Petra backports available in Linux Mint 13


The most significant improvements in Petra are being backported to Maya.

Among other things, this gives Linux Mint 13 LTS users access to the following packages:

  • MDM 1.4
  • Cinnamon 2.0
  • MATE 1.6
  • The latest versions of mintwelcome, mintstick, mintnanny, mintupload, mintupdate, mintinstall, mintsystem, mintmenu and mintdesktop.

How to

To enable the backports in Linux Mint 13, follow the steps below:

1. Open the “Software Sources” tool from “Menu -> Preferences -> Software Sources”
2. Click on the “Backported packages (backports)” checkbox as illustrated in the picture below

3. Launch the “Update Manager” from “Menu->Administration->Update Manager”
4. Select all level 1, 2 and 3 updates
5. Click on “Install Updates”

Once you’re finished installing the updates, restart your computer.

Enjoy 😉


– Why isn’t this happening automatically via the “main” components of the repositories?

It’s an opt-in. Some people are interested in getting the latest features (and they can follow the easy steps described above). Others prefer not to change what already works. By using the backports component of the repositories, which are disabled by default, people have the choice to upgrade these components or to keep them from being upgraded.

As with every upgrade and new version of software, there is a risk of regression. These upgrades have been thoroughly tested in Petra and are known to work in Maya, but the decision to stick with the current versions or to upgrade to the newer ones is entirely yours. Note that both versions are available in the Linux Mint 13 repositories (via main and backports) and that although the process is a bit tedious, it is possible to downgrade all or some packages back to their original versions.

– Will these backports also find their way into LMDE?

Yes, LMDE will receive these backports as well as a major upgrade called Update Pack 8 in January 2014.

Upgrade Notes

Cinnamon 2.0:

  • Cinnamon 2.0 no longer needs nautilus or gnome-session-fallback. Feel free to remove these components. If you don’t need support for bluetooth and wacom tablets you can also remove gnome-control-center.
  • Make sure to install mint-meta-cinnamon to retrieve all the new important packages coming with Cinnamon 2.0
  • Cinnamon 2.0 uses a Cinnamon backend. Your current settings applied to the GNOME backend, so you will lose your default Cinnamon configuration.

MATE 1.6:

  • MATE 1.6 uses gsettings. Your current MATE settings are stored in mateconf. You will lose your MATE configuration during this upgrade.

MDM 1.4:

  • MDM triggers the installation of numlockx. This may activate numlock on your behalf. If on a laptop you find yourself unable to type your password, please make sure to disable numlock. You only have to do it once. After that, your preference is configurable in MDM.
  • Make sure to install the package “mint-mdm-themes”
  • Make sure to restart your computer after the upgrade, especially if you upgrade MDM.
  • If MDM complains that it cannot find a theme and consequently fails to start, do the following:
    • Make sure you have a file called /usr/share/mdm/distro.conf, if you don’t then upgrade the package ubuntu-system-adjustments
    • Delete your MDM configuration with the command: sudo rm -f /etc/mdm/mdm.conf
    • Reset the MDM configuration with the command: sudo touch /etc/mdm/mdm.conf
    • Reboot the computer