The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint 12 (Lisa)
The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint 12 (Lisa)
This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Linux Mint 12 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for Linux newbies.
I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!
1 Preliminary Note
To fully replace a Windows desktop, I want the Linux Mint 12 desktop to have the following software installed:
Sound & Video:
All desired applications are available in the Linux Mint repositories.
As you might have noticed, a few applications are redundant, for example there are two CD/DVD burning applications in my list (Brasero, K3B). If you know which one you like best, you obviously don't need to install the other applications, however if you like choice, then of course you can install both. The same goes for music players like Amarok, Banshee, Rhythmbox, XMMS or browsers (Firefox, Opera, Chromium).
I will use the username howtoforge in this tutorial. Please replace it with your own username.
2 Installing The Base System
The installation of the base system is easy as 1-2-3 because the Linux Mint installer doesn't offer a lot of options to choose from, so you cannot go wrong.
Download the Linux Mint 12 DVD iso image from http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php, burn it onto a DVD, and boot your computer from it (please note that I used the DVD iso image instead of the CD iso image; the DVD comes with some additional software such as Java or VLC that get installed by default, whereas they are missing if you install from the CD; if you use the CD, you must install these applications from the Synaptic Package Manager):
The system boots and starts a desktop that is run entirely in the RAM of your system (the Linux Mint installation DVD is also a Live-DVD) without changing anything on your hard disk. This has the advantage that you can test how Linux Mint works on your hardware before you finally install it.
This is how the Linux Mint desktop looks. Double-click the Install Linux Mint icon on the desktop to start the installation to the hard drive:
The installer starts. First, select your language:
On the next screen you see a few requirements for the Linux Mint 12 installation (the system should have at least 5.8GB available drive space and should be connected to the Internet). Click on Continue:
Now we come to the partitioning of our hard disk. Usually Erase disk and install Linux Mint is a good choice, unless you need custom partitions and know what you're doing. Erase disk and install Linux Mint will create one big / partition for us. If you already had another operating system installed on your hard drive, select the option Replace ... with Linux Mint, which does the same as above:
Select the hard drive that you want to use for the Linux Mint installation:
Then choose your time zone:
Change the keyboard layout, if necessary:
Type in your real name, your desired username along with a password, and click on Continue:
Afterwards, Linux Mint is being installed. This can take a few minutes, so be patient:
After the installation, you will be asked to reboot the system. Click on Restart Now:
At the end of the shutdown process, you are asked to remove the Linux Mint installation DVD from the DVD drive. Please do this now and press ENTER:
Your new Linux Mint system starts. Log in to the desktop with the username and password you provided during installation:
When you log in for the first time, you will see the following help window. Click on Close:
This is how your new desktop looks:
Now the base system is ready to be used.