Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 23:55

Here's my review of Linux Mint 20, the user friendly computer operating system from Ireland, Europe, released June this year, named Ulyana, and is also a Long Term Support version. This major release happened two months after its basis, Ubuntu Focal Fossa, and two years after the previous Linux Mint 19 Tara LTS, released. It brings a new star feature, called Warpinator, which enables us to share files between laptops easily via wifi hotspot, along with other features. It comes with great news too as now it shipped as their third generation branded computer MintBox3. I do this review using my Lenovo ThinkPad laptop with my favorite edition selection Cinnamon. Finally, now let's enjoy Ulyana goes on!

(Ulyana GNU/Linux: cool and elegant on my ThinkPad laptop)
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What's new?

In short, there are several fresh improvements in Ulyana:

  • Warpinator
  • Flatpak added
  • Snap removed
  • Fractional scaling
  • Five years support until 2025
  • No 32 bit anymore

About Ulyana

Linux Mint is an operating system based on Ubuntu GNU/Linux. It is long living, user friendly, and can empower your PC and laptop as alternative to Microsoft or Apple. Just like its base releases with versions and codenames, Mint also releases with versions and codenames, and the one discussed in this review is version 20 codenamed Ulyana.


Since 2012, Linux Mint has already been mass produced as personal computers both in desktop and laptop choices. The Project partnered with CompuLab and ThinkPenguin vendors and made this giant job a reality. Not only that, in late years we see two more vendors namely Star Labs and  In short, they are MintBox 3, MintBox Mini 2, The Penguin D, The Penguin Pro, and then LabTop as well as Clevo.

Here's how they look like:

(Computers: 1st browser showing official Linux Mint Shop, 2nd browser showing ThinkPenguin Shop, and 3rd browser showing Star Labs Shop)

Here's an official Twitter post:



A beautiful and consistent user interface loved by many. The colors, the shapes, the placements of things, everything feels intuitively communicative to humans who use it. This look is composed of themes of window borders, icons, and desktop which are collectively called Mint-Y. On Ulyana version, once again, Mint comes with this traditional look.

(Ulyana computer of mine)

A complete, daily task fulfilling set of software applications is available. Ulyana comes with full featured office suite, web browser, email client, and multimedia players. Plus a large set of applications for every humanity need you can search and add yourself in the Software Manager.

Our star in this release is Warpinator. It is a new ability infused in Ulyana so that Mint computer users can share files easily over a network without relying to the internet. What's impressive about this is that Warpinator is developed by The Linux Mint Team themselves. I tried it using two laptops via an offline wifi hotspot and that's true - it works! Picture below shows my session where I send files to my other laptop with same operating system Mint 20 (in LiveCD mode).

Ulyana desktop is self-promoting. Just see the web browser. It is an easy to use portal*. Every time a user opens their web browser, they see a special Ulyana start page, comprising of clever promotion of Linux Mint as well as a search engine. For a Mint computer user, they see Mint brandings, its colors, its latest news, as well as one click short way to get its user guide and read Ulyana release notes.

(Integration: file manager displaying my online storage containing a lot of pictures while beside it web browser showing Operation Tulip storage with my account synchronized perfectly)

The desktop can be easily integrated to online services. From start menu > Online Accounts, we can add Google, Nextcloud, Facebook, and others to be synchronized with Ulyana system. As example, lately I promoted Operation Tulip (a complete service based on Nextcloud technology) so I tried integrating my Ulyana laptop with it and the result is perfect. Once synced, I can open my online storage as a disk drive (partition) on file manager. Now I can save and browse files to my online storage as easy as drag and drop just within Nemo file manager.

(Self promotion: web browser showing the portal - beside it, word processor (LibreOffice Writer) now looks more familiar thanks to Colibre icon set - below it Nemo file manager works as robust as always)

Multimedia playbacks work as expected. The audio player is Rhythmbox while the video player is the brand new Celluloid. which are able to play mp3 mp4 as well as ogg and ogv multimedia files. The impressive side is that, they are well integrated to the Cinnamon desktop so that we can control easily from the system tray.

(Multimedia: Celluloid playing a video, and Rhythmbox below it playing audio, while the system tray displays the playback controls like pause and next for both players)

*) This portal page uses Google while the address bar search uses Yahoo! search engine.


First, how about booting? 

It is 20 seconds to boot up on my ThinkPad. Here's you can even download my booting log in txt* and also my booting chart picture in png**.

Second, how about resources? 

It is around 900 MegaBytes of memory when idle time calculated after three times of booting after a fresh install. Compared to its counterparts from 20.04 family, it is obviously higher than Kubuntu but a little bit smaller than Ubuntu. I can note you that I, using my ThinkPad, can still run two virtual machines (vm) of Kubuntu Bionic and Focal simultaneously, but I cannot do so of Tara and Ulyana (it results in hang for a long time).

By these, I think Ulyana Cinnamon is a standard weight system (not light weight, not heavy weight) considering its own branded hardware's specifications in particular and nowadays growing standard laptop & PC in general.

*) Produced by systemd-analyze blame > blame.txt
**) Produced by systemd-analyze plot > plot.svg


Communication works like a charm. No matter the technology I choose, whether it is instant messenger like Telegram, or new social networking sites like Mastodon, youtube-like broadcasting site like PeerTube, or something completely new like Element, everything works like expected. Support in Ulyana for these four technology of choices are already out-of-the-box.

(Playing with all new technologies namely Nextcloud, PeerTube, and Mastodon on Ulyana)

Talking about the choice of software installation methods, on Ulyana, it is clear that Flatpak won over the removal of Snap. You will see this by visiting Software Manager and see 

Not neglecting Android phone integration, on Ulyana, although we still cannot use Warpinator for this, alternatively we can use Syncthing which is available in both Software Manager as well as F-Droid. I tried this and after some trial and errors, it works!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.