Linux Mint 13 Maya Arrives a Week After RC Release

The Linux Mint blog has announced the release of Linux Mint 13 codenamed Maya. Maya saw an RC release just a week ago, and this final release came sooner than expected. There have only been a few minor bug fixes from the RC release.

Linux Mint 13 Maya sports some interesting features. The boot splash screen on Mint 13 has been replaced with a black screen that shows nothing. The Mint ISO image is no longer 700 MB in size, and so it cannot be burned to a CD. However, there is a guide on remastering Linux Mint by removing extra packages and shrinking the ISO size. Mint4Win, the Windows installer for Linux Mint is functional only on the 64-bit ISOs, although it is present on both the 64-bit and the 32-bit version.


Although based on Ubuntu, Linux Mint is competing head on with it and surpasses Ubuntu by a huge margin in Distrowatch page hit ranking. Now, that is not an accurate indicator of who is using which of Linux Mint and Ubuntu but it might be an indicator of the popularity of these Linux distros. Linux Mint is indeed popular.

Linux Mint Maya is available for download from both torrents and HTTP mirrors. All the download links are provided at this page. Existing users can upgrade from a previous version of Linux Mint using this guide.

Linux Mint Team Releases the First Stable Version of Cinnamon

Linux Mint has been trying to move away from Gnome 3 and did not even consider Unity as an option, when it comes to the desktop environment. About a month ago, we came to know that Clement Lefebvre at Linux Mint is trying to create a custom desktop environment for Linux Mint, called Cinnamon. The latest word is that the first version of Cinnamon has been released officially.

Linux Mint has made earlier attempts at a decent desktop environment by improving on Gnome 3. They created Mint Gnome Shell Extension (MGSE), and it was shipped with Linux Mint 12. However, Clement was not satisfied with MGSE, and wrote on the Linux Mint forum saying:

I am not going to argue whether Gnome Shell is a good or a bad desktop. It’s just not what we’re looking for. The user experience the Gnome team is trying to create isn’t the one we’re interested in providing to our users. There are core features and components we absolutely need, and because they are not there in Gnome Shell, we had to add them using extensions with MGSE.

Thus came Cinnamon version 1.2, the first stable release on Cinnamon. With this release of Cinnamon, the API and the desktop are fully stable. However, it is not the only product that the Mint team has in plan. They want to build a complete desktop-environment ecosystem with themes, applets, extensions, user ratings and comments.

Now that Cinnamon is out, it is definite that this will be the default desktop environment on Linux Mint 13. Linux Mint has overtaken Ubuntu as the most popular Linux distro, and the war is clearly between these two Debian flavors. With further development, we will see a tough competition between the HUD enabled Unity and the feature rich Cinnamon.

Linux Mint Aims to Take Gnome Beyond MGSE, Planning a New Desktop Environment Called Calls Cinnamon

Nowadays, it is a well known fact that everyone in the Linux world is parting ways with Gnome 3. Even Canonical has preferred Unity to Gnome 3 for the last two Ubuntu releases, believing its users will master the steep learning curve of Unity. Linus Torvalds himself has given up on Gnome 3 and clearly, Gnome 3 is not the desktop environment of the future. To clear this desktop environment confusion and save the world, Clement ClemLefebvre from the Linux Mint project has decided to create a usable Gnome Shell called Cinnamon.

Linux Mint 11 shipped with Gnome 2. However, this time, Linux Mint 12 featured Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE), which was the first step away from Gnome for Mint. Although MGSE used an underlying layer of Gnome 3, it was skinned heavily with extensions. MGSE was received well as it makes the desktop much more usable.

Clem writes on the Linux Mint forum saying,

I am not going to argue whether Gnome Shell is a good or a bad desktop. It’s just not what we’re looking for. The user experience the Gnome team is trying to create isn’t the one we’re interested in providing to our users. There are core features and components we absolutely need, and because they are not there in Gnome Shell, we had to add them using extensions with MGSE.

Cinnamon is still in alpha stage, but it carries the features that we saw in MGSE. It is based on the Gnome shell 3.2.1 and with Cinnamon, Linux Mint will bring something that competes with modern desktop environments like Unity, without compromising on usability. If everything goes well, Cinnamon will make its first appearance on Linux Mint 13.

Linux Mint 12 with GNOME 3 and MGSE Released

After beta testing for three weeks, the Linux Mint team has released the final stable build of Mint 12 (codenamed Lisa). Mint initially gained popularity thanks to its clever mixture of beauty and productivity. With Lisa, the Mint team is trying to pull off another delicate balancing act. Mint 12 adopts the new GNOME 3 desktop environment, but slaps its own MGSE (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions) layer on top of it to retain the familiarity and power of the GNOME 2 desktop environment.

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, which uses its own Unity desktop environment that, in some ways, differs radically from the traditional desktop paradigm. Both GNOME 3 and Unity has proved to be controversial as they often break the traditional task based workflow. In fact, the backlash against GNOME 3 and Unity has helped boost Mint’s popularity in a big way. According to Distrowatch, Mint is now the most popular desktop Linux distribution, ahead of Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu.


Lisa also includes MATE, which is a fork of GNOME 2 that is compatible with GNOME 3. However, MATE is still a work in progress and isn’t entirely stable.

Mint 12 features DuckDuckGo, which is my favorite search engine, as the default search provider. The Mint team has decided to exclude search engines with which it couldn’t reach a revenue sharing agreement. However, it has also made installation of additional search engines easier than ever before, in case you are not comfortable with default providers. Other changes to Mint include new artwork and theme.

You can grab Linux Mint 12 from any of the mirrors listed here.

Linux Mint 12 Preview Appears After Weeks of Hush-hush Secrecy

Linux Mint is an elegant Linux-distro based on Ubuntu, which is in turn based on Debian. Its release usually follows Ubuntu releases. However, the release of Linux Mint 12 (following Ubuntu Oneiric) has been delayed and people have been left clueless because of no communication from the Linux Mint team. Finally, the Mint blog broke the secrecy yesterday, and has given a preview of  what is to come.

I would like to apologize to the community, the media, and the journalists who wrote to us to know more about our upcoming release. We have been extremely secretive and 3 weeks past the Ubuntu release, it is still unclear for most people exactly what the next Linux Mint will look like. The reason we have been so silent is because we did not want to promise something we could not guarantee.

The story so far


Linux Mint has recorded an impressive 40% increase in market share in a month. We can easily guess that these are disgruntled Ubuntu users disappointed at the poor usability factor of Unity. The Mint team deserves credit for doing it right. Sticking to an older version of Gnome was not an option, as it would have lost support very soon. Linux Mint has rightfully decided to go with Gnome 3, but with their customization on top. Their main concern has always been:

How do we make people like Gnome 3? And what do we provide as an alternative to those who still do not want to change?

Gnome 3 is facing the same struggle as any change. It is facing resistance and Linux Mint aims to make Gnome more usable. They have addressed it with elegance and have presented Gnome 3, modified into a more usable version- MGSE.

Linux Mint 11 KDE To Be Based On Debian Not Kubuntu

Linux Mint is an easy to use Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu. One of the main advantage of Linux Mint has been its polish and ease of use. Recently with Ubuntu adopting the Unity UI, many Ubuntu users have migrated to Linux Mint.

linux-mint-logo Yesterday, the Linux Mint developers have announced that they will not base Linux Mint 11 KDE on Kubuntu. Instead, it will be based on Debian. It is worth remembering here that Ubuntu itself is based on Debian. By going to Debian directly, Linux Mint is cutting out the polish and features that Ubuntu brings.

Then why are they moving to Debian? Simple, the Kubuntu base needed too much resource and lacked performance. Kubuntu has never enjoyed a good reputed among KDE SC users. Most users of KDE SC will tell you that Kubuntu is one of the worst distributions for KDE.

Another issue that the Linux Mint developers have found is that the installer in Kubuntu has had a regression and cannot detect other operating systems. This will cause a big problem for new users and a big annoyance for more advance users.

Because of these issues, it has been decided that the next version Linux Mint 11 KDE will be based on Linux Mint Debian Edition (or LMDE as it is more commonly known).

No definite date for the release of Linux Minth 11 KDE has been set yet.


FOSS Friday – Fedora 15 Released, Linux Mint 11 Released And More

This week, we saw a lot of releases ranging from the release of Fedora 15 “Lovelock” to Puppy Linux Wary 5.1.2. Here are the main events that took place this week in the world of Free and Open Source Software.

Fedora 15 “Lovelock”

Six months after the release of Fedora 14, Fedora 15 “Lovelock” was released earlier this week. This is a very significant release not only for Fedora but for GNOME as well because it is the first major Linux distribution with GNOME Shell as the default desktop. Although, GNOME Shell is the most obvious change in Fedora 15, there are also a number of improvements under the hood such as the adoption of systemd, consistent network naming scheme etc. Read our coverage of the release for more details.

MeeGo to get Wayland this year

This is big news for both MeeGo and Wayland. The chief developer and creator of Wayland has announced that MeeGo might switch over to Wayland by October this year. Wayland is a replacement for the X Display Server which is more efficient and does not have the baggage that comes with X’s legacy supports. Refer this article for more details.

KDE SC 4.7 Beta was released for testing

KDE continues to develop the KDE platform at a very rapid pace. This week, they have released the first beta of KDE SC 4.7. The release has three important new features – improved offline search in Marble, GRUB2 integration in KDM and OpenGL-ES 2.0 support for KWin. The final release of KDE SC 4.7 is expected in June this year. Read this article for more details.

Linux 2.6.x series to end

Linus Torvalds has expressed his desire to end the current Linux 2.6.x series. The Linux 2.6.x series has been in development for more than seven years and has seen 39 releases till date. Torvalds said that the number has become too big and he is considering changing it to either 2.8 or 3.0. The suggestion to bump the version number to 3.x has been gaining good support as it can also mean the third decade of Linux development. More here.

Linux Mint 11 “Katya” Released – No Unity or GNOME 3

Linux Mint 11, codenamed “Katya” was released earlier this week. One of the main talking points of the release was not a new feature – rather the lack of it. Although Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, Linux Mint 11 has been released with the classic GNOME desktop. Linux Mint 11 also comes with many improvements such as better software manager and update manager. Read more here.

Puppy Linux Wary 5.1.2 Released

Puppy Linux Wary is yet another Linux distribution that was released this week. Although it is not nearly as popular as Fedora or Linux Mint, Puppy Linux has its own dedicated followers. The release is based on Puppy Linux 5 and has better hardware detection and a new experimental non-root account. Read more here.

Real time strategy game, 0 A.D., reaches 5th Alpha

0 A.D. is a real-time cross-platform strategy game which has been in development for sometime. A fifth alpha of the game has been released and it has better lighting in the game, new map, new faction etc. You can read more about it here. You can also read our previous article on 0 A.D. here.

Linux Mint 11 “Katya” Released – No Unity Or GNOME Shell

Just a few minutes ago, Linux Mint 11 “Katya” has been released. Linux Mint is a derivative of Ubuntu which comes with the restricted packages that are not installed in Ubuntu such as audio codecs, video codecs, Flash etc. In short, Linux Mint is an Ubuntu derivative aimed at the new users.

New Features

Linux Mint 11 is based on Ubuntu 11.04 but it does not use Unity. It does not use GNOME Shell either – it still uses the classic GNOME 2 desktop. This makes Linux Mint a viable choice for the many people who do not like either Unity or GNOME Shell.


Software Manager in Linux Mint 11

The Software Manager in Linux Mint 11 has received a lot of improvements. Not only does the new Software Manager look good – it is also more functional. The applications are now given a more accurate description. This is important as most of the Linux Mint users are likely to be new to Linux and would not know all the applications available. The search feature has also been improved to give more accurate results.


The Update Manager in Linux Mint 11 has been given a performance boost. The three steps used by the previous Update Manager has now been reduced to just one in this release. In the previous versions of the Update Manager, it first checks the internet connection, downloads the packages rules and then check for package updates. In the new Update Manager, the package rules are embedded in the Update Manager itself so that it does not have to be downloaded every time. When there is a change in the rule, an update for the Update Manager is released. The dependency handling has also been improved in the new Update Manager. This makes it easier to fix broken packages.

Linux Mint 11 has a new command called apt-download. What apt-download does is downloads the package along with the dependencies and store them locally. I am still not sure when this could be useful.

Changes in the default applications

Here is a brief list of the changes in the default applications in Linux Mint 11:

  • LibreOffice replaces
  • gThumb is the default photo viewer.
  • Banshee is the default music player.
  • Gwibber has been removed.

Looks And Theme


Linux Mint 11 “Katya” Desktop



Linux Mint 11 uses the same theme as Linux Mint 10. However, it comes with a new default wallpaper. Those who have used Ubuntu 11.04 will also notice that Linux Mint 11 also uses the overlay scrollbars.

The Linux Mint team has decided to remove the plymouth boot screen. Instead of the animated boot screen, Linux mint will only have a black screen. According to the developers, because the speed at which many computers boots, the boot screen animation is not generally visible or if visible does not complete the animation giving it an unprofessional look.


You can download Linux Mint 11 “Katya” through torrent. The links are given below:

Linux Mint 11 32-bit DVD

Linux Mint 11 64-bit DVD

Linux Mint 11 32-bit CD

Linux Mint 11 64-bit CD

Note: The CD images does not contain the restricted codecs.

Linux Mint 11 Release Candidate Available For Download

Today the first release candidate of Linux Mint 11, codenamed Katya, has been released. Linux Mint 11 is based on Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” which was released late last month.

Like Ubuntu 11.04, Linux Minth 11 RC is based on GNOME 2.32. However, Linux Mint 11 does not use Unity and has the classic GNOME desktop instead. According to Linux Mint lead developer, Clement Lefebvre, they decided to stick with GNOME 2 because GNOME 3 still has compatibility issues, regression and missing features. Linux Mint 11 RC uses Linux 2.6.38 and Xorg 7.6.

New features in Linux Mint 11 includes the following:

  • Software Manager – The Software Manager in Linux Mint 11 RC has been made more polished and the main screen features bigger icons and new categories. The application screen has also been vastly improved and like the Software Manager in Ubuntu 11.04, it now supports rating and reviews.
  • Update Manager – The Update Manager has had some refactoring and code changes. Because of the changes, the Update Manager now checks for only package updates, making it much faster. The new Update Manager also handles dependencies now.

Linux Mint 11 also has some system improvements such as apt-download, which is used for downloading .deb packages with dependencies and storing them locally. An interesting feature in Linux Mint 11 is that users of the 32-bit build can install both the stable build and the unstable build and then switch between them easily.

The default applications that are included in Linux Mint 11 has also been changed slightly from that of Linux Mint 10. Gwibber is no longer installed by default. Like in Ubuntu 11.04, Rhythmbox has been removed to make way for Banshee and LibreOffice has been included in place of

Currently, Release Candidate has a few known problems such as GNOME theme failing to load, problems with adding PPAs etc. These will be sorted out before the final release which is expected before the end of this month.

You can go through the release note and the mirrors for download from here.

Linux Mint 10 Julia Now Available for Download

The latest incarnation of Linux Mint, the popular Ubuntu based distro, is out. Linux Mint 10, which has been codenamed Julia, is based on Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat), and is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

Last month, we previewed the release candidate (RC) build of Julia. As in previous editions, the final build contains only minor fixes. In fact, if you have already installed the RC build, you don’t even need to download the new build. Simply applying all Level 1 and Level 2 patches from the update manager will suffice.


Aside from the upstream changes, the biggest change in Linux Mint 10 is the user interface. The Shiki theme has been replaced with a new metallic theme called Mint-X. Other changes include an improved mintMenu, software manager, update manager and upload manager.

[ Download Linux Mint 10 Julia ]