Now.. you’re probably wondering what this is about? 🙂

As Linux Mint is becoming stable and as we’re coming to a point where we have achieved our main goals on the desktop we’re slowing down the release frequency (no Linux Mint 4.1 is planned for instance) and we’re spending more time on other editions. Coming up in the next few months we have 5 community-driven projects:

– KDE/mini KDE Edition
– XFCE Edition
– E17 Edition
– Fluxbox Edition
– miniCD Edition

So far, only two editions are officially maintained (Main and Light) and that freed our hands to invest a bit of time in R&D. So here we are now and here is what we’ll be looking at in the near future:

– Debian Edition
– Fedora Edition
– 64bit Main Edition

We started with the Debian Edition. The first reason was to show that the technology we develop is distinct from the upstream components it sits on top of and that, the same way we can change Evolution to Thunderbird, we can change Ubuntu to Debian or to Fedora and still make a great desktop. The second reason is simply that we did try most alternative components and that our selection was driven and justified by the tests we made.. so we could, for instance, appreciate the pros and cons of including Amarok instead of Rhythmbox and decide which solution was the most appropriate. This is true to a certain extent, and although we decided on Ubuntu to be our base, this decision was made without experimenting other bases. We do not plan to make our own base and do not plan to change our base to Debian or Fedora, but experimenting with these new bases will give us a better appreciation of the pros and cons related to using Ubuntu and eventually a better idea of what can be achieved in the long term or in case Ubuntu goes towards a direction we do not want to follow. And finally, the third reason was simply because we’re nerds and when we see the two brilliant distributions that Debian and Fedora are… we just can’t help ourselves to start building on top of them 🙂

So where are we at the moment with the Debian based edition?

– We have a liveCD.
– It’s based on Debian Testing
– It runs mintUpdate, mintDesktop and mintMenu
– We’re currently adding an installer to it… Ubiquity, Anaconda.. something else.. we’re having fun and experimenting 🙂

When we’re finished with this we don’t want people to use that as their main OS, but we’d like to get feedback and see how the desktop develops after a few months and how it follows the constant flow of updates brought by Debian.

Already we can tell you that much: It’s missing a lot of Ubuntu innovations (well you would have guessed that…) but oh my God … it’s so much faster!

So here we go, a little edition just to make a point, to us and to others, 100% R&D for the nerdiest of our beloved users 😉

Note: And this might come out faster than you think…


Linux Mint is now an OIN licensee. This basically means that we agree not to use any of our present or future patents against other OIN licensees and against Linux systems in general, and in exchange other OIN licensees do the same for us. OIN also owns a collection of patents which we can use for free, and which they would use against any company who would threaten an OIN member.

In other words we’re joining forces with other OIN licensees in a reciprocal agreement not to use our patents against each others and we’re also getting some level of protection from the OIN itself against potential external patent threats.

People know where I sit when it comes to intellectual property and especially when it comes to exclusivity and patents. When I first received an email from the OIN, with the word “patent” in it, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it, to say the least. But as I read about the OIN, their purpose and their achievements, I got convinced that this was a good thing.

The same way the FSF is using copyright to protect copyleft, the OIN is using patents as some sort of dissuasive weapon to protect the Linux community.

Founder members of the OIN include:

  • Red Hat
  • Novell
  • IBM
  • Philips
  • Sony
  • NEC

Other Licensees of the OIN include:

  • Google
  • Canonical
  • Oracle

Of course we do not own any patents and we don’t intend to file any in the future. We gain protection against other members and licensees patents though (Philips owns the patents on the MP3 codecs for instance) and we associate our name with an honorable initiative which purpose is to protect community like ours and open-source developers.

Questions about this are welcome. It took me some time to get over my initial repulsion for patents and to see the good in this, so please don’t hesitate if you need some clarification.

This is very good news for us and for Linux in general.

For more information about the OIN:


Daryna was officially released. If you haven’t downloaded it already please use the torrents. I you have don’t forget to seed for others to be able to get faster download speeds.  Enjoy the latest version of Linux Mint.

The following community editions are to follow:

  • KDE/miniKDE
  • XFCE
  • Fluxbox
  • E17

Then we’ll probably release alpha experiments of:

  • 64bit
  • Debian-Testing Based Edition
  • Fedora 8 Based Edition

The next mint tool being developed should be a tool that lets the user upgrade from one release to another.

There should not be any Linux Mint 4.1. Time should be invested in strengthening our structures, our documentation and in experimenting in different editions before we get to the much anticipated Linux Mint 5.0.

With Linux Mint 5.0 we’ll start addressing the enterprise market as well.