Linux Mint 12 KDE Advanced Partition Tool

Linux Mint 12 KDE is the latest update to the line of Linux Mint editions that are based on Ubuntu Desktop and use the K Desktop Environment. It is actually the first release of the KDE edition in a very long time. The last release before this one was Linux Mint 10 KDE, which was released in February 2011. (See Linux Mint 10 KDE review.)

So we moved from Linux Mint 10 KDE to Linux Mint 12 KDE because Linux Mint 11 KDE did not make it out of the developer’s box.

Being based on Ubuntu Desktop, Linux Mint shares many of that distribution’s features. Other than changes in software and kernel versions, there are very few new features in this release, so rather than go through the usual review drill, I will concentrate purely on usage experience.

But not before making a brief stop at the installer. Nothing new there, but if you have never used this distribution or Ubuntu before, the installer is short on features, though the installation process is pretty straightforward. Just point and click a few times, and before you know it, you have yourself a brand new installation of a very popular Linux distribution. This is not a distribution you would want to use if you wish to set up a system with disk encryption and LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, as the installer does not have support for them. It has an automated disk partitioning option, with an advanced partitioning tool for when you want to partition the target hard drive manually. The screen shot below shows the advanced partitioning tool.
Linux Mint 12 KDE Advanced Partition Tool

Desktop and Usage: KDE 4.7.4, which was released in early December 2011, is the version of the K Desktop Environment that ships with Linux Mint 12 KDE. The latest version of KDE available for download is KDE 4.8, released January 25 this year. A screen shot of the default desktop is shown below. While there are several menu styles for KDE, the default on Linux Mint 12 KDE is the Kickoff menu, which just happens to be the default on the vast majority of distributions that use KDE.
Linux Mint 12 KDE Desktop

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This screen shot shows the KDE Plasma Netbook interface, originally designed for computers with small screens, but works just as well on larger screen sizes. KDE Plasma Netbook interface is really fun to use and was my favorite desktop interface until I came across the Takeoff Launcher, Stackfolder and Quick Access. Those three widgets make the default desktop a lot more fun to use, and so I have abandoned the Plasma Netbook interface. Nothing against it, just that the combination of Takeoff Launcher and Stackfolder, or Takeoff Launcher and Quick Access provided a slightly better usage experience. You might want to read How to compile and install Takeoff Launcher on Linux Mint 12 KDE and 1
Install Quick Access on Linux Mint 12 KDE or any KDE installation
Linux Mint 12 KDE Plasma Netbook

Printer Management: Any printer with a compatible entry in the printer driver database is automatically configured when connected to a PC running Linux Mint 12 KDE. That has always been one of the better features of all versions of Linux Mint. And that is exactly what is expected of any modern desktop operating system.

Digital Cameras: These are every where these days and with the way things are progressing, the next toaster you buy could have one built in. Heck, it might even have one capable of taking 3D shots. In any case, connect a digital camera to a system running this distribution, and the notification applet gives you the three options shown in this image. For managing digital photos and images, digiKam seems to be better than Gwenview. The interesting aspect to device notification on Linux Mint 12 KDE is that the same options shown in this image, are also the same you are offered if a USB drive is attached to the system.
Linux Mint 12 KDE Camera Notification Options

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Play Back of Encrypted Video DVD: When a video DVD is detected, two options, besides those associated with digital camera notification, is seen in the device notifier. One of those additional options is VLC, and because libdvdcss is installed after applying available updates, you can play any encrypted video DVD that you have access to. Libdvdcss “is a simple library designed for accessing DVDs like a block device without having to bother about the decryption.”
Linux Mint 12 KDE Video Notification

Software Manager: The computer I used to test this release is powered by an Intel Atom processor. It is a small but very nice touch screen all-in-one system I use to test many of the distributions reviewed on this website. While the installation of the distribution went without a hitch and the system ran just fine, the Software Manager was a different story. It failed to start the first time I tried, and when it did start, it crashed almost immediately, without generating an error message. On a different installation in a virtual environment using Virtualbox, Software Manager worked just fine, and has so far not crashed.
Linux Mint 12 KDE Software Manager


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17 Responses

  1. If your a Linux newbee or relative newbee or recent convert from MS windows then I have to say all this Gnome, gnome version 2, gnome 3, gnome shell, MGSE, Mate & Cinnamon stuff is excruciatingly confusing to say the least. Look I’m an intelligent person with quite a few years of IT behind me and even I have had to do extensive research & reading to finally grasp what the difference really is between MGSE and Mate for example. Its very hard and potentially off putting for Linux new people to be confronted with such complexities.

    1. The greatest asset of the free software/open source community, is there is no single controlling entity. And the greatest weakness? There is no single driving force, so you have a myriad of projects trying to do the same thing.

      This results, in many ways, to ill-conceived and weakly executed projects. Most developers seldom take non-technical users into consideration when designing their programs. They code for people just like them.

  2. Well, just like some of the other comments, I am also mystified about this whole thing. Now, me, I am not a linux master but just a user. The command line still for me is irksome, but will go there if need be.
    I use Ubuntu 11.10 on my desktop, and Linux Mint 12 on my laptop.
    Right now, I really don’t like either very much just because of the bugs but those will probably work out. MATE, Cinnamon, and Classic are okay and a big step in getting something going but I say fix what you started and not give something new. (the list at my login screens is getting way too long and a the present time I haven’t the knowledge to shorten them again)
    I need to have something that with two clicks or less, I can find, and start a program and have it rock stable, fully usable and will not crash the system.
    I struggled with the small things back in 2004 when Ubuntu was introduced to me, but I stuck with it and things got better. Changing the alert sound for new mail never worked and I couldn’t figure a way to make it work. I said surely they will fix it soon. You could pick a new sound but I couldn’t get it to play either in Evolution or TB. Late last year, I download LM12 and, wow, here is the sound. Why, did that take 7 years? I know some of you knew how and fixed in 2004 and I tried but gave up and so I just waited. But I think, if you have the option in the program you would kinda think it should work. That is all I ask.
    Now here is another question with all this going on who do you send money for thanking them for their hard work. Do I send it to Ubuntu or Linux Mint? If you send it to Linux Mint and they get the knowledge base from Ubuntu then how could that be fair.
    I like Linux and whatever distro “wins”, I will use. “Wins” is probably a poor term because the way it looks from just a user point of view, that Linux may self destruct from within just because of the different routes being taken (get so many distros that a newbie like me couldn’t make a decision on which one to use or which one is best). And after these years, I still feel like a newbie, maybe I should give up and go back to Ubuntu 10.10 where I did feel more comfortable, even if I couldn’t get the email alert sound to work.
    Thanks for listening to my frustration.

    1. @ Don

      To Play a custom sound file (wav) in Thunderbird please follow the steps given below:

      Downloaded Audacity from the Ubuntu Synaptic repositories. Open from Applications – Sound and Video – Audacity. Close the notification msg on top of Audacity workspace, click file, open and browse to load your desired soundfile. In the project rate box at the bottom my 11025 value showed up in the box.

      Open the box and select 22050. Next your file needs to be saved at this sample rate. However it seems, that although you can save directly, the only way to make the saved version useable by Thunderbird is to use the file – export function from the top menu list. Save the file in the directory of your choosing by exporting and close out Audacity.

      In the Ubuntu Top Menu, select System – Preferences – Sound – Sounds – Desktop/New Email and click on the default sound setting. Choose custom and browse to your new sound file’s directory and select your sound. When done, close out this feature and start up Thunderbird. On the top menu click edit – preferences and under the general heading in when new mail arrives, enable play a sound and use the following soundfile.

      Browse to your soundfile’s directory, select your file, close out this feature and send yourself a test email .

  3. So, you are saying this few weeks old project, with a few developers, hasn’t successfully completed their break from the fork point?
    Color me surprised!
    I FULLY expect every similar software project to be completed within a WEEK and it should only need one developer (if that!).

    Ugh, they are clearly not done with this, and there are months yet before the next Mint release. Relax. I won’t be using Mint b/c Shell is more interesting, has many more developers, is trying a genuinely new interface, but I am grateful for what Mint is trying to do. Really, I wish they’d break completely away from Ubuntu since they are sharing less and less with them.

    1. Exactly…it is only in alpa right now (and yet very stable and very nice to use)…each new version adds in more features…but it is like the foundation of a building…the building itself is in the process of being constructed….By the time Mint 13 arrives it should be very matured and feature rich…Even now it’s nicer to use then either unity OR gnome shell if you prefer a more conventional desktop…

  4. Cinnamon is an alternative to the wretched “Unity”. It needs work but is the best yet effort to create a familiar desktop on the Gnome 3 code base.

  5. I don’t understand all the drama. Good people are wasting hours tinkering with GNOME, basically trying to make it do what KDE already will do. If KDE’s too big, there are always LXDE and XFCE. I’m not a troll – just a 15-year KDE user who’s mystified by all this.

    1. I think there’s a degree of determination to force Gnome 3 to stop being such a grotesque turd of a GUI.
      Merely changing to KDE would be an admission of defeat.

      Don’t understand it myself – KDE treats me like an intelligent being capable of making my own decisions – Gnome treats me like a stupid child who needs everything done for him.

      1. Every aspect of Gnome is out of control if your looking in any way for a complete STABLE desktop, period. Gnome, Unity,Shell and Cinnamon gui are totally out of context with the real world usable desktop.

        Mint 12 has more bugs than a giant ant hill. These Gnome releases all look like beta’s and never should have been released in the first place.

        Everyone in Redmond has to be laughing at Gnome as its no better than there Vista ever was.

        I’ll stick with Fedora 16/kde or Kubuntu 11.10/kde and won’t look back.

        Gnome better wake up as it dosen’t know who their market really is.

        An old expression “Gnome looks like a jack of all trades and a master of none”

        1. Redmond may be laughing at Gnome but they haven’t heard of KDE.
          Also, it’s funny that you say gnome is a jack of all trades where that is EXACTLY what KDE purports to be. It offers tons of gui options, they just aren’t well tested and there is no integration.
          Gnome offers limited options but they are integrated and well tested, hence why you haven’t been hearing widespread cries of instability.

          1. hence why you haven’t been hearing widespread cries of instability.

            A stable turd is still a turd.

            KDE – not integrated and not tested?

  6. I use Cinnamon (not exclusively) and I agree that it’s a refreshing alternative to the horrible mess that GNOME 3 has become. I most often use MATE or XCFE, MATE for its familiarity, and XCFE for a usable, powerful desktop that, in its 4.x incarnation, didn’t try to fix what wasn’t broken.

  7. I was excited about Cinnamon until I saw that it is just as slow as gnome-shell with unaccelerated graphics. Hope it gets fixed otherwise it’s just another WM on the pile of gnome3 framework

    1. Right now, gnome-shell and Cinnamon require 3D enabled video hardware. This is a problem with Gnome’s ‘mutter’. Clement Lefebvre is forking ‘mutter’ as well and one of the goals of this particular fork is to enable 2D gnome-shell and Cinnamon capability.

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