mintUpdate 2.8 coming soon

A new version of mintUpdate is coming very soon. Among the improvements, the graphical user interface has been completely revamped and a new screen lets you visualize the history of applied package updates.

Most Mint tools come with a big Mint logo and are called mintSomething. As most of them are innovative and provide features that are not present in other distros/OSes this stresses the fact that they were developed by us and contributes to make our distribution more popular. It also has negative effects as it lessens the chances for these tools to be adopted outside of Linux Mint. Finally, it probably makes more sense for the user, and so for the quality of our desktop, to call our tools depending on what they provide more than with a mintName.

I have to say… I really don’t know what to think of this right now, I’m hesitating. I can’t promise I’ll go with the majority vote on it, in the end I’ll do what I think is best anyway, but it would definitely help if I could get people’s opinion on this.

Should we call the mint tools mintSomething or should we call them what they actually are? (example: mintUpdate or Update Manager)

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I’ll release mintUpdate 2.8 in Romeo under the name “Update Manager” and without branding. The interface looks less minty but more professional. I’d like to know what people think before I do that, and after they got a chance to see the new interface.

Also, and although this is marked as a Mint 6 Felicia improvement, since Elyssa is an LTS with rolling aspects, I hope you’ll soon be able to enjoy the ability to see the history of applied updates. It’s a very nice improvement and I hope you’ll like it.


  1. I almost forgot. From now on, Level 3 will still come as “visible” by default but not as “safe” anymore. In other words, unless you change your preferences, Level 3 updates, although they will appear in mintUpdate, won’t be counted as available updates.. so if there are no Level 1 or 2 updates available, your system will be considered “Up to date”.

  2. I voted mintSomething, because it defines the application as a Mint developed tool.I like the smaller branding that is being used in Elyssa, it has a professional look but still identifies the product.

  3. Clem:

    I much prefer the format mintSomething. You and the team have created a truly fine distribution, one I’m proud to use and to brag about to my friends. Therefore I think anything unique to Mint should be branded as mintSomething to show that it’s something you and the team have created in order to make a great distribution of Linux. I tell my friends that someone has finally brought Linux to the desktop for the average user, the beginner, and yet kept the sophistication that a power user will demand as well.

    No matter what you decide, I’ll still be proud to use and support Mint. You and the team keep up the good work, and thanks.

  4. I too think we should keep the Mint branding. The Mint tools are one of the things that make Mint unique.

  5. I am not strongly against the Mint branding but Mint itself owes a great deal to Linux in general and therefore what is developed should be a return on that debt. That is how Linux grows and we users and all the distros win.

    I have tried most of the top ten distros and I find Mint to be the best and only wish there was a 64 bit version.

  6. mintSomething. It retains the uniqueness of what is a special brand. I guess there is still an opportunity to rebrand to some extent if someone wants to reuse the idea elsewhere.

  7. I think that “update manager” sounds awful.
    I think that if you are going to rename the mint tools to somehting else you should use something like “MUM” = “Mint Update Manager”
    OK so that sounds awful too, but somehting like that, an acronim with mint in it.

  8. mintUpdate works for sure! The origin of the unique tools for Linux Mint deserve to be preserved. However, I do see your point regarding the naming convention of describing the tool’s function. This was a huge problem for me when I gave sidux a spin – I had no idea what the tool names meant and consequently gave up before I even started.

    I reckon that most distro packagers will be able to use the tool in their own distro and be able to “re-brand” it for themselves. I draw a parallel to things like the Mandriva Control Centre being re-branded (and modified slightly) by PCLinuxOS and then being also re-used in downstream distros in a similar way.

  9. mintSomething
    but done in a way so that it’s
    1) Easy to understand what the tool is for
    2) Easy to rebrand
    and so that
    3) A rebranded tool says “Thanks to Linux Mint”

  10. I totally agre it should be mintSomething , the more mint the better .
    If someone else wants to rebrand and use a good idea let them do it

  11. I think it should be mintSomething.

    As kezdeth said earlier:
    No matter what you decide, I’ll still be proud to use and support Mint. You and the team keep up the good work, and thanks.

  12. mintSomething – it’s very important to publicise your work. Don’t shy away from it. Brand it! Make a thing of it!

  13. A quick update on mintUpdate 🙂

    –> If the Mint repository is down, mintUpdate will use a previously downloaded rules file and continue to work.

    –> If the Internet connection is down, mintUpdate will get to know about it much faster than before.

    –> Checking the updates should be faster as well and more reliable than before. An apt update is forced if the program is run under root mode (which happens once you click on it, or if you can see the GUI).

    –> Error and status reporting were largely improved.

  14. Muchas gracias por crear este sistema operativo con todo incluido y muy paracido a Ubuntu.

    Deverian agregar mas soporte para webcams.

  15. I agree you have a right to take credit for the fine work you do, and to name your work in a way that clearly identifies it. To make it more likely to be adapted by others, the logo could be prominent in the installer but not the installed version.

  16. While I agree that for the sake of prestige it would be nice to keep “mint” in the names of the packages, I actually voted for the other option, for reasons of usability.

    I think that the name of a system tool should accurately describe its function rather than its branding. For example, it’s a little annoying when searching through a list of tools in the mintMenu or typing in Gnome-Do that the update manager begins with “M” and not “U”. I would like to be able to type “Upd” into Gnome-Do and run the update manager. At the moment this is not possible because of the way it is named.

  17. I am of the opposite view to Michael–the mint tools should keep their prefix. You can provide a more descriptive name under the GNOME menu to help new users find the functionality they need. Anybody using GNOME-Do or the run dialog is smart enough to remember it’s “mintUpdate” and not “Update Manager”.

    Making your software more attractive to other distros isn’t a strong argument for renaming your tools. If your software is good, people will use it whatever its name (GIMP anyone?). Debian didn’t rename dpkg to make it more palatable to other distros. RPM still stands for Red Hat Package Manager.

    If you really want to be more distro agnostic–and friendlier to command line junkies while you’re at it–you could shorten the prefix. For example, mintUpdate -> lmUpdate (Linux Mint Updater). It halves the number of letters I need to type before I can let tab-completion take over, and “lm” is more distro-agnostic.

    Your work is great, people aren’t going to let a little thing like a name stop them from recognising that.

  18. Clem, anyone trying to use any mint tool in a new GNU/Linux distribution -if interested enough-, should be able to rebrand it without major troubles. One of my other points is explained below, at Michael.

    Michael, I think the mint branding can provide comfort for both sides. You claim, “the name of a system tool should accurately describe its function rather than its branding”, but, even when including the mint branding, the function can -and I personally think it does- be regarded within the name. For instance, “mintUpdate” clearly takes both sides: the branding (so as to clarify and preserve its Linux Mint innovative origins), and the word “update”, which, without needing the user to know so much about GNU/Linux, is obvious enough to tell him that tool is meant for updating the software.

    More experienced users should have no troubles with this, since they would be already “stepping” on a distro aimed at beginners, and all of their will for “standard tools” could be handled by some other distro or by installing those same tools.

    On being able to type shorter names -I think that is your point- in Gnome-Do, that could be useful as well, while also retaining the mint rebranding (i.e. using aliases).

  19. i have goosebumps every time you say “more professional”.
    Dunno, people’s concept of “professional” are very different.
    I think mint should promote it self.
    let it be MINTTOOLS!

  20. I have voted mintSomething. But why change that? That are Mint tools.
    And the Mint tools are one part, which makes mint better than other Linux editions.

    And more professional? For Tux sake, has there been a look at other distros?

    What is the most professional looking edition? If this term is important anyway. It’s winNT, the last editions (2000, XP), because it is indeed used by the most professionals.
    For me, I didn’t scrubbed winXP from my hard drive to install an OS, looking like a clone of it.

    So put that ambition away, make Mint nice and userfriendly, that’s more important. My opinion.

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