Linux Mint 8 (Helena) KDE Community Edition Release Candidate

I would like to end what has really been a rather trying week on a positive note. I can't think of many things more positive than a new release of the truly excellent Linux Mint distribution - or, in this case, a Release Candidate.

I would like to end what has really been a rather trying week on a positive note. I can't think of many things more positive than a new release of the truly excellent Linux Mint distribution - or, in this case, a Release Candidate. This time it is the KDE Community Distribution, which is the basic Mint 8 distribution with KDE 4.3 very nicely integrated into it. You can read about the changes and improvements in the What's new document.

I have previously described Linux Mint as "Ubuntu plus all the stuff you would probably add to it yourself after installing". Of course, you need to be aware that a lot of the things which are added are proprietary or otherwise non-FOSS, so if you are a GNU/Linux/FOSS purist, you should be aware of that at the beginning. I am not of that persuasion, and Mint is one of my two favorite distributions (SimplyMEPIS is the other). Now, with the quality of Mint and the care that the Mint Community contributors have taken in adding KDE 4.3, this is sure to be an excellent distribution. If you are a KDE devotee, and you have been disappointed by Kubuntu (I know that a lot have), I would strongly encourage you to take a look at this distribution.

I will be installing it over the weekend on something - I haven't decided what yet, but Mint works very well on everything I have, so it will probably just come down to a choice of where I have a free partition. I probably won't try to write much of a review until the final release comes out, but for those who are interested and anxious, this Release Candidate would definitely be worth a try.

jw 22/1/2010

Update: A couple of cautions. First, the link on the Mint KDE RC1 release announcement (where it says "download from the ISO or Torrent") points to the wrong image. If you download that one, you get the original Mint 8 (Gnome) RC1 image, rather than the new KDE RC image. Not very useful... If you go farther down the page, and find the list of mirrors, you can get the correct image from one of them - look for something called "...Mint-KDE-RC..". Second, the RC1 image is too large to fit onto a CD (about 1.1 GB). You will have to either copy it to a USB stick, using the Ubuntu utility - why isn't this in Mint?), or burn it to a DVD. I had to do the latter, because the system I decided to install it on is my old Lifebook S2110, and it will not boot from a USB drive. Third, I have thus far been having a lot of trouble booting and installing the image. I suspect that this is because I'm trying to install it on the oldest laptop I own, which has an AMD Turion 64 CPU and ATI Radeon 200 graphic adapter, but I'm not sure yet. Whatever, just keep in mind that this is still a Release Candidate, and treat it accordingly. I'll post more if/when I figure out a bit more. Oh, and by the way, the LiveCD desktop looks very, very nice, and the installer too.

jw 24/1/2010