Monthly News – April 2016

Written by Clem on May 6th, 2016

News

Many thanks to all our sponsors and all the people who fund us via donations. Your support is highly appreciated.

New components available

April saw the releases of Cinnamon 3.0 and MATE 1.14 which will be featured in the upcoming Linux Mint 18.

As part of the “xapps” initiative, which aims to produce cross-desktop and cross-distribution software, we also released the following applications:

  • A media player based on totem, called xplayer.
  • A text editor based on pluma, called xed.
  • A picture viewer based on eog, called xviewer.
  • A document reader based on atril, called xreader.

These 4 applications will be featured as default in Linux Mint 18, where they will replace totem, gedit, pluma, eog, eom, evince, atril and possibly ristretto.

LMDE 2 “Betsy” started to get some of the updates prepared for Linux Mint 18. Cinnamon 3.0, MATE 1.14 and the 4 Xapps mentioned above are already available in the Betsy repositories.

Changes in release management

Recently, a lot of work was done to improve and simplify release management and the production of our ISO images.

Until now our release cycle consisted in the production and testing of 18 ISO images (4 Beta, 8 Stable, 2 OEM and 4 NoCodecs) and 5 separate events (Beta, Cinnamon/MATE Stable, OEM/NoCodec, Upgrade path, Xfce/KDE). This represented a formidable amount of work but although some of it greatly contributed to making Linux Mint better, some aspects only marginally improved things. For instance, our QA process, BETA releases, and the feedback we get from them are invaluable and they are key in the quality of our distribution. Upgrade paths which were introduced in Linux Mint 17.1 are also very appreciated. In contrast, although the absence of codecs is important for magazine and distributors and OEM installation images are required for manufacturers to pre-install Linux Mint on computers they’re selling to their customers, this is an area where a lot of work is done for a very small portion of our audience.

Although the rationale made sense (codecs could be played in live sessions, the decision to have them could be made prior to downloading the ISO and thus didn’t require additional installation steps, OEM installations were clearly separated from mainstream ISOs and out of reach of novice users, particularly people previously experienced with downloading and installing Windows and who interpreted “OEM” as an opposite to “Customized”), it was very costly and it only slightly improved our distribution.

With this in mind, OEM installation disks and NoCodec images will no longer be released. Instead, similar to other distributions, images will ship without codecs and will support both traditional and OEM installations.

This will reduce our release cycle to 4 separate events and the production and testing of 12 ISO images.

Multimedia codecs can be installed easily:

  • From the welcome screen, by clicking on “Multimedia Codecs”
  • or from the main menu, by clicking on “Menu”->”Sound and Video”->”Install Multimedia Codecs”
  • or during the installation process, by clicking a checkbox option.

Updated package base

The package base for Linux Mint 18 is Ubuntu 16.04, a very recent Ubuntu release freshly synced from the Debian repositories. This new base provides us with a lot of updated software, new system and hardware stacks, a newer version of Xorg and newer kernels and drivers.

While porting our changes and adapting our packages to the new base, we found that many of the lower-level fixes and corrections which were applied in Linux Mint 17.x were no longer needed in Linux Mint 18. New regressions might surface as we get to know our base better, especially during the BETA phase, but for now it’s a very promising sign.

Hardware support is also much improved. One of the Asus laptops I have here was specifically purchased to tackle a number of hardware issues present in the previous base. The operating system wouldn’t run without “nomodeset” and the touchpad wasn’t properly recognized. Moving to the new base, everything works out of the box. The new nouveau (no pun intended) drivers require no special boot arguments, the touchpad works fine, the driver manager installs the NVIDIA drivers and support for optimus prime (nothing intended here either), you reboot the computer and you’ve got full acceleration and the applet is there to let you switch GPUs.

We’re not finished with hardware testing yet, but things look good so far. Another laptop used for testing is the Apple MacBook Pro and here, everything looks promising as well. The installation of the Broadcom drivers works as well as before, power and idle events seem to be well supported, it looks like screen brightness and keyboard backlight even properly get restored upon reboots now (this was something we considered but weren’t keen on fixing in Cinnamon, as it needed to happen upstream).

The issue affecting Logitech Unified Receivers, which made wireless keyboards always use an American layout in the login screen, was also fixed. And of course, the newer Linux 4.4 kernel brings support for more hardware devices and components, some of which weren’t recognized in Linux Mint 17.x.

The new theme

We talked about a new theme and we noticed two things: First, that some of you were very excited about it. And second, that some of you were also scared of the changes this would introduce. I think I’ve got good news for everybody. We decided to join the new trend and jump on the bandwagon (as people say) with a new “flat” theme called “Mint-Y”, based on the very popular “Arc” and “Moka” themes. But, we also decided not to be bold and so rather than a brutal change we’ll be introducing this new theme slowly and supporting both the old “Mint-X” and the new “Mint-Y”.

Both themes will be installed by default in Linux Mint 18, and the theme used by default will be “Mint-X”, giving Linux Mint 18 the exact same default look at Linux Mint 17.

But we’ll also continue to work on the “Mint-Y” theme, and not only leading towards Linux Mint 18, but also after its release.

You might wonder why we’re not using this new theme as default right now.. and there’s a couple of reasons:

  • We want to know how much you like it. Not just by looking at screenshots, but by using it, for 6 months, for a year. We don’t want to change styles just because we think it might “look” better, we’ll provide both styles to you and eventually if the day comes where a huge majority prefer the new theme, then we’ll follow that and start using it as the new default.
  • We want it to mature. Right now it works and there are only a couple of known issues with it, but as you, millions of users, starts using it and confronting it to the hundreds of thousands of available applications out there I’m sure you’re going to find a lot of paper cuts with it. Mint-X has been carefully tuned and improved for years thanks to your feedback. Mint-Y is brand new and it needs some of that.
  • We want your feedback to impact its design. Although some aspects are finalized, others are likely to change. Your feedback will help us with tints and colors. Icons in particular aren’t something we’re satisfied with (although app icons look pretty good, places, mimes, status icons are still largely undecided). We want to get people talking about this, contributing to the theme on github, experimenting with ideas and alternatives and this becomes much easier if everybody already runs Linux Mint 18 and has the theme installed.

Here is what the theme currently looks like:

Titlebars can be either light or dark, and controls can be either light, dark or using a mix of the two like in the screenshot below, where toolbars and menubars are dark but the rest of the window is light:

In the menu you can see the some of the Moka icons used for applications, and the Paper icons used for directories.

HiDPI support

A lot of work also went into porting many of our applications to GTK3/Python3/Gsettings and improving their HiDPI support. This includes most of the Mint tools but also the Xapps.

Firefox also switched and now also supports HiDPI.

We’re also considering migrating MATE 1.16 (although this is for the next cycle, in preparation for Linux Mint 18.1).

Schedule

The BETA release for Linux Mint 18 is expected in June. No particular dates will be given and the ISOs will come out “when ready”.

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsors:
Private Internet Access
Gold Sponsors:
Linux VPS Hosting
Silver Sponsors:
Sucuri
Bronze Sponsors:
Vault Networks *
AYKsolutions Server & Cloud Hosting
7L Networks Toronto Colocation *
BGASoft Inc
David Salvo
Milton Security Group
Sysnova Information SystemsJames Windmiller
Community Sponsors:

Donations in March:

A total of $14286 was raised thanks to the generous contributions of 574 donors:

$500 (3rd donation), Am33r
$500, Karen F.
$400, Construction Data & Research
$277, Karl W.
$150, John M.
$133, Joseph C.
$111 (3rd donation), Sten L.
$111, Jens-peter U.
$111, Laurent Lefebvre aka “Thelvyn”
$107 (9th donation), Hendrik S.
$107, Federico L.
$107, Maximilian F.
$107, Rudolf S.
$100, Ulrich F.
$100, Jeff S.
$100, Simon R.
$100, Alan L.
$100, Anders L.
$100, Randolph N.
$100, Christopher R.
$100, Mike O.
$100, Florian P.
$100, Thomas O.
$100, Jay F.
$100, Steve E.
$80, Thorbjørn H.
$75, Timothy H.
$64, Corentin S.
$64, Brian B.
$55 (2nd donation), Mark P.
$54 (2nd donation), Mikko I.
$54 (2nd donation), Barbara B.
$54, Aurélien A.
$54, Rocco C.
$54, Wolfgang G.
$54, Blaz P.
$54, Daniel S.
$54, Torsten M.
$54, Peter L.
$54, John F.
$54, Roland D.J.
$50 (69th donation), Matthew M.
$50 (3rd donation), George H.
$50 (3rd donation), Hemant Patel
$50 (2nd donation), David H. W.
$50 (2nd donation), Basic I. I.
$50 (2nd donation), Anthony L.
$50 (2nd donation), Liz K.
$50 (2nd donation), Daniel S.
$50, William C. B.
$50, Jennifer A. D.
$50, Christopher W.
$50, Jim L.
$50, Edward O.
$50, Randall T.
$50, Boguslaw S.
$50, William S.
$50, Dean G.
$50, Greg
$50, Ingo L.
$50, Peter S.
$50, Michael D.
$50, Glenn M.
$50, Steve S. aka “Orffen”
$50, Tim N.
$50, Harry M.
$50, Mihai I.
$50, William S.
$50, Michael T.
$50, John M.
$50, Jim J.
$50, tucsonlinux.com
$50, Curtis W.
$50,
$50, Charles H. W.
$50, James R.
$50, Lorenzo N.
$50, Frank K.
$50, Swee O.
$50, Carol J.
$50, Wayne C.
$50, Jan S.
$50, Martin B.
$50, Joseph V.
$48, Paul S.
$45, Philippe G.
$44, Markus S.
$44, Franz Josef Jobst aka “FJJ
$43 (3rd donation), Bruno N.
$42 (2nd donation), The Hunting of the Snark
$40 (2nd donation), Karel M.
$40, Minh H.
$40, Tom O.
$40, Petr P.
$38, Peter F.
$33 (4th donation), Joseph R. aka “killinjoe”
$33 (2nd donation), Rosalea R.
$33, Christian Z.
$33, Marco Pieretti
$32 (73th donation), Olli K.
$32 (2nd donation), Richard C.
$32, Paul N.
$32, Carles H. S.
$32, Laurent G.
$32, David V.
$32, Timothy L.
$32, Onno V.
$32, Ugo P. aka “UgoRipley
$31, Paolo M.
$30.29, Steve W.
$30 (5th donation), Anne-christine U.
$30 (4th donation), James P.
$30 (2nd donation), Stefan S.
$30 (2nd donation), Richard H.
$30, Jay B.
$30, John D.
$30, Jeffrey J.
$30, Craig P.
$30, Kent D.
$30, James F. D. V.
$30, Mike T.
$30, Eric S.
$30, Sean O.
$28 (3rd donation), Peter M.
$28, Stefan J.
$27 (5th donation), Reinhard W.
$27 (2nd donation), Alan R.
$27 (2nd donation), Armin F.
$27 (2nd donation), Audrey M.
$27 (2nd donation), Samuel T. P.
$27, Sébastien B.
$27, Mikko L.
$27, Ennio M.
$27, Erwin K.
$27, Dirk E.
$27, Adrien C.
$27, Termas Aqua Libera
$27, Ines R.
$27, anonymous
$27, Hendrik W. G.
$27, Tobias W.
$25.2 (4th donation), Marcin Ziółkowski aka Mario Nesta
$25 (56th donation), Ronald W.
$25 (13th donation), Curt Vaughan aka “curtvaughan ”
$25 (12th donation), Peter D.
$25 (8th donation), Euge Corley aka “ecorley
$25 (6th donation), Kwan L.
$25 (6th donation), Jaan S.
$25 (4th donation), Curtis M.
$25 (3rd donation), Stephen B.
$25 (2nd donation), Emile S.
$25 (2nd donation), David K.
$25 (2nd donation), D. D.
$25 (2nd donation), Darin S. Jr.
$25 (2nd donation), Tony D.
$25 (2nd donation), Andrew E.
$25, Christian Bourque aka “ocafebabe”
$25, William R.
$25, Douglas W.
$25, Robert M.
$25, Emmett H.
$25, David L.
$25, Daniel D.
$25, Paul B.
$25, Keith M.
$25, Alan H.
$25, Joe H. aka “JoeFootball”
$25, Rick A.
$25, Garth A.
$25, David H.
$25, Christopher K.
$25, Gregory W.
$25, Cyrus C.
$25, Joshua G.
$25, Michael M.
$25, David M.
$25, Benjamin M.
$25, Programmed Precision
$25, Christopher F.
$24 (4th donation), Johannes F.
$22 (5th donation), Anthony M.
$22 (3rd donation), Janne K.
$22 (3rd donation), Julian M.
$22 (2nd donation), Veijo T.
$22 (2nd donation), Jan Willem Schokking
$22 (2nd donation), Frank G.
$22, James D. H.
$22, Alain C.
$22, Karl Z.
$22, Pedro C.
$22, Steffen U.
$22, Etienne BRETTEVILLE aka “cybermarmotte
$21 (3rd donation), John B.
$21 (3rd donation), Andrew V.
$21 (2nd donation), Launay D.
$21 (2nd donation), Antonio A. A.
$21 (2nd donation), Axel H.
$21 (2nd donation), Carsten R.
$21, Fabrice L.
$21, Mirko W.
$21, Rudi S.
$21, Tim P.
$21, Patricio J. V. V.
$21, Markus D.
$21, Etienne B.
$21, Michael K.
$21, Chris V.
$21, Patrick D.
$21, Martin G.
$21, Antoine B.
$21, Alena K.
$21, Alexander T.
$21, Vilco G.
$21, Jonathan C.
$21, Jarosław S.
$21, Francesco M. A.
$21, Peter J.
$21, Fabrice
$21, Vicente H. J.
$20 (7th donation), Mike C.
$20 (7th donation), Julie H. aka “Kjokkenutstyr
$20 (6th donation), Dave I.
$20 (6th donation), Richard G.
$20 (5th donation), Feroz E.
$20 (5th donation), David W.
$20 (4th donation), Claudia S.
$20 (3rd donation), Avis H.
$20 (2nd donation), Lamont C.
$20 (2nd donation), Raymond B.
$20 (2nd donation), Edward B.
$20 (2nd donation), Jim W.
$20 (2nd donation), Donald M.
$20 (2nd donation), Tim A.
$20 (2nd donation), Ronald M.
$20 (2nd donation), Nicholas P.
$20 (2nd donation), Tony W.
$20, Nguyen T.
$20, Zach G.
$20, Kenneth S.
$20, David K.
$20, Marc Z.
$20, Edward M.
$20, George S.
$20, Roger S.
$20, Theodore C.
$20, Randall C.
$20, No Access Card Campaign
$20, James B.
$20, Guy L.
$20, Kevin Z.
$20, Mark D. V.
$20, Richard W.
$20, Krzysztof S.
$20, Michael L.
$20, Roger H.
$20, Christopher S.
$20, Hendrik G.
$20, John A.
$20, Miguel G.
$20, Cynthia L.
$20, Ralph W.
$20, Kevin J. aka “Leomas”
$20, Paul M.
$20, Keith N.
$20, Adrian C.
$20, Nasul M.
$20, Kevin M.
$20, Robert L.
$20, Atozknives.com
$20, Tom R.
$20, Henry P.
$20, Eric D.
$20, Psychics4Today.com
$20, Todd S.
$20, Gregory M.
$20, Martin M.
$20, Karla R.
$20, Raul A.
$20, Charles K.
$19, Marcel V.
$17.3 (4th donation), Anton W. aka “redant
$17 (3rd donation), H ScottB
$17, GH
$17, Gilbert O.
$16 (2nd donation), Heinz K.
$16 (2nd donation), Ian T Davis aka “ian@m5j21
$16 (2nd donation), Philippe L.
$16, Ralf C.
$16, Jürgen F.
$16, Cales F.
$16, Christian F.
$16, Norberto C. E.
$16, Enrique C.
$16, Agostino G.
$15 (6th donation), Jobs Near Me aka “Jobs Hiring
$15 (4th donation), Derek R.
$15 (3rd donation), Igor S.
$15 (2nd donation), David Scouten aka “zonemaster
$15 (2nd donation), Jim T.
$15, Fred I.
$15, Mark Tweedie
$15, Steven C.
$15, Jose D.
$15, Jacques T.
$15, Stephen C.
$15, William B.
$15, Jackson aka “lostpoetjj
$15, Stewart K.
$15, Ernest W. J.
$15, Jacquard L.
$15, Kerry C.
$15, Lee Wai Fan
$15, Daniel D.
$15, James D.
$15, Stephan G.
$14, Wj B.
$12 (60th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
$12 (4th donation), Stefan M. H.
$12, Jose T. O. aka “ptorralba”
$12, Gregor K.
$12, Dante A. B. aka “dantix”
$11 (8th donation), Christian B.
$11 (8th donation), Robert P.
$11 (6th donation), Andreas S.
$11 (4th donation), Peter Chivers
$11 (3rd donation), Michael P. aka “www.perron.de
$11 (3rd donation), Ondrej M.
$11 (3rd donation), David aka “DarthCoder
$11 (2nd donation), Dino G.
$11 (2nd donation), Sven H.
$11 (2nd donation), Yves R.
$11 (2nd donation), Lewis B.
$11 (2nd donation), Tanguy S.
$11 (2nd donation), Bjørn M. J.
$11 (2nd donation), Eugene T.
$11, Dominikt S.
$11, Afke K.
$11, Giovanni O.
$11, Graeme S.
$11, Dieter V. N.
$11, C-robert A.
$11, Fjg M.
$11, Roberto Ben. aka “Tomcatuni”
$11, Dan O.
$11, Jadran D.
$11, Zekeriya Z.
$11, Kullo-kalev A.
$11, Stephen D.
$11, Hans-josef M. aka “Hanno Sepp”
$11, Niels D. J.
$11, Cristiano S.
$11, Rui A.
$11, Milad B.
$11, N W. C.
$11, Bastian R.
$11, Adrian B.
$11, Francisco M
$11, Michal
$11, Boudewijn B.
$11, Andreas T.
$11, Olivier V.
$11, Markku R.
$11, Jaroslav S.
$11, Benjamin K.
$11, Jorge Juan MANRIQUE
$11, Wiesław M.
$11, David W.
$11, Alberto M.
$11, Tom aka “evilpie”
$11, David G.
$11, Alvaro D. A.
$11, Gunther J.
$11, Rudolf H.
$11, Francois S.
$11, Johan E.
$11, Alessandro L.
$11, Wolfgang H.
$11, Marek D.
$11, Jay W.
$10 (50th donation), Tsuguo S.
$10 (8th donation), Tomasz K.
$10 (7th donation), Roger B.
$10 (6th donation), Neb Radojkovic
$10 (6th donation), HJI aka “Hospital Jobs Inc
$10 (4th donation), Cobourg Lawyers, MacDonald, Charette, & Associates
$10 (4th donation), François B.
$10 (4th donation), Thomas C.
$10 (3rd donation), Raymond M.
$10 (3rd donation), Thomas C.
$10 (2nd donation), Patrick J.
$10 (2nd donation), Eric K.
$10 (2nd donation), James OC
$10 (2nd donation), Man And A Van
$10 (2nd donation), George H.
$10 (2nd donation), John I.
$10 (2nd donation), Martin J.
$10 (2nd donation), Ian L.
$10 (2nd donation), Anthony B. aka “tootone mint”
$10 (2nd donation), Nathan G.
$10 (2nd donation), aka “jazzi”
$10, Yi-kuang W.
$10, Grzegorz I.
$10, R C.
$10, Pavel N.
$10, Bogachek L.
$10, Alain M.
$10, Steve M.
$10, Donald S.
$10, Darlyne L.
$10, Tomislav F.
$10, Howard S.
$10, Les Kompie
$10, David J.
$10, Gabor F.
$10, Mariusz M.
$10, Eric M.
$10, Shirish K.
$10, Jan R.
$10, Sunil K.
$10, Sereechai S.
$10, Sase T.
$10, Charles G.
$10, Linda P.
$10, Andy Wright
$10, Roman B.
$10, David Scouten aka “zonemaster
$10, Reuben G.
$10, Audstanley
$10, Mathimaaran P. aka “Mathi”
$10, John S.
$10, Donald S.
$10, Aaron S.
$10, The Cavalcade o’ Chemistry
$10, RJ
$10, Bernard J.
$10, Howard C.
$10, Wesley U.
$10, NOLAForever
$10, Andrew L.
$8 (8th donation), Radim aka “myself42”
$8, Mark C.
$7, Ewa L.
$6 (2nd donation), Gabriele I.
$6 (2nd donation), Miroslav aka “Xtrodinary
$6, Jose M. G. B.
$6, Saulius S.
$6, Matteo F.
$6, Mario R.
$6, Conor K.
$6, Andrea A.
$6, Antonio L. L. A.
$6, Carsten S.
$5 (25th donation), LM aka “LinuxMint
$5 (24th donation), LM aka “LinuxMint
$5 (14th donation), Leafs
$5 (14th donation), Libertad Tecnologica
$5 (13th donation), CB750
$5 (7th donation), Arvis Lacis aka “arvislacis
$5 (7th donation), Hakim
$5 (7th donation), Tung-Yi Chen aka “Tic”
$5 (5th donation), Todd A aka “thobin”
$5 (5th donation), Rachel
$5 (5th donation), Merchant Hubs
$5 (4th donation), MUTLU
$5 (3rd donation), NJ
$5 (3rd donation), Tyler B.
$5 (3rd donation), Olaf B.
$5 (3rd donation), F A Cianciolo
$5 (3rd donation), Patrick S.
$5 (3rd donation), Tomas S.
$5 (3rd donation), Artur T.
$5 (2nd donation), Dmitri B.
$5 (2nd donation), Roger M.
$5 (2nd donation), Benjamin H.
$5 (2nd donation), Rachanont Hiranwong aka “elixer
$5 (2nd donation), Robert L.
$5 (2nd donation), Heera
$5 (2nd donation), Vyacheslav K. aka “veZuk”
$5 (2nd donation), Arkadiusz T.
$5 (2nd donation), John J.
$5 (2nd donation), Przemysław S.
$5 (2nd donation), Umman Ş.
$5 (2nd donation), Chris Quedado
$5 (2nd donation), Arkadiusz H.
$5, Eric F.
$5, Matthew B.
$5, Johnny K.
$5, Amit K.
$5, Michael H.
$5, Anthony G.
$5, Quaulpappen
$5, Seweryn P.
$5, Fabrizio T.
$5, Łukasz B.
$5, GEB
$5, Samarth M.
$5, Evgenii S.
$5, Fabien M.
$5, Thomas M.
$5, Anna C.
$5, Vincent R.
$5, Robert M.
$5, deepcompare.com
$5, Mike H.
$5, Carlos P
$5, Davor V.
$5, Peter B.
$5, Dennis K.
$5, Darrell F.
$5, Vyacheslav K. aka “veZuk”
$5, Carlos G. E. aka “@CarlosGE”
$5, Daniel A. D. M. C.
$5, Julio C. aka “Cachafaz”
$5, Sonja K.
$5, Thomas C.
$5, Andy T.
$5, Yonglan Z.
$5, Raymond D.
$5, Mario W.
$5, Martin L.
$5, Erick White aka “Gronok”
$5, Dustin C.
$5, Matthew D.
$5, Blake H.
$5, David S.
$5, Collin H.
$5, Vitali R.
$5, Patrick A. S.
$5, Kris Phelps
$5, Gary C.
$5, Raffaele C.
$5, Mircea B.
$4 (2nd donation), elogbookloan
$4, Rodney L.
$4, Ugo S.
$4, 工藤 拓.
$3.31 (3rd donation), Taeyuun M.
$3 (17th donation), Kouji K.
$3 (13th donation), RoDi – správa IT
$3 (5th donation), safe-scripts
$3 (4th donation), David B.
$3 (2nd donation), Linus W.
$3, Thomas
$3, Tito P.
$3, Samuel V. G.
$3, Peter B.
$3, Aleksandr K.
$3, Alessandro S.
$3, Danilo C.
$3, Liam S.
$3, Kolesov D.
$3, PlasmaCutterPro
$2.99, Gean C. K. N.
$30.88 from 21 smaller donations

If you want to help Linux Mint with a donation, please visit http://www.linuxmint.com/donors.php

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Sucuri becomes Linux Mint’s 3rd biggest sponsor

Written by Clem on April 25th, 2016

 

I’m happy to announce that Sucuri is now Linux Mint’s 3rd biggest sponsor.

Sucuri is a security company, specialized in incident response, monitoring and protection for web sites. With thousands of clients, their cloud-based firewall handles more than 16 billion page views every single month, while their incident response team can remediate hundreds of sites on a single day.

Working with Sucuri has been a great experience for us. Our project uses many servers spread across the world. Thanks to Sucuri’s expertise, their help and their products we were able to quickly recover from the attacks led on our distribution and set up malware monitoring and improved automated backups. Their firewall protects access to our servers and uses cache and compression techniques to speed up traffic on our web sites. Sucuri also helped us with the adoption of HTTPS and the hardening of our servers. We’re able to quickly get in touch and chat with them when needed. That proximity and relationship with our partners is very important to our project and their expertise in security is really appreciated.

We’re proud to welcome Sucuri as our new sponsor and very grateful for the help they’re giving us.


Monthly News – March 2016

Written by Clem on April 10th, 2016

News

We’ll talk a bit about development this month. It’s still too early to talk about some of the big things we’re working on (vertical panels and multiple backgrounds in Cinnamon, new icon and GTK themes) but some cool changes landed already so I’ll try to give you a little overview.

Before we get to that though, I’d like to thank all the people who fund us. We’re able to be where we are and to do what we do thanks to our partners, sponsors and the many people who send us donations. Our user base grew again since the release of Linux Mint 17.3 and we received more donations than usual in February and March, probably as a solidarity response to the attacks led against our project. Despite the important downtime in February and the fact that people couldn’t donate during the attacks, we recorded more than 600 donations and more than $14,000 at the end of the month. That’s really amazing.

Another piece of good news is that we’ll soon announce a new partnership with our friends at Sucuri, who are about to become our third biggest sponsor.

Improvements in the Update Manager

As many other tools in Linux Mint 18, the Update Manager was given HiDPI support and ported to more recent toolkits and libraries. It is now coded in Python 3 and it nows uses GTK3 and GSettings.

The main screen and the preferences screen now use stack widgets and subtle animations. And the user interface was slightly improved to better work with alternative themes (toolbar icons are now compatible with dark themes, application and status icons are now themeable and dimmed text is now rendered with dynamic colors).

Two new settings were added to let you see and select kernel updates. Even though these aren’t really updates, but the availability of packages for newer kernels, the manager is now able to detect them and to present them for installation to you as a traditional update. These are level 5 updates but the new settings let you configure them independently.

A lot of work was done on showing better information and raising the awareness of the user when it comes to applying updates and choosing a kernel.

The kernel selection window was completely revamped and is now preceded with an information screen which explains what kernels are, how to select them at boot time, what happens to DKMS modules when multiple kernels are installed etc etc..

Linux Mint no longer ships lists of fixes and lists of regressions specific to particular kernels. With so many kernel revisions, so many fixes and so many regressions happening sometimes on a daily basis, this information was extremely hard to gather. Instead, it was replaced with links to relevant sources of informations. For instance, if you select a particular kernel you can now quickly access its changelog and see all the bug reports marked against it.

Finally, the Update Manager was already configurable but it wasn’t clear how to configure it, and why. In particular, the concepts of regressions, stability and security weren’t clearly explained and users had to acquire these online. To raise awareness around these concepts and show more information, a new screen welcomes users to their update manager and asks them to select an update policy.

This screen is complemented with a help section which explains what’s at play and what to consider when choosing a policy.

Although this screen is only showed once and its main purpose is to present information to users, it can also be used as a quick way to switch between sets of preferences and it can launched from the Edit->Update Policy menu.

Better touchpad support in Cinnamon and MATE

Up until now, you could choose a scrolling method for your touchpad, between edge-scrolling (which was the default), or two-finger-scrolling, or no scrolling at all.

As more and more touchpads support the ability to scroll with two fingers, we wanted this to work out of the box in Linux Mint and without the need to configure anything. So we looked into that and we separated this into two different settings.

This was implemented in Cinnamon 3.0 and MATE 1.14. By default, both edge-scrolling and two-finger-scrolling will now be enabled and you’ll be able to disable these two features independently.

The “Natural scrolling” setting was also renamed “Reverse scrolling direction” (this will happen in version 1.16 for MATE) and enabled by default (This is in line with the way people ‘grab’ content in iOS and Android, and it was changed earlier in other popular operating systems, since Mac OS X Lion, or Windows 8. It’s configurable of course, but its default should please as many people as possible, and with all major OSes adopting this direction, it makes sense for our environments to do so as well).

New Cinnamon sound module

The Sound configuration module which was previously written in C, was completely rewritten in Python, into a brand new cinnamon-settings module.

Although the benefits of this migration aren’t directly visible to users, cinnamon-settings modules are amongst the easiest components to write for and to maintain. Python is a rapid language and the cinnamon-settings code and architecture are extremely nice to work with. Fixing bugs or troubleshooting is a breeze, adding a setting usually just means adding a single line of code…etc, etc.

Of the 33 configuration modules present in Cinnamon, only 4 remain C modules inherited from gnome-control-center: Networking, Display, Colors and Wacom tablets.

Look and feel

It’s too early to talk about the new icon and GTK themes we’re working on (even the name “Mint-Y”, for those who follow our work on github, isn’t final). I can share a few things already though:

  • Both Mint-X and the new theme will ship with Linux Mint 18.
  • The new theme is based on another popular GTK theme called “Arc”.
  • Application icons in the new icon theme come from a popular icon theme called “Moka”.

The screenshots in this blog post use this new theme. Although the theme isn’t final (colors/tints/contrast in particular are likely to change) it already gives us an idea of what the final result could be like. If you like or dislike this new theme, don’t hesitate to tell us why in the comments sections. And please tell us why so we can react to your feedback and use it to improve the theme.

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsors:
Private Internet Access
Gold Sponsors:
Linux VPS Hosting
Silver Sponsors:
ThinkPenguin.com
Bronze Sponsors:
Vault Networks *
AYKsolutions Server & Cloud Hosting
7L Networks Toronto Colocation *
BGASoft Inc
David Salvo
Milton Security Group
Sysnova Information Systems
Community Sponsors:

Donations in February:

A total of $14546 was raised thanks to the generous contributions of 655 donors:

$400, SecureNym
$322 (6th donation), Frederic L. aka “”nofrog””
$250, Ian B.
$168, Pierre V.
$161 (2nd donation), Jean-luc V.
$123.45 (2nd donation), Brett H. R. aka “Brett-n-Jeanne in AK, USA”
$112 (3rd donation), Hans-georg T.
$112, Alexander R.
$107 (2nd donation), DeMus aka “DeMus”
$100 (55th donation), Ronald W.
$100 (12th donation), Jon Espenschied aka “xeno”
$100 (11th donation), Anonymous
$100 (4th donation), Ross W. aka “Roscoe_Oz”
$100 (3rd donation), Don C.
$100 (2nd donation), anonymous
$100, Don Gates
$100, Douglas G.
$100, Michael F.
$100, sector0 networks
$100, Mark A.
$100, Robert R.
$100, Larry P.
$100, John Tiller Software, Inc.
$100, Matthew S.
$100, Tony Ricciotti aka “Tony”
$100, Jeffrey M. T. aka “JayBird707”
$100, Lars E. S.
$100, Frank T. D.
$80, Sam E.
$76 (2nd donation), Jacques P.
$64, Roark S.
$60 (2nd donation), Stephen B.
$56, Ingo L.
$56, Victor L. F.
$54 (3rd donation), Torben C.
$54 (2nd donation), Jerry L.
$54 (2nd donation), Jan-albert V.
$54 (2nd donation), Matthias Z.
$54, Baudouin M.
$54, Dominik W.
$54, Jonathan H.
$54, Declan K.
$54, Giles H.
$50 (8th donation), Anthony C. aka “ciak”
$50 (5th donation), David B.
$50 (5th donation), jmro3006
$50 (5th donation), Roy B.
$50 (3rd donation), Kirby S.
$50 (3rd donation), Adam H.
$50 (2nd donation), Avis H.
$50 (2nd donation), Terrence P.
$50 (2nd donation), Hans J.
$50 (2nd donation), Mark S.
$50 (2nd donation), Jason Graun
$50 (2nd donation), Steve D. aka “taosld”
$50 (2nd donation), Stephen T.
$50, Charlie A.
$50, Thomas S.
$50, Ketil M.
$50, Greg C.
$50, Joshua R.
$50, Derek L.
$50, Derek B.
$50, Kenneth S.
$50, Iskar E.
$50, Stephen C.
$50, Elaine S.
$50, Henry W.
$50, Ludwig K.
$50, Daniel S.
$50, Richard R.
$50, Gary E.
$50, Normand D.
$50, David W.
$50, Mark R.
$50, Edward B.
$50, Richard P. aka “peetbog”
$50, Gene B.
$50, John P.
$50, Karl B.
$50, Robert G.
$50, Michele L.
$50, Joseph M.
$50, John M.
$50, Raja aka “Raja Raja”
$50, Ralph B.
$50, Noah D. aka “Darkk”
$45, Jean-marie C.
$45, Tako IJ.
$43 (2nd donation), Vesa K.
$43 (2nd donation), Zoran D.
$43, Sergio O.
$40, Marion C.
$40, Aritz Beobide-Cardinal aka “ARitz Cracker
$38, Han S.
$35 (14th donation), Robert H.
$34 (72th donation), Olli K.
$32 (2nd donation), Hermann W.
$32 (2nd donation), Lee C.
$32, Martin A.
$32, KaloSkate
$32, Miguel V.
$32, Hans-Lothar T.
$32, David L. aka “tenfoot”
$30 (6th donation), Julie H. aka “Kjokkenutstyr
$30 (6th donation), Steve Guard
$30 (2nd donation), Charles F.
$30 (2nd donation), James P.
$30, Carmelo M.
$30, David S.
$30, Ciprian R.
$30, Alexandre F.
$30, James P.
$30, Rickard H.
$30, Brian M.
$28, Sevinc K.
$28, Franciscus A. G. H.
$28, Sebastian S.
$28, Bernhard S. E.
$27 (2nd donation), Rolf S.
$27 (2nd donation), Frank M.
$27, Damien B.
$27, Slavoljub M.
$27, John J.
$27, Nico R.
$27, Sebastian P.
$27, Chris V.
$27, Glenn G.
$27, John A. J.
$25 (54th donation), Ronald W.
$25 (3rd donation), Robert B.
$25 (3rd donation), Robert D. aka “Wilbobob”
$25 (2nd donation), Allan C.
$25 (2nd donation), 1455 Group LLC
$25 (2nd donation), Nelson I.
$25 (2nd donation), Nicholas W.
$25 (2nd donation), Charles W.
$25, Alan P.
$25, Jeremy G.
$25, Dave B.
$25, Roberta H.
$25, Kevin D.
$25, James W.
$25, Jack C.
$25, Philip H.
$25, Kyle G.
$25, Richard S.
$25, Music Together of Greater Richmond, LLC
$25, George R. W. I.
$25, Carl J.
$25, Frederick S.
$25, Andrew W.
$25, Eric W. aka “powerwagon75”
$25, Margaret W.
$25, Edward R.
$25, Desktop Computer Support
$25, Jon C. S.
$25, Klaartje B.
$25, Bruce G.
$25, Patrick J.
$25, Carol M.
$25, Dominic D.
$25, Trevor H.
$25, Dwight D.
$25, TryThat
$25, Daryl D.
$25, Jay M.
$25, Donald M.
$25, Kumar S.
$25, Charles M.
$25, Anthony C.
$25, Karen J.
$25, Fidel Cashflow
$25, Eric D.
$25, Warren G.
$25, Arshad R.
$25, Dmitriy Z.
$25, Joseph C.
$25, Christopher S.
$24, Joerg P.
$23 (5th donation), Hans P.
$22 (5th donation), Pentti T.
$22 (4th donation), Kari Y.
$22, M. B. L. aka “MBL
$22, Andrea M.
$22, Robert F.
$22, Ron F.
$22, Robert L.
$22, Cornee T.
$22, Ian P.
$22, Lennart P.
$21 (6th donation), Ross M aka “ro55mo”
$21 (4th donation), Brandon W.
$21 (4th donation), Stefan A.
$21 (4th donation), Janne S.
$21 (3rd donation), Stefan K.
$21 (2nd donation), Tom Sturm
$21 (2nd donation), Janne K.
$21, Marc A.
$21, Peter K.
$21, George Velim
$21, Eugene T.
$21, Stefan H.
$21, Nicolas M.
$21, Philipp S.
$21, TC Lo
$21, Saad S.
$21, Robert S.
$21, Matthias W.
$21, Matthew B.
$21, Vivien C.
$21, Zahari D. K.
$21, Michel J.
$21, Walter H.
$21, Anthony R.
$21, Daniel J.
$21, Lars N.
$21, Klaus S. aka “northcup
$20 (8th donation), Thomas M.
$20 (6th donation), Matsufuji H.
$20 (5th donation), Dave I.
$20 (5th donation), Stefan A.
$20 (5th donation), Peter J.
$20 (3rd donation), Oblong Software Products
$20 (3rd donation), Craig W.
$20 (3rd donation), John C.
$20 (3rd donation), Brent S. aka “AFineMan”
$20 (3rd donation), Alexandre A.
$20 (2nd donation), Paul K.
$20 (2nd donation), Jose T. G. T.
$20 (2nd donation), Arunas A.
$20 (2nd donation), James F.
$20 (2nd donation), Bruce N.
$20 (2nd donation), Rod Hassler
$20 (2nd donation), Todd
$20 (2nd donation), Jim P
$20 (2nd donation), Robin P.
$20 (2nd donation), Stuart H.
$20 (2nd donation), Patrick Moran aka “Cynyster
$20, Solent Web Design
$20, John V.
$20, Jacqueline T.
$20, Herb F.
$20, Christopher J.
$20, Marco M.
$20, Richard F.
$20, Edward B.
$20, Daniel O.
$20, Michael N.
$20, Patrick C.
$20, Jorge A.
$20, Gilles L.
$20, Travis H.
$20, Jarmo K.
$20, Giuseppe C.
$20, Tim P.
$20, Corey H.
$20, Jeffrey C.
$20, Немихин И.
$20, John M.
$20, Lindsay B.
$20, Darin W.
$20, Ann-katrin W.
$20, Roslyn S.
$20, James M.
$20, Stephen C.
$20, T. aka “DeadLock”
$20, Graham G.
$20, Robert Nunnally aka “Gurdonark
$20, Thomas A. L.
$20, Kane S.
$20, Boris B.
$20, Хан П.
$20, Murray C.
$20, Cemil B.
$20, Patrick M.
$20, Martin C.
$20, William A.
$20, Shaun D.
$20, Mohit K.
$20, Bill P.
$20, Larry J.
$20, David P.
$20, Caroline C.
$20, Michael L.
$20, Scott S.
$20, Ronald H.
$20, Vernice V.
$20, Derek B.
$20, Matthew W.
$20, Brian H.
$17.6 (3rd donation), Nathan B.
$17.3 (3rd donation), Anton W. aka “redant
$17 (3rd donation), Alan B.
$17, Tom S.
$17, Kevin S.
$16 (6th donation), Isidro P. A.
$16 (5th donation), Isidro P. A.
$16 (3rd donation), T. Ng.
$16 (2nd donation), Ivan S.
$16 (2nd donation), Oliver S.
$16, Oleksandr C.
$16, Arnaud B.
$16, Marco L.
$16, Nemanja S.
$16, Meijvis A.
$16, Christof S.
$15 (5th donation), Michel C.
$15 (4th donation), James A.
$15 (3rd donation), Marek G.
$15 (3rd donation), Peter Chivers
$15 (3rd donation), Steve Sharp
$15 (2nd donation), Dirk Köhler
$15 (2nd donation), Seng T.
$15, Shaul L.
$15, Sam R.
$15, Daniel G.
$15, Sean Y.
$15, Blemtop LTD
$15, Daye G.
$15, Programmatic Conquest
$15, Nicolas G.
$15, Gary T.
$15, James M.
$15, Kevin L.
$15, Raymond A.
$15, Larry S.
$15, Jan Sanders aka “Jasabor”
$15, Dan H.
$15, Sara E.
$15, Conrad M.
$15, Martin V.
$14.99 (4th donation), qwaqwa68
$12 (59th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
$11 (26th donation), Raymond E.
$11 (24th donation), Mark W.
$11 (6th donation), Doriano G. M.
$11 (5th donation), Andreas S.
$11 (5th donation), Jon Marks aka “ESL Materials Writer
$11 (4th donation), Theis F. Hinz
$11 (3rd donation), Marc V. K.
$11 (3rd donation), Juan T.
$11 (3rd donation), Joshua R.
$11 (2nd donation), Mladen P.
$11 (2nd donation), Bartosz W.
$11 (2nd donation), Peter V.
$11 (2nd donation), Heinrich S.
$11, Peter E.
$11, Finn H.
$11, Martin M.
$11, Axel B.
$11, Joachim S.
$11, Juan R. Gavilanes aka “janrax
$11, Kari H.
$11, Borderstone
$11, Daniel G. C.
$11, Albert S. S.
$11, Günther G.
$11, Patrick T.
$11, Daniel H.
$11, Boris T.
$11, Koen D. B.
$11, Sebastian N.
$11, Juan C. I. D. C.
$11, Simone M.
$11, John G.
$11, Alexander H.
$11, Erkko R.
$11, Ochal C.
$11, Kay S.
$11, Daniele D. R.
$11, Andreas P.
$11, Jukka K.
$11, Richard Z.
$11, Jürgen R.
$11, Andreas B.
$11, Kevin T.
$11, Jörg S.
$11, Marcello C.
$11, Odoardo Z.
$11, Luc D.
$11, Neil H.
$11, Silvestre J.
$11, Daniel C.
$11, Diego A. R.
$11, Sven K.
$11, Andreas B.
$11, Antonio P.
$11, Maurice K. S.
$11, Giulio T.
$11, Marc B.
$11, Stefan B.
$11, Lutz H.
$11, C H. H.
$11, Luís F.
$11, Walter D.
$10 (49th donation), Tsuguo S.
$10 (14th donation), Dan J
$10 (7th donation), Uncle Geek
$10 (6th donation), Kulistov V. aka “Q_List”
$10 (5th donation), aka “Caturix
$10 (3rd donation), Andrew M.
$10 (3rd donation), Brynley F.
$10 (3rd donation), Joseph V.
$10 (3rd donation), James N.
$10 (3rd donation), Andreas S.
$10 (2nd donation), Debora G.
$10 (2nd donation), Robert M.
$10 (2nd donation), Thomas C.
$10 (2nd donation), Bill B.
$10 (2nd donation), Carlos V. M.
$10 (2nd donation), Rolf V.
$10 (2nd donation), Tyler K. M.
$10 (2nd donation), Ray P.
$10 (2nd donation), Graham W.
$10 (2nd donation), Gurahamu
$10 (2nd donation), Yijun X.
$10 (2nd donation), 末次 英.
$10 (2nd donation), Doug Byfield aka “Doug B.”
$10 (2nd donation), Tony W.
$10, Esseid N.
$10, mikecolley aka “mikecolley”
$10, Sam K.
$10, Michael G.
$10, Catalin A.
$10, Sharon T.
$10, Emil V.
$10, Milford H.
$10, Flemming B.
$10, Bill C.
$10, Mark G.
$10, Susan L.
$10, Sam A.
$10, Mehmet Ö. B.
$10, Philippe S.
$10, John B.
$10, Sven V.
$10, Sheliak T.
$10, Vasile C.
$10, Paweł
$10, Donald C. R. S.
$10, Michael C.
$10, David F.
$10, Wallye R.
$10, Manuel J.
$10, Leopoldo G.
$10, Roberto M.
$10, Jeffrey B.
$10, cadesigneb.com nebrad@shaw.ca
$10, Michael R.
$10, Cesar M.
$10, Nicholas M.
$10, Sonia S. P.
$10, Felipe Vargas
$10, Heera
$10, Patrick J.
$10, Wendong Z.
$10, Yakovlev P.
$10, Glenn C.
$10, Edsil W.
$10, LFDS Ltd
$10, Alex J.
$10, Kamil M.
$10, Christina M.
$10, John G.
$10, Lucinda G.
$10, Ronald C.
$10, Andres V.
$10, Jesse N.
$10, Joseph S. B.
$10, Joshua S.
$10, Максимов Н.
$10, James B.
$10, Yaroslav S.
$10, Michael M.
$10, Adler H.
$10, Joseph S.
$10, Marjorie C.
$10, Willie O.
$10, Georgi B.
$9 (2nd donation), Mark J.
$9, Alexander P.
$8 (2nd donation), Javier S. D. F. aka “jserranofr
$7, Zsolt M.
$7, Daniel G.
$6.66 (3rd donation), Aizuddin aka “ak47suk1
$6 (4th donation), Rafael B. M.
$6 (3rd donation), Robert M.
$6 (2nd donation), Wayne O.
$6 (2nd donation), Dawid W.
$6, Javier S. S.
$6, Jean-françois N.
$6, Franck G.
$6, Andimovies
$6, Rashdan R.
$6, Stefan D.
$6, Matthew G.
$6, Sabine L.
$6, Jeroen V. D. B.
$6, Исаев А.
$6, Giacomo F.
$5.1, Hans Westerman
$5 (23rd donation), LM aka “LinuxMint
$5 (13th donation), Libertad Tecnologica
$5 (12th donation), Paul B. aka “Dude”
$5 (11th donation), Jt Spratley aka “Go Live Lively
$5 (10th donation), Jens-uwe R.
$5 (10th donation), Nicholas S.
$5 (9th donation), Kevin O. aka “Kev”
$5 (6th donation), Hakim
$5 (6th donation), Jack H.
$5 (6th donation), Arvis Lacis aka “arvislacis
$5 (5th donation), Mauricio Hernández aka “Wicho”
$5 (5th donation), Jack H.
$5 (4th donation), Todd A aka “thobin”
$5 (4th donation), Donald H.
$5 (4th donation), Merchant Hubs
$5 (3rd donation), Edgar T.
$5 (3rd donation), Luis D.
$5 (3rd donation), Alfons B.
$5 (3rd donation), Elad Hen aka “eladhen
$5 (3rd donation), Cody X.
$5 (3rd donation), Andrea B.
$5 (3rd donation), Michel B.
$5 (2nd donation), Marcial B.
$5 (2nd donation), Antonio C. D. N. N.
$5 (2nd donation), Dominic R.
$5 (2nd donation), German Heberto Duran
$5 (2nd donation), Godfrey H.
$5 (2nd donation), Wayne C.
$5 (2nd donation), David H.
$5 (2nd donation), Irmantas R.
$5 (2nd donation), Florian G.
$5 (2nd donation), Artur T.
$5 (2nd donation), Vedran S.
$5 (2nd donation), Patrik R.
$5, Maciej D.
$5, Maximilian S.
$5, Ellert H.
$5, Gabriel R. S.
$5, John J.
$5, Adil E. H.
$5, Deborah M.
$5, Daryl A.
$5, Sylwester K.
$5, Sahasrabuddhe M. V.
$5, Mahesh C Patra aka “Mahi”
$5, Josemari D.
$5, Bargain M.
$5, David L.
$5, Мальков Е. aka “Vaska Pupkin”
$5, Ron B.
$5, Norbert W.
$5, Hasan
$5, Maysi2k
$5, Uwe R.
$5, Harshal P.
$5, Geoffrey T.
$5, Yannick S.
$5, Bhushan Y.
$5, Michele C.
$5, Shaoteng W.
$5, Ken R. S.
$5, Daniel L.
$5, Bernie B.
$5, Hintariu D.
$5, David L.
$5, James OC
$5, David B. T.
$5, Plan Panda
$5, Mark J.
$5, James M.
$5, Dawid M.
$5, David G.
$5, Mike K.
$5, Alfonso M.
$5, Giovanni Z.
$5, Shoua T.
$5, Jason S.
$5, Jamie P.
$5, Richard M.
$5, Michael D.
$5, Ronny G.
$5, Denis C.
$5, Malte K.
$5, Christopher R.
$5, Замураев Л. aka “Leo (Saint-P)”
$5, Jason C.
$5, Hostgator Coupon 2016
$5, Andreas Z.
$5, Fangxin J.
$5, Peter M.
$5, George H.
$5, Manoj M.
$5, Gert D. P.
$5, Andrew P.
$5, Jose J. A.
$5, Bryon S.
$5, Arie de J.
$5, Krzysztof N.
$5, Florian M.
$5, Marco T.
$5, Umman Ş.
$5, Joseph L.
$4 (6th donation), KnifeFellas.com
$3.55, Christopher H.
$3 (12th donation), RoDi – správa IT
$3 (4th donation), safe-scripts
$3 (4th donation), patrick p.
$3 (2nd donation), Jofre P. C.
$3 (2nd donation), Tomasz U.
$3, 顾 世.
$3, Mico M.
$3, Ml P.
$3, Man And A Van
$3, Erdal A.
$3, Niko K.
$2.25, David Y.
$46.25 from 37 smaller donations

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