Mint

Monthly News – August 2019

Hi everyone,

I hope you enjoyed the release of Linux Mint 19.2. It all went really well here, we got very good feedback during the BETA phase and that allowed us to fix a significant number of bugs. The stable release was very well received. It was great to see you happy, and we really enjoyed your comments, in particular about the speed and resource usage improvements in Cinnamon.

With the stable release behind us, the upgrade path opened and the new packages ported towards LMDE 3, we started work on Linux Mint 19.3. This next release is planned for Christmas, so our development cycle is quite short and we need to move fast.

Let’s have a look at some of the upcoming improvements.

Language Settings

Along with the locale and the region, the Language settings tool will let you set your time format.

HiDPI Support

HiDPI is supported in Cinnamon and in MATE and it’s getting better with each new release. A couple of icons and images were still blurry in HiDPI in Linux Mint 19.2. Here’s what we’re fixing:

  • Flags in the Language settings
  • Flags in the Software Sources tool
  • Flags in the Cinnamon screensaver
  • Theme preview images in the Cinnamon theme settings

All of these will be crisp in Linux Mint 19.3.

System Tray Icons

We also looked at Gtk.StatusIcon, which is the technology used by the system tray icons. They’re not only blurry in HiDPI, they have a significant number of problems:

  • They were designed with 16px icons in mind
  • They are rendered by the application, not by the applet
  • They rely on obsolete technology such as Gtk.Plug and Gtk.Socket which won’t be around in the future or compatible with what’s coming next (Gtk4, Wayland etc..)

This is something that isn’t supported by GNOME and which we’re lucky to still have in GTK3. Without exageration I think it’s quite a miracle we even managed to have this in Cinnamon.

The way this works is also  extremely buggy. The icon widget is rendered by the application, so the panel applet has no control over it. It can’t resize it properly, it can’t parse its icon name or switch the icon to symbolic, and depending on how the app sets its icon, when and how, we can sometimes end up with rendering issues… invisible icons, cropped icons, wrongly sized icons or icons which can’t get bigger than 16px. It’s a mess and it’s been working really poorly since the start of Cinnamon (think of Pidgin as an example) and also quite poorly in other desktops (take Skype for instance). So for a while now, we knew we needed to support tray icons, but we also knew Gtk.StatusIcon was going to die eventually and just didn’t work well enough as it was.

Ubuntu developed an interesting alternative called AppIndicator which solved these issues but which also introduced new ones. Indicators don’t support some of the features available with Gtk.StatusIcons, so moving applications towards them means redesigning the way we use them and making compromises we don’t want to make. For instance, we like to show and hide the Update Manager window by left-clicking on its tray icon. We also want to be able to build complex menus (MPRIS controls for instance) within our applications, so it was important we kept these features and the ability for applications to popup their own menu.

We wrote an alternative to Gtk.StatusIcon called XApp.StatusIcon which similarly to AppIndicator uses dbus to pass the information over to applets and let them render the tray icon, tooltip and optional label natively. This means no more rendering issues, and crisp icons in all sizes.

We also passed click events from the applet over dbus back to the app. This means the app can connect to events and react to buttons being pressed and/or released any way it wants.

We made a standalone applet and a Cinnamon applet to get started and we’ll make applets for MATE and Xfce next.

[embedded content]

We also made App.StatusIcon detect the presence of applets and implemented a fallback mechanism to guarantee this works in other desktops. If no applet is present, the icon transparently falls back to a Gtk.StatusIcon, so without having to care about it, the app shows an icon in any environment compatible with Gtk.StatusIcon.

If you’re writing an app using a tray icon and you’re interested in this, don’t hesitate to contact us. This is part of XApp, a project which is aimed at all GTK environments, cross-desktop and cross-distribution.

We’re interested in making this as simple and as compatible as possible. Here’s a quick video showing how easy it can be to migrate an app to it:

[embedded content]

So far we ported the Update Manager (mintupdate), the Upload Manager (mintupload) and the Bluetooth settings (blueberry). These ports are available on Github and in the daily builds PPA.

Update Manager Tray Icon

Since we’re talking about tray icons, we’re aware of a random rendering issue in Linux Mint 19.2 and LMDE 3 which affects the Update Manager tray icon. On the first login, the icon can sometime be invisible or cropped.

This is a problem which typically affect Cinnamon and Gtk.StatusIcons. Migrating the Update Manager to a XApp.StatusIcon will solve this problem in Linux Mint 19.3, but for the time being we need a simple fix.

We’re preparing builds and analyzing this issue. If you’re affected by it, please help gather feedback and test the builds we provide at https://github.com/linuxmint/cinnamon/issues/8771.

MintBox 3

Compulab is working hard on the MintBox 3. To emphasize the fact that these computers are unique and give them a premium feel, we invested in a diamond cut aluminum logo on the face plate.

Three specifications will be available, featuring Intel, AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. We’re really excited and we can’t wait to get our hands on the first unit.

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

Donations in July:

A total of $13166 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 602 donors:

$218 (4th donation), Philippe L.
$200 (2nd donation), G W.
$200, Michael L.
$200, Enerhaus Web Services GmbH
$200, clarkvision.com
$163 (8th donation), able heads
$109 (7th donation), Sten L.
$109 (3rd donation), Philipp S.
$109, Carbotech AG
$109, Richard P.
$109, Stephane D.
$109, Thomas D.
$109, M R.
$109, Oliver G.
$100 (7th donation), Cody W. H.
$100 (6th donation), Michael S.
$100 (2nd donation), William D.
$100 (2nd donation), Lucio M.
$100 (2nd donation), John B.
$100, Gary W.
$100, Thien N.
$100, Stephen M.
$100, Kouichi T.
$100, Nicholas H.
$100, Gerhard Schaufelberger aka “Schaufelzwerg”
$100, OgFOMK ArTS aka “OgFOMK
$100, Blueshoesnmore
$100, Brian L.
$100, Tom K.
$100, Neil F.
$99.99, J aka “look but don’t touch. Thank you”
$82, Heino U.
$75, Nikola K.
$72, Niklas
$66, John
$65 (5th donation), Ion L. I.
$65 (2nd donation), Herve C.
$60 (4th donation), Bro2
$60 (4th donation), Erich K.
$60, Stephen J.
$55 (2nd donation), Tom W.
$54 (2nd donation), Matthieu L.
$54, James T.
$54, Marco S.
$54, Olivier V.
$54, Roland G.
$54, Mathias L.
$54, Elizabeth F.
$54, Christopher S.
$54, Anders L.
$54, Magali M.
$54, Texas Thorsten
$50 (15th donation), Thomas T. aka “FullTimer1489”
$50 (11th donation), Hans J.
$50 (9th donation), Stephen A.
$50 (3rd donation), Chester L.
$50 (3rd donation), K K.
$50 (3rd donation), Colin B.
$50 (3rd donation), David K.
$50 (2nd donation), Douglas R. aka “darco”
$50 (2nd donation), Edmund B.
$50 (2nd donation), Samuel L.
$50 (2nd donation), Charl C.
$50 (2nd donation), Hamid S.
$50, Gurdeep D.
$50, Yan D. C.
$50, Douglas G.
$50, Elbert C.
$50, Robert S.
$50, Marvin F.
$50, Philip W.
$50, Slew’s Fast Horses
$50, Keven A.
$50, Daniel C.
$50, Carlos A. aka “Bocho”
$50, Thomas N.
$50, Donald S.
$50, Ahmad A.
$50, John C.
$45 (7th donation), Samarth M.
$44 (2nd donation), AllanR
$44, Деревяшкина Г.
$44, Roche M.
$44, Kristian E.
$44, Paul M.
$41 (3rd donation), Francis N.
$40 (6th donation), Patrick C.
$40 (2nd donation), Gerald F.
$40, Tom H.
$40, Guillaume K.
$40, Patrick C.
$40, Kenneth A.
$40, Isaac G. Callison aka “Loki”
$36, Michael O.
$35 (7th donation), Grady V. aka “Donate!
$35, R J.
$35, Getson L. D. M.
$33 (112th donation), Olli K.
$33 (4th donation), Ben E.
$33 (3rd donation), Manuel López
$33, Cezar B.
$33, Ioannis P.
$33, Joao D.
$33, Victor C.
$33, Jakob R.
$30 (3rd donation), S.S. Gold Coast aka “zoom zoom”
$30 (3rd donation), Colin H.
$30 (3rd donation), Daniel M.
$30 (2nd donation), Armin R.
$30, Jeffery S.
$30, Robert T.
$30, Ray B.
$30, Joseph G.
$30, Wesley R.
$30, Ray B.
$30, David C.
$30, None S. N.
$27 (3rd donation), Bernd J.
$27 (2nd donation), Stephan V.
$27 (2nd donation), David B.
$27 (2nd donation), Bam D. J.
$27 (2nd donation), Markus A.
$27, Lee P.
$27, Ralf R.
$27, W.n.j. M.
$27, Matthias R.
$27, Martin C.
$26, Zaahir L.
$25 (95th donation), Ronald W.
$25 (9th donation), Michael Welch aka “Dr. Mike
$25 (6th donation), Rene H. aka “Hogi”
$25 (5th donation), Gerhard A.
$25 (5th donation), Ian M.
$25 (4th donation), Ben J. aka “webwrx”
$25 (4th donation), Ken W. aka “Tracknut”
$25 (4th donation), Rod Hassler
$25 (3rd donation), John H.
$25 (3rd donation), Katherine K.
$25 (3rd donation), Rushikesh J.
$25 (2nd donation), David S.
$25 (2nd donation), Richard M.
$25 (2nd donation), Jake Phillips
$25 (2nd donation), Douglas S.
$25 (2nd donation), Somner S.
$25 (2nd donation), Alan M. aka “Phydoux “
$25 (2nd donation), Wilson R. M. R.
$25, Elizabeth I.
$25, John G.
$25, Andre D.
$25, Brandon P.
$25, Keith S.
$25, Daniel N.
$25, Charles G. J.
$25, Olin Z.
$25, Christopher H.
$25, Erik M.
$25, Alessio D. M.
$25, Harrison W.
$25, Patrick D.
$25, 小笠原 了
$25, James L.
$25, Edward O.
$25, Tomasz G.
$25, Gregory D.
$24, Jordan H.
$24, James K.
$22 (28th donation), Derek R.
$22 (11th donation), Anthony M.
$22 (8th donation), Alessandro P.
$22 (8th donation), Nigel B.
$22 (4th donation), Bertrand M.
$22 (4th donation), Simone G.
$22 (3rd donation), Alexander H.
$22 (3rd donation), Kimmo K.
$22 (3rd donation), Santiago
$22 (3rd donation), Thorsten S.
$22 (2nd donation), Dirk K.
$22 (2nd donation), Frédéric D. aka “AZAMOS
$22 (2nd donation), Vaidas Morkevicius aka “vaidasmo
$22 (2nd donation), Jose P. A.
$22, Helge R.
$22, Harry T.
$22, Lothar B.
$22, Rolf H.
$22, Alan K.
$22, Horst G.
$22, Claude B.
$22, Terre des Thés
$22, Tobias L.
$22, Artur K.
$22, Vincent B.
$22, Dieter L.
$22, Christoph M.
$22, Pier P. M.
$22, Carlos G. V.
$22, Tobias L.
$22, Walter R.
$22, Tom J.
$22, Ralph P.
$20 (20th donation), Lance M.
$20 (11th donation), John D.
$20 (11th donation), Bryan F.
$20 (9th donation), Mike W aka “bajan52”
$20 (8th donation), Grady V. aka “Donate!
$20 (5th donation), Kendall G.
$20 (5th donation), George R. aka “Az4x4”
$20 (5th donation), Anthony S.
$20 (4th donation), Larry R.
$20 (3rd donation), CA aka “Clauclau”
$20 (3rd donation), Earl P.
$20 (3rd donation), Antonio M.
$20 (3rd donation), William P.
$20 (3rd donation), Matthew L. A. aka “Matt”
$20 (3rd donation), David C.
$20 (3rd donation), Marc B.
$20 (2nd donation), Gordon S.
$20 (2nd donation), Kamil J.
$20 (2nd donation), Edmund M.
$20 (2nd donation), Jay J.
$20 (2nd donation), Robert J.
$20 (2nd donation), J. M. .
$20 (2nd donation), Rickey P.
$20 (2nd donation), Allan T.
$20, John J.
$20, Jory G.
$20, Roman R.
$20, Reynaldo H.
$20, Geoffrey B.
$20, Cs P.
$20, Marlos L.
$20, Eagles Nest Electronics
$20, John N.
$20, Joe A.
$20, Edward C. aka “Oldun”
$20, Stanislaus W.
$20, Shivam R.
$20, John R.
$20, Alfredo O.
$20, Vincent T. aka “Mr. Tee”
$20, Christiaan G.
$18 (31st donation), Johann J.
$16 (30th donation), Andreas S.
$16 (17th donation), Doriano G. M.
$16 (10th donation), Christian B.
$16 (5th donation), Mark F.
$16 (4th donation), Chris W.
$16 (3rd donation), Karl K.
$16 (2nd donation), Morten T.
$16, Eirikur M. O.
$16, Matei M.
$16, Christophe M.
$16, Matthias B.
$16, Istvan S.
$16, Sam N.
$16, Andres J. A. L.
$15 (22nd donation), Stefan M. H.
$15 (8th donation), Constantin M.
$15 (2nd donation), William L. F.
$15 (2nd donation), Braam W.
$15, Stephen D.
$15, Ralph S.
$15, David W.
$15, Ray J.
$15, David J. aka “DBJ
$15, Igor Chistruga aka “dreadangel”
$15, Michael W.
$13 (2nd donation), Franc Marx
$12 (100th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
$12 (40th donation), JobsHiringNearMe
$12 (2nd donation), Timothy M.
$12, Dave Langers
$12, Benedikt H.
$11 (32nd donation), Paul O.
$11 (11th donation), Denis D.
$11 (8th donation), Michiel B. aka “Fairyland Ironwolves
$11 (7th donation), Slobodan Vrkacevic
$11 (6th donation), Wolfgang G.
$11 (6th donation), François L.
$11 (6th donation), Michael R.
$11 (5th donation), Jean-françois E. aka “Jambalak
$11 (5th donation), Christian K.
$11 (4th donation), Finn H.
$11 (4th donation), Alexander P.
$11 (4th donation), Hans-Dieter S. aka “hadisch”
$11 (3rd donation), Long Nguyen
$11 (3rd donation), Paulo P.
$11 (3rd donation), Salvador C. M. O.
$11 (3rd donation), J. D. .
$11 (3rd donation), Gatis Kalnins aka “gatons
$11 (3rd donation), Robert W.
$11 (3rd donation), Christian S.
$11 (2nd donation), Josemi
$11 (2nd donation), Francis D.
$11 (2nd donation), Salvador C. M. O.
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$11 (2nd donation), Quintin C.
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$11 (2nd donation), Miguel A. D. R.
$11, David N.
$11, Artto A.
$11, Rodolphe S.
$11, George aka “Standicious”
$11, Luc D. K.
$11, Björn F.
$11, David P.
$11, Bobby Donchev
$11, Matteo C.
$11, Sanjay G.
$11, Bernhard L.
$11, Janet L.
$11, Jean-marc R.
$11, Esa K.
$11, Lack F.
$11, Lorenzo D.
$11, Cor V. B.
$11, Mufeed A.
$11, Vorobyov V.
$11, Patric E.
$11, Jan K.
$11, Francois B. aka “Makoto
$11, Brian N.
$11, Pascal R.
$11, Jozef V.
$11, Thomas E.
$11, Lothar U.
$11, Maciej R.
$11, Rupert B.
$11, S&H Uitgeverij B.V. aka “Glenn Goossens
$11, Barry H.
$11, Joaquim Barreto
$11, Serhii B.
$11, Ilka T.
$11, Van G. H.
$11, Thomas K.
$10 (35th donation), Frank K.
$10 (21st donation), Rick R.
$10 (15th donation), Laura NL aka “lauranl
$10 (15th donation), Hemant Patel
$10 (11th donation), AJ Gringo
$10 (9th donation), Anatolii B.
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$10 (8th donation), Ian E.
$10 (6th donation), Gary N.
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$10 (3rd donation), George C.
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$10 (3rd donation), Larry F.
$10 (2nd donation), Jordan R.
$10 (2nd donation), 鈴木 和夫
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$10 (2nd donation), Vince Montgomery aka “Vinnyj1701”
$10 (2nd donation), Financial Advisor Sarasota
$10 (2nd donation), William D.
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$10 (2nd donation), Moisés Bites aka “bites”
$10 (2nd donation), Robert W.
$10 (2nd donation), Angelo M.
$10 (2nd donation), Financial Advisor Sarasota
$10 (2nd donation), Pablo J. E.
$10 (2nd donation), Don V.
$10 (2nd donation), Hsu Po Yao aka “Jose”
$10 (2nd donation), Fence Company Wilmington
$10 (2nd donation), nakednorman
$10, Micheal H.
$10, Manuel S.
$10, Sammy S.
$10, Rolf V.
$10, Samuel Q. T.
$10, Marcelo Matos
$10, Leroy B.
$10, Henry G.
$10, Towing Wilmington NC
$10, Piyush A.
$10, Samuel M.
$10, Kushal C.
$10, Scriptoid s.r.l
$10, Pedro T. S. G.
$10, Guido Balduzzi
$10, Alejandro A.
$10, Minh Ngô
$10, Jotiar L.
$10, John B.
$10, Jeovanio B.
$10, Dani aka “Gestionatuweb.net
$10, Jim W.
$10, David F.
$10, John S.
$10, Vasiliy R.
$10, Francois-R L.
$10, Chuck R.
$10, Oda T.
$10, Edgar F.
$10, Thomas W.
$10, Jose R. C.
$10, David M.
$10, Guido Balduzzi
$10, Hsu Po Yao aka “Jose”
$10, Дмитрий С.
$10, Joongbum Moon
$10, Mark S.
$10, Turto T.
$10, Pedro R.
$10, Michael M.
$10, Barsegyan A.
$10, Lawn Care Wilmington NC
$10, Kevin M.
$10, Dmitry V. aka “morb”
$10, Carl M.
$10, Patrick W. aka “WL7JA “
$10, Свобонас М.
$10, Lawrence K.
$10, Greg G.
$9, Nielprekash S.
$9, A.R.
$8, Ian B.
$8, Carlos V. M.
$8, Jeremy N.
$7 (22nd donation), CV Smith
$7, Kostadin T.
$7, Мироненко Б.
$6 (3rd donation), gmq
$5 (38th donation), Eugene T.
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$5 (14th donation), GaryD
$5 (8th donation), Antonio Carlos L. Sampaio
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$5 (6th donation), Luiz H. R. C.
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$5 (4th donation), Alex Luton aka “Starcross
$5 (4th donation), Benjamin H.
$5 (4th donation), Life coaching Vancouver aka “Life coach
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$5 (2nd donation), Marcel B. aka “iMarcel”
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$5, Christian H.
$5, Jean R.
$5, Joona L.
$5, Chris K.
$5, Damir L.
$5, Marlon G. D.
$5, Daniel Serrano
$5, Rendy A.
$5, Nikolaos C.
$5, Afonso H. G.
$5, Nicolas B.
$5, Alex N. aka “Adventurer08”
$5, Федюнин А.
$5, Stephen M.
$5, Michael G.
$5, Sebastian J.
$5, Alejandro B. V.
$5, Thiago B. D. C.
$5, Ronny D.
$5, Anarlete R. A.
$5, Theo L.
$5, Enrique G. D.
$5, Gerrit P.
$5, Tamás K.
$5, Ruslan A.
$5, Dionysios K.
$5, Andrii P.
$5, Sérgio D. S. S.
$5, MinO aka “MinOtaVrS
$5, Josef M.
$5, Ronald A. P.
$5, Dawid L.
$5, Raunds Embroidery & Printing
$5, Frank M.
$5, Stephan B.
$5, Grahame M.
$5, Nicholas J.
$5, Andre K.
$5, Mauro M.
$5, Sam R.
$5, Francisco G. M. R.
$5, Heinz H.
$5, Joachim M.
$5, Jorge B. M.
$5, Maria L. G. N.
$5, Ιωαννης Μ.
$5, Vitor M. D. S. M.
$5, Ruslan A.
$4 (9th donation), David B.
$4 (3rd donation), Alexander S.
$4, Wanda A.
$4, Wanda C.
$4, Amanda S.
$4, Diane M.
$4, Paulo aka “Monteiro
$4, Jason L. M.
$4, Panji A.
$4, Michael R.
$3 (38th donation), Kouji Sugibayashi
$3 (37th donation), Kouji Sugibayashi
$3 (34th donation), Thomas F.
$3, Niklas W.
$3, Alex_Sander aka “Auberge”
$3, Andrzej P.
$3, Рамодин А.
$3, Erkki L.
$3, Потапов С.
$3, Eugene D.
$3, Chris P.
$3, Claus-ulrich L.
$3, Joseph F.
$2.5 (2nd donation), Bush L.
$2.5, Ken R.
$2.5, Javier C. T.
$83.71 from 66 smaller donations

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