New features in Linux Mint 15 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 15 "Olivia" Xfce Edition

The highlight of this edition is the lightweight Xfce 4.10 desktop

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment which aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

It embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability. It consists of a number of components that provide the full functionality one can expect of a modern desktop environment. They are packaged separately and you can pick among the available packages to create the optimal personal working environment.

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

The default menu used in this edition is Whisker Menu.


Whisker Menu

Whisker Menu features quick access to your favorite applications, categories, system shortcuts, recent documents and recently used applications.

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-gtk. 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

MintNanny was ported back to GTK+.

Artwork improvements

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


A beautiful collection of backgrounds

Special attention was given to Mint-X to make GTK+ and GTK3 applications look more similar.

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, MDM 1.2, Xfce 4.10.