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Linux Mint 14 KDE
Starting with the most recent release first... This version of Linux Mint 14 is based on KDE 4.9.3, and Linux kernel 3.5.0. This distribution is not derived from Kubuntu, it comes from the main Ubuntu distribution with the KDE desktop and features integrated by the Linux Mint developers.
The standard KDE desktop, shown above with hierarchical menus and Plasma workspaces for desktop icons, has gained a lot of users who are disenchanted with the Gnome 3 and Unity desktops.
As with all of the Linux Mint distributions, it includes a long list of applications and utilities. Firefox 17.0.1 for web browsing, LibreOffice 188.8.131.52 with Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw, and the Okular document viewer for PDF files. Multimedia playing with the excellent VLC player, Kaffeine and the Amarok audio player.
For graphic image editing it includes GIMP 2.8.2, plus Gwenview for photo viewing and basic editing, and the excellent digiKam 2.8 for complete photo and album management, editing and exporting to a variety of online photo services.
Linux Mint 14 KDE Netbook
With KDE you not only get the standard desktop, you also get the netbook desktop. Simply go to System Settings, then choose Workspace Behavior. From the list at the left of that window choose Workspace, and then from the Workspace Type drop-down choose netbook.
This screenshot was made on an Acer Aspire One 522 (AMD C-60 CPU, 1024x600 screen). The netbook desktop places a quick-start bar across the top of the screen, for easy launching of commonly used applications, and places menu icons on the lower portion of the screen, with each icon having only a single level of application icons grouped below it.
New windows always start full-screen, and window navigation is handled through the panel at the top edge of the screen. The top panel auto-hides when another window is active, in order to maximize the screen space available for applications.
Linux Mint 14 Xfce
Also released last week, the Linux Mint 14 Xfce distribution, based on Xfce 4.10, is fast and lightweight, but still has the traditional desktop look that many Linux users were used to with Gnome 2. This screenshot was taken on a Samsung N150 Plus (Intel Atom CPU, 1024x600 display). Like the KDE version, it includes Firefox 17.0.1, LibreOffice 184.108.40.206 and GIMP 2.8.2. For photo management it includes gThumb, for audio playing it has Banshee, and for video it has the Totem Movie Player.