back to article The fresh Mint of dwell there: This is a story all about how 17 is here for a while

Get used to Mint 17, the latest release of this popular Linux distro. All versions of Mint until 2016 will use exactly the same base as this version, released on Saturday, 31 May. “The [Mint] development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one," according to the Mint page here. The reason …


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  1. codejunky Silver badge

    Sounds mint

    I may have a look at this at some point. The problem is that 16 was such a good release I have no actual reason to force me to change. As problems go I think that is a good one

    1. paulc

      Re: Sounds mint

      you will when the updates stop...

      1. asdf

        Re: Sounds mint

        >you will when the updates stop..

        Another reason to go with LMDE where you get supposedly eternal updates except of course you get update packs very rarely and security holes stay open way too long which is why you go with a Debian Testing LMDE Frankenstein and hope the damn Gnome devs quit renaming/refactoring their libraries so often (holding back packages sucks). As for why not Debian testing only itself because cinnamon is not in the debian repos except for sid and even then its a very old version. You can built cinnamon yourself but you run into same dependencies problems this route as well.

        1. Goat Jam

          Re: Sounds mint

          "Another reason to go with LMDE where you get supposedly eternal updates "

          Yeah I'm on LMDE and it is perfectly functional and stable but updates are virtually non-existant. I'd like to think that all the faffing around at Ubuntu HQ, moving ubuntu furter away from "standard" distros (dropping systemd for upstart etc) would encourage the Mint guys to choose a camp and put their efforts there. As things stand LMDE seems to be very much the unloved cousin while Clem and co spend all their time trying to follow the leader whith Ubuntu changing the rules every release.

    2. AceRimmer

      Re: Sounds mint

      Having upgraded recently I can assure you that you have made a sensible decision (for now at least). There aren't any "must have" features in the new release and if everything is working for you then you might as well stick with it.

      FWIW: The only reason I upgraded was that I had broken the blue tooth components and could not get it working again. Serves me right for trying to install and then uninstall some shady software without backing up first.

      1. Michael Habel

        Re: Sounds mint

        Serves me right for trying to install and then uninstall some shady software without backing up first.

        Heck I didn't even know you could find "shady Software" for Linux.... I thought, that was a market, solely owned by MicroSoft, and to lesser extents Apple, and Google.

  2. Zog The Undeniable

    I'm desperate to get Windows 8 expunged from my HP Envy ultrabook, but neither Mint 16 nor the Mint 17 release candidate can make the ClickPad work properly. The pointer stops responding intermittently - as in, for a few seconds EVERY few seconds - which makes it totally unusable. I know ClickPads suck a very large one compared to a touchpad with real buttons but at least it nearly works in Windows 8.

    1. AceRimmer

      If you're googling for solutions then make sure you check out Ubuntu fixes. What works on Ubuntu usually works on Mint too

    2. The BigYin

      Power saving?

      Seems a bit crazy, but that reads exactly like problems with power management and wireless mice.

  3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Numbering convention

    I think the plan is to have 17.1, 17.2 etc. following shortly after Ubuntu 14.04.1, 14.04.2 etc. - Mint 18 will be the next LTS.

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Going off the rails

    > All versions of Mint until 2016 will use exactly the same base as this version

    Which means that everything will work fine ... until you change something. Just like with all Linux distros.

    It also presumes that everything you could ever want is available through one of the "approved" repositories. And that the software version available there is fully up to date with both bug fixes and features.

    If only that were true.

    While most people who's daily usage is limited to surfing, playing videos, knocking out the occasional document and possibly spreading some sheet - then everything will be fine. But what happens once you stray off the path? If you "need" an application (say a wizzy new webcam app) that isn't on the list of blessed software - or only has a version several major releases behind. What then. You find a repository, add that to the list, download your new application and all it's dependencies.

    And there's the problem ... You're no longer on an LTS release. Your dependencies could include many newer library versions, updates of other, dependent, programs and possibly even security fixes that your LTS doesn't recognise or support. if you dare to buy new hardware during the 2 years of LTS-ness, there' every likelyhood that you'll have to look above and beyond the official suppositories to get the support, drivers and libraries you need to get your new toy to play.

    2 years is a long time in the Linux world, and things change quickly. What are the chances you'll want a change, too?

    1. frank ly

      Re: Going off the rails

      "But what happens once you stray off the path?"

      You download the binaries and do your own private installs and make appropriate symbolic links and check the specialist forums for consensus advice about which library is needed. You kludge the application default choices and MAKE it do what you want it to do. GRAAAAAH! You beat your own path through the jungle and become your own systems admin. Sometimes you wonder if it would be a good idea to write a record of what you've done. That self doubt soon passes. Great fun!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Going off the rails

        "Great fun!"

        I hope that my sarcasm meter's still broken from the Dabb's article the other day: I've currently got a 14.04 Xubuntu which refuses to play CDs or write m4a files due to gstreamer errors and won't eject a DVD from a cold startup 'cos it tells me there are incomplete operations.

        On bad days of weeding through multimedia dependencies and library issues it's almost enough to send me back to Windows. And I seem to be having a lot of those at the mo.

        Anon for acknowledging my weak apt-fu.

      2. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Going off the rails

        >You kludge the application default choices and MAKE it do what you want it to do

        This only takes a few days, on average.

        Well worth the time.

    2. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: Going off the rails

      "While most people who's daily usage is limited to surfing, playing videos, knocking out the occasional document and possibly spreading some sheet - then everything will be fine."

      Pretty handy for serious maths and handling large quantities of data as well. Its the latter (server stuff) that pays the people who do most of the programming of the core system including the kernel.

      "But what happens once you stray off the path? If you "need" an application (say a wizzy new webcam app) that isn't on the list of blessed software - or only has a version several major releases behind."

      Others have mentioned /opt with libraries under /opt/lib. As an example, have a look at the rather nifty script for installing the Chrome Web browser on CentOS 6. Read the bash scripting, very impressive piece of work.

      Alternatively, have you had a look at something like Manjaro? Arch linux with a 'profanity delay' of a couple of weeks (security fixes often fast tracked). So if an upstream developer chucks the new fuzzlewobbler driver over the wall, you get it within about 3 weeks - enough time to ensure it won't melt your hard drive but still quite soon.

      Otherwise just stick with Winders if that does what you want it to.

  5. frank ly

    I'll try it in a dual-boot setup ...

    ... then wait quite a few months before I commit to an upgrade from Mint 13. I'll test the heck out of the MATE panels because they were behaving strangely in Mint 16 (Petra) in a VM. I'll also check the forums for the inevitable confusion, pain and anguish.

  6. STGM

    How do you pronounce Lefebvre?

    le febber? lefe bure? lefebivver?

    1. Psmo

      Re: How do you pronounce Lefebvre?

      It's pronounced Lefebvre.

      Hope this helps.

      1. STGM

        Re: How do you pronounce Lefebvre?

        Thanks Psmo! Mainly replying to testify that it weren't me wot thumbed you down. Not quite sure how your comment could be taken objectionably..

        1. Psmo

          Re: How do you pronounce Lefebvre?

          "Not quite sure how your comment could be taken objectionably..."

          By adding to the general internet rhubarb without even the slightest addition of knowledge to the sum total, I am actually contributing to the heat-death of the universe and the demise of the human race.



          Good thing I can't vote myself down.

    2. HippyFreetard

      Re: How do you pronounce Lefebvre?

      Leh-feh-vruh. With a "Guttaral R".

      Now, should we pronounce his first name as Cleh-ment or Cloh-mo'?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The top left hot corner has been disabled by default in this release because, according the developers, it was often triggered by accident by people who weren't familiar with it."

    If only the GNOME developers would do the same.

    1. HippyFreetard
      Thumb Up

      I'm a Linux, and Mint 17 was my idea.

      Actually responding to the needs and wants of their inexperienced users? It's certainly a novel concept in the FLGPLOSSRTFM world. So crazy, it might just work!

      1. asdf

        Re: I'm a Linux, and Mint 17 was my idea.

        Its also why Mint has become so popular. Its basically become Ubuntu but fixed for desktop users as well as cinnamon being Gnome but for normal people on desktops.

    2. Rafael L.

      Yeaah remove the only way to multi-task using a mouse, great idea for the GNOME devs. /s


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeaah remove the only way to multi-task using a mouse, great idea for the GNOME devs

        Well, it would be a good idea if they also stopped making applications occupy the whole desktop with no way to resize them (see the file browser and document viewer in upcoming versions of GNOME and then weep). This frankly shit feature is at its most laughable with the disc burning feature of Files, where it has a label saying "drag and drop files to create a CD/DVD". How to drag and drop when you can no longer tile or overlap windows seems to have escaped the developers ...

  8. Moosh
    Thumb Up

    Certainly works great for my needs

    I have no prior experience of Mint, but I have used a couple of past releases of Ubuntu. I recently installed this latest Mint release onto a 3 year old laptop with just as many years of bloat and crap that I subjected it to before learning to computer quite so well. It seems much lighter than Win 7 (as I can use my laptop within 5 minutes of starting it up now, as opposed to having to wait a good quarter of an hour) and it doesn't bug me to restart my laptop every couple of minutes because of a dodgy update install.

    I really like it - I wouldn't make it my main OS (i'm afraid I'm on Win 8 on my Desktop) but it is certainly far superior to the now bloated and amazon-ridden Ubuntu and much more intuitive to non-advanced linux users.

  9. itzman

    just in time

    for a newer more powerful machine I am saving up for.

    Look really all this worry about 'new stuff that might come along' i've still got XP in a box doing stuff that only windows can - like running some rarely needed but essential legacy apps..

    What is a computer FOR?

    if the answer is mail web writing coding and a bit of picture processing and so on, who CARES if its slightly out of date provided its stable and bug free.

    And thank god for MINT that doesn't try and wow me with its creeping featurism, but simply allows me top use the bloody thing to do the jobs I need to do without ever reminding me I am in fact running linux mint at all.

  10. Lamb0

    MINT 16 Mega Mix...

    based on Linux Mint Debian Edition (Testing) remastered with 10 versions courtesy of LINUX FORMAT (June 2014 issue LXF184) is working fine for me as the foundation of a true rolling release distro.

    I see no reason to bother with chasing variations of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS - to be reinstalled eventually as a variations of Ubuntu 18, 22, 26, etc...

    1. asdf

      Re: MINT 16 Mega Mix...

      The problem with LMDE is how absurdly long security holes tend to stay unpatched (except for the browsers and a few other userland apps). Debian testing is much better but even its bad compared to stable (3.2 kernel really seriously? lol) or even sid (beware the breakages). In an ideal world debian testing would have its own security team and the latest version of cinnamon would be in its repositories or LMDE would patch security holes as well as Debian stable does. I guess there is always Arch or some of the other true rolling releases but for whatever reason at least on my old Intel Mac Pro few Linux install CDs (and forget usb anything booting) other than LMDE boot on the POS buggy EFI32 Apple implemented.

  11. druck Silver badge

    Mint or Kubuntu...

    I've been using Mint since 13 and liked it very much, however Kubuntu has grown on me recently, and liked the way that did a hassle free update to 13.10 to 14.04. The recommended way of doing a major Mint upgrade is a complete re-install, and I really don't think I can be bothered again. It's about time they made major upgrades hassle free.

    1. Ian 55

      Re: Mint or Kubuntu...

      In practice, the last few have upgraded fine via editing /etc/apt/sources.list and doing a apt-get dist-upgrade

      1. druck Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Mint or Kubuntu...

        I bit the bullet and did an apt-get upgrade, and it didn't go too badly; taking a few hours and about 1.3GB download, and only a couple of errors reported which seemed to be sorted out with an apt-get -f install. The only thing missing was the Mint 17 wallpaper, but that was easily fixed.

        Mint does use a few 100MB less than Kubuntu in most circumstances, but it seems to make a lot less difference to performance now I've got an SSD in the laptop.

    2. asdf

      Re: Mint or Kubuntu...

      >Kubuntu has grown on me recently

      And I think if you check your ram usage you will find it has grown on you recently as well. The KDE folks were never ones for leaving ram unused.

      1. asdf

        Re: Mint or Kubuntu...

        Granted his methodology might not be the most scientific. I mean after all the chart at the bottom shows KDE only taking up 200 meg of ram which means his measurement has to be too low. Still the chart is interesting imho for getting a feel for the relative usages among the different WM/DEs.

        1. asdf

          Re: Mint or Kubuntu...

          And before I get the usual blah blah my big bad rig has xxx gigs of memory who cares? High memory usage for the functionality is usually (granted not always) a symptom of general software bloat and throwing memory at a hog (which often has other bottlenecks as well) won't always get rid of all sluggishness.

          Also I finally went and RTM and this makes much more sense.

          "I installed kde-plasma-desktop packet from Ubuntu 12.04. The packet is described here as “the bare-minimum required”. I started it in console as openbox-kde-session. It runs in 201MB. On a real KDE desktop such as Kubuntu it will be much more."


          "Note: the 201MB measurement was done on top of Openbox window manager. Usually, distros will pair KDE with KWin window manager. This will add 100MB."

  12. Number6

    I've stuck with the Mint LTS versions since 9. Apart from a couple of Mint 9 VMs for compatibility, I'm running Mint13 KDE on desktop machines and LXDE (start with XFCE and install LXDE on it) on laptops and netbooks. I'm looking forward to the KDE release of Mint 17, although it's still a couple of months away. Hopefully they've improved the installer, I'd like it by default to let me set up LVM and per-user encryption from the initial set-up menus. It was a bit of a hassle getting this machine moved over, although now I know how to do it manually...

    I used to run Fedora, but got fed up with the need to upgrade so often. It's a chore to shift LTS releases but it also acts as a form of spring cleaning so I'm not so bothered by having to do it.

  13. Rafael L.

    "option to control what happens when the mouse scroll wheel moves on a window title bar. You can either have it shade and unshade the window or fade the opacity. Both make for a great fast way to see what's under your window without actually changing apps or using alt-tab."

    OMG because it's so hard to drag the window out of the way and back to its previous position, let's lose time programming an useless feature to clutter everyhing! - Mint devs.

  14. batfastad

    Good but sort Cinnamon Desktop grid

    Mint user for 18 months or so here and it works pretty well with my nasty AMD Turion Neo laptop chipset. Suspend/resume sometimes bombs, bluetooth doesn't turn off and wifi just stops requiring a reboot but no issues that are frequent enough or nightmareish enough to use anything else.

    Wish they'd implement a proper icon grid on the Cinnamon Desktop though...

    I ended up with icons all over hell before switching to XFCE.

  15. Havin_it

    What's that title about then?

    I admit to being largely a philistine with a limited eye for wordplay, but that just reads like gibberish to me. Anyone care to enlighten me?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's that title about then?

      The fresh Mint of dwell there: This is a story all about how / 17 is here for a while

      The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Now, this is a story all about how / My life got flipped-turned upside down ...

      1. Havin_it

        Re: What's that title about then?

        Haha, thank you kindly AC, that was really bugging me. Now I have a nice facepalm to show for it :)

        I guess I can add "fails to read headlines musically" to my list of weaknesses :/

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey you broke my Mic...

    Big fan of Mint 16 so decided to go to Mint 17 - but a fresh install outta the box stopped my netbook mic working. Changed the kernel to 3.14 (from 3.13) and, ta da, it started working again...

    Also can't for the life of me get Bluetooth working in 17 as well as it did in 16.... Not a major biggie but annoying....

  17. roger stillick

    Staying w/Ubuntu 13.10 LTS...

    Using Classic Gnome desktop (simple switch at startup) everything works n totally hobbled latest firefox gets me daily updates... manually applied...

    IMHO= Be Your own SysAdmin = it's a warm feeling when everything works n keeps working...

    Some Social Engineering is needed to fire up new stuff, EG= Darktable w/camera tethering, but that is what friends w/benefits are for, and I share too...

    FYI= got an Ubuntu Manual ( yes!, a book) at Powell Books...It Changed My i Are one ??

    only time will tell...RS.

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