mintUpdate 3 released!

Introduction

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.

New GUI

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.Β  This is also to encourage other distributions to adopt what we think is now the best update manager on the market.

New features

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.

Improvements

  • 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

Translations

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.

Changelog

  • 3.0: Initial release
  • 3.1: Fixes a typo in the translation file.
  • 3.2:
    • 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).

45 comments

  1. I really like it, the new GUI, much more professional looking. Thank you. Good job team πŸ™‚

  2. quote
    With this new feature, after their system is damaged not only will they still be able to cry
    /quote

    Oh, yes, I am not only able to cry, I have to.

    Not only looks it ugly to me, but since the update I get the message “could not connect to the internet” from mintUpdate. How can I get rid of it and get the predecessor back?

    H.

  3. i dont get it. should we accept the level 3 updates or not? we’re not all experts here. are they safe or what?

  4. jungar: Level 1 means it’s made by us. Level 2 means it’s safe and tested. Level 3 means we don’t know for sure, but we believe it’s fine. Most updates are level 3 updates. Ideally you want to apply all level 1 and 2 updates, and you want to be selective with level 3 ones (as in apply what you think will fix a problem or will directly bring you improvements you’ve been waiting for).

    Astronomiconal: Fair enough, I wasn’t aware of this. I also realized Gentoo had a command line utility to see what had been applied.

    hambum: You can remove it (apt remove mintupdate), comment out Romeo, and reinstall it from the stable repos. Or… you can paste your logs (right-click, information) so we can see if we can help or fix something.

  5. Thanks for the good work, it looks great and works like a charm. Another reason for the linux community to adopt this tool! πŸ™‚

  6. ok, I deinstalled 3.1, reinstalled 2.7. All was fine internet connection was working.

    Then i read your last sentence, Clem and installed 3.1 again.
    Here is the log

    ————–
    ++ Launching mintUpdate in root mode
    ++ Starting refresh
    ++ Auto-refresh timer is going to sleep for 5 minutes, 0 hours and 0 days
    — Could not connect to the internet (tried to ping google.com)

    ————–

    going back to 2.7

    H.

  7. Hi there,

    Hamburn, it wouldn’t work for me after I installed it either. I logged off and on again and it was fine.

    This is fine very fine tool – thanks team.

    Regards
    John

  8. hamburn, I had a problem like yours some time ago…It was becouse of my Daryna updated to Elyssa … Check your sources.list you should change some addresses… I’m not sure if this is the same problem but try the APT sources listed in the upgrade instructions of Elyssa

  9. Thanks Clem, thanks John.

    tried it again, rebooted ;-( no connection to the net.
    tried it again, logged out, logged in ;-( the same.
    Now I’m back on 2.7.

    never displace something that’s not broken, where were my recollection?

    H.

  10. Why is the default refresh interval still 5 minutes? Doesn’t it make much more sense to make it 1 day? It will reduce strain on the servers, as many users will not change the default value and thus will send a refresh request to the server(s) every 5 minute.

    And secondly, update every 5 minute is in my opinion, overly paranoid setting, the first thing I do is to change it to once a day. The default setting should be once a day, and in my opinion, that should be the lowest possible setting, if you want any more than that, you should be forced to do a manual refresh..

  11. Hello,

    i tried changing refresh interval from 5 minutes to 1 day. When i change the value and click apply, mintupdate don’t remember

    opening the menu again i still see 5 minutes – nothing changed.

    Can you help me? Thanks!

  12. Even I agree on the 5 minute interval which is a too short time span, I hope you can increase to a day as default. Also you can join the band wagon of “Go Green” πŸ™‚ by reducing network traffic. A few cents from my side.

  13. I have no folder /etc/linuxmint and so i have no mintUpdate.conf

    that’s why changing from 5min update intervall to 1 day doesn’t succeed

    What can i do? Create folder /etc/linuxmint as root? Then all right? Thanks

    My dirty solution is changing the interval from 5min to 1 day in /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintupdate.py
    Problem i can change settings in mintupdate but it don’t save changes. If i call again default settings will be loaded. :/

  14. I reallize that not every one had this impression but my impression was great.
    It still looks like a linux mint app, but it also looks really professional.

    the only problem I have ( it was in 2.7 too) is that when I open MintUpdate the gnome panel stuffs up.
    This is really anoying, and I then have to reload the panel.

    is this a known problem?

    Tim

  15. ignore that problem.
    I can’t reproduce it, I’m not even confident now that it ever happened in mintUpdate 3.1

    Tim

  16. regarding to post 12 and 14 I created folder /etc/linuxmint and that works!

    Mint Update 3.1 is great – good job!
    Thanks

  17. I appreciate all of the work that has gone into mintUpdate. I always look forward to new versions of the Mint tools. Thanks!

  18. I installed the first upgrades using the mintUpdate. But now when I click the icon in my tray trying to install the updates that the app has found, I get this error message:

    “Failed to run /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintUpdate/mintUpdate.py ‘show’ ‘6101’ as user root.” / “Unable to copy the user’s Xauthorization file.”

    To my knowledge I had not changed any setting, apart from installing the new mintUpdate version. Any suggestions?

  19. Clem,

    Great work. The GUI is more professional, certainly.

    The updater works flawlessly with 3.1.

    Since Linux is such a random kind of OS, people will probably have problems with random things on their box in general. I think they have to remember that everything is a work in progress. πŸ™‚

    Tak178

  20. Here is my /etc/linuxmint file. How in the world do you add an option to this for 1 day. This on my computer is an info file.

  21. Sorry about that here is the info file

    RELEASE=5
    CODENAME=Elyssa
    EDITION=Main Edition
    DESCRIPTION=”Linux Mint 5 Elyssa – Main Edition”
    DESKTOP=Gnome
    TOOLKIT=GTK

  22. I installed Mint 5 on old Toshiba just now. The Mintupdate works fine and changed the autorefresh to 9 hours without problem. I couldn’t find a version number in help. Maybe it is some other place.

  23. I updated to version 3, and so far I’ve had no problems with it at all. It seems to work very well, and I like the appearance, too. To me, it seems that Clem and the team have created a very good app, and another thing to love about Mint. Keep up the good work!

  24. Sooo,Prof Clem,
    to echo jungar’s query,’should we accept the level 3 updates or not?’
    Do those level 3’s eventually become level 2’s?
    Mint is tremendous!
    Many Thanks for helping us throw off the m$ yoke/joke.

  25. Very Great! Thank you friend Jorge Leadro.I was a bit worried,
    about the mintupdate 3 translation to Brazilian Portuguese and ready
    to start the job. Surprise…when i checked the forum, the translation was there …done.

    I’m sure your job is better than i could do.

    Note: Since i have installed mintUpdate 3.1 i didn’t receive
    any updates. It seems to be working. Anything wrong with it
    i will report the problem. I hope not…

    Cheers

  26. Version 3.2 was released. I added a changelog chapter in the initial blog post.

    gw: Try to kill mintUpdate and launch it again. It’s most likely an incompatibility problem between the two versions.

  27. @Clem: I did a few reboots and haven’t seen the error msg again. I also updated to the 3.2 version. Thanks for your help and for all the good work!

  28. I have just Updated mintUpdate from 3.1 version to 3.2. I go to the Changes tab and it said “cant be show a changelog because this is a non offical ubuntu tool” (something like that) and I didn’t know what were the changes to upgrade to 3.2.

    Clem, could be possible that mintUpgrade display a pop up saying “You have Updates to Install!” when it checks and found them?

    Thanks, mintUpdate had a Great improvement in this version. I guess the new update was for languages. Spanish is already translated by me.

    Have a Nice Day!

  29. I think there must be a new tab in the about dialog form with the name of the translators for each language. Just my opinion. Great tool, I guess more distributions will use them. Do u know about some clem? Thanks

  30. Yes, mintUpdate 3.2 is working fine (here).

    Romeo repo is disable. I will only enable it to
    my sources.list when necessary.

  31. i installed mintupdate 3.2 and when i click install updates – it just blinks and there is no change – i installed this new version since i thought i will be able to update. pasting the files under /etc/linuxmint:
    info:
    RELEASE=5
    CODENAME=Elyssa
    EDITION=Main Edition
    DESCRIPTION=”Linux Mint 5 Elyssa – Main Edition”
    DESKTOP=Gnome
    TOOLKIT=GTK

    mintUpdate.conf:
    [levels]
    level1_visible = True
    level2_visible = True
    level3_visible = True
    level4_visible = False
    level5_visible = False
    level1_safe = True
    level2_safe = True
    level3_safe = True
    level4_safe = False
    level5_safe = False
    [refresh]
    timer_minutes = 5
    timer_hours = 0
    timer_days = 0
    [update]
    delay = 30
    ping_domain = google.com
    dist_upgrade = False
    [icons]
    busy = /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintUpdate/icons/busy.png
    up2date = /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintUpdate/icons/up2date.png
    updates = /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintUpdate/icons/updates.png
    error = /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintUpdate/icons/error.png
    [proxy]
    use_proxy = False
    same_proxy_for_all_protocols = False
    http_host = “”
    ftp_host = “”
    gopher_host = “”
    http_port = “”
    ftp_port = “”
    gopher_port = “”

    Can someone tell me what can be done to fix this update issue – since my system shows that there are 212 recommended software updates available to install.

    Thanks in advance

  32. I’ve never seen the option to install mintUpdate 3 and I don’t seem to have it at the moment, I certainly can’t see anywhere to view the history of installations.

  33. sorry to say but mintUpdate causing some probs when localized into german…

    a) the german special characters (as available in all other mint tools) arent available, screen added in translation section @ forums

    b) i often get (when starting from terminal) “segmentation fault/error”

    bug a) is confirmed

  34. poison: It might not make it into Mint 6, there’s a 50% chance at this stage. However there’s a workaround, the reason why mintUpdate doesn’t use your Gnome proxy settings is because it runs in root mode. If you make sure to setup your proxy in Gnome for both your user and for root, then things should work fine again. I’ll try my best to add this feature in though before Mint 6 comes out.

  35. poison: I just checked the code and I’ve got some bad news. The API we’re using doesn’t support proxy authentication. We can replace it with another one (urllib2 instead of urllib namely) but I don’t want to risk any regression late in the cycle and this tool is mature enough to go towards Mint 6. I’ll make sure this gets added after Mint 6 is released. It’ll first go in Mint 6’s Romeo and then eventually be backported from there.

  36. Clem:

    Are there any plans to add an ignore package option in mintUpdate in the near future? Unlike most users; I put some extra repos in my apt sources for easy access to unavailable applications, and an option to ignore packages that might appear as updates but yet might not be stable for our kernel and/or distro version would be awesome. Please let me know…

  37. i accidentally deleted my mintupdate icon on panel. and i can’t put it back as original. so i can’t get instan notifications. i tried to reinstall, but it didn’t help.
    can you help me?

  38. to uge:

    you can get your mintupdate icon panel by choose the notification area, Right click on your panel and then add to panel > choose notification area > add

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