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30 November 2012, 16:00

Linux Mint 14.1 released to fix showstopper bugs

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Over a week after the release of Linux Mint 14, code-named "Nadia", project leader Clement Lefebvre has announced version 14.1 of the distribution. The developers have also remastered the ISO images available on the project's web site – this was necessitated by three high-profile bugs causing performance issues on machines with Intel GPUs, installer problems on EFI systems, and internet connectivity problems in virtual machine setups.

On machines with Intel graphics chipsets, a race condition between the Plymouth boot screen and the Xorg server led to the Intel driver being discarded in favour of the modesetting of fbdev options, which would cause the desktop to be rendered with llvmpipe, that is, completely using the CPU. This obviously led to severe performance degradation. Version 1.0.8 of the Mint Display Manager (MDM) fixes this issue and has been included on the reworked ISO images.

The developers also authored a fix to their boot sequence that corrects the EFI implementation of the GRUB boot loader. The original Linux Mint 14 image was apparently unable to boot on systems that use an EFI BIOS. The developers point out that despite this fix, Linux Mint is still unable to boot in Secure Boot environments and that users will have to turn Secure Boot off to boot the distribution.

The third bug that was fixed concerned a problem with DNS resolution. It prevented users from accessing the internet in situations where Linux Mint was not able to connect to a DNS server, which often affected virtual-machine-based installs. With the update, the distribution now uses OpenDNS by default if it can not contact any other DNS servers. According the Lefebvre: "this guarantees better out of the box connectivity".

Respun ISO images for the different Linux Mint editions are available for download from the Linux Mint web site. The size of the images ranges between 845MB and 968MB. Users who are already using Linux Mint 14 will not have to reinstall the distribution, they can simply install the relevant updates from the update manager built into the distribution.


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