What's new in Linux Mint 8 Helena Fluxbox Community Edition?

Based on Linux Mint 8 Main Edition, Linux 2.6.31, Fluxbox 1.1.1 and Xorg 7.4, Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox CE features a full desktop experience while remaining low on resource usage.

Linux Mint 8 "Helena" Fluxbox

Featured improvements in this release: Low resource usage, OEM installation, possibility to ignore updates, multiple selection in the Software Manager.

Software manager improvements

Visual improvements: The graphical interface is now easier to use and it shows more content. The layout was changed and by putting the screenshots in the corner of the application you can now see more software and more reviews at once.

A better layout for the Software Manager

Packaged updates: You don't need to manually refresh the Software Manager anymore. When new data is available you get notified by the Update Manager of a new version of "mintinstall-data".

APT status: The Software Manager is now aware of the APT status of each application. Among other things, this means you can now see the size and version number of each application and whether they're installed on your system or not.

Software removal and multiple selection: The Software Manager now allows you to mark multiple applications for installation and/or removal. A new apply button confirms your choices and processes them all at once.

Update manager improvements

Visual improvements: A few enhancements make the update manager look better than ever.

In the view menu you can now define the visible columns in the list of updates. You can also resize the update manager to make it look exactly the way you want. It will remember its size and the columns you chose and it will look the way you defined.

In this example, the update manager was made smaller and shows only the name and size of the updates

When visible, the update manager now uses Synaptic to refresh the list of updates. As a result you'll see progress information on the screen.

Manually refreshing the update manager now shows progress information

If a problem occurs, the error message now appears in the main window and not only in the logs. This makes it easier for you to detect if there's something wrong with your repositories.

Software sources: In the edit menu, you can now access the "Software Sources" tool.

You can decide which repositories you want to use.

Enable and disable repositories easily

And you can also improve performance by selecting among the Linux Mint mirrors available.

Find the best package mirror

Ignored packages: In the preferences, you can define a list of packages for which you do not whish to receive updates. You can also use wildcard characters to define groups of package updates you want to ignore.

Define the packages you don't want updates for, no matter what level we assign to them

Other improvements:

  • The detection of updates is now faster and more reliable.
  • Errors are better handled and now appear in the main window.

Menu improvements

The Synaptic Package Manager has been added to the top level menu, and the "System Tools" submenu from from Linux Mint 6 Fluxbox CE has been broken down into smaller, less intrusive submenus.

System settings

In order to cut down on resource usage, this edition runs with no system settings daemon of any sort. This has given us the opportunity to pull some of the best standalone open source tools together, including LXAppearance from the LXDE desktop environment, Network Manager from the Gnome desktop environment, xfprint4 from the XFCE desktop environment, the advanced Fluxbox configuration tools in Fluxconf, and low-resource low-footprint tools such as Simple Keyboard designed specifically for this release.

Changes in the default software selection

Unlike the previous Fluxbox Community Editions, OpenOffice.org comes preinstalled this time. Also, the Decibel audio player and Totem movie player are installed to handle user media, and LXTerminal replaces the XFCE4 Terminal found in prior releases.

Artwork changes

The default theme is the same Shiki-Wise theme found in the Main Edition. The Fluxbox style used this time is a port of the same. The icon theme is a fairly conservative one called "Minty Leaf" by mickyz and was sourced from http://www.gnome-look.org. Several of the wallpapers from the Main Edition have found their way in as well, the default being "Fresh" by Zwopper.

Other improvements

Community editions now use their own repositories and are now able to pin packages from the main edition.

Dependencies were simplified and the Mint tools were made more modular. In particular they can now be installed on Ubuntu without any configuration.

The branding used in the Mint tools was removed to make it easier for other distributions to use them and to give a more professional look to the desktop.

An OEM installation can now be launched from the liveCD boot menu.

Upstream Improvements

Linux Mint 8 Helena Fluxbox comes with a linux 2.6.31 kernel.

Fluxbox 4.3 improves performance and usability.

The Ubiquity installer features graphical improvements and support for the ext4 filesystem.

Linux Mint 8 is based on Ubuntu Karmic Koala. Make sure to read the known issues related to this release: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/910