New features in Linux Mint 14 Xfce

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment which aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly. This edition features all the improvements from the latest Linux Mint release on top of an Xfce 4.10 desktop.

Xfce 4.10


Linux Mint 14 "Nadia" Xfce Edition

The highlight of this edition is the latest Xfce 4.10 desktop, which features the following improvements:

  • Online documentation
  • Application finder
  • Multiple rows and deskbar mode in the panel
  • Actions plugin
  • MIME type editor
  • Single-click operation, automated background image cycling and thumbnail rendering on the desktop
  • Edge-tiling in the window manager

For a complete tour of the new features in Xfce 4.10, please visit http://xfce.org/about/tour.

Software

Linux Mint 14 Xfce Edition is both lightweight and comfortable to use. It comes with some of the popular applications found in other Linux Mint editions such as Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Gimp, Banshee, Pidgin and Xchat, but it also replaces many aspects of the desktop with more lightweight Xfce alternatives:

  • Thunar is the default file browser
  • Xfce Terminal is the default terminal application
  • Xfburn is the default CD/DVD burner application
  • Ristretto is the default image viewer
  • Blueman is used by default for Bluetooth support
  • The default notification daemon is xfce4-notifyd, which is themeable and configurable.

Thunar, Xfce Terminal, Xfburn, Ristretto and xfce4-notifyd are installed by default

MDM

MDM was given a lot of attention and comes with exciting new features.

MDM now supports legacy GDM 2 themes. About 30 of them are installed by default in Linux Mint 14 and you can find 2,000 more in gnome-look.org.


There are thousands of themes available for MDM

This makes MDM the display manager with the most themes available (GDM isn't themeable) and the theme format is so trivial you can make your own very easily and make your login screen look exactly the way you want.

MDM now also features improved support for user lists and "faces", so instead of typing usernames you can select a theme with a userlist and simply select the user you want to log in as. If the user has a ~/.face picture, his/her face will appear to represent him/her in the list.


User lists and faces support in MDM

User-switching is now improved. You can still select Menu->System tools->New Login (or Menu->System tools->New Login in a Window if you have xnest installed) but you can now also simply lock the screen and click the "Switch user..." button.


You can now switch user from the lock screen

After 6 months of development, the new MDM also features numerous bug and security fixes.

Software Manager

The Software Manager received a lot of "under the hood" improvements. It no longer uses aptdaemon (which was responsible for crashing or freezing the application under certain conditions) but its very own apt client. It now also come with full debconf support so you no longer need to use Synaptic for debconf enabled packages (such as the Microsoft Fonts, or Wine).


Debconf support, apt client, and improved navigation in the new Software Manager

It's also more convenient than before. It runs as root so you no longer need to type your password everytime you click "install" and the application page is now reloaded following the installation or removal of the application.

Also, "Search while typing" is now configurable and can be disabled.

System improvements

MintStick replaces USB-ImageWriter, for a better UI and better progress reporting.

Gedit 2.30 replaced Gedit 3. It's a more mature/stable alternative, which provides more features and a much better search functionality than the latter version.

To provide better connectivity out of the box, Linux Mint now falls back to OpenDNS when the system fails to contact a valid DNS server.

MintSystem now provides two additional commands:

  • dns-fix sets your DNS resolution to OpenDNS
  • xchat-systray makes your Xchat systray icon re-appear after restarting the desktop (this is particulary useful to Cinnamon developers)

Artwork improvements

Linux Mint features a collection of beautiful background photographs from Al Butler, Nicolas Goulet and Steve Allen.


A beautiful collection of backgrounds

Special attention was given to Mint-X and its support for GTK3.6 to make GTK3 applications look native and integrate well with the rest of the desktop.

The icon theme was also greatly improved. It caught up with most of the enhancements from upstream Faenza and some of its derivatives and received better quality as well as a wider collection of icons.

Upstream components

Linux Mint 14 features the following upstream components: Ubuntu 12.10, Linux 3.5, Xfce 4.10.