mintInstall 5

One of the new features planned for the upcoming Linux Mint 6 “Felicia” is the ability to browse the Software Portal ( and to install applications directly from the desktop. This feature is now ready and we’d like you to give us a hand in testing it.

We extended the scope of mintInstall and we developed a new frontend which downloads all the relevant data from the Software Portal so you can browse applications and install them without having to use the portal at all. We also defined how the portal and the frontend communicate with each others and formalized the data structure in XML. The frontend itself supports multiple portals (we’ll be talking to for instance, hopefully too, and we’ll eventually publish documentation about this) so although you can only use it to browse the Linux Mint Software Portal right now, it’s only a matter of time before others portals become available.

Here’s a screenshot:

MintInstall 5 is available in Romeo. If you don’t have Romeo enabled you can get the debs from here:

Let us know what you think, report any bug you may find and have a lot of fun with this brand new mintInstall.

To translate mintInstall 5 into your own language, use this forum thread:

Note: There was a lot I wanted to say about this but I’ll save it for the release notes. KDE CE is coming out soon, I need to work on x64 and there are still major developments I want to get done before Mint 6 (an upgrade tool for instance). To keep it short, MintInstall 5 is one of the new features planned for Mint 6 but it will also become available as an upgrade for Mint 5.  It will stay in Romeo until we’re happy to consider it stable.. so we’re waiting on your feedback 🙂


  • 5.0: Initial release


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  2. I think the idea is brilliant! It is like having the software portal on my desktop. Very nice work!

    You might want to consider a progress bar at the bottom of the application. I closed out the application twice because I didn’t notice the counter and mistakenly thought it was not refreshing. Just a thought and meant in a constructive way.

    Thanks for the awesome tool!

  3. Exploder: I’m planning on adding that progress bar you mentioned and also on having the tool ask you for a refresh the first time instead of showing an error message. Under Gnome you should see a notification sitting there for 10 seconds after you click refresh.

  4. I did see the notification, it just took a while to refresh all the information. This is going to help people like my Wife that think installing software in Linux is difficult. I would go so far as to say this is revolutionary!

    Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, they do!

  5. ho my god! It’s amazing!! I’d think Mint install was less user friendly than Ubuntu install software because he hadn’t any categories, but now, it’s better!!! Exelent work!

  6. Hey it’s working great. I just used it to install Planet Penguin Racer and I can report excellent results. Nice work Clem!

  7. Clem,

    I think you should stick to a standard x86 32bit, gnome based distro, don’t spread yourself too thin on all these other versions of mint, let the community do that 😉

    64bit is still way to unstable and unusable and probably will be for many more years. Gnome does what it’s supposed to and does it well without much overkill.

    Just my $0.02… I think you are doing a great job, keep it up man!

  8. One more thing. I don’t see version numbers listed. It would be helpful to know what version a given software package is.

  9. installed the deb files and got this:

    “The data used by mintInstall is corrupted or out of date. Click on refresh to fix the problem : [Errno 2] No such file or directory: ‘/home/jay/.linuxmint/mintInstall/tmp/xml/LM5.xml'”

  10. What does ‘Visit’ button do? It doesn’t work on my Mint 5 XFCE. To visit the software’s official web site?
    I’d like to know that infomation for translaton.
    Sorry for my English. Thx.

  11. Exploder: It can ALWAYS get better 🙂

    Lantesh: That’s because .mint files don’t contain software, they contain instructions on how to install software and most of the case these instructions remain the same for any version of the related software.. so in brief there’s no direct relation between a mint file and the version of the software it would install. Of course that’s not to say we can’t find out.. but to find out we’d have to query APT (in most cases) and that would take time, so it’s not something we want to do while you’re browsing the software categories… having said that, I take note. I suppose I can add a button called “Versions” or “Information” or even “Details” which will query APT and show more information about the mint file and its associated packages (versions included).

    Jay: We’ll change this error message for an information dialog. I understand it’s a bit abrupt but all it says is that you need to click “Refresh”.

    Blowback: It brings you to that software page on the portal. It looks for gconf. If Gconf is installed it asks it for your favorite browser.. otherwise it simply invokes “firefox”. Let me know if you can invoke gconftool-2 or “firefox” (from the command line).

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  13. the new MintInstall is great, but i it would realy be good if there are more Infos about the software: for example i need Virtualbox with USB support (non-OSE), but if i install it ower mintInstall, who is nowhere mentionnied wich version it is, it install the OSE version. (and the screenshot is from the non-OSE version)

    i do not know if it is a bug, but when i will start MintInstall(aka Software Portal) in the mintMenu, the old version (or the part of the previews version) start.

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  15. Clem: Thank you for your advices. I corrected some gconf-settings (Actually, Swiftfox installer changed those settings and didn’t restore when it’s uninstalling) and confirmed ‘Visit’ Button works correctry. thx.

  16. “having said that, I take note. I suppose I can add a button called “Versions” or “Information” or even “Details” which will query APT and show more information about the mint file and its associated packages (versions included).”

    Thanks Clem. That would be great if you are able to do that.

  17. With my MintInstall.. it loads up fine but when I’m clicking on a item to install.. it errors out and states (the screenshot for this application was not downloaded correctly-Hit the refresh button) I reinstalled the software ( 5.0 and 5.3)and the refresh button freezes up , so I close it!!… help.. love this feature…need it

  18. Loaded Mint for the first time on 27th August 2008.
    Loaded mintInstall 5 the next day 28th.
    Downloaded Filezilla using mintInstall 5 on 28th
    Updated my web page using Filezilla.
    The whole process was very satisfactory.
    Keep up the good work.

  19. One comment that’s not been mentioned yet, is when the administrator password is asked for, it includes the full commandline, rather than something like “mintInstall requires administrative privileges”. I’ve seen other apps use a much neater descriptive text to gksudo (–description) which I think would be more user-friendly.

  20. I installed it yesterday.
    For an unknown reason, though Romeo is anabled i didn’t find it in synaptics.
    I installed it following the links for the two packages.
    When i launched Mintinstall i was asked to retreive or update the software base (i don’t remenber exactly the message displayed)
    I have to say it took a very long time probably 3 or 4 minutes (i have a good DSL line) so i wondered if the application was not freezed.
    I decided to be patient cause i heared my HDD was working and it finaly achieved : so be patient. And all in french ! Nice !
    I installed some apps with no problem.
    A rearly good job !
    Thanks a lot Clem
    I say again there one thing to achieve in Elyssa : the problem of access to windows shares. Smb4k is a good solution and works fine but is not implemented by default (for shure due to the K)
    Thanks again

  21. Yuk! Please no kde apps as default in mint standard edition. I do find it odd that Elyssa doesn’t come with fusesmb enabled by default as Daryna did – the ~/Network/ config is perfect for most users, and for those of us with advanced needs (usernames and passwords) one tweak to .fusesmb was fine.

  22. Oh and yeah, the update time was a hefty wait for me and mintupdate didn’t find the package either (after enabling romeo). I apt-get installed mintinstall, did update mintUpdate mintSystem and Flash(ubuntu) via mintupdate and now mintupdate is broken. I’ll tweak when I can and perhaps send the log via the forum.

  23. MintUpdate Update:
    After a reboot, all working fine, perhaps part of the mintupdate package on upgrade mintupdate could be restarted?

  24. After install mintUpdate 3 you need to restart mintUpdate.. because you’re basically still running mintUpdate 2 and it needs some files which don’t exist in mintUpdate 3 anymore. No need to reboot. As a general rule, when you upgrade a package, if the related application is running, just restart it.

    MintInstall 5 comes with new dependencies (libnotify-bin and zenity), so unless you’ve selected the “dist-upgrade” option in mintUpdate it won’t appear as an update.

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  27. Clem, I’m sorry but it is inconceivable that the Portal and MintInstall do not indicate the version of each package…

    We WANT/MUST know the version of what we install! Directly, without additional unnecessary manipulations by the user (e.g query apt). Thank you!

    “I suppose I can add a button called “Versions” or “Information” or even “Details” which will query APT and show more information about the mint file and its associated packages (versions included).”

    Yes!!! This is necessary!

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