Some news about Mint

We haven’t communicated much lately about our plans and what we were working on at the moment.

Daryna was a very sucessful release and the Linux Mint community is growing rapidly so we’ve been busy strenghening the software portals and other community websites. The forums should be themed in the days to come. Carlos Porto has been working on a green theme which looks similar to the main website.

We’re also writing a user guide. It’s currently 75 pages long with a lot of screenshots and will come as a PDF book. This guide will make it easy for people who are not familiar with Linux to install and configure the system on their computer. It will also cover the specifics of Linux Mint and in particular the various things you can achieve using the mint tools which come with your desktop. No matter how experienced you are with Linux there will be a few things you’ll learn from this guide (for instance, do you know how to make mintMenu show applications comments?) and we promise to also keep everything very simple and clearly explained for everybody.

The Debian Edition is nearly ready. It’s fast, it’s live and we’re 80% happy with the result so far. We can already look at it and say “Yes, Debian would be a great base for us to use and we could do without Ubuntu”. The real question is how this system will pass the test of time and the continuous flow of updates. We’re thinking APT pinning should do the trick but time will tell. So far we’ve been using a Debian Testing base with the Debian Multimedia repositories. We’re also using Mepis 7.0 repositories although it’s only to get our hands on Thunderbird without having to maintain it ourselves (we would if we were to maintain this edition but this is only an experiment so we just need to know that we could, and we know we can.. so it’s no big deal). The Mepis 7.0 repository is under_pinned so it only gets packages which are not in Debian… namely.. thunderbird. A few things remain to be done:

– The boot splash and grub menus are text-based. We might not spend time on this. Again, this is an experiment and we don’t “need” to make it graphical at this stage.
– There is no installer and we don’t plan on writing one at this stage. Again… we would write an installer if we were to move to Debian but is it worth it for this experiment? We tried to port Ubiquity and it didn’t work very well. We couldn’t find the source for the Mepis installer.. we tried Acronyx and had some issues with it and so we’re now looking at the Ruby installer used and developed by DreamLinux. We’ll either use that one or none at all.

We haven’t started the Fedora based Edition yet although I personally can’t wait to work on this myself.

Some community editions are coming. We’re testing internal BETAs of a miniCD Edition and a Fluxbox Edition.

2 new mint tools should be developped for Linux Mint 5.0:

– A tool to easily backup your home directory into a single file, with md5 checksum verification and easy restore capabilities.

– A tool similar to “Giver” to easily transfer files and folders from one computer to another on the same network.

We’re also looking at a few statistics:

– The money collected by the project in October was twice the amount collected the month before.
– According to Distrowatch HTTP stats we’re the 5th most used GNU/Linux distribution behind Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE and PCLinuxOS. Apparently if the percentage of users visiting distrowatch is similar between Mint and Fedora then we can assume Linux Mint has more users than Fedora. This is mind-boggling of course and it may not be true (it’s very hard to check).
– Our main mirror, reported 2 million downloads for Linux Mint 3.0 Cassandra. We have no idea about the total number of downloads or the size of the user base which was assumed to be around 200,000 users. To be honest it looks pointless to make estimations about this as we really don’t have a clue. All we know is that we’re relatively doing very well, we’re probably among the top 10 operating systems used in the World and we’re definitely growing very fast.

Finally, additions were made to the software portal and you can now get Frostwire, Second Life, Wine Doors, MS Fonts and a few others new applications for Daryna.


  1. Wow, heady days. Everyone involved deserves a lot of credit. When I first started using Mint–Bianca–I had to bring folks up to date on exactly what it was when asked which distro I used. Now when I tell them I use Mint, they nod knowingly. Everyone involved should be proud of these achievements.

    I am incredibly amazed by how fast you folks have built this status.

    I just set my 72 year old father up with his first computer, of course it runs Mint.

  2. Hello & Congratulations Linux Mint Developers

    I’m a big fan of Linux Mint, your recent release of Mint 4.0 Daryna was excellent, however the exciting news for me is the current development of your forthcoming release of Mint 5.0 Debian Edition.

    Very much looking forward to seeing Linux Mint 5.0 Debian being released.

    Having a computer that’s not exactly ‘state of the art’ which is basically equivalent to a Pentium III system but with 1 Gigabyte of memory I’m obviously excited to hear about a forthcoming release using a stable Debian base.

    Sadly, I was unable to run Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna without experiencing freezing of applications, this is of course due to my low end hardware and is no reflection of your excellent release of Mint 4.0 Daryna.

    If I could afford a new machine I’d certainly be running Mint 4.0 Daryna.
    Unfortunately, at this stage I’m financially not in a position to upgrade my computer, so to hear you’ll (hopefully) be releasing a Debian edition, I’m pleased & excited as this will mean a faster and more responsive system for Linux Mint fans such as me with older hardware.

    Keep up the excellent work you deserve the credit! I’d be very surprised if Linux Mint is not in the top 10 most used operating systems in the world yet.

    Imagine what could happen? if everything goes to plan with the new development and eventual release of Linux Mint 5.0 Debian Based!

    The very best of luck to you guys in the future with all your releases & once again thank you for all the hard work and efforts that went into your earlier releases.

  3. Hi, clem,
    I’m interested to translate the Mint User Guide to Brazilian Portuguese. Let me know if this is possible at this stage and what tool to use.

    Congratulations for the excellent work so far.


  4. Thanks for the update.

    I have done some writing over the years (including some books) and have an eye for detail. Is there a section I can proof read in the User Guide?

    John H

  5. John: Check the announcements on the forums. A first version of the guide was released.

    shahid: It will be an experiment based on Daryna, so you’ll see a Linux Mint 4.0 Debian Edition, but they probably won’t be any 5.0 Debian Edition.


  6. PLEASE please keep LinuxMint as an Ubuntu derivative.
    I place this OS on so many computers, yet I am no expert. But Mint is sooo easy for so many people. Its such an excellent intro to Linux.
    Please keep it Ubuntu and develop on that.

  7. This is great, I have been on board since Bea, and to see this growth is just fantastic. Congratulations to all and thank you for your hard work.

  8. I am eager to see the E17 Edition of Linux Mint. When I quickly looked at Elive it seems to be that the ystem requirements are not so high. When do you expect to release the first version?

  9. To Jon:
    Regarding switching the base … as clem has said this is just an experiment. But I curious why you’d be so strongly opposed to it? You realize Ubuntu is based on Debian? I think switching to Debian would be easier, imo, because if clem followed testing then you’d be cutting out the middle man, getting more packages available. The Debian kernel ‘just works’ like Ubuntu … so

  10. Rahim: Yes, I looked at Sidux, Kanotix, Mepis, DL and of course Mint. I can’t remember what was wrong with Sidux’ installer, or if anything was wrong even, maybe it was just too much of a challenge to get it working the way I wanted. The only thing I remember is that it wasn’t good enough for me for the purpose of this experiment. I’m still thinking of adapting the DL installer or not putting any installer at all.


  11. Amazing development for Mint. Good work Clem and team. But I thought that Mint 5.0 would be based on the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS edition.
    This would give professional value to Mint. Experimenting with other distributions is interesting IMHO. But let us make Mint a reliable,stable distribution for whomever wants to have an OS for serious work, not funny 3-D tricks.


  12. Hi npap,

    It will be. These Fedora/Debian based experiments have nothing to do with the official distribution, still based on Ubuntu.


  13. Excellent work! I enjoy Mint very much. Try to remove the “ubuntu” names/trademarks. They seem to have lingered around (eg. loggin in after pressing ALT + CTRL + F1). I really enjoyed watching quicktime movie trailers from . All without having to install extra software! Good work.

  14. I have used many Linux Distros and never finding the one that worked with all of my hardware I kept wondering. I built a PC for Vista for work, after trying Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna I moved all over to Mint. Vista is not used anymore on this machine. I applaud everybody’s hard work in producing such a stable and functional OS. I look forward to your releases in the future.

  15. Clem,

    Merry Christmas to you, your family and all of the great people involved in this work. You are all wonderful and I want to thank you all for what you’ve given to the world.

    Congratulations for all your achievements, I’m sure this is just the beginning. You are changing the world. It is really exciting to see it and be part of it, if only in a small way.


    Tucson, Arizona

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