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.