Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
The Mint Xfce disk boots into a live session unless you press a key for the menu, which gives the alternatives of checking the disk and running the live session in failsafe video mode. If a Windows installation needs to shrunk, use Gparted before running the installer. The latter’s default choice is now ‘erase the whole disk’ — an accident waiting to happen? — and the options to use free space or replace an existing Linux have been removed. If the installer crashes during the slideshow, reboot and run the command ‘sudo apt-get remove ubiquity-slideshow-mint’. Encryption is supported, but not a bootloader password.
The desktop is a standard Xfce, except that the pager is missing as usual in Mint. To start with, things were very slow. This turned out to be due to the update manager, so I stopped it, only to find later that it was set to run every 15 minutes! Software includes Gimp, LibreOffice, Banshee, Totem, Firefox, Pidgin, Thunderbird, and Xchat. Several gave warnings when run from the CLI, although none were critical. Codecs and Flash are installed, although the Flash plugin (hidden in /opt) is the version that won’t run with 32-bit AMD chips. Totem ran very jerkily, using 95% of my CPU, but Banshee worked. Unlike the Mate and Cinnamon versions, this one had the old Ubuntu bug of being unable to use USB speakers.
This is not quite as nice as the standard version of Mint, but still a good choice if you like Xfce. Incidentally, Xfce is not (and was never intended to be) lightweight: it’s just that Gnome and KDE got bloated. This is much the same size as the Mate version, and would run in 512MB.