Clem Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project, has shared some of the project's developments for October. He announced that the Chromium browser is now available from official repositories on Linux Mint and LMDE after it was previously removed and that the project has started work on an IPTV player.
During the development of Linux Mint 20, you may remember that the Linux Mint team was angry about Chromium’s snapd requirement added by Canonical - the maintainers of Ubuntu. In response, it replaced the Chromium package with a dummy package forcing users to download it from other places. To remedy this, the Linux Mint team has decided to begin providing Chromium builds on its own.
According to Lefebvre, Chromium takes more than six hours to build on a fast computer so It has allocated a new build server with a Ryzen 9 3900 processor, 128GB RAM, and NMVe to get builds done in just over an hour. With this setup, the Mint team can detect, package, and compile new versions of Chromium in a timely manner.
With regards to the new IPTV player, Hypnotix, Lefebvre says the project is still considered to be an early alpha with no translations, a limited interface, and few features. It’s not even clear at this point whether Hypnotix will be part of Linux Mint but the team is enthusiastic about the project and they received good feedback when floating the idea to users last month.
Hypnotix comes pre-configured with FreeIPTV, a free content provider which streams a selection of TV channels. There is no graphical interface yet that allows users to add more content providers but you can add them via the command line with the following command gsettings set org.x.hypnotix providers "['Provider_Name:::https://m3u_url.m3u']" and replacing the provider name and address. If you’d like to try out this very early build of Hypnotix, you can download it here.
The Mint team has also added the ability to mark files as favourites by right-clicking on them, this will move them to the top of folders making them easy to find. Favourites can also be accessed from the sidebar. The team has also updated Cinnamon to use Mozjs78 which results in slightly better performance, especially during startup.
The last several months of work will culminate around December when Linux Mint 20.1 will be released to the public. Like Linux Mint 20, it will be supported until 2025.