Last month I mentioned the amazing amount of support we received from you, the many emails you sent us to tell us you enjoyed our work and how great it felt. We need to move on from this and not feel overly confident over it, but as you may know there is a month between what happens and the moment we can report on the donations we received, and, well… we received many  🙂

In fact, we have never received that many donations in the past, or from that many people within the same month. 868 people donated a total of $24,149. This is huge, it’s even bigger than what we see after a release. So before we put this behind us, thank you, many thanks to you all for supporting us. We love what we do, you love what we do, and we love the fact that you love it too. I don’t really know what to say other than thank you.

Wine 4

One of the ongoing issues associated with the new 18.04 package base in Linux Mint 19.x was the fact that Wine was tedious to install and that it didn’t work well out of the box.

We looked into it and identified the following problems:

  • Both wine-stable and wine-development were obsolete
  • On a 64-bit machine, installing wine led to an incomplete set of packages, with no support for 32-bit Windows binaries
  • Windows binaries (.exe, .msi..etc) could only be run from the command line
  • Regedit, Wine Setup, C:\ Drive and the various shortcuts usually found in the menu after installing Wine were missing

It turned out the first three issues were specific to the package base and weren’t present upstream in the packages provided by WineHQ.

To tackle these, the stable version of Wine from WineHQ, version 4, was backported into the Linux Mint repositories. On top of addressing these problems, it also introduces support for Vulkan, game controllers and Direct3D 12.

The last issue is unfortunately global and it affects all modern versions of Wine. To address it, a new package called wine-desktop-files was created and added to our repositories.

Last but not least, a new metapackage called wine-installer was created to make the installation of Wine in Linux Mint 19.x easier (there are unfortunately name conflicts between Ubuntu and WineHQ which led to WineHQ conflicting with the “wine” meta name).

The release notes were updated to document how to install Wine 4 and how to upgrade to it if you’re already running version 3.

Community Website

The community website was given a fresh new look.

You can visit it at https://community.linuxmint.com.

The Community Website

If you visited it in the past, press Ctrl+Shift+R in your browser to force a refresh of your local cache.

The new design is based on Bootstrap. Pages are responsive and should adapt more easily to lower resolution screens and mobile devices.

Under the hood, the site is easier to maintain thanks to a bigger separation between content and presentation.

Optimizations, the deletion of 63,000 empty (i.e. with no associated content, votes or comments) inactive (with no login in 2019) accounts and the removal of costly unnecessary features (friends, user scores..) also significantly boosted performance.

Going forward, the hardware database will need to be cleaned up and we’ll need to automate the addition of flatpaks into the Software section, as new applications land in Flathub. The Linux Mint logo used in the website isn’t final. As you may know, we’re currently working on redesigning the main website and looking at our distribution logo, so this might change in the near future.

We hope you’ll enjoy the new look of the community site. If you spot issues, let us know.

Xed

The next version of Xed, the default text editor, will support toggling comments and comment blocks.

This is a feature better known by developers. You select a few lines, you press “Ctrl+/” and your selection is turned into a comment. You can quickly comment out code blocks this way while troubleshooting or turn back commented code into active code.

Settings widgets

One thing Cinnamon developers immediately miss when they work on other projects is the ability to quickly and easily develop preferences windows. Configuration pages, sections and widgets which automatically sync with gsettings were developed early in Cinnamon and made writing and maintaining Cinnamon Settings a breeze.

These widgets were recently moved to python-xapp (as its name suggests: The Python Xapp module) to become available outside of Cinnamon and to other projects.

Not only will this make writing preferences easier, it will also give Cinnamon and other projects a more consistent look and feel.

Here are the mintmenu preferences rewritten with these widgets:

mintmenu preferences

To illustrate what this means in terms of maintenance for a project such as mintMenu, this particular rewrite added 679 lines and removed 2,267 lines of code. The resulting code is much shorter than before, with the vast majority of settings consisting in a single line of code.

MintMenu itself also received many bug fixes and quite a few improvements:

  • The search bar can now be moved to the top
  • In the recent plugin, the documents now appear first
  • The performance of the menu was greatly improved
  • Preferences were rewritten to use python-xapp and obsolete code was removed

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
Goscomb
BGASoft Inc
David Salvo
OpusVL
SectNet Pte Ltd

Community Sponsors:

in April:

A total of $24,149 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 868 donors:

$1000 (3rd donation), Clive M.
$500, Echo Wireless Broadband, Inc.
$300 (2nd donation), Peter I.
$272, Peter A. M.
$250 (3rd donation), David T.
$222, Thomas C.
$218, human aka “pubkey
$200 (2nd donation), Edward R. G.
$200, David W.
$200, Massimo B.
$200, Harry K.
$150, Bryce V. H.
$150, David M.
$125, Alan W.
$109 (4th donation), Uwe P.
$109 (2nd donation), Andrea T. aka “atasc”
$109 (2nd donation), Bert-jan W.
$109 (2nd donation), Willem H.
$109, Helmut S.
$109, Mr. Bee
$109, Christophe Kamphaus
$100 (9th donation), Alfred H. aka “Varmint Al
$100 (7th donation), Robert K. aka “usmc_bob”
$100 (6th donation), Timothy P.
$100 (6th donation), Mountain Computers, Inc
$100 (3rd donation), Jon F.
$100 (2nd donation), Donald A.
$100 (2nd donation), William M.
$100 (2nd donation), Adam G.
$100 (2nd donation), Steve L.
$100 (2nd donation), Phillip M.
$100, Jason J.
$100, Nick L.
$100, James L.
$100, Nathaniel A.
$100, Patrick R.
$100, Droid Tran
$100, Christopher V.
$100, Baumgartner New Media GmbH
$100, Andrew L.
$100, James H.
$100, Kannan P.
$100, David P.
$100, Garrick L.
$100, Luiz A. S. D. C.
$100, Mike H.
$100, Gary K.
$100, Antonia S.
$100, Trevor G.
$100, Jean P. R.
$87, Juan Luis Cano Rodríguez aka “astrojuanlu
$82, Hugues L.
$80, Paul M.
$76.77, Kurt M.
$75 (2nd donation), Roy L.
$75 (2nd donation), Harry M.
$75, Jason C.
$75, Jim R.
$75, Dave M.
$60 (4th donation), Geoff S.
$60 (2nd donation), Gladesoft, Inc.
$60, Matthew J.
$57, Nicolas V.
$55, Tom W.
$54 (12th donation), Goran A.
$54 (6th donation), Heiko P. aka “CyCroN
$54 (4th donation), Stephan U.
$54 (4th donation), I REALLY like Linux Mint ! aka “Klaas Sijtsma”
$54 (3rd donation), Jean-françois H.
$54 (2nd donation), Odd I.
$54 (2nd donation), Johan H.
$54 (2nd donation), Mirko G.
$54 (2nd donation), John B.
$54 (2nd donation), Peter G.
$54 (2nd donation), Sebastian K.
$54 (2nd donation), Julia K.
$54 (2nd donation), Theo S. A.
$54, Janez G.
$54, Gianni T.
$54, Alexander W.
$54, Helmut M.
$54, Franciscus A. G. H.
$54, Jörg W.
$54, Ginés H. Z.
$54, Heinrich F.
$54, Philipp S.
$54, Alejandro M. A.
$53, L. I.
$50 (72th donation), Matthew M.
$50 (14th donation), Thomas T. aka “FullTimer1489”
$50 (10th donation), Hans J.
$50 (6th donation), Basic I. I.
$50 (3rd donation), Rob U.
$50 (3rd donation), Kenneth Z.
$50 (3rd donation), Kamil R.
$50 (3rd donation), Yang C. C.
$50 (3rd donation), Michael T.
$50 (2nd donation), Jeffrey C.
$50 (2nd donation), Terry F.
$50 (2nd donation), Nicholas R.
$50 (2nd donation), Scott M.
$50 (2nd donation), Steve H.
$50 (2nd donation), Kenneth R.
$50 (2nd donation), Jan R.
$50 (2nd donation), Jay S.
$50 (2nd donation), Joseph P.
$50 (2nd donation), Brian Hilmers
$50, Noah M.
$50, Pavel K.
$50, Jory
$50, Stephen D.
$50, Robert C.
$50, Wayne B.
$50, Graham W.
$50, Peter W aka “PeteW@NZ”
$50, Patrick L.
$50, James L.
$50, Raymond Y.
$50, Mark H.
$50, Patrick M.
$50, Rain
$50, Frederic M.
$50, George L.
$50, Lonnie R.
$50, Clark B.
$50, Brian A.
$50, Mark G.
$50, Charles K.
$50, Guy R.
$50, Dave H.
$50, George R.
$50, Robert M.
$50, Miguel R.
$50, Mark S.
$50, Robert N. G.
$50, Leons K.
$50, So C. F.
$50, Tom A.
$50, Stony L.
$50, John F.
$50, Jon H.
$50, Donald D.
$50, Qiang L.
$50, Fredrik N.
$50, Trevor H.
$50, POSITIVE DREAMS ELECTRONICS
$50, Md N. A.
$50, Margaret B.
$50, Vang P.
$50, Bryan E.
$50, Lee R.
$50, Robert S.
$50, William M.
$50, Alan M. aka “Phydoux “
$50, Robert J.
$50, Terry P.
$50, Sabine P.
$50, John B.
$50, William D.
$50, Edward B.
$50, Chester L.
$45, Mircea N.
$44, Bobgris@gmail.com
$44, Colin C.
$44, Matthias H.
$44, Gilles P.
$44, MarcelloCicirello
$40 (4th donation), William E.
$40, Donald S.
$40, Helena K.
$40, David E.
$40, Gregory G.
$40, Guy L.
$40, Wayne B.
$35 (9th donation), Real F.
$35, Peter W.
$35, Ian N.
$35, Lee’s Computer Repair
$35, Simon P. M.
$35, Andrew J. M. G.
$33 (109th donation), Olli K.
$33 (5th donation), Richard C.
$33 (3rd donation), Dan
$33 (2nd donation), Dominique D.
$33 (2nd donation), Brian M.
$33 (2nd donation), Juha M.
$33, Horst-rüdiger L.
$33, Harald R.
$33, Glynn G.
$33, Alain B.
$33, Ralf B.
$33, Egidio M.
$33, Produkttester Portal
$33, Holger B.
$30 (4th donation), Grady V. aka “Donate!
$30 (4th donation), Philippe A.
$30 (3rd donation), Dominic B.
$30 (3rd donation), Kevin Humphreys
$30 (2nd donation), Denis G.
$30 (2nd donation), Michael Schröter aka “mia
$30 (2nd donation), Christian B.
$30 (2nd donation), Daniel M.
$30 (2nd donation), Declan K.
$30, Joseph L.
$30, Nathan S.
$30, Kenneth C.
$30, David K.
$30, Jesus A.
$30, Steve D. aka “CoachSteve
$30, James A.
$30, TweakHound
$27 (7th donation), Jon Marks aka “ESL Materials Writer
$27 (4th donation), Gerhard A.
$27, Miguel A. L. L.
$27, Piersandro G. aka “PaRRoT
$27, Juergen G.
$27, Benny H. aka “kalleurban”
$27, Joerg P.
$27, Karl-ludwig W.
$27, PZL Games
$27, Max W.
$27, Simon W.
$27, Heinrich T.
$27, Michael N.
$26, Thomas O.
$25 (92th donation), Ronald W.
$25 (7th donation), Brent S. aka “AFineMan”
$25 (6th donation), Daniel V. M.
$25 (5th donation), Raymond O.
$25 (5th donation), Richard L.
$25 (5th donation), Donna B.
$25 (4th donation), Peter C.
$25 (4th donation), Liz K.
$25 (3rd donation), Troels M.
$25 (3rd donation), Chris G.
$25 (3rd donation), TJ Nelson
$25 (3rd donation), Roderick N.
$25 (3rd donation), Robert S.
$25 (3rd donation), Eugene H.
$25 (2nd donation), Wesley A. S.
$25 (2nd donation), Randall D.
$25 (2nd donation), Michael W.
$25 (2nd donation), Keith.A.
$25 (2nd donation), Stu B.
$25 (2nd donation), David C.
$25 (2nd donation), Peter N.
$25 (2nd donation), George A.
$25 (2nd donation), Arun B.
$25 (2nd donation), Guy L.
$25 (2nd donation), George T.
$25 (2nd donation), Brian D.
$25 (2nd donation), Nigel J.
$25, Ken L.
$25, Mark F.
$25, Carl B.
$25, James Mudd
$25, Dennis B.
$25, Gary B.
$25, Mike S.
$25, Justin E.
$25, Tim M.
$25, Ronald F.
$25, Joshua O.
$25, Walter R.
$25, Bron E.
$25, Bill K.
$25, Phil N.
$25, Dan C.
$25, Richard S.
$25, Chetan V.
$25, Christian L.
$25, Richard W.
$25, David N. B.
$25, Mary M.
$25, Gunter V. D. H.
$25, Encryptomatic LLC
$25, Raghava K.
$25, Leroy H.
$25, Marc S.
$25, David T.
$25, Ray D.
$25, Ian R.
$25, Marc C.
$25, T H.
$25, Duncan G. aka “DigitalDunc”
$25, Jaime F.
$25, Jsports Inc/Blackgunstuff
$25, Joseph C.
$25, John O.
$25, James M.
$25, B T.
$25, Justin P.
$25, Philip M.
$25, Thomas Hunter II
$25, Michael M.
$25, David M.
$25, Oz A.
$25, Cliff H.
$25, Frank R.
$25, Chris S.
$23.1 (10th donation), Douglas T.
$23, Alexandru I. M.
$23, Roland N.
$22 (26th donation), Derek R.
$22 (16th donation), Doriano G. M.
$22 (7th donation), Juan T.
$22 (6th donation), Bruno Weber
$22 (5th donation), Walter S.
$22 (5th donation), D. B. .
$22 (4th donation), Robot Tondeuse
$22 (4th donation), Neil B.
$22 (4th donation), Philipp H.
$22 (3rd donation), Frederik M.
$22 (3rd donation), David M. D.
$22 (2nd donation), Matthias Rainer
$22 (2nd donation), Jorma V.
$22 (2nd donation), Thierry G.
$22 (2nd donation), David W.
$22 (2nd donation), JN
$22 (2nd donation), Dominique D.
$22, Hubertus B.
$22, Gregor M.
$22, Miguel A. D. P. S.
$22, Kevin V. L.
$22, Roland T.
$22, Günter M.
$22, Peter K.
$22, Geoffrey A.
$22, Lenze V. D. B.
$22, Elio B.
$22, Janne Inkilä
$22, Albano M.
$22, Nurettin G.
$22, Stefan M.
$22, Stefan E.
$22, Ralf S.
$22, Štefan V.
$22, Alan H.
$22, Peter B.
$22, Christian F.
$22, Lorenzo M.
$22, Paul D.
$20 (25th donation), Jim A.
$20 (17th donation), Lance M.
$20 (15th donation), Kwan L. aka “DigitalHermit
$20 (14th donation), Christopher R.
$20 (13th donation), Kevin S.
$20 (12th donation), Michel S.
$20 (8th donation), Bryan F.
$20 (6th donation), Mike W aka “bajan52”
$20 (6th donation), Michele L.
$20 (6th donation), CW P.
$20 (6th donation), Paul K.
$20 (4th donation), Benjamin G.
$20 (3rd donation), John T.
$20 (3rd donation), Zach G.
$20 (3rd donation), David B.
$20 (3rd donation), Chris D.
$20 (3rd donation), Stephen F.
$20 (3rd donation), Kenneth B.
$20 (3rd donation), Scott S.
$20 (2nd donation), Jack B.
$20 (2nd donation), Anibal M.
$20 (2nd donation), Dragan D.
$20 (2nd donation), Jonathan O.
$20 (2nd donation), The Silence
$20 (2nd donation), Jonas B.
$20 (2nd donation), UFO
$20 (2nd donation), Eric L.
$20 (2nd donation), Raikanta S.
$20 (2nd donation), Jeff B.
$20 (2nd donation), Roberta P.
$20 (2nd donation), Antonio M.
$20, Olaf M.
$20, Martin L.
$20, Edward Z.
$20, Richard T.
$20, Paul B.
$20, Das G. C.
$20, Raymond C.
$20, Earl P.
$20, Joshua B.
$20, Kamil J.
$20, John S.
$20, Jacek O.
$20, Jacob K.
$20, Preston M.
$20, Elliot M.
$20, Chris P.
$20, Stephen M.
$20, Clfford H.
$20, Kawano T.
$20, Michael E.
$20, Mark E.
$20, Walter D.
$20, Martin B.
$20, Peter S.
$20, Sanket W.
$20, Jon F.
$20, Mark K.
$20, Geon C.
$20, Ben H.
$20, Charles A.
$20, Pascal L.
$20, Andrei A.
$20, Mr S. J. S.
$20, Achint M.
$20, Guy H.
$20, James G. D.
$20, Martin M.
$20, Howard P.
$20, Dale L.
$20, Werner T.
$20, Don V.
$20, Richard J. W. J.
$20, Aaron W.
$20, Geoffrey M.
$20, Carson Ip
$20, Scott P.
$20, Glen S.
$20, Yap K. F.
$20, Andrew B.
$20, Daniel A.
$20, David F.
$20, John A. F.
$20, Miles S. P.
$20, Damien B.
$20, Daniel B.
$20, John J.
$20, Michael A.
$20, John C.
$20, Danny C.
$20, Alexander L. M.
$20, Toshihiko K.
$20, Jonathan W.
$20, Mitch W.
$20, Meetstream USA
$20, 石塚 潔
$20, Jake K.
$20, Dason W.
$20, Kevin H.
$20, Peter F.
$20, Paul R.
$20, John B.
$20, Alexander R.
$20, Donald O.
$18.59 (2nd donation), Robert M.
$18, Michael F.
$17 (2nd donation), Paulo P.
$16 (27th donation), Andreas S.
$16 (6th donation), Michele B. aka “MickyInTheSky
$16 (4th donation), anonymous
$16 (3rd donation), Florent V.
$16 (2nd donation), Antti P.
$16, Michael F.
$16, Stephen P.
$16, P J.
$16, Ib O. J.
$16, Friedrich P.
$16, Brett S.
$16, Roberto P. C.
$16, Hans-ulrich B.
$16, Heath B.
$16, Grigori H.
$16, Rasmus T.
$15 (7th donation), Robert S.
$15 (6th donation), Constantin M.
$15 (4th donation), Robin H.
$15 (3rd donation), Fred B.
$15 (3rd donation), Brent F.
$15 (3rd donation), Alan W.
$15 (2nd donation), Saravanan S.
$15 (2nd donation), Edward C.
$15 (2nd donation), Brian B.
$15, Dennis P.
$15, Sundararaman V.
$15, Yair S.
$15, Carl L.
$15, Harley T.
$15, D G. S.
$15, Mark K.
$15, Matthew H.
$15, Dietmar W.
$15, Maurizio T.
$15, Tarick K.
$15, Nikhil K.
$15, Tyler B.
$15, Tamas F.
$15, Kelly V.
$15, James M.
$15, Liviu B.
$15, Jurandir D. S.
$13 (6th donation), Stephen R.
$13 (2nd donation), Sander H.
$13, Matteo N.
$13, Hanno B.
$13, Jorge A. R. P.
$13, Sinelobov I.
$12 (97th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
$12 (6th donation), H ScottB
$12, defnull development
$12, Krzysztof S.
$11.11, Richard M.
$11 (29th donation), Paul O.
$11 (13th donation), Eskild T
$11 (7th donation), Vittorio F.
$11 (6th donation), Cyril U.
$11 (5th donation), Bjørn M. J. aka “BMJ”
$11 (4th donation), Gert G.
$11 (4th donation), Danilo S.
$11 (3rd donation), Alexander K.
$11 (3rd donation), Brian H. aka “bribagz”
$11 (3rd donation), R. I. . aka “Birman”
$11 (3rd donation), Hans-Dieter S. aka “hadisch”
$11 (3rd donation), Chris R.
$11 (2nd donation), Stephane B.
$11 (2nd donation), Ciaran S.
$11 (2nd donation), Nikolay G.
$11 (2nd donation), Olivier B.
$11 (2nd donation), Iwan aka “Hopka”
$11 (2nd donation), Kullo-Kalev A.
$11 (2nd donation), Julien R.
$11 (2nd donation), Frank D. aka “highlandham”
$11 (2nd donation), RJ
$11 (2nd donation), Roger B.
$11 (2nd donation), Fabian T.
$11 (2nd donation), Yanko N.
$11 (2nd donation), Arend V. O.
$11 (2nd donation), Anonymous
$11 (2nd donation), Jerome G. -. A.
$11 (2nd donation), Andreas H.
$11 (2nd donation), Jadran D.
$11, Th. B. S.
$11, Caspar S.
$11, Miodrag D.
$11, Romano R.
$11, Serge S.
$11, Philip G.
$11, Job D. R. B.
$11, Etienne B.
$11, Marcel E.
$11, Luqman M.
$11, Magnus L.
$11, Bas S.
$11, Patrick S.
$11, Jorge M. G.
$11, Bram G.
$11, Mathias P.
$11, Christian K.
$11, Timothy H.
$11, Markus S.
$11, Benjamin G.
$11, Hansruedi S.
$11, Ankur D.
$11, Wojciech W.
$11, Sergio G.
$11, Alberto M.
$11, Johnny H.
$11, Sirbu M. L.
$11, Dawid S.
$11, Samuel N.
$11, Mois C.
$11, Adam K.
$11, Radu S. C.
$11, Mathias F.
$11, Giorgio G.
$11, Martin B.
$11, Noël D. K.
$11, Göran H.
$11, Anthony J.
$11, Akan Y.
$11, Robert W.
$11, Jens R.
$11, Noah P.
$11, Tomasz F.
$11, Laurent G.
$11, Penelope S.
$11, Stefan S.
$11, Falko W.
$11, Christoph F.
$11, Hans E.
$11, Jean-pierre M.
$11, Andreas Krizek
$11, Davide P. aka “Dragone2
$11, Matthieu D. aka “made_2001”
$11, Jeff J.
$10 (41th donation), Thomas C.
$10 (32nd donation), Frank K.
$10 (26th donation), Jim A.
$10 (18th donation), Rick R.
$10 (13th donation), Chris K.
$10 (13th donation), Hemant Patel
$10 (12th donation), Laura NL aka “lauranl
$10 (11th donation), Masaomi Yoshida
$10 (10th donation), Richard L. S.
$10 (8th donation), Dohaeng L.
$10 (8th donation), AJ Gringo
$10 (6th donation), Ian E.
$10 (6th donation), Anatolii B.
$10 (6th donation), Peter R.
$10 (5th donation), Sergey A.
$10 (5th donation), James O.
$10 (4th donation), Neil B.
$10 (4th donation), A.B. aka “hapihakr”
$10 (4th donation), S. Falcão aka “S. Falcao”
$10 (4th donation), Milan H.
$10 (3rd donation), Stuart M. aka “UKStuart”
$10 (3rd donation), Jan H
$10 (3rd donation), Marcelo G. P.
$10 (3rd donation), Edward U.
$10 (3rd donation), Neil B.
$10 (3rd donation), Marcelo G. P.
$10 (2nd donation), François B.
$10 (2nd donation), N W. C.
$10 (2nd donation), Fragile Gods
$10 (2nd donation), Aaron C.
$10 (2nd donation), Martin B.
$10 (2nd donation), Trygve S.
$10 (2nd donation), Mathieu Q.
$10 (2nd donation), Roman Y.
$10 (2nd donation), Bernie B.
$10 (2nd donation), Ireneusz D.
$10 (2nd donation), Ben G
$10 (2nd donation), Aaron C.
$10 (2nd donation), Stephen W.
$10 (2nd donation), Anand S.
$10 (2nd donation), Colum C.
$10, Timothy C.
$10, John K.
$10, Donald L.
$10, Kevin D.
$10, Tim V.
$10, Michael L.
$10, Arvind S.
$10, Greg W.
$10, Dillon M.
$10, Jorge A.
$10, Michael T.
$10, Raul W.
$10, Les E.
$10, Fukuda Y.
$10, Vít B.
$10, Joshua H.
$10, Oleksiy S.
$10, Nathan T.
$10, Ernest P. aka “panernest”
$10, Royce B.
$10, aka “forpeterssake”
$10, Andrew W.
$10, Jp F.
$10, Doctor Buzzard’s Elvis Isis Temple of Love!
$10, Soutthanou C.
$10, Michael H.
$10, Lucas H.
$10, StampinMelis
$10, Robert M.
$10, Roberto O.
$10, Ben G.
$10, Nick H.
$10, Alexander M.
$10, Alec H.
$10, Diego A. O.
$10, Graeme Simpson aka “Ordinary Supplies
$10, Stephan W.
$10, Valentin Kostadinov
$10, Alexandre C.
$10, Boris M.
$10, Steve Y.
$10, Mike S.
$10, David H. aka “DRHan”
$10, Jayakusuma H.
$10, John W.
$10, Jon E.
$10, Ian B.
$10, Marc L.
$10, Faris M. aka “Black.Hacker”
$10, Stephen B.
$10, Philip B.
$10, C L.
$10, Patrick S.
$10, Antonio L.
$10, Luis F.
$10, Stone P.
$10, Giovani P.
$10, Mohammed A.
$10, John C.
$10, Richard M.
$10, Joshua B.
$10, Stan R.
$10, Zia A.
$10, Столяревский И.
$10, John C.
$10, Randy L. M.
$10, Matt A.
$10, Angelo M.
$10, Nathan S.
$10, William G.
$10, Yogesh S.
$9, Ben F.
$8 (2nd donation), Petr Š.
$8, Lorne F.
$8, schongeil.de
$7.77 (5th donation), Jason N. aka “IggyNelix”
$7.77 (3rd donation), Matīss J.
$7 (2nd donation), Phouc P.
$6 (13th donation), gmq
$5 (35th donation), Eugene T.
$5 (33rd donation), Kouji Sugibayashi
$5 (26th donation), Bhavinder Jassar
$5 (18th donation), Dmitry P.
$5 (7th donation), rptev
$5 (5th donation), Luiz H. R. C.
$5 (5th donation), Emanuele Proietti aka “Manuermejo”
$5 (5th donation), Athanasios F. aka “thanosfrag”
$5 (5th donation), William Menezes
$5 (4th donation), George M.
$5 (4th donation), M. P. V.
$5 (4th donation), Andrew I.
$5 (3rd donation), Zbyszek S.
$5 (3rd donation), Christian O.
$5 (3rd donation), Timothy B.
$5 (3rd donation), Raphael M. S.
$5 (3rd donation), Michael R.
$5 (3rd donation), Milan H.
$5 (3rd donation), Simone G.
$5 (3rd donation), Ruslan A.
$5 (2nd donation), Adam F.
$5 (2nd donation), Cathi I.
$5 (2nd donation), Ivan Zhelev
$5 (2nd donation), George J.
$5 (2nd donation), Andrew D.
$5 (2nd donation), Pedro de Oliveira aka “Bolas”
$5 (2nd donation), Alejandro N.
$5 (2nd donation), Elaine A.
$5 (2nd donation), Robert W.
$5 (2nd donation), Paul Meyers Consulting aka “SEO North Bay
$5 (2nd donation), Janne M.
$5 (2nd donation), Rajshri Mohan K S aka “rajshrimohanks
$5 (2nd donation), John M.
$5 (2nd donation), Javier F.
$5 (2nd donation), Ilia Iliev
$5 (2nd donation), David W.
$5, Bernd H.
$5, James A.
$5, James P.
$5, Henri G.
$5, Fernando José aka “Nando_lavras”
$5, Paweł M.
$5, RealRevs LLC
$5, Botafogo E.
$5, Jackie W.
$5, Peter Jurkovic
$5, Matthew M.
$5, Choo Z. M.
$5, Alexander G.
$5, Axel G.
$5, Arkaprava M.
$5, Donald H.
$5, Carl B.
$5, Srivathsa B.
$5, Rijal M.
$5, Brianna K.
$5, Libia L.
$5, Arlen A.
$5, Thomas L.
$5, Νικολαος Σ.
$5, Lucio G. V.
$5, Dániel L.
$5, Edwin L.
$5, Juan M. C.
$5, Jason I.
$5, Roger B.
$5, T B.
$5, Michal R.
$5, Anirudh U.
$5, Izaiah W.
$5, M C.
$5, Fredrik N.
$5, Jp M.
$5, Radek M.
$5, Donato S.
$5, Jamil Z.
$5, Alessandro M.
$5, David T.
$5, Wolfgang A.
$5, Praveen G Prakash
$5, Urs S.
$5, Stephen M.
$5, Michael L.
$5, Hovakim G.
$5, Alexander V.
$5, Bjorn H.
$5, Eric B.
$5, Hristo Gatsinski
$5, S B.
$5, Karl S.
$5, ZeroInfo
$5, Stephen K.
$5, Yip K. K.
$5, Ivan Rivalcoba aka “Ivanovich”
$5, Aaron E. aka “PizzaDude
$5, Dave The Busker UK aka “DaveTheBuskerUK
$5, Акимов Денис
$5, Stefan B.
$5, Justin B.
$5, Bernard D.
$5, Bryn E.
$5, Christopher C.
$5, Fábio N.
$5, Marcello P. M.
$4 (4th donation), Lubos S.
$4 (4th donation), Lukas K.
$4 (3rd donation), Quaulpappen
$4, Hung H.
$3.5, AAA Media Concepts
$3 (6th donation), User Manuals
$3 (2nd donation), Peter Dave Hello
$3 (2nd donation), Edoardo G.
$3 (2nd donation), Simon T.
$3, Jan G.
$3, Roberto G.
$3, Sergey Dubovskii aka “webmalc
$3, Hue C.
$3, Roberto L.
$3, Radoslav N.
$3, Stefano D. B.
$3, Petr H.
$3, Marcial P.
$51.14 from 40 smaller donations

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

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To become a Linux Mint patron, please visit https://www.patreon.com/linux_mint

Rankings:

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Last month we talked about what it was like to develop free software and I shared some thoughts about the team, our work and our relationship with the community. I want to thank you all for your amazing response and the support you gave us. I don’t think we’ve ever received that many emails, comments and messages and that many encouragements. I didn’t expect it to be that big but here it is, it’s huge, right in front of us and we’ll always be able to look back at it whenever, if ever, we’re in doubt, you’re here for us, and you love our work. I’ve seen many people come here and post their very first comment after years of just reading the blog just to say they enjoyed what we were doing. That means a lot to me, I’m sure it means a lot to other users and developers too and all the people who contribute to Linux Mint. I wasn’t exactly looking for TLC when making this post last month, and we’re not “depressed” (as we could read in some blogs on the Internet), I wanted to address some points and spread the word a little more on what it was like for us as well… but I’m glad it was interpreted as it was, I’m glad the news was covered outside of our community and I’m really touched by your response to it. Thank you so much for this.

Last month I think I also talked a tiny bit too much about what was going on within the team. On the one hand it is part of my role to report on the progress being done, on the other hand we’re dealing with individuals, there are people involved, efforts being made, feelings which can be hurt and it’s part of my role also to protect that. If something won’t work out, we part ways, if something can’t make it in, we postpone it or reject it but when that happens I’m not sure we should necessarily talk publicly about it. There isn’t anyone involved who doesn’t want the best for Linux Mint and we all share the same goal, we all want more features, less bugs and an amazing new release. How we get to that isn’t always smooth and we can’t always agree on everything, but we’re a team and so I might mention individual names when things are great, but I hope you’ll understand I don’t when things don’t work out. We’ll face these issues together as a team and I don’t want anyone to feel bad or get the feeling that it’s their fault. Trying to help, no matter what the outcome is, is a great thing. You can’t be blamed for trying, especially not in public and I don’t want anyone to feel like they need to justify themselves one way or another.

Looking ahead I feel very comfortable again. Some issues are still on the horizon, there is uncertainty about some of the large things we’ve been working on (for me personally this includes the website and logo redesign), but we’ve reaffirmed what was important to us. We will get a great 19.2 release, no matter what, and we’ll enjoy working on it.

Server issues

The server issues we experienced at the beginning of April should hopefully be over. They were caused by power and capacity issues in one of the datacenters we’re using.

Developer Guide

The Developer Guide is ready. It describes the projects we work on, the technologies we use, and explains how to get set up, how to build packages and how to alpha-test. If you’re interested in development and you want to get involved this is a must read.

The guide is available in English, in HTML, PDF and ePub at https://linuxmint-developer-guide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/.

Let us know if you think anything isn’t clear or if you feel something is missing. We’ll add more content within the guide as we go along, not only as an introduction to newcomers but also as a reference for best practices.

Mint 17.x reached EOL

After 5 good years of service, Linux Mint 17.x (i.e. 17, 17.1, 17.2 and 17.3) reached “End Of Life”. Although the repositories will continue to work they will no longer receive security updates.

If you are running Mint 17.x, you can install Timeshift from the repositories, prepare system snapshots and plan to upgrade to Mint 18 using this tutorial: https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2316.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help or to report issues so we can get you to version 18 safely.

Samba

With every new package base we experience regressions. This was key in our decision to stick to LTS and it helped us focus on development while underneath, the base we were using for 5 years could continue to mature. This decision boosted our development pace and increased the quality of our distribution. When with Linux Mint 19 we jumped to Ubuntu 18.04, along with the many improvements and new software versions, we also inherited regressions, some of them quite frustrating to users: Wine, scanner and printer, and Samba to name a few.

These kind of issues are common on new package bases and they happen often in rolling distributions or in non-LTS releases. They eventually get fixed, in these rolling distributions and non-LTS releases first and then the fix usually gets backported to the LTS base.

This hasn’t happened with Samba yet. When something important we don’t maintain doesn’t work properly, and it’s been a while, we usually consider pinning it. In other words we look at whether or not we can backport a newer version which fixes the issue, or bring back an earlier version which didn’t suffer the issue. In the case of Samba this is not possible, not only because of Samba’s complexity and large number of dependencies (it just doesn’t easily compile like that across bases) but also because pinning this package in Mint would be a maintenance issue due to the number of vulnerabilities found in Samba and how often it receives security updates.

Samba supports different communication protocol versions. In Mint 18.x Samba 4.3 was mostly using a protocol version called NT1 which worked well and continues to work well. After Windows was badly affected by ransomware attacks, Microsoft decided to retire NT1 and the Samba team worked on switching more towards some of the newer protocol versions such as SMB2 and SMB3. These changes created regressions and Ubuntu is currently in the process of trying to tackle them.

Two of the most important issues are reported on Launchpad at:

Additional information was put in the release notes and the fact that Samba worked better in Mint 18.x was clearly stated. It is my opinion that users relying on Samba a lot should be recommended to stick to Mint 18.x until these issues are fully resolved.

While looking through all of this, we also identified areas of improvements within Linux Mint. In particular, although samba itself still shouldn’t part of the default installation, smbclient should. It will be there by default again in Linux Mint 19.2 and future releases.

In Cinnamon, nemo-share is responsible for integrating samba with the desktop and making it easy for users to share directories. Although nemo-share itself doesn’t do all that much, it is key in how easy sharing feels to the user. Here is what it does for you in Mint 19.1:

  • It installs samba
  • It adds you to the sambashare group for samba to work properly
  • It creates the share and checks/fixes its permissions if appropriate

Thanks to nemo-share, you don’t need to use the command line or install samba manually. You right-click a directory, share it, reboot, and you’re done. It just works! Well… most of the time it does.

While troubleshooting Samba and working on this I saw many people on the forums experience the same issues and receive help from other users. I saw a really cool checklist on the forums (I want to thank the few people in our forums who documented these issues by the way and helped so many users already) and I though.. wait.. some of these issues shouldn’t happen at all, we can identify them before they happen and make the user aware of them. So that’s what we did, in Mint 19.2 nemo-share will do a little more than before:

  • After it installs Samba it will add firewall rules to let it work with UFW
  • When setting up a share, it will check the permissions not only on the directory itself but on its entire path, to make sure other users can access it.
  • When sharing a directory within an encrypted home directory, it will mention to the user that the share won’t be accessible without using “force user” in the Samba configuration.
nemo-share detecting a potential issue

In essence, it still doesn’t do much more than before, but by reporting these issues earlier we go from a situation where the user doesn’t understand why Samba isn’t working, to a situation where an explicit warning and a clue are given the minute an issue might require the user’s attention.

Last but not least, we thought it was a little tedious that you couldn’t go back “up” (i.e. with the toolbar button in Nemo) towards “network:///” when at the root of share, so we fixed that as well.

Some of these changes might make their way into caja and caja-share as well.

On Github this is documented at https://github.com/linuxmint/linuxmint/issues/125.

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsors:
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in March:

A total of $9,297 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 429 donors:

$150 (19th donation), Jon Espenschied aka “xeno”
$120, Peter S.
$109 (7th donation), Jan S.
$109 (5th donation), Hans-Georg Thien
$109, Ronan P.
$109, Oliver R.
$109, Luzia E.
$109, Andras F.
$100 (4th donation), Steve D. aka “taosld”
$100 (4th donation), Kirby S.
$100 (3rd donation), Ronald B.
$100 (2nd donation), Josef P.
$100 (2nd donation), James K.
$100 (2nd donation), Greg B. aka “GBrayUT”
$100 (2nd donation), Raik D.
$100 (2nd donation), D. K. .
$100 (2nd donation), Mr.Zurkon
$100, Flaviano P. S. aka “dell’A r Appia
$100, Raymond E.
$100, Steven D.
$100, Jacques R.
$100, Mary A. L.
$100, John W. H.
$100, James K.
$100, Daniel L.
$100, Richard P.
$96 (4th donation), Thomas Ö.
$87 (3rd donation), Miguel V.
$75 (9th donation), Jason H aka “jaszhix
$75, Andre L.
$54 (10th donation), Volker P.
$54 (3rd donation), Mathias W.
$54 (3rd donation), Marco G.
$54 (2nd donation), Farkas K.
$54 (2nd donation), aka “Yamaneko”
$54 (2nd donation), Dominique P.
$54, Rodolfo S. M. H.
$54, Silvia B.
$54, Sean W.
$54, Khalil I.
$54, Thomas G.
$54, Anna M. R.
$54, Tomas H.
$54, Helge M.
$54, Volker B.
$50 (33rd donation), Anthony C. aka “ciak”
$50 (13th donation), Thomas T. aka “FullTimer1489”
$50 (3rd donation), Andrew Brockinton aka “Landrew
$50 (3rd donation), W. B. .
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$50 (2nd donation), Andrew L.
$50 (2nd donation), Philip Goehle Parker aka “OhioEagle”
$50 (2nd donation), Todd W.
$50 (2nd donation), Lawrence T. aka “LarryT
$50 (2nd donation), Keith H.
$50 (2nd donation), Michael T.
$50, Lawrence H.
$50, Matthew D.
$50, Eric aka “DJReRun”
$50, Terry P.
$50, Thomas G.
$50, Stephen Olander-Waters
$40 (3rd donation), Grady V. aka “Donate!
$40, Kubogouchi Y.
$40, Chris S.
$40, John C.
$40, Casey H.
$40, Rob V. D. B.
$40, Wesley C.
$35, Clinton C.
$33 (108th donation), Olli K.
$33 (4th donation), Kirill
$33 (2nd donation), Marco P.
$33, Wojtek
$30 (5th donation), B. H. .
$30 (2nd donation), W. H. .
$30, Anthony C. M.
$28 (2nd donation), Alan U.
$28, John W.
$27 (2nd donation), Frank H.
$27, Rudi S.
$27, Michael S.
$27, Temel B.
$27, Jay Davies
$25 (91th donation), Ronald W.
$25 (30th donation), Larry J.
$25 (9th donation), Jack C.
$25 (3rd donation), J. B. .
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$25 (2nd donation), Ursula C.
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$25, Brad B.
$25, Dale W.
$25, Gary P.
$25, Marion C.
$25, Al B.
$25, Frederic F.
$25, Steven S.
$25, We Are Bernie
$25, Teodor C.
$24 (27th donation), Johann J.
$22 (25th donation), Derek R.
$22 (11th donation), David M.
$22 (5th donation), Laurent M aka “lolomeis”
$22 (5th donation), Nard aka “Plons”
$22 (3rd donation), Miguel Á. A. R.
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$22 (2nd donation), Pablo E. L.
$22 (2nd donation), Kari B. H.
$22 (2nd donation), José A. M.
$22 (2nd donation), Achim K.
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$22, Stefan S.
$22,
$22, Fabian H.
$22, Christian D.
$22, Mario L.
$22, Andreas R.
$22, Norbert A.
$22, Chris C.
$22, Kusuma L.
$22, Mario R.
$22, Petiot S.
$22, Jens T.
$22, Joeri V. D. E.
$22, Jan B.
$22, Sebastian G.
$22, Sergey T.
$22, Susanne S.
$22, Cedric B.
$22, Dirk K.
$22, Gerlind D.
$20 (46th donation), Curt Vaughan aka “curtvaughan “
$20 (16th donation), Lance M.
$20 (9th donation), John D.
$20 (7th donation), Bryan F.
$20 (7th donation), Jose G. aka “Lobios
$20 (5th donation), Mike W aka “bajan52”
$20 (5th donation), J.M. Tremblay aka “JM”
$20 (4th donation), Guy L.
$20 (3rd donation), Susan S.
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$20 (2nd donation), Ronald F.
$20 (2nd donation), Stephen C.
$20 (2nd donation), Earl P.
$20 (2nd donation), Matthew L. A. aka “Matt”
$20 (2nd donation), Jochen G.
$20, Miguel G.
$20, Charles P.
$20, Edward W. Jr
$20, William H.
$20, Jay S.
$20, Garry F.
$20, Song W.
$20, Cheryl W.
$20, Thomas S. P.
$20, netMouser.com LLC
$20, David O.
$20, Michael H.
$20, Daniel W.
$20, Brian S.
$20, Didier A.
$20, Gustavo Vasconcelos aka “Tango
$20, Sean M.
$20, Robin S.
$20, Richard R.
$20, Jose R. B.
$20, Tim J.
$20, 3 Generations Collaboration
$20, Jong S. P.
$20, William D.
$20, Vernon W.
$16 (26th donation), Andreas S.
$16 (3rd donation), Chris W.
$16 (3rd donation), Christoph D.
$16, Mark A.
$16, Exeter L. C.
$16, Peter H.
$16, Steven K.
$16, David C.
$16, Guillermo G. A.
$15 (20th donation), Stefan M. H.
$15 (9th donation), David Kelly aka “Daveinuk”
$15 (2nd donation), Patrick H.
$15 (2nd donation), Tim T.
$15 (2nd donation), Gordon E.
$15, Geoffrey T.
$15, Raymond M.
$15, Gregory F.
$15, Jose G.
$14 (2nd donation), Laszlo F.
$13 (2nd donation), Ian P
$12.62, Theodore S.
$12 (96th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
$12 (38th donation), JobsHiringNearMe
$11 (28th donation), Paul O.
$11 (6th donation), Vittorio F.
$11 (6th donation), Slobodan Vrkacevic
$11 (6th donation), Thomas Klang
$11 (5th donation), Yves R.
$11 (5th donation), Jean-Marc B. aka “WD”
$11 (4th donation), Tangi Midy
$11 (4th donation), Xavier Viader Ricós aka “Xavi”
$11 (4th donation), Volker P.
$11 (3rd donation), Owen Llywelyn
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$11 (2nd donation), Massimo R.
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$11 (2nd donation), Roberto P. C.
$11 (2nd donation), Eric R. aka “Eric R.”
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$11, Peter F.
$11, G L.
$11, Peter B.
$11, Jesus G.
$11, Aleksandar Zivanovic aka “ACEkiller”
$11, Tomas A.
$11, Andre Z.
$11, Drinias A.
$11, Matteo M.
$11, Sergi T. P.
$11, Ivan B.
$11, Christian S.
$11, Miguel M. M.
$11, Wolfgang S.
$11, Sophie L.
$11, Florent M.
$11, Franz-albert M.
$11, Roberto P.
$11, Jens S.
$11, Bjørn A. F.
$11, Pietro M.
$11, Radovan T.
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$11, Andreas H.
$10 (40th donation), Thomas C.
$10 (33rd donation), Jt Spratley – Musician | Writer
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$10 (4th donation), Roy D.
$10 (3rd donation), Sadettin Yumuşak
$10 (3rd donation), Laurent D.
$10 (3rd donation), Mike C. aka “Portreve”
$10 (2nd donation), 近藤 正博
$10 (2nd donation), Wetzel A.
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$10 (2nd donation), Hans G. H.
$10 (2nd donation), Mark L.
$10 (2nd donation), Paul S.
$10 (2nd donation), Lawrence N.
$10, Bobcam Computer Solutions
$10, Greg Z.
$10, Adam F.
$10, Roman Y.
$10, Danilo Ancilotto
$10, Design R.
$10, Dave H.
$10, Marcin B. aka “marcinbojko
$10, Shubhodeep D.
$10, Aleksei G.
$10, Jim H.
$10, Patrick John Kelly
$10, Jairo T. L.
$10, Dean B.
$10, Vladimir P.
$10, Terry F.
$10, Dmytro B.
$10, Julian T.
$10, Harrison U.
$10, Allen S.
$10, Susan O.
$10, PrototypeActual aka “2-1 Actual”
$10, Jacob P.
$10, Shannon C.
$10, Randall H.
$10, Kirk W.
$10, Dirdick aka “apatasorz”
$10, Hayato Iriumi
$10, David M.
$10, Andres P.
$10, Ron B.
$10, Jason K.
$10, Christopher E.
$10, Dariusz M.
$10, Joao E.
$10, Jarmo K.
$10, Rainer S.
$10, Nils S.
$10, José C.
$10, Joseph G jr
$10, Зотов Я. aka “qiray
$10, Denis P.
$9 (3rd donation), Klaus K.
$8, Oleksandr T.
$8, Bengt G.
$7 (14th donation), Tomasz K.
$7 (2nd donation), Stephane L.
$7 (2nd donation), David A.
$7, Jacob S.
$6 (12th donation), gmq
$6 (2nd donation), Michael H.
$5 (34th donation), Eugene T.
$5 (25th donation), Bhavinder Jassar
$5 (16th donation), Arvis Lacis aka “arvislacis
$5 (12th donation), GaryD
$5 (12th donation), GaryD
$5 (11th donation), Jan Miszura
$5 (4th donation), Artur M.
$5 (4th donation), Michele M.
$5 (3rd donation), Joseph G.
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$5 (2nd donation), Michael R.
$5 (2nd donation), Indrek A.
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$5 (2nd donation), Wouter B.
$5, Paolo F.
$5, Renan S.
$5, Kenton S.
$5, Gino L. R. P.
$5, Christof Heckmann
$5, Miloš P.
$5, Dirk S.
$5, Danilo D.
$5, Pedro de Oliveira aka “Bolas”
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$5, Yury B.
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$5, Francisco F.
$5, Marco F.
$5, Jaume P.
$5, Thomas R.
$5, Thomas R.
$5, Abraham C.
$5, Jonas M.
$5, Matthew C.
$5, GRAVELBIKE.com
$5, Juergen S.
$5, Christopher C.
$5, Sylvain C.
$5, Stefan G.
$4 (2nd donation), Ashraf H.
$4 (2nd donation), Зюзин К. aka “kirill.zak”
$4, Easyumzug24
$3 (5th donation), User Manuals
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$3, Roney F.
$3, Agelita V.
$3, earnmorebucks
$3, Dejan S. aka “Deki”
$3, Roberto P. C.
$2.81 (2nd donation), Maziar :D.
$60.18 from 49 smaller donations

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

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Many thanks for your support and donations and also for your feedback and ideas. Today we’ll talk a little bit about some of the negative aspects of Free Software development, but before we do, I want to emphasize how lucky we are here at Linux Mint to have this community and this level of support. It’s not always easy to achieve what we want, sometimes it’s not even easy to define what we want to achieve. We can have doubts, we can work really hard on something for a while and then question it so much, we’re not even sure we’ll ship it. We can get demotivated, uncertain, depressed even by negative reactions or interactions, and it can lead to developers stepping away from the project, taking a break or even leaving for good. And then sometimes simply seeing people enjoy what we did can boost an entire team, whether it’s seeing happiness in an email/comment or getting a feeling of satisfaction after a constructive interaction which leads to a fix or an implementation.

I personally haven’t enjoyed this development cycle so far. 2 of our most talented developers have been away. Boosting performance in the Muffin window manager hasn’t been, and still isn’t, straight forward. Feedback on the new website and logo brought a huge amount of incertitude. We’ll still have a great release in the end and we’ll still achieve plenty of improvements (we did already to a certain extent), but we need to be strong and remain confident and it’s not easy when so much time is invested into something and then a month later it’s not ready, or it causes other issues, or it might please some people but not others. For a team to work, developers need to feel like heroes. They want the same things as users, they are users, they were “only” users to start with. At some stage they decide to get involved and they start investing time, efforts and emotions into improving our project. What they’re looking for the most is support and happiness. They need feedback and information to understand bugs or feature requests and when they’re done implementing something, they need to feel like heroes, they literally do, that’s part of the reason they’re here really.

I can show them 500 people donated money last month, I can forward emails to the team where people tell me how much they love Linux Mint, I can tell them they’re making a difference but there’s nothing like interacting directly with a happy user, seeing first-hand somebody be delighted with what you worked on. How our community interacts with our developers is key, to their work, to their happiness and to their motivation.

On his blog, Georges Stavracas talked about his experience:

On Being a Free Software Maintainer

This is something we read within the team and of course I think most Free Software developers can relate to. What I really enjoyed in Georges’ blog post is that he illustrated how from being a user, he became a contributor, and from there how he eventually became a developer.

We sometimes feel a divide between “users” and “developers”, as if they were different people, as if users weren’t developers and developers weren’t users and that’s ridiculous.

The notion that an empowered developer can’t understand something that is clear for everyone else is something we see in the streets, in politics. It’s a populist notion where empowerment is corrupt and the street knows best. That’s not how it works here, there’s no difference between a user and a developer other than their level of investment within the project. Anybody can and should contribute to the best of their ability to tackling the problems they have knowledge of.

I think I have a tough skin and it is my role also to protect this project, the people I work with and the community around us. We can have so much fun working together, I think it’s important we nurture these relationships and ensure the interactions remain as positive and constructive as possible.

Feedback is something we should love, not something we should fear. It’s what fuels our project and our development. When developers do things right, the changes they commit result in users being even more happy. When users do things right, the feedback they give results in developers being even more motivated.

We’re very careful not to frustrate users with (sometimes necessary) code changes. It is important for our community to not demotivate those who within itself stepped forward to become the so-called developers.

Before I move on to the next topic, I’d like to say thanks to Georges Stavracas for his work on GNOME Calendar. It’s a great application and we were delighted to add it to Linux Mint 19.

I hope that didn’t sound like a moralizing rant. Things are going very well. Georges’ post brought the topic up and I think it’s good for us as a community to touch on the topic as well. I also feel the need to clarify my position on this as I’m involved in moderating this blog, I’m often looking for quality feedback, detailed information that can help us do better and keeping motivation and fun as high as I can for everybody involved.

Website and logo design

The feedback on the new website design left us perplex. First of all, I’d like to thank all the people who gave us feedback on this. It wasn’t what I expected, but it does always help.

I think we already knew that our community is split between people who embrace the new trends (flat style, no gradients, simple lines/shapes…etc) and people who don’t enjoy them. We have that in mind when developing software (we use new widgets here and there but not as liberally as in say GNOME) and themes (such as Mint-Y and Mint-X). We want to look modern but not avant-garde, and we want to keep support for what people loved in the past and continue to enjoy. I didn’t think so many people enjoyed our current website, and that really surprised me. It does make sense though, the trend nowadays on the Web is for websites to look flat, they all do, and failing that they look old, and that’s the problem we’re trying to tackle: Our website looks really outdated.

Within the feedback, and putting the dislike for the new trends aside, I noted that the new design was a bit generic and didn’t convey enough identity. It’s a good point and it’s something we need to work on.

I also gathered similar feedback on the icon. I’d like to thank Grady and SebastJava for their work within the design team. I’m not sure we’ll push the change during this cycle, it will depend on how other things go I think, but the more we’re looking at it the more we feel the need for versatility, even at the cost of looking unique. That leaf shape, and its border in particular, is restricting us in many ways and preventing us from producing crisp visuals in some areas of the operating system. The simpler the logo is the more shapes/buttons/backgrounds it can adapt to. We’ll document that as we go along. For now, just like the website, this is still pretty much a work in progress.

Themes improvements

A project was started to improve the artwork for Linux Mint 19.2. It’s available as a milestone and you can follow its progress on Github at https://github.com/linuxmint/mint-themes/milestone/1.

Some of the work items in this project were implemented.

Some reviews of Linux Mint 19 and 19.1 criticized the quality of the fonts and the overall contrast. These two aspects were looked at in detail.

The fonts were switched to the Ubuntu fonts. They look slightly nicer and removing the Noto fonts (fonts-noto, fonts-noto-hinted and fonts-noto-unhinted) also allowed us to fix a bug which caused stuttering in Chromium. The work done on this is available at https://github.com/linuxmint/mint-themes/issues/200.

The theme contrast in Mint-Y went under heavy scrutiny. We did improve it twice after all, and if we were still getting negative feedback, so it was time to really analyze this, write down anything that could be wrong with it, fix it and stand our ground once the job was done. This is available at https://github.com/linuxmint/mint-themes/issues/198. One of the key things in there were the missing improvements in GTK2, this is fixed now.

Last but not least, we looked at fullcolor action icons. This is probably the biggest improvement in terms of contrast. The issue and its solution are described at https://github.com/linuxmint/mint-themes/issues/197.

Cinnamon improvements

It’s all about Muffin at the moment. We’re trying to make it smoother, to make the windows feel lighter… radical changes and refactoring occurred, it’s eating a lot of time and we’re chasing regressions left, right and center. This is documented at https://github.com/linuxmint/cinnamon/issues/8454. It’s a really tough exercise, it creates tensions within the team but the potential is there, if we can make our WM snappier it’s worth the hassle.

The ability to switch VSYNC on or off no longer requires restarting Cinnamon and we’re adding a combo in the preferences to be able to choose the VSYNC method. It’s a bit technical… there are 3 VSYNC techniques if I may say so, we were always using the same one. We’re now letting users switch to the other two so that we’re able to gather feedback and get a better idea of their pros and cons on various hardware and conditions.

A printer applet, based on the printers@linux-man, will be added to the core project and loaded in Cinnamon by default.

Downtime on multiple servers

You may have noticed some of our servers went down lately. This has happened three times so far and it’s due to a power issue in one of the data centers we’re using. We were promised the issue would soon be resolved permanently. We’re keeping an eye on this and we would like to apologize for the inconvenience.

Linux Mint 19.2 codenamed

We want our next release to be “simply the best”, and so its codename will be “Tina” 🙂

It will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit and in three editions: Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. Its base will continue to be Ubuntu 18.04, it will supported until April 2023 and upgrading to it will be safe and easy.

Alpha Testing

We’re currently working on making it possible to “Alpha-test” Linux Mint. A “Daily Build” PPA is available at https://launchpad.net/~linuxmint-daily-build-team/+archive/ubuntu/daily-builds.

This PPA gathers the latest code changes for the software we work on (Mint tools, Xapps, Cinnamon etc..), builds packages on a daily base and provides software updates.

Be warned, daily builds are unstable by definition and translations aren’t complete until we get close to BETA. We’ll soon document how to use this PPA and how to report regressions to the team within the Developer Guide.

We’re hoping to have more eyes and more feedback as we go along, within the development cycle, to identify regressions sooner than later and make the BETA phase a little less intense than it currently is.

Other improvements

The Update Manager received a huge number of improvements (again). We’ll go through this in detail, with screenshots, in the next blog post.

The Blueberry systray menu now lets you connect or disconnect paired devices with a click of the mouse.

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

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Donations in February:

A total of $11,225 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 485 donors:

$1337 (4th donation), Shawn C aka “citypw
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