Linux Mint 8 KDE (Helena) Review

Desktop Linux Reviews – I’ve been somewhat tardy in getting to the KDE version of Linux Mint 8. But I’ve finally been able to sit down with it and thus couldn’t resist writing a review. As great as the GNOME version of Linux Mint is, it simply isn’t for everybody. Many people still prefer KDE to GNOME and a separate review is helpful for those looking for an alternative for GNOME.

Please note that this release weighs in at a chunky 1.16GB so it’s not going to fit onto a CD. You’ll need a DVD to burn it to before you can run it as a Live DVD or install it on your system. If you’re using VirtualBox, VMWare or Parallels, you can just do a regular install from the ISO file.

Linux Mint 8 KDE is based on Kubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala), Linux 2.6.31, Xorg 7.4 and KDE 4.3.4.

Like its GNOME counterpart; Linux Mint 8 KDE is a Live DVD. You don’t need to actually install it to check it out. Just pop the DVD into your computer and boot it up. You’ll be able to use a fully functional Live DVD desktop. If you choose to, you can install Linux Mint 8 KDE or you can simply opt to keep running it via the Live DVD.


When you first boot up your Linux Mint 8 KDE system, you’ll see the Linux Mint KDE logo. There’s nothing else on the bootsplash screen to look at or use though. It’s stark and simple, to say the least.

The login screen features the KDE theme colors, along with some German text welcoming you to your new Linux Mint 8 KDE system.

As always, the first thing I noticed when booting into the desktop was the desktop music. I’m always glad to hear it since it lets me know that the sound is working fine on my new system.

The second thing that grabbed me attention was the Welcome to Linux Mint 8 menu. If you’re a veteran Linux Mint user, you probably won’t find it of deep interest (except for the new features list).


Software Manager makes it easy to manage your software. To access it simply click the Linux Mint 8 icon on your panel then choose Applications then Settings then Software Manager. You can search for software and you can read reviews of applications written by other users.

The inability to get DVDs to play properly was probably the worst problem I had while using the KDE version of Linux Mint.

If you’re a Linux Mint KDE user then this upgrade is pretty much a no-brainer. This release gets you up to date with the latest version of Ubuntu (though Ubuntu 10 isn’t far off so I’ll be reviewing this again soon enough) and KDE.

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