Linux Mint “Not in the Business of Picking Winners”, Continues With Xorg

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Since Ubuntu’s announcement of the Mir display manager, the fate of Ubuntu derivatives such as Kubuntu and Linux Mint have been questioned and discussed by both the community and it’s leaders.  Finally, one of those leaders has made its path clear.  Clement Lefebvre has come forward in the Linux Mint Blog to announce that Linux Mint will be sticking with Xorg.  His reasoning is sensible and clear while leaving the future open to adapt to whatever changes might be forced upon the team.

On doing what’s right for the community:

Why speculate on this? All upstream components, including the Ubuntu base, are reviewed and compared to their respective alternatives. Mint is likely to continue to use Ubuntu and Xorg because at the moment these are respectively the best package base and the only suitable display server available. The only thing which matters to us is the end result: Making the next Mint release better than the previous one, incrementally and with the least possible number of structural changes. If tomorrow we replace a component with another one or if we stop using something because we made our own, it will always be with that in mind. Whatever happens we’ll pull the necessary resources towards making sure Mint remains Mint whatever components get changed. We do have R&D projects of our own but we don’t make announcements about the future of Mint. You won’t see us talk about Wayland, MIR or our own package base until we’re actually sure we’ll be using them, and by then we’ll probably have made sure everything is fully functional and we’re ready to release.

On their place in the distrosphere:

ATI/nVidia support Xorg, and Xorg is stable and functional. This is what matters to us. A lot of devs are working on Wayland and not on Xorg these days and some Ubuntu devs will probably focus on MIR more than on Xorg going forward. So it’s likely things won’t remain that way indefinitely. With that said we’re not in the business of picking winners. Good luck to both Wayland and MIR in trying to become the next big thing, we’ll look at all that when the time is right.

And there you have it.  These comments are quite sensible and do much to boost the integrity of Linux Mint.  None of us know what the future will hold, so let’s not speculate.  Clem is pretty clear that they’ll end up using which ever display server is best for their distribution and makes each release better than the last.

Source | Linux Mint Blog (Comments section)


Dean Howell

Dean Howell has over a decade of experience with Linux and nearly 2 decades of experience with computers in general. Currently, Dean is Editor-in-chief of The Powerbase and also works for one of the world's largest providers of Linux-based NVRs.

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  • gert

    You won’t see us talk about Wayland, MIR or our own package base until we’re actually sure we’ll be using them, and by then we’ll probably have made sure everything is fully functional and we’re ready to release.

    So, its basically, were not saying a word until after weve decided and figured everything out?
    Will there be a press conference with turtlenecks to annouce it to users?

    Not sure about the fait accompli part.

  • Tristan Stanic

    I wish Mint had this same quality mindset when they release Mint 14 XFCE. The release version is so bad (full of graphics weird artifacts, system stabilities and finally the OS die after a System update in Jan 2013). I had finally resorted to replace by Xubuntu 12.10 and I was shocked that Mint is actually inferior than a release from the “Ubuntu side”. For the 1st time, there is zero Mint in my home computers. I hope future versions will be better. For the moment, I am not impressed by neither MATE nor Cinnamon.

    • Symon Cadwalader

      LinuxMint 14 xfce and Xubuntu 12.10 is exactly the same under the hood. I don’t see how you could have 1 extremely buggy and finally breaks and the other to be perfect when they are both using the same repositories and packages along with the same version of graphics card driver. bollocks

      • Tristan Stanic

        I don’t think they are identical. Because I made the experience with both versions. Think about it, if Mint and Xubuntu are equivalent, why waste time to make Mint xfce? The Mint Dev should know, may be they can explain? I am telling you, Mint 14 xfce is a troubled release.

        There are MATE bits in LinuxMint 14 xfce. The login screen is also different, which happens to be inferior than LightDM. But for some strange reasons, Mint dev find their MDM better. Mint could not recognize my graphic chip (GeForce 9300) I had to install nVidia drivers specifically. The MintMenu is an xfApplet which needs MATE I believe. And I also had plenty of sound issue. Trust me I swear by Mint (strange? I look like you?), I hung on it for a while, fixing things whenever I could. Until a system update broke the entire OS.

        When I replaced by Xubuntu 12.10, everything works out of the box. As there is no more MintMenu I had to learn the XFCE menu system, which I happen to like much more than MintMenu. I may go back to Mint but I am not sure anymore b/c they seems to favor too much Cinnamon and MATE that I don’t like too much.

      • http://guideme.blogspot.com/ Mike Frett

        They are most definately NOT identical. Mint hard locks my system while Xubuntu is perfect. So something is definately wrong.

  • Albin

    I’m one of those who doesn’t thrill to the sexy pleasure of a fresh reinstall and reconfiguration of an operating system every six months – I’m looking for relationship not a series of one night stands. My beef with Mint 13 “LTS” is that no effort is made to keep repositories up to date with the versions of Cinnamon and third party software on Mint 14, etc. As compared with Windows, where even XP is fully updated as an OS and for purposes of any and all third party software, the concept of “LTS” is a stupid joke in Ubuntu/Mint world.

    • http://profiles.google.com/tennelec Tim Lund

      XP 3rd party software updated? In your dreams. In Linux, a “long term support” release means just that. OS and security updates for a set period of time. Your applications will be updated as appropriate. No version of Windows updates 3rd party applications along with the OS. Linux is way ahead on this issue.

      • Sicofante

        What world do you live in? The No.1 problem of desktop Linux is how to update 3rd party apps. There’s currently no way to do it in Ubuntu WITHOUT resorting to PPAs, which is a huge hassle unless you only need a couple of them. So, no, your applications WON’T be updated “as appropriate” at all.

        Windows and OS X are WAY AHEAD of Linux in this department. You have been able to update apps individually basically forever. Now, when both OSs see their new app stores becoming the main channel for developers, Linux will be even farther behind.

        Ubuntu (and Mint) WILL NOT have an LTS release with up to date user applications. Distro mantainers can’t be THAT stupid, so I must understand they have to choose between updating everything everyday (rolling release) and using obsolete apps for six months/two years(/other arbitrary periods depending on distro). Describing this as “way ahead on this issue” is beyond zealotry in my book.

        In my ignorance, I just don’t understand why Ubuntu (and Mint) doesn’t REQUIRE developers to compile against LTS every app that wants to be in the Software Center. Again, they (Ubuntu management) can’t be that stupid, so there must be some impediment, right?…

    • Gene Novak

      Couldn’t you just use a seperate partition for your home directory? This would keep your files and your personal configurations, between releases of the same distro I believe.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=11303363 Brennen Raimer

        you’re assuming all linux users set up their own systems. I’ve set up linux for over 30 friends/family members. I don’t want to have to redo their systems every time they need an upgrade.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=11303363 Brennen Raimer

      I agree! I set up linux on old PCs people bring me so they can continue to use the computer as long as the hardware lasts. I hate that I can’t give them the easiest distro to use because otherwise I would have to redo their system for them every 6 months. I really wish the Mint devs would take a cue from ubuntu on this one. They don’t have to make it mandatory, but at least make in-place upgrades an option.

  • bob_bc

    After 200 installs, including 80 at a public school, I trust the Mint team to be both good and human. Early Mint 14 problems have been resolved, and have done things with Mint that even the manufacturers, (like Acer), can’t do well, like dual booting well performing DO257 netbooks with W7s & Mint side by side, making them fully functional screaming machines. Some combinations of distros and hardware don’t play together well. You merely need to match the two, which sometimes requires effort to find a distro that matches that machine’s hardware. Sometimes you just download a corrupted ISO file.

  • http://twitter.com/campbell2644 campbell s w

    I’ve used Mint happily for some time now and have confidence in its developers to do the right thing.

  • Droug

    I’m not saying that is the right thing to do, but I can see how that would make sense from a business standpoint. PDF Editor Software solution

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