Linux Mint 12 KDE Lisa’ review with screenshots

Linux Mint 12 KDE is very easy to use and glossy at graphics appeal. Windows users, moving to Linux will find to be pleasantly simple using Linux Mint KDE. This release is based on Kubuntu 11.10. Linux Mint is a developing Linux distribution and for past some releases, Linux Mint has taken KDE, LXDE, Xfce based versions of Linux Mint as official releases. Recently, I got opportunity to get my hands on its latest KDE edition (Linux Mint 12 KDE version). I was little bore of my Ubuntu 11.10 and wanted to try something new. I thought to give KDE a try, as I’ve not used KDE for last seven months. Some time before, Blue Systems sponsored Linux Mint to work in collaboration with Netrunner (a KDE based Linux distro) to develop KDE with innovation. I must say that they’re working really good, Linux Mint 12 KDE is awesome (with small exceptions).

New changes

Linux Mint 12 KDE features a fast and lightweight KDE environment. Some of the new features in Linux Mint 12 KDE are:

  • Use of Hybrid ISOs instead of simple ISOs enables you to make a boot-able pen drive simply using dd command (with no persistence storage). But you can use UNetbootin to create pen drives with persistent storage.
  • DuckDuckGo is the new search engine shipped with Firefox in Linux Mint 12 KDE. Linux Mint team’s new business model state to include only search engines that share search revenue with Linux Mint team. But, you can easily add other search engines via Firefox in Linux Mint 12 KDE.

Startup & Installation

I installed Linux Mint KDE from the 32-bit ISO named linuxmint-12-kde-dvd-32bit.iso’ (size – 1.1GB) in my pen drive using UNetbootin. Then I live-booted it through my pen drive. Linux Mint 12 boot-screen is blacked out screen, i.e., you see nothing on the screen. It quickens the boot process but some people don’t like it as you can’t know that Linux Mint is loading or not. Linux Mint KDE started in approx. 43 seconds from the pen drive. This speed is not superb and it is less than Kubuntu’s speed, but it is pretty good. It showed me Linux Mint wallpaper with splash screen in 30 seconds and showed me full-loaded KDE desktop in 43 seconds. Desktop is loaded in live-boot and you can easily run your apps, complete your assignment or ready your presentation with Linux Mint KDE on pen drive.

Installation is also simple and easy. Linux Mint KDE installer is much alike Kubuntu installer. You just need to open the shortcut named Install to Hard disk, to launch the installer which guides through rest of the process. First of all, you’re asked for language and keyboard layout. Then the installer asks you about the partition, where you want to copy Linux Mint 12 KDE base files. After you select your partition options, then come to set timezone. At last some basic info about you and your user account. After the files are copied in your hard disk and installer configure Linux Mint KDE on your platform, then hooray! your installation is complete.

After installing Linux Mint KDE on hard disk, it took around 31 seconds to boot and it dropped me at logon screen. I was glad to see the desktop when I finally saw it. KDE is splendid environment and a big eye-candy. Shutdown process of Linux Mint KDE is also speedy and it took around 18 seconds to power off my system.

Desktop & Artwork

KDE desktop give you pretty candy experience. KDE desktop is quite similar to Windows desktop ; bearing one panel at bottom, which contain start menu (Kickoff Application Launcher). Bottom panel lists your running apps and also contain notification area. KDE is feature-rich desktop environment. Windows’ lovers will find it interesting to know that KDE desktop supports widgets (as Windows has desktop gadgets) and there come some cool gadgets with it. Some of the gadgets I find useful are Remember the Milk, Notes, Battery Monitor, Blackboard, Calendar, System Monitor, Shelf, SearchBox, etc. Check out the copy dialog shown as notification on right side.

Linux Mint KDE is full of cool wallpapers and contain around 90 of them. It comes with many other glossy options like 8 widget styles, 13 color schemes, 6 icon sets, 2 GTK+ styles, 13 emoticon styles, 5 window decorations, 3 cursor themes, 3 desktop themes, 4 splash screens and lot of animation effects, which comes with KDE. You can set it according to your moods. So many options allows you to make a completely custom looking operating system for your computer.

Software & Usability

Linux Mint is bundled with lots of software. I think that much software will be hardly used by any normal desktop user but I’m delighted to notice some required apps pre-installed in this 12th release of Linux Mint KDE. It is equipped with VLC Media Player 1.1.12, Kate 3.7.4 text editor, digiKam 2.1.1 photo management software, DNG Converter 2.1.1, GIMP 2.6.11 photo editor, Kopete 1.1.3 instant messenger, Firefox 8.0 web browser, Thunderbird 8.0 mail client, Quassel 0.7.3 IRC client, Amarok 2.7.3 audio player, K3b 2.0.2 CD/DVD creation tool, Minitube 1.5 youtube client, Okular 0.13.3 document/PDF viewer, Libre Office 3.4.3 suite, Kcalc calculator program, etc.

You can easily do your regular and everyday tasks on Linux Mint 12 KDE like reading e-books, reading emails, browsing websites, writing a book, watching movies, listening music, creating and editing photos, configuring your system, etc. I tested it by running various types of files like AVI, WMV, MP3, OGG, JPEG, PNG, TXT, DOC, ODT and guess what? All worked fine.

KDE interface is much like Windows Aero interface (present in Windows Vista, 7 and 8). So, Users moving from Windows to Linux should first use Linux Mint 12 KDE as its functioning is similar to Windows and it has out-of-the-box support for browsing and multimedia experience. I noticed some disadvantages of KDE too. Linux Mint KDE heats your computer very quickly . After using some resource-hungry app like VirtualBox, your computer will burn that you can warm your burger too. It happens that KDE uses heavy resource and Linux Mint power management is not upto the mark. I found Ubuntu to be better than Linux Mint in terms of power management and keeping your computer cool.

Linux Mint 12 KDE uses around 400MB of RAM (check out the screenshot of Task manager below to confirm it). It is almost double than what Linux Mint 12 LXDE uses RAM (around 200MB). Due to its high resource usage, it’s not much fast. Apps opens after 1-2 seconds after you click at them. I suggest to use Linux Mint 12 LXDE if you’re looking for a fast and responsive operating system for your computer but stick to KDE verison if you prefer a glossy desktop.

Security & Management

Linux Mint 12 KDE is full of apps as Linux Mint as always been. This release too brings the same joy to everyone – choice of multiple apps. And ever from the birth of Linux Mint, it has evolved into a useful and stable Linux, build on the famous Ubuntu Linux operating system. Managing settings on a KDE Linux was never typical and Linux Mint team introduced some extra tools to have better control over your computer. Also, Linux Mint is pre-equipped with max. drivers and thus, support most of modern hardware. Everything (including the track-pad scroll function) worked fine on my Dell Core i5 laptop.

You can visit System settings to choose your options about keyboard shortcuts, themes, desktop screens, virtual desktops, startup apps, file associations, power management, information services, Login screen, partition editor,  removable media, network settings, workspace behavior, default apps, etc. You can use extra apps like Synaptic Package Manager, Domain blocker, KInfoCenter, System logs, etc to enhance your working experience on your computer. But I found Mint Software Manager to be not working (at least for me). Whenever I run it, it showed me splash screen and then quits by itself. I thought it is happening due to live-run from pen drive, but, even after installing Linux Mint KDE on hard disk, the problem persists. Also, some KDE widgets or KDE (with widgets) used to crash and re-open sometimes in Linux Mint 12 KDE.

Pros: Good collection of apps pre-installed; Works out-of-the-box for most systems

Cons: Small stability issues; KDE is a resource-hungry environment

Suggestion: Use it if you prefer candy desktop.

Please don’t hesitate to share your experience with Linux Mint 12 KDE. We’ll like to hear from you. Use comments (below) to ask a question or share your words about Linux Mint KDE.


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