Every day more users are switching over to Linux Mint, and Mint 11 proves to be the best release thus far. Loads of new features and improvements will keep you entertained and the integrity of Linux Mint 11 stands among the greatest distributions.
About Mint 11 Katya
The whole Mint 11 Katya interface is extremely polished and user-friendliness is always a primary concern.
More Mint 11 Details
The software manager received the bulk of the attention for this release, and getting new software is easier than ever. So if your current distribution just wont play nice there has never been a better time to try Linux Mint.
First I will cover all the changes pertaining to Linux Mint 11 Gnome, but I plan to review the LXDE, Xfce, KDE, and Debian releases very soon as well.
The Linux Mint 11 Gnome installation process went very smooth. After booting to the live CD you can doubt click the install Linux Mint icon that is on the desktop.
Finalizing The Installation
When the installation welcome screen opens you can first choose the install language, or view the release notes, then click forward to move on. Then confirm a few options and accept your partitioning setup, keep pressing forward.
Then the installation will begin giving you time to choose your location settings, your keyboard settings, and enter your login information. Next you can watch the informative installation slide show, after a short time your installation will finish and tell you to restart.
Not much has changed when it comes to the desktop in Linux Mint 11 Katya. The welcome screen is especially useful, from here you can see the new features of Min 11, get help, or view other helpful information.
The Main Panel
You will still find a single panel along the bottom of the screen. The main menu icon is on the left side of the panel, this is where all of your applications are stored.
Gnome Desktop Details
Many icons are also stored along the right side of your main panel, these icons are for system notifications. These icons will keep you informed on the status of your computer. The icons on the desktop can be used to launch your file manager.
The Mint 11 Katya menu structure has not changed much, generally things are much the same as before. When you open the main menu inside your panel you will first see several important folders on your system.
About The Menu
These icons can be used to launch the file manager, the area below the places menu panel will display multiple system administration options as well. You can open the software manager, or logout of your system from here.
Gnome Desktop Details
The right hand panel of the main menu will display all of your favorite applications, you can click all applications to see more. Applications can be added to your favorites simply by right-clicking on them and choosing add to favorites.
Again the panels are very easy to configure, panels can be added or removed at any time as you please. To begin configuring your panels you can right-click on an empty spot inside the main panel, several options are available from the pop-up menu.
You can add widgets to the panel, see the panel properties, or add a new panel. Panel size, color and location can easily be altered from the panel properties window.
Most of the widgets and applets that users are already familiar with are still available to add to your panels. Try the pop-out drawer applet if your panel gets too full, or the force-quit applet if you have troublesome applications. Though that is not likely on Mint 11.
Much love has been given to the software manager with the release of Linux Mint 11 Katya. The software manager can be launcher from the system tab of the main menu.
Software Manager Info
After launching the software manager you will now see a cool loading screen. The main software manager window now has larger icons, and a download category for fonts.
Software Management Imrovements
After highlighting an application for installation you will notice the application installation and information window has also been improved. You can now see all packages that will be added or removed during installation, package sizes will also be displayed. Package searches will now be more accurate as well
After double-clicking on one of the desktop icons you will find that Nautilus is the default file manager. I have mentioned many times that Nautilus is a favorite of mine due to stability and device connectivity.
As always the Nautilus window conforms to the simple and traditional layout. The menu and shortcut panels along the top of the window will help you with almost all day-to-day file manager functions.
More Nautilus Details
The places panel along the left side of the Nautilus window will display important locations on your system, as well as a few popular items in your home directory. And the main panel on the right side of the Nautilus window is where files and folders will be displayed.
Linux Mint 11 Gnome has 10 themes default themes to choose from, a few of the newer ones offer quite a courageous look, if you want something different. And there are a variety of neutrally color blended themes that would work well on most desktops.
Customize Your Themes
Linux Mint 11 Gnome also offers the ability to highly customize your theme to your preferences making it entirely your own.
More About Themes
You can save your own theme creations, install new themes, or get more themes online, all from one window.
To open your desktop themes preferences window first open your main menu, then click the button to show all applications. From the applications menu click preferences, then click appearance.
The selection of Mint 11 wallpapers is actually quite extensive. There are 19 high quality wallpapers to choose from, mostly nature and landscape related.
About The Wallpapers
Half of the wallpapers are also dedicated to Linux Mint artwork creations. The standard wallpaper options are available. To access these preferences first right click on your desktop, then click change desktop background.
More Background Options
You might want to try a solid color background, or you can zoom, scale, stretch, and tile your images to fit your desktop. And if the huge choice of Linux Mint wallapers doesn’t fit your taste, you can always click get more background online to open Firefox so you can see a larger selection.
Well not much was left unmentioned, apart from the vast amount of application and package upgrades. The sleek and stylish Mint 11 Gnome interface is an almost flawless working environment, while remaining quite minimalistic and uncluttered. I encountered no problems at all when running this distribution, thus I highly recommend it for everyone.
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