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Tips and Tricks for Linux Mint After Installation [Mint 13 to 16 - MATE Edition]

 

Introduction

Linux MintLinux Mint is one of the top free operating systems widely used in the world and currently receives the highest hits at DistroWatch.

Even though it's an Ubuntu-based system, Linux Mint features only one panel at the bottom which looks closer to the taskbar in the Windows system, and a well-organized start menu complete with a useful Search box. MATE EditionIt also pre-installs some proprietary software, including the Adobe Flash plugin and necessary media codecs, by default so that you can view streaming media, such as YouTube videos in a browser, and play mp3, mp4 or most other media files with a player right away out of the box.

The MATE Edition of Linux Mint 13 to 16 uses MATE, a traditional desktop environment which continues to develop as a fork of GNOME 2. If you have this Edition installed in your PC, you might find these tips and tricks useful for working with the system.

Note: The steps described in this article work best with the MATE edition of Linux Mint 13 Maya, 14 Nadia, 15 Olivia and 16 Petra unless stated otherwise. If you're using the Cinnamon Edition, please check out this article.

 
Index:

 

Pin Programs to the Panel

Frequently used programs can be easily pinned to the panel.

  1. Browse to a program from Menu > Applications.
  2. Drag and drop the program to an empty space in the panel, or right-click the program and select "Add to panel".
  3. Right click the program icon, select "Move" and drop it to a new place in the panel.
  4. Right click the program icon and select "Lock to Panel".

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Set Fully Transparent Panel

When you set the panel to be transparent in the default Mint-X theme, you will find that some panel items' backgrounds are not transparent, but you can opt for one of the other themes which come with the transparent background for the panel items. If you prefer the default theme with the items' backgrounds transparent, some tweaks are needed with the steps below:

  1. Set Full Transparent PanelClick Menu and select Terminal.
  2. Enter sudo cp -R /usr/share/themes/Mint-X ~/.themes/
  3. Enter sudo pluma ~/.themes/Mint-X/gtk-2.0/Apps/panel.rc to open the file with the default text editor.
  4. Search for two instances of "Panel/panelbg.png"
  5. Comment out the two lines by placing a # at the beginning of the lines, for example: #   bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = ...
  6. Save the file.
  7. Log out and log back in to the system.

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Set Preferences for the Mint Menu

Like the Windows' Start button, Linux Mint has an advanced Gnome menu called "mintMenu" where you can start doing things like running a program, looking for files, log out or quit the system and so on.

This menu allows you to set your personal preferences with the steps below, for example:

  1. Start MenuRight click "Menu", select "Preferences".
  2. In the "Main button" tab, remove the word "Menu" from the "Button text" box if you like to hide the text.
  3. Change the keyboard shortcut from <Control>Super_L to others, such as Super_R, if you'd like to just press the right Windows key to get to the menu. (This change only takes effect after logging out and back in the system.)
  4. Change the Button icon from /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintMenu/visualisation-logo.png to /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintMenu/mintMenu.png, as shown in the screenshot. (Caution: avoid changing to a huge size image which might affect the panel.)

Other preferences can also be set in the various tabs such as Theme, Applications and Favorites.

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Add a Program Shortcut from the Mint Menu

Quite often a shortcut is automatically added to the Menu when you install an application, but you might encounter a program that does not. In which case, you need to manually add a shortcut for it to run from the Menu. This can be done without breaking a sweat.

  1. Right-click the Mint Menu and select "Edit menu".
  2. Click a software category for example Sound & Video under Applications.
  3. At the right panel, click "+New Item".
  4. Type in a name for the application, for example, ClipGrab.
  5. To the right of "Command", browse to the application where you've downloaded, for example, /home/username/Downloads/clipgrab-3.2.1.0
  6. Click OK and Close buttons.

Note: If an executable file is not accessible, try to add permission to execute the file in the Terminal, for this example assuming the file is extracted to the "Downloads" folder:

cd ~/Downloads
chmod +x clipgrab-3.2.1.0

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Enable Superbar (for Mint 13 to 14)

DockBarX AppletIn Windows 7, frequently used programs can be pinned to the taskbar (hence called Superbar). Likewise, a DockBarX applet can be added to the MATE panel of Linux Mint to achieve almost the same effect to pin and unpin or launch the applications from the panel.

  1. Go to this page to download the Debian package for DockBarX.
  2. Double-click the downloaded file to install.
  3. Log out and log back into the system, then right click the panel and click “Add to Panel”.
  4. Select the DockBarX Applet and click "Add".

When you run an application in the next log-in session, an icon will appear in the DockBarX on the panel. You can then right-click the icon to pin the application to the DockBarX or vice versa.

Note: The DockBarX applet didn't work with the MATE version for Linux Mint 15 and 16 at time of checking.

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Open Up a Window in Center

When running an application without maximized, Linux Mint always puts it in the left-top corner of the desktop by default unless you configure it. Linux Mint 15 and 16 offer an option to open new windows at the center of the screen. To enable this option in Linux Mint 15, enter the following command in a Terminal:

gsettings set org.mate.Marco.general center-new-windows true

As an alternative, you can use this handy tool gDevilspie to automatically detect and move the window of an application, such as Terminal, to the center of the desktop. You just need to set it up once for the applications you need and it's good for use each time you log into the system.

  1. Go to Menu > Accessories > gDevilspie (Download gDevilspie if not installed)
  2. Tick "Start devilspie daemon automatically at login"
  3. Click the Add button and name a new rule.
  4. Under the Matching tab, tick 'application_name' and type Terminal, for example, in the 'matches' box.
  5. Under the Actions tab, tick 'center'.
  6. Click the Save button, then the Start button.

Ideally, the window manager in Linux Mint should restore the last known position of an application window, but it doesn't do that unless an application remembers its own window position. Using this tool, however, you can do more controls over the application windows by the rules you set.

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Roll Up and Down a Window

Window ShadingWhen you double-click the title bar of a window, the default setting is to maximize a window. Since there's already a maximize button you can use for this, I always like to change the default setting to rolling up a window when I double-click on its title bar.

  1. Go to Menu > Control Center > Personal
  2. Click "Windows" to open up "Window Preferences".
  3. In "Titlebar Action", select "Roll up" (or "Shade") from the drop-down list.

Now you can roll up a window when you double-click its title bar, and roll it down by double-clicking the title bar again. Simple as that.

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Customize a Theme

Linux Mint is using the Mint-X as the default theme, but you can customize it to suit your preferences easily.

  1. Customize the ThemeGo to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Appearance
  2. Click the "Customize" button.
  3. Select one of the tabs, such as Controls.
  4. Choose one of the controls from the list, then click the "Close" button.
  5. Now it becomes your Custom theme and you can save it as a new theme.

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Hide Drive Icons on the Desktop

In addition to the Computer and Home icons, Linux Mint adds an icon to the desktop for every removable drive that you attach to your system. The icons can be hidden by these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Desktop Settings
  2. Untick Computer, Home and Mounted Volumes, then close the window.

The drive icons as well as Computer and Home icons will then disappear from the desktop. Remember that you can always access the drives from Menu > Places.

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Set a Default View in File Browser

Windows Explorer allows for users to set a default view to all folders. In almost the same way, Linux Mint's Caja File Browser allows for these settings:

  1. Set File BrowserGo to Menu > Applications > System Tools > Caja File Browser.
  2. At the top of the File Browser, click "Edit" and "Preference".
  3. Under Default View, change "Icon View" to "List View", which lists more details in columns.
  4. Tick "Show hidden and backup files" if that's your choice.

Other various settings, such as single or double click to open items, icon captions, list columns, preview files and media handling can be done in the same window as well.

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Change a Folder Icon (Mint 13-15)

When running a Caja file browser, you will see that the folder icons are predetermined by the theme you set. If you wish to change a folder icon to another for it to stand out from the system-wide icons, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Applications > System Tools > Caja File Browser, right click a folder icon, select Properties.
  2. Under the Basic tab, click the icon image to open up the "Select Custom Icon" window.
  3. In the Location field, type /usr/share/icons, press Enter. (You can hide or unhide the Location field by clicking the Edit button on the top-left of the window.)
  4. Browse and select an icon you want.
  5. Click the Open button on the bottom-right of the window to confirm.

Note 1: You can change your custom folder icon back to the default by clicking the "Revert" button in the "Select Custom Icon" window at Step 2 above.

Note 2: This feature did not work well with Caja file browser in Linux Mint 16 at time of checking.

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Create an Advanced File Browser

In the Mint file system, you can use Caja file browser to browse most files but can only write files in your home folder /home/your_name and its sub-folders such as Desktop and Documents. If you have to rename a folder or write files outside of your home folder using the file browser, you won't be able to but you can create an advanced file browser for this purpose.

  1. Advanced File BrowserGo to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Main Menu
  2. Select "Accessories" in the left panel and click "New Item" in the right panel.
  3. Enter a name such as Advanced File Browser in the "Name" box.
  4. Enter gksu caja in the "Command" field.
  5. Click the "OK" button and the "Close" button.

Now you can go to Menu > Applications > Accessories and see that the Advanced File Browser is ready for use. But be careful since you can use it to delete or change any files on your system.

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Add or Change Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are preset in the system, but you can add new ones or change them easily. For instance, the keyboard shortcut to the Terminal is disabled by default and you can change it to Ctrl+Alt+T which is common in Linux system.

  1. Keyboard ShortcutsGo To Menu > Applications > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts
  2. Browse to Desktop > "Run a terminal"
  3. Click on the Shortcut, and it shows "New shortcut..."
  4. Press Ctrl+Alt+T, and it shows Ctrl+Alt+T
  5. Click the Close button and try the new shortcut.

Note 1: To disable a shortcut, press Backspace when it shows "New shortcut..." after the step 3 above.

Note 2: Shortcuts begin with XF86 refer to special keys available to some multimedia keyboards.

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Terminate Unresponsive Programs

Xkill is part of the X11 utilities pre-installed in Linux Mint and a tool for terminating misbehaving X clients or unresponsive programs. You can easily add a shortcut key to launch xkill with the steps below.

  1. xkillGo to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts.
  2. Click the Add button to create a custom shortcut.
  3. Enter xkill to both the Name and Command boxes and click the Apply button.
  4. Click on Disabled at the xkill row in the Keyboard Shortcuts window (Disabled is then changed to New shortcut...).
  5. Press a new key combination, e.g. Ctrl+Alt+X (New shortcut... is then changed to Ctrl+Alt+X).
  6. Click the Close button.

Xkill is ready for use. Press the above key combination to turn the cursor to an X-sign, move the X-sign and drop it into a program interface to terminate the unresponsive program, or cancel the X-sign with a right-click.

Note: As an alternative, you can right-click the panel, select "Add to panel", then choose "Force Quit" to add to the panel. This works similarly to the above but it's activated from a button on the panel instead of the keyboard shortcut.

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Re-start System without Rebooting

If you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, Linux Mint brings you a menu to shut down, restart, or suspend your system. But for some reason you might encounter that the system freezes, the mouse cursor can't move, neither pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete can work.

As an alternative, you can also use Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to do the same. If this shortcut key is disabled, you can easily enable it by the following steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Keyboard.
  2. Select the “Layouts” tab and click the “Options” button.
  3. Select “Key sequence to kill the X server” and enable “Control + Alt + Backspace”.

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Set Sound Preferences

If you use a PC with an integrated audio device and it has no sound when playing a media file on a player, try these simple steps to set Sound Preferences for your PC. It works for me for the audio device I have.

  1. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Sound to bring up the Sound Preferences window.
  2. Under the Hardware tab, change Profile to Analog Stereo Duplex from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click "Test Speakers" to check if it works.

As the items available from the drop-down menus might differ depending on the hardware devices detected by the system, you might want to try other items in the menus to see if they work for your devices.

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Change or Disable Login Sound (for Mint 13 to 15)

Each time when you login to Linux Mint, it may play a login sound. If you don't like to listen to it each time you login, you can easily disable it, or change it to your favorite sound.

  1. Go to Menu > Administration > Login Window.
  2. Under the "Accessibility" tab, change to a sound you like from the drop-down menu for "Login successful", click "Play" to try the sound if needed.
  3. If you want to disable the log-in sound, untick "Login successful"

Log out and log back in to check the new setting for login sound. Similarly you can try out sounds for "Login screen ready" and "Login failed".

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Install Extra Fonts

Do you prefer Windows TrueType fonts to the default fonts installed by Linux Mint? The mscorefonts package containing most Microsoft fonts can be installed and configured easily in a few steps below:

  1. Ubuntu Extra FontsGo to Menu > Terminal.
  2. Paste sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer into the Terminal (by pressing Ctrl-Shift-V in the Terminal after copying the highlighted code).
  3. When prompted, use the arrow left/right keys to navigate and agree to the EULA license terms for the install.
  4. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Appearance > Fonts.
  5. Click each of them, pick a font and size to configure for window title and so on.

How about installing more TrueType fonts? With your font files, you can manually add them into the system following the steps below:

  1. Press Alt+F2 to bring up "Run Application" window.
  2. Paste gksu caja /usr/share/fonts/truetype into the box, click "Run" to open Caja File Browser in the right folder.
  3. Create a new sub-folder and copy your files ending with .ttf into the sub-folder.
  4. Enter sudo fc-cache -f -v in the Terminal to rebuild the font information.

Besides this, you can run an application such as Font-Manager to view, install, remove fonts and so on.

Note: If you like the Tahoma font which is not included in the mscorefonts package, you might want to copy the two files tahoma.ttf and tahomabd.ttf from /Windows/Fonts and install them.

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Install Screenlets

Screenlets are small applications to represent things such as sticky notes, clocks, calendars around on your desktop. You can launch a pre-installed screenlet from Screenlet Manager, or install a new one into the Manager for launching it. Here are the steps for installing and launching a screenlet, for example, WaterMark System Information.

  1. WaterMark ScreenletInstall Screenlets app if it has not been added.
  2. Download the screenlet "WaterMark System Information" to a folder.
  3. Go to Menu > Applications > Accessories > Screenlets.
  4. Click Install, select Install Screenlet and click OK.
  5. Browse to the folder, select the file downloaded and click "Open" to install the screenlet into the Screenlets manager.
  6. Select the screenlet "WaterMark" and click "Launch/Add". (Tips: you can add more than one WaterMark screenlet and set it to display other system information.)

More screenlets are available for installation from screenlets.org.

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Install Oracle Java Packages

Linux Mint uses OpenJDK by default, but some web services might need the Oracle Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to be installed for running the services properly. If you would like to get the proprietary Oracle Java package for your system, you can download and install it with the steps below:

  1. Go to Menu > Terminal.
  2. Enter sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java to add the partner repository.
  3. Enter sudo apt-get update to update the source list.
  4. Enter sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

At any time, you can check the Java version you're using and configure it when necessary:

  • Enter sudo java -version to check the version of the Java used in the system.
  • Enter sudo update-alternatives --config java to choose the default Java for use in the system.

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Install Apps from Ubuntu Apps Directory

The Ubuntu Apps Directory is one of the good sources to look for applications to run in Linux Mint system. On a web page listing a product such as K3b, you can click a download button, in which the APT protocol is applied to invoke the default package manager to download and install software for you, right from a web browser and pretty straightforward.

This works well when you're using Firefox which allows you to choose "AptUrl" to handle the protocol. If "AptUrl" is not listed, press the "Choose" button then browse to File System > usr > bin, select apturl to open and click "OK".

If you're using Chrome, clicking the download button triggers "xdg-open" and it is unable to detect the MATE desktop environment.

With some tweaks below, you can then use Chrome to download software from the Ubuntu Apps Directory.

  1. Go to Menu > Terminal
  2. Enter gksu pluma /usr/bin/xdg-open
  3. Search for detectDE(), then above this line else DE="", insert a new line:

    elif [ x"$MATE_DESKTOP_SESSION_ID" != x"" ]; then DE=mate;

  4. Search for open_gnome(), then after the section of open_gnome() {...}, insert a new section:

    open_mate()
    {
    if gvfs-open --help 2>/dev/null 1>&2; then
    gvfs-open "$1"
    else
    mate-open "$1"
    fi
    if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
    exit_success
    else
    exit_failure_operation_failed
    fi
    }

  5. Search for this line case "$DE" in, and after this line, add a new section:

    mate)
    open_mate "$url"
    ;;

  6. Save the file and retry the download links.

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Add More Useful Software

Linux Mint's Software Manager lets you search and get free software, or straight from the Menu, you can type an application name into the Search box to see if the software has been installed and ready for use. If the software has not been installed, you can click "Install" when a software package is shown in the search result. What's more, you can also go to Menu > Package Manager, type in an application name to search and install a software package from the repositories.

Besides this, you can browse the Ubuntu Apps Directory to find software products you need as mentioned in the tip above.

Alternatively, you can get the latest freeware applications by clicking the Install this now button from the GetDeb Repository after the getdeb package is installed with the instructions given.

See also our Best Free Software for Linux.

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Auto Mount Drives at System Startup

Linux Mint is capable of reading and writing files stored on Windows formatted partitions using NTFS file system, but partitions must be 'mounted' before they can be accessed. With these steps, you can auto mount the drives or partitions without the need to manually mount them for access each time you start up the system. Below are two ways of doing it, either using Storage Device Manager or adding an entry in the fstab file.

Method 1: Using Storage Device Manager (This app is not yet available for Linux Mint 14 [using the upstream Ubuntu 12.10] and the newer version at time of checking)

  1. Storage Device ManagerInstall Storage Device Manager from Ubuntu Apps Directory if the application is not available in your system.
  2. Go to Menu > Applications > Administration > Storage Device Manager.
  3. Extend the list of sda and select the sda you want to auto mount, click 'OK' to configure.
  4. Click the "Assistant" button.
  5. Uncheck "Mount file system in read only mode" and keep "The file system is mounted at boot time" checked.
  6. Click the "Mount", "Apply" then "Close" button, and restart the system.

In case you wish to remove the auto-mount of a certain drive or partition, you can similarly use Storage Device Manager to do the setting.

Method 2: Adding an Entry in the 'fstab' File

  1. In the Terminal, enter sudo blkid to get the UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) of the partition you want to mount.
  2. Enter sudo mkdir /media/ntfs to create a mount point
  3. Enter gksu pluma /etc/fstab and add the following line in the fstab file:
    UUID=1234567890123456 /media/ntfs ntfs rw,nosuid,nodev,noatime,allow_other 0 0
  4. Replace the above 16-digit number with the UUID you've got from step 1, then click 'Save'.

Restart the system and check if the partition is mounted.

   To identify disk partitions by label, either use sudo blkid or ls /dev/disk/by-label -g in the Terminal. To view partition sizes and file systems, enter sudo fdisk -l. Disks app mentioned in "Name or Label a Partition" also gives you a glance of device numbers, partition types, sizes and labels.

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Manually Mount a USB Drive

A USB storage device plugged into the system usually mounts automatically, but if for some reasons it doesn't automount, it's possible to manually mount it with these steps.

  1. Go to Menu > Terminal.
  2. Enter sudo mkdir /media/usb to create a mount point called usb.
  3. Enter sudo fdisk -l to look for the USB drive already plugged in, let's say the drive you want to mount is /dev/sdb1.
  4. Enter sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /media/usb -o uid=1000,gid=100,utf8,dmask=027,fmask=137 to mount a USB drive formatted with FAT16 or FAT32 system. OR:
    Enter sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /media/usb to mount a USB drive formatted with NTFS system.

To unmount it, just enter sudo umount /media/usb in the Terminal.

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Name or Label a Partition

The File Browser shows the root directory as File System for your Mint system partition. If you have other partitions (or volumes), it shows them as xx GB Filesystem if they’re not named or labelled.

Using Disks app is one of the effective ways to name a partition easily:

  1. Disk UtilityInstall Disks app from the Ubuntu Apps Directory if it has not been added.
  2. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Disks
  3. Select the item Hard Disk.
  4. In the Volumes section, click a partition you want to label.
  5. Click the 'More actions' button below the Volumes section then select "Edit Filesystem Label"
  6. In the Label box, enter a name, e.g. Data-Disk, and click Apply.

The file manager should now show the partition label, such as Data-Disk, instead of xx GB Filesystem. This tip is for naming a partition using the application; use other advanced features such as format, edit or delete partition with caution as they can delete data on your disk.

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Auto Start Up an Application

In Windows, you can place a program shortcut in a startup folder for running a program automatically when the system starts. In Linux Mint, you can do the same in this way:

  1. Auto Start Up ApplicationsGo To Menu > Applications > Preferences > Startup Applications
  2. Click the "Add" button.
  3. Name a program.
  4. Click the "Browse" button and navigate to File System > usr > bin, where programs are usually installed.
  5. Select a program, click the "Open" button followed by the "Add" button.

The above program will then be listed in additional startup programs. Check if the program runs automatically by logging out and back to the system.

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Change a Login Screen and Theme

Linux Mint offers you a Mint Display Manager (MDM) to configure a login session. You can use it to change a login screen or a theme you like in a few steps:

  1. MGM Theme with a User ListGo to Menu > Administration > "Login Window" to open this window "Login Window Preferences".
  2. Under the "theme" tab (or "Local" tab in the older versions), select a built-in theme, then log out and back in to try a new log-in screen.

Get a Theme showing User Names

Under the same tab, you can choose a style such as "GDM" (or "Themed with face browser" in the older versions) and select a theme that lists user names on a login screen and saves you the trouble of typing out a username each time you log in. Besides selecting an existing theme that supports a user list, you can also download a similar theme for installation. For example:

  1. Download a theme supporting a user list from gnome-look.org, such as Super Brothers mdm (an MDM theme for Linux Mint 13) or Green Glass GDM (a GDM theme for newer Linux Mint versions).
  2. Drag and drop the theme file (.tar.gz) to the MDM, under the "Theme" or "Local" tab with the style "GDM" or "Themed with face browser" chosen.
  3. Click "Install", select this new theme and enjoy a new login session with a user list.

Tweak a GDM Theme for MDM Display Manager (For Linux Mint 13 only; newer Linux Mint versions support legacy GDM-2 themes)

Some themes are made for Gnome Display Manager (GDM), but you can also add it to MDM with just a minor tweak if you're using Linux Mint 13:

  1. Right click a downloaded theme file (.tar.gz) and select "Open With Archive Manager" from the context menu.
  2. Double click the folder inside the archive manager, then double click this file "GdmGreeterTheme.desktop" in the expanded folder.
  3. In the opened text editor Gedit, change this line [GdmGreeterTheme] to [MdmGreeterTheme], click "Save", "Update" and close Gedit.
  4. Right click the file "GdmGreeterTheme.desktop" and rename to "MdmGreeterTheme.desktop", then close the archive manager.

The archived theme file is then tweaked and can be added to the MGM for use.

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Change Default Boot Options

Grub CustomizerAfter full installation, Linux Mint is set to be the default operating system to boot up if no key is pressed within a few seconds on a multi-boot system. You might want to set your preferred operating system to boot up by default. This can be done easily with Grub Customizer.

Press Ctrl-Alt-T to call up Terminal, copy following codes and paste (Ctrl-Shift-V) them inside Terminal to install Grub Customizer.

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
  2. sudo apt-get update
  3. sudo apt-get install grub-customizer

After installation, run Grub Customizer to set the default boot options with the following steps.

  1. Press Alt-F2, type grub-customizer into the box and press Enter to run it.
  2. Under the "General Settings" tab, select the default entry you like to boot up from the drop-down menu.
  3. Adjust the timeout value if needed, then press the Close button and the Save button.

Avoid changing timeout to 0 seconds if you need to select a system to boot up from a multi-boot menu.

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Remove Old Linux Kernel, Clean Up Boot Menu

Each time when Linux Mint updates to a new Linux kernel, the old one is left behind and the boot menu gets longer. If your new Linux kernel works well, it's safe to remove the old one and clean up the boot menu. Do take these steps carefully as incorrect removal of the items can make your system unbootable.

  1. Go to Menu > Terminal.
  2. Enter uname -r to print the Linux kernel version you're running (e.g. 3.2.0-23-generic).
  3. Go to Menu > Package Manager.
  4. Click Status from the left panel and select Installed.
  5. Enter the main version number (e.g. 3.2.0) in the Search box.
  6. Right-click the items with smaller sub version number (e.g. 3.2.0-22) for older Linux kernel and select Mark for Complete Removal. The files for the older version to remove may include linux-headers-3.2.0-22, linux-headers-3.2.0-22-generic and linux-image-3.2.0-22-generic.
  7. Click Apply from the top panel.
  8. Click Apply again from the pop-up window to confirm removal of the marked packages. The boot menu will be cleaned up automatically after the removal is confirmed.

Note: Try also Grub Customizer which can be used to hide items from the boot menu. Just install the program by entering the following in the Terminal, then run the program, delete the items you want to hide and click 'Save'.

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
  2. sudo apt-get update
  3. sudo apt-get install grub-customizer

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Auto Shutdown the System

A simple command can be entered in the Terminal to schedule a time for the system to shut down.

  1. Go Menu > Terminal.
  2. Enter sudo shutdown -h +m (replace m with the number of minutes, e.g. +60).
    OR: enter sudo shutdown -h hh:mm (replace hh:mm with the time on the 24hr clock, e.g. 23:15).
  3. Enter password and minimize the Terminal window.

The system will then shut down within the minutes or at the time specified. To cancel a scheduled time, enter sudo shutdown -c in the Terminal.

Alternatively, you might want to download and install GShutdown, which is a GUI program for scheduling a time to shutdown the system.

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Editor

This category is maintained by volunteer editor Jojo Yee. Registered members can contact the editor with comments or suggestions by clicking here.
You can visit the Google+ profile page of Jojo Yee here.

 

Tags

things to do after installing Linux Mint, Linux Mint tips and tricks, tweak Linux Mint, Linux Mint 11 Katya, Linux Mint 10 Julia.

 

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Comments

by panorain on 3. April 2014 - 21:52  (115475)

I just wanted to thank you for the nice tips.

by Jojo Yee on 16. December 2013 - 9:11  (112973)

Update

The tips and tricks in this article have been updated for Linux Mint 16 Petra (MATE Edition). Please leave your comment if any of them doesn't work for you.

by d_neur on 22. February 2014 - 12:54  (114598)

February 22, 2014 - 7:52 AM
Thanks for all your hard work Jojo Yee.
I am a new user to LinuxMint15 with KDE and wanted a shortcut on my panel for a specific text file I use frequently. I did not find a clear tip or trick to help me (maybe I did not search carefully enough). The steps below work perfect for me.

1) Open Kickoff Application Launcher- the Lm icon in the top left corner.
2) Move mouse cursor over "Recently Used" tab, this opens a list of apps and files.
3) Right click the file you want to add to panel, a small menu opens,
"Add to Desktop, Add to Panel, [seperator], Clear Recent Applications, Clear Recent Documents".
4) Click "Add to Panel", and a small icon appears on the panel.

Happy Shortcutting - Max

by scottghall on 4. August 2013 - 18:13  (109896)

One of the problems with the Cinnamon printer management screen, is (System Settings --> Printers) is that it insists on discovering network printers, or you can't add them. You can enter an address and click on "Search by Address" all day long, and you still won't get there. I have an HP Jetdirect connected to a LaserJet-6L for which the standard foomatic driver works fine. What this screen needs is the older Gnome screen where you enter the address, then the make, then the model, then the driver. The printer add screen won't do it.

by cfajohnson on 11. May 2013 - 21:05  (107671)

How do you add more workspaces in Mate?

by Jojo Yee on 12. May 2013 - 6:20  (107688)

Try this cfajohnson:

Step 1: Add "Workspace Switcher" to the panel

Right-click an empty spot of the panel > Add to Panel > Select "Workspace Switcher" > Click "Add"

Step 2: Add a workspace

Right-click Workspace Switcher on the panel > Preference > Adjust "Number of workspaces"

by Geekomatic on 17. February 2013 - 4:50  (105481)

Nice!

Did a "printer-friendly", then "print" -> to pdf --> yay!

:)

by pressenterkey on 31. December 2012 - 5:27  (104113)

THANKS JOJOYEE!!! I like your suggestions!

But, for the transparent panel suggestion you could do the following I think:

Click Menu and select Terminal.

To get YOUR_USERID, enter the command echo $LOGNAME in the terminal. Substitute the returned value for YOUR_USERID in the following. Otherwise, the root user's theme is updated by the sudo commands.

Enter sudo cp -R /usr/share/themes/Mint-X /home/YOUR_USERID/.themes/

Enter sudo pluma /home/YOUR_USERID/.themes/Mint-X/gtk-2.0/Apps/panel.rc to open the file with the default text editor.

Search for two instances of "Panel/panelbg.png"
Comment out the two lines by placing a # at the beginning of the lines, for example: # bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = ...
Save the file.

Enter sudo chown -R YOUR_USERID:YOUR_USERID /home/YOUR_USERID/.themes

Log out and log back in to the system to see the effect.

Anyway, I've got both Mint Mate 14 and Mint XFCE 14 sessions (selectable from the login window) running and I like both!!!

by Jojo Yee on 31. December 2012 - 12:48  (104126)

You're welcome Pressenterkey and many thanks for your suggestion.

by pcm_man on 27. December 2012 - 16:42  (104024)

This was an absolutely wonderful article because it was specific on the MATE Linux Mint Desktop Environment.

After two years on Ubuntu 10.10 and research for 6 months I decided Linux Mint 14 Mate was the way to go. WOW WOW WOW this destro is so incredible I can hardly contain myself! It did everything I wanted and MORE, MUCH MUCH MORE!!!

After working with Skype for weeks trying to get it to work correctly on an AMD64 machine I was stunned to see "Skype:i386" in the Software Center for LM14. I selected it and applied it and I was immediately logging into Skype! WOW

I have found the combination of Mate 1.4 and mintMenu to be absolutely incredible and stable. Let me say that the performance of this desktop is beyond anything I have ever seen before. It is virtually the same as running LXDE! I can have multiple windows and applications open and my processor is only using 5% or less CPU in use! Even when I am running Skype (which is NOT a very efficient program) I was only using 25% with both video and audio streaming working! I could even go on YouTube and watch videos at the same time!

Get this desktop! You can not beat it. ROCK STABLE and totally flexible and configurable! Thank you MINT and MATE!
Contact me if you wish: [edited out. please do not post emails in public forums]

by ernst on 14. December 2012 - 10:28  (103618)

Thanks for your effort,
regarding Auto mount drives;
I have dual boot W7 and Mint13 (64)
When auto mounting a ntfs partition all goes as planed, however it will not accept
Uncheck "Mount file system in read only mode", resulting in error when attempting to write.
I can freely read and write to these ntfs partitions when manually mounted.
Any sugestions?

by Jojo Yee on 12. December 2012 - 5:37  (103530)

Update

The tips and tricks in this article have been updated and work for Linux Mint 14 Nadia (MATE Edition) as well. Please leave your comment if any of them doesn't work for you.

by mitasol on 7. December 2012 - 8:53  (103415)

I registered just to thank the poster, very informative indeed.

by Jojo Yee on 12. December 2012 - 6:20  (103534)

Welcome to the site, Mitasol.

by MoreDoor on 3. December 2012 - 9:28  (103277)

what are some of the better apps for physical proximity login/lock via bluetooth?

* with BT smart phone?

* with BT headset?

* which BT chipsets- and respective stack combinations play most well with galaxy s III chipset/stack?

by MoreDoor on 3. December 2012 - 9:24  (103276)

How can one make MATE as DE for Ubuntu 12.04 look like MATE in Mint 13 MAte??

Simply adding the mate PPA to ubuntu 12.04 and installing the packages was

horribly
disappointing

:(

(but definately better than cinammon... though the spice might grow on me)

I have ironically named "unity"

by Lebugg (not verified) on 6. November 2012 - 19:13  (101948)

Thank you so much for this tip : "Install Apps from Ubuntu Apps Directory" !

How much time have you spent on it ? Had you fiddled with that before ?

Thanks anyway ;)

Lebugg

by Jojo Yee on 7. November 2012 - 2:14  (101969)

Glad to know that you like the tip Lebugg. This article is an updated collection of tips which I've tried and found useful whenever running a Linux distro. Hope they are useful to site visitors too.

by Braunyaur (not verified) on 31. October 2012 - 18:15  (101663)

Excellent writeup and excellent followup (especially on the -s (session) for sudo not needed in a command line).
Here's a trick I'd like to be able to do in Mate...Have my Menu Panel on top (with Date/Time and all of the running tasks), and a panel at the bottom with just the activated applications. I can get the panel, but how to make it behave the way I want?

by Jojo Yee on 1. November 2012 - 14:03  (101687)

Many thanks for the kind words Braunyaur. You can right-click the top/bottom panel then select "Add to panel" the items you need. You can also right-click to lock/unlock items and select "Remove from Panel" the items you don't need. The top and bottom panels are highly configurable by users.

by Deoband (not verified) on 25. October 2012 - 3:39  (101317)

I was wanting to change my username or the name for the home folder. i have searched and searched but everythign I tried comes up with a warning that says I cant edit it even in root...any ideas?

by Getnet (not verified) on 16. October 2012 - 8:33  (100828)

Very helpful idea,but i have installed linux mint 13(Maya) a couple of days ago.I came across this tips and tried to make my desktop panel transparent...
I pasted the above two commands on terminal and the themes script opend I commented the two lines like:

# bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "/Panel/panelbg.png" # Disable for normal panel backgrounds.

saved it and closed the terminal when i go to the themes page and changed from Mint-X to Mint-Z and back to the Mint-x theme
the panel theme did not change(not transparent).

When i opened the themes script again the last changes i made are not saved but i was really sure that i did that.

I laounched Terminal as:

sudo -s

and did the same thing as above and when i close the terminal
this was the out put:
getu@getu-Latitude-D620 ~ $ sudo -s
[sudo] password for getu:
getu-Latitude-D620 ~ # cp -R /usr/share/themes/Mint-X ~/.themes/
getu-Latitude-D620 ~ # pluma ~/.themes/Mint-X/gtk-2.0/Apps/panel.rc

(pluma:4916): Gtk-WARNING **: Attempting to store changes into `/root/.local/share/recently-used.xbel', but failed: Failed to create file '/root/.local/share/recently-used.xbel.W35YLW': No such file or directory

(pluma:4916): Gtk-WARNING **: Attempting to set the permissions of `/root/.local/share/recently-used.xbel', but failed: No such file or directory

(pluma:4916): Gtk-WARNING **: Attempting to store changes into `/root/.local/share/recently-used.xbel', but failed: Failed to create file '/root/.local/share/recently-used.xbel.DPDYLW': No such file or directory

(pluma:4916): Gtk-WARNING **: Attempting to set the permissions of `/root/.local/share/recently-used.xbel', but failed: No such file or directory

(pluma:4916): Gtk-WARNING **: Attempting to store changes into `/root/.local/share/recently-used.xbel', but failed: Failed to create file '/root/.local/share/recently-used.xbel.KJV7LW': No such file or directory

(pluma:4916): Gtk-WARNING **: Attempting to set the permissions of `/root/.local/share/recently-used.xbel', but failed: No such file or directory

I like Linux mint and i want get help please.

by bjd (not verified) on 29. October 2012 - 13:26  (101558)

Just installed Mint Cinnamon. It's now October 29th 2012.
I just hate the large font on the panel.

Like the previous poster here, nothing you change in panel.rc anymore, whether or not in the system directory or in a copy in ~/.themes, has any effect.

I have Icon-theme Mint-X and gtk+-theme Mint-Z (see Cinnamon Settings > Themes). Even tweaked both Mint-X and Mint-Z in the described fashion -- to no effect.

Any one with a similar or better recent experience?

by Jojo Yee on 17. October 2012 - 14:45  (100909)

@Getnet, please try sudo cp -R /usr/share/themes/Mint-X ~/.themes/ in step 2 and see if it works for you. The command sudo -s is not required here.

by Getnet (not verified) on 18. October 2012 - 7:04  (100964)

I tried that but the script file became read only and i could not make further edits on it.

by Jojo Yee on 19. October 2012 - 14:28  (101061)

If this file ~/.themes/Mint-X/gtk-2.0/Apps/panel.rc has been changed to read-only, you can try to right-click that file, select Properties > Permissions, and change Access to "Read and write". Hope this helps.

by Zahid (not verified) on 16. October 2012 - 4:04  (100819)

Excellent Tips and Tricks for Linux Mint user. Thanks the author of this article.

by Chet (not verified) on 2. October 2012 - 4:59  (100089)

Hi Jojoyee,

Great post. Very informative.

I especially like the short cut for installing fonts. It's by far the easiest method to install windows fonts on a linux box I've seen by far. I dual boot Windows 7, Mint 13, and BSD (3 separate hard drives) on my primary desktop.

Using your method, all I had to do was mount the Windows drive and navigate to the /windows/font folder as you suggested,

Then select ALL of the Windows fonts (*.ttf).

Copy and paste them into the proper folder using your script (alt+F2 gksu caja /usr/share/fonts/truetype Run).

Then paste the Windows fonts into a new sub-folder at this location.

Finally, run sudo fc-cache -f -v in the terminal.

Once again, thank you.

Chet

by wdhpr on 30. September 2012 - 3:30  (99977)

Thanks Jojoyee a very helpful article that covers nearly all the tweeks I use after install. :)

by Jojo Yee on 30. September 2012 - 8:46  (99988)

You're welcome wdhpr. Glad that it works for you.