When using a Linux-based operating system, you should always use the latest kernel, right? Actually no. Although newer kernels add fixes and support new hardware, they can also be less stable and cause bugs.
Unfortunately, if you have extremely new hardware, sometimes you need to use a newer kernel to boot, because older kernels don’t yet support some of your devices. For example, Linux Mint 20.3 “Una” was released recently and comes with Linux kernel 5.4. If this old kernel does not support your computer, it may not boot.
Fortunately, all is not lost. Today, the developers of Linux Mint are releasing an “Edge” version of the operating system. No, it does not come with the Microsoft Edge browser. The “Edge” moniker just means it comes with a more modern core for those with brand new hardware. You see, Linux Mint 20.3 Cinnamon (Edge) Edition comes with the much newer kernel 5.13.
Although you may be tempted to download and install Linux Mint 20.3 Cinnamon (Edge) Edition regardless of your hardware, you probably shouldn’t. Instead, you should only try it if the standard version of Linux Mint 20.3 won’t boot or has other issues with your hardware. In fact, the developers warn that “The Edge ISO image is not as stable as other ISOs and may not support as many proprietary drivers”.
If you have advanced hardware and cannot boot the standard Linux Mint ISO, you can download the Edge variant here now. Unfortunately, the Edge version only comes with the Cinnamon desktop environment – the Mate and Xfce ISOs aren’t available.