

Here are a couple of screenshots with the Compiz cube and expo plugins in action, running under Linux Mint 17.1 MATE:

Note that Desktop Settings won't prompt you to log out, but this is required to get Compiz to work! It's also important to note that Compiz won't work properly in virtual machines: the windows won't have any border, but this shouldn't happen on real hardware.

Also, CompizConfig Settings Manager (the Compiz tweaking tool) is installed by default so there's no need to install anything to use and configure Compiz in Linux Mint 17.1 MATE.

Download Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon Or MATE

Notes about upgrading:
  • users who have installed Linux Mint 17.1 RC can get the final release by simply installing the updates available in the Update Manager;
  • Linux Mint 17 can be upgraded to Linux Mint 17.1 via the Update Manager - official instructions HERE;
  • Linux Mint versions older than 17 can't be upgraded to Linux Mint 17.1.

Before installing Linux Mint 17.1, read the official release notes: Cinnamon | Mate.