Upcoming releases

A lot of things are happening at the moment. Here are some news to keep you up to date.

LXDE

I would like to thank all the people who commented and sent us their feedback on Linux Mint 11 LXDE RC. Althought we were and we’re still really happy with the quality of this release, the fact that it sporadically failed to load X from the live session for many people was identified as a serious problem and a release breaker. We switched LXDM to GDM as the default login manager and we believe this addresses the problem. However, due to the fact that this bug wasn’t always reproducible, we need your feedback again and so we decided to release another RC before going stable.

Linux Mint 11 LXDE RC2 should be out early this week.

KDE

Linux Mint 11 KDE has been in testing for a couple of weeks and during its testing a couple of design decisions were made, including important changes in the software selection and the look and feel. The lack of performance and the amount of resources needed by the Kubuntu base were identified as an issue, along with a regression in the installer affecting the detection of other operating systems. Although we’re close to a release in terms of quality, a discussion is ongoing about the possibility of switching the KDE edition to LMDE. This would give it the performance it needs and make KDE a viable alternative on mid-spec computers.

Depending on this discussion, we could see a Linux Mint KDE 11 RC release this month, or an LMDE-based rolling Linux Mint KDE RC some time in August.

LMDE

We were planning the following for LMDE:

  • Improving the way people roll and update their system
  • Improving the installer
  • Improving the way people install proprietary drivers
  • Re-spinning the ISOs

We made really good progress on the Update Manager, the update packs and the new repositories and we’re now focused on improving the installer.

The installer now detects your language automatically and lets you choose keyboard variants as well as layouts and models. We’re just started with the installer and more improvements should follow.

Because of breakages in Debian Testing between MESA and proprietary drivers we won’t work on improving the way people install them this time around. This is something we’re planning to do in the future, and whether it’s by porting Jockey from Ubuntu to Debian or by making a better alternative ourselves, we will tackle this at some stage. But for now, after the installer is ready we’ll work on respinning new LMDE ISOs for Gnome and Xfce before focusing on Linux Mint 12.

Some decisions are hard to make and I appreciate the fact that people are waiting and that nobody likes to see a release delayed or a design decision changing something people like. This is for the best though, and with the quality of our desktops in mind. A restrospective look at a release, the fun people have with it and the pride we have in having delivered it.. it’s all to do with quality. This is the reason we do not announce release dates and the reason even though these two editions have been in testing for respectively 3 and 4 weeks, we’re not releasing them yet. I hope you understand and I would like to thank everybody for their patience.

Our testing is public and you can follow it at http://community.linuxmint.com/iso

If you’re interested, you can also follow our progress on the installer at https://github.com/linuxmint/live-installer/commits/master