All about version numbers OR a rose by any other name…

We get a lot of questions about “when is MX-20” coming out? Short answer…it already is, sort of.

In the past, we have always bumped the MX major version at the end of the year, usually changing the default kernel and making some theme changes. With the MX 19 series, we made a few changes in the way we operate and provide MX Linux.

The first major change was using the LTS kernel on our standard release isos. And as of our 19.2 release, those kernels now auto-update along with the usual debian updates. Prior to MX 19, we used a backported debian testing kernel, which was usually several versions ahead of debian stable. Since they were not LTS kernels, updates usually meant bumping kernel versions and were not automatic, and that was justification for bumping our major release version, even though the even numbered MX releases were still based on the same debian release (17/18 are both debian 9/stretch for instance).

The second major change was the introduction of the “Advanced Hardware Support” repository and later the AHS-based release isos. Most of the things we would put into a “MX-20” are already built in to the AHS releases, newer default kernels, new firmware, mesa, and xorg drivers being the major examples. This lets us support newer hardware without unintended breakage on existing systems, which was a source of problems in the past. Basically AHS keeps moving and the standard/stable release isos stay stable.

The third major change was the introduction of the alternate officially supported desktops. Fluxbox was added to the usual flagship MX Xfce isos as an alternate select-able at login, and KDE/plasma was introduced as an “AHS” based official release iso.

So all of this is a long way of saying there won’t be a release named “MX-20” because we are going to keep using “MX-19.X” until we launch MX-21 based on debian bullseye when it goes stable next year. But don’t worry, we keep updating pretty much constantly, so you aren’t missing anything except some text that says “20”.



44 thoughts on “All about version numbers OR a rose by any other name…”

  1. I think skipping the MX-20 is the right decision.
    Major changes to the basic components are still ahead.
    Besides, MX-19.3 is currently well made.

    Rather than being disappointed with a 20 at odd timing
    It’s better to build and release for 2021 at the right time
    I think we can get more better results.

    Judgment that prioritizes reliability over annual convention, I like it!

  2. There will still be new iso releases available in the meantime, they just won’t be called mx20.

    First, there will be monthly updated snapshots of mx19.3 iso.

    Second, if enough updates have accumulated or the devs feel the AHS release should be refreshed with new kernel, mx19.4 iso will be released. It’s just that the name won’t have 20 in it.

  3. Hello dolphin_oracle and everyone
    19.20 (?) We are very into already MX19.xEraTwenty. Looks good MX20
    After Twenty comes Twenty-ish.

    bullseye, bookworm, trixie, each all twentyish
    Name change not needed for ten years, or so.(?)
    twentyish is 20 with X strikeover the 0. bullseye the first of that name. (?)
    Thank you mx developers. You have debian 11 in your sights?
    Thank you mx team.. a rose by any other name.
    .MX-19.x .

  4. It may be a little quick, (you can let me through)
    I think MX-21 will be a special thing in MX history.

    So why not consider a special code naming for version 21?
    For my example, “MX Linux 21 “Blackjack” , and more…

    (Blackjack card game. The player aims to get a
    higher score than the dealer so that the total score of
    the cards does not exceed 21 points.)

    • Yo había pensado siguiendo el tema “patito feo” (que ahora 19.3 es un bello cisne) que se llamara “oruga” para convertirse luego en una hermosa mariposa, ágil y vistosa… Pero la palabra la tendrán los desarrolladores.

  5. I was expecting something kinda this announcement and understand the philosophy behind it.

    But I have a suggestion that admins/devs might consider if worthy:

    Isn’t it better just to go on with a YY.MM.DD(M/P) versioning of the ISO from now on?
    Say an official ISO Major ISO released on Feb-14-2020 would be named : 20.02.14M, while a point release of April-10-2020 can be named : 20.04.10P

    That way, we can go on with a perpetual versioning system with easily identifiable Major and Point releases, and people not asking “Will MX-20/21 be released?” thinking if they’re missing this year’s release.

    Comments welcome.

    • This post is not about naming. It’s about maintainability. Having an MX 20 implies core changes that will not represent a big step and collide with the already coming Bullseye series, so focusing the attention on MX/Bullseye is a better approach to the efforts.

      This change in the philosophy could imply, by the way, there would be not MX 22 but maybe MX 23, until the post-bullseye release, because the approach is the same. More maintainability.

      With this post, it keeps the responsibility of premature core changes on the user side, without leaving the user in an Internet black hole (Debian), but with supported “core” changes — Debian Backports + Flatpak + MX Testing + AHS.

      Personally, this announcement was unnecessary (to me), because a long time ago the Debian team has already published the Debian calendar. Making an MX20 just means a desperate try on getting attention, as others distros.

  6. Muy buena explicación, gracias Dolphin_Oracle.
    Esperaremos pacientes a que salga Debian 11 y XFCE 4.16 para tener un nuevo MX con estos cambios incluidos que son bastantes e implican mucho trabajo para ajustar todo y que funcione perfecto como ha venido siendo siempre hasta el momento.
    Gracias por todo su tiempo y dedicación y por darnos este excelente regalo para nuestras máquinas.

  7. Thank you for clarifying. Thank you and the other developers for providing such a wonderful product for free. I use and enjoy it almost every day.

    Thank you.


  8. Thank you for the explanation and all the work the team do.
    I am running 19.2 using kernel 4.9.240-antix.1-amd64-smp. Is this the LTS version or should I change to a different kernel which will update automatically?

  9. If someone is on Kernel 5.4 (circa 02/15/20), will that automatically update to a newer kernel, or for instance, should someone wait for 5.10 to appear in the MX Package Installer?

  10. I dont care what number you call it. I’d suggest awesome linux! I have introduced 3 schools to MXlinux. I may like to look around(mostly educational linux) for fun but I run in MX Linux!

  11. MX is an expedition!!! And I enjoy it ever since I started using it. Yes, we don’t want new ‘Numbered’ version just because it’s one more year. Now, clearly I’m not using Ubuntu and happy about it.
    One month remaining to say good bye to the notorious 2020, can’t wait till then. See ya all in the amazing 2021, and thumbs up to all the devs for such amazing works…

  12. Once again the MX developers have made a thoughtful decision. In the last 5 months we have have continued to receive innovations like the addition of the KDE version, major upgrades of the MX Fluxbox desktop, and enhancements and new versions of MX tools that we have come to love and appreciate in our community. Being a new user since July 2020, I have appreciated the tips and tricks that I have found in the MX forum which have enabled me to do more with MX than I have done with a number of Linux distros in the last three years. I’m excited that I can continue to apt upgrade without needing to do a fresh install of MX in December or January to get the latest improvements. I can put off a major upgrade until it is time to rebase on a new Debian. I’m hoping this change frees up the dedicated development team to continue to improve MX incrementally without the need of having to prepare a whole new build of the distro for a version number bump. Thanks DO and all the rest of the MX developers.

  13. Since some countries use MM-DD-YYYY and others use DD-MM-YYYY. This can cause confusion. It is far better not to use either of these methods and go for YYYY-MM-DD, YYYYMMDD or just YYMMDD. The latter is good for many purposes. When I was at work I often numbered drawings that way. (Just don’t do 2 drawing in one day!)

  14. I love debian. Understandably devs will complicate the recognition of releases. I don’t care about that. I just want to be able to understand what version I’M using. I used an iso from last year but am always updated. I’m, atm, assuming I’m on a Buster 10 ‘build’ but conqy is wonky and doesn’t hardly ever display correct values. Using the built-in Sys Info gives me a vague reference to being on 10 Buster. Obviously when a release catches up with the main repos there are no surprises.
    The only thing I ask is to NOT take a pronoun already used. (don’t name it after a fish or use a catchy word used elsewhere such as “Dragon” or whatever).
    Merry Xmas everyone!

  15. Greetings everyone
    This is just my perspective.
    I predict MX Linux will see its environment so that it can adapt to Python.
    Debian too.
    1. Java Jakarta version (under development) will co-exist with Java SE and Java EE.
    2. C ++ updates its version in 2020.
    3. Python version 2 will end in version 2.7 end + final.
    this version has ended its official validity period and registration on this earth. Hehehe
    Python developers are changing direction in version 2.5 for antisipation to become Python 3 and in 2018 it is starting to be registered again as a free and open source programming language (FOSS).
    version 3.9 has been launched in October 2020, one step away from coming the Python release 4 (Changes from consolidated Python 2.7endversion with Python 3.9).
    You see in November – December 2020 because the environment has changed because your browsers remains always relevant to programming languages. (see your browser updates)
    The Debian Team and The Linux Mx Team must have thought about this as well.
    I created this review because I care and love MX Linux and The MX Forum.
    Bravo MXLINUX
    My respect to all of YOU.

  16. I miss the support of newer scanner software, especially SANE in MX-19.3.
    My CanoScan LiDE 400 scanner works fine under UBUNTU 20.10, but is
    under MX-19.3 not supported. So I hope that MX-21 with upgraded scanner
    support would be available in near future.

  17. Hi,
    I just wanted to thank you for your work.

    The system is great. I am a casual user of MX Xfce, but have tested some distros and this is definitely my favourite.
    Everything works well out of the box and is responsive, does not crash. There is no clutter. Updates are as idle as possible.
    And the best one – startup time. It seems to have been constant since the installation a year ago.
    I enjoy watching my 10-year old laptop starting superfast while my quite new one on Windblows 10 seems to be dying every morning, not to mention the apocalypse happening with any update being downloaded and installed.

    I think, that the most major thing I do not like is that the touchpad is set on every startup by default 🙂


  18. I decided to test 5.10 but it doesn’t work with suspend/resume on my system. So I uninstalled it… or at least I thought I did. After removing it through MX Package Installer, it still appears in GRUB and even boots successfully, despite not showing any indicate of being installed through MX PI. Is there a simple command line function to eliminate it from the system. Also, are are 4.19 kernels going to start updating through the command line?

    • you might need to “sudo update-grub” on whatever is controlling your grub menu, after removal. the standard isos will update the 4.19 kernel automatically, or if you install 4.19 thru the “kernels” section of mx-packageinstaller->popular apps. there is a debian metapackage that handles the update (linux-image-amd64). any deb can be installed thru the commandline or any of the package managers, it doesn’t matter.

  19. Why the hell don’t you date the posting and have dates/times for the comments?!?!

    The context that dates provides can often be very useful.


  20. I have tried many distro’s over the years and have found that MX is the only one that has truly “just worked out of the box”. All the others have had problems (even Mint), especially with networking and seeing my NAS drive and opening folders and files. Well done MX team on a superb distro, this will be my daily user from now on!

  21. Why recent updates(?) are showing with the month,and it seems each month, there is a new iso, i.e.,
    “MX-19.4_July_386.iso”? Is it necessary for us to constantly upgrade?

  22. Is there any chance that MX Linux will become a “rolling” distro? After almost 3 years with MX Linux, I tried Solus and Manjaro because they were rolling distros. I’m back to MX because I couldn’t get my printer to work on either of those. Love MX Linux but hate having to reinstall periodically.


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