Monthly News – August 2017

First, I would like to thank you for your donations and for your support. It’s a real pleasure to work on improving Linux Mint not only because it’s fun to develop and integrate software and technology but also because we see how happy and excited you are about what we do.. and that’s an amazing feeling for us.

Last month we unveiled some of the improvements we prepared for Linux Mint 18.3, we’ll it’s been a month since, so let’s unveil some more 🙂

Backup Tool

The Backup Tool was almost entirely rewritten. We reviewed its features, the way it looks and the way it works.

We decided to limit its scope.  We wanted this tool to do less and to do it better.

You won’t need to enter your password to run the Backup Tool, because it no longer runs as root. When backing up data you no longer need to go through options or to select a source and a type of backup. This tool is now dedicated to making a backup of your home directory, nothing less and nothing more. It saves all your files into a tar archive. When restoring a backup, files are restored in the exact same place they were before, with their original permissions and timestamps.

Of course when performing a backup you have the option to exclude files and directories and the items you exclude are remembered for future backups (the idea is to make it easy for you to perform new backups regularly).

By default, your cache and settings, which are located in .hidden directories and files at the root of your home directory are excluded from backups. You have the option to include some of them, and these are also remembered for future backups.

Saving your software selection is also much simpler than before. Rather than showing you thousands of packages to choose from (you can get the exact number of packages installed on your computer by typing “dpkg -l | wc -l” in a terminal), the Backup Tool now simply lists the packages you installed from the Software Manager.

Under the curtain, the code is now also much smaller and much more modern. Performance and stability were improved, in particular around data compression and multi-threading. Like it was done for the Software Manager, the APT backend was switched to Aptdaemon.

Window Progress

When an application is busy doing something it usually shows you a progress bar. Instead of mindlessly looking at the bar and waiting for it to reach 100% people usually seize the opportunity to do something else or distract themselves on the Web while waiting. The problem is.. how do you know when the application is ready if you can’t see its progress bar? How can you keep an eye on the progress of the operation after you minimize the window or focus other windows on top of it?

Some applications like the USB Stick formatter or the Nemo file operations worked around that problem by changing their window title to indicate their progress. That way their percentage is visible not only on their titlebar but also in the panel window list.

Windows 7 did even better, they implemented a mechanism which allows applications to communicate progress to their environment.

We decided to make this possible in Linux by implementing it in LibXapp.

LibXApp is a C library available in most distributions. It provides dynamic bindings to many languages via the GIRepository.

Here’s an example in Python:

import gi
gi.require_version('Gtk', '3.0')
gi.require_version('XApp', '1.0')
from gi.repository import Gtk, XApp

window = Gtk.Window()
window.set_title("My Window")

XApp.set_window_progress(window, 50)
XApp.set_window_icon_name(window, "info")

window.connect("destroy", Gtk.main_quit)


As you can see, the application is able to communicate a progress (50% in this example) to the window manager by simply calling XApp.set_window_progress(window, 50).

In Cinnamon 3.6, that progress is visible in the window list:

The library also provides a useful class called GtkWindow which derives from Gtk.Window and provides these features through the instance directly:

import gi
gi.require_version('Gtk', '3.0')
gi.require_version('XApp', '1.0')
from gi.repository import Gtk, XApp

window = XApp.GtkWindow()
window.set_title("My Window")


window.connect("destroy", Gtk.main_quit)


In this example, the same result is achieved by calling set_progress(50) on the window itself.

Window progress is coming to Linux Mint 18.3. So far it is supported by Cinnamon and it was implemented in:

  • Nemo (file operations)
  • The Backup Tool
  • The Software Manager
  • The Driver Manager
  • The USB Stick formatter
  • The USB image writer

We’re also considering adding support for it in MATE, Caja and Synaptic (this includes all applications using Synaptic such as the Update Manager, the Language Settings and Software Sources tools, removal of applications from the menu etc etc..).

Other improvements

The Cinnamon network applet received the ability to rescan for wireless networks.

The Upload Manager and the Domain Blocker were removed from the default software selection. They will continue to be available in the repositories but they will no longer be installed by default.


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Donations in July:

A total of $11,318 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 451 donors:

$1000, Brandon Z.
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  1. Dear Clem,

    Do you have any plans to adapt miller column choice to nemo?

    Thanks for all of your efforts.

    Edit by Clem: Hi Bora, sorry no.

  2. Dear Clem

    Why you choose to exclude all hidden files by default?
    If someone destroy his Cinnamon\Mate setting it’s good idea to have the ability to recover his computer to the backup (working) state. I don’t think that a regular user know what to backup in his hidden personal folder…

    About ignoring the root FS:
    There is wonderful tool called SystemBack that allow you to make restore points so you can restore your entire machine to the exact time in the past. Maybe you can install this tool in the default installation? (I feel that your new backup tool is enough: If I understand it just backup by default documents\pictures\videos)

    Edit by Clem: Hi Ilan, it’s arguable and there are pros and cons. Backups are a great way to recover lost files after an accident, but also to quickly refill a user account after a fresh install. There are reasons not to apply an old configuration to a new release though, it sometimes creates issue with the new software. Another reason is that hidden files and directories can be quite large and many of them aren’t important to users (typically your cache for instance). As we get more feedback on the Backup Tool I think we’ll eventually identify some further improvements. We can for instance pre-populate exceptions to exclude or include. You’re right about the system restore question… our tool doesn’t do that. It only covers your personal data, not the operating system itself.

  3. Just want to thank all the developers of Linux Mint for your continue efforts. As Always I find Mint the Best 🙂
    Thank YOU!

  4. Dear Clem,

    I’ve been using Linuxmint for 5 years now. New features are useful to me and my daily computing needs, but I noticed that Nemo has no capability to search a string within files, it only shows the files containing the search string. I hope that you will include this feature in the next releases. Thanks and more power to you and your devloper team.

    Edit by Clem: Hi Richard, we’ll look into it. In the meantime I hope you’re aware of the “search” command in Linux Mint though… I use this one all the time. In a terminal, use it as follows: “search for ‘something’ in /some/path”, or “search in /some/path for ‘something'”. It’s recursive, color-coded and it lists line numbers. You can use -c to make it case-sensitive and if you’re using sublime-text, you can open a file on a particular line with subl /some/path:linennumber (that reminds me, we need to add that feature to Xed..).

  5. Another few questions about thee backup tools:
    – Does it have incremental backup features (so new backup tar files consists of new files only)?
    – Where restoring a backup can we can choose what to restore?

    Edit by Clem: Hi Ilan. 1. No. 2. No, it restores everything. I’m pretty sure this tool is going to evolve prior to the 18.3 stable release. If you’re interested in testing it, we can provide steps to install it from git, or provide packages for the git version.

  6. Thanks to the dev team for a great distro – I migrated to LinuxMint from Windows7 in July. I too miss the ability to perform string searches on text based files (.txt .pdf .html etc) from Nemo as in Windows Explorer. It’s not a show stopper as I can use the ‘find [-exec grep]’ command from the Terminal, however it would be helpful to see this functionality included in the Nemo GUI.

  7. Will this show progress bars for all apps that support them, i.e. Chromium, Firefox /w Unityfox Revived, etc.?

    Edit by Clem: Well it’s trivial for an app to support it. Here’s mintdrivers getting support for it for instance What you’re asking though, is… could this feature become available to all apps without code changes? I’m not sure. I don’t think so. We’d need this to move to the toolkit itself and even then.. the logic depends on the app. For instance, an application might have multiple progressbars, or multiple tabs… or simply not want to communicate overall progress despite the presence of a progressbar. The APT cache refresh dialog from Synaptic comes to mind here…

  8. I think KDE already has the ability to show the progress in the menu list for some applications, will these work in cinnamon as well or are is this an incompatible code path?

    Edit by Clem: The Unity Launcher API did the same thing as far as I can see but quite differently. It relied on the application registering a .desktop file and issuing DBUS signals (what we do here is set a WM flag on the window which is picked up by the Window Manager). I’m under the impression KDE added support for this but I’m really not sure if that’s what they use internally or with Dolphin.

  9. Yes, Clem, I would be glad to test the backup tools (I have a lot of experience with backup software)

    Edit by Clem: Hi Ilan, you can build pretty much any Mint project the same way. Create a directory to work in, install git and for each project.. get the source code with “git clone” (where name is the name of the project), then “cd name”, then “dpkg-buildpackage” to compile it. If you’re missing dependencies to compile it it will tell you, just install them and repeat the command until it works and produces .deb files. “cd ..” and “sudo dpkg -i *.deb” to install the newly created packages and that’s it really. Of course make sure to build/install projects in the right order.. here for instance you’ll want to get the latest “xapps” (project name for libxapp) and then the latest “mintbackup”. Some projects also have a ./test script.. you can use that to test them quickly without having to recompile if you already compiled/installed them once. Same thing with git… once you’ve git cloned something you don’t need to delete it and reclone it again, you can simply go into it and “git pull” to fetch the latest source. Let me know if this is too technical for you, we do this all the time so it might look overly simple to me. If this is too complicated we can provide debs instead.

  10. Hi Clean and the entire Mint Team,

    Thank you for all your hard work, I have been using Mint since quite sometime now and with every release it keeps getting better and more reliable. I want to report a small issue with Nemo file manager, whenever I open multiple windows or split view or tabs for copying files between two folders on same drive or from HDD to usb drive it simply crashes. It happens quite often and more so when the folders are in list view mode. Not sure though if it happens only on my laptop but its been happening since 18.0.


    Edit by Clem: Hi Panks, we’re aware of the performance issue with file operations, but not crashes.. could you produce a core dump or a strack trace for us?

  11. If I perform a backup and restore it on a fresh install, will it bring with it the backup option I chose last time without recreating them?

    Edit by Clem: Well no, it will remember the options on the same machine for the next time you backup.

  12. Hi Clem,

    On the new back up tool. Is it possible to select which hidden files/directories the user wants to back up or does the tool just back up all hidden files/directories by default? If it does, would it be possible to consider including a selection process for the hidden files/directories to include in the back up?

    The reason I ask is that agree with you that items like user cache and old configurations files really shouldn’t be restored to a clean install but other hidden profile directories for applications such as Firefox and Thunderbird (and the like) are often preferred back up items.

    Just wondering.

    Edit by Clem: Hi Kirk, hidden files/dirs at the root of your home directory are excluded by default and you have the ability to add/include some of them.

  13. Amazing work on the Progress Bars guys! 🙂

    I’m wondering if its possible to make it work with Steam or other gaming client programs.

  14. Thank you Clem and team for the wonderful update.

    1. Please implement multiple clocks for inclusion in Linux Mint 18.3. Having multiple clocks helps when organising a time to talk (Skype, GNU Ring) with people (eg relatives, etc) in other time zones.

    2. Please add “Window progress” to:
    (a) FileZilla when files are uploading to or downloading from a server
    (b) Thunderbird when downloading email or synchronizing CardBook contacts on NextCloud/OwnCloud/etc.
    (c) Firefox when downloading files
    (d) Skype when transferring files
    (e) GNU Ring when transferring files

    3. Please add a ‘h’ to change “noting” to “nothing” so sentence changes from “This tool is now dedicated to making a backup of your home directory, nothing less and *noting* more.” to “This tool is now dedicated to making a backup of your home directory, nothing less and *nothing* more.”

    Thank you

  15. Linux Mint 18.2 copy to USB problem
    1.Mouse indicators out of control
    2.copy is very slow
    Thank you for your team

    Edit by Clem: Hi, we’re aware of this issue and trying to solve it.

  16. Hi Clem,

    What’s the motivation for not allowing you to choose the directories you want to back up, other than dumbing it down? Not all users are dumb. I often also want to back up /etc, and maybe some other directories such as /usr/local. I wouldn’t mind if this was hidden under some “Advanced” menu or option, but it should be there.

    Edit by Clem: It’s not a question of dumbing it down. It’s a question of defining the scope so we can focus on making sure everything works. With a well defined scope we also get well defined use cases and we can present them better to the user, ask less questions and make things more straight forward. There are better tools out there for system-wide backups, this one isn’t adapted to that.

  17. Fantastic. I was hoping for just that thing. The current backup tool is beautifully simple, but it tends to get bad reviews because of performance issues. I’ve always opted to preserve structure with every kind of backup I’ve used, so I’m going to have to get used to the tar archive. Kudos on the window progress, too. Nice touch.

  18. Wow! Good to see the progress bar through blog 😀

    Actually saw commits the other day and was wondering if my Torrents downloaded would show progress when minimized! 🙂

    Xplayer can show based on duration of video / audio played when minimized?

  19. Hi Clem

    I just installed the new backup tool on a new, full updated, Linux Mint 18.2 XFCE (build it from git)

    There is one bug:
    Then I choose to backup the software selection the window just crashed, so I run it throught the terminal and got this crash log:

    “** ( WARNING **: Couldn’t connect to accessibility bus: Failed to connect to socket /tmp/dbus-iK9zlodGns: Connection refused
    Gtk-Message: GtkDialog mapped without a transient parent. This is discouraged.

    ( GLib-GIO-ERROR **: Settings schema ‘com.linuxmint.install’ is not installed

    Trace/breakpoint trap”

    Edit by Clem: Hi Ilan, ah sorry.. you need to compile/install the latest git version of mintinstall.

  20. continue…
    Beside the crash I think that the new mintbackup tool is simple, but too simple for me:
    – no incremental backup
    – no ability to scheduled backup (regularly)
    – no ability to choose what to restore (suppose I want to restore only the Video folder and not the Document folder. I can’t do that, and if I do maybe all my document will be overwritten with their old version without any warning …)

    I found that the mintbackup is so simple that it is equivalent to selecting (in Nemo) several folder in my home partition and choose “create tar archive”. I think that if I add one line to the crontab I can create sophisticated backup using the tar command.

    For me this program is useless and I will continue to use deja-dup (which is the default backup tool in many distribution):
    – right click in empty space (in nemo) and choose: restore missing will restore only the missing files in that folder
    – right click in any file and choose ‘Restore previous version’, bring you all previous version of the file and let you choose which version to restore (by date)
    – Deja-dup makes incremental backup so it save space

    Maybe is good idea to add deja-dup to the default installation? There are many wonderful backup tools in the software center (deja-dup, lucky-backup, simple-backup …).
    For me it is not a good idea to waste time on developing program that is already stable, mature and exist in the software center.

    The other aspect of mintbackup: backup the software selection (which only installed through the software center) is good idea!

    Clem: you and all the developing team make a wonderful work. Linux Mint is the no 1 distribution without any competition. I think that in this case you should consider if it is a good idea to develop this tool. You always choose to develop a new tool that add new feature to Linux Mint. In this case not only it’s too simple it can damage important files (unless the user will manually extract the tar file to other location and choose manual the file he need.

    Edit by Clem: Hi Ilan, we’ll add an option to overwrite existing files and we’ll make that option default to False. This is missing at the moment, you’re entirely right about this.

  21. Continue…
    I think a lot about this issue and for my opinion is a good idea the mintbackup will backup\restore only files related specific to Linux mint:
    – xfce\cinnamon\Kde\Mate configuration files that allow the user to restore the machine to the latest panel\menu\desktop layout or just reset these configuration to their default state
    – Software selection (Just as you did)

    And about the backup: add any existing, mature, backup software as the default backup tool (deja-dub, sbackup, luckbackup…)

  22. I am using a fresh install of Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.2. Cinnamon is crashing and having to restart its self (not machine). I have the same issue on Cinnamon on Fedora 26. Both these machines are Intel NUCs so it could be the the integrated graphics. Don’t recall having this issue before. It seems random. Even while machine is idle. Perhaps the option to send error report?.

  23. Congratulations! Mint is the best. I have been distro hopping since 2011, which was when I was first called to grace, i.e. when I became a full-time linux user. But Mint is now my permanent-default desktop. yippee ki yay!

    FYI – It now merits its own 192 page book-mag by bdmpublications called Complete Linux Mint. I found the section on the Terminal especially helpful.

  24. While the Mint team can develop any utility they want, I kind of agree with llan Shavit. This new backup tool will be overshadow by much better ones already existing. What I would like to see is that Linux Mint as an OS possess all their Windows equivalent powerful features. So I rather see a built in system backup/restore which can restore the OS to an earlier stable version. I am sure that Windows users can recall having this feature save their asses in numerous cases like virus infection or a program installation gone really wrong.

    I would also suggest that the competent Mint developer team concentrate on non-existent or on improving primitive Linux utilities. Example, while I use Macrium Reflect for that kind of task, clonezilla come to mind. After many years, it is still stuck in a DOS interface in 2017. We should have a more useful utility to copy/save partitions. That said, I may be unaware if they do already exist in Linux.

  25. Ho Marlenejo:
    1. There is already a utility that can clone your partition: “Disks”: you can make an image from any partition and than restore it.
    2. You wrote: “So I rather see a built in system backup/restore which can restore the OS to an earlier stable version”.
    Well, there is a great app for it: systemback. It’s a wonderful utility to create several restore points of your machine (so you can return “back in time” to the past). This tools only return system files (include kernel) and doesn’t change your personal files, and it use incremental method – not to blow your storage

    I prefer, as you do, that the dev team will improve existing programs or develop a brand new app that will contribute to the distribution. Example: I miss a lot the “Macro” plugin in gedit” (you could record your work and than repeat it in one single click):

    Clem: i am not criticizing you \ the wonderfull team. It’s only my humble opinion how to improve the distribution.

  26. Sorry that I write too much:
    I will be glade to have the ability to edit my comments in this blog: I made several spelling mistakes and I can’t correct them…

  27. Backup Tool
    First, I do realize Backup Tool is intended for people not familiar with basic Linux and Debian tools.
    Being able to perform even more tasks without either the user or root password further diminishes the security of the system.

    Where are these “backup” files stored by default?
    Will you provide the option to store them in a separate drive or partition, or in the cloud?
    Will it be possible to password protect those files?
    My settings are Also my personal data. Being able to save and restore makes sense… many .hidden files and folders contain precious data

    What about the programs that were not installed with the Mint Software Manager?
    Will you provide a way to also backup/restore them… selectively?
    The opening screen leads to a false sense of security…
    Personal Data: only _part_ of the “files, settings and content” are being saved … same for Software selection
    Q: “I backed up all of my files and software, then I reinstalled Mint. How do I get that restored?”
    A: “sorry, you lost it all”

    Perhaps it would be better to provide a few default routines for Synaptic, LuckyBackup, and Gparted or other tools rather than be redundant.


  28. I agree w some things said here:
    Implementation of “out of the box” RAID during gui install routine
    Improve speed on “Change Desktop Backgound”
    Improve speed on “Software Manager”
    Implementation of a good, improved snapshot program w /gui

    Progress Bar avail in MATE also?

  29. If you included software to remaster Linux Mint, you’d get a hefty donation from me. I’m sick and tired of customising each install on my many computers.

  30. Hi, Clem!
    The new features sound great, especially the Windows 7-style taskbar progress indicator. I have tried many different variants of Ubuntu over the years, but I’ve always found my way back to Linux Mint as the OS of choice for my main computer. Between ease of use and superb developers, it really can’t be beat. Thank you for the truly wonderful desktop that you and your team provide.

  31. I have spent over 30 years in the computer industry, supporting Microsoft products. As soon as I retired I switched to Linux Mint. I will never go back. Mint is the ultimate Windows killer. I promote Mint whenever I can. I urge you to keep it simple, powerful, and usable. The best attributes of Mint is its security, productivity, and ease of use. Don’t loose sight of what makes Mint the best Linux distribution. Keep up the great work!

  32. Hi, Same issue as #12 @panks103. I have three internal drives (two ssd’s one spinner) and several external usb flash drives also an external spinner or two. My desktop’s mobo is SATA II and USB 2.0, but I have two inateck usb 3.0 PCI-e cards. Transfers of large numbers of files internally or to/from a usb device can cause NEMO/Cinnamon to crash out and I’m shown a blank desktop background briefly then within a minute or two all my desktop icons come back. Does not matter if I’m using the USB 2.0 bus or my inateck card. File transfers can also be excruciatingly slow, or cause the system to hang. I do have some music files, but mostly documents. Very few videos. File size or extension doesn’t seem to matter but the quantity of files being copied or moved may be a clue. The more files, the more likely it is to crash. I set the SSD to write cache, also am using some of my 16gb of ram for tmpfs didn’t help. Upgrading from 17.3 to 18 via fresh install didn’t help, inplace upgraded to 18.1 and now 18.2 with the 4.11 kernel still seeing the above listed behavior but not as often. Until today, now I can’t even watch a 3 minute music video on a usb hard drive while running a couple browser windows. System freezes and I have to power cycle. I can’t escape using Control-alt-Backspace. I note even with the tweaks I made, I’m only using less than 3gb of my 16gb RAM. No matter how I try to stress it I can’t get past the 3gb. yes, I’m running the 64bit version on a 64 bit machine. It’s a dual boot with windows 10 and with similar tweaks I’ve got windows 10 using 14-15gb of RAM. I’m wondering if there’s something capping RAM usage because I know Mint should be faster than Winblows. Going to do a complete wipe (including my home partition) and reinstall this weekend, so any suggestions how I can get more performance and reliable file transfers would be most helpful. Thanks!

  33. Dear Clem,

    Hello and thank you for the great OS called Mint. I have a request for the Pix programme, can you bring back scrolling through the pictures with the scroll wheel as an option? As it is now all I can do is zoom in and out, while useful, it doesn’t suit my needs and I can’t figure out how to change it back to the way it was.

    Thank you

    Edit by Clem: Hi Darren, you can use the arrow keys, or press CTRL while using the mouse wheel.

  34. One more question, is there any way to access the new progress bar functionality in QT short of something messy pulling in GTK?

    Edit by Clem: Not at the moment. We’re considering adding a way to set progress on a window by simply specifying its XID, that might work outside of GTK.

  35. Dear Clem,

    Most probably you have also thought about it:)

    For instance, while during a copy&paste job sometimes a replace/merge dialogue appears. As you said, during that time the user surfs the web and whenever the user returns to the process by expecting it is finished, the user sees that it has stuck to that dialogue. Maybe the window progress can give an alarm in the panel, like flushing for example, whenever the process is stuck.


    Edit by Clem: That’s already in place afaik, Cinnamon calls these windows “require attention” windows.

  36. Hi Clem.
    Thanks for great system and the teams commitment. Don’t often comment, but have to agree that your proposed (and existing) backup system is too simple. Think it should offer options similar to Deja-Dup which I have used for some years.

    Like option to only list user installed apps. I do keep a personal list, but sometimes, in a hurry, I forget to update.

    The SYSTEMBACKUP offering, mentioned earlier in these replies by Ilan Shavit was great, but I understand that it is now not being developed any further.
    In mid July, the maintainer (KENDEK) wrote in his forum ” I have suspended the development of the project. But I think I will never continue, because various things.”.
    Maybe it would be possible for you to look at a branch, as I am often asked by Windows users, to who I am trying to show the light! about “restore Points”.

  37. Hi Linux Mint Team!

    Finally you implemented my feature request with adding the rescan functionallity in the network applet 🙂 Thank you very much for your great work.
    Also I love the window progress bar, it’s not long ago since I asked myself why this isn’t implemented, there must be such a thing called telepathy!

    Looking forward to the new release and will be finally upgrading my LM 18.

  38. Not to drag on the subject, A quick note about the excellent suggestions of llan. The “disks” utility can only do imaging of unmounted partitions which mean no OS partition imaging. Windows let imaging programs do it on a running system though “volume shadowing”. Don’t know if the concept exist in Linux. Also “disks” doesn’t do any compression of the image meaning they are the same size as the saved partition. It’s a bit an afterthought option.

    “Systemback” is interesting but a bit worrisome as there are zero documentation on it and development has cease. I do like the concept so the Mint team can have a look to implement it directly into their distros. I have seen countless forum posts of people having borked their system by a wrong manoeuvre.

  39. If Kernel 4.14 LTS is out before Mint 18.3, is it possible you can make it the default kernel? I really want to see LTS only kernels on Mint.

  40. Hi Clem,

    Sorry for my typo in your name, I was typing my post(number 12) on android and auto correct made the mistake.

    Sure I will try to get the files and details you have asked for in your reply, I am not very technical so please bear with me. Once I have the details how can I get in touch with you so that I can share them. Do I need to open a ticket in GitHub or something.


  41. I’m loving 18.2. It’s truly excellent, and quite beautiful. Many thanks to Clem and the Mint team!

    I think many long-time users would really like to see a solid effort to incorporate the ideas in Icing or similar window lists into the standard distribution. The problem with the options available on Spices is that they’re simply not reliable, so I end up removing them. But the standard window list with app grouping and an ability to adjust the labels seems like a must for any modern setup.

    What say you, Clem? Could we get this by 18.3?

  42. Re the performance issue when transferring files to external USB devices, i’m wondering if a consecutive transfer (ie: queued, one file completes before next one starts) would get round the issue? I’m not sure if lucky backup runs this way but I moved approx 50gb last night in under 10 minutes, whereas a drag and drop would have taken far longer.

  43. @31 Peter E

    I lost an entire panel of folder icons but I just replaced them with Applications that have the Command:caja /{full path to folder}
    There’s usually a way around problems.

  44. @43 marlenejo

    I boot from a Gparted Live CD then copy my root, home and data partitions to a backup drive. I do this once a month or before any significant system changes. It’s fast and easy and restoration is simple. No messing about, just image the the entire lot while I’m making a cup of tea.
    With my laptop, it’s slower because it has to go through a USB-to-SATA adapter cable to the backup drive but it’s still not too bad a speed.
    This method is simple and has worked fine for me for over four years.
    If you want regular (or twice daily or whatever) data backups then rsync or deja-dup etc is the one to go for I’d think.

  45. Another great day in the Linux community. The best part about Mint is that with every release it always gets better. Its been nothing but improvement after improvement’ something that a lot of distros have trouble with. Mint has been that *Go to distro* for quite a while now that *just works* and its really amazing how well you make Linux such a pleasure to use on a daily basis. Thank you Clem and thank you the community. Looking forward to the next installment with lots of excitement. Specifically I’m pretty happy about all the new features being added to the new sleek greeter. If you guys haven’t planned on this yet or perhaps maybe haven’t thought about it’ would you be inclined to add a certain feature to the sleek greeter? It would be really nice if you also included a nice little toggle to change the clock setting in the greeter between the 24 hour setting and 12 hour format. If you could squeeze that in I’d really love that 🙂 as probably would a lot of others too. Anyway thanks for the heads up and have a great day guys.

  46. @48 Ahab Greybeard
    that would probably work, perhaps for files also
    seems to be a tedious method for a simple task that I do dozens of times on each project. thanks for the thought

  47. We have 3 computers in this house, one Laptop hooked to our HDTV, it runs Win 10, this Laptop I type this on, it has win 8 on it, then there is my Video Editing beast, it runs Win 7 pro. All 3 computers also have Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya Cinnamon installed on them. Truth be told, the average on 3 computers of OS use is over 90% Linux Mint.

    I thank the developers of Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya Cinnamon, when the time runs out on the Windows 7 Pro I have on my Video Editing Beast, I will just install whatever version of Linux Mint Cinnamon there is, as the OS is one of the best OS I have seen.

  48. I’d like to say I was bored with Windows and disappointed with Windows10’s performance, especially wireless and download speeds. I decided to try Linux out again years since my last try. I was very pleasantly surprised that Linux Mint had all my drivers since that was the old problem for whatever Linux OS I tried. I was also very happy with the update and install system you incorporated into it. I was very disappointed in KDE “it is terribly non intuitive anymore” though the Cinnamon desktop and Mate are very user friendly. I have been using Mint Cinnamon for a couple of months now and have only booted back into Windows a couple of times and don’t miss it. You could charge for this because it is very usable for people used to windows with minimum learning curve which is very refreshing since it seems you people did your research which I found other distro’s fail to do that are supposed to be crossover flavors that you people shine in your execution. If I wasn’t broke because I’m PT looking for FT work I’d be donating since this is actually something worth paying for unlike so many programs and OS’s that are available today. Thank You Mint crew and keep up the exceptional work.

  49. Hi Clem
        The Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.2 is the best operating system I have encountered,
    After 18.0 18.1 less than 17.2 easy to use, 18.2 from the beta version is enabled,
    Spent more than a month back to 17.2, but 17.2 supported until April 2019,
    Whether it can be extended for several years, like Windows XP with a 13 years,
    whether because of Limited by Ubuntu version, Linux Mint is out of Ubuntu like LMDE,
    But LMDE has a lot of restrictions, the LMDE restrictions open to make it like 17.2,
    So you can reduce the bugs on Ubuntu and do not have to develop LMDE.
    Very short time to launch a version is very hard,
    On the Linux Mint website so that each user returns its best version,
    You can know that version can be extended life, so you can reduce the version of the development.
    Whether to set up a hardware test laboratory, at first as long as the motherboard test,
    Provide users with reduced resistance to entering Linux Mint …

      Thank you and your team for your efforts

  50. Nobody needs a program to backup data, because copy/paste is working for everybody, but a program to restore the system is extremely needed, and there is nothing here. If somebody needs to backup data with a program can take Deja-dup. I know anybody that use a program like that. With copy/paste the data can be used immediately, not after restore. I told you that i convinced Windows people to make the change to Linux Mint with two arguments: there is a program for system restore, and that a program could be installed just like in Android. I did that for 11 persons, and for another one next month. No system restore program means “i want my Windows back”! Please, don’t forget that!
    “it’s arguable and there are pros and cons.”
    Please, no cons! You have any! Which is the alternative? New install? Nobody will do that!
    “but also to quickly refill a user account after a fresh install”
    Simply, no!
    “There are reasons not to apply an old configuration to a new release though, it sometimes creates issue with the new software.”
    Again, no! Everything is ok, and after a problem, the system is back in 5 minutes, can be used and updated!
    From “System Restore” somebody can make a fork only with the part used to restore the system. This program is working now for Mint 18.x, but for the next system is nothing here. There is enouch time to do something.
    This is the only program for Windows users that are making the change to LM. Any other solution is not for them! From 11 people 9 have managed to destroy the system, and they ware capable to restore it with SR.
    If Windows have system restore, you have to do the same for LM. Anyway is very usefull and i’m sure that you know that.
    In Linux world there is a bad tradition and you have to brake it: 100 alternatives for less important things and nothing for important ones.
    Rejecting this truth is not a solution.

  51. Great idea a simple yet powerful backup tool! And the ability to save a list of the installed packages will be awesome!
    Just a note: I used to do backups of my home dir using tar as well. It has the feature of “verify” adding “-W” on command line, but this is only for storing stage. In several years I faced some file corruption (three or four occurrences) in extraction stage, where tar doesn’t offer verify AFAIK. And when it comes to find it, it is already too late (backup gone). Truth be told, this only happened on very large files (> 4 GB) but this is very annoying.
    Have you evaluated other tools rather than tar ?

  52. “…the five contestants include four Xfce and two Gnome entries. Not a typo. You may ask, what about Cinnamon, what about Unity? Where is Ubuntu? What happened to SUSE? Did you not love Plasma once upon a time?…
    …Do not get me wrong, my production setup still runs the venerable Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty, one of the most refined operating systems in the past half a decade….”

    …And the best distro of 2016 is …Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa Xfce.”

    Dedoimedo, December 31, 2016

    According to this sourceand his testing methodologies, the BEST LINUX DISTRIBUTION of all 2016, period–not just the best netbook or notebook distro–is Linux Mint Xfce.

  53. Hi Clem,

    May I understand the rationale for releasing x-apps and other Mint apps along with release? Is it to better manage testing?

    Can we not release and roll out as and when they are tested ? At least apps that are independent and can be tested in isolation.


  54. I normally use Aptik to backup and recommend it.
    However, your backup tool is becoming quite useful.
    I will include it in my next ebook update:
    www DOT lulu DOT com/spotlight/bash64

  55. You do a great job and I stay with Mint (MATE) even though there are two oddities:

    *Dark Themes*: Several applications don’t have light icons for the dark themes. In LibreOffice I can fix that by selecting grey backgrounds (from Firefox themes), but the pull down menues still look bad:

    *Character Selection”* app for the MATE panel: I use a lot. In 18.1 it was fine, in 18.2 it has a bug (see The beautiful Submarine themes handle it well, but then I that “Dark Themes” issue comes up. (I know there are other ways to select characters, but that app provides the quickest way.)


  56. Lovely update, love Linux mint.
    Will linux mint incorporate a program like redshit or like the one gnome uses, night light as something installed by default?

  57. @Clem, I think I missed something.
    When will the new mintbackup be available? On my Mint 18.3 install it still prompts me for a pw.

    Before I look into the ‘new’ mintbackup, I’ll stick with using sftp for backing up to my file server; it is less fussy than rsync and is available on Android and my Raspberry Pi. Filezilla is a great GUI for it.

  58. @66 -when will new mintbackup be available? Read the article, it says. You don’t have 18.3 installed, it’s not out yet.

  59. To Clem and the team,
    The progress indicator looks great, looking forward to it.

    As for the Backup tool, it’s great to see the different comments posted here, as it is difficult in their absence to guess what people want, so the feedback is great – it helps ensure we get the best outcome.

    I just want to give feedback on a recent addition the Mint team made, getting Netflix working on Firefox. I’ve my computer running LM18.2 Cinnamon connected to the television and I can tell you my experience over the past month watching Netflix on it has been great – only issue is finding the time to watch the programmes! So, a big thank you for that!

  60. Clem,
    One quick question about the backup tool (hope it’s not a stupid one!)

    At installation stage, my default action is to always set up another partition for my home directory. So i never go with the default installation which is to put the home directory in the same partition as LM. This is out of fear that if i put my home directory in the same partition as my LM installation, that one day some update in the Update Manager could prevent my PC from rebooting and I’d lose everything in my home directory. (never had any luck with installation CD and chrooting across!)

    But if i wanted to backup the partition containing the home directory to an external hard drive, this new backup tool would work for that too?

  61. Hello Clem,

    Would you please enable Xplayer to display multiple language subtitles stored in multiple files with the language in the extension.

    This would enable more than one subtitle to be available for a video.

    For example, for a video:

    The subtitle files for English, French and Hungarian are respectively:

    The subtitled could then be selected at:
    Xplayer menu –> View –> Subtitles
    –> English
    –> French
    –> Hungarian

    If it helps, this feature is available in VLC.

    Thank you

  62. Awesome job Cinnamon Team, especially with the redone apps, and also the progress bar integration into Window List, that’s awesome!

    PS: Will Progress have its own Class, or will it be “wants-attention” in the cinnamon.css code?

  63. @31 @39

    Further to this problem, I’ve found what seems to be a major problem with MATE panels and drawers with Mint 18.2 MATE 1.18.0

    I have a few custom Application launchers of the form /opt/app/appexec and these have worked fine for years. I’ve just tried to edit one of them to update the executable and the MATE panel disappeared then came back with the launcher gone.

    I can’t add a custom application launcher of this form. I can go through the motions but it doesn’t get added to the panel.
    If I add a standard application launcher, this is ok, then I try to edit the Command, the panel flickers and the standard launcher I was trying to edit has vanished. I can add a custom launcher of the form “caja /{file path}” as I noted in an earlier post.

    This is bad. Can anyone confirm (or not) this behaviour. WARNING: you may lose your custom launcher if you test this.

  64. Using the method I outlined in my post @50, I restored the /home partition to get the previous MATE panel settings back, along with my custom application launchers.

    Then I renamed the latest, updated application executable to have the same name as the old application executable (bad, bad, bad) so that I can launch the latest version using the ‘old’ launcher (which I can’t edit!).

    Any comments or advice?

  65. Wow – I fear the onset of the multi-variable problem that the Ubuntu team just don’t grasp where new releases get too complex and fail to work. Mint team work-arounds have done well to avoid this although the new backup regime may prove a step too far, but I will take a look when the next release comes out, probably BrucesWay on a USBkey so that I can go on using ‘wot works’, like Clonezilla 2.4.2-32-i686-pae.iso for taking true backups of drive or partition OSs/Apps/Data that work despite disclaimers, unlike too many versions that didn’t work properly.
    With over fifty years experience I have found that some software doesn’t even install let alone work, so it’s important to find out ‘wot works’, especially now that UK abilities have declined.
    Meanwhile while esoteric fiddling goes on I have had some problems simply getting hold of viable live discs or live USBkeys, so it’s back to square one for a 16GBUSBkey Mint Toolkit!

  66. Oh holy crap on a stick, THANK YOU! Progress bar in the panel icons I have been missing for so long in Linux!

    On the other hand… now I’m all impatient for LM 18.3 to come out. Curse you! 😛

  67. One things still missing for me. So that Installer would have support raid installation (mdadm). I know SSD is cool but still they not that cost efficient. I find the way to do it manually ant it works but not easy to settup…
    THANK YOU for ALL other pure goodness!

  68. @78 Myself

    Using the Main Menu editor, I made a menu entry having the Command /opt/app/appexec then used a standard Application Launcher to create a panel launcher for it. I’ve done this for all my custom launchers.
    There’s a way around most problems.

  69. Well, that was interesting.
    After some Internet glitches I found a reliable Mirror (Ireland’s Heanet) downloaded MintSonyaMATE64, sum checked it then ran further in-built checks before installing it BrucesWay on a Sandisk Cruzer ’16GB’ USBkey plus 3rd party codecs etc in an 8.75Gib ext4 partition after defining the NTFS shared data partition, then going on to install and add more Apps, configuring them for Mint Toolkit use.
    Using Clonezilla I then replicated more, each taking about twenty minutes before finding that they work very well on a variety of laptops/desktops ranging from my twenty year old Thinkpad through to a dual UEFI/BIOS G4320 Haswell rig. I expect to find some incompatible rigs but not so far.
    I am now re-visiting the support User Guide PDF files for Forum Posting but it looks like a great solution to Mark Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu ‘Bug One’ whilst being far too small to be an aircraft bomb.

  70. Searching strings in files

    Hi. The last two years I offer Computer courses to senior citizen. Yes, against all detractors – senior citizen can operate with Linux Mint. And it is much easier than MS – believe me. Thank you for Cinnamon Desktop and Linux Mint.
    In all courses I was asked for searching strings in file. So my opinion – if the Linux community wants that Linux should be used on desktop computers more than today elementary functions should be included in the software. A “standard user” will not be familary with the terminal.

  71. @86 Ingo

    Both Pluma and xed, the common standard text editors have a Search function very clearly on their menu bar. It’s easy to see and easy to use.

  72. @86 Ingo

    Further to Ahab’s reply, there is also a search app called ‘Catfish’ in the Software Centre which allows you to search for files with specific strings in them. Not sure if this was what you were referring to, but handy all the same.

    If you install it, click on the cog adjacent to the search box and you can select ‘Search file contents’. It will then return any/all files that have the desired string.

  73. @86 Ingo

    Maybe what you wanted was the ability to search across folders for a file(s) containing a string? If so I use recoll. You just need to set the preferences for which folders you want it to index, let it do the indexing, then thereafter recoll will find text within filenames or file contents. I have mine set to index all data folders and Thunderbird’s email folder. The GUI is easy to use and fast.

    @88 Mick. Thanks for the tip about Catfish, I hadn’t been aware of that tool. So the default is to look for filenames matching a string, and that is fast. I can see the cog lets you turn on the “Search file contents” option. However I had issues with it in Contents mode – it didn’t find the files I wanted. Also couldn’t see how to stop a search when it was taking too long, apart from exiting the program

  74. I remember that in Ubuntu’s 14.04 Unity there was a download progress bar on Chrome/Chromium icon in the launcher. I think it was (is?) the only Linux desktop environment that had this feature. I miss it in Cinnamon, would you be able to implement that feature also for Chrome/Chromium if you did it for Cinnamom apps?

  75. Hi Clem
    I pull today the new updates for “mint backup”.
    there is one improvement: The possibility not to overwrite existing files.
    There is one bug: duplicated exclude list (even I remove it it appears again). Where is the right place to report bugs regards to this tool? (I want to test it)

  76. Continue:
    I always check my programs against rep8 in order to get mark 10/10.
    I run pylint on mintbackup and gets the mark 2.24/10 (There is a long list of remarks about the code quality).
    Hope that you aware about it (write code that fit rep8 requirement is good idea for the short & long term).

  77. @88 Mick

    Thanks for telling us about Catfish but it had some bad reviews so I decided to look at Recoll instead.

    @89 Tony

    Thanks for telling us about Recoll. I tried it and it seems good. It will even find text strings inside .pdf files and can also, apparently, look inside ebooks if you download and install the right plugin. The Help menu links to a website manual but I had it searching for me just by ‘playing’ with it.
    It does need to form a database at first and this is set up in your personal home folder. The database can be big, it was 2.7 GB on my computer and depends how many searchable files you have that are in the searchable locations. (You can exclude locations for searching.) You can use Recoll Preferences to change the location of this database if needed.

  78. Once again, many thinks for Mint. I may as well comment on the backup process. I don’t think I’d use the new backup program in Mint.

    I use (and am not associated with) It takes a few minutes for initial setup, but easy enough. Can have different profiles, files are saved in native format so nothing special needed to retrieve files if you quickly have to use another computer, can be automated, progress of backup is displayed, “grandfathering” using macros to give backup directory names based on days-of-weeks, date/time etc.

    So I guess I’m saying don’t spend too much time on yet another backup program for Mint!

  79. So while we are talking progress to 18.3, one thing I’ve noticed going from 18.1 to 18.2 is that the behaviour of inserting USB storage devices has changed. (Caja 1.18.3, MATE.)

    In 18.1, a file manager window would open, making it obvious the device is ready. Now it’s not obvious, and one has to look for the new desktop icon or open Caja to see the content. The preference in Caja for Media|”Browse media when inserted” is selected. Is this a new feature, or a bug?

    Also, in Caja left-clicking on the “eject” icon would unmount and change the window contents to the home directory (I think).

    Now, left-clicking on the icon does nothing. Actually, it displays the root of the device, but that’s obvious only if one is in a lower directory. One has to right-click|eject to unmount.

    Again, a bug or a feature?

    I’d prefer 18.3 to bring back the older behaviour (or at least make it an option).

  80. Wow, 18.3 looks like it moves the game forward. I am waiting for one of the desktops to implement the i/o graph inside the copy/move like Windows 8 (and 10) have… unless it is (sigh) a “patented” feature. Ideal if Cinnamon led the pack with this, but KDE is more likely as you see every metric in 4 places onscreen. And I’m sure it could be made to look a lot better than the Win version.

  81. Hey
    ihr habt wirklich prima Arbeit geleistet — ich danke Euch allen !!!
    ich bin EU-Rentner und habe mal aus Neugier mit 17,1 angefangen
    und nun bin ich bei 18,2 —ein sehr gut beherschbares System—prima
    ich mache hier noch ein bissel Elektronik und die Rechprogramme laufen
    über Wine usw.prima
    nun ja , was soll ich weiter sagen—Linux hat die Zukunft
    Windows gehen langsam die Sargnägel aus—Klar

  82. that would be cool that when we right-click on a file or a directory in Nemo we have the option to create a shortcut of it.

  83. Great job Clem, been using Mint since about 2009. Keep it up please. I only use Win 7 when I absolutely need windows (like for Turbotax), and even then am running in Virtualbox.

    With the discussion of revising the backup utility, I have one question to put out to those such as Iian Shavit. Any comments good/bad about APTIK ? It pretty much seems like it covers most everything mentioned here or discussed but would like to hear from someone else familiar with backing up.

  84. @86 Ingo, @89 Tony, @96 Ahab,

    Following up on search options, I just replaced Catfish with Recoll. It’s a far more powerful option in terms of functionality etc, and performing very well so far.

    It took a bit of playing with configs to get it to look good in a dark theme, plus had to change certain settings to get it to open files using their associated apps (Mail- Thunderbird, and PDF –
    Xreader) but very happy with it now. @Tony, thanks for the pointer 🙂

  85. @104 ciddu2000

    In Nemo, if you right-click on a file or folder you can select the menu item called “Make Link”. This creates a link (shortcut) in the same location, you can then move it to wherever you want it to be (eg Desktop).

  86. I wish Linux Mint system monitor to have features like:
    1. services tab which will allow start, stop, enable and disable services.
    2. startup tab which will allow enable and disable startup items.
    3. processes tab able to show disk and network usage of individual processes.
    4. gpu usage in resources tab.
    5. also it will be nice if Linux system monitor also shows cpu and gpu temps.
    Windows 10 task manager already has all these features except for temps.
    Linux system monitor needs to be improved. 🙂

  87. Hi! Good idea to work on the backup application. Though, it’d be nice to have the option to include mysql databases and /var/www folder.

  88. Sometimes right-click menu doesn’t appear entirely, it got arrows at the top and bottom, I think it would be more aesthetic to always show it entirely.

  89. @110 Ciddu – On 18.2 Cinnamon (not sure about others), highlight file or folder then either click on toolbar menu Edit/Make Link, or hit CTR/M on your keyboard.

    I also think Make Link should be added to right click for ease of use.

  90. Subject: Caja tabs.
    In all Caja versions from 1.2.1 to 1.16.6 I could switch between tabs with the mouse wheel, which has spared a lot of stress to my index finger all these years.
    In version 1.18.3 I cannot anymore.
    Why on Earth???

  91. Clem, you said that “the Backup Tool now simply lists the packages you installed from the Software Manager.” How literally should I take that statement? Will it also list packages installed from other package managers, such as Synaptic or apt on the command line, or only Software Manager?

    While the Software Manager is great, I often find that Synaptic is quicker for me to navigate, and almost all online forum and article instructions are given in apt commands. If it only lists packages installed specifically through Software Manager, then it would severely cripple the Backup tool. If it lists packages from wherever you’ve installed it, then we’re all good and you can ignore this question.

  92. Dear Clem and crew, as a PC user I would like to thank you all for your efforts in producing a great Distro and looking forward to Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.3 release. I converted in 2015 to Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.1 at the end of 2015 because of the debarcarole over Windows 10 dater mining and haven’t looked back and even converted a Microsoft engineer to dual boot. I am a PC user with no technical knowledge and love Linux Mint Cinnamon as I find it so easy to use. Once again thank you and your dedicated people for bring a breath of fresh air to computing.

  93. Hello Clem,

    Will we ever get some built-in way (that could either be toggled on or off) to blur parts of the OS that are transparent? While I really would prefer to leave parts of the OS that deserve to have some transparencies (ie. menus… and….. yes, mostly menus), I really have to strain my eyes sometimes when I’m scrolling through menu items that simply cannot be read because the sharpness of whatever is appearing in the background, behind the menu is simply too sharp…. what’s worse is when the color of the menu items is the same color as whatever is appearing behind the menu. An analogy (of sorts) would be like being a TV weather anchor at a news station, and you’re wearing a green shirt and tie, while standing in front of a green screen.

  94. I’m using 18.2 on a Zotac Bi323 cheap 4k mini computer. Finally the latest version of Mint Cinnamon works without bugging out and crashing. I’d had to use Mate the past year because of Cinnamon crashes.

    Don’t want to knock Mate because it is also very good (and on my laptop) but Mint Cinnamon looks so much better on my 4K monitor thanks to the HiDpi settings.

    Keep up the great work. All who work on the Mint project totally rock! Thanks to each and every one of you!

  95. @122: You mean motherboard BIOS? Please no. Can’t risk bricking of motherboard. No OS should be updating BIOS automatically. Updating BIOS/firmware chip should be completely a users decision at his/her own risk.
    Windows 10 updated this Laptop’s BIOS automatically and it almost bricked it.

  96. I never fail to be amazed at Windows refugees asking for facilities that already exist in a Mint variant, like Hardware Sensor monitoring in the MATE version plus the CPU speed throttling MiniApp that doesn’t need PC Shutdown, BIOS entry and a ReStart to change CPU Speed.
    On a routine basis I also enjoy the more robust multi-tasking and Workplace switching that allows background activities to continue whilst sorting out other glitches with Force Quit etc.
    I don’t yet know about other variants but simply right-clicking on the desktop to create a remembered Launcher also works well. Also when the Software Manager doesn’t work, the Package Manager can, once again demonstrating that there can be another way to solve problems.

  97. @120 Óvári

    I just downloaded the 2.4.0 Appimage, made it executable and ran it, no problems.

    The Software Manager has version 1.4.3, which is old but still works of course, but it’s too much to expect the Mint team to keep every software package updated.

    I find Appimages are very easy to use, I have Krita as an Appimage file and some others. They may be being superceded by Snap packages now – everything changes but I’m not sure if everything improves. Try the Appimage, it’s not difficult.

  98. @ 123

    Dual boot problems, with a particular brand. I have a Dell XPS, never had a problem with BIOS update, on Windows or on Gnome (Ubuntu, Fedora.)

  99. @124 Ahab Greybeard

    Thanks for mentioning AppImages, I wasn’t aware of this. I was a bit confused though about how to get the OpenShot AppImage but can now see it is available on the website (not on

    Initially I went to the website and had trouble seeing how to download anything but I now realise you have to click the “Files” link to get a list of available file versions for the particular app.

  100. #52, I also agree! A notification could be very useful. Also an always on top floating ring showing the percentage could also be classy. (Like “heads” in messenger mobile apps).
    Anyway, Mint team… instead of discussing all these things with the users after you have decided what to do or already implemented, isn’t it much more efficient (or idea-reach) to open a discussion to get more ideas and opinions before you actually work on the new features?

  101. Clem, you said that “the Backup Tool now simply lists the packages you installed from the Software Manager.” How literally should I take that statement? Will it also list packages installed from other package managers, such as Synaptic or apt on the command line, or only Software Manager?

    While the Software Manager is great, I often find that Synaptic is quicker for me to navigate, and almost all online forum and article instructions are given in apt commands. If it only lists packages installed specifically through Software Manager, then it would severely cripple the Backup tool. If it lists packages from wherever you’ve installed it, then we’re all good and you can ignore this question.

  102. I’m really hoping you re-add Samba and various audio/video codecs. I know both can be installed after installation, but, that was one thing which turned me onto this distro in the first place. Everything working right out of the box! I’ve been very happy with 17.3 KDE on 9 computers I personally own and several more than I provide tech support for. Samba is a fantastic package for sharing files; which is one important thing a network should be able to do. Please, please! add it back to 18.3. Along with the codecs. If you want, you can always provide a codec free iso, like 17.3 has and a slightly larger iso with the codecs included. These are important things for an OS of this day and age to have. People typically have small networks at home now and not being able to share data cross the machines without installing additional software can be a turn off for some. Especially less tech savvy folks who just want it to work.

    Otherwise, thanks for all that you do and I look forward to seeing what 18.3 offers!

  103. @126 Tony

    I’m glad to have been of some help. As far as I can tell, is for people who want to make Appimages. Mostly, I get appimage files from the application website.

    However, you can go to ‘’ where you will find a large, searchable collection of appimages. I have no idea how ‘safe and secure’ this arrangement is and it might be a good idea to run them as a separate user who has been set up just for that purpose. You can’t be too paranoid when it comes to running software.

  104. Why did you implement the progress bar in a way that was incompatible with Unity? Besides Unity there are several docks supporting it. Wasted time and effort, I’d say, especially for the application developers.

    Edit by Clem: It’s not incompatible with Unity at all. If Unity was still being developed it could very well support it. When we work on Xapp we have other DEs in mind. This is there for any DE and in any distribution. First, there’s an issue with libunity itself.. the overall project was abandoned and it’s not available in all the distributions we support. Second, it doesn’t really do what we want. It sets progress for apps, not for windows. We don’t want to rely on the presence of a .desktop file and we need to set progress for one particular window. Sometimes that window even is outside of the scope of our own application. For instance when a script launches a Zenity dialog or installs packages via Synaptic.

    1. > It’s not incompatible with Unity at all. If Unity was still being developed it could very well support it

      Doesn’t make much difference, really. Applications will still need to support the Unity implementation and yours. That’s what I was talking about: duplicate time and effort, for not that much gain. And despite the demise of Unity, several docks (like Dash to Dock, and Plank IIRC) still support the progress bar (the former even introducing support for it _now_).

      > First, there’s an issue with libunity itself.. the overall project was abandoned and it’s not available in all the distributions we support
      Same problems apply to libxapp, which I doubt is available in more distros than libunity. (If that’s even a hard dependency.)

    2. Michael, libunity isn’t even present in Debian. When something was designed for a single desktop and that desktop was designed for a single distribution and the minute you get away from that ecosystem, there’s no support whatsoever, you don’t spend time supporting it. Not only that but Unity was discontinued. We wouldn’t use libunity even if it implemented what we need (which is window progress, not app progress).

      I’m disappointed you feel the same way about libxapp, because it’s clearly designed to work everywhere and for everybody, but that’s your right. If you feel like this then by all means do not spend time supporting it. Wait until it gets adopted broadly or dies silently. Nobody’s asking you to waste your time and effort, so please extend the courtoisie to us and don’t ask us to support things like libunity.

  105. Hi all, I noticed you wrote about orogress bars, and then I remembered Unity has had this for some time. I was wondering if there is any chance at interoperability? Or perhaps the Linux Mint team will have to fork apps to support the Cinnamon progress bars.

    Here is a link describing the Unity way of doing it:

    This way is supported by having your app depend on libunity, I believe:

    1. Hi DD,

      We probably won’t patch (not fork) just for that.

      Libunity does something similar but globally for apps, not for windows. It’s also part of a project which was discontinued and was designed to only work in Ubuntu so we’ve little interest in relying on it or using it in the scope of Cinnamon which is supposed to work everywhere. We could support libunity as an optional dependency (i.e. in some distros and not others) in addition to libxapp in Cinnamon but it wouldn’t be very useful in the window list.. it would be more useful in docks and we don’t ship one. If we were to display app progress globally in the Cinnamon UI somewhere then we could look into it… but then again, we could get that done very easily via libxapp and have it work everywhere in all distributions.

      We could support libunity in our tools (mintinstall, mintbackup..etc..). It’s not something we need, but it could make them communicate with docks using libunity. It’s typically something we would merge or approve if somebody proposed a patch or a PR, it’s just not worth spending time on doing it ourselves in the scope of a release because we don’t ship any of these docks.

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