Cinnamon 4.6 released, check out what’s new

Cinnamon Icon Logo

The Linux Mint team has reached yet another milestone in development of their most impressive desktop environment, Cinnamon. Version 4.6 is now available on GitHub. Let's check out what to expect in this version of the DE.

Cinnamon is Linux Mint's flagship desktop environment. Started as a Gnome 3 fork, now it is fully independent. Cinnamon brings modern technologies to the Linux desktop while retains the classic desktop paradigm with the taskbar, the app menu, and traditional window management.

In Cinnamon 4.6 the most notable features will be the increased Nemo performance, the ability to change the monitor refresh rate and support for fractional HiDPI resolutions. The systray applet will also delegate support for indicators (libAppIndicator) and StatusNotifier (Qt and new Electron apps) icons to the Xapp StatusIcon applet directly.

StatusNotifier, libAppIndicator and libAyatana

Following a change in Electron, XappStatusIcon applets will gain support for StatusNotifier, libAppIndicator and libAyatana.

This support, which was disabled by default in Cinnamon, will be removed entirely from the DE and delegated to the XappStatusIcon applet.

LibAppIndicator and libAyatana have the ability to fallback to xembed (the GTK tray technology), so in Cinnamon, even though support for these technologies was disabled by default, applications using these libraries would still get their icon into the tray. In Mint, the situation was even better because libAppIndicator was patched to fallback to XappStatusIcon before falling back to xembed, thus preserving compatibility with HiDPI and symbolic icons. The problem was with applications using StatusNotifier directly.. which just didn’t fallback to anything at all and had no visible tray icon. With Electron moving to StatusNotifier this issue became more urgent.

XappStatusIcon applets gaining support for these technologies will guarantee better support for modern Electron apps and indicators and it will do so in all distributions, without the need to patch anything.

Nemo performance

The team looked at the performance of the file manager and changes are being made to the way Nemo is handling thumbnails. Although the generation of new thumbnails was done asynchronously, loading existing ones could sometimes have an impact on browsing content and navigating directories.

The main idea behind these changes is to prioritize content and navigation and to delay thumbnails as much as possible. As a result, the content of directories shows up with generic icons before the thumbnails are rendered, but the improvement in performance is quite noticeable.

This also has a positive impact on performance in cases of heavy I/O and slow HDDS, such as when moving videos to external devices.

Mint-Y Theme Update

The Mint-Y theme will provide much brighter colors than before. The new color pallet is pleasant without being overwhelming, and the resulting GTK theme is nice to use. Here’s a comparison of some of the old colors (on the left) with some of the new ones (on the right):

Old Mint-Y blue:

New Mint-Y blue:

Yellow folders will also be available.

Cinnamon 4.6 Display Settings

Cinnamon will let you choose the frequency of your monitors. This is a feature that has been requested a few times and which is available in other desktop environments.

Cinnamon 4.6 also introduces fractional scaling. At the moment your scaling is either 100% (normal mode) or 200% (HiDPI mode) and it is the same for all your monitors. Going forward, the scaling will be able to be different for each monitor, and you’ll be able to set it to values in between 100% and 200%.

Cinnamon 4.6 will be pre-installed in the upcoming Linux Mint 20. The source code for version 4.6 can be downloaded from GitHub.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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