Monthly News – October 2015


We’re just a few days away from the releases of Cinnamon 2.8 and MATE 1.12. If everything goes according to plan, both desktop environments should be officially released by the end of the month.

In MATE, we ported some of the features which had been implemented for Cinnamon, long standing bugs and many little usability paper-cuts were fixed (among them, the fact that playing a video didn’t stop the screensaver from kicking in … the fact that panel applets were reordered when changing resolutions..etc etc.)  and hardware support (touchpad and multiple-monitors support in particular) was significantly improved.

Early access to Cinnamon 2.8 was also announced, so if you feel like beta-testing it, you can already upgrade to it by following the instructions at And if you’d rather wait for its official release, we’ll post a description of all the new features around the 31st of October and Cinnamon 2.8 will then be shipped in LMDE and Linux Mint 17.3.

Many thanks to Vault Networks who recently celebrated 6 years of supporting Linux Mint. Our project wouldn’t be where it is if it wasn’t for the fantastic support we’ve getting throughout the years from our community and from our sponsors. I’d like to send a big thank you to everybody involved in supporting us, whether it’s via donations, partnerships, sponsorships, development, ideas or technical support to fellow Mint-users.

Next month we should be ready to announce some of the cross-desktop improvements we worked on (I wish I could cover that more in details but it’s not ready so I’d rather not talk about it just yet) and we’ll then prepare for the start of Linux Mint 17.3.


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Donations in September:

A total of $6,448 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 363 donors:

$100 (3rd donation), Nono W.
$100 (2nd donation), Don C.
$100, Leslie B. B.
$95 (10th donation), Jobs Near You aka “Find Jobs
$84 (3rd donation), Louis Ayotte
$81, Michael S.
$75 (2nd donation), Brennan H.
$56 (2nd donation), Uwe T.
$56 (2nd donation), Marco L. aka “MAR9000
$56, Sébastien G.
$56, Anton B.
$56, Adrian T.
$56, Christoph P.
$50 (65th donation), Matthew M.
$50 (13th donation), Robert D B.
$50 (6th donation), Carlos H. G.
$50 (4th donation), Patrick C.
$50 (4th donation), Mike Mazzuca
$50 (3rd donation), Paul W.
$50 (2nd donation), Brian aka “Myrkat
$50, David S.
$50, Caesar S.
$50, Greg L.
$50, Dale K.
$50, William R.
$50, Kyrascope L.
$50, George H.
$50, Prakasam R.
$50, Ken W.
$50, Steve S.
$45, Sylvain D.
$40 (6th donation), Kevin Safford
$40, John C.
$40, Chris H.
$40, Gary H.
$40, Dale H.
$35, Nelson P.
$35, Gerardo R.
$34 (67th donation), Olli K.
$34 (3rd donation), Rafael G. V.
$34, Gauthier B.
$34, Niels T. C.
$34, Michael A.
$34, Vincent V.
$30 (9th donation), Jobs Near You aka “Find Jobs
$30 (3rd donation), Christophe A.
$30 (2nd donation), Andreas R.
$30 (2nd donation), James W.
$30, Ian M.
$30, Christopher H.
$30, Gerd G.
$30, Martin C. C.
$30, Paul D.
$30, Elnur M.
$30, Timothy A.
$30, Richard M.
$30, John R.
$30, Robert O.
$30, Donna J.
$28 (3rd donation), Eduard L.
$28 (2nd donation), Rebel450
$28, Jordi E. C.
$28, Antti-Pekka M.
$28, Francois A. aka “fanetk
$28, Christos L.
$25 (48th donation), Ronald W.
$25 (23rd donation), John M.
$25 (9th donation), Peter D.
$25 (4th donation), Kwan L.
$25 (2nd donation), Catherine D.
$25 (2nd donation), Anurag S.
$25 (2nd donation), John aka “xargs”
$25, Donald M.
$25, Richard J.
$25, Patricia S. aka “bramble”
$25, Jan S.
$25, Jerzy Z.
$25, George E.
$25, Clayton G.
$25, Jack G.
$25, Alexander G.
$25, Caleb P.
$25, Marco N.
$25, Daniel G.
$25, Norton C. &. C.
$25, Eva P.
$25, Joseph W.
$25, Ho-leung N.
$24, George A.
$22 (2nd donation), Frank V. Pedersen
$22, Niels L.
$22, Karl E.
$22, Matteo P.
$22, Peter W.
$22, Marcel B.
$22, Vasileios T. aka “tsapi”
$22, Stefan H.
$22, Onno G.
$22, Peter D.
$22, William B.
$22, Stefano L.
$22, Laurent F.
$22, Jürgen F.
$22, Marek L.
$20 (7th donation), Curt Vaughan aka “curtvaughan ”
$20 (4th donation), Michel S.
$20 (4th donation), Jacqueem S. aka “Go Live Lively
$20 (3rd donation), Michael Dowden
$20 (3rd donation), James A.
$20 (2nd donation), Dave I.
$20 (2nd donation), Prasad S aka “medicine30”
$20, Diego A. aka “El Gatopardo”
$20, Martha S.
$20, Crunch Press
$20, Karel M.
$20, James T.
$20, Timothy D.
$20, Richard I.
$20, Christopher D.
$20, Nick J.
$20, Mark F.
$20, Marek S.
$20, Francisco G.
$20, Brent S.
$20, Glenn S.
$20, Raikanta S.
$20, Gary A.
$20, Alessio B.
$20, Robert E. H.
$20, Shaun K.
$20, Haydon M.
$20, Nelson I.
$20, Birt M.
$20, Robin K.
$20, Julie H. aka “Kjokkenutstyr
$20, Mark P.
$20, Ian U.
$20, Michael R.
$20, Roger O.
$20, Medardo A.
$20, Sebit M.
$20, Hubert C.
$20, Ildikó N.
$17, Felix K.
$17, Svetla D.
$17, Marco N.
$17, D M. C.
$17, Marinus E.
$17, Niels B.
$17, Daniele P.
$17, Jaume F. V. aka “Mal
$16 (3rd donation), K Soulsby
$16, qwaqwa68
$16, Brian C.
$15 (6th donation), James D. aka “Spearmint2”
$15 (6th donation), Michael H. aka “hikiboi1969”
$15, Michael C.
$15, Bay P.
$15, Obayashi J.
$15, Olivier F.
$15, Joseph F.
$15, Işil Ç.
$15, Isak H. aka “iah
$14 (4th donation), SSKA
$12 (54th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
$12, Marcin P.
$11 (22nd donation), Raymond E.
$11 (6th donation), Christian B.
$11 (6th donation), Tomasz K.
$11 (5th donation), Kirk P.
$11 (2nd donation), Henrik H.
$11 (2nd donation), Josef K.
$11 (2nd donation), Jerome M.
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$11 (2nd donation), Philipp H.
$11, Jimmy B.
$11, Sebastian W.
$11, D.Feldmeier
$11, Antonin G.
$11, Ian C.
$11, Miloslav F.
$11, Manuel T. G.
$11, Mikko S.
$11, Anthony F.
$11, Dimitris T.
$11, Anil G.
$11, Justo G.
$11, Christopher M.
$11, Claudio R.
$11, Gino P.
$11, Raoul M.
$11, Frederik M.
$11, Bombshelter
$11, Richard K.
$11, Matt S.
$11, Tomi P.
$11, Markku H.
$11, Detlev F.
$11, Norman W.
$11, Nicola C.
$11, Alfred Vereecken aka “Alver”
$11, Klaudius P.
$11, Julien M.
$11, Craig C.
$11, Jan D.
$11, Andreas K.
$11, Octavio P.
$11, Stefan S.
$10 (46th donation), Tsuguo S.
$10 (10th donation), Christopher R.
$10 (8th donation), Libertad Tecnologica
$10 (4th donation), Dave B.
$10 (4th donation), Donald F.
$10 (3rd donation), Carl B.
$10 (3rd donation), Dave B.
$10 (3rd donation), Devon B.
$10 (3rd donation), Douglas T.
$10 (3rd donation), David B. (Davey) aka “tekjunkie”
$10 (2nd donation), Christian K.
$10 (2nd donation), Ondrej M.
$10 (2nd donation), Steve Diamond aka ““Mindfulness Coach Steve”
$10 (2nd donation), Jaeyull L.
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$10, Christian S.
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$10, Cathi I.
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$10, Peter P.
$10, Hugh K.
$10, Tyler T.
$10, Joshua S.
$10, Arunas A.
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$10, James W.
$10, Diana M.
$9 (2nd donation), Dieter L.
$8 (10th donation), Albert J. P.
$8 (3rd donation), Joshua P.
$8 (2nd donation), Stefan T.
$8, Stefan M. H.
$8, Jose R.
$7.5, Sajjan H.
$7 (5th donation), SSKA
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$7 (2nd donation), Sandra W.
$6 (2nd donation), Michael P.
$6 (2nd donation), Tung-Yi Chen aka “Tic”
$6, John T.
$6, Jan R.
$6, Marian C. B. aka “Ice Alinutza
$6, Mario B.
$6, Ike Boffo
$6, Marco T.
$6, Juan S. T.
$6, Johannes J.
$6, Linberg G.
$6, Moritz H.
$6, Mladen P.
$6, Philippe L.
$6, Riccardo S.
$6, Pau S. F.
$6, Nick G.
$6, Krasimir G. D.
$6, Fabio Baratti
$6, HistorEduca aka “signatux
$6, Srdjan I.
$6, Nikolaos N.
$6, Stephan L.
$6, Laurent H.
$6, Oleksandr S.
$6, Tscheliesnigg
$5.95, Sudip Kanti Mitra
$5 (15th donation), Crusader
$5 (14th donation), Crusader
$5 (3rd donation), Eric H.
$5 (3rd donation), Jason G.
$5 (2nd donation), Mikhail S.
$5 (2nd donation), MUTLU
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$5 (2nd donation), Daniel G.
$5 (2nd donation), JayEmPee
$5, David T. M.
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$5, Jay C. aka “230KVDR”
$5, Oleg K.
$5, Stephane Quimpere aka “stefer09”
$5, Brad West
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$5, Arvis Lācis aka “arvislacis
$5, George S.
$5, Radu C.
$5, David B. (Davey) aka “tekjunkie”
$5, Thomas S.
$5, Miguel A. H. S.
$5, Julien L.
$5, Üveys A.
$5, Miguel P. L.
$5, Rajmohan A.
$5, George C.
$5, David T. M.
$5, Eric Alan Solo
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$3.25, Roman R.
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$2, Serbu I. aka “ionut.linux”
$2, Kabanov I.
$2, Richard P.
$2, Elder R.
$15.51 from 17 smaller donations

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  1. Thanks, Clem. I look forward to Mate 1.12. One question: I miss the MD5SUM menu entry when I right-click on an ISO file. It was there in Gnome 2. Is there a way to get it in Mate as well?

  2. Will MDM allow on-screen keyboard access to login, screensaver/locker, and root password prompts?

    Edit by Clem: I can’t guarantee it and it’s unlikely for 17.3. It’s something we have in mind though, it was improved in Cinnamon 2.6. Regarding the DM, we could add that but it would need to be handled by the theme itself.

  3. Hi! I haven’t find a github repo for something like linux-mint-default-settings, so I’d suggest a little improvement for LM XFCE here:

    I suggest replacing “thunar” with “file-manager” on panel. Firtsly, FM has more appropriate icon and secondly if user will decide to change his default file manager to krusader for example, icon will begin to launch krusader.

  4. Hi Clem, perhaps a feature here for Cinnamon 3.0. Is it possible to add a “Paste symlink” feature when doing a copy-paste? On Windows (yeah, I know, but it’s for work), I find I use the “Paste shortcut” option a lot to link folders together or put shortcuts to all my working docs in one folder that I can then delete without messing up my normal file arrangement. I’ve found myself trying to do something similar in Linux Mint, but I end up dropping to the terminal in the directory to do “ln -s ~/my/file” to make the link. I’d really love to be able to do this in the GUI. What do you think? Thanks!

    Edit by Clem: Hi Justin. You can set the Nemo preferences to show all available actions in the context menus. Once you’ve done that, you can right-click a file and select “create a link”. You can then drag-n-drop that link somewhere else. Alternatively, you can drag-n-drop a file while pressing CTRL+SHIFT. If you do that, when you drop the file, you’ll obtain a link rather than a copy of it.

  5. Clem – I’m a little confused.

    You mention that Cinnamon 2.8 will be released at the end of October; however, you follow that statement up by saying, “and Cinnamon 2.8 will then be shipped in LMDE and Linux Mint 17.3.”

    Does that mean I need to enable backports in 17.2 if I want to use 2.8 on 31-October and beyond? Or will 2.8 be avaialble to 17.2 users without enabling special reporsitories or romeo?


    Edit by Clem: Hi Brad. Cinnamon 2.8 will only be in the Romeo section of the 17.2 repositories. The upgrade to 17.3 is trivial and one its biggest components is Cinnamon 2.8 itself, so for this reason it is not backported.

  6. I’m NOT a computer wiz, but am trying to learn about Linux and BUY
    a disk to install on my computer, I currently have a Win 7 that I am
    happy with, definitely NOT going to Win 10. I hope my next move will be to Linux. Can anyone give me a good source for purchase or download?

    Appreciate any help

  7. Guys, please do a sync with Transifex for Mate before the release


    Edit by Clem: That’s planned and it was done partially already. It might hit some of the packages for the 1.12.1 version.

  8. Wow, I love the changes made to MATE 1.12! They have been around for a long time and have been bothering me a lot. Thanks a lot for the great work!

    Edit by Clem: You’re welcome. We’re also bringing in some nice changes to mintdesktop and mintmenu.

  9. nothing about reducing enormous RAM usage of mintmenu? also with 1GB RAM is not a rare event that some is swapped and respond in seconds when clicked… 🙁

  10. What will the kernel version be? Can I upgrade to 4.x on the Linux Mint Update Manager? My current LM 17.2 can only upgrade up to 3.19…

    Edit by Clem: The same kernels are available on all 17.x releases (also check Ubuntu mainline kernels, they’re all built for Trusty so all compatible with Mint 17.x). I can’t say for the default 17.3 kernel yet.

  11. LMDE2 Mate seems to have an intermittent problem with wired Ethernet connection on my eleven year old HP desktop computer. Linux mint 17-2 xfce works perfect with no internet connection problems.

    Edit by Clem: That’s a bit weird, it shouldn’t matter what DE is being used. Make sure nm-applet is running, that’s all I can think of.

  12. @Justin #7 – Left-Drag the file/folder and hold Alt before dropping onto the new folder; then choose ‘Link Here’ from the resulting context menu.

  13. #9 Felix Mosso: checkout They often have advertisers that sell disks if you don’t have the bandwidth to download, or don’t want to burn your own.

    A couple places I have heard of (no personal experience):

    However, I would encourage you to look into downloading and burning your own (it’s free!). Seem to remember that in Windows 7 you can just download an ISO file and right-click on it and choose write to disk (or some such). If it doesn’t work, just do a little web-searching to see which windows program you can install to burn an image file (ISO) to disk. You want to write the IMAGE, not just copy the ISO file to the DVD.

  14. Cinnamon 2.8 ugly works under Virtual Box (5.0.8 + latest guest addons): most children dialog boxes (for example gnome-terminal profile settings dialog) hides parent window that does not restores at all later.

    Software rendering session solves this issue but all works wery slow. Currently moves to the XFCE4.

    I know that OpenGL support at the VBox very limited but previous version of the Cinnamon works well.

    Edit by Clem: Make sure to enable 3D in the Virtualbox settings.

  15. Can you please update the python2 version in the repos from 2.7.6 to 2.7.9? SSL is broken in python 2.7.6 and there seem to be no ppas for newer python versions

  16. @Tio #17 — Thanks, this works!

    For others that find this, you need to start dragging _before_ holding Alt, or you’ll start moving the window instead (even if it’s maximized). Also, this works for dragging onto tabs in Nemo if you don’t use separate windows (use Ctrl-T to make a new tab). Just start dragging, then hold Alt before you drop on the tab title. You’ll need to have the tab where you want it already.

    I did find it’s possible to use “Nemo Actions” to add a context menu, but I haven’t tried it yet:

    Searching with “Nemo Action” I found that you can do Drag+Shift+Ctrl with the file to do the same thing without the intermediate context menu:

  17. clem:
    what Justin Says: October 26th, 2015 at 6:15 pm
    about “Paste symlink” is true, it is kind of anoying when you get that kind of error 😀

    – also, would be grate having a big link in to 😀 i always forgot how to get there.

    best regards


  18. Loving linux mint mate 17.2 for my old Dell Latitude D800 only problem i seem to have is the recommended nvidia driver in driver manager doesent seem to work just gives a blank black screen. the i have to reinstall mint to get it to use the x server defualt driver again. appart from that alls good 🙂

    Edit by Clem: Maybe it’s a cache issue? Refresh the cache with “apt update” before using the Driver Manager.

  19. Can we get better similar interaction as to Windows 7 with regards to dragging and dropping files from the desktop to the taskbar (and other areas of similarity with the desktop metaphor)?

    I have 95% of my apps and file formats cross platform and ready to Switch from Windows 7 to Linux Mint with Windows 7 in virtualbox for the remaining 3 apps.

    Linux Mint and Cinnamon is the only reason I got interested in switching from Windows again.

  20. Thank you for all the work. I tried out a few other distros recently and ended up again on Mint. You are the best! Looking forward to 17.3 and 2.8!

  21. @29 moo2

    Try the live CD. That will be the easiest way to know. Laptops and netbooks sometimes have custom stuff, and the development team won’t be able to tell you unless they happen to have one.

  22. @Felix Mosso

    If you really can’t get a copy, I can probably mail you one on DVD. The URL linked to my name will net you my email address. You can then verify my GPG signature and find out that I am who I say I am. (Mostly harmless.) You might as well wait until 17.3 is out but, if you don’t want to wait, then I’ve got all the flavors of Linux Mint you could possibly want – I’m already seeding them all so it’s trivial to burn one and send it out.

    I’d like to extend this to anyone who asks but, frankly, I haven’t the time. I’ll do it in this one instance. I’m also on the road so I don’t have access to multiple burners to do a bunch of copies at once.

    Actually, that might make a nice Community Feature type of thing – we could “pay it forward” by snail mailing out DVDs or Live USBs to people who are in remote areas or otherwise limited in their data consumption. I already seed something close to 100 different distros and do my best to keep them all updated anyhow. It seems pretty trivial to just mail a couple out a month, assuming that I’m home.

    Maybe I should go post on the forum and see what people think.

  23. Thanks for all the hard work, I to have been using mint and Windows 7, now with the Windows 10 stuff going on, all my machines will be on Mint, and for those asking if their PC will run Mint, just download Mint ISO onto a DVD, install and run Live off disk, check to see if all your hardware is working, also look in the admin section, check to see if any drivers are available, play around with Mint for a bit, sort of a test drive, then simply reboot machine will eject DVD, hit enter and back you go to Windows. simple as that, I also saw someone asking where to get Mint, just simply google Linux Mint download, and then dowmload, once on your machine, in Windows 7, find it in you download folder, insert DVD into drive, right click and create DVD, easy. you now can run Linux off the disk, and check to make sure all will be good then install simple.

  24. As you plan for 17.3, can I please (pretty please) ask that it include support for Broadwell graphics out of the box.

    I’d really, really like to move my NUC5i5 off Xubuntu and onto Mint!

  25. Appreciate your excellent work guys!

    One thing I’m really missing:
    It would be great if you’d implement a reliable way to permanently spoof one’s MAC address.

    I tried using Networkmanager and I tried using ip link set dev wlan0 down; macchanger -r wlan0; ip link set dev wlan0 up …etc. but none of it works. You can change the MAC address but then you can’t connect to any network anymore.
    Somehow the system always forces you to use your physical MAC address if you want to have any connection to the internet.

    After some days of reading and trying I gave up and ended up using Archlinux where it’s comparatively really easy to get MACSpoof working.

    Nevertheless I installed Linux Mint on the machines of many of my friends and some of them living in countries with lots of political oppression would really benefit from this security improvement 🙂

  26. > Edit by Clem: Make sure to enable 3D in the Virtualbox settings.

    Enabled. 2D – no (this feature does not supports for Linux Guets and Windows host).

    Edit by Clem: I can’t reproduce the issue.. we use Virtualbox a lot here, Cinnamon 2.8 works fine with it.

  27. I’m currently using Linux Mint 17.2 “Cinnamon” 64-bit and I just finished doing a clean install to it (before that I had Linux Mint 17.1 “Cinnamon” 64-bit. I did a “clean install” this time because I noticed that, after I “upgraded” [using the method Clem explained] from Mint 17 to Mint 17.1 some of the features and characteristics of Mint 17.1 still were not there after I upgraded).

    I was wondering if the “update to Cinnamon 2.8” will appear as an update in the “Update Manager” list of updates, [in Linux Mint 17.2 “Cinnamon” 64-bit,] after Cinnamon 2.8 is ‘officially’ released.

    Edit by Clem: Hi Mel, Cinnamon is just one part of Linux Mint. You’ll have the possibility to upgrade to Mint 17.3 when it’s out, and that will include Cinnamon 2.8. There’s also a lot of new features in other parts of the OS, and most are applied via updates. Of course there’s always a few differences between an upgrade and a fresh install, mostly because the goal is slightly different (in particular in respect to user configuration and software selection).

  28. Hi , I am currently using linux mint 17.2 MATE version and my PC H/w configuration is pentium d946gzis with 2gb ram with old graphic card.
    My question is which version of mint can my system compatible with cinnamon,mate or xfce. please do reply ASAP…..thx in advance.

  29. Linux Mint MATE as of version 17.2 has shoddy wireless support (not that any of that is the Mint developers’ fault) compared to a rock solid experience on Cinnamon. In particular, my Dell Latitude D620 will oft times lose all hope of wireless connection after suspend about 2/3rds of the time when utilizing the MATE version (Wifi driver: iwlwifi for an Intel Ultimate N WiFi Link 5300). Cinnamon has yet to display such an issue (the solution is rebooting, but even that can take up to two restarts). For this reason (and the lack of an “Open as root” right-click option in Caja), I have been using Cinnamon which I recently noticed had updated its theme manager and now lacks advanced graphical configuration (good luck restoring the function of the scrollbar buttons). I’m not complaining about these issues, yet I am still fretting over whether the problems (or features needing to be added) are attempting to be added in the 17.3 release. I can only pray for hope. Don’t lower my expectations Mint team!

  30. hi 40 Mel

    “I was wondering if the “update to Cinnamon 2.8” will appear as an update in the “Update Manager” list of updates, [in Linux Mint 17.2 “Cinnamon” 64-bit,] after Cinnamon 2.8 is ‘officially’ released.”

    yes it is. Therefor do this:

    1. go to your software-sources
    2. enable romeo-sources
    3. reresh cache

    Then close this and go to your update-manager. There do this:

    1. clock refresh
    2. see the updates
    3. install all visible updates.

    Then close the update-manager and open your Terminal for a further update:

    type in:

    sudo apt-get updat

    let this run through completely

    then follows this command:

    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    Also let this run through completely and there you are… Cinnamon 2.8 🙂

    For me, everything works perfekt. The only thing I noticed on my Toshiba-Notebook is, that the startup-time takes somewhat longer after haveing logged in from MDM. The time-difference is about 10 to 15 seconds. This could be speeded up.

    But the rest works perfect.

  31. Clem, could there be an easier way to manage, graphically via the Software Manager, /etc/apt/preferences.d/? For instance, if I manually am adding LibreOffice’s ppa, I still have to create a preference file to get the apt-get update to use the ppa over the repo’s via the priority (say, 700). I don’t mind sudo nano’ing a file, but it would be nice if either the Synaptic or Software Managers did (created) this file via GUI selections, etc.

    Edit by Clem: It’s a bit tricky and it depends on the PPA. Some of them, like the LO one will be set to 700 by default in 17.3.

  32. @ Clem

    What I would really wish is, that LMDE would be set up on debian-testing sources for newer package-versions. Because I notice, that with Qupzilla and Opera-Browser, the html5-Videos do not work at all. This is said, because I love these Browsers and I would really wish that html5-videos would come back to live in these Browsers.

    The second thing that I would wish is, that LMDE would get a nicer default Wallpaper like it was in earlier versions of LinutMint (ubuntu-based versions).

    A third wish would be, that we could get the mate-faenza-icons also in further colours like the existing blue, orange and ocre colour. Because I love the faenza-Icons.

  33. Hi Clem, love that 2.8 will come up windows preview!

    Is it possible to expect Application grouping w/windows previews (as in Windows 7/8/10) in Cinnamon 3.0?

    Keep up the great work!

    Edit by clem: Yes, there’s an alternative window list applet with app grouping already and it’s something we’re considering to add.

  34. I am not one that likes to do upgrades as they usually require you to start from scratch. I was very reluctant to go from 17.1 to 17.2 but I decided to give it a try. Everything went smoothly and had very little problems. Now I am ready to try to go to 17.3. Here is to having the same success as previously. The changes that are coming seem very worth while to attempt it. Linux Mint has been, by far, the best distro out there for compatibility, usability, and style.

  35. @Mintkatze:

    thanks 🙂 but it sounds like you’re talking about “how to get Cinnamon 2.8”-RIGHT-*NOW* as opposed to how to get it WHEN CINNAMON 2.8 IS *OFFICIALLY* RELEASED 😛

    thanks for the advice anyway 🙂

  36. Excellent news on the MATE front! Because it’s my favorite DE, I wait with baited breath for each new release, and to think I’ll have to wait for Rosa to fully enjoy it on top of a stable system… the endless parade of lovely ladies gracing my machine is going to make me go blind! Excellent work, Clem and team! I can’t wait to find 17.3 in my Christmas stocking.

    Felix Mosso, I’m not sure where you live, but if you’re in America, you can head down to the local Best Buy and pick up an SSD for under $100 that will give Mint more space than it will EVER need. Also, Best Buy has sales every week, so if you’re patient, that drive will be even cheaper. PNY is a decent brand if you’re just getting into SSD’s and are on a tight budget, but OCZ is better. Samsung and Intel are on top of the list, but they’re the most expensive brands. Either way, be patient and wait for the next sale. Believe me, your machine will feel like it’s had a complete rebuild.

  37. @LowTekk and anyone-else-reading-this:

    I actually DON’T trust solid-state-disks (aka. SSDs) for this very reason (as well as other reasons):

    and it actually makes sense. solid-state-disks are “flash” technology. just like usb flash-drives and RAM modules. they only store data until the power turns off (you can very clearly [and easily] see this in RAM [memory] modules). (as soon as the computer power turns off, anything stored in there (example: computer programs that were running) automatically gets wiped/deleted/off).

    that’s why, for this reason alone (but like i said, it’s not the only reason. i also have other reasons), i highly DO *NOT* suggest (let alone recomend) solid-state-disks, and continue to suggest (and/or recommend. let alone prefer) hard-disk drives.

    Edit by Clem: The mechanical part of HDDs can break, their data storage part can be wiped with just a magnet.. they can break just as well. I’m not even talking about loss (burglars, fires etc..). Whether you’re using an HDD or an SSD, you need to make backups if you don’t want to lose your data. Now in terms of performance, an SSD is usually much much faster than an HDD, it makes a huge difference with Linux Mint (the biggest reason of slow downs in Cinnamon is HDD/cache read, run it on an SSD and it’s much snappier).

  38. @Mel, SSD’s lose data after power for a few days? That is news to me, I use Samsung 950 EVO and Pro’s they have been without power for days and VNAND is holding fine.

    Maybe some people have a cable problem and the data is in the cache but not written out and it got lost for some other reason.

    With SSD’s you don’t need write caches in the OS enabled, they’re so fast you can use immediate buffer write flushing for quick removal.

  39. Mel@45

    You are correct in suggesting that data retention on SSD drives could be an issue if stored without power for a certain period of time. But only to the extent that it’s actually a particular fluctuation in temperature associated with an SSD being without power that causes the greatest concern. An SSD controller has much to do with stabilizing the driver temperature which is critical. This can not happen when an SSD is without power for a long time, hence the concern. It is comforting to know that the technology is getting better, and most consumer grade SSDs are realistically not going to enter anywhere close to a problem before a computer system comes back online.

    Secondly, SSD are not RAM. Obviously, they contain flash modules, which is also common to a RAM stick. But the two banks of memory behave entirely different, even though they both use flash modules. Flash more correctly describes the physical memory type, not RAM. RAM is a standard that stands for Random Access Memory, and it’s behavior is predetermined. Yes, it gets completely purged on a system shutdown or restart. But it can also get purged in a running system once it starts to reach a certain capacity, and you call on the system to run a different process, and so-on. It’s actually quite complex to pin down how an OS interacts with RAM. But RAM is an idea, not a physical memory type.

    It’s also important to remember that your system board also has a flash module on it, much like a RAM stick. But it is actually know as ROM — Read Only Memory. As long as the system board battery doesn’t fail, it will ALWAYS keep the data written to it, and can only be read from, and not changed unless a firmware upgrade is performed. While all three of these storage standards use flash modules, the each perform very differently. It is not the flash modules in and of themselves that determine data retention.

    I hope that makes sense. I’m sure someone could offer a more technical explanation, but that’s very basically the difference.

    All that said, you have a valid reason for steering clear of SSD drives. But I have run them extensively without issue, and will not go back. I will take the precautions however, and image my system to an old magnetic drive. To each his own.

  40. @Mel

    You obviously have no backups if that is a concern.

    Use a mechanical magnetic drive as a back up and optical too, what you don’t seem to know is OPTICAL drives also have an oxide layer break down due to overuse, same as NAND memory, the oxide barrier breaks down , hence WEAR LEVELLING, SSDs can last more than 10 years of constant use. Samsung VNAND 850 PRO has a 10 year warranty I have written 1.5 TB to it and its at 99% WLC, it is good for 300 TB use. Reading does not break down the oxide layer on the NAND cells. (also MLC, SLC are designs on cells you can read about).

    DVD’s have sector remapping due to write oxide layer breakdown also.

    Magnetic drives can also break, even more fragile to movement (and static of course – why are you man handling them anyway?).

  41. There currently seems to be a problem with a number of the more common SSD drives including most of the Samsung 8xx range when used with Linux kernels later than 3.12 and before 4.0.5 which is to do with the new queued TRIM command allegedly not being implemented correctly in the drives. See and There is a back-port of the work around which blacklists ‘Queued TRIM’ on the problem drives but as far as I can see it does not cover the default kernels used in 17 17.1 and 17.2 as it was applied at 3.13.0-57.95, 3.16.0-43.58 and 3.19.0-22.22

    Clem has not revealed the new kernel in 17.3 but I hope that either a 4.0.5 or higher kernel is used or is one that has the fix applied to avoid an almost inevitable and serious data loss on Samsung SSDs as TRIM is automatically called by default by a cron job in Mint every week. I have a personal interest as I had put a Samsung 850 Evo on order before I found out about the potential problem quite by chance!

    @Clem Cinnamon 2.8 is great.

    Edit by Clem: Thanks Peter, it’s not always easy to get good feedback on the kernel. I can’t confirm yet what kernel we’ll choose for 17.3, but whichever it is, we’ll probably take the latest revision available, so it will include that fix.

  42. When is Linux Mint 18 out?

    I am planning to switch my netbook from Windows host and Mint guest to Mint host and Windows guest then.

    I plan to have all desktop/netbook/laptops using Linux Mint and the back office probably using CentOs or something for services.

    What about making available the latest app versions in the software repository? I can only find LibreOffice v4 in it, I would prefer to have the option of ALL latest versions as an optional feature for installation rather than being a generation behind.

  43. I’ve traversed to and fro this comment section for many a day now, and I have two things to say. One is to the Mint Developers regarding whether we are to assume that some intrinsic vexations have stalled deployment of 17.3 (as per this post’s information “…If everything goes according to plan, both desktop environments should be officially released by the end of the month…”). The second is my wondering of how this comments section terraformed into a debacle of SSD reliability and functionality. Dare I shout “SYSTEMD” from the rooftops and be accused of inciting a riot? Please don’t see this as an opportunity to discuss the former as it was only analogous to what seems to be evolving here. Set aside your differences of these topics lest you possess pertinent technical knowledge which is beyond most people’s ken.

    Peter Curtis,
    You’re TRIM argument is definitely valid, yet only for SSDs which still are in need of it (i.e., a drive before the implementation of internal garbage collection methods). Please don’t see this as a disregarding of the issue at hand, many people (including myself) still rely upon TRIM for garbage collection; if there is an issue involving the implementation in Linux Mint, this should most certainly be addressed in some form. I just wanted to share the facts made privy to me in this article:

    The irony in becoming part of the SSD debate I wanted no part in is profound to me. May it serve as a lesson to all who succumb to the inevitable, competitive worldview which consumes our mind and clouds our vision.

    Edit by Clem: We release “when ready”. I have absolutely no issue with delaying a release if there’s something I don’t like in it. That’s also why we rarely give precise ETA dates or talk about features that are yet to be implemented. Regarding the “end of the month” ETA, we got close to it. As you probably know Cinnamon and MATE are maintained differently and by slightly different teams. They both reached feature-freeze on the 15th of October. Cinnamon was tagged early and made available via beta channels. It was then announced on the 2nd of November ( It’s a bit different for MATE, there are 4 of us leading the project, it’s a concerted effort (and it’s working great) but it also means I’ve got a bit less empowerment than I do with Cinnamon. Early tags weren’t an option so MATE 1.12 didn’t make it to beta-channels. Nonetheless it was announced yesterday The same goes for Mint 17.3. It’s also announced for the “end of the month”. That’s a loose goal though, if we need more time we’ll take more time.

  44. @Peter I have a Samsung 840 EVO on Mint 17.2 and dont have any problem with data loss with TRIM.

    I just edited /etc/rc.local to use fstrim command on all partitions( exclude swap) on boot.
    ps: Remove the cron week command of fstrim.

  45. hi guys. Clem and all the rest of you are right/correct 🙂 . Clem’s reasons for not using hard-disk drives (he mentioned “Edit by Clem: The mechanical part of HDDs can break, their data storage part can be wiped with just a magnet.. they can break just as well. I’m not even talking about loss (burglars, fires etc..). Whether you’re using an HDD or an SSD, you need to make backups if you don’t want to lose your data. Now in terms of performance, an SSD is usually much much faster than an HDD, it makes a huge difference with Linux Mint (the biggest reason of slow downs in Cinnamon is HDD/cache read, run it on an SSD and it’s much snappier).”) are the reasons why I don’t move my laptop when it’s turned on (even if laptops ARE “portable computers” and they were (when ‘PORTABLE’ computers were invented) intended to move around), I don’t have cellphones or magnets or anything else like that [anywhere] NEAR my laptop and/or computer’s hard-drives (or even any external hard-drives I may have), I make backups of everything (you know the old adage: backup. backup your backup. and then backup again (as-in, make a backup of the-backup-of-your-backup)). I also make sure to have my storage devices in secure locations and also in places where they won’t catch fire and/or won’t GENERATE fire and/or heat (you know, ‘heat-accumulation leads to fire’ and all that jazz), etc. etc.

    Throwing caution to the wind just leads to trouble (most of the time anyway. But, with computers, it’s almost a guaranteed-certainty that throwing caution into the wind will just lead to trouble).

  46. RE: Firewall
    Linux Korora has a firewall pre-configured with different settings for different uses. It would be helpful to add the firewall by default. Lock it down and open it up for the web and email by default.

    Roger G

  47. @Peter Curtis

    Has this TRIM bug been reported to Samsung?

    This way they can push out a firmware update.

    Can you point to the SATA specification for TRIM which Samsung do not implement correctly?

  48. I have had files disappear randomly, I thought it was the SSD at first but I checked my Virus Chest on my virus scanner, I found the file there which was listed as a GENERIC virus which indicates a FALSE POSITIVE and it is isolated in the virus chest.

    Check there and then add an exclusion rule and file a bug for false positive with the virus scanner vendor, rarely do SSD’s mess up unless they are manhandled incorrectly or a bad cable or file system flushing failure.

  49. Does Linux Mint 17.x correctly implement the TRIM command?

    I won’t be deploying to my computers which use SSD’s until this is confirmed.

  50. Linux Mint is what brought me back to Linux 15 years later after I abandoned it after trying Slackware.

    However, I am very disapointed the Software Manager only lists OLD software rather than the latest.

  51. @MOO @William H. Bonney @TRIM COMMAND @talles @clem
    I am not sure this is the correct place for what is turning into an extended discussion on SSDs and I am still trying to think of a good excuse for why I joined in! However several questions have been directed to me.
    Much of my information has come from the bug reports I referenced above.
    @MOO yes Samsung are aware but they have tended to see it as a Linux problem. The queued trim came in a recent update to the SATA specification, I think it came in SATA 3.1 in July 2011 although Native Command Queuing (NCQ) which is also part of the issue came in 3.0.
    @TRIM COMMAND – Linux are the only Operating System to implement the queued TRIM feature so far starting at kernel 3.12 in November 2013. I believe it is implemented correctly and the way it is used in Mint (and Ubuntu) by a cron job every week is I believe optimum for a normal desktop/laptop running most of the time although running at boot time which @talles suggests is arguably better if you shut down frequently.
    @talles Several SSD manufacturers have introduced queued TRIM and the Samsung 840 updated earlier Evo models to provide it via a firmware update so you may not see it if you have not updated your firmware.

    In an attempt to move the discussion elsewhere I point out that is already a related discussion at and I have already put some input there as I was loath to open yet another bug report and distract clem and the excellent team from progressing 17.3.

  52. @Peter Curtis

    I think the issue with TRIM command is the BAD performance on the kernel file system implementation for real time TRIM on deletion, this is why they recommend periodic cron TRIM usage.

    I would rather they focus on the real problem, the BAD PERFORMANCE of the file system implenetation of TRIM rather than pushing a CLUDGE fix as a CRON weekly job. That is just IGNORING the REAL problem.

    Why are the big sponsors of Linux kernel not working on this PERFORMANCE implementation issue?

  53. The problem with TRIM is that it is OS dependant, most consumer level drives do not implement it as a firmware OS INDEPENDENT feature, they depend on the file system to push TRIM to the device rather than the device itself doing garbage collection 100% internally. Only big priced enterprise SSD drives are Totally OS agnostic TRIM garbage collection.

  54. hey together

    I have the latest Cinnamon-desktop installed and love it from the start off. But one thing I noticed is, that the folder-color-switcher is somehow not showing up in my nemo-menue, although I have installed it via Synaptic. Is there any fix for this? How can I geht this back??

  55. @ 24 Trevor

    Befor you install that driver, you need to run the first system-Update via Terminal or update-Manager!! For this, boot up your machine on nomodeset first. Wait until you are on your desktop.

    Then Open your Terminal and type in this:

    sudo apt-get update

    then type in this:

    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    Let all this run through completely.

    Then restart your machine and again boot up with nomodeset!

    Then again wait until you are on your desktop.Then install the nvidia-driver current-updates!

    Then reboot your machine and everything should be fine.


  56. @ Mintkatze thanks for tip but ime kinda a noob to mint i duel boot mint with win xp as its a old lappy so all i see when i restart is start mint normal start mint advanced and 2 different options to run memory tests then last option is to boot Win XP. I cant for the life of me see anything to do with Nomodeset in any of those options unless there a key i must press on the mint splash screen or something. any further help would be appritiated on how to get into Nomodeset mode lol

  57. Sorry for the double post after i wrote the above i rebooted and took some details regarding the boot linux mint 17.2 in advance mode.

    when i boot i get GNU Grub 2.02 beta2 screen with the options

    in boot linux mint in advance i get another 2 options the first is linux mint with linux 3.16..38-Generic and the 2nd looks the same exept it says Recovery Mode at the end.

  58. i think 17.3 should be shipped Clementine pre-installed as default media player… it is one of the best media players for Linux… and what about LibreOffice? will 17.2 be released with LibreOffice 5? and Copy To & Move To within the right-click context menu can be very very useful i think,… thank you

  59. @#28-Moo:

    –Replying to @Moo’s post:


    Can we get better similar interaction as to Windows 7 with regards to dragging and dropping files from the desktop to the taskbar (and other areas of similarity with the desktop metaphor)?

    I have 95% of my apps and file formats cross platform and ready to Switch from Windows 7 to Linux Mint with Windows 7 in virtualbox for the remaining 3 apps.

    Linux Mint and Cinnamon is the only reason I got interested in switching from Windows again.


    If you want something “Windows XP on Linux”/”Windows 7 on Linux” you’re not in the right place, [and] I suggest you try Zorin-OS. Linux Mint’s goal is to have a user-friendly desktop[-environment] and [distro] [and] interface on Linux. NOT to have a “Windows 7 imitation”/”Windows XP imitation” on Linux.

    If you WANT a “Windows 7/XP imitation” on Linux, I suggest you go to Zorin OS. Their distro is ALSO based on Ubuntu, AND its user-interface/desktop-environments also mimick, imitate, and/or function exactly (and/or almost exactly) like Windows 7 and/or Windows XP.

    –You also have the option of going as far back as to imitating Windows 98’s/2000’s/95’s/NT’s interface if you want to.

    Personally?, I’m sticking with [Linux] Mint. But since YOU’RE looking for a “Windows XP/Windows 7 imitation on Linux”, then move from Mint and go to Zorin-OS[, instead of asking for Clem to make Mint more like Windows [by default] instead of you having to put add-ons to get that feature and/or just going to a EVEN-*MORE-“Windows-like” distro altogether].

    I wouldn’t ask Apple to make their Macintosh operating-system “more like Windows 95, just because I like Windows 95”, would they/I?, because it’s different products.

    Likewise, I wouldn’t go asking for Ubuntu (or any other Linux distro whose goal is NOT “to be a Windows 95/98/Millenium-Edition/2000/NT/XP/7 clone”) to be a Windows clone, JUST BECAUSE i feel like it. [I’d go searching for a Linux distro (there’s already a gazillion out there with this goal in mind) whose goal it is to be a Windows CLONE.]

    Edit by Clem: Just a precision here.. we’re happy to learn from all other desktops, including Windows. There’s no plan to be more similar to Windows or to differentiate ourselves from it, but if something is handy there and people like it, we’re open to suggestions. Please do describe the feature more in details though, because few of us actually use Windows. It might sound funny, but people often assume we know what they mean when they talk about particular Windows features, and that’s not always the case.

  60. @Moo:

    And also, Moo, like if it’s really too lazy for you to right-click on what you want to put-a-shortcut-to-on-the-Taskbar (Linux-world calls the Taskbar [the] “Panel”) and left-click on the option [in the resulting menu that appears after you right-click] called “Pin to Panel / Put shortcut on Panel / Move to Panel”/whatever-the-name-on-the-option-is. I haven’t had to use that feature (yet), so I don’t know exactly how the option is worded on the resulting right-click menu.

  61. Great news to hear everything moving along so well, thank you very much to the dev team(s) for such excellent distro’s and to you Clem for the friendly updates and assistance.

    Linux Mint finally enabled me to leave my Windows bubble so I advocate it wherever possible.

    Since the netflix drm issue is largely resolved and improving steadily the only aspect I notice could use some TLC is HDMI support. Most often with cinnamon 17.x I find no audio support and unpredictable multi display behavior when using hdmi to get video from PC’s/Laptops’s to flat panel TV’s.

    since SSD somehow got in the mix, I use kingston v300 series ssd which has its own garbage collection, works fantastic and no issues at all in over a year on linux.

    All the best to Linux mint devs and community members!

  62. regarding the ssd bug and linux mint 17.2: i have a samsung 850 evo and i have not noticed any failures yet. do i risk killing my data without knowing?

    Edit by Clem: I didn’t hear any feedback related to data-loss and this is a 2 years old system base, so I think it’s quite reliable and I’d be surprised to see critical issues like this one go under the radar for so long. It’s also something that’s been looked at in the past, so I’d expect things to work smooth and regressions to be rare even on bleeding edge distributions. With that said, I always do recommend backups. Your data will never be safe without them. And you’re not really risking anything once backups are made.

  63. What is wrong with the standard Ubuntu package manager?

    Why can we not get access to the LATEST versions of applications in the package manager?

    A way for software vendors to link from their product page (FOSS or otherwise – try adding Android Studio IDE to Linux Mint and see how easy it is) to their PPA’s so makeing it easier for new or returning Linux users and migrations from Windows or otherwise easier.

    Packages and access to software downloads and installation is the hardest thing about Linux today.

    95% of my apps are FOSS now or cross platform, but I need to include other apps and stuff NOT in the Linux Mint Software Manager.

    1) Software in the manager is OLD and out of date
    2) Not all software needed or available online is in it (Android Studio for one).

    Not all users are comfortable or aware of PPA’s, not all vendors have their own PPA, and third party PPA’s are risky due to modifications and various other bad things that maybe included.

  64. @ clem Another possible area for your testing of 17.3. I have just received my new machine with Skylake i5-6200U processor and it will only run in software rendering mode with Mint 17.2 Cinnamon and xfce but runs under with hardware acceleration in Ubuntu 15.04, 15.10 and MATE. lspci has slight differences between pure ubuntu and mint ubuntu. Kernels up to 3.2.5 make no difference so provisionally ruled that out. Looks like Mint has differences in how it identifies hardware which you might like to get checked out on other Skylake machine as it has also been reported at I will put in bug report but thought heads up useful here as there will be a lot of Skylake machines soon. I will test anything if it helps. It has also made me realise how much better Cinnamon is than other desktops!

  65. This article was posted on: Mon, 26 Oct 2015 13:35:49 +0000

    “We’re just a few days away from the releases of Cinnamon 2.8 and MATE 1.12. If everything goes according to plan, both desktop environments should be officially released by the end of the month.”

    I assume as of today Nov 10th everything did NOT go as planned?

    Edit by Clem: and PS: Please stop using different nicknames for each of your comments.

  66. Hey Clem I think mint awesome, especially to work productive. But coming from Windows 7 I find it unnecessary/a waste of space on the taskbar to have all the open programs spread like in xp/vista – days. Is there a option to make the icons windwos 7/9/10 sort of working (now that cinnamon 2.8 supports windows/program preview)?
    Thanks for your reply

  67. edit: i’m talking about the taskbar. To have windows 7 like icons since “The window list is now able to show window thumbnails”.
    sorry for doubleposting

  68. Thank you so much Clem!
    Cinnamon 2.8 and Mate 1.12 both working quite nicely.
    That’s why you make the big bucks. 😉
    I’m sending another donation soon.
    Thanks again.


  69. @phill There is an applet which I use all the time which does exactly what you want called “Window List with App Grouping” and more,its second in popularity list. The Applet facility makes Cinnamon very flexible.

  70. Just to note something, I am a fan of new third parties gnome themes but as it was mentioned, Mint use a quite old gtk kit (3.10) while the new ones are design with 3.18 so they don’t display properly. May be it’s time to refresh that in 17.3.

  71. Dear developers, I’m looking forward to Mint 17.3 Mate Edition. What about automatic arrangement of windows: Moving a window into a corner let the window rearrange in one quarter of the screen is still implemented in xfce and cinnamon, but is missing in Mate. Will 17.3 contains this feature? Or do you have another suggestion (e.g. to realize with compiz)?

    Best regards.

  72. The Software Manager should be better. To install something i need to open a new side press a button and go back. What about a button outside this page near the name of the program like Ubuntu Software Manager allready have?

  73. Install LibreOffice 5.0
    Linux Mint 17.2 only: LibreOffice is pinned in Linux Mint 17.2 and can’t be upgraded by using a PPA. To be able to update LibreOffice to version 5.0 via PPA, you need to create a file called “libreoffice-libreoffice-5-0.pref” under /etc/apt/preferences.d/


    Edit by Clem: Yes, you need to elevate the PPA’s priority to 700. Alternatively you can upgrade to Linux Mint 17.3, when it’s out. In there we ship LibreOffice 5.0. We also set that priority to 700 by default for the LO PPA. Last but not least we’re thinking of a dual priorities setup for Linux Mint 18 where the base is 700 but backported imports are at 500, which should facilitate the setup of PPAs for software we already pin.

  74. Clem,

    Upgraded two machines via the Romeo repo, one laptop to MATE 1.2 and the other a desktop to Cinnamon 2.8; both without issues. As always, thanks for your and the team’s hard work and commitment to continual improvement. I appreciate it. I don’t know how you stay strong dealing with all the other whiners and complainers. I guess it comes from years of practice aye?


    Edit by Clem: Thanks Bill. There’s value in complaints and rants, at least when it’s precise and constructive. It might sound surprising but we learn a lot from it. We know the reasons why things are the way they are, novice users don’t and in a way, that makes their feedback extremely valuable to us, because they think out of the box, and although they’re often wrong in their analysis it gives us a fresh perspective we wouldn’t have and gives us opportunities to improve in areas where we’d otherwise feel complaisant about…. We need to be patient of course and we ask people to be constructive, but I am grateful for that too. What’s tough right now is what happened in France.. I can’t allow myself to get into politics, but it does affect me greatly. And of course you don’t know that yet, but there’s a lot of hardware support changes in 17.3 and that’s been really tough on us as well. Cinnamon 64 bit just passed QA though and other ISOs will follow shortly. In the end of the day, I love what I do, it’s tough at times, but it’s always worth it. I hope our work will make people happy real soon. Thanks for your words of support.

  75. Clem

    Thank you for the answer! I need the last editions of LO5 because it’s much better than 4. I could not wait so much time.
    I’ve sent you an email about problems with Mate and Cinnamon 17.2 isos It’s not possible to start any of them from usb.

  76. Is the only difference between Ubuntu and Mint the desktop environment?

    Will there be a greater divergence later in the roadmap between Ubuntu and Mint?

    I tend to find Unity more stable than Cinnamon but prefer Cinnamon and hope it gets better, just wondering what sets Mint apart from Ubuntu apart from Cinnamon.

    Is there a yearly (or longer term) roadmap published for Mint/Cinnamon that I can align my expectations with?

    Edit by Clem: No, not at all and the emergence of different desktop environments is quite recent in their respective history. Ubuntu starts in 2004. Linux Mint is only 2 years younger, it starts in 2006. They both used GNOME 2 as their main desktop environment until they recently switched to Unity, Cinnamon and MATE. It’s important to understand the relation between Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and LMDE. Among the 30,000+ packages they use, the immense majority comes straight from Debian and is identical across the 4 distributions. Ubuntu maintains a series of patches which are applied on top of that Debian package base. Linux Mint (as a project) also maintains a series of modifications which are applied in Linux Mint and LMDE respectively on top of Ubuntu and Debian. Then in each distribution you also find specific components which do not exist or are not used by other distributions. Then on top of all that, Linux Mint and LMDE also “adjust” their base (i.e. they modify it at runtime). In our technical jargon we call this “glue”.. it’s what makes the various components work well together. Debian is very light in glue. Ubuntu has a lot of it and so does Linux Mint, their glue is different and it’s very specific. And then finally there’s package selection and configuration which differs a lot too. If you take Debian, Ubuntu or Linux Mint for a ride you’ll first notice their very different default desktop environments. You can of course install Cinnamon in Debian or in Ubuntu and configure it the way it’s configured in Linux Mint. At first you won’t notice much difference, but there’s a lot of little things at play underneath that. These distributions aren’t designed to differ from each others but they’re not designed with each others in mind either. Since 2004 and 2006 both Ubuntu and Linux Mint have been designed to improve on themselves, with little attention given to one another, very different goals and following very different visions and philosophies. Cinnamon and Unity are born from these differences and only represent one aspect of these two visions. They’re both part of two different equations and designed primarily at improving the distribution they’ve been designed for. Of course when we work on our respective distributions some of that work finds its way upstream and both Ubuntu and Linux Mint learn from each others and from other operating systems, so when a good idea emerges somewhere it is usually ported and reused elsewhere. In regards to Roadmap, it’s very loose and it’s aimed at developers more so than users, but you can follow it at In regards to Cinnamon working outside of Linux Mint, it’s a nice touch, there’s demand for it, it makes us happy to share with upstream and we also benefit from it in terms of development. It’s one Mint component among many though.. MDM is another one, Mint tools are another (you find some of them in Ubuntu and Fedora as well), and whether they’re cross distribution or not (they usually become cross-distro when there’s demand for them) they all share the same goal, making Linux Mint better. These Debian packages, known as the package base, whether straight from Debian in the case of LMDE or patched by Ubuntu in the case of Linux Mint, are also considered a component. From a technical point of view, especially if you focus on the package base they’re built from, Debian, Ubuntu, Mint and LMDE are almost identical. In practice they’re the result of very different projects and so they differ greatly whether it’s in obvious places or under the hood and in the fine details.

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