The MintBox Mini just got better again!

Based on the Compulab Fitlet2, the new Mini is just as small as the original MintBox Mini and the MintBox Mini Pro but with much better specifications, better performance and a few more features.

The top heatsink is slightly taller than before for the all-metal black housing to provide better passive cooling for the upgraded specs. The small size of the unit is still very impressive. Here it is next to a cup of coffee:

You just can’t get used to how small it is.

Just as before, the unit is completely silent and it has no fans or moveable parts. It’s also dust and humidity resistant and designed to operate at the full industrial temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. The warranty from Compulab is the same as before: an unconditional 5 years.

The dual-band antennas and the kensington lock moved to the right side. The front of the unit provides two USB 3.0 ports, audio and micro jacks and a microSD slot.

The front also has two LEDs, which can be Green, Orange, Green and Orange or which can be turned OFF. This is done via GPIO. If you know how to program or you’re OK with bash scripting, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this and use these LEDs as indicators (for incoming emails, internal core temperature, updates available… etc).

At the back we find the following ports: two USB 2.0, two Gigabit Ethernet, RS232 serial port, HDMI 1.4 (4K@30Hz) and mini-DP 1.2 (4K@60Hz).

The previous MintBox Mini had 5 USB ports but only one USB 3.0 port at the front and one at the back. While the USB 2.0 ports at the back can be used for static devices such as a printer, a mouse or a keyboard, it’s really convenient to have the faster USB 3.0 ports at the front for external storage devices.

The two Ethernet ports are side by side now. That’s a plus if you’re connected to two LAN networks or if you use the unit as a router or a network appliance. No more CAT5 cables connecting on the side.

Display connectivity was given a boost. The maximum resolution via HDMI is higher than before, and the replacement of the second HDMI port with a Mini DisplayPort makes the unit more versatile and allows it to connect to more than 2 monitors.

Inside the unit, an Intel 8260 chipset provides WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2.

The RAM is upgradeable to 16GB. Similar to previous MintBox and Compulab devices, it’s really easy to open the unit.

 

The CPU is a quad-core Apollo-Lake Intel Celeron J3455 with embedded Intel HD Graphics 500.

This is a great architecture and it gives the MintBox Mini 2 a significant boost in performance over the MintBox Mini Pro and the original MintBox Mini. Here’s a comparison of the Geekbench 4 scores for the three units running an Alpha version of Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon 64-bit:

 

 

The BIOS will feature a Linux Mint splash screen to integrate nicely with the rest of the boot sequence.

Two configurations will be available: The “MintBox Mini 2” and the “MintBox Mini 2 Pro”.

The “MintBox Mini 2” will replace the “MintBox Mini” at roughly the same price:

MintBox Mini MintBox Mini 2
SSD 64GB 64GB
RAM 4GB 4GB
CPU A4-Micro 6400T Intel Celeron J3455
Graphics Radeon R3 (dual HDMI) Intel HD Graphics 500 (HDMI+miniDP)
Ethernet Gigabit Dual Gigabit
Wireless 802.11n Dual-band 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2
Price $295 $299

 

The “MintBox Mini 2 Pro” will replace the “MintBox Mini Pro” at a cheaper price:

MintBox Mini Pro MintBox Mini 2 Pro
SSD 120GB 120GB
RAM 8GB 8GB
CPU A10-Micro 6700T Intel Celeron J3455
Graphics Radeon R6 (dual HDMI) Intel HD Graphics 500 (HDMI+miniDP)
Ethernet Gigabit Dual Gigabit
Wifi Dual-band 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0 Dual-band 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2
Price $395 $349

 

The MintBox Mini 2 and the MintBox Mini 2 Pro will ship with Linux Mint 19.

They’re expected to be available Worldwide along with the release of Linux Mint 19, around June 2018.

The development team took some time earlier this year to investigate Cinnamon’s performance when it comes to launching applications.

It’s really hard to measure the actual time between the moment the mouse button is clicked and the moment the new application is rendered on the screen, with its window properly mapped, and the mapping window animation completely finished. It’s not something that can be timed accurately, yet we all agreed within the development team to say that it either “was”, or “felt” snappier in MATE and Xfce.

At the time, we didn’t know if it was just down to perception (animations, composition), or a feature (registering new apps with the session for instance), or a performance issue.

We developed a little script and a method to measure how long it took to flood the desktop environment with the creation of 200 windows. We could then measure the time reported by the script to build these 200 windows, and the time it actually took the desktop environment to recover from it and have these windows placed/mapped correctly and ready to be interacted with.

Both measures were significantly higher in Cinnamon than in other desktops.

Here’s how Cinnamon compared to Metacity:

  • Windows build time: 1s in Metacity, 4s in Cinnamon.
  • Recovery time: 6s in Metacity, 22s in Cinnamon.

From there, our work was simple. We had to find what made Cinnamon slower and get these numbers down.

We first started by elimination and identified that the following suspects had nothing to do with it:

  • HiDPI support
  • Theme complexity
  • Effects/Animations
  • Applets/Desklets

We then measured Muffin on its own (Muffin is the library used by Cinnamon to implement the window manager, but it can also be run on its own, without the rest of Cinnamon) and found out that although the performance was better than in Cinnamon, the numbers were higher than with Metacity. We therefore had performance issues both in Muffin and in Cinnamon.

In Muffin, we were able to apply two upstream commits from GNOME which helped tremendously.

In Cinnamon, 4 commits fixed bottlenecks in the window list and the panel launchers.

The technical analysis is available at https://github.com/linuxmint/Cinnamon/pull/7251.

After these changes the numbers were down and Cinnamon was just as fast as Metacity to build the 200 windows and recover.

In addition to this, the team also took the opportunity to improve the window animations. Although they weren’t responsible for any delay, they had an impact on perception. The new animations look cleaner and along with the performance improvements they make Cinnamon feel snappier than before.

Many thanks to all the donors and sponsors who help fund our project. We received close to 500 donations in January. Many thanks to you for your support.

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsors:
Private Internet Access
Gold Sponsors:
Linux VPS Hosting
Silver Sponsors:

Acunetix
Sucuri
Bronze Sponsors:
Vault Networks *
AYKsolutions Server & Cloud Hosting
7L Networks Toronto Colocation *
Goscomb
BGASoft Inc
David Salvo
Community Sponsors:

 

Donations in January:

A total of $10,907 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 498 donors:

$544, Pascal S.
$218, George B.
$218, Renato R.
$150 (22nd donation), Wolfgang P.
$109 (2nd donation), Antonio T.
$109, Marcus H.
$109, Stephanie D.
$109, Nikolai K.
$100 (10th donation), Samson S. aka “Samtastic”
$100 (9th donation), Philip W.
$100 (4th donation), Sean O.
$100 (2nd donation), John T.
$100, David J.
$100, Ronald O.
$100, Jeffrey C.
$100, Clark V.
$100, Jan-erik Ö.
$100, Glenn S.
$100, Nicholas R.
$100, Nicolas S.
$100, Bc B.
$87, Tilman K.
$75 (4th donation), John M.
$65, Joachim K.
$60, Björn K.
$54 (4th donation), Hans-georg T.
$54 (2nd donation), C J. V.
$54 (2nd donation), Marco G.
$54, Enzo P
$54, Victor S.
$54, Polinices-CAT
$54, Robert M.
$54, José L. R. P. aka “NoisyDad”
$54, Arttu H.
$50 (23rd donation), Anthony C. aka “ciak”
$50 (7th donation), Thomas T. aka “FullTimer1489”
$50 (6th donation), Stephen A.
$50 (5th donation), Michael K. S.
$50 (4th donation), Wade T.
$50 (2nd donation), Risto S.
$50 (2nd donation), Rob U.
$50 (2nd donation), 진구 봉
$50, Martin B.
$50, Regis F.
$50, JR
$50, Shilpa R.
$50, Roberto L. P.
$50, Joseph N.
$50, Stacey F.
$50, Gilles G.
$50, Michael B.
$50, Gary H.
$50, Peter P.
$50, Michael K.
$50, Vivian Z.
$50, Charles W.
$50, Katherine S.
$50, Erwin D.
$50, Claus M.
$50, H. J. M.
$50, Aris A.
$45 (2nd donation), Samuel R.
$45, William D.
$45, Paul S.
$45, Dale K.
$44, Paul G.
$44, Erwin Lammenett eCommerce Berater
$40 (4th donation), Roberto O. L.
$40 (2nd donation), Northern Mike
$40, Robert T.
$35 (3rd donation), Cristian P.
$35, Martin D.
$35, Thomas S.
$33 (95th donation), Olli K.
$33 (6th donation), Tomas S.
$33 (3rd donation), Andrew L.
$33 (3rd donation), Florentino A. P.
$33 (2nd donation), Eusebio G. G.
$33, Anton M.
$33, Robert K.
$33, Tim F.
$33, Wouter W.
$30 (5th donation), Nasser Bader aka “VIRUS
$30 (2nd donation), Nigel T.
$30 (2nd donation), Brian H.
$30 (2nd donation), Griffin C.
$30, Elizabeth D.
$30, Aminah B.
$30, Justin P.
$30, Dennis J.
$30, Neil C.
$30, Chris S.
$30, John H.
$27 (7th donation), Douglas T.
$27 (6th donation), Roger D. P. aka “Linux Users Group Monitor Niel
$27 (3rd donation), Erwin v K. aka “Erwin vK”
$27 (3rd donation), Andreas M.
$27 (2nd donation), Heinrich S.
$27 (2nd donation), Jacobus J. A.
$27 (2nd donation), David A.
$27, Emil S. U.
$27, Thomas N.
$27, Christian S.
$27, Frank R.
$27, Ronny D.
$27, Thomas B.
$26 (2nd donation), Timo R.
$25 (78th donation), Ronald W.
$25 (5th donation), Frances K.
$25 (5th donation), Larry Jones aka “LarryJ2
$25 (4th donation), Lennart J.
$25 (3rd donation), Roy V. K.
$25 (2nd donation), John V.
$25, Nicholas M.
$25, Kirk S.
$25, Carlos Q.
$25, Kenneth C.
$25, Mattias A.
$25, Pantaleon C.
$25, Jerson F.
$25, Dickie L.
$25, Paul F.
$25, David M.
$25, Andrew Z.
$25, William B.
$25, Andrew P.
$25, Viv H.
$25, Gabriel S.
$25, Mark C.
$25, Retrojunkie’s
$25, Dean W.
$25, Allan M. aka “trini64”
$23, Toralv C. L.
$22 (12th donation), Derek R.
$22 (5th donation), Michael S.
$22 (4th donation), Gabriele Bandini aka “GiBi Gab
$22 (3rd donation), Elisabeth K.
$22 (3rd donation), Rossella C.
$22 (3rd donation), Martin W.
$22 (2nd donation), Sebastian R.
$22 (2nd donation), Reinhold L.
$22 (2nd donation), Frank G.
$22 (2nd donation), Rob B.
$22, Matthias B.
$22, Sebastian S.
$22, Bert D. B.
$22, John K.
$22, Jean-paul Q. aka “mammoutux
$22, Magne A. E.
$22, William A.
$22, Matthias V.
$22, Giorgi M.
$22, Pierre-emmanuel V.
$22, Johannes T.
$22, Leiv O. B.
$22, Roberto M.
$22, David M.
$22, Wolfgang K.
$22, Milli F.
$22, Eckhard L.
$22, Robert H.
$22, Karl K.
$22, Günter C. K.
$22, Simone F.
$22, Bernd W.
$22, Peter S.
$20 (6th donation), Andy N.
$20 (5th donation), Justin Oros
$20 (5th donation), Robert K.
$20 (4th donation), Peter R.
$20 (3rd donation), Benjamin P.
$20 (3rd donation), Jeff M.
$20 (3rd donation), Ian M.
$20 (3rd donation), Steven C.
$20 (2nd donation), WL aka “blewtiga001”
$20 (2nd donation), Edmond U.
$20 (2nd donation), GrowthPath Pty Ltd
$20 (2nd donation), Ross C.
$20 (2nd donation), M. H. .
$20 (2nd donation), L. W.
$20 (2nd donation), Derek B.
$20, Andrew F.
$20, Блинов Р.
$20, Larry J.
$20, Joseph D.
$20, George V.
$20, Robert P.
$20, Ralph B.
$20, Thomas C.
$20, Norman J.
$20, Ted J.
$20, A P. B. aka “AnnieB”
$20, Anthony C.
$20, July Z.
$20, Thomas B.
$20, Steven B.
$20, Thomas D.
$20, Mads H. S.
$20, Michael P.
$20, William D. B.
$20, Ron C.
$20, John S.
$20, Beat H.
$20, Lance M.
$20, Edwin M.
$20, James R.
$20, Wayne B.
$20, Maria M.
$20, Jason B.
$19.21, Timothy A.
$19 (3rd donation), Candelario E. aka “CE”
$18.44, David S.
$18.3 (11th donation), Anton W. aka “redant
$18.2 (10th donation), Anton W. aka “redant
$18.2 (9th donation), Anton W. aka “redant
$16 (13th donation), Francisco L. D. A.
$16 (4th donation), Antonio aka “pengu73”
$16, Marc A.
$16, Francesc M. C.
$16, Jean-francois L.
$16, Kristinn S.
$16, Wladimir B.
$16, Mirco U.
$16, Peter L.
$15 (15th donation), Stefan M. H.
$15 (4th donation), G&A
$15 (3rd donation), Kirk W.
$15 (3rd donation), Marius G.
$15, Lal C.
$15, Niklas P.
$15, Toni S.
$15, Rodrigo P. G.
$15, Joshua J.
$15, Don B.
$13 (21st donation), Anonymous
$13, Lukas S.
$13, Thorsten K.
$13, Frank R.
$12 (82th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
$12 (28th donation), JobsHiringnearMe
$12 (14th donation), Jim A.
$12 (12th donation), Johann J.
$12, Jiri K.
$11 (7th donation), Ray
$11 (6th donation), Roy S.
$11 (6th donation), Marc V. K.
$11 (6th donation), EB
$11 (5th donation), Alan B.
$11 (5th donation), EB
$11 (4th donation), Alexander Lang
$11 (3rd donation), Alessandro L.
$11 (3rd donation), Michiel B.
$11 (3rd donation), Davide A.
$11 (2nd donation), H&R Project
$11 (2nd donation), Florent V.
$11 (2nd donation), auto-platz
$11 (2nd donation), Andrea M.
$11 (2nd donation), Justo G.
$11 (2nd donation), Lotte
$11 (2nd donation), Nils B.
$11 (2nd donation), John O.
$11 (2nd donation), ccm
$11 (2nd donation), M. B. .
$11 (2nd donation), Slobodan Vrkacevic
$11 (2nd donation), Uwe K.
$11, Rafael M. C.
$11, Thanasis S.
$11, Patrik H.
$11, Francesco G.
$11, Oliver E.
$11, Georgios F.
$11, Fabian K.
$11, anonymous
$11, Miguel Á. M.
$11, José D. B. M.
$11, Jürgen K.
$11, Roman S.
$11, Axel D.
$11, Burkhard A.
$11, Long-hai L.
$11, Willem G. D. L.
$11, Luis M. M. I.
$11, Antonin L.
$11, Frederik K.
$11, B.S Andras Levente aka “Țuți”
$11, Stefano B.
$11, Stefan W.
$11, Philippe T. D. M.
$10 (26th donation), Thomas C.
$10 (17th donation), Frank K.
$10 (17th donation), Paul O.
$10 (10th donation), Terrance G.
$10 (7th donation), Jerry G.
$10 (5th donation), Eskild T.
$10 (4th donation), Neil E.
$10 (4th donation), Joseph L.
$10 (4th donation), Paul K.
$10 (4th donation), David W.
$10 (4th donation), hotelsnearbyme.net
$10 (3rd donation), Michael B.
$10 (3rd donation), Peter L.
$10 (3rd donation), William C.
$10 (3rd donation), Roy D.
$10 (3rd donation), Abigail M.
$10 (3rd donation), Geekoutdoors
$10 (3rd donation), Syed M.
$10 (3rd donation), Xavier Viader Ricós
$10 (2nd donation), James C.
$10 (2nd donation), Renato S.
$10 (2nd donation), Laurence C.
$10 (2nd donation), S K.
$10 (2nd donation), Michael G.
$10 (2nd donation), Erland Ö.
$10 (2nd donation), Alan B.
$10 (2nd donation), Wayne H.
$10, Pablo B.
$10, Douglas N.
$10, P Harder
$10, Mike W.
$10, Garrett R.
$10, Mark Goodson Associates Ltd
$10, Minnigaliev R.
$10, Barry L.
$10, Jacques H.
$10, Alejandro B. S.
$10, Roger H.
$10, Terry H.
$10, James B.
$10, Erick A. A. P.
$10, Eric G.
$10, Mukai N.
$10, Daniel E.
$10, James C.
$10, Yu D.
$10, Roberto R.
$10, Richard L.
$10, Niladri K.
$10, William R.
$10, Todd S.
$10, Peter L.
$10, Paulo Villi
$10, Harold S. F.
$10, Daniel W.
$10, Jere S.
$10, Geoffrey P.
$10, Ron N.
$10, Patrick V. R.
$10, Benoist P.
$10, Chocobo aka “LinuxMint.Com.RU
$10, Richard S.
$10, Якунин С.
$10, Howard K.
$10, Scott O.
$10, Cary V.
$10, Ric D.
$9 (3rd donation), M. H. .
$9 (3rd donation), Michael H. S.
$9, Ricardo
$8, Didier F.
$8, Sebastian C. S.
$7 (4th donation), RexAlan
$6.85, Howard V. D. W.
$6, Roberto A. H. S.
$6, Graham R.
$5 (20th donation), Eugene T.
$5 (17th donation), Todd A aka “thobin”
$5 (16th donation), Jens-uwe R.
$5 (12th donation), Bhavinder Jassar
$5 (9th donation), Dmitry P.
$5 (8th donation), Olaf B.
$5 (8th donation), J. S. .
$5 (7th donation), Blazej P. aka “bleyzer”
$5 (6th donation), Klaus Heckenbach
$5 (5th donation), Laura NL aka “lauranl
$5 (4th donation), Pierre G.
$5 (4th donation), Sergeev A.
$5 (4th donation), Martín P. D. L. G.
$5 (4th donation), Scott L.
$5 (3rd donation), Richard A.
$5 (3rd donation), Michael Chen
$5 (3rd donation), Joseph G.
$5 (3rd donation), Marco B. aka “SecretDungeon
$5 (2nd donation), Gleb from Paderborn
$5 (2nd donation), Peter G.
$5 (2nd donation), Thomas P.
$5 (2nd donation), Marco S.
$5 (2nd donation), ArtGirl
$5 (2nd donation), M. J. .
$5 (2nd donation), Dan K.
$5, Mario C. S.
$5, Sean C.
$5, Justin K.
$5, Logan B.
$5, Dell Laptops & Computers
$5, Antoine L.
$5, Marco A.
$5,
$5, Daniel D.
$5, Marcus A.
$5, Sharafutdinov F.
$5, Thierry Humphrey aka “thyhum
$5, Frank L. J.
$5, Ronald C.
$5, Mika Ruohomäki aka “Bertta
$5, Apostolos M.
$5, Tom G.
$5, Valerii L.
$5, Maurizio C.
$5, Mike R.
$5, Nicholas S.
$5, Sevil A.
$5, Julia K.
$5, Marcos E. S.
$5, Nikola D.
$5, Joel S.
$5, Dimitrios K.
$5, Victor K.
$5, Stephen T.
$5, Fábio N.
$5, Nino
$5, Tomasz R.
$5, Anon
$5, Terence V. R.
$5, Dominique M.
$5, Jan Miszura
$5, Matej
$5, Juan C. B. A.
$5, Marek A.
$5, Georg F.
$4.5 (2nd donation), Arc Helmets
$4, Frederick Z.
$3 (6th donation), selle dressage a vendre
$3 (2nd donation), Alex W.
$3 (2nd donation), Darin aka “mechonster”
$3, Vincent H.
$3, darkfenix
$3, Cássio G. M.
$3, David U.
$3, Giuliano L.
$3, Christopher P.
$2.5 (11th donation), David Y.
$73.22 from 57 smaller donations

If you want to help Linux Mint with a donation, please visit http://www.linuxmint.com/donors.php

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