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Linux Mint 16 Xfce Desktop Review

This release of Linux Mint 16 delivers Xfce 4.10, with a typically spiced up version of the default desktop for your enjoyment.

We have all the highlights of Linux Mint 16 Xfce, so you can see if this is the right distribution for you. Users will not find a long list of new features, but thankfully the desktop is more stable than ever. The Mint 16 Cinnamon desktop release will likely get all of the publicity, so I decided it was time to revisit Xfce.

Linux Mint 16 Screenshot

Linux Mint 16 Uses Xfce 4.10

Linux Mint 16 derives from the Ubuntu 13.10 package selection, and the Xfce flavor user version 4.10. This version has been available for quite some time, so there is little excitement to be found.

Panel and Plugin Changes

The Xfce 4 panel and panel plugins are really the primary focus of the 4.10 release. The panel now supports multiple rows for icons and launchers. A desk-bar mode has been added that you may want to experiment with.

MDM Display Manager Updated

Linux Mint 16 uses the MDM display Manager, now upgraded to version 1.4. For users unfamiliar with MDM, you are certainly missing out. This display/login manager lets you choose between a GTK greeter, a GDM greeter, or an HTML greeter. Each choice provides several high quality and unique themes.

Linux Mint Display Manager MDM Screenshot

MDM Now Faster and Lighter

This release brings a lighter code base, meaning a performance increase and faster loading times.

User-Friendly Login Window Preferences

The login window preferences dialog has been completely refined. The layout is now easier to understand, allowing for convenient configuration of MDM.

MDM Mint Display Manager Introduction

Whisker Menu 1.2 Included

This release includes another helpful tool known as the Whisker Menu plug-in. The Whisker menu works just like any other Xfce panel plug-in and provides a convenient menu/application launcher.

Linux Mint 16 Whisker Menu Screenshot

Whisker Menu Features

This tool is very easy to use and integrates well with the rest of Xfce. Users are able to add applications into their favorites sub-menu at any time. The Whisker menu even contains a search bar near the top which can be used to find applications you are hunting for.

Xfce 4 Whisker Menu Panel Plugin

Software Manager Changes

This release fixed many previously found bugs, again giving faster launch times and stability benefits. Linux Mint 16 Xfce users will notice improved performance for the appropriately named Software Manager.

Multiple Application Screenshots

When browsing applications inside the software manager users will now find multiple screenshots. This should help users find the software that fits their needs.

Linux Mint 16 Software Manager Screenshot

More Linux Mint 16 Changes

Alright now lets look at some of the other less noticeable changes found in Linux Mint 16 Xfce. I will skip the technical jabber for the sake of prevalent ADD.

Linux Mint 16 Wallpapers and Artwork

Linux Mint 16 Xfce offers a fair variety of high quality wallpapers. About half are delightful gradients, along with a stunning set of photographs.

Pulse Audio

Linux Mint 16 provides better support for Pulse Audio, and the ability to switch to Alsa Mixer at any time. Instructions to do this can be found in the release notes if anyone is interested.

USB Card Formatter Included

Another helpful tool can be found with Linux Mint 16, this time it’s a USB card formatter. The interface offered by the card formatting tool is extremely user friendly, but only a few necessary options are available. Users can label USB devices, and choose which file system format to use.

Linux Mint 16 USB Card Formatter Screenshot

Linux Mint 16 Xfce Review Summary

I am happy to note that the Linux Mint 16 installation proceeded smoothly. The desktop was also very light and stable. The current version of Xfce is remarkably appealing, especially when compared to older versions such as 4.6-8. This version is perfect for the power user who wants to get down to business. Xfce lets users stay focused on the task at hand, providing fewer bells and whistles.

User Friendly Approach

Linux Mint 16 is a fantastic choice for newer users, or veterans alike. This distribution is designed to be very convenient for users. The Mint Settings Manager makes desktop and hardware configuration extremely simple. There is also a vast list of Mint tools included for common tasks.

Try KDE, Cinnamon or MATE

You may want to try some of the other exceptional flavors of Linux Mint 16. The Cinnamon desktop is really the Linux Mint flagship, but other desktop versions are provided by the Mint Community. You may want to try the KDE or MATE versions which are also popular choices.

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Download Linux Mint 16

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