Monthly News – October 2014


  • The Cinnamon and MATE editions of Linux Mint 17.1 ‘Rebecca’ passed quality testing and were approved for an RC release. They should become available at the end of this week. The MATE edition sports out of the box support for the Compiz window-manager (which comes pre-installed, pre-configured and which you can switch to with a click of a button). The Cinnamon edition features the new Cinnamon 2.4 desktop which features were announced on Segfault and which an early version of was made available as a preview in the Romeo section of the Linux Mint 17 repository. All 17.1 editions (including upcoming KDE and Xfce editions) also feature a huge number of improvements on tools, system layers, artwork and other aspects which they have in common. This will be described in detail with their release announcements.
  • The release process hasn’t changed but because a lot of users are new to Linux and to Linux Mint, I’ll explain it very briefly here. For each edition there are two releases: The RC (“Release Candidate”) and the Stable release. Both releases pass quality testing and are fully functional. However, because the RC is the first release to be publicly available, it represents the first opportunity for users to find bugs the development team was not aware of. From experience, I can say this with certitude: Although we’re usually really happy with the quality of our RCs, we always do find and fix a lot of bugs after the RC and prior to the Stable release. In the two weeks which usually separate the two releases, we listen to feedback, we take notes for the next release and we fix a lot of bugs. In brief: 17.1 will be out in the days to come, but it’s an RC. You might think it’s really stable, and maybe it will be, but we encourage people who want to help us find bugs to try it out and people who are interested in using it for real to skip it and to wait until the end of the month to get the Stable release instead.
  • If you’re using Linux Mint 17 and you want to upgrade, you do not need a fresh installation. A short time after the stable release, we’ll make an upgrade available for you which will be both safe and trivial to perform.
  • On the LMDE side, work is continuing on Betsy. Debian Jessie is getting ever more stable, Cinnamon 2.4 is being ported to it and adapted to components which Linux Mint doesn’t use (GTK 3.14, Upower 0.99 and Systemd). This is facilitated of course by the fact that Cinnamon is cross-distribution and that other distributions already used these components.
  • Many many thanks to all the people who are supporting us and everyone who contributes in different ways in making Linux Mint better. To the people I work with on a daily basis, moderators and developers in particular, it’s a real privilege to be working with you. We get so much done and it’s often so much fun, it’s really enjoyable. To all the people who donate, and to our sponsors, thank you for empowering us the way you do. We’ve no issues or worries getting in the way of development or project focus and that is thanks to you. To all the people who sent us ideas and are about to send us feedback… you create what we use to make Mint better release after release. I look forward to finding out what bugs you’ll uncover in this RC.


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A total of $7269 was raised thanks to the generous contributions of 297 donors:

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  • $17.2 from 17 smaller donations

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  1. I’ve been watching this develop for a good while now, and it is fantastic to see it getting out there. One minor bug – the welcome screen ‘chat room’ in fact routes to the help room. It would be good to see buttons for both destinations there. Very well done to all involved, this is a visually appealing release that I expect to be very popular.

  2. You know… I always wondered why I couldn’t see any of those sponsors… Today Witt my tablet I found out why :). Something with blocking.

    Anyways… I can’t wait the next release!

  3. Hello Clem and team.
    I have the following questions:
    Which kernel will Mint 17.1 use? Also, which (major) applications are going to be updated? And, is there any plan for Cinnamon to get compiz (in the far future)?

    Keep up the good work.

  4. Hello Linux Mint team,
    You guys doing a great job. Keep it up. thank you all.
    It seems Debian Jessie will ship with systemd by default (init optional). So where does LMDE stands in this regard?

  5. In mate there is no way to zoom-in and out.. though this is available in KDE and cinnamom. Hope this is incorporated in mate as well

  6. Holy mole! Mate + Compiz may force me to try new old things. And I was just getting used to using cinnamon and xfce all the time. I posted this on the cinnamon blog, but just in case you missed it, any word on transparent background for the file system on any of these releases?

  7. It’s great to see Mint this active. The mint-x-colours themes are great, 10 options are more than enough and should suit all. It’s good to see Compiz, too.
    These donations had an obvious effect on the distro!

  8. Just checked 17.1RC and this bug is not fixed: Selecting Encrypted Home Folder Always Breaks Swap

    … what do I have to do to report this serious bug so it is LOOKED at? Really, I’m at the stage where the only option left is to behave badly to get basic attention for it. It shouldn’t be that way. Can we fix the bug system please?

  9. Too bad … Bluetooth NOT working out of box and on the Lenovo G700 NOT working at all unless one tingers around with Windooze in a VM.

  10. “On the LMDE side, work is continuing on Betsy. Debian Jessie is getting ever more stable, Cinnamon 2.4 is being ported to it and adapted to components which Linux Mint doesn’t use (GTK 3.14, Upower 0.99 and Systemd).”
    Is this statement about not using Systemd applicable to the “non-LMDE” versions of Linux Mint?

  11. Hi Clem,

    Is 17.1 still the Long Term Support release? And how long will it be supported for?

    Also I’ve had a problem with Google Chrome and work space switcher in Mint 17.
    When I try to change from a workspace using Chrome to another empty workspace chrome seems to follow into that work space, although I can’t use it. It’s a kind of “remnant’. BTW this also happens with Chromium.


  12. Linux Mint told me to report this, and since I can’t find any other place to do so I’ll put it here. Sorry if this is not where it should be, but I’ve been looking for an alternative to no avail.

    Linux Mint is easily the best distribution I’ve run, and I’ve been trying them almost since the day Linux first came out. I’ve never been able to stick with one, but I think I will be able to do so with Linux mint if I ever get everything working.

    I’m running an Intel dual core processor on an ASUS B85M mother board with 4Gbytes RAM. It works great except I haven’t had any luck installing an audio driver I downloaded from Realtek–it gives me error messages. I also haven’t been able to find a driver for my Brother laser printer, but I’ve had no trouble with the system until today.

    A large pop-up informed me that “Software index is broken. This is a major failure of your software management system. Please check for broken packages with Synaptik. Check file permissions and correctness of the file /etc/apt/sources, list, and related software information with aptget update and sudo apt-get install-f.

    I ran Synaptik and it said “E: Internal error opening cache(1). Please report. (So here I am reporting.) I rebooted and everything looked okay, so I ran the aptget-update, which completed without error. When I ran apt-get install -f, it said “E: The package fax4100lpr:i386 needs to be reinstalled, but I can’t find an archive for it.” It’s in my home directory, but I don’t know how to tell that to apt-install. The file is a driver that brother says may work as a printer driver, since the one Mint Linus recommended did not work at all.

    Again, I apologize if this is the wrong place to put this, but if it is I would greatly appreciate it if some knowledgeable person would move it for me. And if anyone can give me a tip or two on how I might get my sound card and printer working I would be doubly grateful.


  13. This project is an example of eficiency, commitment and respect with the community.
    Congratulations for everything!

  14. Was running my Qiana KDE on kernel 3.16.7 for a week and had absolutely no problems, even AMD proprietary driver worked out of the box.

    Switched to 3.17.3 yesterday, had to patch the AMD driver (commented out line 845 in ./common/lib/modules/fglrx/build_mod/kcl_acpi.c (// tdev->flags.no_hotplug = true) and have absolutely no issues with it either, running on a FX8350 and a Radeon HD7970 Platinum

    Would be nice to see at least a 3.16 kernel in Rebecca for a bit better support of the AMD APU’s 😉

    I took the kernels from here:

    After all, thanks for the great work you guys are doing!

  15. Clem – For those of us who wish to test 17.1, will there be a way to do an in place upgrade from the current 17 to 17.1 (say, via “romeo”) or does it have to be a clean install?

    Just wondering.

  16. #19 JerryG2KF

    It’s “sudo dpkg -i your_fax4100lpr_package.deb” but sure, this is not the place for support. (and this action may or may not work, other measures may be needed)

    But your problem exemplifies how the Windows mindset of downloading drivers from the web usually doesn’t work and it is a major problem with linux (pretty much all distributions of it).

    Easier solution is generally to upgrade the whole distro version or otherwise get a more recent distro. A goal of Mint 17.x should be to improve driver support as much as possible (include drivers for recent hardware, and better quality drivers for less recent hardware) and that’s a huge task. Part of it is the linux kernel alone (which you can update in Mint Update), part of it is additional packages, and Ubuntu maybe provides a base to build on (Ubuntu releases 14.04.1, 14.04.2 etc.)

    I’m sure you can discuss your issue here?, in the Hardware Support section.

  17. Thank goodness for Mint, giving users what they want to use instead of trying to force new concepts on them. I don’t even use the Mint distro, but I sure do use Cinnamon and Mate, which are for me the only two usable desktop environments in existence.

  18. Wow I really like the seamless upgrade ability. If the Linux Mint team could actually implement such safe and reliable method of upgrading, I strongly recommend that.

    Keep up the good work! Thanks for making Linux a better place! 😉

  19. I have been a windows user or should I say windows used me with its consent new versions and upgrades that cost a fortune and having to pay for upgrades of programs and machine I was happy with because they didn’t work with the upgrades. they shouldn’t call them upgrades they should call them ‘here sheep”. I love the way mint has an office in the distro. I know others have the same office but you offer a difference in the sense that when I use mint I feel comfortable, at home. I used Ubuntu but hated, maybe hated is to strong a word. Couldn’t Stand it, not being able to adjust it to my ways. yes their are issues that stop it being the holly grail, but its dam close. I have no doubt about in my mind, this is home for me. Thankyou

  20. In reference to
    Well, I am very happy to report, that, after only checking on my major grievences with the previous releases, 17.1 again seems to be on the uphill path of fighting the apparently unavoidable cyclic Linux regressions.
    Other than some 3.5 years ago, WiFi for Ralink RT2870 and RT3072 USB adapters luckily still works 😉

    My nForce2 Ultra-400 based Athlon XP desktop PC with Radeon X800 GPU now finally works again as expected, when started up with the magic “nomodeset”. What exactly does this prevent anyway and why isn’t it needed on the Presario laptop (details below) with the same CPU?
    However, with Cinnamon, after waking from ‘Suspend’, I always end up with the digital clock and a dimmed desktop and can’t find a way to unlock it. How does this work these days?
    I didn’t have time yet, to also test, if LM17.1 with the Radeon 9600 VIVO now works, too.

    Does this kernel per default now not use PAE to be compatible again with non-PAE Pentiums, but can be forced into it for excess of 3.?GB RAM on PAE CPUs? Or what is the 3rd boot option “Force PAE” now actually good for?

    I also just only discovered, that “Suspend”, which eventually started working for the very first time for me with LM13 on my laptop Compaq Presario 906US (ALi 1535+, IGP 320M (RS100), Texas Instruments PCI1410 PC card Cardbus Controller, 2-port NEC Corporation USB 2.0 (rev 04) PCMCIA ID 1d6b:0002), seemingly is still working, but ONLY if no USB flash drive or µSD-card reader was plugged in and still mounted there prior to suspending.
    This kind of contradicts the whole notion of going to sleep on its own during periods of inactivity. If that causes the system to freeze, it doesn’t do much good now, does it? 😉
    A USB WiFi adapter (Ralink) doesn’t seem to cause such problems. How can this be?
    Otherwise the system freezes during wakeup at the blank black screen, with the cursor sitting in the top left corner, right before the desktop should re-appear. Consoles then don’t accept any input either, in case it is still possible to switch to one, before they freeze up as well.
    Or the screen doesn’t get turned on at all. Ctrl+Alt+Bkspce doesn’t work either to restart X, but at least Alt+PrtScrn+B then usually still works.

    VLC frequently keeps audio muted after [^|Alt|#] + -> or <- navigating in x264 or MKV video files. "e" (single frame)followed by 'Space' (play) then seems to reliably unmute. My vintage Helena with VLC 1.0.5 doesn't have this issue.

    I very much appreciate what you and the team are accomplishing and I hope, that my sometimes over-spilling frustration over regressions I am experiencing with new releases doesn't bleed through too much 😉

  21. Cinnamon and the mint-x theme looks so professional now. Together with the speed, awesome updates and stability, this is the Linux distro I’ve been waiting for. Was holding out for elementary OS Freya, but it just takes so long and might still be until the end of nex year before it’s finally released. Rebecca has proven to be of more worth and everything I need runs on it, including stuff like Cisco Packettracer and the like.
    Thanks guys. My laptop purs like a kitten (very quietly) and fellow students are suddenly interested in trying it out themselves.

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