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, lintelligence.de 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.