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May 1, 2024

Upcoming Release: Linux Mint 22 to Feature Preinstalled Matrix App


Chat app change as distro adopts IRC alternative

Linux Mint 22 will include a Matrix web client preinstalled when released later this year.

The IRC-based desktop chat app Linux Mint has been building, Jargonaut, to replace Hexchat and provide real-time communication for its users, will no longer be included (the status of any future development uncertain).

Why the change?

“Jargonaut […] works well and fulfills all our needs. The implementation phase was comparatively easy and I’d estimate it’s around 75% complete now,” states the Linux Mint head, Clément Lefèbvre. he mentions. Additionally, he mentions that “user reviews about Matrix” led the team to explore it, appreciate it, and finally decide to adopt it.

Consequently, Linux Mint is transitioning its communication platforms to Matrix, and the distribution will be accompanied by the Element Matrix web client instead of its proprietary Jargonaut IRC-based client. The web app will carry the name ‘Matrix’ in the menus for clarity.

“While possessing the openness of the IRC, Matrix delivers a user experience that is somewhat akin to Slack or Discord. It’s contemporary, retains data, and […] it is less confusing for new users than a highly simple application such as Jargonaut,” it is said.

The “Matrix” web app accompanying Linux Mint 22 links directly to the Linux Mint area, eliminating the need for users to input any room information etc. However, unlike IRC which enables anonymous and immediate usage, Matrix mandates the creation of an account.

However, in contrast to Discord (which is often suggested as an alternative by users when Mint talks about its post-Hexchat plans) no phone number is required to set up an account.

No one has to wait for the release of Linux Mint 22 to join the fun though: the Linux Mint space on Matrix is currently live, and can be accessed via existing Matrix clients on Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, or even through the web.

The next major update, Linux Mint 22, will be built on top of Ubuntu 24.04 LTS and is roughly set to launch in the summer.

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