We made a very controversial decision when we released Linux Mint 3.1 Celena. We decided to remove the Ubuntu update manager and a lot of people criticized us for doing that. As it turns out it was one of the best decisions we ever made (arguably and according to us.. of course). MintUpdate came right in time for the release of Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna and since then it regularly got updated to become one of the best update managers.
Today we’re going to rise the bar even higher with the release of mintUpdate 3 and we’ll be introducing yet another innovative idea: The ability to view the history of applied updates. The reason why mintUpdate was developed in the first place was to avoid uneducated updates but even with our 5 levels of filtering most users still blindly apply level 3 updates. With this new feature, after their system is damaged not only will they still be able to cry, but they’ll be able to tell us what updates they applied.. so we can in turn get a better idea of which level 3 packages should get a level 4 or 5.
The graphical user interface was changed to look less minty (I know.. some people won’t approve and get emotional here) and more like other Linux tools. This is also to encourage other distributions to adopt what we think is now the best update manager on the market.
All updates applied via mintUpdate are noted. The tool remembers the package name, the old and new versions, the level and the date of the update. From the view menu, you can now see the history of applied updates. The idea is to clear that list after you made sure everything was fine. This way, in case problems occur after you’ve applied updates you can narrow down the cause of the problems by identifying which update caused the regression.
MintUpdate runs in both user and root mode. Under Gnome, the proxy settings don’t always apply to root sessions so we introduced Proxy support. This will also make it easier for KDE users.
- Log files are now saved in /tmp so they don’t take unnecessary space in /usr/lib and in /home anymore.
- The Internet detection was improved and the domain used for the ping is now configurable.
- The routine which checks for the updates (called checkAPT) was improved as were its ties with mintUpdate itself.
- The status reporting was improved. Logs are now clearer and show more information. In the GUI, status is now also reported via a status bar.
- The configuration moved from /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintUpdate/config to /etc/linuxmint/mintUpdate.conf and is now persistent (it won’t be affected by package updates).
Package and notes
Version numbers: We’re changing the way we assign version numbers to our tools in order to make it easier for them to be translated. The major revision number will change everytime the GUI is affected and a new set of translations is needed. All other changes will make the minor revision to be incremented.
MintUpdate 3 is availabe in the Romeo repository: deb http://packages.linuxmint.com elyssa romeo
The current version is v3.1 and is available here: http://packages.linuxmint.com/pool/romeo/m/mintupdate/mintupdate_3.1_all.deb
Non-Mint users will also need: http://packages.linuxmint.com/pool/main/m/mintupdate-gnome/mintupdate-gnome_1.0_all.deb or http://packages.linuxmint.com/pool/main/m/mintupdate-kde/mintupdate-kde_1.0_all.deb
mintUpdate 3 is currently supporting English and French. Please help us translate it by following the instructions written on this forum thread: http://www.linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=15695&p=95945
Feedback and bugs
Please post comments here on the blog if you find bugs in mintUpdate 3. Give us feedback also if you like it and if everything’s fine so we can eventually consider it stable and move it down to stable repositories.
- 3.0: Initial release
- 3.1: Fixes a typo in the translation file.
- Creates /etc/linuxmint if it’s not present (handy for non-Elyssa systems)
- If ping fails, tries to read google.com. This improves Internet detection on systems where ping is sometimes too slow.
- New translations: Italian, Catalan, Swedish, Czech, Japanese, Slovak, Norwegian-Bokmal, Spanish, Portuguese (Portugual & Brazil variations).