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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.
Also recently released was Update Pack 6 for Linux Mint Debian Edition, shown above with the MATE desktop. This branch of the Mint distribution is derived directly from Debian GNU/Linux, rather than Ubuntu.
This screenshot was taken on an HP Pavilion dm1-3105ez (AMD E-350 CPU, 1366x768 display). With this latest Update Pack, LMDE is running Linux kernel 3.2.0 and MATE 1.4.0. It is somewhat the opposite of the lightweight Xfce distribution, as it has a very large selection of applications and utilities included.
It includes both Firefox and Thunderbird; for multimedia it has Banshee, VLC Media Player, Totem and the Gnome Mplayer. It has gThumb for photo display and management, and the ImageMagick tools for manipulating and converting image files. Oh, and of course it has LibreOffice and a PDF Document Viewer.