Linux Mint 13 Xfce released: Installation tour

Linux Mint 13 Xfce released: Installation tour

Summary: Not just a refuge for those disillusioned with Gnome and KDE, the Linux Mint 13 Xfce distribution stands on its own merits


 |  Image 2 of 8

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Linux Mint 13 Xfce

    It's been a relatively long time since the Release Candidate arrived, but the final release of Linux Mint 13 Xfce is now available.

    The release on Saturday will be good news to those who are looking for a solid, stable alternative to the Gnome and KDE desktops, but to describe it only in those terms would not do it justice. Xfce is a very good desktop itself, and although it is generally thought of as a 'lightweight and fast' alternative, in this distribution it has been configured as a fully-loaded system, essentially the same as the Mint Gnome and KDE versions.

    The distribution ISO image is approximately 800MB, which is too large to fit on a CD, so it would have to be burned to a DVD. A better option, in my opinion, is to install from USB flash media. If you have a running Linux system already, you can simply dd the image to a USB stick, or you can use the unetbootin utility to create a bootable USB stick from it.

    Either way, once you boot the live image you can run the mintInstall utility to install to your hard drive. The installation process will take about a quarter of an hour: once that is finished you can reboot, log in via the MDM (Mint Display Manager, which replaces the normal GDM or Ubuntu LightDM) and you will get this desktop (pictured).

    This should be a very familiar-looking desktop to most Linux users (and Windows users, for that matter) with desktop icons to access your home directory (folder) and the overall file system, and if you have other partitions on your hard drive, they will have icons on the desktop by default at this point also. Mine looks a bit cluttered here because I have a lot of partitions for a lot of different Linux distributions on my systems.

  • Update Manager

    The first thing to do after booting the installed system is to set up a network connection, either wired or wireless, and then let the mintUpdate utility (shown by the shield on the right side of the bottom panel) download and install all the latest updates. All you have to do is click the mintUpdate icon in the panel, which will bring up the following window, and then click Install Updates.

    There are a lot of updates available already (roughly 300 at the time of this writing), so this process is likely to take longer than the installation itself did — but even at that with a decent internet connection, it is not likely to take more than 30 minutes or so.

  • Once that is done, the next thing I do is some 'fine tuning' of the desktop. Most of my computers are netbooks or sub-laptops, with small screens (10"-12", the screen shots shown here were made on my HP Pavilion dm1-3105ez with an 11.6" 1366x768 display), so I don't want to permanently give up the space used by the Panel. 

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Reviews

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • A better Window GUI than Windows 8

    I am starting to suspect that Linux might gain several percentage points of market share by virtue of Microsoft trying to touch-ify the desktop.
    • Not very likely

      Apple, with OS X and the iPad, will be the most likely company to benefit from Windows 8. Next in line will be Android tablets. And watch for Windows 7 to remain popular with both consumers and enterprises (thus, Microsoft will not be hurt as badly as many believe).

      If you had stated "I am starting to suspect that Linux might gain *up to several tenths of a percentage point* of market share by virtue of Microsoft trying to touch-ify the desktop", I might agree. Android has beaten WebOS and it will likely beat the GNU/Linux desktop for most consumers as well.

      I am not predicting the demise of the GNU/Linux desktop. It will continue to be a platform users choose for:
      o system and database administration
      o development
      o workstations (science, engineering, etc.)
      o PCs

      Back on topic. The Xfce desktop environment has become my favorite and I have used it on my GNU/Linux desktop systems since I first tried it with Debian 5.0.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Umm

      That's called wishful thinking.
  • Linux Mint 13 Xfce released: Installation tour

    Mint 13 Xfce looks to be great release.
  • Windoze fanboys still won't get it

    Even with comic book text and big pictures to go by, they'll still complicate things and screw it up.
  • Re; Windoze fanboys still won't get it

    Fanboys of ANY description hardly ever gets it right.

    Windoze fanboys are only different in that they come in higher numbers.
    In other respects there is no difference.
    • Windoze fanboys are only different in that they come in higher numbers.

      "In other respects there is no difference."

      Yes there is, most, or probably nearly every Linux user has used windows before, but most windows fanboys have never even used Linux before, so they shouldn't comment or pass judgement on an OS they have never even used.
      • How about me

        I have a Linux box, couple of Windows(7) machines and the wife uses a Mac. Hands down Windows is my go to for real work. Sorry but that's just how it is.
        • thats how it is -for you

          Don't forget its what kind of work you do. I am the opposite - I need linux for the "real work" because it provides out of the box capabilities that in windows you seem to need some 3rd party software package to do what a single built in shell command can do.
          If you don't see the need for linux, you don't need it.
        • How about you?

          I can say all that too. That doesn't make it true.
        • How about me

          Hands down Linux is my go to for real work. Sorry but that's just how it is, infact I don't even touch windows.
    • Windoze fanboys are only different in that they come in higher numbers

      And that makes all the difference in the world. It means their stupidity is larger.

    I've used Linux for several years and i don't know why making USB-sticks with Unetboot don't work well when i have planned to install OS via USB. Nowadays i usually made live-USB-sticks with ImageWriter.
  • I disagree with Linux Mint 13 MATE...

    ...because it is indeed great one: stable and you can customize your desktop much better than Cinnamon.
  • francisco antonio de araujo silva

    rua onze quadra bv lote 19 morada do sol itaborai rio de janeiro brasil cep 24800-000 e maill telefone 2196921246
  • Linux failed when Vista came out

    I thought when Vista was a failure that Linux could possibly capitalize. But alas it never did.
    I think users just stayed with XP until Windows 7 came out. Now that Windows 7 is a popular OS from Microsoft and Vista days are gone. I do not see Linux gaining anything on either Apple or Microsoft. I myself plan to stick with Windows 7 as long as its supported and wait for Microsoft's next move after Windows 8. If it fails worse then Windows 8 i'll just switch 100% to Mac's which I would say I am already 60% using now. Linux is a OK system in terms of Android on a smartphone or tablet. But in terms of laptop or desktop? I'll have to pass.
  • Looks like Windows with a MacOS Skin

    I guess if you can run the apps on it that make you happy, connect to a network, a printer (if need be) and do other things that you should be able to do on a PC then why not. Maybe I will rebuild my Mom's PC using Mint and then tell her that it's Windows 8.