Episode 122: Linux Mint 13 XFCE


The Main Topic:

  • Mint 13 XFCE RC. (linuxmint.com) “This is the RC, not the stable release. I’m not sure about Xubuntu… this edition is derived from Mint 13 itself not from Xubuntu, but as was done for LMDE Xfce, it follows in the tradition of a mainstream Xfce flavor.. i.e. the desktop itself is lightweight, but the software selection isn’t (it comes with LibreOffice, Banshee, Firefox..etc..)” — Clem

Featured Website:

  • Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSA) (fossafrica.com)


  • Nebulium is not the Higgs Boson. (io9.com)

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Hosts:: James, Rob, Scott

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Credits: Podcast Entry and exit music provided by Mark Blasco (podcastthemes.com). The podcast’s bumpers were provided by Oscar. The podcast’s bumpers were provided by Oscar. Higgs boson background music is Exariam from Musical Landscapes I by Galdstone (jamendo.com).

15 Replies to “Episode 122: Linux Mint 13 XFCE”

    • Rob

      You’re right, the MP3 feed is not working! We changed the way our RSS generation works about that time in response to complaints that we had duplicate MP3 entries in the main feed. I wonder if that has messed up the MP3 feed. The OGG feed seems to be fine, as does the main podcast feed, which is MP3. For now, try using the “RSS Feed” link at the top right of the web pages. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    • Rob

      Ok, fixed the link to the mp3 RSS feed so it points to the default feed. Thanks!
      It looks like the Zune link was broken as well. Nobody complained! 🙂

  1. Clem

    “All feedback is good”

    –> Yes, very true. No matter how negative, it’s always useful.

    I think we’re looking at isolated hardware compatibility issues here, especially with the performance issue, and it’s not something we noticed in the feedback from the community so I’m not sure what to say or do about it, but we do always appreciate feedback. Thanks for reviewing this RC.

    I could explain the reasons behind having a mainstream Xfce release as opposed to a minimalistic one, it’s mostly to do with strategy, audience and expertise. Hopefully we can chat about this on the IRC together when we get a chance.

    Keep up the good work 😉


  2. Richard Daggett

    Still waiting for my Pi.

    I think Microsoft will end up in court about UEFI and restricting users from install software that does not belong to Microsoft.

    It will be a interesting next couple of years with M$ getting into the HW business like Apple has.

    When Rob and James host the show it rambles a lot, but I like it. I like listening to you while working, so it’s nice having you in the background.


  3. beardy jess

    Brutal review of XFCE! Let’s hope Clem and the team can iron out what sound like pretty serious issues by the final release.

    I wanted to comment on an audio issue I’ve had with Mint 13, and a solution I found. For a reason I couldn’t understand everything related to audio – banshee, rhythmbox, movie player, youtube, the lot – was silent and the play progress bar skipped forward at double speed.

    The problem was solved for me by selecting the cinnamon sound applet (double quaver on taskbar) and changing the output device from the HDMI audio output to digital stereo.

    All credit for the solution should go to this chap;


    Keep up the great work on the podcast,


  4. merelyjim

    Installed LMDE32-Xfce on a netbook the day before the podcast was released. The process took less than 15 minutes, all hardware was recognized (including Bluetooth chipset, which other distro’s oftentimes miss), and aside from a tweak to get the [pea] version of the kernel loaded for the Intel Atom CPU, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

    So, my first reaction to hearing about LinuxMint13-Xfce was, “What? Why?!”

    Aside from running PPA’s rather than DEB’s when one finds applications in the wild, why throw resources at maintaining big chunks of Ubuntu code inside Mint, especially when LMDE has shown it’s a damn solid release?

    Full disclosure; I’ve been running LMDE64-Gnome (adding Xfce4) on a Toshiba laptop since the project began. I had to re-install it once sometime last year, after apt-get-ting OpenBox an over-writing something. I update from the command line for Debian, and MintUpdate for programs like Firefox. In the past, it hasn’t always been solid, but it is now.

    If you’re asking why not use a straight version of Debian, it’s because Debian is a pain to install/configure/use. Wifi drivers aren’t included in their ISO’s. Firefox isn’t “free” enough. Solid code, weird philosophy.

  5. John A

    You’d be surprised at the USA’s and Morocco’s shared history!

    Morocco was the first country in the world to recognise the USA–and at the time countries becoming “recognised” didn’t have the same magnitude as today (so the US was ahead of its time in many ways) and trade with it.

    The treaty also heavily influenced the early military history of the United States–that is, the Barbary Wars. The First Barbary War was the first overseas war of the US. Good relations with France and Morocco were instrumental in allowing Congress to authorise an expedition to the Barbary coast (Algiers).

    The expedition was ended Barbary raids at large, and after the French colonisation of Algeria in 1830 and the advances in the technology of later, Barbary pirates finally disappeared from the Mediterranean. About time! And largely thanks to Morocco’s everlasting frienship with the USA! 🙂


  6. Beardy Jesse

    I wanted to add a point regarding Rob’s comments on whether to use a separate partition for /home, or mount folders there or whatever. I completely agree that putting the /home folder in a separate partition can cause problems when re-installing so I use a slightly different technique than he described. I have a separate partition in which I have the standard folders normally found in /home like Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos etc, and once I’ve set the partition to auto-mount to /media/data at boot, I run a script that deletes the folders from /home and adds simlinks in their place to the other locations, as shown below;


    #remove home folders
    rm -r ~/Downloads
    rm -r ~/Videos
    rm -r ~/Pictures
    rm -r ~/Templates
    rm -r ~/Documents
    rm -r ~/Music

    #make symlinks
    ln -s /media/data/Downloads ~/
    ln -s /media/data/Videos ~/
    ln -s /media/data/Pictures ~/
    ln -s /media/data/Templates ~/
    ln -s /media/data/Documents ~/
    ln -s /media/data/Music ~/

    Hope this helps,


  7. Nagilum

    SecureBoot is aimed at fighting Windows piracy, that it also sidelines Linux is just a added benefit for MS.
    Currently installing a pirated version of Windows involves installing a modified loader and that is precisely what Microsoft is trying to stop. And no, there is no other way other than Secureboot to stop ppl from doing this. (you can’t check that later because then that check will just be patched out by the loader..)
    The question is how will Windows react when you disable SecureBoot. My guess would be: Similar to running an unactivated version today, so no security updates for you and probably reduced media capabilities, i.e. no HD playback of DRMed content et al.

  8. animaguy

    I have started listening to mintcast and I love it. You guys are doing a great job.

    I don’t agree with all of your opinions. I appreciate the facts that you report.

    I have been listening to some older podcasts and am enjoying your show.

    Regarding your last show. UEFI, I personally do not believe that all manufacturers will collaborate to help MS monopolize OS market. There may be a lot of trivial dramatic twists and turns in the history of evolution in technology but in the end, linux will never be left obsolete because of a UEFI key. I believe it is in Microsofts’ best business interests to play nice with the overall linux community. Microsoft is losing the battle of operating systems and would be wise to consider entering into another branch in the technological market.

    I build my own computers and there is plenty of motherboards without the UEFI key that will last me a lifetime. Linux is proven within the scientific community to be the fastest and most powerful operating systems for bona fide supercomputers. And the reasons go on.

    So, although I am interested in the UEFI technology, mainly so I can learn early how to hack it, I find the issue trivial at best and I believe it is an unwise investment for Microsoft to play hardball with the Linux community.

    I believe that Microsoft will always have a market of computer users who are too poor to purchase Mac equipment and too computer illiterate to go Linux. And I believe that Linux is the most powerful OS choice hands down.

    Now as far as Linux Mint 13 w/Xfce. I do not have the slightest clue what you guys are complaining about. I have LM13 x/Xfce on my two laptops. I have CentOS on my desktop and only because it acts as a web server. I like to experiment with different distros but my default is Linux Mint w/Xfce and I started with 12 and reinstalled 13. The OS boots inside 120 seconds, and to me that is super fast.

    The broadcom chipset is as obvious an issue as it gets. There are trivial bugs on the OS but not enough for me to care. I use the computer to listen to music, podcasts and watch videos. I surf the internet and I experiment with different packages. It’s great. I have to wonder if some of the old timers who started back with Linux Mint 10 are spoiled and think that Linux Mint should now cure cancer, clean your dishes, vacuum your floors, and make you dinner.

    The way I see it, Linux Mint is great because it is so basic and stable. So anyone who wants to learn linux can use Linux Mint as a base distro. When in doubt, I myself use LM13 w/Xfce as a default OS. I tried Ubuntu, PCLinux, Knoppix, CentOS and Fedora. I am lucky in that I own 2 laptops and 1 Desktop so I can load with Linux Mint and experiment with the others.

    Converting windows users to Linux isn’t something any Linux user can force. So the Linux community is at times only wasting their valuable time if they choose to try to convert Windows users who obviously don’t want to convert. And I believe that it takes a certain mindset to appreciate what Linux has to offer and that demographic of users will not cease to exist anytime in the immediate future. I characterize Linux users as resourceful and self starting regarding technological issues. Windows users can pay anything they want so that they can waste 30 minutes if not more just booting up their computers. It doesn’t matter to me.

    So that is my opinion. Once again I enjoy your podcast. Keep up the great work.

  9. Daniel Jonsson

    Ehh, does anybody even care about Mandriva anymore? Using it on a server feels really stupid when there are a ton of better alternatives and when Mandriva probably won’t be around for more than some months or so.

  10. James J

    Having the same issues with Mint 13. Totally sapping my hardware, hard disc is chugging and chugging constantly. 4GB ram, 2.4ghz dual-core, etc. something is F’d up with mint, they’ve gotten everything too complex and heavy

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