The vertical panels support is also welcome for anyone working on a cramped laptop screen, since they're typically more unused space horizontally than vertically.Cinnamon 3.2 also has a completely rewritten screensaver and, my personal favourite, the ability to run apps with optirun if Bumblebee is installed. That is, if you have dual graphics cards and Bumblebee installed you can set the default to the less powerful card, but then right-click an item in the menu and launch it with the more powerful card, for example GIMP, a video editor, or graphics-intensive game.While Cinnamon is the flashier of Linux Mint's two desktops, MATE is every bit as good in my experience and with Linux Mint 18.1 MATE has been updated to MATE 1.16. Most of what's new in MATE 1.16 is under the hood, particularly the fact that MATE has nearly finished the transition to GTK+ 3 components, which goes a long way to improving some of the lingering little UI problems of previous releases.The GTK+ 3 support also means third-party themes should be easier to build, though in the meantime it may break some of your old favourites so proceed with caution if you use a custom theme.
There are also a number of changes in this release that apply to both desktops, including updates to Linux Mint's X-apps set of default applications that have been customised and integrated into both desktops. Xed, the default text editor – better known as Text Editor within Mint – gains a new search-as-you-type feature that now opens at the bottom of the windows and is comparable to the search features in Firefox. Xed also now supports dark themes, like the Mint Y theme.Mint's Update Manager has been updated as well with a new column that shows the origin of a package. Out of the box that means primarily Mint's repos along with Ubuntu's for things that pull directly from upstream. Any third-party repos you add will show up as such here as well.The last release of Mint saw an addition to the Update Manager that lets you set a default update practice ranging from the very conservative to update all the things with a middle ground option being the default. While there's nothing wrong with this in itself, Mint's wording is a little loaded to say the least. The most conservative setting is called don't break my computer!, which implies that the others will, which is completely untrue and does a disservice to those completely new to Linux, of which Mint likely has no shortage.While don't break my computer! is not the default setting, labelling it as such and combining it with the further encouragement Recommended for novice users almost guarantees that new users – those who would likely most benefit from an up-to-date and secure system – will opt for this setting.