I’ve been a fan of the KDE desktop for far longer than that. Here’s my review of the latest offering from the team at Linux Mint: Mint 12′s KDE edition. For this review, I installed the 64-bit version.
Installation went without a hitch for me. The installation routine gave me the option to install on the whole disk, or alongside the Windows partition that was already there. I chose to dual-boot, and there were no problems with the remainder of the task. The usual questions about language, timezone, keyboard preference were asked. You are given the option to look at the release notes or update the installer when you intiially start the process. When it comes to partitioning, you can use Guided (for novices) or Manual (if you need to customize things). The only item I will mention here is that when you are asked for the primary user’s password, Mint doesn’t show you an indicator of how strong your choice is. A few distributions perform this useful check, and it would be wonderful if Linux Mint added it.
Mint also doesn’t automatically carry over your internet connection once installation is complete – I had to re-enter my password for wireless access. Most distributions of Linux don’t carry it over, but since a few do, it would be very convenient if Mint would as well.
As usual with Linux Mint, playing Youtube videos and using websites such as Hulu and Grooveshark to watch or listen to videos and songs worked without any problems. Unfortunately, also as usual, Mint doesn’t play nicely with Quicktime. The Apple Movie Trailer website has always been a problem for any version of Mint and I suspect Ubuntu has issues as well. I haven’t been able to find the right codec to get Quicktime videos to play at all. This isn’t Mint’s fault actually, because most Debian-based distros I have tried have this problem.
Mint 12 KDE starts you out with two virtual desktops, although it isn’t very obvious – the pager applet was not added to the taskbar for some reason, so at first I thought there was just one desktop. If you don’t like the default silver and blue wallpaper, there are many others you can choose – over 50. In fact, this KDE edition offers more wallpapers at the start than all the other Mint editions combined, as far as I can tell. When it comes to Plasma themes though, you have only 3 – Oxygen and Air. plus a “netbook” version of Oxygen. More themes are obtainable through the system settings page.
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