mintCast 143: Mint 14 KDE and Xfce


  • Linux Mint Debian Edition Update Pack 6 is now avaiable for download. (
  • Ouya Gaming Console Showing up in Videos Around the Web. (
  • The Raspberry PI gets an open source educational manual. (

The Main Topic:

  • Linux Mint 14 Xfce and KDE reviews

Website of the Podcast:

FLOSS Manuals is a collection of manuals about free and open source software together with the tools used to create them and the community that uses those tools. They include authors, editors, artists, software developers, activists, and many others. There are manuals that explain how to install and use a range of free and open source softwares, about how to do things (like design or stay safe online) with open source software, and manuals about free culture services that use or support free software and formats.

Anyone can contribute to a manual – to fix a spelling mistake, to add a more detailed explanation, to write a new chapter, or to start a whole new manual on a topic.

Tip of the Podcast:

  • !$

A great bash history expansion trick is “!$” which expands into the last argument of last command. For example, say you ran the following command “ls /usr/share/doc/apt/examples” to see what is in that folder. Then you realize that you want to run “ls -l” instead. Rather than typing the whole command and path over, you can just type “ls -l !$”. Convenient, huh?

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More Information:

Hosts:: Rob, Scott, James

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Credits: Podcast Entry and exit music provided by Mark Blasco ( The podcast bumpers are provided by Oscar.

6 Replies to “mintCast 143: Mint 14 KDE and Xfce”

  1. Brian36 in Dorset UK

    Thanks Guys especially the Mint-XFCE review and ,Rob, persisting in looking for things to talk about it. I would miss the Mint menu. My preference is MATE, but will, now, certainly try out Mint-XFCE.

  2. John A

    Roku? Why do you hate freedom ;_;

    Should have gotten a Boxee instead:

    True, some elements of their UI are proprietary but Boxee is actually just an XBMC frontend, and, by consequence, almost infinitely extensible and customisable. By supporting Boxee you are supporting open source Home Theater PCs! Which are actually well established, there are dozens of articles on ‘mainstream’ sources such as LifeHacker about them and commercial companies have been founded around this software.

    OpenELEC and LinuxMCE are also interesting projects, the former being a more ‘complete’ XBMC that ships with a PVR includer and the latter being a frontend for MythTV that comes with great compatibility with accessories and a focus on home automation.

    Oh well, don’t return it just yet… seventy-nice of your hard-earned dollars probably mean something to you.

  3. Beeza

    In episode 143 you were speculating on the state of IT education is UK schools, with particular reference to the Raspberry Pi.

    Here in the UK, IT lessons consist mainly of learning to use MS Office. In terms of learning about programming, or how computers actually work, there is very little. Even Access is largely overlooked.

    My daughter’s school is unusually well-funded, and they now have some Macs and iPads as well as the usual Windows PCs. I have spoken to IT teachers at the school who have barely heard of Linux, and know little about software engineering.

    While I despair of where the county is going to get its next generation of IT professionals, there is a glimmer of hope in school IT clubs. This is the only place, in my experience, that the Raspberry Pi is having any sort of impact in British secondary school education. However, the kids who attend these clubs are self-starters, who may already have a knowledge of IT which exceeds that of their teachers.

    I accept that, taking the country as a whole, there must be many IT teachers who do have a thorough grounding in software development. They are the ones who will try to inspire students with the Raspberry Pi. However, all the while the national curriculum does nothing to encourage them, their scope to have an impact is limited.

  4. Rod

    A Jokingly Serious Response to KDE/MINT 14 KDE review.

    Serious Part
    Four aesthetics things o do transition from gnome 2.32 mentality to kde 4.8+. Install KFaenza (basically Mint-X icons for KDE) Icon set. Install it to your /usr/share/icons directory works better than instructions to install to your /home/username/.kde/share/icons directory. Install the following non cartoonish “desktop themes” via system setting e-plasma, ambiance, produkt, aya, tibanna. These are non glassy and shine themes for panels. Next turn of that darn bouncing cursors in system settings. Next fix Scott’s pointer bug by copying the cursor’s theme files into two directories in your home folder. I had similar problems. The folders are “.icons” and “.themes” I think certian GTK/Gnome apps look for default pointer setting in those folders not usr/share/icons that KDE intalls pointers to. You may have to use a text edit and edit the default file in those two folder to tell it which point to use.

    Two Performance hints

    system settings -> desktop effects -> general tab -> animation speed -> very fast drop down box

    system settings -> application appearance -> fine tuning tab -> graphical effects -> low display resolution and low cpu

    These setting show KWIN strengths on old hardware.

    Finally take your time and methodically go through and play with the settings in system settings to get a sense of the control you have over this desktop environment.

    As Scott said in his review KDE has a lot of KDE centric apps by default that are solid for a lot of different tasks. I found that I install very few PPAs as compared to gnome 2.32. KDE has a lot of the functional enhancement I wanted in gnome 2.32, built in KDE. I run a lot of old and under powered hardware 3 netbooks (2-6 years old), 1 nettop (3 years old), 1 desktop running a single core amd 3200 and nvidia 7300gt card (8 years old) all running KDE.

    I’m KDE convert. I left gnome and mint(because of unity) while when they both had a mid-life crisis and listening to their girlfriends about what they beg and they should look like. I tried XFCE but didn’t like it because it reminded me of a earlier versions of gnome and it wasn’t gnome 2.32. Then I tried LXDE, it was ok but knew the relationship was not really going anywhere, but I didn’t have any other alternative. I had used KDE on Red Hat in the mid 90s got frustrated and left linux until Ubuntu 7.10. Isadora converted me to Mint and I was happy until the mid-life crisis. Ashamed to admit it I every used Pinguy (joke) from 11.04 to 12.04. Then KDE-Maya was released and Minty goodness was back. As Scott said Gnome 2.32 was like a old pair of comfortable jeans. Those jeans are gone and we have to move on to the next thing. For me it’s KDE for the for see able future

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