New Software module in the Community website

The “software” module was added to the Community Website.

The old “Software Portal” available for Mint 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 users contained approximately 400 applications. It was integrated with the main website and it was using the .mint format with mintInstall.

The new module contains every single package available in the repositories. So for instance, right now, it shows 30,592 packages. It’s integrated with the community website and it uses apturl which will come pre-installed in Linux Mint 9. It will also allow the new upcoming version of mintInstall to review packages straight from the application.


Reviews now relate to packages, not to releases, so if you review a package now, your review will continue to be available after Mint 9, 10 and so on get released. You can see how long each review was written so obsolete data isn’t an issue. At any time you can update your review of a package and reset its timestamp. As a consequence we’re hoping to get a lot more reviews from the community in this module than we previously had in the Software Portal.

A review is basically a score and a comment. The comment is a one-liner. The score ranges from 1 to 5 depending on how much you like the application you’re reviewing.. 1 is for packages you hate, 2 for packages you don’t like, 3 for packages you think are so-so, 4 for packages you like, 5 for packages you think are “awesome” (or “brilliant” depending on where you live) 🙂

The overall score of a package is the sum of all the (individual score – 3). The rationale behind this, is that a 3 is neutral, and so you can impact the overall score of each application by -2, -1, 0, +1 or +2 depending on how much you like it. The more people like a package the higher the score… and vice-versa.

Screenshots (updated)

You can upload screenshots by clicking on the “no screenshot available” picture. Once your screenshot is uploaded, it will be under review by the admins. If approved it will then appear in the module.


Happy reviewing, and don’t hesitate to give us some feedback.

Note: The categories are a bit mixed up. This is an issue we’re aware of. We’ll fix this in the coming days.


  1. Oh by the way, before people ask: Why do the individual scores range from 1 to 5 and not from -2 to +2… eventually we want to replace all visual individual scores with a number of stars (from 1 to 5 stars basically), but for the overall score we want a big number which isn’t limited by anything else than the number of reviews and the popularity of the application. If an application isn’t popular at all, we also want that number to be lesser than 0. Applications which no reviews, or with balanced reviews will have an overall score of 0, and they should be considered “better” than bad-rated ones.

  2. Sounds very promising, and will certainly help tackle the long overdue Linux poor user experience in software installation.

  3. Definitely going to be a big help for those newer to Linux.
    However, why not make it possible for people to upload a screenshot for the other packages that you end up not making “official” shots of?
    It would save you guys time and help the community contribute to the site.
    You’d have to have some rules about the shots I’m sure, but beneficial to the overall site I believe.

  4. Sounsd like Mint 9 is off to a great start. My only suggestion — and it’s a bit off-topic, but I want to say it before I forget — is that you folks should seriously be considering removing the Tomboy Notes icon from the bottom panel. I love Tomboy Notes, I use it almost daily, but for new users it confuses and annoys them probably more than it guides them to a great piece of software.

  5. I agree with Wayne, let us help with uploading the screenshot. That would be an easy way for us little folks to help build the best linux experience out there even better. Keep up the good work !

  6. Not only is Linux Mint one of the best distributions, but the imagination you have to and the work you do to develop the community continues to impress me.

  7. I agree with Wayne as well, let us help with uploading the screenshot. That would be an easy way for us little folks to help build the best linux experience out there even better. Keep up the good work !

    1. UPDATE: You can now upload screenshots. An admin panel was added for us to review them quickly. Once reviewed they appear in the module. In the meantime the page indicates whether a screenshot is available or not, or if it under review. (thanks for the feedback on this Wayne, great idea).

  8. Got an error when trying to post a review and I think it was because of punctuation. When I shortened the text and removed the “?”, the entry was accepted.

  9. This is looking good, very much like the way it is done in openSUSE. Two quick points though.
    1. Can the comment box be made bigger, to ease editing?

    2. When the “Install” button is presses, I get the error “Firefox doesn’t know how to open this address, because the protocol (apt) isn’t associated with any program.”

    1. Ray: The small field is there to encourage people to review applications. One-liners also look better in mintinstall. There’s nothing stopping you from writing a longer review though, but it’s small for that reason. The apt:// protocol requires apturl ( <– see now, we can link to packages pages) to be installed and configured. This will work out of the box in Mint 9. So far we've relied on our own .mint files. Apturl was developed after .mint and since we had our own technology we never moved to it, this will change in the next release. .mint files were a more mature technology and allowed to do more but they were harder to maintain (hence the 300+ applications as opposed to 30,000 now) and we never really took advantage of the features they offered anyway. So we're moving back to simply plain .deb and apturl.

  10. @user who asked why not let anyone upload an image lol because if it were like that what would stop anyone from uploading pornos to the reposotories lol? What if when you Click on firefox for install or Chrome or something and it shows a webpage open with people “going at it” lol lol… thats most likely why it needs a review and approval that and of course to make sure the right image gets uploaded to the right program. Like you don’t want to see an audacity image when you click on ardour that would suck and confuese you unless you already downloaded and played with the program.

  11. Would the website be able to detect what packages you already had installed on your computer and what versions they were? Then (especially new users) wouldn’t be downloading packages they already had but didn’t realise. I know this is has already been implemented in the Software Manager in Mint 8 but is this possible on the website as well?

  12. OK, so I want to install the game from the downloaded file:

    Double clicking on this alleged executable file fails.

    Why should Linux be any more difficult than simply double clicking on an executable file to install!!!!!

    Come on guys!!!

  13. Thanks for the explanation Clem. I think I understood it!! Roll on Mint 9.

    As far as the small distinct reviews go, just as long as they don’t end up as a long list of Awesomes, Brilliants or a four letter form of the word Rubbish! (May be we should include an interactive Thesaurus on the page.)

  14. It would be nice if Mint could create a portal similar to Freespire’s CNR. That would attract lots of new users like me at that time. They could see beforehand installing any OS the potential Linux Mint can offer regarding availability and how easy a software package could be installed. Any way, things are getting in the right direction and this is very important for the future of the distribution. I can’t wait till Isidora is released to see how nice and efficient is.

  15. I was very happy to see mint coming back to .deb format. And I think it will be very convenient to see all the packages available in the repositories… Can’t wait to see the new Software manager! That’s a wonderful step towards a better system.
    I was also very happy to hear that the mint menu is being inproved. It’s really a wonderful and very easy-to-use tool. My grandmother said, ‘it’s a lot easier than that strange and uncomfortable menu in the library’s computers’ (they use windows there). As someone here suggested, it would be graet if it was resizable. That would be really awsome!
    And, I think that mint should also focus un the visual side more. Helena’s gdm screen was awful. The mint logo seen while booting up is also not nice at all. I think community would really suggest some ideas at least. Ubuntu is planning some big changes to it’s visuals, I suggest mint take the lead. 🙂

  16. Packages should be rated by popularity, (i.e. hightest number of downloads presumeably based on actual usage) and by development (ones that show the most continued development with revision status by version number.)This way the very least popular, and least developed packages don’t make it into the overall
    repository libraries until they show mature development.

  17. “When the “Install” button is presses, I get the error “Firefox doesn’t know how to open this address, because the protocol (apt) isn’t associated with any program.”

    I get the same message Ray Woods described above.
    Does it have to do with the fact that I’m running Helena KDE?

  18. I have a suggestion about the reviews in relation to time and version. It’s good to see old reviews and to know when they were written, but what would be also great is (maybe it’s already in ?) the version for which the review was written for ?

    Keep up the work Mint Team !

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