Monthly News – October 2013


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A total of $4532 was raised thanks to the generous contributions of 207 donors:

  • $150, Richard K. H.
  • $129.93 (2nd donation), Frederic L. aka “”nofrog””
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  • $100 (5th donation), Vallin E.
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  • $100, Marc-anthony A.
  • $100, LG Supplements LLC
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News and summary:

  • First, a huge thank you to all the people who donated to us in the past 2 months! As you know our Platinum sponsorship from Blue Systems came to an end and so will our Gold sponsorship with Opera at the end of this year. Losing our two main sponsors is tough, and we hope to find new sponsors going forward, but the support you’re giving us with your donations is amazing. Between September and October more than 400 people donated to Linux Mint. We made adjustments for 2014 but we’re also stronger than ever, as ambitious as before and we’re very confident about the future.
  • We didn’t communicate much lately and I have 271 unread emails in my inbox (if you wrote to me please accept my apologies for the delay, I can’t guarantee I’ll reply to every single email, but they will all get read)…. the good news, is that we’ve been working really hard and achieving fantastic results and it’s this time of year when we’re ready to share it out with you.
  • The Cinnamon and MATE editions of Linux Mint 16 “Petra” were approved today, shipping the latest Cinnamon 2.0 and MATE 1.6 desktop environments. They will be available as RC (Release Candidates) on the 15th of November. Their stable release is planned for the end of the month.
  • The KDE and Xfce editions entered QA this week and will follow shortly after.
  • The improvements featured in Linux Mint 16 as well as the latest MATE and Cinnamon desktops will be backported to LMDE and Linux Mint 13 in December.

Linux Mint related news:

  • If you’re in the USA, you can now order the mintBox 2 straight from Amazon (same price, but with free shipping and no customs): MintBox 2 on Amazon US

  • Andrew Gregory, Mike Saunders and Ben Everard left Linux Format to dedicate themselves to the creation of a new magazine. Linux Voice plans to give 50% of its profits back to the community and release its articles under Creative Commons 9 months after their publication. You can help with the crowd-funding at If this happens and it creates a source of CC licensed articles of the same quality as the ones we enjoy from Linux Format,  we’ll consider developing a newsstand application for Linux Mint.



  1. Dear Clem,

    It seems that mintbox 2 is not yet available via What are the prospects for that please?

    Edit by Clem: Hi Roger. I’ll check with CompuLab when Mint 16 is out. It would be great to get this out in the EU as well. The last time we spoke there were delays and additional costs involved unfortunately.

  2. This is a great news Clem. I can hardly wait to try Linux Mint 16 and Cinnamon 2.0.x. I already posted this news on Google+ LM community.

  3. I’m glad donations are going well. Thank you for the LM 16 RC. I’m testing it now.

    Edit by Clem: Thanks. I removed the link (the ISOs are out there, but I’d prefer not to encourage people to download prior to announcements, in case we make changes at the last minute, and also not to send everyone towards the same mirror, that could bring it down).

  4. Great news on the RC date. I’ll be on the road over the weekend so trying it will hafta to wait a few days.

    Meanwhile, I’m on Ubuntu 13.10 with MATE from its repos and updated from the Petra repo. It’s been smooth sailing.

  5. Clem & Team, I am gobsmacked again, but this time more than former times. I just don’t know how you guys keep coming up with such brilliance. I’ve just downloaded Mint 16 Cinnamon 64-bit, and installed it in place of Mint 15 Cinnamon 64-bit. Yes, I know. It’s still release candidate and not advised, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. I’ve sat around feeling like an expectant dad for long enough lol. Anyway, you guys have really pulled something amazing out of the bag and outdone yourselves with this release.

    I didn’t time it, but it took about 2 mins to install after all the input and selection with “something else” option selected during install. TWO MINUTES …three tops. That is fantastic! I thought the usual 7 mins was fast but this is in a whole new league on its own.

    I’ve updated and tweaked it to how I want and no crashes or horrible experiences. It’s smooth as silk, and lightning fast and rock solid stable. Everything simply works. My printer (HP Deskjet F380) has started to install itself in 7 seconds again. It didn’t auto install with Mint 15 for some reason, so had to do it manually.

    Something that most people won’t even mention: the wallpapers are absolutely gorgeous. A wonderful selection of photos and abstracts.

    Also love the new sound effects too, and the rest of the new additions.

    I could go on but I’ll just say, all-in-all, although still only a release candidate, you guys deserve a huge pat on the back. Very well done indeed, and thanks for a brilliant desktop and distro. 🙂

    Edit by Clem: Thanks 🙂

  6. @Lord Mozart

    Thank you for the wonderfully kind words 😀

    I am a newish volunteer developer here, and although I didn’t do too much this release, I am already feeling the butterfly’s of the upcoming release of Mint 16, so I thank you for the great feed-back and encouraging words 🙂

  7. Nice to see all the effort that wasn’t put into LMDE UP7 not breaking Cinnamon came up with good stuff for the distro the Mint team really cares about.

    Edit by Clem: Hi Mike. Cinnamon 1.8 works fine in UP7 if you know what you’re doing. The situation is tricky mostly because of gjs. That’s something we worked on and the problem completely disappears with Cinnamon 2.0 (which no longer uses gjs). You’re right to stress the fact that we’re entirely focused on Linux Mint 16 right now, we are indeed. Each Linux Mint release sets the bar higher and sets the pace for innovation and development. If you’re interested in the development of Cinnamon you probably noticed we went from Cinnamon 2.0.0 a few weeks ago to Cinnamon 2.0.12 today and fixed a huge amount of bugs. As an LMDE user you’ll be able to enjoy the result of our work as all we’re doing for what is de facto a flagship product will trickle down as backports to LMDE and Linux Mint 13.

  8. Will be testing tomorrow! Woohoo!

    Edit by Clem: Thank rhy. I noted a comment in the Mint 15 RC (I think it was yours but I can’t remember for sure) where we were criticized for not taking the feedback seriously enough. I’m happy to confirm I personally read every single comment during an RC phase and consider every bit of feedback to improve the release as much as possible. The big problem we have is to communicate back and to follow up.. i.e. to acknowledge, respond, and get back to people who help us test the RC. It’s also true that we do not have eyes on Launchpad, Github or even the forums during that phase. That lack of communication is something I thought about and which we’ll improve on this time around. If you followed the development of Mint 16 you probably noticed the commits on something called the Roadmap: Comes the public release and the hundreds of comments and reports, it’ll be just as hard to reply to everybody as it was before, but we’ll have a document there on Github for people to follow which will acknowledge reports, show you what’s planned, what’s fixed, what’s de-scoped etc.. I will link to that and explain how it works during the RC release. I’m very grateful for the feedback we get during the whole cycle, but particularly during the RC. It’s thank to you we can fix things prior to releasing as stable. The Mint 15 RC was amazing, I wrote about it on Segfault . But you’re (or somebody was) right about the lack of communication. I can see how hard it is for people in the community to see what’s going on. I can’t promise it will be perfect for Mint 16, but it will definitely be better. Many thanks.

  9. And not a single word about why mintConstructor has been silently removed from the repositories and github (and its tutorial deleted from the community website).

    Edit by Clem: Hi Monsta. I might write about it on Segfault after the stable release and if you catch me on IRC in the meantime I’ll be happy to explain what happened. To give you a quick answer: The reason we no longer distribute it is because it’s hurting our project much more than it’s helping a few people in our community remaster Mint for their personal needs. The reason it happened overnight was because, apparently, we released two editions we never worked on (Studio Edition and Dewdrop). Some people used our name, logos and identity to promote their own products, and in some cases to our own community. Branding issues and policies are sensitive topics on which we need a discussion. We’ve seen great remasters over the years and we know people also use the tool for personal use. That’s something we need to think about long term. What had to be done quickly though was to contact the so-called “Linux Mint” maintainers and to politely ask them to stop using our identity (hopefully they replied by now and I’ll read their email post Mint 16), and to discontinue the tool they were using which made it all possible for them to do so in the first place.

  10. Mint 16 RC out tomorrow? Woot! I’ve been tired of the Ubuntu 13.10 on my laptop but didn’t really want to run a s-load of updates….

  11. MATE 1.6? LM 15 has 1.6
    Perhaps you mean 1.8?

    Edit by Clem: Hi Elias. MATE 1.8 won’t be released in time for Linux Mint 16. I talked about development cycles within the MATE team and stressed the importance of one MATE release per Mint release (which is beneficial to both projects and very important for the momentum of the MATE project). I think I convinced the rest of the team, but not for this particular release. Mint 16 will therefore bring an updated version of MATE 1.6.

  12. Installed LinuxMint 16 Mate 64-bit…good to see more encryption options on install.

    Encrypt-Login Box – look better when * starts centered.
    Old LM Startup Wallpaper look better (the one with fixed LM logo and running dots)
    Login Page works, but is NOT very pretty (reminds me of jail)…no alternative?

    nm-applet crashes

    Edit by Clem: Hi, can you tell me how the nm-applet crashes? We changed the way it’s started in MATE to react to upstream changes. Everything went well during our testing though. I’d love to know more about this.

  13. WOW!

    Cinnamon live off a USB stick is as fast as MATE native on an SSD. Very, VERY impressive. Where do I post bug reports where they will be heard? My Trusty Latitude D630 wifi card was not discovered on boot.

    Going to do an install now and see if it’s recognized after that (and plugging in an ethernet cable). Will provide much, much more feedback.


    Edit by Clem: Hi Rhy, wait until the release tomorrow. We’ll have a github RC roadmap up by then with release notes, a list of known issues etc… There are many reasons why Petra is faster. At DE level, Cinnamon 2.0 received performance improvements. Underneath the DE, we removed btrfs (we had to identify our core audience here, very few people used it and it slowed down the boot and login sequences significantly), and delayed the start of components such as mintUpdate. On top of that we’re probably inheriting performance improvements from Ubuntu itself. And last but not least, MDM lost 10 pounds…

  14. Installing via ethernet after first boot going to system settings driver manager and selecting bcmwl-kernel-source made it work perfectly. Really, REALLY impressed with this build so far. It is DAMN fast, DAMN pretty, and this is a DAMN old little laptop!

    Edit by Clem: .. I almost forgot. We don’t compress the ISOs as much as before. They’re larger and longer to download but they should be easier on resources and faster to decompress during the live sequence.

  15. @ #11:

    The latest stable version of MATE is 1.6.1. Its development isn’t as fast as Cinnamon’s.

    Edit by Clem: MATE 1.8 is also very ambitious Cinnamon 2.0 wouldn’t have come out if it targeted support for wayland or even bluez5 (I don’t even think that will be the case for version 2.2). Cinnamon is developed by and for Linux Mint so its roadmap is basically designed to produce the next Linux Mint release. Cinnamon 2.0 for instance was planned a month earlier than Petra so it could boast as many features as possible while taking the time to mature prior to getting into Mint.

  16. Few things I’ve already noticed:

    By default Expo isn’t enabled as an applet, I couldn’t find another way to add additional workspaces without first enabling it. Once Expo was enabled I noticed degraded performance.

    I MUCH prefer the classic Mint start menu from Mate 15 et al.

    So I went into the Applet Manager and tried to enable the Classic Menu, it threw me a password for some email I didn’t have. LOL The Weather applet installed fine, though.

    Also, you can install an applet from one window, then you have to revert to the Installed Window to enable them. That’s not very intuitive! It would be better if you could just add newly installed applets from the Get more online tab. Also, “Get More Online” would look better.

    Multi Monitor support is BRILLIANT! Good Job! Also LOVE the window snapping stuff. Though that gets a little janky with multiple monitors…. I like the “ctrl” warning, but it didn’t actually work in some of my testing.

    No matter how many times I tell Firefox not to warn me about closing tabs, it warns me. This has been an on-going issue through multiple versions of Mint.

    Software Manager causes high CPU load almost constantly.

    It’s weird there’s no right click on desktop option to change wallpaper.

    I’ll keep on testing….

  17. Just read Clem’s notes. I’ll wait to do more testing tomorrow then. Civ 2 in Wine is acting REALLY odd. Was working perfectly before.

  18. I am not a formal tester, but I just did a perfect (and easy and fast) Petra 64-bit Cinnamon Beta install to EFI with GPT partitions. Flawless – this had been a big issue. Testing everything else now and will do it all over again when the RC comes out in a few hours.

  19. not to be nitpicky but i donted $100 for the second time and yet i’m not on the list

    otherwise eagerly await the polished Mint 16 Cinnamon.

    Edit by Clem: If you donated in November it should appear in the next monthly news. Otherwise it’s possible we made a mistake, if so please send me an email with your paypal address. Thanks for supporting us.

  20. I installed mint 16 RC and noticed quite a few things fixed up from the 15 install such as a default for not using GMT Bios time and having /etc/default/grub present by default. The performance is great! The only bug I noticed was when installing 16 in UEFI mode it created 2 boot entries named Ubuntu instead of Linuxmint. One of them seemed to be a shim entry for using secure boot, but wasn’t labelled as such so most users wont know why there was 2 boot entries named Ubuntu in their efi boot menu.

    I love the new cinnamon version! The only thing keeping me from moving to mint as my primary OS is the short lifetime of releases and needing to reinstall the OS from scratch every 6 months or so.

    Thanks for your hard work!

  21. @rhys

    Your comment that “Software Manager causes high CPU load almost constantly” reminds me of my experience with the Linux Mint ‘Software Manager’ several releases ago (circa 2011). I keyed the 3 letters ‘lib’ in the search field and, not only the Software Manager ‘locked up’, but my entire desktop went into “brown out” mode (envision lights dimming and electric motors shutting down).

    Apparently the Linux Mint Software Manager was programmed to perform like Google search — start searching before the user hits the Enter key (or clicks the Search button). And, apparently, there are so many packages that start with the characters ‘lib’, the Software Manager went into a tight loop doing some sort of search processing, dealing with hundreds of ‘lib’ packages. It took quite a few minutes to come back with results. Unlike Google, the Software Manager did not start returning results immediately — the results window was blank for multiple minutes.

    I am curious to know if the Software Manager still bogs down when a user enters ‘lib’ or ‘li’ or ‘l’ in the search field. In any case, it appears that Clem et. al. need to spend some time on improving the Software Manager. One quick improvement would be to not start searching until the user terminates the search string with the Enter key (or a click on a Search button).

    I am looking forward to trying LMDE with MATE 1.8 on one of the last Acer netbooks manufactured — that I bought on sale at a Walmart (here in the USA) around January 2012, with Windows 8 installed. I will get a chance to try to work around the ‘Secure Boot’ nonsense to install Linux.

    I would be willing to bet significant gelt that Microsoft Windows 8 is experiencing as many viruses as Windows 7 and before — i.e. Secure Boot does not keep viruses from attacking Windows 8, since Microsoft still releases the OS with the ‘User’ working in ‘Admin’ (root) mode. That mode still allows web sites and emails from around the world to insert malicious programs in Microsoft ‘system’ directories. At the same time, Microsoft locks the User out of the capability of removing files, like virus files, from the ‘system’ directories. Apparently Microsoft is more concerned about the User messing up the operating system (that they paid for) than being concerned about strangers from anywhere in the world inserting malicious code and files on the User/Admin’s machine.

    Thank the universe for the default ‘root’ and ‘userid’ modes of most
    Linux implementations.

  22. @Jon, #21

    Your comment that “The only thing keeping me from moving to mint as
    my primary OS is the short lifetime of releases and needing to
    reinstall the OS from scratch every 6 months or so” makes me sad that
    you are missing out on so much because of “short lifetimes” and
    wanting to avoid “install from scratch”.

    I would like to point out that it is possible to use a very old
    Debian-based Linux release — even long after the release’s software
    repositories have ‘gone dead’. That is, you can still install software
    packages that are compatible with the various ‘dynamically loaded’
    ‘lib’ packages that are in your release.

    In fact, I am still running Ubuntu 9.10 (2009 October) on several
    desktop computers and a couple of netbooks — because I value the
    ‘Nautilus Scripts’ and the ‘Open with Other Application…’ capabilities
    of the Nautilus file manager, but the Gnome 3 developers introduced
    various ‘regressions’ into Nautilus soon after the 2009-era Nautilus versions
    (after version 2.28.1). Gnome 3 developers have endangered and even
    disabled the capabilities that I use almost daily.

    So I have stayed with Ubuntu 9.10 during the Gnome 3 and Ubuntu Unity
    disruptions — and while I hope that MATE developers will
    ‘right’ the Nautilus/Caja ‘regressions’. Meanwhile,
    anytime I find that I would like to add a software package
    to my old Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) release — even though Ubuntu
    shut down their Karmic Koala repositories about 18 months after
    the 2009 October release — I can find Debian packages that
    are compatible with the set of lib’s on my Ubuntu 9.10 release.

    Typically, I can find appropriate ‘.deb’ files on a Debian software archive
    site ( and install them via ‘GDebi Package Installer’.

    And there are other more or less trusted sources of old deb files at
    other sites that I have documented at the web page:

    Furthermore, if you want to try installing a more recent release of a
    software package, you can try installing a more recent version hoping
    that it is still compatible with the lib’s on your machine.

    In other words, you do not have to totally re-install a Linux
    release every six months (or every 18 months). If you find a release
    that does what you need, you could stay with that release for YEARS
    if need be — and still be able to install packages long after the
    ‘official’ software repositories for that release have been de-activated.

    Sometimes stable and reliable and ‘still works’ beats ‘latest and greatest’.

    Thank you Debian and thank you

  23. I see. Is there a chance to have MATE 1.8 later on as an update?
    Also, I would like to politely ask you if you could update flash? (there was an update yesterday) Thank you! 🙂

  24. @Jon

    No one forces you to do a re-install every 6 months unless you want it yourself, so it’s in your head, like most people, that you think you have to do it…..

    Go for a Mint LTS release and you’ll be fine for 5 years, the Cinnamon and Mate DE’s are backported to the LTS releases which means Cinnamon 2.0 can be installed on Mint 13 LTS too.

    Don’t say you do it because the software is outdated… it’s just nonesense from my point of view. As long as it works and does it’s job why go for the latest and greates…. Latest and greatest doesn’t mean it’s better and most of the time there’s no big difference at all when it comes to applications.

    It’s like uneekname said: Sometimes stable and reliable and ‘still works’ beats ‘latest and greatest’.

    Another option would be to start using a stable cyclic-rolling release like LMDE or any other rolling distro so that you don’t have to worry about reinstalling at all and want some more up to date software. If you haven’t done so already maybe that will be a solution for you. 😉


    “you do not have to totally re-install a Linux release every six months (or every 18 months)”
    Well, with the non-LTS Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distro’s you only have 9 months of support not 18 months. 🙂

    Kind regards,

    Mr. B

  25. “Mint 16 will therefore bring an updated version of MATE 1.6.”

    Same for the backport to LMDE, I assume. Good. I’m looking forward to being able to use Caja and mate-keybinding-properties properly on my LMDE installation. According to the MATE developers the problems (Caja as root sending CPU usage through the roof and mate-keybinding-properties segfaulting) have been fixed in GIT, but they’re unwilling to rebuild the .deb packages because that should be the work of the Debian MATE Packaging Team (which is nowhere near ready for that…).

  26. @21 and @23 it is also worth noting that LTS versions (Mint 13, and future Mint 17) have 5 years of support, so there’s no need to reinstall Mint every 6 months or so. Cinnamon 2.0 will be backported to Mint 13, shortly after Mint 16 is released; thus if you have Mint 13 LTS you will not miss out on Cinnamon 2.0.

    Also, the short support of non-LTS releases is not unique to LinuxMint; I believe other distributions also have short support for non-LTS.

  27. So when is all the great new stuff coming to LMDE? Please don’t make it a sort of second-class product. I love pure Debian and the fact it’s a rolling distro.

  28. @Mr.B, #25

    I am aware that Ubuntu shortened their support period (about a year ago)
    for their non-LTS releases — so their former 18 months support is now
    9 months (or whatever). I just did not want to get into all that.

    That is all the more reason for people to be aware that (as I described in #23 above) even if Ubuntu disables their software repositories after only 9 months, you can probably keep that release going for YEARS
    by using ‘.deb’ archive sites to install new and updated software for an old Ubuntu (or Linux Mint or other Debian-based) release.

  29. In #29, by ‘new’ software, I am mainly referring to ‘previously uninstalled software’ that was available at the time of the Linux release, but the user never chose to install that software during the distro’s support period window.

  30. I reinstalled, on a new lvm partition. Still no, can’t think of the correct term, box to login with. The background is present. I did try to go through recovery mode, resume, it failed to get X window going.

  31. Right to the point: Caja can’t show files on my partitions. I “Don’t have permissions”!
    It seems something wrong with Caja/Mate 1.6, as the same happens in LMDE after a Pack7 upgrade.

  32. Hi Clem, I have been running the nighlty builds so have experienced been using the Cinnamon 2.0 features earlier and am loving it. Regarding snap-mode, sometimes i end up only tiling it. I think after pressing CTRL, i need to release the right click immediately else it will only get tiled? Perhaps am not doing something right here, if there could be visual indication to user that window is snapped then it would be great. Notification that automatically disappears is one option but that could be annoying as well.
    I use Choqok as twitter client and have it snapped to one corner and can keep clicking any links in tweets without Choqok getting affected. Window-snapping is very useful.

  33. nice to be upgraded but this version have a lots of bug and crashes any time, must back to 15 btw 15 first big bug is drivers for nvidia, must change it to oryginal drivers in stable mode cuz system crashes all time. in 64 bit try to support 32 librares cuz still needed but hard to find it. i like linux mint, keep going 😉

  34. Mr.B #25

    Don’t you have heard, when you updating your software to a new release/version, you updating and for the security purposes also? I don’t like to updating all the time my packages, but… yeah… i will not install LTS release (i know, no one force me in anything) which getting only backported software and some few (really few) “security” updates in a small bunch of packages like for example the linux kernel and others… ?

    When you updating your packages you don’t doing that just for fun, just for the update.. You are doing for getting the latest security improvements which may coming with a newer version, and if you are lucky, with new features which maybe improve your user experience… Ok with LTS i can have a… “Stable” environment, but WHY i must stay there, without move, when i have chances by updating in something newer, getting better user experience and more security for me…?

    For me, Anything newer are… better, even it is… not stable… Our human civilization has gone forward doing leaps and trying new things… Not staying just with that which just “works”…
    Of course that is just my personal opinion, maybe im very wrong 🙂
    As for the Linux Mint 16, im waiting for xfce flavor… Im really excited. Im seeing in the community site, in the testing iso progress, the xfce has frozen to 45,9% for 32bit and 83,61% for 64bit. I hope in the next release to join in the testing team for xfce, i really want work for getting the job done a bit faster for all of us.

    Thanks guys at linux mint, we are very thankful with the huge work you are doing, we like linux mint, we… love linux mint 🙂

    when trying to add a desklet Cinnamon crashes and cannot restart. I must manually reboot the comp.
    when doing a “fast” down-scoll using the mouse wheel system crashes and it automatically takes me to login screen (same thing in Cinnamon 15)

  36. Just wondering, if there is no technical reasonable way, to keep a non-
    PAE kernel around, that can be selected at startup of the DVD from the initial kernel options menu.
    I just got a friend convinced, to give up on Win XP on his Dell Latitude D600 with Pentium-M (1st gen w/o PAE) and give LM a try, but with no non-PAE kernels more around lately, that’s not gonna fly.
    And no, I don’t want to stick with LTS, since too many programs don’t get updated there and I also want to benefit from progress in kernel development.
    Any suggestions or does the current kernel architecture depend on PAE abilities?

  37. Same with me: Wanted to reanimate an D800, also without PAE support. LM would otherwise be first choice. Do you plan any kind of non-PAE-spin?

  38. I have absolutely no audio on an AsusX75A1 after installing Mint 16. I’ve tried everything in the forums, etc, including re downloading,and reinstallation. I didn’t have this problem with 13/maya at all.

  39. This kills me! I had just gotten Linux 15-Olivia like three days before this RC release. I wish it had a rolling update service. I’m at least glad the official release didn’t come out in that time >.<;. I'll be keeping an eye on Petra, but by the time it's fully released I don't think I'll be switching for a while. Excited to see where you guys take Petra! I'm actually excited for the desktop sounds, as strange as that is. Especially since you can customize them.
    Thanks for the awesome OS!

  40. I updated from 15 to 16 (Cinnamon) on a macbook air and it starts fine, but as soon as I open anything, it freezes. No keyboard input works, but mouse moves around. No clicks.

  41. This far, I encountered 2 bugs with Mint16 Cinnamon.
    a) The gcc compiler is not fully installed. Need to know what to add so it picks up the include libraries.
    b) If the first logon is ttyn then the correct keyboard definition is not selected. It is only after logging in as a GUI user that the correct keyboard for ttyn is selected (n in {1..6}

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