Mint 8 – Boot sequence

There’s good and bad news about the boot sequence in the upcoming Linux Mint 8.

The Ubuntu developers implemented a new splash technology called xsplash which I find much more powerful than the older usplash. There’s a lot of underlying reasons involved in using xsplash but in this blog post I’d like to focus on the graphical part. The visuals produced by xsplash are nice-looking and it’s now easy to produce good-looking animations.

The problem in Ubuntu 9.10 and Linux Mint 8 though is that it is not possible to rely solely on xsplash and so it has to be used in combination with usplash. So when you boot the system you’ll see usplash, then xsplash, then GDM, then xsplash and then finally the desktop. We’ve made our usplash, xsplash and GDM artwork coherent and so did Ubuntu so even though the whole thing could be more integrated, that’s not a big problem for now and it still looks better than in the previous releases of both distributions.

The real problem is for users who like to customize their system. Xsplash isn’t a mature technology yet and it simply doesn’t take any configuration. It’s easy to tweak but it’s not themeable. To modify its looks you’ll have to modify the system files it uses and tell mintUpdate to ignore xsplash related package updates (this is a new feature in mintUpdate coming in Mint 8, so thankfully that’s quite easy to do).

Grub 2 replaces Grub and just as Grub wasn’t complete without its gfx-boot patch, Grub 2 isn’t complete without its new gfxmenu patch. According to some of the Grub developers though the patch is considered for inclusion and likely to be integrated soon. So the decision is for Linux Mint 8 to use Grub 2 and to wait for it to support gfx-menu.

That basically means our Grub menu will look more like this:

Than like this:

I know we got people used to nice boot menus in the previous releases and most of you will probably miss grub-gfxboot, but at this stage it makes more sense to stick to the official Grub branch and to patiently wait for them to support this feature.

GDM also comes with a lot of changes.

In brief, the boot sequence in Mint 8 is going to radically different than in Mint 7, with pros and cons compared to it, but overall with a general feeling of improvement. I hope most of you will appreciate it, if you’ve tried the RC of Ubuntu 9.10 you probably have an idea of what’s coming up. Unlike previous releases of Linux Mint, we’ll use the same technology than Ubuntu this time around and we’ll make our best to produce nice artwork for it.

94 comments

  1. I must admit I’m not thrilled about the changes, mostly due to fear of the unknown. Like anything else though it will just take a little time to learn the ropes. I’m sure if you feel this is the best route for Mint 8 to take than indeed it is. It’s better to embrace change I suppose than to be left in the dust.

  2. I’m okay with “roughing it” for a little while if we get our neat artwork eventually. ^.^ It’s not your fault, and it does seem kinda weird to deal with. Thanks for letting us know!

  3. HI,

    I am very concerned about these changes (xsplash and Grub 2).
    Things are good (softwares) when they are finished, ready, solid
    and work good. New things, they call out there “Brand New Technology”
    can be a knife with 2 different blades because when they are
    specifically still unfinished, not well tested and uncertain.

    I am not against the implementation of new features, improvements
    on a system but i can’t avoid concerns for what is coming.

    If things go wrong, it’s easy my friends…just back to the
    best recent past. – downgrade!

    Hope Clem to know what he wants and what he is really doing.

    For my part I accept the changes to be made.

    There will be an RC release for testing and we can have the
    opportunity of watching them closer.

    So, after saying that, i hope everything is going to be allright.

  4. A big part of Mint is the first impression people get from it. They come from Windows, probably try a few Linux Distros, and will in part, maybe a big part, be sold initially on good artwork.

    Luckily the boot process is speeding up so this temporary ugliness will be brief and hopefully the login and desktop are elegant and gorgeous so the new user is still blown away by Mint : )

    Hopefully they like Mint so much that they never reboot again until the fixes are implemented.

  5. [My appologies for the errant submission. Please delete my previous partial comment. Thank you.]

    I am with Roberto on this. Major new features make me nervous.

    Sometimes I wish we had 6 month beta periods. Talk about some stable releases those would be. I think for a while now, Ubuntu’s focus has been less on stability and more on features. This is one of the main reasons I like Mint. Since Mint’s releases trail Ubuntu’s a bit, many major bugs that exist in the Ubuntu release are fixed in the Mint release. My main gripes about Grub2 are its problems associated with Linux RAID and that it is more picky about BIOS settings. I use linux raid extensively on whitebox servers as well as desktops, so this is a show-stopper for me. Mind you, I have not used it yet, since I don’t have a testbed free right now. The whole move makes me nervous, though. Do I have to start crossing my fingers at every release like I did with Ubuntu, or can I still have the same confidence that I usually have with Mint?

    Thanks for all you do, guys.

    -JP

  6. Running ubuntu 9.10 and wow ever fast.
    Everything is where you need it lots of work done there. You must do a fresh install upgrades don’t load the stuff to make it fast.
    Not sure what mint can do better. I’m afraid they will sell you short with eye candy and slower speeds.It used to be that mint was more stable cuz of the later release date, but I cant buy that with this one.
    Ubuntu has a winner anything mint does now is going to be second place.

  7. One of the greatest things about Linux Mint is its first impression, especially on current Windows users who are thinking about switching to Linux. The best thing the Linux Mint team can do now is make the default look very pleasing and convincing, since it is not possible for the user to customize the login screen or boot screen at this point. This will give us a polished distro while we wait for extra features in the future to use our own themes.

    If there’s any distro that has the best chance of converting Windows users, then it’s definitely Linux Mint! I just hope this new release does not lose potential because of the missing features. I’ve been using Linux Mint Felicia, and now Gloria, on my laptop, and I abosolutely love it! Looking forward to Helena!

    Is it too late to ask that Pidgin remain the default IM application? The reason is that it is a feature-rich program, and most importantly, it is cross-platform. Windows users that are currently running Pidgin will feel comfortable to see Pidgin as the default IM application on any Linux distro. I think the switch to Empathy was a poor decision. Cross-platform software should always be given extra priority. That’s why something like OpenOffice is so great!

  8. Just so no one panics, I believe the fist screen shot is just an example. Xsplash does provide a much faster boot and I agree with the decision to use it. This is new and I think that it will quickly mature, besides that the new kernel was built with xsplash in mind.

    I trust Clem’s ability to make the best of xsplash in it’s current state of development. If you have looked at Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Kubuntu, then you already have an idea of what you will be seeing in this release, of course with our own artwork!

    It is nice that Clem took the time to explain the changes and the reasoning behind these changes. Quite a bit of new technology will be introduced in Mint 8.

  9. I gotta say Grub 2 is a piece of shit. After I installed 9.10 I can’t boot as Grub just sits there at a black screen with the words Grub and hitting ESC doesn’t do anything.

  10. > “Xsplash isn’t a mature technology yet”

    Yes and so it’s one reason it must not be used yet!

    Ubuntu, like usual, uses a technology not finished, not mature… and after people are surprised when there are problems, bugs… and when people says Ubuntu is buggy etc. Stupid!

  11. Hate the very, very, very BLACK screens. My laptop screen makes dark screens extremely hard to read unless the font is screaming white or light in colour. (It’s probably just a quirk in my system.)

    Looking forward to Helena in MINT shades and no BLACK! Otherwise, I agree with Roberto (#4) and awaiting the RC.

  12. Actually I like the more minimalistic boot screen more :p

    Nah anyway, as long as everything works its ok I think.

    Keep it up! πŸ˜€

    Greets,
    Roin

  13. I switched from Windows approx 1 year ago and I started with Ubuntu and with Ubuntu installed Virtual Box and messed around with a few other distros like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Debian, Puppy, Suse and finally Mint and as you can tell by which blog I am posting on the one I picked to by my full time desktop OS.
    Personally… I just want it to work. I don’t care if it’s backwards or upside down… πŸ˜› …because I would NEVER substitute aesthetics for stability. It should be a no-brainer.
    Do whatever works and wait for the updates.

    That is one major problem with the Western World is NO patience for what they want or tolerance for the unknown. (I’m Canadian so not speaking without first hand exp.) πŸ˜› and ‘hint’ of sarcasm… [;)

    Just do what’s best for now. [:) Who are ANY of us to complain when this OS is FREE of charge (unless you donated alot of $) πŸ˜› jk… hehe. Seriously though, we should ALL be grr8ful for this EXCELLENT OS and be patient and trust the Mint Team because most of us have switched to Mint for the simple reason we like their product so why doubt their judgment now?

    Thanx a MILLION guys (Clem and co.). I’m sure whatever changes you make will be for the best no matter what they are or how long they take.

    Regards,

    shawn (butters on IRC) πŸ˜›

  14. I am excited about the changes coming. I have been trying different distros for almost a full year and keep coming back to Mint. I have decided to keep it as my OS. I am running Virtual Box so I can run Sketch-up as I have not found an alternative yet. Working hard on learning and hope to be part of the community in another year.

  15. Thanks for info. We trust you (or at least I can say that for myself). Looking forward for new info about coming Mint 8. We are all excited.
    Cheers,

  16. Will the new GRUB be able to detect Windows 7 without having to go through a lot of hassle to add it to the boot menu?

  17. Not being keen on the overpowering green raindrops theme in Gloria, I managed to change my gfxboot screen background (and other raindrop screens) to something simple and japanese by making a .message file. Hope I will be able to do the same if I upgrade to Mint 8.

    It never feels comfortable to be without the choice of personalising the graphics and lay-out …

    Having said that, Mint’s background graphics are the best I have seen, and it’s rare to feel the need to change them.

    Thanks Clem and team for all your work πŸ™‚

  18. I’m one of the newest minters I guess (three weeks tops)… But what I’ve seen so far helped me make my mind about using Mint full-time…

    I’m excited about the new mint, but I’d rather Clem take his time than upgrade to a just-a-little-bugged version, of course.

    By the way, I love the greeny, “overpowering” raindrops theme of Mint 7… but nothing good lasts forever.

  19. Well so long as I can theme the rest of the OS then I am not too worried about the boot screens. Besides as faster boot can’t hurt! Thanks Clem for making a great OS for us to use.

  20. I have posted bugs to ubuntu on karmic final and am still unable to boot to a functioning xserver. I have posted my hardware

    MSI NX7600GS-TD256 GeForce 7600GS 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP 4X/8X Video Card

    There are many others who have filed bugs against this hardware as well. We get blank screens after the initial ubuntu logo apears. Then nothing. I am able to get to a promt but I am unable to diagnose the problem.

    For this reason I am now switching to Mint. If you do this boot sequence shift like ubuntu please make sure you do a little hardware testing first. Ubuntu was sloppy with this one.

    karl

  21. Like most things frivolous, those who are impressed by it don’t really matter, and those who matter aren’t impressed by it.

    Splash screens are like the green stuff on your plate at a fancy restaurant – nice to look at but not meant for consumption.

    And, we’re talking about a GNU/Linux system here – it’s not like you need some nice soothing eye candy after being violated with a “blue screen of death”.

  22. It took me about 20 mins to figure out how to modify Grub 2 files and OS entries with Ubuntu 9.10. It’s not that bad once you get used to it, although not having a /boot/grub/menu.lst file was a bit scary at first.

    In the end my Grub boot screen has just 3 entries, Mint 7, Ubuntu 9.10 & Windows 7 (plus a nice background pic of my own choosing)

    Bring on Mint 8!! πŸ™‚

  23. This is all great work but allow me to blaspheme here for a bit.

    I can understand that MS and Mac have all sorts of welcome and splash screens, this is for them a form of advertizing (product recognition) and I am sure they’ll put lots of effort in making it look realy cool.

    Frankly, I don’t care much for such propaganda.
    I already created/selected a desktop background. What would be wrong with using that as the splash, welcome and logon screen.
    This is the ultimate form of obscuration. It makes the system appear ready right after BIOS init.

    This could become the hallmark for Linux systems, no dillydally, here’s your desktop, now logon please !.
    Call it another WOW factor.

    Greets, Arend.

  24. Does Ubuntu 9.1 use this bootsplash?

    I am very critical about Ubuntu right from the 9.04 as I have not been able to install it. Ubuntu 9.1 is usable only as live cd – when I try to install – it does not show any disk.

    similarly 9.04 installed but bootfailed.

    I wait for Clem to improve on hasty nasty Ubuntu and deliver nice Mint — ….

  25. The only real pain with the new login screen in 9.10 is if you use autologin – like I do. When you boot from cold it works fine – and boy it is so much faster to boot – ext4 helps!!

    However, if you logout, it doesn’t autolog you back in again.

    There may well be a way round that but I haven’t found it yet….

  26. As much as I appreciate what the Mint team has done since day one, I must admit that I would like to see them break away from Ubuntu. It would seem that they are perfectly capable of compiling a user friendly OS that just works. Perhaps we will see more of a parting in future releases since Clem is now fully devoted to this project. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why they rely on Ubuntu development. However, it’s controversial changes like these that make me want to stay with Linux Mint 7, or even Elyssa for that matter. They just work! I’m sure Helena will work fine once the desktop is up and running, and I’m looking forward to discovering all the little tweaks that have been enlisted. But to this day, I’m still amazed at the trouble free experience that I’ve enjoyed with Gloria, although nothing is absolutely perfect–not even OSX. Personally, I would like to see Mint develop the “perfect as you can get” disto and charge $100.00 for it. At least I know it will work on anything you want to install it on, and I would be reasonably sure that I was getting cutting edge technology with rock solid stability. In other words, I wouldn’t have too pay a five gallon bucket full of money for a mediocre computer that will legally run OS-X, which for now is filling the “perfect as you can get” spot. Linux is a ton better than anything MS has put out, but the community still likes to play that “free” card as a reason for why it doesn’t do this or do that.

  27. I am running karmic and Mint 7 on 2 separate hd’s and both use Grub2…It takes about 15 seconds after the “grub loading..” appears before I see the menu…not a big deal. For me Karmic is solid and I cant wait for Mint8!

  28. So Mint8 will use immature software. for the first time! like the xsplash-thing and GRUB2rc. Well, NO MINT8 on my PC then. I’ll wait long enough, I’ll survive waiting for 8.5 or 9 to have this or these ugly and misbehaving dinosaurs to go away – or learn newbie-manners :-(( Or I’ll find an alternative?

  29. I have been wrestling with Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) for three days now and it’s a return to bug-ridden earlier Ubuntu release days for my main rig, which it doesn’t seem to like, starting off with the new GRUB2beta4 which screws up my multi-OS boot selection, failing to detect my on-line copy of WinXP. Once up and running, some applications, like FireFox are puzzingly slow, whilst others are really still at the beta-testing stage In My Opinion, like Brasero now excluding a vital checksum validation process and vital ffmpeg dependency not already sorted for the new Kaffeine. The new ext4/GRUB2 is also incompatible with my old imaging software, complicating progressive build and checkout, but the rather clunky ‘alternative’ Clonezilla using Ubuntu 9.10’s kernel seems to just work in that role, but only after a fresh installation of basic Karmic. MS TTF also won’t load, limiting OO Writer file exchanges. I just hope that at least some of these flaws get sorted by Karmic Update in time, or that Mint 8 can perform magic work-arounds. Meanwhile, I have reverted to stable 64-bit Mint-7 as my everyday distribution, with reliable ‘Legacy GRUB’ and easily edited ‘Legacy GRUB’ menu.lst, ext3 operation plus its sensibly pre-installed plugins and initial configurations etc.

  30. I had some issue with ubuntu 9.10,

    1/ fresh installed 9.10, and my XP could not boot, it can list XP by the grub 1.97beta though.

    2/ fresh installed 9.04 (it works fine, with boot XP and wireless network), and upgrade to 9.10, then, my wireless does not work,

    my PC and wireless card are 3+ years old, should not like that.

    just FYI.

    thanks,
    PeterZ

  31. Well I have tried the new Ubuntu and it works pretty well. As others have mentioned I too have had problems with Ubuntu on my pc for one reason or another. Linux Mint is a great product but as long as it depends on Ubuntu it will always have the same deps and issues that Ubuntu has. Over time as Mint matures it might become it’s own distro officially instead of playing wait and see.

    But lets put things into perspective, Boot splash will not adversely affect the system once loaded and thus Mint will operate as it does today only with newer packages.

  32. Mint8 will be MintW8. What Bruce R. Says is what I reported some time ago, and it was called “bad mouthing” GRUB2. I predicted what Bruce R. experienced, because the same happened on my multiboot-pc. And I did what Bruce R. did: revert to Mint7.

  33. Hi.
    Just wanted to say I have tried: OPenSUse, RedHat, Mandrake, and probably a few others too.
    All were good, but all had major drawbacks too. Some were a nightmare to print from, Others couldnt play a DVD untill you had edited and configured and downloaded Dozens of patches. At least a few simply would not “see” my wifi adapter.
    Then Came Mint.
    What a pleasure.
    OUT the box….EVERYTHING works. ONE tweak to VLC …dvds sorted. EVERYTHING works.
    Cant congratulate the developers of this distro enough.
    Cheers
    CM
    Lenovo t61

  34. For those who have used 9.10 already, do you even think xsplash is worth it? Some user stated xsplash made the boot process faster and its just not the case. If anything it slows the boot process showing a splash before gdm loads and after login. To me its useless eye candy.

    I just hope mint 8 will look the same or better than mint 7. With the grub change and gdm/xsplash I feel its going to be worse but I hope im wrong.

  35. mmm… after trying to use ubuntu 9.10, there are several very annoying bugs, consider to my computer specs.

    the most annoying one is ubuntu and it’s xserver doesn’t want to give me gdm display, and so the other version like kubuntu, xbuntu, alternate and server (this version i installed gdm manually, and still, no hopes).

    so, if there are any ubuntu-dev here, please report it, because i still didn’t reinstall my system using 9.04. and hoped for linux mint 8, this bug is already solved.

  36. Hmmm I’m not sold. Ubuntu 9.10 fried my Acer Aspire 5315 before it could finish installing. Seems to be a common problem among many other common problems. (Check out the Ubuntu installation forum). Since the Acer is just 18 months old, dunno if its going to be a lot of use to most users with even older machines.

  37. I say it’s just a boot menu. It doesn’t have to be spiffy. The faster the boot the better so as long as this speeds up boot, that’s all I’d really care about. It’s like asking someone if they would be angry if their command line wasn’t themeable.

  38. I am very concerned about the multi-disk issue. I have an older, finely tuned tower that I built that carries IDE and SATA drives. Everything worked flawlessly with Mint (I tested a ton of Live distros, including Ubuntu which was a pig), and Mint was the clear winner. No problems with any peripherals, 12 sec boot and 6 sec shut-down on an old Celeron 2.53 Ghz proc, which I think is pretty amazing.

    I trust you too, HOWEVER, if there are serious, well-documented known issues with Grub2, why not wait until it is mature before integrating it into the new release?

    Until this issue is rock-solid resolved, I will be sticking with Mint 7.

  39. Frankly who cares what the boot splash looks like? One of the main reasons we all run Linux is the stability and -lack of rebooting.-
    Is it going to kill you the boot screen is ugly when you have to see it once every few months?

  40. Bruce R’s situation is unfortunate. I really hope this is not going to be the predominant direction for Mint. As stated in my earlier post, I would rather see Mint significantly break away from Ubuntu, and address their own issues, and improve Mint based on that, and not try to explain away the crap that is inherited from Ubuntu. Ubuntu offers a great product for many people, but let them work their own problems out, while the Mint developers focus on improving their own distribution. Mint is indeed better than Ubuntu in many ways. But I think it could be so much better if they would flush out the Ubuntu DNA, and go back to source. Is this a tall order? Of course, and in all honesty, I personally would not be much help with my current level of knowledge involving the compilation of linux. But in my continued exposure, I hope to be of more assistance in the future. I would also like to see a much less frequent release cycle. IMO, every six months is insane. Why not just make continual updates available for existing releases, and put new releases out in absolutely no less than 24 months? Time and time again, it is proven that rushing things is almost always counter productive, and the latest and greatest is almost always filled with bugs. I think that if Mint departs from Ubuntu, then they will be forced to spend more time on developing the source, and by default, you couldn’t possibly expect to have a full blown, ready to roll release in less than two years. Also by default, you would have a much more stable release with even fewer issues than Mint has today. It’s much like the medical field today. Everybody wants to pump you full of blood in the event of serious injury. Little do people know that there is an elite practice of medicine that concentrates on non-blood surgery that is highly successful, and is free of the countless problems related to blood transfusions. The medical treatment you receive in bloodless surgery is the best of the best. It forces the doctors to hone their skills in surgery, thereby providing the best possible benefit to the patient. This same approach can be taken with the development of Linux. Will it ever happen like that? Who knows.

  41. It makes sense that Mint, as a derivative of Ubuntu, will want to stay as close to upstream as possible while improving on Ubuntu’s default configuration rather than gutting certain parts of the upstream system, thus cutting off Mint users from upstream support for boot issues. You don’t want to be messing with the boot system unless you’ve been planning for it, as Ubuntu has been for the past half a year or so.

    There may be issues still but if you’re complaining about getting burned by them, I’ll echo what the Apple community has been telling unhappy Snow Leopard users on the Apple Discussion forums; back up your system before you do an upgrade and never buy a .0 (point-zero) release. By that logic, if Mint 7 is still working fine, stick with it for a while until the bugs get shaken out of Mint 8.

    Also, from the sound of it, a few people might want to consider Debian stable if they haven’t already. All of these systems are free and they co-operate rather than compete, so there’s really no point in sticking with one if it isn’t working for you any more. Debian stable is a great system; not as pretty as Mint or Ubuntu but perfectly functional and generally much more solid than either of the others.

    All that said, I’m definitely taking the leap! I have an unnatural love for apt and I can’t help myself when dist-upgrade time comes.

  42. @perkunas: You must be some kind of troll. Looking back to previous Mint releases I can’t see a major hick-up. Looking back at Ubuntu’s past… there were many. I have absolutely no reason to look at Mint with distrust so if you simply came here to brag about Ubuntu, that’s OK, but don’t throw Mint in a bad spot simply because you are FINALLY satisfied with Ubuntu. It just doesn’t make sense – do you understand? Mint doesn’t “sell” eye-candy. It improves Ubuntu. That’s it. Hey, you probably don’t like the graphics – it’s a matter of taste I cannot debate, but don’t be short-sighted and ignore Mint Tools, the first-time intro screen for the new comers and the Mint manual. You must be either ignorant or malevolent to even think Mint is all about eye-candy.

    However, I’m not saying Ubuntu is not doing a good job. On the contrary, they are doing something crucial to Linux development by pushing new software to the users where MOST Linux distros are reluctant to adopt it. Just think about this: how does software really get mature without proper testing? We’re talking about open source here, so it is perfectly normal for distributions like Ubuntu to push testing new software WHEN they are close to being mature – which is the case for xsplash and others. Open source developers usually have up to 2 or 3 computers at hand so it’s obviously a small amount of hardware cannot represent a good test environment for a software that needs to work on (tens of) thousands of different hardware configuration.

    @flansuse: In theory you’re right about the top/high priority for cross-platform software BUT (and it’s a big one) you cannot ignore two aspects that don’t stare in our faces but are quite interesting do dig into.

    1. The fact that some Windows users chose Pidgin at some point… actually says an important thing about them. They are not afraid of NEW.
    2. I can’t speak as an Empathy user but generally speaking I do not agree all cross-platform software are best suited in particular environments. If we’re talking about OpenOffice.org I agree there is also a compatibility layer that needs to be covered and OOo is certainly at a level that similar open source products are not just yet there. BUT talking about an IM client is something different. This is where I would say the users should get whatever is best, regardless the name of the application.

    Now considering Windows Pidgin users are not afraid of new AND as a proven fact that they are not afraid by simply moving to Linux, I think it’s appropriate to consider the best software for a certain need as long as the well known ones are close at hand and can be installed if they really like it and don’t want anything else. This means if there are particular software that are better (on a certain platform) than a cross-platform one, the popular one could go into a favourite list (Featured software in MintInstall) AND the better ones should be installed. After all, it’s the user experience that counts most. If there’s something better, we should let people know and put it in their table if they’re not afraid of new. πŸ™‚ I think it does make sense.

    @Guestman: You should mainly read my second paragraph that explains the difference between NOT-MATURE and UNSTABLE. So xsplash is not yet mature… OK, but if it was really immature it wouldn’t have been pushed in the latest Ubuntu that actually works well enough (ok, with few exceptions – don’t all OS’ have these? OK, maybe Mac OS, but I cannot confirm this as I’m not using it at all and I also haven’t). It’s just software doesn’t get mature by itself. It needs proper testing on MANY hardware configurations and even though Ubuntu has assumed a sort of an ingrate position to push NOT-MATURE software, they are actually helping software to get there. If it’s too big of a price to you to test something, you can always play safe with something like RedHat Enterprise, CentOS, Debian or whatever makes you feel really good. Evolution of anything is not without pain. As for the “grub 2” issues that are still unresolved, I trust Mint developers will either wait until a fix is committed or move back to the previous GRUB, to avoid major discomfort among Mint users.

    @butters: Thank you for sharing your experience and your trust in the decisions made in here. It’s a healthy positive attitude that the developers need to go on and do their job. We all know software perfection keeps returning “404” error codes but that’s why we’re here – some to work, some to test, some to use, some to suffer (I guess :D).

    @Arend: You don’t look like as a blasphemer. You’re actually making a very interesting suggestion except that the OS itself could not decide which background to choose in a multi-user system. The point is the administrator is the one who should choose the boot images after all. πŸ™‚

    @capricornus: Even presidents change their mind in the light of certain facts and opinions so even if Clem’s statement is to go for GRUB 2, I’m sure he will rethink this if the fix won’t be available in time for Helena’s release. Don’t give up on your trust. Mint has been developed for the users so I can bet the final choices in software is still not bolted down.

    @Bruce R: That’s a good report for what’s not working. I’m sure Clem and the rest of the development team will look into the details and come up with the necessary fixes, as they’ve done each release. After all, I think almost every Ubuntu release during the last 3-4 years have had a list of major issues right after their launch. However, Mint came out quite clean because while it is still based on Ubuntu, there’s no hurry into releasing the new version simply to be out there. It’s been proven both with Felicia and Gloria and I think they are still fresh in everyone’s mind. Ubuntu does pack NOT-MATURE software, but in the end they fix most issues on the road. Having Mint released when most of these are fixed is the thing that made Mint users to choose it over Ubuntu. We will only have to wait a month or so. πŸ™‚

    @Clem: I’m sure your plan is for the best even if you want to stick as close as possible to the roots of Ubuntu. As I said, we have to wait. Time will tell what’s best to choose for Helena and considering you guys haven’t screwed up until this very day, I have no reason to worry about. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the news and keep the good stuff coming. πŸ™‚ I hope we will see more comments like Bruce R’s because you will need it to spot and debug critical issues so Helena can play friendly with us. πŸ™‚ Good job!

  43. Hi,
    butters wrote: “Do whatever works and wait for the updates.”
    But some people write that it doesn’t work, so maybe you shouldn’t go down this path. You write yourself: “Xsplash isn’t a mature technology yet”. So do not use it!
    I would like a path to a Linux Mint that wil never need a fresh install for an update / upgrade.
    Thanks for your efforts.

  44. This, and these posts explain a lot what is NOT being said on the Ubuntu forums just now. Everybody is trying to solve what they think is wrong with Ubuntu 9.10 and many of us did/do not know all the facts.

  45. “So when you boot the system you’ll see usplash, then xsplash, then GDM, then xsplash and then finally the desktop.”

    true, as i can seen while booting my xubuntu 9.10 – and it is annoying indeed. it looks quite unprofessional. 😐

  46. The only problem I’ve found with Ubuntu 9.10 is a 5 minute hang on boot-up. Using noapic and noacpi solved that problem on my laptop (Toshiba X205 S9800, 4G RAM, M8700 video). Desktop was OK. I didn’t have that problem on my laptop on Ubuntu 9.04. No idea what they’ve done, but, overall, I like the faster operation.

    I’m looking forward to Mint 8, as this is my primary distro on all 5 computers at home.

  47. I’m running this in VBox from the old installation. I had started an install but this new Grub will not see the Windows 7 installation. I duel boot. When I figure that out I will install. Annoying.

  48. ‘Linux Mint 7.0’, and ‘Ubuntu 9.04’ were capable of multi-booting members of the ‘mandriva family’, such as ‘pclos’ and ‘caixa magica 14’!! The newly installed ‘Ubuntu 9.10’ will ‘not’ multi-boot these distros anymore!! I do like those distros quite a bit!! I will check my installed Windows OS!! By what I read here: ‘Ubuntu 9.10’ will not boot those either anymore!!

  49. To add to item 42.: Ubuntu 9.10 ‘does’ boot WinXP!! However it won’t boot members of the ‘mandriva’ family: ‘pclos’ and ‘caixa magica 14’!! This is happening on 4 (four) completely different systems!!

  50. Hmm, Ubuntu have issues with 9.10, MS have issues with Win7. From the roadmap, am I right to say the next release will be a LTS again? This will require a big push by Ubuntu to make all this new experimentware actually work in a stable fashion. Ubuntu have taken a needless risky road with this release.

    Fortunately, down the line, Clem and the team here will make it REALLY work for the LinuxMint release. For myself, I am going to wait it out till the next LTS release, due to concerns about any upgrade screwing up my dual-boot on my main working machine.

  51. I did a fresh install of 9.10 and was not happy at all. DNS could not resolve any thing like http://www.google.com. I could ping just fine but Firefox was broken. Many others using DSL reported the same problem in the Ubuntu forums. Worked on it for several days. Very sad. Installed Mint7 and all is well. Imagine the hell Microsoft would catch if it released a version that broke DNS!

  52. I’ve already installed Karmic on my laptop,and I can say that boot time has improved a bit (though someone can see 3 or 4 different things woven together).However,this is not the issue here,I think.It doesn’t matter much whether boot-up time is 10 seconds or 20 seconds.
    What’s essential for me is stability.Yes,using Grub 2 might be a long shot here,especially since some of us with a more limited experience on tinkering with such things won’t be able to “play” with the entries as we did in Grub 1.5.If,on the other hand,it makes multi-booting from different hard drives difficult and quirky,I would suggest sticking with the usual Grub.But then again,who am I to argue about something that other people-infinitely more qualified that me-know best?OK,Karmic indeed has some issues but on the whole it’s a very good release,and it could be used and rounded-up a bit by Clem and the team,so as to make the best use of it.Personally,I trust Clem and his colleagues,I have done so for a long time now…So,have faith and trust the people who have been producing probably the top Linux distro for quite some time now…That’s what Mint is about:taking Ubuntu(very good)and making it even better…

  53. @Kneekoo
    Well all I know is… under 9.4 Ubuntu my webcam never worked, had a team of developers work on it, couldn’t get it going. My open GL (intel problem) never worked.Printer driver only worked with 32bit mic never worked and it was very buggy firefox crashed a lot.Under 9.10 they all work great (did have to tweak my wireless driver small prob.)and so much faster, not just booting and shutdowns either. Most of the apps are organized so much smarter too
    Can’t see why I would want to go to mint; mint had all these problems and more. I even found conflicts with applications because they were designed for unbuntu not mint, also mint has less support.
    Am I saying its perfect, no but for me its close.

  54. What a lot of people do not understand about Grub2 and xsplash is that you may have to learn something new. These are better technologies then what has been used. Instead of wining and complaining that it’s not as pretty now (the screen shot at the start of the thread is not what you will get), try to learn something. This release of Ubuntu is very nice, well put together and fast so just trust Clem to do what he always has done. I can’t believe how the people here question his choices. I believe most have been happy with his choices in the pass, have they not? I’m really amazed also how so many of you are so small minded as to listen to all the FUD about Mint and Ubuntu and Linux in general. Instead of listening to the FUD learn something and help get rid of bugs instead of crying about them.

  55. I played with the new Ubuntu 9.10 just to see what all the hype was about. I have to say that there are some interesting features and the themes look a little more integrated and such. But Firefox doesn’t work in the live environment–won’t even start up, and there is a black screen that lingers for an uncomfortably long period of time on boot up. It really appears as though they tried to add a lot of new stuff to make them more competitive and appealing with a release date in the wake of M$’s new offering. Unfortunately, what we’re left with is a product that is essentially still in beta and will likely have an impact that counters Canonical’s ambition to some degree. Sometimes it’s difficult to be a Mint, where you inherit such weaknesses as well as the strengths of Ubuntu/Debian.

    Have you considered just updating the kernel, software & repositories in Mint 7 and releasing it as the next update? It would be nice for users to have access to a working IM client and Firefox 3.5 as well as some of the new kernel features.

  56. Have been using an Ubuntu 9.10 clean install for several days and am not esp. happy. Things keep showing up buggy — media-applet crashes and symlinks arranged on the desktop get moved to the upper right with every login (launchers and files and folders stay put).

    Grub2 doesn’t play well with others. Grub can’t hand off to the Ubuntu partition with Grub2, so Grub2 has to replace Grub in the MBR if you have a mix of distros using Grub and Grub2. I don’t know how Grub2 works, but at boot it seems to churn my harddisks, making more noise than any distro ever did; maybe it’s quieter on a one distro installation. Ultimately I removed Grub2 from 9.10 and installed Grub, but 9.10 is still not ready for prime-time; I’ll keep it installed to see what gets fixed, but continue to work in my older Mint, where what I need just works.

    I’m no Luddite –I’m willing to use new technologies but they do need to work. I think it’s time for Ubuntu to let go of the 6-month release cycle; I suspect, though, that things’ll be better in the spring.

  57. I’ve been fighting with the Ubuntu 9.10 boot problems for over a week now to no avail. Basically, it seems like a lot of systems with onboard Intel graphics freeze to a blank screen during the boot process. Can I beg you to please, please, please, please, NOT release Mint 8 if the same bug is persistent! There are an awful lot of people with hardware like this (e.g., my hp pavilion laptop) and it’s terrible to upgrade, only to find that you can’t get into your system anymore. There are workarounds available that work at least inconsistently, but to my mind this kind of critical bug should just not be allowed in a supposedly “final” release. I think Canonical rushed this Ubuntu release out the door. Please don’t do the same with Mint 8.

  58. Been using Ubuntu since Hardy … the upshot then was “…bring new life to older machines! …”. Those days are gone, although I can run Karmic quite reasonably with this ole Compaq 733 and 512 ram. So yeah, I’ll rough it while tweaks are tweaked and hopefully fixed. I’ve managed to fix a lot of mine … thanks to:

    Read this: http://www.webupd8.org/2009/10/things-to-fix-tweak-after-installing.html

    What DOES tick me off though is that an upscale distro like Ubuntu, with the best marketing strategy for Linux to date, can produce installation discs for newbies to try, and then, after they install, can’t even connect to the net … it’s happened with my own upgrade and it seems to be widespread with my local servers, clients (I’m a tech), educational institutions, etc. So never mind the GUI-Talk … THIS IS REALLY DUMB UBUNTU!!! Hope you folks at Mint aren”t struggling with the BooBoontu experiments … I DO like your distro!!

    We tend to forget the underlying philosophy behind Linux — providing open-source USABLE software for all …

  59. Fine by me, cause I am sure has hell going to install the gfx-boot patch.
    Please give us the beta soon.

  60. May I say something here please!
    Could the developer kindly include an option not to istall the GRUP (Bootloader) and let the user use either a boot option from the bios (most recent bios systems give you this option via pressing exit at the startup of the bios screen) or by using the disc they want to boot from via changing boot sisc order order in the boot section of the bios. n this case you may simply install the system on a removable or a usb dic. This is very important on the long run for any user as usually everyone will have a preferred system.
    Thank you.
    Nasser

  61. I’m an almost ‘X’-windows user and need to be comfortable and confident with the MINT7 family. I love mint 7 and I’m selling my friends on using it instead of MS. What ever you do, PLEASE, remember the rest of us, still struggling with the brainwashing from MS and desperatly trying to find all our applications in the new OS Mint 7. Oh, BTW, I’m saving up some money to donate … that’s how much I like all this OS effort …Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Just remember, there are literally millions of us looking for an OS system.

  62. Started with Gloria (mainly ‘cos of the default background; my favorite wallpaper of any system so far – do wish there was a version without the Mint logo, though). Already loads very, very quickly (being used to Windows boot times of two minutes+, even on a freshly-installed system) and has a boot spash (including the GRUB screen) that already looks great**. Changing what already works reliably and efficiently just for the sake of change is NEVER a good thing. We can all see how the change for the sake of change mentality is screwing up Ubuntu and, in 3.6 and beyond, Firefox…

    **(Personally, though, I’d like to get rid of that splash entirely so I can see all of the boot messages as they happen and know when something’s gone bad during boot – and to know what to dmesg | grep for in case it goes by too fast – instead of having to wait until I stumble across the problem by accident during normal use and then having to examine the monochrome dmesg output line by line to try and figure out what went wrong)

  63. Good evening
    I install Ubuntu 9.10,
    etx4 is good,manually install driver nvidia 190.42, when Ubuntu 9.10 start find my geforce 256 and dviver 190.42 but ignore this drive and use an legacy nv driver???
    I try to configure xorg.conf but this release do not use it???
    I try to rebuilt it with sudo utilis-nvidia, Ubuntu rebuilt it but at reboot the system loop without start-up???

    I don’t understand your philosophy if there is a good driver for example nvidia 190.42 why do not install it by default?

    Best regard Alberto

  64. GRUB2 heads up!

    I’m waiting for mint8 to give the distribution a serious try, but grub2 is pretty bad news: while it should now be fixed enough that it won’t destroy my partition tables anymore (fingers crossed) it then simply won’t install onto my current system.

    Thing is — zenwalk 6.2, my current distribution, switched to grub2 as well at the RC stage (the release dropped it again due to this and more) and upon installing it into the MBR, grub2 overwrote more than the first sector of the disk thereby destroying my partition tables which for me started in the second sector. This implies non-clylinder aligned partitions: sfdisk for example happily creates them that way.

    I started out annoyed obviously but managed to fix things and after some back and forth between the grub developpers and myself, the grub2 bug got fixed (and I suppose the fix will be in mainline by now) and in light of filesystems that shuffle around their own blocks and all that, I can sympathise with the fact that simple sector lists (ie, lilo) have no future so that there will always be more space required than 1 sector to put a bootloader and I can change and foo and bar and …

    … but that which remains is that this is a definite difference from earlier setups, and one which may cause people to not be able to install mint8. That is assuming, again, that the bug which actively destroyed the tables in such a situation is no longer in mainline by now. If not, things are more dire.

    Given that I’m too busy with other things, I also haven’t yet repartitioned (it requires a fair amount of time backing up stuff and such) and will likely not be trying out mint for the foreseeable future if GRUB (1) or LILO won’t be offered as alternative choice upon install.

    GRUB2 isn’t all that mature yet: the zenwalk 6.2 episode leaving me with a completely dead system after installing it onto a dedicated testing partition really convinced me of such…

  65. (for the technically inclined: I meant that my chain of logical partitions lived/lives in the second sector: the tables themselves obviously start in the MBR itself. Posting with a reachable email address so if someone needs further info on the technical details in order to reproduce the situation: feel free to contact me)

  66. I have just read through the blog and only having 24 hours experience with mint 7 I will keep it as my preferred distro. The thing I like about Mint 7 is the ease of installation and the ability to ( its a first time experience over several distros ) get my chosen printer going first time. I like its win XP style of operation ( makes me all warm and fuzzy ). Its ability to integrate with the other Pc’s on my home net. The USER DOCUMENTATION ..great. The only con is that my mobo had a Nvidia FX 5200 video card which I can only get 800 x 600 resolution. A list of suggested video cards enabling XVGA would be appreciated. I am however a fan of reasonably long major revisions of the OS ( say 6 months ) but have the ability to update as is the case for Mint 7. In the light of the previous comments on this blog I will probably stay with 7 until I see some actual performance improvements with 8. Keep up the good work !!!

  67. Pingback: The Linux Mint Blog » Blog Archive » The Mint Newsletter – issue 96
  68. I have had lots of problems with Grub on two of my Ubuntu machines, One I am still trying to resolve, I normally use the supergrub boot disk to resolve grub problems but it doesn’t seem to work with grub 2, To fix things it will be a command line solution which I can do from a live cd of 9.10 but that may well be insurmountable to new linux/windows users. I would expect it of fedora to include such cutting edge changes, but Ubuntu? Badly done, Ubuntu, Badly done!

  69. @everyone who says ubuntu this ubuntu that: you do know that mint is just ubuntu + a few bells and whistles right? if ubuntu doesn’t work for you mint sure as hell won’t.

    i think these people should go back to windows if you just like the eyecandy

  70. I am an end user novice. Putzed around 10 yrs w/billy gates nightmares (ok, XP hasn’t beentoo bad-except viruses & Trojans to the max!). Got fed up reinstalling every time some wiseass hotshot hacker blew out my OS. I inherited my Linux Ubuntu from my recently dead brother-in_law–may God not rest his soul. I am tickled to death with Ubuntu and Mint! Will not go back to Windows unless forced to by some app/program I can’t install with Linux. Don’t know you guys yet but I am now a Linux diehard! Keep up the good work and advise me if there is a new version that a novice would do well to drive! Maybe someone could tell me a photo processing program with easy to use features like Image Maker (won’t load on Linux)

    Thanks again Windows challengers!

    Jim

  71. Ever since the team decided to go down the modified GNOME desktop route rather than KDE for Main Edition ‘plugins inclusive’ Mint I have been an enthusiastic fan. I also think that ‘release when ready’ and the avoidance of problems that the Ubuntu team seem to delight in taking on has served Mint very well, with the Main Edition being far more likely to ‘solve Ubuntu’s ‘Bug #1’ than Ubuntu itself.
    I understand that the curtailment of ‘Legacy GRUB’ work in favour of working on GRUB2 has been responsible for Ubuntu’s move to it, as the only version that they can influence and improve, although ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ has often been a wiser course !
    GRUB2 in combination with the more definite adoption of ext4 seems to be responsible for a lot of discontent for multi-booting which allows more direct ‘apples with apples’ comparisons. Indeed, I am finding that Mint-7 with its much under-stated features is comparing very well with the much-hyped Windows 7 on my rigs. Ubuntu 9.10’s new variant of GNOME would make it even better, whilst I am hoping that Mint-8 will manage to avoid some of Karmic’s other problems.
    For such a small team, I am amazed and very impressed by what is achieved with Mint, putting ‘fortress Redmond’, let alone ‘fortress Canonical’ to shame !
    That example also seems to inspire the volunteer community edition teams, whose follow-on KDE and XFCE variants have been great, with the latter being a far more credible alternative to UNR in my view.
    Long may it continue. While it does and health permitting, I will try to provide constructive feedback to aid these valiant efforts.

  72. A quick PostScript – for some new ‘off the wall’ ideas, have a quick play with the Sabayon Linux 5.0-x86-G LiveCD ! I don’t know how they do it, but their musical loading sequence included the automatic detection of my Nvidia graphics card, loading of the proprietary driver and Settings tool, all without needing a restart, with audio and video plugins already aboard, Mint-style, so that I was able to play my legacy files from their NTFS logical drives straight away.
    Less newbie-obvious, Puppy431 loads into RAM, allowing immediate re-use of the same optical drive, but that’s another story !

  73. No big deal that bootscreen.
    Better do something good for Moonlight. So it works.
    It doesn’t now. M$ is happy.

  74. Thanks for the updates! I have been a loyal fan since Felicia. I’m all for new technology and experimentation. In the end, this will benefit all of us, for sure.

  75. There’s nothing wrong with just wanting to be a Linux “User”…and a lot of people just don’t want to be computer geeks of any kind but sure like there iPhones and Linux Laptops…why can’t we just have programs put out there that just work? I loaded Windows 7 today on my laptop in under 30 minutes and my scanner, camera and printer all work fine and my 3D abilities are great. Why can’t Linux just do this, too. Linux has so many more features that I like using and is way more colorful – but, I beg for the day when I can just load a distro – walk away and know it’ll work out of the box – just like I did with Windows 7, today? Everytime a new distro comes out – I have to go through the same hastles of getting drivers to work — and Mint 7 has been the best so far – but, will Mint 8 replace Windows 7?

  76. I would just like to say, I run Linux Mint 7 xfce along with a number of Linux distributions as guests through virtualbox on a Mac host, including ubuntu 9.10. as it turns out, as far as running virtual machines, Linux Mint 7 is the ONLY one I haven’t had issues with. and if you do go with 9.10 which I assume one has to. I will keep Linux Mint 7 xfce around so I have something reliable.

Comments are closed.