Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
Last edited 06/22/2008
This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 5 Elyssa R1 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 5 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 8.04 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 5 desktop to have the following software installed:
The GIMP - free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop
F-Spot - full-featured personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop
Google Picasa - application for organizing and editing digital photos
Flash Player 9
FileZilla - multithreaded FTP client
email and news client
Evolution - combines e-mail, calendar, address book, and task list management functions
The system boots and starts a desktop that is run entirely in the RAM of your system (the Linux Mint installation CD is also a Live-CD) 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 icon on the desktop to start the installation to the hard drive:
The installer starts. First, select your language: