A number of years ago, the Linux Mint website was hacked and fake ISOs were uploaded. Since then, the team has put more emphasis on verifying ISOs you download to ensure they’ve not been tampered with. In the upcoming Linux Mint 21.1 ‘Vera’ release, users will have access to the new ISO Verification Tool, which will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to verifying ISOs.
Right-clicking on an ISO file will give you the option to verify its integrity. The verification tool will pop up and if it’s a Linux Mint or Ubuntu file, the URLs to the SHA256sum and GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) files will automatically be filled in to be checked against – all you’ve to do is hit the Verify button. Provided the ISO is OK, you will see a message pop-up in the program saying that everything looks good, and that the ISO is an official image.
Aside from verifying ISOs, the team has also been working on the USB Image Writer tool. It now features a Verify button which opens the verification tool and if you’re trying to write a Windows ISO, it detects this and provides a link to writing a Windows image as more steps are needed.
The Linux Mint team also announced that the upcoming version, and versions after that, would start shipping with the Computer, Home, Trash, and Network desktop icons hidden by default. They’re being hidden because they’re easy to get to by other means and will provide a cleaner desktop. While these shortcuts are being hidden, you will still be able to place items on the desktop and access your mounted drives from here. If you want to restore any of the hidden icons, you will be able to do so.
The Linux Mint team confirmed that it's aiming to get Linux Mint 21.1 'Vera' out to the public by Christmas, it will likely be preceded with a beta release.