Upstream improvements – Mint 5

With Ubuntu releasing 8.04 “Hardy” BETA we took a look at the new base and upgraded a Daryna desktop to it to see how it behaved.

The desktop seems faster and more responsive. The kernel is 2.6.24, it comes with CFS, the new linux scheduler and chances are this improves things a lot. Gnome 2.22 also seems snappier and comes with its own compositing effects so you can achieve minimal effects without actually using Compiz (we’re planning to add this to mintDesktop so you can configure this easily).

Rhythmbox 0.11.5 handles Magnatune, Jamendo, Last.fm, online radio, iPod support, podcasts, library monitoring, CD ripping, lyrics, album artwork etc… and it should replace both Amarok and SoundJuicer.

Firefox 3.0 comes with smart bookmarks, uses less RAM than its predecessor and integrates better with Gnome. The system gets the popular PulseAudio and PolicyKit frameworks. Xorg 7.3 provides better auto-configuration and Ubuntu improved the screen configuration tool. Brasero and Deluge should replace Serpentine and the Gnome integrated features for disc burning and torrent downloading. Inkscape isn’t part of the default selection but the new version comes with native PDF support.

Since Daryna most of the mint tools were improved but also localized and made more robust. We focused on stability for this release and although we postponed ambitious designs and innovations for Mint 6 a lot of small yet noticeable improvements made their way into the Mint 5 roadmap. It looks like this also happen with Ubuntu and with quite tangible improvements coming from upstream, in particular from the Gnome and the kernel projects.

We were already excited by the LTS aspects of Mint 5 (which we’re planning to extend, not as a complete rolling distro, but in order to guarantee that most desktop applications stay up to date), by the performance gains of the new mintUpdate, by the new features of mintMenu and mintInstall, by the overall GUI, localization, and stability improvements of our tools. Now we’re seing this new scheduler in action and a brand new Gnome deskop, already nicely integrated together by Ubuntu. What a release Elyssa is going to be! After we merge all these improvements together, Mint 5, and Hardy before it, are going to be real killer releases!

We’ve seen a lot of innovations on the desktop for Linux Mint 4.0, this time the release is going to be equally innovative but with more maturity. If we could ever make the desktop which was going to kill Windows, then this would be it. Ladies and gentlemen prepare yourselves for one of the greatest Ubuntu releases and right after that for one of the best desktops you ever got to see.

Ok, maybe I’m overdoing this a little 🙂 Time will tell, but from what I can see things look extremely promising.

Posted by Linux Admin