|Main Screen + Whisker Menu|
After the boot menu, I was greeted by a boot splash consisting of a solid Linux Mint logo on a black background. After a reasonably short time, that gave way to the desktop. The desktop is fairly similar to the previous version, though for some reason the icons and panel looked noticeably bigger than before; looking at the screenshots, though, I think I may have been getting mixed up with my experiences with Linux Mint 13 LTS "Maya" Xfce, which I have installed and use every day. That said, I do think the big icons and panel could help entice users new to Linux; this could possibly include older folks who may just want something simple to browse the Internet, check email, and write some letters in a word processing program, and who need bigger icons and other buttons.
Mozilla Firefox is the default browser as usual. As is expected for Linux Mint, proprietary codecs are included, as I was able to use YouTube and other sites that require Adobe Flash just fine; additionally, my laptop's volume keyboard shortcuts worked fine.
|Mozilla Firefox + LibreOffice Writer|
Skype, Redshift, and Mupen64Plus were easily installable from the repositories, while M64Py and the Google Talk plugin were installable from their respective websites. Skype worked great, as I was able to make a full-length call from the live session. Google Talk seemed to have been configured properly as well. I figured out what the issue with Mupen64Plus was from last time: accessing the game ROM file from my hard drive caused issues with permissions, so I copied it to the live session home directory, changed the permissions to be readable and writable by the regular user, and ran it fine. Redshift worked fine, and it seems to have improved too; it now has the option to start the application automatically available from the GUI panel applet, and it automatically detects the current location (avoiding the need to look up latitude and longitude coordinates).
|Nemo + Nemo-Preview + Desktop Cube|
Even with Compiz running in the background, the command "free -m" showed that Linux Mint used 270 MB of RAM at idle, which is pretty good. The system was overall quite stable and responsive, and I had no other issues in that regard.
That's where my time with Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" Xfce ended. There was just one minor issue, but it was small enough that I could easily overlook it. Everything seemed to work perfectly; I had no other complaints, and I was really happy with how all the applications worked and how the desktop worked as a whole. It looks like I've found the distribution that could potentially replace Linux Mint 13 LTS "Maya" Xfce on my main computer. Overall, I can only give it my highest recommendation for newbies and more experienced users alike.
You can get it here.