Monthly News – April 2022

Many thanks to you all for your support and your generous donations.

The mutter rebase for Cinnamon 5.4 is now well on its way and is getting more and more stable.

Work started on the Linux Mint 21 base. The repositories are ready and so are the docker images. A first pre-ALPHA ISO was built to identify potential issues and we’re now patching software and looking for and fixing regressions. We usually work on new features first, and then work on the base and bugs near the end of the development cycle when we put it all together on the new base. But this time, we did the opposite. I wanted us to be confronted to some of the new libraries and upstream changes so we could have a clear view of any challenges ahead and plan accordingly when it comes to prioritizing or postponing work on some of the new features.

The new upgrade tool took some time to develop but it was worth the wait. Our major upgrades weren’t flexible enough and they were too complicated. This is a fantastic addition for us, I’m really happy we worked on this. The tool is passing a final test today and should be officially announced in LMDE tomorrow.

It was designed with both distributions in mind so we’ll also use it this Summer to provide a smooth upgrade towards Linux Mint 21 after its official release.

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36 comments

  1. Yes – but is the upgrade for LMDE4 -> LMDE5 finished its beta testing phase yet?
    No announcement has yet been made.

    1. “The tool is passing a final test today and should be officially announced in LMDE tomorrow.”

      I’m not sure Clem could have been clearer – what do you find ambiguous in the above sentence?

    2. I ran the freshly upgraded mintupgrade.
      It failed.

      Installing new packages:-
      DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive DEBIAN_PRIORITY=critical apt-get install –yes –no-install-recommends alsa-topology-conf alsa-ucm-conf bulky cryptsetup-initramfs cryptsetup-run fuse3 gamemode gvfs-fuse hypnotix libgdk-pixbuf2.0-bin libreoffice-gtk3 linux-generic mesa-vdpau-drivers mesa-vulkan-drivers mintreport neofetch network-manager-config-connectivity-debian pipewire plymouth-label seahorse sticky system-config-printer thingy usrmerge warpinator webapp-manager xapp-appimage-thumbnailer xapp-epub-thumbnailer xapp-mp3-thumbnailer xapp-raw-thumbnailer youtube-dl

      It tried to install a non-existent package of linux-generic.
      So I manually installed all those other packages…
      Then tried installing linux-image-generic – but this said that,
      linux-image-amd64 is already the newest version (5.10.113-1).
      I will now try a reboot…

    3. Version 2022.05.05.
      Well it seems to be working fine – although its obviously not fit to be released yet.
      This upgrade tool has spent longer in beta than the OS that its meant to upgrade.

    4. @Jeremy Boden
      I agree.
      If your system is not “exactly out of the box” this tool has problems… or fails completely.
      purposely removed Cruft, and lots of unwanted apps get reinstalled, and Security tweaks get overwritten!
      easier to just make a fresh install of the LMDE5 OS and then work on making it work in a manner that suits the User.
      anyway, thanks for the efforts Clem

  2. Good leadership quality. Not afraid to shake things up so as to find more efficient production processes. Another reason why Mint is the best!

    Cannot wait to give Vanessa Beta a go. Much anticipation!

    1. Wau, first time I hear about the codename. Kinda hope 21.3 will have a shorter and more pleasant sounding V girl, haha, jk

  3. As always thanks for the excellent work!
    Regarding the update tool… please integrate a way to select the orphan packages and automatically add them to the list of packages to keep, or at least allow to copy the name to make the process easier, as currently it requires typing the name.

  4. Are you going to stay on a Mutter 3.36 base indefinitely, or is this going to be a soft-fork where you continually update to new Mutter versions?

    1. We’ll continue to rebase and between rebases we’ll be able to backport commits more easily than we were since we’re now much closer to upstream mutter than before.

  5. I’m not a terminal guy, can’t wait for the new upgrade tool. Sounds very interesting and should have a cherished place among the default apps. BTW I like the native apps of Mint but would like to know which ones may be safely removed from the system without breaking it. I found Rhythmbox redundant after installing Audacious and Hypnotix is not for me, I don’t watch TV. The default apps can be nice for others of course (for me too), but I prefer simplicity and duplicates remind me of my old Windows 10 where I had many apps doing the same jobs . Can we have an official list of safe-to-uninstall apps?

    1. Hi Mike,

      Outside of the preferences/administration/accessories menu they’re all pretty safe to remove. When you try to remove them, if they’re needed by system components the package manager will warn you anyway.

    2. If you try to remove any component and it says “XXXX will also be removed” where XXXX is a list that includes major components (such as Cinnamon or any other “big” component”) then answer NO to ‘do you want to proceed?’.

  6. Thank you Clem and the team for all your hard work! You all are appreciated much more than you could ever know.

  7. Happy May, Clem, Linux Mint developers, and community! Good luck with the new Linux Mint 21 development cycle; I am very much looking forward to Linux Mint 21. Thank you to all who make this wonderful distribution a reality.

    1. Hey Clem, I’m looking forward to using the upgrade tool for the next release. I love your focus on making things simple.

      Do you have any plans on integrating pipewire into mint or are you planning on keeping pulseaudio? I’ve been hearing more about pipewire lately so I just wanted to see what the mint team thinks about it.

    2. Hi John,

      It’s installed by default in LMDE 5 and Mint 21 but in terms of desktop integration we’re still using PA. It’s something we need to look into, we don’t have plans for it yet.

    1. Although the mutter rebase opens the way towards a future Wayland compatibility, it’s a separate goal and not in the scope for Mint 21.

  8. Clem have you thought about integrating something like Flatseal to improve Flatpak app permissions management?

  9. Hi Clem, what approach will the dev team take with Gnome apps which have switched to libadwaita? Is it still possible to apply Mint theming to them? The consistency of all apps in Mint is what I find very appealing, and I can imagine there’s a lot of work behind it, so big thanks to you and the team!

  10. Hi, I’m curious if Mint 21 will be using the new Ubuntu Desktop Installer that I think is part of Ubuntu 22.04 or if it will stick with using Ubiquity for the installation process.

    We have a customized installation process and I’m curious if Mint 21 will require an overhaul of that part of things for us.

    Thank you all for all your great work on Mint!

  11. Hi Clem and thanks for the great work!

    You mentioned that Wayland will not be used in Mint 21. What about pipewire? Will Mint 21 come with kernel 5.15 ?

  12. Will “LMDE 5” receive the updates and features of “Linux mint 21”, such as the new “Cinnamon 5.4”? Thank you very much to the whole team for their great work!!

  13. Big congratulations to the mint-team! Today I successfully upgraded to Elsie on my main-business-computer after a try on an old laptop. The Beta-Upgrade ran perfectly (a few little adjustments where necessary afterwards and the brother-drivers needed to reinstall). I’m really happy using LMDE since about three years after the end of Win7! Many thanks, You doing a great job!

  14. If I can make a suggestion, have the quodlibet pre-installed instead of the rhythmbox and the mpv instead of the celluloid. Thank you very much.

  15. Because in my opinion the quodlibet is also more flexible and with a better choice of environment and the mpv is cleaner and faster …

  16. Due to a recent upgrade to the latest kernel of Mint 19.3 Clonezilla no longer works for me. This is a real problem as I have used Clonezilla for many years to back up my entire system.

    Obviously this is an issue for the Clonezilla team in Taiwan, but I would be most grateful if you could contact them. I wrote them but received a reply in Chinese, which naturally I could not read.

  17. Hello Clem:

    Just a question real quick. It was noticed the Linux Mint 20.3 (Cinnamon Edition) install does not clean the APT cache on /target like the install for LMDE 5. Could that be brought into alignment on LM 21?

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