Linux Mint signs a partnership with Blue Systems

Blue Systems is a German company sponsoring Free and Open Source projects such as Netrunner and KDE-projects like kcm-gtk-config.

As part of the partnership, Linux Mint will share its knowledge and expertise with Netrunner and both distributions will work together on improving their respective KDE editions. Although Netrunner and Linux Mint KDE offer a different experience, they’re built on the same technology. This cooperation between the two distributions will have positive effects on both.

Blue Systems is also becoming the primary sponsor for Linux Mint. This sponsorship allowed us to contract an additional full-time developer for the whole year of 2012.


  1. Great job Mint, and good luck!

    This goes to show that Linux Mint cares about ALL of their versions and not just their main one. Thanks again for giving us choice.

  2. Hope this provides an up to date kde. Also hope that the debian based kde project isn’t dead. Rolling releases are the way to go imho

  3. Excellent – maybe now we can get a boot option for Nvidia cards besides nouveau – the fact that it will not boot at all for certain cards doesn’t seem to phase developers one bit from forcing it down users throats. Even VESA would be an improvement.

  4. Casi nadie usa LMDE y menos aún son los que usan KDE, unirlos será una idea buena?

    Quase ninguém usa LMDE e menos ainda são os que usam KDE, uni-los será uma ideia boa?

  5. Que bueno! y Carlos yo he conocido bastante gente que usa LMDE de hecho esperamos creemos que podría ser una muy buena distribución para los equipos de producción.

    Nice! and there are many people who use LMDE Carlos. Don’t forget the XFCE desktop please!

  6. @at tarpan: Clem will probably answer you but i would say the answer to that is: of course not…gnome is used by 85% of the mint base so it wouldn’t be a very logical move…

    However, the KDE fans should be pleased in terms of the kde edition being produced and coming out when they would normally expect it to…

  7. Thanks for your support Blue Systems!

    Well done to Clem and team for helping to take Linux Mint forward once again and welcome to the team at Netrunner, may you find 2012 just as fruitful as we hope Linux Mint does.

    All the best.


  8. This is extraordinary news. Coming so soon after the announcement of the Cinnamon desktop, it’s certainly a welcome way to start the new year.

    Perhaps — in the same way that Cinnamon leverages the strengths of Gnome3 while retaining the usability of Gnome2, this close collaboration with Blue Systems will result in a matured KDE, that provides a more transparently-accessible user experience.

  9. Not a KDE fan, but really appreciate your thinking Clem. You have admitted that you’re not THAT good with KDE. And beyond our imagination you stepped ahead and ensure the quality release. Kudos.

    PS: Folks stop bitching about KDE. KDE is good ( I like it or not ) but for your extreme shout LM KDE ‘ll release but LXDE ‘ll not, time is the factor. I saw Lubuntu hit is greater than Kubuntu hit at Distrowatch. Is KDE loosing its ground? Or its just the *buntu sinerio?

  10. Again, Clem, your vision for Linux encompasses all users, not just certain DE fanbois. You are to be commended.

    Thank you Blue Systems for your financial support.

    I have tried Netrunner but it was not as polished and stable as Mint. I think that this marriage bodes very well indeed for the future of both KDE and Mint.

    Can’t wait to see the results.

    Great job Clem.

  11. What better way to help enhance Linux Mint than by collaborating with another Linux distro?

    As I am currently trying to spend as much time as possible on my LM9 KDE install, and plan to install (another) LMDE and put KDE on top of it, this news on KDE is most welcome.

    Grüss Gott! and All the Best to Clem&Team and Clem, Netrunner & Blue Systems.

  12. Carlos, I translated your post after posting mine–gave me a good chuckle, amigo. 🙂 How wonderful that our LM community is so diverse and independent while still supporting the community.

  13. I do not know Netrunner, but if they want to help Mint building a KDE version and help Mint in general financially, then this has got to be great news. I don’t know how many developers Mint has to build the KDE version, but I get a feeling every help is welcome.
    This is the best news we have heard about the KDE version in a long time. Now some more news about the technical content of the next KDE version and everything is great.
    Clem, don’t rush to bring out the next version. Take all the time you need to finish it, but please keep us informed now and then.

    Maybe it is a bit too late already but to all the people of Mint and of course every Mint fan a Happy New Year with hopefully for each and everyone the taste of Mint he/she wants. Isn’t that what Linux is all about?

  14. Good work!

    Mint is pretty busy recently isn’t it, and it seems that business growth Clem was saying was needed is happening.

    Mint has got to be a good bet for businesses and organizations to sponsor at the moment. It’s obviously the one with the most potential for a bright future for Linux; would be wise to get sponsoring it now!

  15. I do not know Netrunner, but if they want to help Mint building a KDE version and help Mint in general financially, then this has got to be great news.

    Netrunner is nice. They do a lot of work in making gtk apps look and work well with KDE. I hope this means that Mint KDE will see a boost in development.

  16. As KDE fun I was thinking about trying Netrunner 4.0 announced 30.12.2011. But I see that it is not needed.

    I am pleased. Collaboration is right way, no dividing.

  17. Clem, thanks for trying to make LM_KDE to shine again. Having a great LM-KDE is a safety net for all of those that needs a computer to do REAL work. My advice, communication is essential to keep users around and unfortunately this have not been happening when it comes to KDE, hope that will be rectify in the future.

    @Craig said…gnome is used by 85% of the mint base so it wouldn’t be a very logical move…

    Craig, logical is to use a PC the way you want to be used, one that you can be productive and offers lots of nice configurations. Fortunately I found that in KDE and I’m sure Clem has seen this also and now is focusing on providing the best one for the good of the community. Hope in the future, in a few releases down the road you may find the same in Gnome 3,XX but you will have to wait a lot, because it will not be easy to duplicate the wonders of Gnome 2.

    So by logic, most if not all of the 85% would be better off to move to KDE if they need to use an OS that offers you to be productive, is stable and if you like eye-candy, it has lots of this too to offer. Or at least, double boot.

  18. @manny: I certainly can appreciate your enthusiasm for the kde desktop..i have used it myself in the past, but have still found i prefer gnome myself…though at least mint (and apparently net runner) does try to combine features of gnome into kde desktop to make it a more well rounded experience which i think i actually a very good thing…

    As far as the logic of moving over the 85% gnome base of mint to a kde desktop…well i don’t think that would work well because a lot of them probably would not accept it…I’m sure at one time or another, that most of the 85% have (as i have) played around with the kde desktop and just decided (as i have) that we would prefer to stay with gnome…

    So, what would happen is that large portion of that 85% would likely abandon mint and that would NOT be good for LM as a distro…

    It’s fine that you and the others among the 15% of kde users at mint prefer it’s kde version and i think it’s GREAT for you guys that LM had netrunner
    to sponsor mint so that they can work together to improve both distros and offer financial support to LM so Clem was able to hire someone full time to work on the kde version…

    Clem mentioned himself that he is just not that familar with the kde desktop which is likely why he has always had and will continue to have someone else working on it…

    Gnome is his speciality and the one he is most familar with and he is doing a FANTASTIC job with Cinnamon as it will be (from what i can see already) the perfect solution to combining a good looking conventional style desktop with the greatly improved technology of Gnome 3…
    And the good news is…it will not take long at all…i’d say by Mint 13 Gnome 3 with the Cinnamon desktop will be pretty mature by then…

    Sorry for being so “long winded” but just wanted to make my positions clear about the Gnome and KDE situation…i am not a “fan boy” as some have called me..just happen to prefer gnome over kde just as in your case, the reverse is true…

  19. This is great news. While I don’t use much KDE, it should benefit those that do, as well as increasing Netrunners’ visibility on distrowatch.

    As always, a Linux Mint Fan and daily user…

  20. this is very good news. i have netrunner 4.0 installed in my triple boot. i like it but it does need refined.
    using kde on top of mint 11 is pretty resource heavy. with the new team up it will have just what i want. kde with some excellent gnome integration. best news i’ve heard in months.

    with kde i can make my desktop act almost exactly like gnome 2 or 3.
    a few add ons and bam. or at least seem close to it.
    ie top left corner shows all desktops takeoff launcher shows everything as a huge full screen app launcher. stuff like that. with being able to customize each desktop in pager.
    my kde looks a lot more polished than gnome 2 and it has the same panels and docks look.
    kde is a lot more effective for me and that is thanks to gnome 3.
    to each his own. i’ll stay with kde.

    thanks all for the collaboration btwn mint and netrunner.
    happy new year

  21. I’ve grown to love KDE personally, but have still found it very buggy and unpredictable (had the menu button on the lower left, but the menu came from the top left… yeah…). I think just about every DE has something to offer users (yes, even Unity). The only one I’ve found that I really can’t stand is E17; way too buggy for prime time.

    This partnership can only mean good things for the users of both distros. Congratulations!

  22. Excellent.

    Les petits ruisseaux font les grandes rivières.

    Little brooks make up big rivers.

    All the best Linux Mint.

  23. Sí existimos los usuarios de LMDE! A mi me gusta Gnome, pero a la vez espero todo lo mejor para todos los usuarios de Linux, y especialmente a los usuarios de Linux Mint, así que espero que esto tenga buenos resultados.

    There are many of us LMDE users out there! I like Gnome, but I still wish the best for all Linux users, and especially Linux Mint users, so I hope this works out well.

  24. I am using mint since 2009, but I like gnome rather than kde desktop.
    Anyway, its a great effort for improvement of KDE.

  25. manny:
    I agree with you.

    1. I am one of these whom are on LM 11 and waiting for LM 12 KDE. I feel that LM 12 gnome is not for me at all. And why am I on LM 11 gnome? Because when I want to have mint I have to. But I see that KDE is coming.

    2. Some people are not worth of any discussion. They mill the same again and again. They should be ignored, because any our efforts are wasted.

  26. First of all let me just say Well done to Linux Mint Team for securing a partnership with Blue Systems, and to Blue Systems for reconsigning the hard work that the Linux Mint Team do. May this be the start of a great thing lasting many many years.

    I would like to really see a end to D.E bashing (no pun intended). The great thing of Linux is the freedom it gives us to choose a desktop environment that suits the way we work with our computers, so please stop the KDE vs Gnome etc bashing because in the end it only harms Linux’s public image.


  27. I love KDE, it’s been my preferred desktop environment since I first ran it in SuSE 6.0. It’s much more configurable than Gnome and it’s no more or less buggy than Gnome either. However, when they went to v4 it did get a bit bloated. If LM could put KDE on a bit of a diet that would be great! I would also like to see LM migrate away from *buntu base and go with a rolling LM_Debian-KDE addition. That would be the ticket! But whatever the case, I appreciate all that the LM team does, thanks!

  28. Looks good to me. KDE Mint 9 LTS is the primary distro I use. It is also the distro that I recommend & maintain for friends & family.

  29. @ manny and ferri. I like kde very much especially since I figured out how to effectively use ‘activities’. I want to use up to date kde and had to look elsewhere other than mint 🙁

    I’m not a big fan of Gnome 3 or Unity but have now returned to Mint thanks to ‘Cinnamon’ (I never left Mint, just tried others to get a good kde experience- of which there are plenty)

    I would say to you both to have a look at ‘Cinnamon’ until kde gets back on track rather than just trash Gnome.

    I mean no offence, just offer suggestions

  30. @ Clem & Others :

    Well, I’m a windows guy. I just use linux for extra knowledge and hobby. My laptop got stolen ( skip the sad story ) and Mint 10 is too old for my new Acer Aspire 5750 hardware.

    After some distrohopping ( including Katya, Pear OS, Pinguy, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Bodhi ) I realize I have to be LinuxLess for atleast 5 months until LM 13 Melisa ( Thats a suggestion ) ‘ll be released.

    Now, don’t have Paypal / Alertpay etc to donate. But really wanna support LM project which opened Linux gateway for me since Isodora.

    My Q. is, if I use Mint Customized DuckDuckGo url as my default search can that generate revenue for Mint? Can DuckDuckGo Team identify that the referral is from Windows and feel cheated ?

  31. I’ve been using Mint since Gloria, did some distro-hopping, but always returned to Mint. Now, due to all the Gnome3/Unity/Extensions turmoil I’ve started using KDE (Kubuntu) and I must say I do like it. For my work, having to use Citrix ICA client (Receiver) for Win-appps it’s much more stable that Gnome3. So if this means there will be a fully supported Mint-KDE variant: I may return yet again.

  32. This is very good news for KDE fans, they will get “the most elegant” up to date kde linux

    I also hope that you will find a sponsor interested in LXDE…

  33. Great news if you can get some of the bloat out of KDE! Gnome 2 sent me to KDE3, but KDE4 sent me back… and Gnome Shell/Unity sent me all the way back to Windows (which is actually not bad these days). I hope this means I can start loving Linux again.

  34. A happy hello from a long time netrunner user!!

    I think this will be good for all us netrunner users, as well as all you fine mint folks.

    Although I’ve never used gnome, I’m downloading mint now, and will try it on my old Compaq v-6000. I’m hoping some of you mint folks will try netrunner as well.

    Regards, Pete

  35. I don’t like this. I won’t see one major project based on Gnome. Please, no need to create ten edition of LM. You got concentrate all your mind on major project called Linux Mint based on Cinnamon.

  36. I hope this partnership goes well. I have Netracer installed as my KDE flavor of choice on another partition on my HD.Only word of caution is that their web site and repositories are down right now. Hope you didn’t give them a lot of money and then they skipped town. The timing just seems strange. Just saying……

  37. I have great hopes that Mint KDE will be a direction I can move to from Mint 10.

    I do have one significant request, or rather a plea:

    Please find a way to engineer Compiz Enhanced Desktop Zoom functionality, including the ability to use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out, into the distro. I’m not asking for Compiz to become the default replacing Kwin – I’m just asking for that method of zoom functionality to be provided. If anyone can do this, you folks can. To be visually impaired and not have this functionality is extremely frustrating, to say the least (it’s actually a show-stopper) and I know that visually impaired users will find this as essential as I do.

    No one else is listening to us, not Ubuntu with Unity, not the Gnome devs, not the KDE devs. They’ve all let us down and cast us by the wayside. Please give us visually impaired users a new viable Linux alternative.

    Thank you.

  38. I hope mint team will not forget the lxde version lm12..lm lxde is the most popular version after lm gnome,due to its ability to run smoothly on netbooks..lets hope lm12 lxde is on time.I hate gnome 3 btw.Also looking forward to lm13 lxde lts.

  39. I love KDE. So, I belong to 15% users side. No problem guys. But I love Linux Mint. I also have installed in my computer LM-12 and LMDE. So I am in 85% also, ha ha ha ha ha. If I might be at the openSuse or PCLINUX it would have been the other way around.

    @Roj-48 : Right now I don’nt know whether you are using any KDE or not. From your comments it seems you are just waiting for LM-KDE. In KDE desktop effects there is zoom function available which you can configure according to your need. After seeing your post I just experimented with it. Although, the zoom function is working perfectly, but it has to be operated through keyboard. I was not able to configure it through mouse scrolls. Hope, it may be of some help to you. Perhaps @Manny could help, as he is an expert in KDE.

    @Manny : How are you. Can you see into the problem of @Roj-48. Zooming is there, but how to operate it through mouse-scroll bar. Is it possible to configure, or we have to depend only on keyboard.

    @Clem : Thanks to you and your team for KDE and all your efforts on Cinnamon.

  40. I love Linux Mint 12 with GNOME 3. Please don’t change it! Almost everything of my notebook perfectly works. Linux Mint 12 is the best Linux distribution I’ve ever seen.

    The Oracle VM Virtualbox on Linux Mint 12 runs very fast!

    I don’t like Ubuntu Unity and Open Suse. I have test it all. Linux Mint 12 is now my favorite. A lot of thanks to the programmers.

  41. Thank you for this very good news. I really like KDE and I will be able to come back to mint now.
    Partnerships are the best way to get more developers working to build the best distribution.

    It is 85% of users on the Gnome version. Some think that it is a good excuse to have a low priority for KDE developments on Mint. I will say one thing: Stop thinking small.
    – Having a KDE version may help getting more unhappy users from other distributions who prefer KDE. That will bring more user to Mint.
    – Maybe this alternative will help getting more users from Microsoft too as some says that KDE is bad because it’s look like Windows…

    Even I am a KDE fan, I am happy for Gnome users as Cinnamon should be soon the best gnome flavour around.

  42. I never heard of NetRunner and the sponsored distro; however, their primary initial screenshot shows they are pretty strong contenders themselves. If I did not know about LM or NetRunner and just based on their desktop screenshot, I would of picked NetRunner. Obviously, LM has its reputation going for it. Good to see collaboaration to improve a nice looking distro be better.

  43. I saw that the KDE-ISO is approved as Release Candidate. Where can I download it, I would like to test it to see if there is something which could/should be changed before the final version is released.

  44. @Manny : Since I use different KDE distro than yours, have you tested this link in yours. It is not working in my desktop. If its working in your KDE-desktop then good job. And many many thanks. And if it is not, then normal zooming in documents, browsing and images are now default part of kde, these can be done through mouse scroll+ctrl. If I am not wrong, perhaps that tips were for earlier version of kde than kde 4.4. If I understand @Roj properly, he meant to zoom whole desktop, as can be done by KWin zoom function. Kwin zoom function is working great, only thing it is working through keyboard. Perhaps this is where compiz get some extra points on Kwin KDE. But whats the use gnome3 has made compiz totally redundant. Any way, thanks for searching around. Otherwise @Roj was rightly asking the Clem to look into it and perhaps right no one is listening. Kwin is already there, only thing to change is its key function.

  45. Just tested KDE 12 and I am very happy to see that it really looks and works very good. So far I have one thing which doesn’t work and that is System Settings. I can start it and see all the items in the main screen, but when clicking an item nothing happens. Other programs just work and even in the live CD version the speed is really not bad. Tomorrow, when I have more time, I will install it for real and test more.
    For now, a big thumbs up for the Mint KDE team.

  46. @bobby, I tried the lik and it works, anyway here is how it is done:

    Zooming with the mouse

    Clicking the middle mouse button will toggle the auto zoom on/off.

    Hold down the Ctrl key, then either use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out or left click to zoom in and right click to zoom out.

    The mouse wheel, used while holding down the Alt key, will scroll the image horizontally.


  47. manny@60

    I got LM12 KDE RC on a PC at work. It looks really nice! As always, Clem and the team have done such a nice job incorporating all the Minty touches without it looking cluttered. It is seamless and really slick.

    Do you have it running yet, and if so have you seen any problems yet? There is an issue with the login screen with multiple users that I ran into like I did with Kubuntu. It doesn’t recognize the new user for some reason, and I found how to fix it in Kubuntu, but I forgot how. Other than that, I love that Mint has stuck with Synaptic instead of the Ubuntu package manager. The Kubuntu one is okay, but Synaptic just seems to provide more interaction. It’s just nicer to me.

  48. @PB, glad you like the RC so far, I feel very lazy to play with it right now, I will wait till the final release is out. I have my PC connected to a 50″ plasma TV and is amazing! I was reading about the new gadgets that are coming out in the market like HDMI dongles running Android 4.0 to convert your dummy TV into an smart one. Will be interesting getting one and install LM-KDE12 in it. KDE is supporting very well wireless keyboard with mouse pad (logitech) and wireless headset (Plantronics) for private audio. Linux will rule in the new technology soon. I hope.


  49. @Manny : Thanks for your help. I was not able to do it in my KDE. I hope @Roj might be reading and enjoy it.

    @PB : Thanks for the link.

  50. awesome! I have the utmost faith in you guys! All these awesome features you guys have labored hours and hours for… for free. I cannot thank you enough for making an 8 year old laptop rival a brand new windows computer.

  51. I’ve been playing with the 32 bit RC for a couple of days now and overall, it is much better than Kubuntu. It looks great and is as fast as Kubuntu on my system. It does have issues but to be fair, some of them are inherited from Kubuntu. Hopefully, they will be addressed in the final version.

    Taken with the MINT/NETRUNNER initiative, the future this KDE distro certainly looks bright.

    Thank you, Clem and team, you guys are doing a fantastic job.

  52. @bobby:

    Thanks for the reply and I am aware of the keyboard function but after using a mouse to zoom on Windows, the Mac and Mint 10 / Ubuntu 10, a keyboard zoom pretty much feels like the Dark Ages. I run Kubuntu 11.10 on one of my test boxes and I experimented endlessly to try and get the Kwin desktop zoom to work with mouse buttons but that functionality is not available. I even tried installing Compiz and enabling it to work with KDE but the Desktop Enhanced Zoom plugin does not appear to function even though it is enabled )yes, I installed compiz-kde).

    That’s why I’m yelling for help. 🙂

  53. @Roj, sorry to hear that. I’m using a wireless keyboard with a mouse pad so I couldn’t test it myself. Hope some one have a solution to your needs.

    All the best!

  54. @manny:

    Thanks. Honestly, what is needed is for the Compiz Enhanced desktop Zoom plugin functionality, including the programmable keyboard and mouse buttons, to be duplicated on Kwin. Nothing short of that will suffice. Someone even wrote a function to duplicate it on that disastrous mess known as Gnome 3 and Mutter; why can’t it be done for KDE and Kwin?

  55. @Roj : I was just trying the “PinguyOS” 11.10. I don’nt know how, but the zoom function is working in its OS with mouse scrool + alt key. Since I am not tech guy. I could not able to locate the application, through which he was doing it, although it is very much in the startup applications. If Pinguy can do it certainly Clem can also do. Since PinguyOS is based on Ubuntu and Mint, hope it may not be a problem for Clem to do it in Lisa. @Clem hope you may be reading.

    @Clem : As regards LM-KDE, I am not able to download any picture, and except default, can’nt change any wallpapers.

  56. Clem, great job surrounding yourself with good partners to get the job done. I myself tried KDE 4 in a distro called Pardus. It was fun to play with but I felt like everything I had learned in gnome no longer applied to KDE.

    I’m glad that we will finally get the KDE version of Mint 12 so you guys can move on to the other DE’s out there.

    Myself I have been using Cinnamon and really enjoying it. I have always liked Unity but I switched to Mint to get more control over my desktop. As much as I like Cinnamon I am kind of missing Katya.

    It might just be a coincidence but it seems that my battery life has gone way down using Cinnamon versus Katya and Gnome.

    Once again great job getting the support you needed to get KDE off the ground. Many good wishes moving forward with Mint.

  57. Great stuff Mint. I’ll endorse what was said about Nivida cards. I’ve just had to reinstall Mint 11 over Mint 11 (something went wrong on HD) and despite what you say it has junked all my data. Good thing I have some of it backed up.

  58. I hope this will ensure that the Kde version of Mint will be as high a priority as the Main edition and release Kde editions on time and up to date with the latest Kde development…. that would really put Mint kde in the top 3 kde distro’s available and give users even more reason to join the Mint community… the more users the better. goodluck! Kudos!

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