Join the team – 2 new projects coming up

The last community project was a success and it resulted in the creation of the mintCast podcast, hosted by the very talented Charles Olsen. You can still join and contribute to this project by visiting this link:

I come to you today and the community of Linux Mint users, to find more people interested in joining in and contributing to the distribution. I’m going to start two new projects, and I hope you’ll be excited about them, and that some of you will step up, not only to give us a hand but to actually drive these projects.

The Linux Mint Screencast Project

The first project is called the “Linux Mint Screencast Project”. You can probably see the similarity with the Linux Mint Podcast Project here. The goal is to set up a team of people who will produce high definition screencasts for Linux Mint. Novice users will enjoy watching tutorials on how to use Linux Mint, experienced ones will be interested in watching tutorials about our tools and specificities, others might like to see promotional videos and general overviews of our distribution.

The goal of this project is to:

  • Make it easier for people to use Linux Mint
  • Raise user awareness about the Mint tools, what they can do and how to efficiently use them
  • Promote the distribution

For this project we’re looking for:

  • People who can produce high definition screencasts
  • People who can produce ideas and scenarios for the videos
  • People who can produce audio and speeches to illustrate what’s seen on the screen
  • Web designers
  • A project leader

To follow this project, register on and join the following team and its mailing list:

To join the project, start talking on the mailing list, follow discussions and start to get involved.

The Linux Mint Community Repository Project

The second project is called the “Linux Mint Community Repository Project”. It consists in opening the “community” section of our repositories to the Linux Mint Community. Basically this will be a repository maintained by and for the community. We want to set up a team of packagers who will create and import packages into “deb xxx community”. The goal is to broaden the set of available packages and to bring more up to date versions to the users. This repository is present in /etc/apt/sources.list but disabled by default. Users will be able to opt-in by activating it in their sources.list and after some testing is done packages will eventually migrate to the official sections of the repository.

The goal of this project is to:

  • Bring an opt-in repository with a wider selection of packages and more up to date software
  • Facilitate the introduction of new packages in the official repositories

For this project we’re looking for:

  • People with experience with DEB packaging (to some extent we can also transfer competence and help interested people acquire that knowledge)
  • People who can test software and report on how well it works (ideally for Mint 5 Main, Mint 5 x64, Mint 6 Main and Mint 6 x64)
  • A project leader (likely to be Merlwiz)

To follow this project, register on and join the following team and its mailing list:

To join the project, start talking on the mailing list, follow discussions and start to get involved.

If you feel like it, don’t hesitate

Quick note about the Community repository project. The community repository is already in place, it’s already in your sources.list and we already have a way for packagers to upload packages into it. Cathbard and Merlwiz should be quite active in providing packages. I’m not sure whether Exploder will stay focus on testing our ISOs or if he’ll test packages as well. I really hope some of you will step up and help us test and package as many applications as possible.

Nothing has been done for the Screencast project. At this stage it’s just something we want to do and we’re hoping you’ll bring your best ideas with you.

Don’t hesitate to get involved. You can join both teams and mailing lists just to follow what’s going on if you want. Whether it’s the screencasts or the community repositories, these two projects are going to make Linux Mint a better distribution by bringing more services to its community. We receive emails from people who want to contribute on a regular basis and we never really know how they can fit in… now is the time to do just that. We’ve got two really good ideas and I hope you’ll be numerous in joining us and helping us to make them a reality.

Note about Launchpad mailing lists: These projects (registered as Launchpad teams) are brand new on Launchpad. We applied for mailing lists and they should become available shortly. Please be patient if they’re not yet available.

Second note about Launchpad mailing lists: To reply to a message sent to a Launchpad mailing list, make sure to hit the “reply all” button… otherwise your answer will only be sent to the author of the email.


  1. The Linux Mint Community Repository Project – looks like a very interesting idea, a question though, are there any plans to move the results of this work upstream i.e. to Ubuntu?

  2. Borsook: Like everything else we do, it will be open for other projects to use, to reuse and to learn from. This is the essence of open-source. We won’t make any effort to approach Ubuntu or to see these packages included in their repositories but we’ll make sure they can access them and that these packages are compatible with theirs. Ultimately whether they want to copy them, modify them, use them as they are or don’t care about them at all is entirely up to them. Of course if they contact us to see if we can work on this together, we’ll be glad to do so. But that hasn’t happened yet, and since the start of Linux Mint and after the development of many innovations we weren’t once contacted by anyone from Canonical. Again, we’re glad to take from them and we’re glad to give back and share what we do. So far they haven’t shown much interest in what we were doing.

  3. Just to illustrate on the previous comment. I don’t blame Ubuntu for this. We’re still quite new on the Linux desktop and it’ll probably take time before bigger projects look down and show interest in us. Ubuntu did try to replicate our PDF printing hooks and we saw alternative technologies upstream slowly replace mintDisk and mintDesktop’s user folders (which idea initially came from Mandriva), but I don’t believe they learnt that from us, I think they just got the same idea after a while… and even if they did, they didn’t reuse our technology. We act the same way, if a new innovation gets into Fedora or SUSE, we’ll make sure we have it too. If it gets into a smaller distro, it might take us a little while longer before we get to know about it. We’re a small project, I don’t think Ubuntu is ready to work with us. When they do, we’ll answer their call of course.

  4. Of course I understand what you’re saying… But fragmentation is really one of the biggest problems of Linux world. You say that you’ll answer their call… but maybe Mint should make the first move? It’s just my opinion but letting Ubuntu team “officially” know about this initiative and willingness for the results to be used by them might be a good move…

  5. Borsook: I’m not too worried about this and I’m sure it will come in time. As for fragmenting Linux, I don’t see it that way. With each new fragment comes new ideas, new directions and new innovations. That means more choice to the users and more projects to learn from for developers. Ultimately, people who don’t like to choose run Mac OS, not Linux. As far as I’m concerned the more distributions, the more variety of projects, the more forks of anything, the better. People who are interested to work together always find a way, and I’m sure we’ll see some of our innovations move upstream or be adopted by other distributions. I’m not necessarily thinking of Ubuntu actually, most of our technology would probably make it into Debian first, and some of it could move upstream into Gnome. Other projects which aren’t upstream to us could also fork or use what we develop. We’ve seen small distributions adopt some of our tools and even a recent attempt to port mintMenu into SUSE.

  6. MoonOS actually has used some of our tools.
    They had moonAssistant at one point.
    No sure if they still do.
    I do see they have mintNanny(moonDomain).
    I would like to take a look at moonGrub though.
    I think I’ll have to download it to get it.
    I forgot where I put the repo url.

  7. I very like the Idea of the Community Repo, I think it is the first little step to build a own base for Mint (perhaps someone make a better Community mint Kernel, who knows?).

    And Clem if I understand you Statement right, you have no Problem with it to take Idea’s from other distro’s?!
    So if I take you ask for package-tester for the Community-Repo-Project, why not making something like an Factory-Repo (with future packages for the next Mint-Version too), that will able peaple like me to test Packages an mack bug-reports, so the preparation for the next Mint-Version will be at a parallel time as the next-Ubuntu-Version development. What will improve the Quality and reduce the release-time.

    For example with the Felicia-Repo I’m able to transform, with very little glitches Jaunty in a Patchwork-Mint, but I we had a Factory-Repo that little glitches can already fixed, and tested.

    And I will ask in that way to, to be involved as Tester for the Project: her I can test with Mint6 64bit on my main PC and on my Laptop the 32bit Packages. (I can too test the Packages from other Mint-Version’s in VirtualBox)

  8. Hey Clem and Husse and whomever else is out there, I’d very much like to start packaging. I’ve already created a few things from source and made my own .deb or two but I’ve no idea whether I’m doing it right.

    I’ll ask on the mailing list as I did in the forums if anyone might want to help me get started.

    Awesome to see this.

  9. Daniel: That’s a good point and it’s very easy to do. Right now we’re set up to open community sections of the Elyssa and Felicia repos. All I have to do is to open the one for Gloria as well. I’ve traditionally used the Romeo section of the +1 repository to do just that, I see no problem in having the community help out using the Community section of the +1 release. Let’s take that on the mailing list (as soon as it’s set up) and I’ll have it done in no time.

  10. Dave: Great, don’t hesitate to present yourself on the mailing list as soon as it’s set up. There’ll be a lot of talks about how to do things and the conventions you want to use (and define). We’ll talk about all this and we’ll set up a place on the wiki to keep track about it.

  11. Ooooh… I’ve always wanted to give back somehow! I only wish I had more experience since I have only recently begun learning programming, and have no idea about anything on the development side. Maybe I’ll find something else to help with. Mint is amazing and I’m proud to be around such a lovely precocious distro!

  12. I think the screencasting team could very well be part of the mintcast team too. It would allow us to move to provide overview of tools and software and still be informative. We could then also move to video podcasts and still provide mp3’s of the shows.
    IMO if Mint starts getting too many separate “support” sites I think it might get too confusing for new people.

    Just a thought.

  13. rothgar: mintCast members are welcome to join this new project. If it turns out the active people in both teams are more or less the same, of course we’ll merge the two projects. But right now, you guys are doing a fantastic job and there’s only been a few of you that have been constantly involved/active in mintCast. I’d rather have you focused on the podcast and see if someone else wants to take the lead on this new one. Of course, if you feel like taking both projects and if you think you’ll have enough time for them then I’ll be delighted to be wrong 🙂

  14. in regards to the “repository project”, Ubuntu has the Edbuntu upgrade disc. It actually doesnt have a lot of stuff on their. But what if we could poll all of the user of felica. Find out what the top 10 programs are. As long as its not something huge like americas army, then perhaps we could bundle a stack of tools onto a separate disc. Just going through the software portal, The most popular programs are:
    hotbabe, pear pc, avant, childsplay?

    Something like this might reduce the amount of time it takes to upgrade from the future Gloria to the next release perhaps?
    Does anyone else out there think this idea could be useful or shall i hang my head in shame.

  15. I fall into the second category of the repo group mentioned above: “People who can test software and report on how well it works”. There are several things that I use (eg: OOo3, Transmission) – someone else made the .deb packages for it – that work for me with no problems. There are also few that do not have .deb (Conky), but they do work. I just don’t know what is the next step: how much testing do I need to do, how do I “move” it from their repo to the Mint repo?

  16. I always wanted something like “mintMagazine” or “mintMag”. I really like podcasts but even when it comes to solving of problems, you are happy when you can copy and paste a lot code 🙂 Like a monthly short magazine with hints, news, you could call it a combination of mintCast, mintBlog and the outstanding german ubuntu help wiki .

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