New features in Linux Mint 17.1 KDE

Linux Mint 17.1 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable to use.


Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca"KDE Edition

KDE 4.14

The previous version of Linux Mint used KDE 4.13. In this release, KDE is upgraded to version 4.14.

For an exhaustive list of KDE improvements, please visit:

KWallet Integration

Support was added in MDM and in the session for the KDE wallet to be fully integrated with Linux Mint.

Although a Wallet Manager is present for configuration purpose, no interaction is needed for the KDE wallet to work.

The wallet is created automatically with your first login, and it opens automatically in the background with every new session.

Update Manager

More meaningful updates

The Update Manager now groups packages together according to their source package. A line no longer represents a single package but a software update which consists in one or several packages.

When a developer fixes a bug or writes new features, the source code is modified and all packages which are related to it become available under a new version. It is therefore futile and sometimes dangerous to apply some package updates and not others within the same source package.

In the screenshot below, the Update Manager shows 10 software updates. These updates represent a total of 70 packages. The LibreOffice update is selected and the Update Manager shows the 22 packages it contains. At the bottom of the screen, the Mesa update contains 18 packages, some of which are known to break your system if you were to apply them individually.


More meaningful software updates

By grouping these updates the Update Manager prevents you from applying incomplete updates while making it easier for you to review them (updates make more sense and there's far less than before to review).

Kernel selection

As more and more kernels become available, the kernel selection screen was redesigned to quickly let you review known security fixes and known regressions:


Kernel selection in the Update Manager

Other improvements

Short descriptions were added. Both short and long descriptions now appear in your own language.

The main window no longer hides after installing updates.

Proxy support was added for the retrieval of changelog information.

Login Screen

Visual improvements

The Login Window Preferences were redesigned:


The Login Window preferences

The new layout features icons in the sidebar to access the different categories of settings.

The concept of "greeters" was confusing to users so it was replaced by a simpler theme selection. All themes (HTML and GDM) as well as the GTK greeter are now available from the same list.

A preview button, to quickly visualize the active theme, was added.

Under the hood improvements

The session output is now limited to 200KB (between 2000 and 4000 lines of logs), to prevent warning spam issued by toolkits, libraries or programs from filling up the .xsession-errors file, sometimes resulting in loss of performance, lack of HDD space, or the inability to log in.

The session output can also be filtered, to prevent warnings and errors from GTK, Glib, Gio, Gobject, Glade etc… from getting into .xsession-errors.

Note that the session output limit is enabled by default and the session output filtering is disabled by default. Both options are available in the MDM Setup tool.

In the login screen, touchpad taps are now disabled while the user is typing.

System improvements

Linux Mint 17.1 features the following system changes:

  • A new pastebin command was introduced. You can pipe a command into it or simply give it a filename. The text is then available online for 2 days:
    • echo "Hello World!" | pastebin
    • pastebin myfile.txt
  • The 'search' command now uses the current folder by default, so these three commands are now the same:
    • search in . for somekeyword
    • search for somekeyword in .
    • search for somekeyword
  • The 'apt' commands now feature bash completion

Artwork improvements

The default MDM theme for the login screen now features a slideshow. Additional HTML themes were also installed by default, including some of the great retro-looking themes from Sam Riggs, a new modern theme from Philipp Miller and some flat themes from Bernard.


All the backgrounds since the previous LTS

There are backgrounds galore in Linux Mint 17.1. All the backgrounds since the previous LTS (Maya, Nadia, Olivia, Petra, Qiana) were added, as well as a nostalgic selection of the best backgrounds from the early days of Linux Mint. You'll even find the notorious Dew background from Linux Mint 7 Gloria in there :)

Other improvements

The USB Image Writer now shows the percentage of completion in its titlebar, so you can minimize it while it's working and see its progress without having to switch back to it.

The Software manager now warns the user much more explicitly than before when an operation is about to remove other packages.

The Software Sources tool now checks the speed of repository mirrors much faster than before and in parallel. It also uses a retry mechanism on timeout and removes erroneous mirrors from the list.

The English version of the Official User Guide was ported to DocBook and is now available from Menu->Help. PDF versions in multiple languages are also still available at https://www.linuxmint.com/documentation.php

Main components

Linux Mint 17.1 features KDE 4.14, MDM 1.8, a Linux kernel 3.13 and an Ubuntu 14.04 package base.

LTS strategy

Linux Mint 17.1 will receive security updates until 2019.

Until 2016, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 17.1, making it trivial for people to upgrade.

Until 2016, the development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one.