Linux Mint 13 ramps up for KDE release

The KDE and Xfce variants of the recently updated Linux Mint desktop operating system could well arrive within a matter of weeks, according to project leader Clement Lefebvre
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Fans of Linux Mint 13 can look forward to getting their hands on KDE and Xfce variants before the end of June, if predictions by project leader Clement Lefebrve pan out.

The Linux Mint 13 update to the Ubuntu-based desktop operating system, also known as 'Maya', was released on Wednesday. The long-term support Linux distribution arrived in two separate editions, with a choice of the Mate 1.2 or Cinnamon 1.4 desktop environments. Mate is the continuation of the Gnome 2 project and is stable, while Cinnamon 1.4 is new.

On Thursday, Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre said that Mint 13 editions with KDE and Xfce desktop environments are still under development, but could be released in a matter of weeks.

"Mint 13 will also feature a KDE and an Xfce release," Lefebvre told ZDNet UK. "I can't tell you when they'll be out, though. I'd say roughly one month, but that's just an estimation."

KDE is a long-established desktop environment for Linux, while Xfce is seen as a 'lightweight' alternative designed to be faster and take up fewer system resources. The KDE and Xfce versions of Mint are related to the Kubuntu and Xubuntu distributions of Ubuntu respectively.

The stable version of Linux Mint 13 launched on Wednesday fixed around 40 minor or cosmetic bugs identified in the release candidate, according to Lefebvre.

Yahoo deal

The project leader also commented on one of the key changes in Linux Mint 13: the use of Yahoo as the default search engine, replacing the DuckDuckGo technology found in Linux Mint 12. DuckDuckGo, which generates revenue from ads, doesn't collect user data for advertising purposes. By contrast, Yahoo collects data such as gender, age and IP address, and shares this with Microsoft to target adverts.

The shift should not mean any change for users, according to Lefebrve.

"You don't see more ads as the result of this deal," he said. "The money generated when you see ads or click them on the Yahoo result page is simply shared between Yahoo and Linux Mint."

Under the deal with Yahoo, a portion of the ad revenue generated from Linux Mint 13 users will go to the open-source project, he noted.

"Similar to an affiliate, when you're using Yahoo within Linux Mint, Yahoo knows the traffic comes from us and shares the revenue with us," Lefebvre said. "Advertisers pay search engines for the traffic Mint users represent; we use search engines which share that income."

The project's deal with Yahoo doesn't prevent it from developing partnerships with other potential sources of revenue, he pointed out.

"We have a great relationship with many of them, and agreements in place with Yahoo, Opera and DuckDuckGo," Lefebvre said.

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