New features in Linux Mint 15 KDE

KDE is a vibrant, innovative, advanced, modern looking and full-featured desktop environment. This edition features all the improvements from the latest Linux Mint release on top of KDE 4.10.


Linux Mint 15 "Olivia" KDE Edition

KDE 4.10

The highlight of this edition is the latest KDE 4.10 desktop. Here are a few examples of what is new in KDE 4.10:

  • A new screen locker makes Workspaces more secure.
  • KWin now detects some virtual machines and enables OpenGL compositing if possible. In addition, the proprietary AMD driver now has OpenGL 2 support.
  • Printer setup, maintenance and job control are improved with a new implementation of the Print Manager.
  • Dolphin has seen many bugfixes, improvements and new features. Transferring files to and from a phone or other mobile device has become easier with support for MTP devices, which show up in the Places panel. The size of Panel icons can now be changed, and other usability and accessibility options have been added.
  • Kate got an improved notification system, an optional 'minimap' as scrollbar, predefined color schemes and much more.
  • Konsole brings back print-screen as well as options to change line spacing.
  • In Okular, the newest features include a technique called tiled rendering which allows to zoom in further and faster than before.
  • Gwenview improved thumbnail handling and supports color correction of JPG and PNG files.
  • KMail introduces Text Autocorrection, including word replacement and capitalize the first letter of a sentence. It also gained the ability to automatically resize images attached to emails.

For a complete tour of the new features in KDE 4.10, please visit http://www.kde.org/announcements/4.10.

MDM

MDM now features 3 greeters (i.e. login screen applications):

  • A GTK greeter
  • A themeable GDM greeter, for which hundreds of themes are available
  • A brand new HTML greeter, also themeable which supports a new generation of animated and interactive themes

Interactive and animated login screens, in HTML5

The new HTML greeter supports most Web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, Javascript, WebGL and can be used to produce beautiful animated and interactive login screens.

Linux Mint 15 features a collection of GDM and animated HTML themes for MDM, including a WebGL theme called "Clouds GL" which simulates flying in 3D through the clouds :)

The layout of the GTK greeter was improved, and the GDM greeter is now able to draw frames around text entries if the theme asks for it (this significantly enhances the quality of some of the GDM themes).

MDM received a lot of "under the hood" improvements and bug fixes in the last 6 months.

The MDM configuration tool, mdmsetup, looks better and is more intuitive than before.

Software Sources

A new tool called MintSources, aka "Software Sources", was developed from scratch with derivative distributions in mind (primarily Linux Mint, but also LMDE, Netrunner and Snow Linux). It replaces software-properties-gtk and is perfectly adapted to managing software sources in Linux Mint.

From the main screen you can easily enable or disable optional components and gain access to backports, unstable packages and source code:


The new Software Sources tool

You can also switch to a faster mirror with one click of the mouse. The tool performs a speed-test of all available mirrors for you:


A quick speed test to choose the fastest mirror...

MintSources also features PPA, 3rd party repositories and authentication keys management.

A "Maintenance" section provides solutions to common APT problems.

Driver Manager

Another tool was developed for Linux Mint 15: MintDrivers, the "Driver Manager".


The Driver Manager

MintDrivers relies on the same Ubuntu backend and works the same way as software-properties. It just looks a bit better:

  • The "Driver Manager" is an independent application, separate from "Software Sources" and which you can launch straight from the menu.
  • Drivers are listed by package name, and their version are clearly stated (in the case of the nVidia drivers you can therefore choose according to a particular version instead of wondering what "current" or "updates" really mean).
  • Devices from popular brands (nVidia, ATI, Broadcom, Samsung...) are illustrated with an icon.

Software Manager

The Software Manager received some new features and bug fixes.

  • Pagination is now automated. The Software Manager loads more results as you browse near the bottom of the list.
  • Large scores were fixed and are no longer cut-off.
  • It is now possible to search within a particular category.
  • Packages from the "Java" section now appear in the "Programming" category.

System improvements

The Update Manager is now able to refresh the APT cache in user mode and without any user intervention.

The Welcome Screen received a lot of bug fixes and its look and feel was slightly improved.


The Welcome Screen

Artwork improvements

Linux Mint features a collection of beautiful background photographs from 12 different artists.


A beautiful collection of backgrounds

The Plymouth theme was updated and now shows the Linux Mint logo with a fade-in effect.

Upstream components

Linux Mint 15 features the following upstream components: Ubuntu 13.04 package base, Linux 3.8 kernel, KDE 4.10, MDM 1.2.