These are besides dozens of native KDE (4.6) system utilities, desktop accessories, and games, The range of applications installed by default, especially the system utilities, can be very confusing to a new user. Aside from Firefox, Konqueror and rekonq are the other browsers installed. Adobe Flash plugin and Sun Java JRE are installed. Libdvdcss2, which makes it possible for the installed video players to play encrypted DVD videos, is also installed.
Graphical Administrative Applications: All installed, native KDE graphical administrative applications are accessible from System Settings. Custom Linux Mint graphical administrative tools are accessible from Applications > System.
Two applications that I had issues with are Tucan Manager and Nepomuk Backup Tool. Tucan Manager is a file sharing application for 1-Click Hosters. Because it is an application that I am not familiar with, I decided to launch it to see what it is like. Some of the applications supported are shown in the image below.
While the application started normally, closing it presented a problem. It could not close. It seems that the application expects at least one service to be enabled before it can be closed. I do not think that this is how it was designed to work and given the fact that it is still in alpha stage of development (installed version is 0.3.9 alpha), I can only conclude that what I just described is a bug.
I am not exactly sure what type of backup service the Nepomuk Backup Tool is supposed to provide, but for whatever reason or reasons, the application could not be started, except for this error message.
Hardware and Media Detection: Hardware detection is on par with that of other distributions powered by the same kernel version – 2.6.35. Since Linux Mint 10 is based on Ubuntu 10.10 (see Ubuntu 10.10 review), you can be sure that any hardware that works on Ubuntu 10.10, will also work on Linux Mint 10. The only printer I have for these reviews, an HP Deskjet F4280 All-in-One, was automatically configured.
When one of the native KDE Web browsers (Konqueror or rekong) is launched, the system will notify you if there are missing plugins required for the browser to function properly.
And one of the suggested applications is Adobe’s Flash plugin. The problem is that the 32-bit version (version 10.2) of Adobe Flash plugin is already installed (via the mint-flashplugin package) . If you were not aware of this and installed the suggested application, the system will actually attempt to use another package (flashplugin-installer) to install Adobe Flash plugin. Keep in mind that if you launch Firefox, none of this happens.
Security: A new installation of Linux Mint 10 KDE has four open ports – 22, 139, 445, and 631. These are the port numbers for SSH server, netbios-ssn, microsoft-ds, and Internet Printing Protocol respectively. Ufw is the firewall script, but it is in the inactive state. The graphical firewall application is Guarddog, an application that has not been updated since March 2007. As far as I can tell, the development of Guarddog has ceased. I cannot tell what impact that has on its suitability for use as the graphical firewall client on a recent Linux distribution.
In evaluating the different graphical firewall clients installed on popular Linux distributions, I think the time has come to rethink the types of (graphical) firewall applications that distro developers could be making available to their users. I will propose what I consider to be a better and more sophisticated firewall application for Linux desktops in a future article.
The three mandatory access control applications available for Linux distributions – SELinux, AppArmor and Tomoyo, are in the repository. The AppArmor module is loaded, with seven profiles and three processes in enforce mode.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I am impressed by this edition of Linux Mint 10. There are minor issues here and there, but as a unit, it is a decent distribution. The main complaint I have has to do with customization. The applications installed by default is a jumble of stock KDE and custom Linux Mint applications. There should have been an attempt to trim the number of KDE system utilities down to the barest essentials, especially where there are custom Linux Mint applications that perform the same task.
Also, where there is a duplication of functionalities, the better application, I think, should be the one installed, not both. That will go a long way towards reducing the number of installed applications. For example, mintNanny (accessible from System > Domain Blocker), a custom Linux Mint application and a very rudimentary parental control tool, is installed. However, Nanny, a comprehensive parental control tool is in the repository.
Resources: 32- and 64-bit installation images for Linux Mint 10 KDE are available for download here.
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