IntroductionLinux Mint 15 has been out for a while and so there are already a number of good reviews written about it.
Linux Mint is a very popular distribution and the developers have set out on a different path to Ubuntu in that the emphasis is definitely about evolving the desktop environment as opposed to redefining it completely.
The Cinnamon desktop looks very Windows-esque but with a lot of bells and whistles added to make it a top notch environment. Windows users instantly feel familiar with the Linux Mint operating system.
Those reviews that haven't focused on the Cinnamon desktop have reviewed instead the Mate desktop environment which is basically a lighter desktop environment for users who have older hardware or hardware that misbehaves when running Cinnamon.
For KDE enthusiasts there is a KDE spin of Linux Mint and even this is covered quite well.
It isn't actually well known however that there is a dedicated XFCE version of Linux Mint.
I have been looking again at XFCE recently having written an article comparing Ubuntu and Xubuntu.
I simply stumbled across the XFCE version of Linux Mint whilst looking to download Linux Mint Debian Edition for a separate review.
So here it is my review of Linux Mint 15 XFCE.
InstallationTo get Linux Mint XFCE edition I visited the Linux Mint website and clicked the XFCE download link.
I then used Unetbootin to burn the ISO to a USB drive and rebooted into a live image of Linux Mint.
I performed my usual checks to make sure there were no glaring errors. The general things I test are internet connectivity and tasks that challenge the graphics and audio.
Satisfied that everything was working correctly I clicked the install icon and ran through the Linux Mint installer.
The install is a simple affair. Choose the language, keyboard, user name and whether to download updates as you go.
For me the trickiest part is the partitioning because whilst most users will choose to install alongside their current operating system or to use the whole disk I have my disk segregated into a number of partitions to allow for the fact that I do a lot of reviews and so I have to pick a distro to write over the top of. To be honest I've done this so many times now that it is second nature and the system installed without a hitch.
One thing that you will notice across all the versions of Linux Mint is a sense of consistency. Whether you are using the XFCE desktop, the KDE desktop, the Cinnamon or Mate desktops the overall style is the same.
The desktop wallpaper is obviously the same across all the versions but the panel at the bottom is also fairly consistent. It would have been easy for the developers to have added extra panels to XFCE and Mate as XFCE and Mate for me work better when there are multiple panels.
The whole Linux Mint look and feel is very Windows like. There is the main desktop with icons and a panel at the bottom which shows a menu icon, quick launch icons, open application windows and a system tray.
Changing the desktop wallpaper
Connecting to the internet
To install applications you use the software manager. The interface is fairly simple to use.
In the top right corner is a search box and the rest of the screen is a series of categories.
Clicking on a category shows various sub categories and a list of potential applications.
By drilling down you can find applications that meet your needs.
If you know the application you wish to install then you can enter the name or a description in the search box and a list of applications will appear with ratings next to them.
Double clicking on the application in the list shows a description of the software and you are now able to install it.
Flash and MP3Linux Mint ships with both Flash and MP3 installed by default.
Banshee was able to play any song in my collection instantly. I hate it when I install a distribution and get the GStreamer errors. I'm so glad that most distributions have this resolved by default now.
To get Linux Mint 15 XFCE
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