So far Linux Mint has been using trivial repositories. Although they were simple to use and to maintain they were not flexible enough and were causing limitations. One of these limitation was the unability to “pin” repositories. For instance to ensure the Mint version of Firefox would hide the Ubuntu one, we had to artificially increase the version number from to 2.0.06. These kind of dirty tricks worked fine but it was time to address the problem.

Another problem was the duplication of packages between releases.

For instance Cassandra and Celena shared the same package base so they were compatible with the same packages. Duplicating all our packages for those two releases took space on the server.

Daryna is now using a “pooled” repository organized into 3 components:

  • main (all packages developped by Linux Mint, ex: mintinstall)
  • upstream (all packages coming from Ubuntu and patched by Linux Mint, ex: firefox)
  • import (all packages added from 3rd party sources, ex: envy)

2 additional components are also present but won’t be activated by default:

  • community (all packages coming from the community or developped for a community edition, ex: sunbird-mint)
  • backport (only used once a newer release is out to accept new versions of packages)

As a consequence, in your sources.list you should change :

deb daryna/


deb daryna main upstream import

#deb daryna community backport

# deb-src daryna main upstream import

#deb-src daryna community backport

Romeo will also change, starting from Daryna. Its components will represent the different Mint releases.

For instance, to get access to the Romeo packages for Daryna, you’ll use:

deb romeo daryna

#deb-src romeo daryna

The old Daryna repository is still present but will be removed when Daryna becomes stable.  Romeo will be removed as well. Bianca, Cassandra and Celena will stay the way they are.

With this new repository we’re now able to pin Mint against Ubuntu and give it a higher priority.

This enables us to maintain our own packages without having to worry of future Ubuntu updates.

As Firefox is getting close to version 3.0 it was decided there was no real reason to downgrade back to 2.0.0.x. When comes out we’ll release 2.0.09, when 3.0 comes out we’ll start fresh with the real version number.

I hope this is not too confusing 🙂 Everything will be transparent to you if you perform a fresh install of Daryna and for people who upgrade instructions will be very detailed on the subject.

mintUpdate is now stable and ready to be included in the upcoming Daryna.

Version 1.2 is compatible with Celena and Cassandra and solves the problem of un-educated upgrades.

Compared to the Ubuntu Update Manager, mintUpdate is faster, less intrusive (it doesn’t use notifications for instance), gives more information about packages and is more configurable. It also focuses solely on packages updates and not on distribution upgrades.

Packages are divided into 5 levels corresponding to the level of risk they represent for the user. For instance a level 5 update can potentially affect the stability of the system. With mintUpdate users choose which level they trust, which are selected by default, and even which levels are visible. If a user doesn’t want to be notified about level 4 or 5 updates, he simply won’t see them. This system gives more power to the user and at the same time more information.

All Cassandra/Celena users still using the Ubuntu Update Manager are invited to get rid of it and to install mintUpdate 1.2:

The decision to remove the Ubuntu Update Manager in Celena was controversial and generated a lot of comments. Some of these comments were quite aggressive and I personally felt bullied by some of them. I was surprised to even see people like Helios from computer4kids and lobby4linux join the crowd and send cynical criticism. To these people: I hope you now see the big picture. You can disagree with the dev team on their decisions but you should know we work hard at making Mint better, and nothing else. I personally won’t accept that kind of bullying in the future.