Monthly News – March 2017

Many thanks to all the people who donate to us and support our project. We received almost $8,000 in February from 412 people. Many thanks to my fellow developers also and to our partners, it’s a real pleasure to be working with you all.

MintBox Mini Pro and Airtop

Our first impressions of the Mini Pro and the Airtop were right.

A detailed preview of these two computers was posted on Segfault at

I was very impressed with them. Compulab computers have always felt unique and they’ve always been completely silent, but this is the first time one of them is that powerful!

It triggered some changes in the office 🙂


The PDF and document reader, Xreader, is receiving many changes at the moment.

Within the development team, Joseph Mccullar is reviewing its user interface and revamping its sidebar and toolbar.

The application will support dark themes and symbolic icons and new buttons will be added in the toolbar to quickly switch between different view modes.

Peter Moser is fixing many bugs and porting some changes from Atril and Evince.

The application also received touch support. If you’re equipped with a touch screen you’ll be able to zoom by pinching the document or go to the next/previous page by swiping your finger.

Update Manager

We’re improving the Update Manager again.

It still has the same mission and tackles the same issues (keeping your computer safe, providing bug fixes and protecting you from regressions) but it will present things differently.

Levels will be refined to better filter updates depending on their level of impact on the operating system and without worrying about their origin. Most updates will be level 2. Application updates which do not impact the OS will be level 1. Tookits and desktop environments or libraries which affect multiple applications will be level 3. Kernels and sensitive system updates will be level 4. As for level 5 it will be very rare (no updates qualify in there yet and none should unless something goes very wrong upstream) and it will be dedicated to non-recommended broken/dangerous updates.

The Manager will insist on staging and reviewing updates depending on their level. The notion of updates vs regression is central and these core concepts need to be understood by users, but presenting them without enough guidance leads to indecision and incomprehension. We’ve seen bloggers and Debian developers alike completely miss the point on this, so we had to present things differently and make things simpler by adding explicit recommendations here and there for users to make an actual strategy.

A large help section will be shipped with the Update Manager. It will go much more into details than before to make sure core concepts are well understood by users. What are updates? What are regressions? What are the different types of updates? How important are they? What are levels and policies? etc etc…

Regressions will be presented as an inherent aspect of development rather than something users should be scared about. The idea is to contain the regression, to understand what it can affect before experiencing it and to be prepared to tackle it, more so than to avoid it. Levels and policies will be presented in a way that guide users to apply safe updates often, but to review and to apply sensitive updates individually.

Users will be given more information on how to find help, how to distinguish between mandatory and optional updates, security patches and bug fixes.

More information will also be given on kernels and security updates and we will insist on the importance of security. There are a few developers and fanboys out there who are working very hard on giving us the reputation of an unsafe operating system and which recommend our users switch to a distribution which gives no information about regressions and which has been hacked twice as much as ours. It has to stop obviously and so although it is pretty obvious, we will state how important security is, black on white for everyone to see.

Despite a few cosmetic bugs highlighted by Ubuntu’s recent misstep on kernel 4.4.0-67, kernel updates management worked really well in 18.1. The documentation related to kernels will be improved though. We’ll make it clearer how to force grub to appear, how to select a kernel, how to check drivers and DKMS status, and how to remove the kernel you’re currently using.

Last but not least, advanced Linux users will be able to automate updates by writing scripts, routines or cron jobs thanks to a new CLI called “mintupdate-tool”. This tool will support all the features present in the Update Manager including level selection, security updates, kernel updates, blacklisting, and it will let you list and/or apply updates.

Display Manager

Linux Mint 18.2 could ship with LightDM and unity-greeter by default.

We’ve been testing this display manager as an alternative to MDM and adding support where it was missing and the results are promising.

We’ve been developing a tool called lightdm-settings to make it more easily configurable:

The end result isn’t as full-featured, as configurable or themeable as MDM but it looks quite nice.

LightDM brings a feature which we support in Cinnamon already, but which isn’t present with MDM: The ability to open guest-sessions (i.e. if enabled, a guest can log in, his/her user account is created on the fly, no data is saved persistently and everything is gone when he/she logs out).

LightDM’s code and design are modern, its greeter uses modern toolkits and interactions between the greeter and the daemon are much simpler than in MDM.

Just like PulseAudio or Systemd, it’s also a component which has become standard in most Linux distributions.

Ubuntu hardcodes references to LightDM in many places so it also simplifies maintenance and troubleshooting if Linux Mint aligns itself on the display manager (MDM does not work in Ubuntu for instance, due to these hardcoded references and requires patches to integrate it properly with Plymouth, Upstart, NVIDIA Prime, etc..  in Linux Mint).

Unity-greeter is loosely tied to Unity, its scope is restricted to Ubuntu and it’s not compatible with Debian (which could be an issue long-term for LMDE). It wasn’t decided yet whether LMDE would continue to use MDM, or lightdm-gtk-greeter or if we were to produce a cross-distro version of unity-greeter. We’re still testing and integrating the OS around LightDM to make sure everything works well.

Other news

Ubuntu and Linux Mint were mentioned briefly in Episode 18 of the new MacGyver series. It was short but it was funny.

Linux Mint might be featured in the upcoming pilot episode of a popular American drama–thriller television series. We’re very excited about it and we can’t wait to see it happen. More on this when it does 🙂

We’re talking to a manufacturer and considering a partnership on the production of a premium quality laptop. Just like the MintBox, we’re interested in producing something unique that people will love. Again, I can’t say too much before it actually happens, but we’re excited about this as well 🙂

Netflix now works out of the box in Linux with Firefox. Thanks to Mozilla for implementing the necessary DRM support (that actually happened a long time ago) and to Netflix for not blocking Firefox anymore.

Last but not least, we finally purchased a Wacom device in order to fix some of the bugs related to graphics tablets. I’d like to thank Wacom users for their patience. Sorry it took us so long. We’ll be tackling these bugs very soon now and improving Wacom support going forward.


Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

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

Bronze Sponsors:
Vault Networks *
AYKsolutions Server & Cloud Hosting
7L Networks Toronto Colocation *
BGASoft Inc
David Salvo
Milton Security Group
Over The Top SEO
Sysnova Information Systems
Community Sponsors:

  • Aliaksei Budnikau
  • Anonymous
  • Clare Florist
  • Crossword Links
  • David Goodnow
  • Dr. Schmalenbach & Coll
  • Easy Website Builder
  • Ehline Law Firm PC – Long Beach
  • Host Sailor Ltd.
  • Jeffrey M Taffuri aka JayBird707
  • Joe Hodges
  • Kansas Attorneys
  • Load Testing
  • Mikael M
  • MyTipsHub
  • Nick Kelly
  • Nikolaj Petersen
  • Olaf Baeyens
  • Onecklace – Personalized Jewelry
  • Peter K.
  • Pics n Places Travel Photography
  • PSB Law
  • Roland Preisach
  • Sascha Reinsch
  • sefcom computers
  • Silver City Jewelers – Ocala Jewelry
  • Solo Entertainment e.K.
  • Uwe Klosa
  • Web Design Egypt – شركة تصميم مواقع
  • What Is SEO?
  • Wichita Web Design
  • Yang, C.-C.

Donations in February:

A total of $7,945 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 412 donors:

$200, Angela G.
$150, Richard A.
$145, Jacob F. M.
$108 (2nd donation), Mihai C. G. aka “Snowfall”
$108, Martin G.
$108, Anonymous
$100 (4th donation), Timothy P.
$100, Shaun B.
$100, Harlan S.
$100, Stevan L.
$100, Bret A.
$100, Paul L.
$100, h.v.d.lagemaat
$75 (3rd donation), John M.
$60 (3rd donation), Using PayPal
$60 (3rd donation), Lawrence D.
$60 (2nd donation), Teach English Abroad
$60, Arnaud L.
$56, Grzegorz K.
$55 (2nd donation), Tanja Bartsch
$54 (5th donation), Volker P.
$54 (2nd donation), Torsten G.
$54, Dirk S.
$54, Stephan K.
$54, Schultz M. L.
$54, Thor S.
$54, Marco G.
$54, Jose L. D.
$54, Claudia G.
$50 (25th donation), Go Live Lively
$50 (6th donation), Christopher D.
$50 (4th donation), David H. W.
$50 (3rd donation), Cody W. H.
$50 (2nd donation), Greg C.
$50 (2nd donation), David J.
$50 (2nd donation), Manfred K.
$50, Wayne O.
$50, Steve S.
$50, Bill J.
$50, Richard. P.
$50, William M.
$50, Andras P.
$50, Marie S.
$50, Chris M.
$50, David H.
$38, Reinhard S.
$38, Stefan T.
$35 (3rd donation), Petr P.
$35 (2nd donation), John H.
$32 (84th donation), Olli K.
$32 (4th donation), Bruno N.
$32, Geir M. A.
$32, Jérôme H.
$30 (4th donation), Steverj aka “Somerset Scrumpy”
$30 (3rd donation), Anonymous User
$30, Eike H.
$30, Kyle H.
$30, Michael H.
$30, Ramzi M.
$30, Andrew C.
$30, Anonymous
$30, Mark H.
$27 (11th donation), Joachim M.
$27 (10th donation), Ky LMDE
$27 (9th donation), Ky LMDE
$27 (2nd donation), PZL Games
$27, Sebastian A.
$27, Michael M.
$27, Henrik H. aka “HerHde”
$27, Georg L.
$27, David R.
$25 (67th donation), Ronald W.
$25 (23rd donation), Curt Vaughan aka “curtvaughan ”
$25 (17th donation), Peter D.
$25 (12th donation), Jaan S.
$25 (6th donation), Jeffery J.
$25 (5th donation), Platypus Products
$25 (5th donation), Mathieu D.
$25 (5th donation), Michael C.
$25 (4th donation), Mathieu D.
$25 (3rd donation), Martin Langsholt aka “mlan”
$25 (3rd donation), Eric W. aka “powerwagon75”
$25 (2nd donation), Gautam S.
$25 (2nd donation), Aleh N.
$25 (2nd donation), David H.
$25 (2nd donation), Glenn M.
$25 (2nd donation), Rick A.
$25 (2nd donation), Robert K.
$25 (2nd donation), Jeremy H.
$25 (2nd donation), M L. P.
$25, Winston M.
$25, Ron S.
$25, Aptus Leadership Consulting
$25, Stacey B.
$25, Donald F.
$25, LogicBox, Inc.
$25, Leonid A.
$25, Richard B.
$25, Corey J.
$25, Gregory M.
$25, Chris C.
$25, Drew Anderson dba Anderson Publishing
$25, Samuele R. aka “dentex”
$24 (3rd donation), Karel M.
$22 (6th donation), Reinhard W.
$22 (5th donation), Artur Hapetta
$22 (5th donation), Derek R.
$22 (2nd donation), Boris T.
$22 (2nd donation), Colin D.
$22, Gerd B.
$22, Anatol Z.
$22, Benedikt F.
$22, ferbec
$22, Joseph D.
$22, Naoise G.
$22, Dirk H.
$22, Matthias P.
$22, Marc N.
$22, Tatu T.
$22, Jochen K.
$22, Jens B.
$22, Peter F.
$22, Thomas K.
$22, Christian L.
$22, Mathieu L.
$22, Mathieu C.
$22, Jelke v.d. Meer
$22, Robert B.
$22, Brendan B.
$22, Vincent M.
$20.77, Mike J.
$20 (23rd donation), Utah B.
$20 (12th donation), Julie H. aka “Kjokkenutstyr”
$20 (11th donation), Matsufuji H.
$20 (8th donation), Roger B.
$20 (6th donation), Matej V.
$20 (4th donation), Murray C.
$20 (4th donation), Douglas H.
$20 (2nd donation), Jeff D. B.
$20 (2nd donation), Bjorn P. M.
$20 (2nd donation), Jesse S.
$20 (2nd donation), Jeff M.
$20, Ron S.
$20, Ramanand M.
$20, Billy B.
$20, Steve W.
$20, Dataron Instruments
$20, Dell H.
$20, Joseph D.
$20, Alvin J. M.
$20, Alexander K.
$20, Edward D.
$20, Oladipupo O.
$20, Edward L.
$20, John P.
$20, Robert J.
$20, Donald M.
$20, Jill C.
$20, Mark D.
$20, Robert S.
$20, Rza U.
$20, Tyler S.
$20, Larry L.
$17 (2nd donation), Fred D.
$16 (4th donation), Dirk Köhler
$16 (2nd donation), Vanja B. aka “Yorkin”
$16 (2nd donation), Ivan I.
$16, Thomas N.
$16, Christian H.
$16, Simon A. aka “ssimono”
$16, Ernst B.
$16, Rayan K.
$16, Horst Mückikowski
$16, Giuseppe S.
$16, Stefano C.
$16, Andreas T.
$15 (6th donation), Robert S.
$15 (4th donation), Intrinsic
$15 (3rd donation), Derek T.
$15, Stuart H.
$15, Marcelo G.
$15, James B.
$15, David H.
$15, Adrian H.
$13 (10th donation), Anonymous
$13 (4th donation), Michał M. aka “Zaraki”
$12 (71th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
$12 (17th donation), Jobs near Me aka “”
$12 (3rd donation), Jens
$12 (2nd donation), Fabian Peter Hammerle
$11 (8th donation), Gerard C.
$11 (4th donation), Henrik H.
$11 (4th donation), Thomas Klang
$11 (4th donation), Bjørn M. J. aka “BMJ”
$11 (3rd donation), Igor B.
$11 (3rd donation), Petr V.
$11 (3rd donation), Ioan C.
$11 (2nd donation), Kristóf H.
$11 (2nd donation), Kari H.
$11 (2nd donation), Hestia Pi Touch
$11, Besnier aka “Cyrille ”
$11, Charles H.
$11, Leon D.
$11, Alexander F.
$11, Dieter L.
$11, Sven Z.
$11, Tobias J.
$11, Kjell N.
$11, Axel H.
$11, Brussig R.
$11, Elmi aka “TorVald”
$11, Orian de Wit aka “Webdeveloper”
$11, Thomas Z.
$11, Hans A.
$11, Davide A.
$11, Knut F.
$11, Johann J.
$11, Alexandra G.
$11, Pavel Z.
$11, Jörg E.
$11, Dennis K.
$11, Axel R.
$11, Reinhold M.
$11, Carlos H Brandt
$11, Albert S. S.
$11, Tomasz M.
$11, Luca M.
$11, Philipp S.
$11, Christopher W.
$11, Michael H.
$11, Ulrich K.
$11, Paolucci F.
$10 (15th donation), Thomas C.
$10 (7th donation), Frank K.
$10 (6th donation), Paul O.
$10 (4th donation), Nelson I.
$10 (4th donation), Chris K.
$10 (3rd donation), Terrance G.
$10 (3rd donation), Michele L.
$10 (3rd donation), Dinu P.
$10 (3rd donation), Vladimir P.
$10 (3rd donation), Donald K.
$10 (2nd donation), Elsukov V.
$10 (2nd donation), Edgar W.
$10 (2nd donation), Aliki K.
$10 (2nd donation), Moe P.
$10 (2nd donation), Nathan L.
$10, Ohshima Y.
$10, Elsukov V.
$10, Edward H.
$10, Viktor S.
$10, Marcio R. S.
$10, Dja aka “”
$10, Adnan E. H.
$10, Murray Q.
$10, Fernando C. C. B.
$10, Brendan C.
$10, Daniel L.
$10, MartyJ
$10, John L.
$10, Josh L.
$10, Anastasiya L.
$10, Larry J.
$10, Bobby E.
$10, Ho H.
$10, Izak N.
$10, Anonymous
$10, Brian H.
$10, Ugur O.
$10, Julio Z.
$10, Peter N.
$10, D D.
$10, Christopher P.
$10, Richard Reeve
$10, Rhys P.
$10, Joseph E.
$10, Dennis F.
$10, Joseph E.
$10, Thomas H.
$10, Pj S.
$10, Miltiadis M.
$10, Rapat B.
$9, Paweł S.
$7 (8th donation), CV Smith
$7, Daniel S.
$6.78 (16th donation), Paul B. aka “Dude”
$6, Jose M. V. L.
$5 (30th donation), LM aka “LinuxMint”
$5 (11th donation), Eugene T.
$5 (8th donation), Snorri Gylfason
$5 (5th donation), Olaf B.
$5 (5th donation), Jim A.
$5 (4th donation), Peter H.
$5 (4th donation), Mario G.
$5 (4th donation), Alan G.
$5 (4th donation), Jobs Near Me
$5 (4th donation), Ronny G. aka “127.o.o.1”
$5 (3rd donation), Pedro A.
$5 (3rd donation), Godfrey H.
$5 (3rd donation), Bhavinder Jassar
$5 (3rd donation), Dmitry P.
$5 (3rd donation), Mario B.
$5 (3rd donation), Rodolfo B.
$5 (3rd donation), David Y.
$5 (2nd donation), Kouji aka “杉林晃治”
$5 (2nd donation), Karol T. aka “karoltomanek”
$5 (2nd donation), Ian E.
$5 (2nd donation), Joseph G.
$5 (2nd donation), GTuxTV
$5 (2nd donation), Man and a van
$5 (2nd donation), Pierre G.
$5 (2nd donation), Christopher N.
$5 (2nd donation), Luis E. Mesa aka “luismesalas”
$5 (2nd donation), Mikko S.
$5 (2nd donation), Leslie S.
$5 (2nd donation), Free Hosting
$5 (2nd donation), Adam P.
$5, enmicasalomejor
$5, Abhijeet P.
$5, (Gutscheine 2017)
$5, Kim R. S.
$5, Marco C.
$5, Justin W.
$5, KLM Merchant Hubs
$5, Hocine Z.
$5, Matt D.
$5, Brussig R.
$5, Programmer Friendly
$5, Dale S.
$5, Marek B.
$5, Eilerman J.
$5, Adam S.
$5, Brooks C.
$5, Dimitrios G.
$5, Atsushi S.
$5, C.B aka “Connie”
$5, Robert N.
$5, Darren O.
$5, Apia
$5, Mohammad Dahamshi
$5, Joseph K.
$5, Ten W. H.
$5, Chocobo aka “”
$5, Gezina H.
$5, NAGY Attila aka “GuBo75”
$5, Jakob T.
$5, Denise O.
$5, Jakub P.
$5, Fish Tanks
$5, Jerome A.
$5, Sonneville S.
$5, Arne M.
$5, Jan aka “BufferedReader”
$5, Michael K.
$5, Jose A. M. G.
$5, Gian L. P.
$5, Google Adwords Certification Answers
$5, Adis H.
$5, Kouji aka “杉林晃治”
$5, Radu C.
$4.95, J. James Burke Enterprise
$4 (3rd donation), Linux Hardware Guide
$4 (2nd donation), NordVPN Coupons
$4, Charalambos A. G.
$4, Petrukhin V.
$3 (15th donation), RoDi – sprava IT
$3 (10th donation), elogbookloan
$3, Whereyoucanhide
$3, Adrien J.
$2 (3rd donation), AlephAlpha
$2 (2nd donation), Fabrizio D.
$2, Maciej Z.
$2, Awais B.
$2, Robert H.
$2, Nejc B.
$2, Kai U. J.
$36.06 from 35 smaller donations

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