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

Based on Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, Linux 2.6.31, KDE 4.3.4 and Xorg 7.4, Linux Mint 8 "Helena" KDE CE features a lot of improvements and the latest software from the Open Source World.

Linux Mint 8 "Helena" KDE

Featured improvements in this release: 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.

Changes in the default software selection

The following applications are now installed by default:

Minitube: Type a keyword and it plays and endless video stream of Youtube videos.

Tucan: Upload and download from the most famous file hosting sites (e.g. rapidshare, megaupload) the easy way.

Google Widgets: Add Google widgets to your desktop.

Songbird: Browse the Web while playing music, find music online, extract songs from web pages..

KDE partition manager: Manage your hard-drive partitions.

Guarddog: Easily configure your firewall.

Wine, the Windows compatibility layer, is also installed by default.

Network-manager-gnome replaces knetwork-manager.

Artwork changes

The artwork in Linux Mint 8 KDE CE was greatly improved and the result shows the confluence between KDE and Linux Mint.

The new logo was made by Henrique Perticarati.

The background is a customized version of "Air Mint" from dlkreations.

Last but not least, the KDE project continues to improve the look of the desktop. "Air" replaces the older "Oxygen" theme bringing some noticeable improvements to many of the widgets.

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 KDE comes with a linux 2.6.31 kernel.

KDE 4.3 improves performance and usability.

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

Kubuntu 9.10 also introduced improvements in the boot sequence.