Upstream improvements – Mint 5

With Ubuntu releasing 8.04 “Hardy” BETA we took a look at the new base and upgraded a Daryna desktop to it to see how it behaved.

The desktop seems faster and more responsive. The kernel is 2.6.24, it comes with CFS, the new linux scheduler and chances are this improves things a lot. Gnome 2.22 also seems snappier and comes with its own compositing effects so you can achieve minimal effects without actually using Compiz (we’re planning to add this to mintDesktop so you can configure this easily).

Rhythmbox 0.11.5 handles Magnatune, Jamendo, Last.fm, online radio, iPod support, podcasts, library monitoring, CD ripping, lyrics, album artwork etc… and it should replace both Amarok and SoundJuicer.

Firefox 3.0 comes with smart bookmarks, uses less RAM than its predecessor and integrates better with Gnome. The system gets the popular PulseAudio and PolicyKit frameworks. Xorg 7.3 provides better auto-configuration and Ubuntu improved the screen configuration tool. Brasero and Deluge should replace Serpentine and the Gnome integrated features for disc burning and torrent downloading. Inkscape isn’t part of the default selection but the new version comes with native PDF support.

Since Daryna most of the mint tools were improved but also localized and made more robust. We focused on stability for this release and although we postponed ambitious designs and innovations for Mint 6 a lot of small yet noticeable improvements made their way into the Mint 5 roadmap. It looks like this also happen with Ubuntu and with quite tangible improvements coming from upstream, in particular from the Gnome and the kernel projects.

We were already excited by the LTS aspects of Mint 5 (which we’re planning to extend, not as a complete rolling distro, but in order to guarantee that most desktop applications stay up to date), by the performance gains of the new mintUpdate, by the new features of mintMenu and mintInstall, by the overall GUI, localization, and stability improvements of our tools. Now we’re seing this new scheduler in action and a brand new Gnome deskop, already nicely integrated together by Ubuntu. What a release Elyssa is going to be! After we merge all these improvements together, Mint 5, and Hardy before it, are going to be real killer releases!

We’ve seen a lot of innovations on the desktop for Linux Mint 4.0, this time the release is going to be equally innovative but with more maturity. If we could ever make the desktop which was going to kill Windows, then this would be it. Ladies and gentlemen prepare yourselves for one of the greatest Ubuntu releases and right after that for one of the best desktops you ever got to see.

Ok, maybe I’m overdoing this a little 🙂 Time will tell, but from what I can see things look extremely promising.

16 comments

  1. Clem.

    No Offense

    Just only tell me about the new fantastic world of Linux Mint
    (Ubuntu, no!)

    Yep i am glad for these exciting expectations and i will wait
    for Elyssa (Elisabete) to be the best linux desktop in the world
    after its release

  2. >deluge ?

    isn’t the default transmission? deluge is a bit buggy and locks up (at least the last version i used)

    >inkscape

    an inkscape lite (aka inklite) is in the works !!
    http://bryceharrington.org/drupal/inklite

    >If we could ever make the desktop which was going to kill Windows, then this would be it.

    Yes, for me linuxmint already wounded windows badly (in my pc), but having a chance to kill it is a big plus!

  3. I have the same excitement about Mint 5! Ubuntu still has a ways to go with gvfs, it is still loaded with bugs. There are a lot of things to look forward to and if everything goes right, Mint 5 will be the best release we have ever seen!

    The Mint tools are better than ever and all of the other new innovations really are going to make this release a Windows killer!

  4. belovedmonster: You know right well we don’t plan release dates 🙂 It will be out when ready. Of course, realistically we’ll probably see a BETA early in May. Then if things go well we could see a stable release between two weeks and a month after that. So, without trying to be accurate, I’d say the final release could be out between mid-May and early June.

  5. Clem, i translate it to spanish, and I post it in my portal. You can take it for the spanish official forum if you like it.

    I’m very interested with the new version, you looks very excited, it’s good for Linux Mint.

    Best regards,

    Didier

  6. Great to see Paulse Audio included.

    Thank you for your time and effort. It is much appreciated.

    Regards
    John

  7. Is there a chance that for Mint 6 ext4 will be supported? Kernel 2.6.25 got a lot of new ext 4 implementation and I think it would be at least ready as an optional filesystem.

  8. I am sorry to hear you are dropping Amarok in favor of Rythmbox. More than any other thing Amarok and Gnome sold me on Linux. The fact that Mint was a Gnome distribution that included a KDE application like Amarok as the default music player was what first attracted me to Mint. It showed me that Mint intended to use the best and Amarok is the best.

    IMHO Rythmbox does not have anywhere near the polished feel or effortless ease of use present with Amarok. A real step down.

    I hope you reconsider and keep Amarok integrated as a music player.

  9. I think it would be significant to the progress of Mint to also jump on the 64bit wagon with this release with an x86_64 version.

  10. Hey!
    I am happy to hear that Elyssa is on it’s ways, but I’d like to see Amarok make it to the new release. It has worked like a charm and never made any problems (except for a knotify-error which didn’t do any harm). Also Amarok’s functionality and looks are unbeaten. So maybe you want to overthink that decision? 🙂 Otherwise… I love this distribution… keep up the good work.

  11. Well, the Amarok fans are out here alright – include me!!
    Before you guys go final on something ‘else’, have a go at a 50G collection of tracks with a few of the other pretenders….

    You’ll be surprised at what most of them can’t do.

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