A new command line utility called “iso-localize” is now available. With this tool, users, magazines and communities from various parts of the World can now produce official Linux Mint ISO images in their language and distribute them as such.
From a technical point of view, the utility reads from an existing ISO file, downloads the language packs for the selected language, sets that language as defaults and asks the user to translate the labels found in the liveCD/DVD menu. It then creates a new ISO file, which behaves in every way like the original and boots directly, with full support, in your language.
The branding aspect is important. As you probably know, we’re strict on quality and testing and we only release images when we thing they’re ready. Thanks to the open-source nature of our project, anybody can remaster our releases and modify them in many ways. These modifications result in custom systems which quality and features we’re not able to assess and for this reason we’re reluctant to see them distributed under our name. Sharing and opening software for others to modify is great, as long as modified versions aren’t distributed as if they officially came from us. We recently faced a problem with the Russian community where someone produced ISOs of extremely poor quality and the Russian community’s website was distributing them as “Linux Mint” ISOs. This is unfair to us and although people are free to modify our images, they should at least do so using their own name and their own branding. Many communities expressed the need for localized ISOs and this branding issue was a concern to us. This new utility solves both problems by allowing communities to create custom ISO images while restricting the scope of this customization to localization.
Of course, we still provide mintconstructor for people who are interested in remastering our images. Images produced manually or using remastering tools (mintconstructor, reconstructor or remastersys, etc…) should be considered unofficial and should not be publicly distributed with our name and branding. Our policy in that regard is to ask distributors of these custom images to create their own name and branding.
Images created with iso-localize can be considered official and distributed as such, using our name and branding.
To know more about iso-localize and how to use it, please read the dedicated tutorial.