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Linux Mint 10 KDE review

Linux MintLinux Mint 10 KDE is the latest release of Linux Mint. It is one of several editions of Linux Mint, a desktop-oriented distribution that is based on Ubuntu Desktop Edition. This release comes more than three months after the main Linux Mint 10 edition was released. The main edition, by the way, uses the GNU Object Model Environment (GNOME).

The following is a detailed review of Linux Mint 10 KDE.

Installation: The boot methods presented by the installation program allows you to boot into a Live environment, the default, or to boot into the operating system installed on the hard disk. Installation can only be initiated from the Live environment.

Installation itself is a basic 6-step process. LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, RAID and disk encryption are not supported. Encryption of the home folder is optional. The default journaling file system is ext4, with ext3, xfs, jfs, reiserfs and btrfs as alternate journaling file systems. A new installation of Linux Mint 10 KDE takes up about 4.5 GB of disk space, and by default, the system is installed on one main partition. The boot loader is GRUB 2, the same boot loader now used by majority of Linux distributions.

You might want to read how to dual-boot Linux Mint 10 KDE and Windows 7.

Desktop: Linux Mint 10 KDE ships with KDE 4.6, the latest stable version of the popular desktop environment. Unlike the main edition, which uses mintMenu, Linux Mint 10 KDE desktop sports the Kickoff-style menu, which is an interesting choice because mintMenu is a whole lot better than the Kickoff menu. mintMenu is not installed, but after installing it, I could not figure out how to add it to the panel. Perhaps this is why it is not the default menu.

If like me, you are not able to replace the Kickoff menu with mintMenu, the Lancelot is another alternative. It is better than the Kickoff menu, and closer in design to mintMenu.

If none of the menu styles appeal to you, you might just as well switch to the KDE Plasma Netbook Desktop interface, which has a higher coolness rating than the traditional desktop interface. Beyond coolness, the Plasma Netbook interface could very easily be the default on any KDE distribution. It has been much improved since the last time I review it.

Package Management: Synaptic Package Manager and Software Manager are two graphical package managers installed by default, which is pretty much standard on all Debian (see Debian 6 review), Ubuntu and distributions based on them. Both package managers are excellent graphical package installation tools. You can, of course, still choose to install applications from the command line using apt-get. Unlike the update notifier on the main Linux Mint edition, which is configured to check for package updates daily, the update manager on Linux Mint 10 KDE is configured to check for updates every 15 minutes, with a 30-second delay on startup.

Installed and Installable Applications: Here is a list of major applications installed:

  • Firefox (3.6.13)
  • OpenOffice.org
  • Hugin Panorama Creator
  • Amarok
  • GNOME MPlayer
  • VLC
  • Minitube (a Youtube client)
  • KMyMoney, a personal finance manager
  • Mozilla Thunderbird mail and news client
  • Google Gadgets
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