Tips and Tricks for Linux Mint after Installation [Mint 10 and 11]

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. It 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.

If you have the Linux Mint system which comes with the default Gnome-2 desktop environment 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 Linux Mint 11 and Linux Mint 10. If you're using Linux Mint 13 Maya or newer versions, please check out the articles for the Cinnamon Edition and MATE Edition.

 
Tips and Tricks for Linux Mint - Quick Select Index

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Panel
Window
Desktop
File Manager
Keyboard Shortcuts
Sound
Add Fonts, Screenlets and More Software
Drive and Partition
Startup and Shutdown

 

   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".

See also "Enable Superbar".

 

   Set Fully Transparent Panel

When you set the panel to be transparent in the default Mint-X-Metal theme, you will find that some panel items' backgrounds are not transparent, but you can opt for one of the other themes, such as AuroraMint theme, which comes 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 cp -R /usr/share/themes/Mint-X-Metal ~/.themes/
  3. Enter gedit ~/.themes/Mint-X-Metal/gtk-2.0/panel.rc to open the file with gedit.
  4. Search for three instances of "Panel/panelbg.png"
  5. Comment out all three lines by placing a # at the beginning of the lines, for example: #   bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = ..., or #   file = ...
  6. Save the file.
  7. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Appearance, switch to the other theme and then back to the Mint-X-Metal theme.

Note: If you'd like to change to the Mint-X theme, replace Mint-X-Metal with Mint-X in the above command lines.

 

   Set Preferences for the Start 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.)
  5. In the Places tab, untick the items in "Toggle Default Places" to hide from the Menu.
  6. In the System tab, untick the items in "Toggle Default Items" to hide from the Menu.

Other preferences can also be set in the Options, Theme, Applications and Favorites tabs.

 

   Enable Superbar

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

  1. DockBarX AppletGo to Menu > Software Manager > Edit > Software Source.
  2. Select "Other Software" and click "Add"
  3. At APT line, enter ppa:dockbar-main/ppa, click "Add Source" "Refresh" and "Close"
  4. In the Software Manager window, enter dockbarx inside the Search box to look for dockbarx, which is available after the above steps.
  5. Select Dockbarx and click "Install"
  6. Log out and back into the system, then right click the panel and click “Add to Panel”.
  7. Select the DockBarX Applet and click "Add".

Note: A thumbnail preview of a running program is also available to DockBarX. To enable this feature, right-click the DockBarX item on the panel, select Properties, choose Window List and tick "Show Previews". Other preferences such as appearance, window item and group button can also be configured by users.

 

   Change Font Type and Color of Panel Clock

The font type and color of the panel clock follow the windows text in a theme by default. In particular, if the font color is black and shown on a dark background through a transparent panel, you can't read the clock clearly, but you can tweak it by changing the font color. And you can define the font type for your panel clock as well.

The code in Step 1 below sets the font color to white and applies Digital Face font (Note 1), bold and size 16.

  1. Panel ClockOpen up the text editor Gedit and paste the following code:
    style "my-panel-clock"
    {
    fg[NORMAL] = "#FFFFFF"
    font_name = "digital-7 bold 16"
    }
    widget "*.clock-applet-button.*" style "my-panel-clock"
  2. Save the file as .gtkrc-2.0 (including the dot in front of the filename) inside your home directory /home/your_user_name.
  3. Log out and log back in (OR enter killall gnome-panel into the Terminal) to see the change.

Note 1: The Digital Face font can be downloaded here. After downloading, unzip the file, enter sudo mv digital-7.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype into Terminal to move the font file to the restricted folder. See also Install Extra Fonts.

Note 2: The filename leading by a dot represents it's a hidden file and visible by toggling the key Ctrl-H in the Nautilus file browser.

 

   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, but you are allowed to set a program window to open up in the center of the desktop area.

  1. CompizConfig Settings ManagerPress Alt+F2 to bring up "Run Application" window.
  2. Type ccsm into the box and click Run to bring up CompizConfig Settings Manager.
  3. Select "Windows Management" from the left panel.
  4. Click "Place Windows".
  5. Change Placement Mode from "Smart" to "Centered", click "Back" and "Close".

Ideally, the window manager in Linux Mint should restore the last known position of an application window, but it does not do that unless an application remembers its own window position.

 

   Roll Up and Down a Window

When 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 (or 'shading') a window when I double-click on its title bar.Window Shading

  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.

 

   Customize the Theme

Linux Mint is using the Mint-X-Metal as the default theme, but you can either select one of the other available themes or customize it to suit your preferences easily.

  1. Customize the ThemeGo to Menu > Applications > Perferences > Appearance
  2. Select the other theme, for instance AuroraMint, and your window will reflect the changes to the new theme.
  3. Click the "Customize" button.
  4. Select one of the tabs, such as Icons.
  5. Choose one of the icon packages, for example, Elementary Mint, and click the "Close" button.
  6. Now it becomes your Custom theme and you can save it as a new theme, such as "AuroraMint with Elementary Icons".

 

   Set Aero Glass Effect

In Linux Mint you can set nearly the same aero glass effect to window borders with alpha transparency as available in Windows 7.

  1. Aero Glass EffectPress Alt+F2 to bring up "Run Application" window.
  2. Type gconf-editor into the box, click "Run" to bring up Configuration Editor.
  3. Browse to apps > gwd, look for "metacity_theme_active_opacity" on the right panel.
  4. Change the value in "metacity_theme_active_opacity" from 1 to 0.75 (or smaller such as 0.5 for more transparency).
  5. Then go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager.
  6. Select "Effects" from the left panel.
  7. Tick "Blur Windows" and click the "Close" button. (Note: default values in Blur Windows can be applied.)

Note: If the aero glass effect doesn't work, check if you have updated your display driver. Go to Menu > Applications > Administration > Additional Drivers, activate the recommended graphics driver and restart the system.

 

   Enable Aero Snap (Linux Mint 10 only)

In Windows 7, you can click and drag a window to the left or right edge of the desktop and it will fill half of the screen, or snap a window to the top edge of the desktop and it will be maximized.

In Linux Mint 11, you can click and drag a window to the left, right or top edge of the desktop to achieve the same result, but in Linux Mint 10, you need some tweaking as follows.

  1. Go to Menu > Software Manager, type wmctrl into the Search box and press "Enter".
  2. Select "wmctrl" and click "Install" if it has not been installed.
  3. Go To Menu > Applications > Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager.
  4. Select "General" from the left panel and click "Commands".
  5. In Command line 0, 1 and 2, paste the following codes:
    1. Command line 0, paste WIDTH=`xdpyinfo | grep 'dimensions:' | cut -f 2 -d ':' | cut -f 1 -d 'x'` && HALF=$(($WIDTH/2)) && wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -b add,maximized_vert && wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -e 0,0,0,$HALF,-1
    2. Command line 1, paste WIDTH=`xdpyinfo | grep 'dimensions:' | cut -f 2 -d ':' | cut -f 1 -d 'x'` && HALF=$(($WIDTH/2)) && wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -b add,maximized_vert && wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -e 0,$HALF,0,$HALF,-1
    3. Command line 2, paste wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -b add,maximized_vert,maximized_horz
  6. In the same window, click "Edge Bindings" tab.
  7. Change Run Command 0, 1 and 2 from "None" to "Left", "Right" and "Top" respectively.
  8. Click "Back" button and select "General Options", change "Edge Trigger Delay" to about 500.

 

   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. Press Alt+F2 to bring up "Run Application" window.
  2. Type gconf-editor into the box, click "Run" to bring up Configuration Editor.
  3. Browse to apps > nautilus > desktop.
  4. Untick "computer_icon_visible", "home_icon_visible" and "volumes_visible" and close the window.

As an alternative if Desktop Settings is available, you can go to Menu > Preferences > Desktop Settings > Desktop, then untick Computer, Home and Mounted Volumes.

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

 

   Change Wallpapers Automatically

You can right click your desktop, select "Change Desktop Background" and choose any one of the wallpapers pre-installed, but you need to do it each time you want to change a wallpaper. What about changing a wallpaper automatically within a certain time interval? Try Wally.

  1. Change Wallpapers with WallyGo to Menu > Software Manager, enter wally into the Search box and click "Install". (Note)
  2. Press Alt-F2, enter wally and click the "Run" button.
  3. Right-click the Wally icon on the panel, select Settings.
  4. Click "Folders" in the left column, then add /usr/share/backgrounds to the Folder box and tick "Include subfolders".
  5. Click "Settings" in the left column, then tick "Play automatically on application starts".
  6. Set the application to auto start, using this tip Auto Start Up an Application (as Wally's option to "Start automatically when system starts" being disabled).

Your wallpaper on the desktop will automatically change following these basic settings when you log back in the system (or right click the Wally icon on the panel and select "Play").

Note: If you like to get the latest version of Wally which has an option to disable splash screen and auto quit, go to developer's site to download. After which, right click the .deb file and select "Open with GDebi Package Installer" to install, then follow Step 2 above.

 

   Set a Default View in File Manager

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

  1. Set File BrowserGo to "Places" and open a folder.
  2. At the top of the File Browser, click "Edit" and "Preference".
  3. Under Default View, change "Icon View" to "List View", to see 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.

 

   Create an Advanced File Manager

In the Mint file system, you can use Nautilus file manager 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 manager, you won't be able to but you can create an advanced file manager for this purpose.

  1. Advanced File ManagerGo 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 Nautilus in the "Name" box.
  4. Enter gksu nautilus in the "Command" box.
  5. Click the "OK" button and the "Close" button.

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

 

   Add or Change Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are preset in the system, but you can add new ones or change them easily. For instance, change the default shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T (Run a Terminal) to Win+R (press R while holding down the Windows key, also known as Super key) by the following steps:

  1. Keyboard ShortcutsGo To System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts
  2. Browse to Desktop > "Run a terminal"
  3. Click on the Shortcut, and it shows "New shortcut..."
  4. Press Win+R, and it shows Mod4+R
  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.

Note 3: Keyboard shortcuts can also be set by changing keybinding values with Configuration Editor. Press Alt+F2 and enter gconf-editor, then navigate to apps > gnome_settings_daemon > keybindings, or apps > metacity > global_keybindings and window_keybindings.

 

   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.

 

   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.

Remember that there's a shortcut key Alt+PrintScreen+K that can bring you back to the log-in screen immediately without the need to reboot the system. That's a time saver.

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 System > 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”.

 

   Set Sound Output

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. Under the Output tab, change Connector to Analog Output (LFE)/Amplifier from the drop-down menu.

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.

 

   Disable or Change Login Sound

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

To disable the login sound:

  1. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Startup Applications.
  2. Under the "Startup Programs" tab, untick "GNOME Login Sound"
  3. Click Close

To change the login sound, tick the above "GNOME Login Sound" if it's unticked, then follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt+F2 to bring up "Run Application" window.
  2. Paste gksu nautilus /usr/share/sounds/LinuxMint/stereo into the box, click "Run" to open Nautilus in the right folder.
  3. Rename the original file desktop-login.ogg to another such as desktop-login-original.ogg for backup.
  4. Copy your sound file in ogg format to the above folder and name the file as desktop-login.ogg
  5. Log out and log back in to listen to the new login sound.

 

   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. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Appearance > Fonts.
  4. 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 nautilus /usr/share/fonts/truetype into the box, click "Run" to open Nautilus 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.

 

   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 Manager if it has not been added.
    1. Go to Menu > Software Manager.
    2. Enter screenlets into the Search Box.
    3. Select Screenlets, click the "Install" button.
  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.

 

   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 it's not, you can click "Install package..." to install it if the available software package is shown in the panel. 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.

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.

 

   Auto Mount Drives at System Startup

Linux Mint is capable of reading and writing files stored on Windows formatted partitions, but partitions must be 'mounted' before they can be accessed each time you start up the system. With these steps, you can auto mount the drives or partitions without the need to manually mount them for access.

  1. Storage Device ManagerGo to Menu > Software Manager, type pysdm into the Search box and press "Enter".
  2. Select "pysdm" and click "Install" if it has not been installed.
  3. Go to Menu > Applications > Administration > Storage Device Manager.
  4. Extend the list of sda and select the sda you want to auto mount, click 'OK' to configure.
  5. Click the "Assistant" button.
  6. Uncheck "Mount file system in read only mode" and keep "The file system is mounted at boot time" checked.
  7. 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.

Note: If you need to identify disk partitions by label, paste ls /dev/disk/by-label -g in Terminal, or to view partition sizes and file systems, enter sudo fdisk -l. Disk Utility mentioned in "Name or Label a Partition" also gives you a glance of device numbers, partition types, sizes and labels.

 

   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.

 

   Name or Label a Partition

Nautilus file manager 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 Disk Utility is one of the effective ways to name a partition easily:

  1. Disk UtilityInstall Disk Utility if it has not been added.
    1. Go to Menu > Software Manager.
    2. Enter gnome-disk-utility into the Search Box.
    3. Select gnome-disk-utility, click the "Install" button.
  2. Go to Menu > Applications > Administration > Disk Utility
  3. Select the item Hard Disk.
  4. In the Volumes section, click a partition you want to label.
  5. Click "Edit Filesystem Label" (Note 1)
  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.

Note 1: If the option for "Edit Filesystem Label" is not shown, click "Unmount Volume" before hand. In case you can't unmount a volume, try Storage Device Manager to unmount it. See Auto Mount Drives at System Startup.

Note 2: This tip is for naming a partition using Disk Utility, use other advanced features such as format, edit or delete partition with caution as they can delete data on your disk.

 

   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.

 

   Change Default Boot Options

After 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 StartUp-Manager.

  1. Go to Menu > Applications > Administration > StartUp-Manager
  2. Enter password to perform pre-configuration tasks, which include searching bootloaders to operating systems.
  3. Select the default operating system from the pull-down menu, click "Close" to perform post-configuration tasks.

With StartUp-Manager, you can also do others such as manage Usplash themes, adjust bootloader menu resolution or set timeout in seconds. Avoid changing timeout to 0 seconds if you need to select a system to boot up from a multi-boot menu.

Note: If your startup splash logo is changed to text after applying a graphics driver, the StartUp-Manager can be used to change the text back to the logo by adjusting to higher resolution and color depth supported by the driver.

 

   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. 2.6.32-22-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. 2.6.32) in the Search box.
  6. Right-click the items with smaller sub version number (e.g. 2.6.32-21) for older Linux kernel and select Mark for Complete Removal. The files for the older version to remove may include linux-headers-2.6.32-21, linux-headers-2.6.32-21-generic and linux-image-2.6.32-21-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, untick 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

 

   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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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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by xtreme on 9. December 2013 - 18:15  (112869)

hi.. how to edit Launch Application... I want to remove applications...Linux Mint 16...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/71357032/launch.png

tks !!!

by Sandy, Computer Operator (not verified) on 24. November 2012 - 23:18  (102854)

I need some help! My board of directors decided we should have Linux Mint for the new decade and I have only used Microsoft Windows 7 and its attached programs. Is there a Linux User's Manual I can access? it seems if I enter a request in help the program does not recognize what I am needing. It is very frustrating. Thank you!

by Jojo Yee on 25. November 2012 - 3:15  (102860)

@Sandy, try this official Linux Mint User Guide, available in many languages in both PDF and ODT formats.

by mikhael (not verified) on 11. October 2012 - 6:08  (100627)

very nice, organized and useful article.

+7.5 and thumbs UP

dunke :)

by chrishuf (not verified) on 18. September 2012 - 22:41  (99447)

I was given this IBM Thinkpad, everything worked fine, I went through programs (not familiar with Linux Mint)but when I turned it off and brought it home, upon startup I have no menu or taskbars, the only things on desktop are icons for Mozilla and yahoo mail, to turn off laptop I do it with the off button.

by James Maw (not verified) on 10. September 2012 - 10:21  (99048)

By mistake I delete the network selection/configuration icon from the panel. I have tried to add but cannot find. Now I cannot connect to the internet by using usb dongle. Can anybody help?

by Rajneesh (not verified) on 26. August 2012 - 12:11  (98322)

I am a new mint user.
I have one problem when I installed Worksnaps in our Linux mint-11 operating system and run it through command then I am not getting active icon of Worksnaps on my panel but it is in active state and it takes screen snaps regularly. I want to show icon in panel when it will be active state.Please any body can help me.
thanks in advance.

by Col. Panek (not verified) on 2. August 2012 - 12:36  (97107)

One of the things on my essential list of things to tweak when installing Mint, is to install libreoffice-pdfimport. It lets you open up PDF files for editing (in LO Draw). You can save in any format, including exporting back to PDF.

by Kennedy Carvalho (not verified) on 23. July 2012 - 14:13  (96542)

Thats tips are great!
Thanks you.

by Vijay shankar (not verified) on 13. July 2012 - 12:10  (96131)

Awesome Information Its Help me to solve my problems.
Thanks:
:)

by Rabbit (not verified) on 15. June 2012 - 15:35  (94923)

Always learning something new. Wow, I have been using Linux for years and some things I knew, but too lazy to do. Their are a few items are new to me and are very useful. Thanks a million.

by danielson on 14. June 2012 - 14:23  (94857)

I've un-installed LibreOffice (freezes often) and would like to install OpenOffice instead to see if it's any better. LM13 Software Manager installs LibreOffice even if OpenOffice is selected from the directory...

I've removed LibreOffice again and all remnants of OO too, but now i need some guidance to install OO for .32bit - i get lost in OO help files.

by jwillar on 3. June 2012 - 20:14  (94350)

Great information, very helpful. Are you working to update this site to reflect Mint 13 w/ Mate and Cinnamon?

Thanks

by Dude (not verified) on 5. June 2012 - 5:09  (94413)

I second this request, Linux Mint 13 Mate -Cinnamon is way better then 10, 11, and 12. and it comes with LTS "5 years support", it basically has everything out of the Box unlike the others where I had to go and install a bunch drivers ect. Linux Mint 13 Mate -Cinnamon is the Best Distro I have ever used.

by MidnightCowboy on 5. June 2012 - 6:01  (94415)

Other developers are also recognising the importance of the Cinnamon desktop after the mess that was Gnome 3 was first presented to us. Kororaa 17 (based on Fedora but still in beta) is also shipping with a Cinnamon option as is the latest Snowlinux (just released). You can bet there will be more following.

Please though appreciate the amount of work that will be necessary to re-write this category if it is to include Mate as well as Cinnamon. A constructive approach to this at the moment would be to open a thread for this in our forum and say exactly the type of things you would like to see included. Our editorial team can then interact with this to see if it will be possible to deliver what is being requested.

by Steve B (not verified) on 22. March 2012 - 20:55  (90993)

Hi a friend installed Linux mint release 10 Julia on my desk top computer however is no longer with us, I don't have a password, have looked on a few sites talking about changing the kernel line in but I don't have a line starting with kernel help help

by suh (not verified) on 18. March 2012 - 3:57  (90779)

Thanks for the tips. No tricks, though, on setting up networking to avoid the inevitable nautilus failure to access network shares? Seems like a big omission, given how troublesome such a simple concept turns out to be. Two years in with Mint 9 and it's still hit and miss.

by Alfredo (not verified) on 13. March 2012 - 22:38  (90370)

I just installed Linux mint 12 64 bit

then shut down the computer and when I try to open it again I receive the message to run these 3 options.

linux mint 12 64 bit 3.0.0/12 generic dev/sda1

linux mint 12 64 bit 3.0.0/12 generic dev/sda1 recovery mode

linux mint 12 64 bit 3.0.0/12 generic dev/sda1 memory test

all previous three send me to a screen with the following.

"Enter help for a list of built in commands (initramfs)"

(Note. the 3rd option whe run it test memory send a message saying test performed and everything's OK so when leave that window I revceive the screen.

"Enter help for a list of built in commands (initramfs)"

Have reinstalled linux mint three times so far and problem persits.

Any help would be appreciated.

by Kristian (not verified) on 6. March 2012 - 8:52  (89987)

I'm running mint 12 and I can't get dockbarx installed. Adding to sources and refreshing I get:

Failed to fetch hxxp://ppa.launchpad.net/dockbar-main/ppa/ubuntu/dists/oneiric/main/source/Sources 404 Not Found
Failed to fetch hxxp://ppa.launchpad.net/dockbar-main/ppa/ubuntu/dists/oneiric/main/binary-amd64/Packages 404 Not Found
Failed to fetch hxxp://ppa.launchpad.net/dockbar-main/ppa/ubuntu/dists/oneiric/main/binary-i386/Packages 404 Not Found
Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

by Jojo Yee on 7. March 2012 - 14:37  (90062)

@Kristian, DockbarX doesn't work with Gnome shell at this moment. It has a Google+ page reporting on the latest development you might want to follow at https://plus.google.com/110582468951930692841/posts

by MikeF (not verified) on 10. January 2012 - 19:22  (86954)

I'm running Mint 10. I'm trying to use your instructions to get a completely transparent panel. I follow your instructions to the letter, and there is still a solid gray background behind most of the applets. There doesn't seem to be a difference at all once these changes are applied to the rc file. I've even logged out and back in, and still nothing. I'm making sure I'm using the correct Mint-X-Metal theme. Any suggestions?

by MidnightCowboy on 11. January 2012 - 4:21  (86982)

I'm assuming you also did the theme swap and back again as per item 7. in the list?

by MikeF (not verified) on 11. January 2012 - 5:55  (86988)

Yes, I did do the theme swap. As I said, I did everything to the letter.

by MidnightCowboy on 11. January 2012 - 7:32  (86991)

I can't help much more then either. I too have ATI and running the latest x64 bit version of Pinguy and transparency works perfectly (as does everything else :)) I'm currently in Windows checking something else out but when I go back to Linux later I'll post a screenshot in our "ChitChat" - "What does your desktop look like" forum just in case you're interested.

[edit] Now posted:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/chitchat/514-what-does-yo...

by Steve B (not verified) on 31. March 2012 - 9:33  (91474)

Hi a friend installed Linux mint release 10 Julia on my desk top computer however is no longer with us, I don't have a password, have looked on a few sites talking about changing the kernel line in but I don't have a line starting with kernel help help

by GeofferyPancake (not verified) on 31. March 2012 - 10:41  (91479)

The guide (linked below) from HowToGeek should be of assistance, Mint being Ubuntu based.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/linux/reset-your-forgotten-ubuntu-password-in-2-minutes-or-less/

by Steve B (not verified) on 31. March 2012 - 13:02  (91489)

Not really bud because again it refers to a line starting with kernal but in my grub menu there is no grub menu???

by Jojo Yee on 11. January 2012 - 3:39  (86979)

Try to update your display driver and see if that helps, go to Menu > Applications > Administration > Additional Drivers, activate the recommended graphics driver and restart the system.

by MikeF (not verified) on 11. January 2012 - 5:56  (86989)

My display drivers are the latest proprietary ATI drivers. They are up to date and activated.

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