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Linux Mint outlines better, unobtrusive update notifications

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Linux

Clem Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project, has written a blog post outlining new notifications that try not to be annoying but also remind users that they need to perform software updates to keep their computer secure. The details arrive a little over a month since Lefebvre pointed to stats that show some users were not applying security updates and in some cases, people were even running end of life versions of Linux Mint.

The Linux Mint team prides itself on its users controlling their computer rather than the other way around. New Mint versions only ever introduce conservative changes so that the whole operating system doesn’t need to be relearned and users are also given complete control over when, how, and which updates are installed; unfortunately, this mindset has led to some users running outdated, vulnerable software.

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Direct: Monthly News – March 2021

Linux Mint Introduces A Gentle Updates Notification System

  • Linux Mint Introduces A Gentle Updates Notification System

    Linux Mint team designed a notification system which acts as a gentle and welcome reminder regarding updates and took great care not to turn it into an annoyance.

    The Mint team did a research and figured out that many causal users recognize the importance of applying the updates, but since the OS doesn’t require them, they used to omit the update installation.

    Statistics showed that Linux Mint users are often running outdated software, which could be no longer supported. Even worse, it could contain exploitable vulnerabilities. To remedy the issue, a new pop-up has been created which lets the user know how many updates are available. It says also why updates need to be applied and lets users view available updates. In addition to, it gives users the option to turn on automatic updates.

Linux Mint will inform users about important security updates

  • Linux Mint will inform users about important security updates but not enforce them

    Last month, the Linux Mint team announced that it wanted to do something about systems not being upgraded to newer versions. Systems that were not supported anymore were vulnerable to attacks, and the same was true for systems that had not the latest security updates installed.

    This week, the team announced that it found a solution to the problem. Good news is, that it does not involve enforcing updates on user systems. Instead, the team created a notification system for updates that informs users about them.

    Unlike Microsoft on Windows 10, which pushes updates and notifications hard on users, the team decided to create a solution that gives users a lot of flexibility when it comes to updates and is not annoying.

Clickbait nonsense

  • Is Linux Mint Turning Into Windows? [Ed: Clickbait nonsense wherein the answer to the headline is "no"]

    In a March 31 blog post, the Linux Mint development team detailed how Mint's Update Manager application will soon start showing desktop notifications when a user has gone for a significant amount of time without applying any updates to the operating system. A small dialog will appear prompting the user to either view the updates, set up automatic updates, or snooze till later.

    Previously, the only indication of available updates has been a tiny red dot in the taskbar. The developers of the beloved Linux distribution claim they're adding the feature in response to research showing that a significant number of Mint users ignore any and all updates for extended periods, missing critical security updates in the meantime.

    The team found in interviews with Mint users that many "were sensitive to the importance of applying updates but didn’t do so simply because they were never really told to."

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