x64 Edition – News Update


Very few bugs were found in Linux Mint 6 x64 RC1 and I’m happy to announce that RC1 users will not have to download the stable release. A few things happened however and the decision was made to include both Flash and Sun Java in 64 bit.

So far, x64 came with a 32 bit Flash plugin which was wrapped within nspluginwrapper. Although this prevented Firefox to crash it made Flash itself very unstable. Adobe recently released a Flash 10 plugin in 64 bit. We tested it and we’re happy to report that it works really well. It will replace the 32 bit plugin in Linux Mint 6 x64 Stable and be bundled directly with the browser without using nspluginwrapper.

Sun also decided to support X86_64 and recently released Sun Java 6 Update 12 build 03, which will replace OpenJDK in the stable release of Linux Mint 6 x64 Edition.

So you’ll be able to enjoy Flash and Java applets in full 64 bit… We usually don’t deviate from our RC, and very few things change after code-freeze, but we couldn’t pass the opportunity to see these two plugins run in 64 bit mode. I’m also looking at the possibility of including OpenOffice.org-base, it takes a bit of time to decide on the best packaging strategy, but we’re still really close to a stable release.

As always, we will not stick to any schedule our release dates and this will be released “when ready”. I hope you appreciate this is to achieve a better quality for our releases and I would like to thank all of you for your patience.

It will be the worth the wait, I promise πŸ™‚


  1. thanks Clem, that are very good news to hear. I have already tested the new packages (flash64bit whit the meta 64 from the community repo) and it works very well.

  2. This is soo nice, since my 64 bit computer will be built up this weekend πŸ™‚

    However, does this mean that I can download RC1 and get the updated packages from repository?

    Thanks and great work with Mint!


  3. Good to hear that πŸ™‚ Thank You for Your effort to make this edition better and better all the time. If there will be free space on the CD to place OO.base I think that placing it would be a great idea.

  4. I think that next time you should change the 64bit edition as main edition and 32 edition separately as an option to old computers. It is almost impossible to buy 32 bit computer nowadays and 64 bit software, as we can see, gets to be usable already.

  5. Hi Clem,
    I have been waiting eagerly for linux Mint 6 x64 edition. And the wait has been long.
    Is it fine if i use the x64 RC1 for a fresh linux mint installation or should i wait longer for the stable release???
    Will i have the flash & java issues while using RC1 and can they be fixed via updates without going for a fresh install of stable edition???

  6. After suffering major headaches from Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10 being rushed out-the-door because of artificially-imposed deadlines, I am delighted to see Linux Mint take a more responsible approach. I much prefer to wait for whatever time it takes to get a distribution that “just works,” rather than be sucked-in to the hoopla, parties and fireworks of a guaranteed release on a certain date just to generate maximum publicity. Leave that to Microsoft. That kind of behaviour doesn’t belong in the Linux Domain.

  7. Rredbare: In fairness we need both models. Linux Mint and Ubuntu do not have the same audience and they do not have the same priorities. Depending on the audience, predictability can be extremely important. For instance Linux Mint got popular among home users but not among companies, and the main reason isn’t something to do with the desktop itself, it’s to do with corporate backing, with levels of support and very importantly with the level of visibility on roadmaps, schedules, release dates. A home user is likely to look for features, comfort, quality, a company is usually more interested in reliability, uniformism, scalability, predictability, responsibility..etc. Of course this isn’t always true and whether it’s companies or users, everyone has different priorities and preferences, but that illustrates why we need projects like Linux Mint and Debian, who aim for milestones, and why we also need projects like Ubuntu who aim for deadlines. In the end, both models are needed.

  8. Hi as new user to Mint (love it) has anybody made inroads into Skype sound problems on 64 bit machines.
    Best Regards Richard.

  9. Hi Clem,
    very good news thx!
    What do you think about a 64bit release of the Linux kernel (in place of “generic” kernel) for a next release? I think it can be great isn’t it?
    Sorry for my English, I speak French…

  10. Sorry to be ‘late on parade’, but I have just installed 64-bit RC1 on my only just-commissioned Q6600 rig, to at first find that it had the ‘hang’ on Restart or Shutdown of 32-bit, but after Refreshing Software manager and applying x221 updates I no longer need the Robb Topolski Ubuntu 8.10 patch, so I’m now creating a replica of my E4600 rig’s 32-bit installation and looking forward to formal release.
    Meanwhile a lot of ATI graphics users are complaining that they can’t get a reasonable resolution display, so they haven’t seen the magnificent and unique features of Mint 6 which is a great pity.

  11. Clem I am truly honoured that you would would take the time to respond to my comment (especially since I did not address my comment directly to you). However, if I (even though I am a rank newbie) may respectfully disagree with you, both companies and individuals value dependability over all else. To rush a flawed product out the door just to meet a self-imposed deadline is a recipe for bankruptcy. No company will trust you with their business if your approach is to ship not-fully tested product even though you shipped it according to some self-imposed schedule. Why is it necessary to ship out a new revision exactly every 6 months? Why not ship out revisions only when there is something honestly worthwhile to introduce to your customers. My opinion is that Canonical introduces revisions exactly 6 months apart in order to maintain a constant drumbeat of publicity for their product. This is known as “hype.” Do we need this in Linux?

  12. Rredbare: I think we’ll agree to disagree. Decisions within big companies aren’t always motivated by technical aspects and the strong backing of a well established name can sometimes be far more important than the product itself. Does a company choose to run SUSE? Or does it decide to go for Novell? Is the decision motivated by the product or by who’s editing it? Is the enterprise market ready for newcomers? I don’t think it is. As for bankruptcy, Microsoft’s service packs strategy and Ubuntu’s fixed schedule are some of the ingredients of respectively the most popular OS and the most popular Linux desktop on the planet… by far, in both cases. So OK, it might hurt the quality of a particular release, but don’t underestimate the importance of what you call “hype”. Linux has been a better desktop than most for some time now, what we really need to compete with Windows isn’t a better desktop (we’ll take care of that among others), it is a strong name, a recognition, a place on the big market (and Ubuntu right now is taking care of that). I understand your point and I agree that a fixed schedule can harm both quality and content, but don’t underestimate the pros that it comes with. In the long term Ubuntu might just make a real difference and bring all of us Linux users, up there on the big market. See what they’ve done with Dell, see what they’ve achieved so far, see how popular they are and how fast they continue to grow. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind, Ubuntu is hugely successful.

  13. Both Rredbare and Clem have valid points. I am actively involved in an open source project and I know fixed deadlines are crucial to steady development. While it is true a 6 month release can contain some rubbish, regular users won’t be able to overcome them but corporate ones will most likely do that. Fixed deadlines are not primarily meant for the distribution itself but for all open source developers, in order to force them to be a little more organized and release a stable version of the software at a reasonable time for being tested and included with the distribution.

    Fixed deadlines imply a certain level of discipline that is always healthy. It’s quite the same as life. When you have kids you have deadlines. If you don’t buy them the necessary books when they need them they can prove to be useless later, when they have to study something, usually more evolved. The same principle is good to be applied to software development because constantly evolving or simply fixing the software ensures a competitive pace with other products and makes the distributions themselves more valuable. We can’t expect any project to be perfect. We see bugs in Linux Mint as well, but let’s keep in mind this distribution is based on Ubuntu and it’s overall healthy and steady development.

    Now for the x64 version of Mint, I must say I’m curious how that works. I’ve never tried an x64 OS except for an XP, but I quickly switched back to my 32-bit environment because I didn’t have the necessary drivers at the time.

    Thank you for working on the x64 version, Clem and all Mint developers. Coming from you I will trust giving it a shot on my PCs. However, there are some things that are missing from many/all Linux distros that if you guys develop others will follow. I have to check with the forums, to see if/where is the “Suggestion box”. Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚ It’s great to see such commitment and such quality altogether. I wish you guys all the best! πŸ™‚

  14. @Kenneth Cyrus: I have the RC1 installed and x64 Flash is working great. Mint Updater didn’t automatically install x64 Flash, but it was as easy as just installing it from the package manager.

    @Clem: Thanks!!!

  15. A huge “Thank you” to everyone involved! I’m just checking out the RC1 and this seems to be everything I was looking for. I prefer your “out when ready” policy and will wait patiently for the release πŸ™‚ Hopefully with 64 bit versions of Java and Flash as announced and properly working Skype.

  16. Fantastic, I’ve been keeping my eye on this project for a while now. I’ve heard great things about Mint and would love to give it a shot. I’ve been wondering though, is it possible to get the x64 version, bypass the gnome installation entirely, and grab Mint’s fluxbox desktop?

  17. ….Linux Mint Alternate Install CDs, anyone? P’raps even a “Master” Alternate Install Linux Mint CD containing both 32-bit and 64-bit versions with all packages needed to install either version with any supported desktop? Something like:

    Welcome to the Linux Mint 6 “Felicia” Master Alternate Install CD!
    Please choose a version of Linux Mint 6 to install to your HD:

    (1) Linux Mint 6 i686 Gnome
    (2) Linux Mint 6 AMD64 Gnome
    (3) Linux Mint 6 i686 KDE 3.5.10
    (4) Linux Mint 6 AMD64 KDE 3.5.10
    (5) Linux Mint 6 i686 XFCE
    (6) Linux Mint 6 AMD64 XFCE
    (7) MemTest v2.01
    (8) Skip CD; boot from next bootable device (HD, etc) if present….


  18. Wonderful to hear that you made the decision to include the updated Flash & Java software, I use both on a very regular basis for business and often find myself cursing a little at the current versions.

    If it counts, I vote against including OOo. It’s not that it is bad software, far from it. However, it does add to the download & install time. Perhaps if a link was made in the Office menus saying something to the effect of “Install OpenOffice Software”.

    Of the two machines I’m running a linux on, only one has OOo. Nor does my Windows machine have an office package on it.

  19. The ISO was uploaded to Exploder today. If he gives his go-ahead we’ll be releasing early this week. Ext4 won’t come until Mint 7. OpenOffice.org-base isn’t there by default, the CD is 683MB big and yes, it comes with the 64bit versions of Flash and Sun Java. We also fixed Quicktime for it to work out of the box (without the user needing to tweak mplayer’s config) and x64 comes with the latest mintMenu 4.2.2 and mintInstall 5.3.6.

  20. Hi people out there!

    I’m anxious (exagerating a bit) to try 64 bit version of this distribution. I am not sure about installing mint, kubuntu, ubuntu+kde… A bit confused about it all. Anyway, when will the upload that Clem commented on Feb 1st be released? I’m returning everyday since that date but nothing at the moment.

    Thank you in advance,


  21. Hi everybody,

    I installed Linux Mint 6 x64 because I couldn’t manage to install sun java plugin on ubuntu.
    I use it now for 10 days (the release day) and I’m very happy of this system, so far very fast and stable, a very good system for every day use.
    I even started to put some advertisement for linuxmint on my website.

    Everybody, do not hesitate to install the 64bits version, it works perfectly.



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