Mint 8: beta-testing the new mintInstall

Written by Clem on Thursday, September 24th, 2009 @ 4:56 pm | Main Topics

I’d like to thank all the people who sent us feedback during the recent development of mintInstall. We’re still happy to receive ideas and suggestions at this stage, but we’re also getting close to a usable product. Because the number of changes was so great and because I know many of you are interested in running this newer version, I decided to publish DEB packages for this beta of mintInstall.

Here’s how the interface looks:

To install this application, you first need to install a DEB package called “mintinstall-data”, and then another DEB package called “mintinstall”. Both packages can be downloaded at this address:

http://github.com/linuxmint/mintinstall/downloads

Give us your feedback, don’t hesitate to report malfunctions or ideas for further improvements.

This is already the 3rd blog post about mintInstall so we’ll move to something else after that. If we have the time, we might go down the same feedback/dev_iterations process for mintUpdate.

73 Responses to “Mint 8: beta-testing the new mintInstall”

  1. diego1188 Says:

    I installed it on Mint 6 x64 but it does not start, neither from the menu nor from the terminal; – output:
    $ mintinstall
    sh: sh:: not found

  2. PneumaPilot Says:

    Sweet! I’m playing with it right now and it looks and works great! Thanks for all the hard work!

  3. LinuxLover Says:

    I agree with Sharky, leave the refresh button. Personally, I’m happy with it the way it is. I don’t use mintUpdate, either. I simply open mintInstall to do everything.

    BTW, great disto! I was a longtime PCLinuxOS user, but Linux Mint has convinced me! Very nice job… I’m using Linux Mint more and more each day.

  4. Crzen Says:

    WOW! LOVE IT! Used on Gloria main. From the advanced search of (and install from) the repos to the multi install from the main UI. The speed is great. The only quirk I found (which may have been planned) is that when you click “install” for an app, the app window snaps back to the top. So if you were just scrolling through you have to scroll back to where you were. Not a big deal. Other then that…ship it. !!!WOW!!!! :) :)

  5. jbalazsi Says:

    LTS – Elyssa user, 32 bit version. Installed, nothing happened, removed.

  6. Duskao Says:

    Seems to work well. But yeah, every time you click install it goes back to the top of the list. Running on 32 bit.

  7. Luciano Says:

    I think it should have an easier way to write the reviews!!! Would be great if we could make it trough the mintinstall

  8. exploder Says:

    Very nice Clem! I like the changes. Thanks!

  9. Kiske Says:

    Didn’t quite read through all the new features, but I’m wondering, if you still have to install app after app and wait for synaptic to finish installation of one app before you can install another? That was the reason I didn’t really use it, but started synaptic instead. Whenever I want to install a deb, I stumble across some other nice debs and want to install them all at once. With the old mint-installer this was a pita….Is this bug gone now?

  10. geekman Says:

    Hi Clem

    Thanks for listening and designing the new install manager. I really like the advanced search install from various repo function.

    Its been mentioned above in remarks. The return to the top of the list after pressing install can get a bit tedious if you are selecting a number of packages. but maybe I’ll burn a few more calories with the extra touch pad workout.

    The only other thing was not being able to find the ability to unmark one of mistakenly clicked options. Had to unmark everything or I would have uninstalled my browser.

    I am running it on mini 7 amd64. I like it

  11. Roberto Says:

    Hi,

    I’ve downloaded The files but i would like to know if it works
    on Kde 7 Gloria before installing this new mintInstall version

    Tomorrow i will test it on Mint 7 Gnome x64 edition

    Thanks.

  12. Piilen Says:

    Great improvement ! – keep up the good work.
    I found one strange behavior.
    If you select the the Office category and scroll all the way to the bottom of the program list.
    And then select the Graphics category, the program list is scrolled all the way to the bottom.
    I think the program list should reset its position to the top when you select a category. (Otherwise people will miss the best programs in some categories)
    But huge improvement, keep up the good work.

  13. Piilen Says:

    I just found a similar reset to the top thing with the reviewer list when you change program in the program list.
    It’s confusing that the reviewer list may be scrolled to the bottom (or anywhere else), so you need to look at the elevator to figure out what way to scroll.
    To see the issue select System Tools category, select Virtual Box, scroll to the bottom of the reviews. Now select the Wine Doors in the programlist – the review list will be at the bottom og it’s list.

  14. Jon Biddell Says:

    Only thing I don’t like about it thus far (running on a MacbookPro with Mint-X64) is that when you select a package and click INSTALL it moves you BACK to the top of the list. it shouldn’t scroll the screen at all, just flag the package.

  15. linuxiac38 Says:

    Running Wilford Woodruff Academy on Linux Mint 7, and will upgrade to Linux Mint 8, come the 2010 school year. Students, parents, teachers, all like it!

  16. Clem Says:

    OK, I fixed the scrolling issues. I also changed the icons and removed their letters. Installed apps are now green, available ones are grey, special ones yellow (there shouldn’t be any in the future). Added ones are grey with a blue + sign, and removed ones are green with red – sign, so hopefully that’s explicit enough and it doesn’t refer to the somewhat geeky aptitude classification (I’ll give you that) :)

    You can grab the deb for the new 6.4.1 version containing these fixes: http://github.com/linuxmint/mintinstall/downloads

    Thanks again for your feedback.

  17. emorrp1 Says:

    Hey, clem, I’ve been following your progress so far, and I like the success of early exposure to the community being constructive for the development of one of Mint’s flagship products. However, I’d like to raise concerns with your icon choice that you just pushed and commented: Colours are not a good categoriser for essential information. I personally am red-green colour-blind, so putting a red ‘-’ on top of a green background will make it hard for me to see, and break the accessibility. See http://library.gnome.org/devel/hig-book/stable/design-color.html.en for more info.

    As a solution, I recommend using the same icon set as synaptic, or possibly PackageKit (which is a bit more colourful – but in a good way)

  18. Alexio Says:

    Regarding the icons, I think it would be nice to have an icon for each software package, something like the Moblin Application Installer – http://garage.moblin.org/

  19. geekman Says:

    Hi Clem – good work implementing the multiple and changing the colours and marks. I am not colour blind so itl did not occur to me that someone may have trouble with this. Even synaptic uses those colors. I suppose you could go to a + for add, a check for already installed, blank for available or some such scheme.

    I haven’t checked whether there is a mechanism to deselect one item without having to go back and deselect all and start in again.

    Great work

  20. Alexio Says:

    After a little bit of testing the latest version (6.4.1) of the Software Manager, I would like to suggest a feature: the ability to launch an installed application from the software manager by clicking on the name. Also, some information about how to locate the installed software in the Applications Menu (MintMenu) would be nice.

  21. humbug Says:

    Hi! Congratulations for the good work done.
    I found i little bug. I’ve already installed the last version od deluge from synaptic and i use it usefully. MintInstall sign that i haven’t it installed. the version is the same. i don’t know if it happens with other software…

    I noticed also that i can’t deselect an applications after i’ve selected it to be installed,it would be a good feature

  22. Alexio Says:

    Another useful addition could be a column that shows the size of each package to de downloaded and the space that would be used after installation. I know that for most of the software packages there are dependencies that are required to be installed or upgraded and this may be difficult to implement.

  23. Fernando Says:

    Hi Clem, I really like the new changes in mintInstall, the interface seems to be more streamlined now.. awesome work!

    Here are a few things I would like to report / suggest:
    - When installing / removing an app, the current list ordering option is lost (resets to descending score).
    - Cannot cancel the installation of a single item
    - Would love to some sort of access to “my changes” without changing the the current viewing order (“Show”).. maybe a button or an entry in the category list.

    (running 6.4.1 under Gloria 32-bit.)

    Kind regards

  24. Pete Says:

    Thanks a lot for your fantastic work. However, I must say that what needs work is mintBackup. Make it so that it can backup to an external disk or USB, and also make an option for it to backup files without any kind of compression, much like the Backup utility of the Acer Timeline, which is a great feature for students.

    Thanks a lot and keep up the great work.

  25. kneekoo Says:

    Hmm… reading Alexio’s ideas made me think about disk space usage. It might be trickier with a more complex partition set but for the ones who only use root and swap (probably most of us) it would great to have a disk space indicator somewhere in the interface. That would allow people to install software without being afraid they take up a certain amount of the free space they need for some reason.

    Probably the best feature on mintInstall in space-related issues would be an automated checker that warns the user that there’s not enough space for installing some package and furthermore mintInstall could also propose cleaning up apt’s cache so it can make room for other software.

    I also didn’t see the availability to enable/disable certain columns in the package list on the right. This is something Clem mentioned but at the moment went for the other ideas people pushed around. I’m looking forward to it! :)

    Great work so far! :) Thank you, Clem and people with good suggestions! :)

  26. Tim Says:

    Hi Clem
    Looking quite nice, however I did make these observations:

    When searching, the search box can freeze up, presumably because it is to busy searching. Maybe put the searching a different thread?

    I found the “status” icons a bit un-intuative. I tried to click on them to mark them for installation like in synaptic. Not sure what can be done about that.

    It would be nice to have a “advanced” tab or something like that where you could then install packages in the same way one would in synaptic, that way there is just on software management program for everything, instead or having to resort to synaptic for some things.

    I am a little concerned as to how well it will run on low end systems. It runs ok on my laptop, but I have a core2 @2GHz and 2Gb ram. so how well is it really going to work on an atom 1.3GHz with 1Gb ram? I don’t know, but I would be concerned.

    Thanks for the great distro, if it wasn’t for LinuxMint I might still be using Windows!
    Tim

  27. Fornhamfred Says:

    Hi Clem

    Looks very good.

    Found the need to press install and then apply somewhat less intuitive
    than the old version.

    Loaded perfectly.

  28. William Says:

    I originally posted this in the previous forum on this so I am reposting this in here.

    On the reviews screen I would rather see it replaced with the full description and ad the option to see reviews as a button. Sometimes I may not know the program name but want to quickly look through and see what the program does. With the current way it is very cumbersome to do so..

  29. Karel Rodríguez Says:

    I’m with you guys since Darina. Now I am a Gloira’s proud user!!
    Keep going!!

  30. gazza Says:

    I have to agree with “William” above, to me the review thing is a nothing, never even looked at one. I’m more interested in “what is the thing” and the geek talk eg “meta package for the popular mozilla web browser” , just tells me it’s a something web browser, if my eyes don’t glaze over after i read the first few words “meta package”.

    I think what you have done so far is awsome, and am only giving feedback as you are encouraging it. Thanks for this opertunity.

  31. Paul B Says:

    I am using a eeePC 901 which is 1024×600, some of the windows are taller than 600 and alt-left click will not let me move the window up or down.

  32. joe Says:

    just started using kde with windows seems slower then main but very cool i am also going to be getting a amd x2 7850 with 4 gigs from ibuypower probably anyways so rock on

  33. Jon.Biddell Says:

    Just downloaded 6.4.1 and yes, the original scrolling issue is gone, but there’s a new one !!

    Select an application from the list at random and click install – in the original scrolling problem the list would scroll all the way back to the top. Now it scrolls so that the application you have selected scrolls to the top of the list window.

    Or is this the way you intended it to work, rather than just having the list static when install is clicked ?

    Jon

  34. Lantesh Says:

    Clem I wanted to point out what may be a bug. I currently have Deluge 1.1.9 installed, but mintInstall shows that I do not have it installed. If it makes any difference the version I have installed came from a PPA that I added to sources.list.

  35. Glenn Says:

    I get the same thing as diego1188
    Nothing from the menu and the following from the terminal:

    $ mintinstall
    sh: sh:: not found

  36. Crzen Says:

    Fornhamfred, I’m not sure, but I think you need to do it this way for multi- install situations.
    This brings up another question though.

    Clem, how much trouble would it be to have mintinstall look to see if any changes need to be applied when the programs is closed? A window could pop up and say that there are changes pending and give the option to apply or discard the pending operations.

    Thank you again for letting us give input on the development of a great program.

  37. karin Says:

    Never mind the interface, just make it work.
    I would be happy if the application in picture would download updates. I’m stuck with the old Firefox, new applications cannot be installed because the archiver cannot open Bz nor tar and, unlike in the windows world, I cannot find a worling application to fix it with. WoW won’t work with Wine and the new and supposedly working Wine cannot be installed…
    I don’t like MS Windows but, I am nevertheless wondering if it would be easier to just revert back.

  38. johonunu Says:

    Clem, mintinstall looks great ! I love it and work good for now ! Thanks ;)

  39. johonunu Says:

    Clem, what do you think about resizeing the screenshoots of all programs to about 800×600, so that all images are equal and not to take so much space ?

  40. WLeeds Says:

    Please make the live Mint recognize the monitor at an acceptable correct resolution instead of falling back to a ridiculously low 800×600. Some other distributions (such as Knoppix) do this well and even allow a wide range of resolution choices at start-up; Mint follows Ubuntu and allows only 800×600 or less. I won’t even try to install until a proper resolution is available: no one buys a pig in a poke.

  41. Eduardo Says:

    Hi to everyone, great app.

    I would like that if i set a category to order the list by visits in some order, if I change to another category, that category would be also on that order,

    Thanks, great app.

  42. David Underwood Says:

    I like the look and feel but when I accidentally chose a file I did not intend to install, I could find no way to deselect it. I ended up having to install it or lose the other files I actually wanted and start over. Did I miss something?

  43. neo67 Says:

    @diego1188: It’s mintInstall!

    Its running on a Sony Laptop 32 Bit, but I have no squares with either “i” or “p”.

  44. neo67 Says:

    It hangs up after trying to download the screenshot for opera (Error on reading a jpeg-File: Application transfereed too few scanlines)

  45. Jon.Biddell Says:

    Don’t know if this might be a problem or not, but when I run mintInstall from a shell, it appears to run OK but I get the following in the terminal;

    /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintInstall/frontend.py:595: GtkWarning: gtk_toolbar_set_icon_size: assertion `icon_size != GTK_ICON_SIZE_INVALID’ failed
    wTree = gtk.glade.XML(gladefile, “main_window”)
    /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintInstall/frontend.py:595: GtkWarning: gtk_scrolled_window_add(): cannot add non scrollable widget use gtk_scrolled_window_add_with_viewport() instead
    wTree = gtk.glade.XML(gladefile, “main_window”)

    Something to worry about or no ?

  46. Clem Says:

    Jon, don’t worry about the warnings.

    OK, so here’s version 6.4.2 with the following changes:

    - The remove icon is now blue on green, because red on green wasn’t great for color-blind people.

    - Changes can now be cancelled individually.

    - When pressing install/remove, the list doesn’t move anymore.

    The deb is available here: http://github.com/linuxmint/mintinstall/downloads

    I know I promised to look into visible columns and window resizing, but I really need to move on now and to work on different things.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments and feedback.

  47. mohaned_nj Says:

    thank for that
    ill try it now
    Q: when will the last version come out because many of linuxac.org people are waiting for it.

  48. kneekoo Says:

    You know… there is one thing reeeaaaly bugging me since a few versions. Actually, I’m pretty much sure this is something that started back when the screenshots arrived in mintInstall.

    IF the screenshots are larger than the viewport or the whole screen itself, you simply cannot scroll the image by keyboard or by mouse and the image doesn’t have a zoom option anywhere – at least nothing is visually obvious towards a resolution of this issue. This is pretty annoying considering you might be missing the exact details you wanted to look for in some application. The one thing I noticed it works is clicking the left or right side of the pop-up window – BUT NOT THE IMAGE. This kind of solves the problem but it’s much too tricky and I only found this to work for images larger in vertical – not horizontal as well. I’ll search for more screenshots.

    Anyway, I’d rather wait for Helena and a new mintInstall after. It’s time to rock the boat with a new Mint. Thank you for going this far with mintInstall, Clem.

  49. PneumaPilot Says:

    I know it’s been said farther up, but I just encountered this, so I thought I’d say it too: we need to be able to uncheck something scheduled for install.

  50. kneekoo Says:

    That has been done already, PneumaPilot. Get the latest version of mintInstall – 6.4.2. See Clem’s post #47 above.

  51. hamburn Says:

    First my thanks to Clem and the other team members for Linux Mint.
    May seem like a ritual, but I’m happy every morning I fire up my computer that there is the Mint logo. The best OS I found till now.

    I think the improvement on mint install is a good thing, because it now has the same smooth functionality as synaptic. Thanks for that.

    I wonder a little bit, why the screen shots are so important for some people. I see them as a nice gimmick, but what I need to know about an app I can get from informations. Does really some body choose the apps from how the screen shots are looking?

  52. lee8oi Says:

    Hey clem you still considering changing that 5 Min default for the automatic updates check? Its been brought up in the irc channel as well that alot of people think 5 mins its a bit too often. specially loads of overhead for the ubuntu servers. Seems once a day is a frequent enough.

  53. Roberto Says:

    Hi,

    Man, about this fucking-good-software manager (ex-mintInstall name).

    Installed the new version 6.4.2 on Linux Mint Gnome Main Edition x64
    7 ‘Gloria” and it (software manager) works like a charm, very good!

    Thanks and Kudos to the Linux Mint Team!

  54. ngrodri Says:

    Excellent work!!! but the “Edit” menu is not translated to spanish… yet, it’s easy:

    “Edit” -> “Editar”
    “Cancel all changes” -> “Cancelar todos los cambios”

    Thank you!!

  55. Frheze Says:

    I’ve got a few issues with mint x64 so far:

    Some of the audio doesn’t work on some files also: example I was making an account and you have the box with the random text to make sure your not an automated program, there is an icon there to hear an audio sound of the letters, if you click that it will be all fuzz.

    Scrolling (with mouse wheel) in some window lists switches the Compiz desktop

    Clicking and hi-lighting text is kinda strange for example I click the address bar in firefox usually in windows it auto hi-lights the whole string .. not sure whats going on in mint its a strange bug or my settings not sure?

    Mint menu sometimes goes beserk when choosing the applications it will jitter between internet and office for example

    The mint install has no install un-install boxes

    Network: there should be a little more to it like having options to not auto start when you boot, I like to keep my wireless off by default for instance.

    A better firewall and anti virus program pre installed maybe?

    A ram defragment refresh option would be nice to have right in the system monitor so you can recover all that wasted (leaked) ram :) with just a click
    A lot of programs are sluggish when closing going into the preferences changing options ect. some don’t even close and the tray icon is still present even with the kill program and sometimes that leaves the kill message frozen on the desktop

    I’m not a professional with Linux. I’ve come from windows just so you know I played with Linux years ago though so I’m not a total noob :P also, some of these issues may not be with Mint it may also be the programs : ) I’m just giving feedback for you all. :)

    It would be nice if you could also set a root password during install and then set a user account so theres no defaults involved

  56. Frheze Says:

    Oh Ya, cause I care I send feedback :P
    (Looking forward to your New release)

    Props to you guys working so hard on this.
    I never liked Linux in the past it was just over complicated.
    Then I seen your Mint stuff (and Ubuntu) had to give it a try.
    I’m very impressed with the layout of mint more so then Ubuntu, it has been more user friendly then the other Linux versions I tossed around with,(although I’m still not sure about the repositories that stuff should be automatic with a checkbox list or somehing when you install, kinda annoying to manually add the strings) Keep up the great Work! :)

    P.S sp2 screwed my vista install and I hate windows :P I do hope one day Linux gets the respect it deserves, and doesn’t fall into the hands of the capitalist pigs that keep draining ppl of money to keep them in debt and controlled.

  57. Roberto Says:

    Installed mintInstall 6,4,2 (software manager for start menu) on
    Linux Mint KDE 7 “Gloria!

    Ok it works but i have one glitch to report: ???

    During the process of any software installation if i open kick off
    start menu to launch another application i can’t close it because
    the mintInstall screen (GUI) turns into grey/blank but the installer
    continues the installation of the software. When the operation ends
    mintInstall comes to its normality again.

    With the previous version of mintInstall 6.4.0 the software manager
    crashed. Needed XKill (terminal) to kill the application.

    Now i have version 6.4.2 installed ( 2 softs installed): Opera/aMSN

    Thanks

  58. Frheze Says:

    wow why did you del my comments?

  59. Frheze Says:

    never mind.. wow thats weird the screen didn’t refresh ok any ways i installed that deb package of the new mint installer and well you already fixed the install box stuff nice one ! :) sorry if I was slow at getting that in there didn’t notice it :)

  60. routers Says:

    I download this software last night. It has a great user interface anyone can understand even i like it most but i have problem regarding a deselecting an applications otherwise great software and i will suggest anyone here to go for it.

  61. Patrick Says:

    Software Manager and Package Manager attempt to open (flashes up on screen) but fails in Linux Mint 7 Gloria X64. I am using gdm but when I switch on window compositing the 2 applications open.
    I have tested opening other applications and also the control center and these work using the gdm.

    Software Manager is an improvement. Looks Good

  62. charan Says:

    i installed linux mint 7 but there is one problem i have cd rom , when i insert any cd in CD RW all icons on desktop disappears. internal program to write Cd such as breso doesnot detect any CD rw. any data or audio cd linux mint does not show the contents of cd at all.

  63. charan Says:

    after that i installed pclinux os and CD rw works in pclinuxos

  64. Ayon Khan Says:

    Better then before.

  65. Kevin Daly Says:

    What are the plans for the Release of Linux Mint 8, how far behind the upstream Ubuntu release is mint usually.

    Looks like KarmicKoala will be a really significant relase from a user perspectives, they are fixing a lot of small bugs that are annoying.

  66. Barry_c Says:

    Hi Clem,
    I would like to see a simple rewind / restore option in the new version?
    Yesterday I took an Ubuntu up date and lost all the Mint artwork and boot loader.
    Keep up the good work.
    Regards
    Barry

  67. Frheze Says:

    why are the programs in the soft manager not up to date ? Im finding this a lot had to get the stuff from the sites can you please make sure the stuff in there is currant?

  68. banavara Says:

    Excellent job Clem, nice why to handle those filters, now the interface looks clean. And also moving the preview screenshot to left hand pane makes it streamlined.

  69. emorrp1 Says:

    Frheze: please read http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=31954

  70. husnayen Says:

    hi
    i am happy with linux mint 7 (Gloria)
    i works nice.
    thanks for the whole team.
    husnayen

  71. Argentino Says:

    Linux Mint is Excellent!!! I love it.
    Thank you very much!!!

  72. gach Says:

    Hi,
    As far as am concerned linuxmint is just the coolest linux I have ever tried. I have, however a few issues:
    1) the new mintinstall does not have an uninstall
    2) The new mintinstall does not appear to be synchronized with the package installer. When you install something with mintinstall, package install does not show that that package has been installed and if you reinstall that package with package with package install, then the package will not work. A good example is Mysql.

    Otherwise thanks for the good work you are doing.


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