What's new in Linux Mint 6 Felicia Fluxbox Community Edition?

Linux Mint Fluxbox Community Edition is based on Xubuntu 8.10 Intrepid, Linux 2.6.27, Fluxbox 1.0.0 and Xorg 7.4. Included is an all-new menu system, Mint-FM2, Slim as a display manager, Live CD features that should make it easier to install on low-end machines, a brand new "Software Manager", FTP support in mintUpload, proxy support and history of updates in mintUpdate, mint4win (a Linux Mint installer for Microsoft Windows), and much more minty goodness.

Linux Mint 6 "Felicia" Fluxbox Community Edition

Mint-FM2, the Mint Fluxbox Menu

Mint-FM2 is the new version of the auto-generated and auto-updating Fluxbox menu first seen in the Elyssa release. The new version provides full support for localizations where translations are available. There is a new icon searching algorithm which is more accurate and allows you to choose your preferred icon theme to be used in the menu. As before, icons can be enabled/disabled in mintDesktop. Also merged into the menu system, is a new 'Ciao' exit dialog. Now users will no longer have to enter an admin password to shutdown, reboot, hibernate or suspend.

The menu is still tweaker friendly. All custom changes you make to the menu will be preserved through menu updates. However, custom changes in the auto-generated parts of the menu are lost when the menu is regenerated. To provide for custom menu entries that persist through menu regeneration, we have provided a file ~/.fluxbox/custom-menu-entries where you can have your custom entries that are not affected by menu regeneration.

Configuration options for Mint-FM2 are stored in the file ~/.mint-fm2/mint-fm2.conf. Here you can manually configure whether menu icons are enabled/disabled, the icon theme to be used for the menu and login/logout sounds to be used. Each submenu of the main menu is stored in a standard Fluxbox menu file in ~/.mint-fm2/submenus.

Mint-FM2

Live CD Features

We have integrated some brand new features into the Live CD which will hopefully make it easier to install Linux Mint Fluxbox Community Edition on lower spec hardware.

Firstly, we have disabled some largely unnecessary services in the Live CD environment. These include acpid, acpi-support, anacron, apmd, atd, bluetooth, cron, cups, dns-clean, mpd, powernowd, powernowd.early, readahead, readahead-desktop, samba and ufw. This should provide for a snappier Live CD.

Secondly, once booted, the Live CD now provides you with three options for what kind of Live CD session you would like to start.

Live CD Session Dialog

The dialog (as seen above) gives you a recommendation based on the system it is running on as to which option is best. Following this recommendation should help you avoid any resource related problems during the installation. A working network connection is required during installation for downloading of certain language specific packages. This is more important when a non-English installation is being done. If no working network is detected, it will be mentioned in the recommendation.

Three options are provided for the Live CD session:

  1. Full Desktop: This session will start all the services that are disabled by default on the Live CD and login you into a fully functional Linux Mint Fluxbox environment. This session is identical to an installed system. At least 300MB RAM is recommended to perform an installation in this session.
  2. Light Session: This session will start a minimal Fluxbox environment. None of the services are started and none of the background or system tray applications are started. You can use this session if you just need to set up a swap partition or configure your network. 256MB RAM or 128MB RAM with swap enabled is recommended for performing an installation in this session.
  3. Installer Only: This session will start up the installer and nothing else. This is perfect if you just want to get right into the installation or if you want to avoid the overhead RAM usage of running anything else (Fluxbox included). 196MB RAM or 128MB RAM with swap enabled is recommended for this session. If you need to configure your network or create a swap partition before installation, you will not be able to do it in this session.

Slim

Slim Login Screen

Probably the biggest under-the-hood change is the replacement of GDM with Slim as the display manager. Credit goes to Merlwiz79 for building our custom package. Generally, using slim shouldn't be any different from using GDM. At the login screen, certain keys have been configured for various functions:

  • F1: Cycles through available sessions (Please note that startfluxbox and startmintfluxbox are two different sessions. startmintfluxbox is the correct one for this distribution. startfluxbox is the stock fluxbox session)
  • F4: Suspends the machine
  • F5: Reboots the machine
  • F6: Halts / Shuts down the machine

Also note that using Slim means that the Auto Login option in the installer will not work.

Linux Mint Tools

mintInstall 5

mintInstall 5 has a brand new frontend giving you the possibility to browse available applications in the Linux Mint Software Portal, view screenshots, get version information and read user reviews even while offline. Installing from the Linux Mint Software Portal, Getdeb and Apt is just a few clicks away.

mintInstall

mintUpdate 3

Improvements include a rebuilt GUI, update history information and logs, support for proxy internet connections and improved stability

mintUpdate

mintUpload 2

mintUpload 2 now supports uploading to FTP servers. With mintUpload 2 you can now define "upload services" by adding files in /etc/linuxmint/mintUpload/services/ or in ~/.linuxmint/mintUpload/services/

Here's an example of an FTP upload service:

    type=FTP
    name=My own FTP service
    host=myhost.com
    user=myusername
    pass=mypassword
    path=myuploads

The "path" is optional, it lets you define where within your FTP service you want the files to be uploaded. In this example we're not uploading them in the root folder, but within a directory called "myuploads".

mintUpload

mintNanny

MintNanny is a small graphical interface which lets you "block" domain names. You can't block domains for particular users or particular programs, the block is for everyone on the computer and for any protocol.

mintNanny

mint4win

mint4win is a Windows installer for Linux Mint. If you run Microsoft Windows, insert the Live CD and a program called mint4win will launch automatically. This program is an installer for Linux Mint which runs on Windows. It installs Linux Mint within a file on one of your partitions and it doesn't touch your existing partitions. It also sets up a Windows multiboot for you.

mint4win

mintDesktop

mintDesktop is a tool to easily configure different aspects of your desktop.

mintDesktop

Thunar Custom Actions

Thunar Shares

Thunar Shares is a Thunar file manager extension to share files using Samba. The backend is based in nautilus-share plugin.

Thunar Shares

Media Player Daemon (MPD)

Media Player Daemon (MPD) is set up by default to include the user's Music directory in its library regardless of which language the folder is named in. In order to play music with Gnome Media Player Client (GMPC) you will have to copy your music collection to your Music directory or create a symbolic link to your collection in your Music directory. Then update the library by selecting Server>Update Database. The MPD library will update and your collection will now be available in GMPC. MPD will not play files not included in the library. For this, use Mplayer movie player or VLC Player.

MPD + GMPC

Remote Desktop with Vino

Remote desktop viewing and sharing is much easier with Vino.

Remote Desktop

Gmrun

Gmrun is a run dialog that features autocomplete and a saved history of previous commands.

Gmrun

Gufw

Gufw is an easy and intuitive Firewall configuration tool which now comes pre-installed in Linux Mint Fluxbox CE.

Gufw

Conky

Conky is a light weight system monitor that is set to display on the Desktop. The minty colour scheme is maintained from previous releases and now you can Alt+Click to drag 'n' drop Conky where ever you want on your Desktop!

Conky

sysv-rc-conf

In addition to the GTK System Services GUI, we have included the CLI based sysv-rc-conf tool for configuring system services. sysv-rc-conf gives you more power if you wish to tweak your system to be as light and fast as possible. By carefully choosing which services are enabled and limiting applications that are run at startup to those that suit your needs and hardware, a very lean system is easily set up. Look at the Conky screenshot above!

sysv-rc-conf

Automatically Restore Configurations

This feature has been present since the Daryna release but many users do not know of it. Should you, for some reason, mess up your Fluxbox, Mint-FM2 or certain other settings and have no idea how to fix it, there is a simple solution to restore the default settings. Simply delete the concerned file(s) or folder(s), log out and log back in. The default settings will be restored. See the /etc/skel directory to find out which files/folders are restored. Only files and folders that are not present in your Home folder are restored.