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Cinnamon 2.4 available for beta-testing in Linux Mint 17

Written by Clem on Saturday, November 1st, 2014

A brand new version of Cinnamon is out and it will be featured in the upcoming release of Linux Mint 17.1 at the end of the month.

For a quick look at its new features, please read the official announcement: Cinnamon 2.4

In the next two weeks we’ll be using your feedback to improve Cinnamon and to fix eventual bugs in preparation for the next Linux Mint release.

If you want to help beta-test the new desktop (beware: There will be bugs, there always are bugs in new releases, that’s why we leave a month between the releases of Cinnamon and Linux Mint), you can upgrade Cinnamon to version 2.4.0 by following the instructions below:

  • Launch Menu->Administration->”Software Sources”.
  • Tick the option “Unstable Packages (Romeo)”.
  • Carefully read the warning in the dialog that pops up and click “Yes” if appropriate.
  • Launch the Update Manager and click on “Refresh”.
  • If a new mintupdate version is shown, apply it.
  • Apply all updates related to Cinnamon (sort by version, 2.4.0 or 2.4.1, or by update type since they all come from Romeo).

Enjoy, don’t take unnecessary risks (this will be all completely stable in less than a month) and don’t forget to send us your feedback ;)

Monthly News – September 2014

Written by Clem on Friday, October 10th, 2014

News:

  • A big thanks to all the people who donate to Linux Mint, and to our sponsors. You help us move forward and focus on the important things without worrying about income or commercial aspects. Many thanks to all the people who help us in other ways as well. Whether it’s users helping newcomers on the forums and IRC, developers joining the team or contributing pull requests, people coming with ideas, we’re very grateful to see so many people help like that.
  • A lot of new features were developed in anticipation for the upcoming releases. Cinnamon looks a lot more polished, with a new startup animation, background slideshows, a visual theme selector and a faster javascript interpreter. MDM received graphical improvements and important bug fixes. The default theme for the login screen no longer features a background animation but a background slideshow, it’s more noticeable but also cleaner and less intensive on the CPU. To make it easier for people to help each others on the IRC, mintSystem got a new pastebin command, to quickly share files or text from the command line, either via piping (“somecommand | pastebin”) or by specifying a filename (“pastebin <filename>”).
  • Debian Jessie isn’t frozen yet and a lot of packages are still making their way into it. The recent upower and GTK updates show that the base isn’t quite ready just yet. Work continues on Betsy but a lot of what’s required for it will only happen once the base is completely frozen. We might be looking at Spring 2015, it’s hard to say just yet.
  • Cinnamon 2.4 is on track for its public release at the end of October and it should get into our distribution after a month of maturation with the release of Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” in late November.

Development preview:

One of the projects we worked on this month is the program in charge of the login screen, i.e. the MDM display manager.

The new layout of the MDM configuration tool is similar to mintDesktop, with icons in the sidebar to access the different parts of the tool.

The concept of “greeters” was confusing to users so it was replaced by a simpler theme selection. All themes (HTML and GDM) as well as the GTK greeter are now available from the same list.

It’s also worth noting the addition of a new button (the one with the cog) to launch the login screen and thus quickly visualize the active theme.

Under the hood, we also improved the following aspects of MDM:

  • Syndaemon was added to MDM’s Init, to disable the touchpad while the keyboard is being used.
  • The option to disable the user list in the GTK greeter was brought back.
  • Work started on updating the documentation for MDM.
  • When .dmrc pointed to a non-existing session (which could be the case when the user kept his/her home directory and moved to Mint from a previous release, a different edition or a different distribution) MDM would fail to log in until the user selected an existing session. It now automatically switches to the default session.
  • In certain cases where 2 or more users logged in, switched users and logged out MDM could end up showing the wrong virtual terminal, placing the user in front of a black screen even though a login screen was available on another VT. This is now fixed.

Last but not least, as mentioned in the introduction, the Mint-X theme received a beautiful new slideshow. A new developer, Philipp Miller, created a flexible and adaptable theme called MDModern, full of innovations and elegance from which was inspired this slideshow and which could be used by artists to produce the next generation of MDM themes.

The team is currently working with Philipp, not only on the theme but on the MDM theme API  and we’re hoping to add MDModern to Linux Mint 17.1.

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

Gold Sponsors:
Linux VPS Hosting
Silver Sponsors:
ThinkPenguin.com
Bronze Sponsors:
Vault Networks *
AYKsolutions Server & Cloud Hosting
7L Networks Toronto Colocation *
compute.ch gmbh
David Salvo
Michael Sartain
Milton Security Group
Sysnova Information Systems
Community Sponsors:

To become a sponsor or to see the full list of Linux Mint sponsors, please visit: http://www.linuxmint.com/sponsors.php

Donations:

A total of $7339 was raised thanks to the generous contributions of 301 donors:

  • $175, Rafael B.
  • $128 (2nd donation), Andrew McNicol aka “exhipigeonist”
  • $110, Travis W.
  • $100 (3rd donation), James G.
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  • $100 (3rd donation), About Canada
  • $100 (2nd donation), Kuberan N.
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  • $100, Robert M.
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  • $100, William S. aka “Curly”
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  • $100, Charles D.
  • $100, aka “sska”
  • $100, Matthew S.
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  • $65.06, Pierre-elie H.
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  • $60 (5th donation), Jon Espenschied aka “xeno”
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  • $25, G W ADAMS EDUCATIONAL CENTER INC
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  • $20 (39th donation), Tsuguo S.
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  • $19.62, David N.
  • $19.52 (5th donation), Francisco L. D. A.
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  • $16.26 (3rd donation), Ross M.
  • $15.61, Ronan M.
  • $15 (4th donation), Kjell K. aka “Gemini89″
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  • $14.31, Victoria K.
  • $13.01 (13th donation), Raymond E.
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  • $10, Coutie GmbH aka “Coutie
  • $10, Carlos S.
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  • $9.1, Sharath P.
  • $8.98, Linux Hardware Guide
  • $7.81, Ionut David
  • $6.51 (8th donation), Kjell O. B. aka “kob”
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  • $13.44 from 10 smaller donations

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

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Linux Mint 17.1 codenamed ‘Rebecca’

Written by Clem on Monday, September 15th, 2014

Codenames on the 17.1 series were allowed to break the tradition. They won’t start with a Q, as they should, but with an R instead. It wasn’t easy to find a codename starting with Q initially, and with the move to LTS it’s getting harder and harder as the series might get a total of 4 or more releases.

The first 17.x point release will be Linux Mint 17.1 codename ‘Rebecca’.

Rebecca is of Hebrew origin and its meaning is “to bind”. The name was borne in the Bible by the wife of Isaac. It was also made famous since 1938 by the book from Daphne du Maurier entitled “Rebecca” and adapted into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940.

Despite its “R” name, Rebecca will share the same base as Qiana. Linux Mint 17 users will have the choice to upgrade or not, and that upgrade will be both easy and safe.