The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint 7 (Gloria)

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Submitted by falko (Contact Author) (Forums) on Thu, 2009-05-28 16:45. :: Ubuntu | Desktop

The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint 7 (Gloria)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
Last edited 05/28/2009

This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 7 (Gloria) 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 7 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 9.04 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 7 desktop to have the following software installed:

Graphics:

  • 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

Internet:

  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Flash Player 10
  • FileZilla - multithreaded FTP client
  • Thunderbird - email and news client
  • Evolution - combines e-mail, calendar, address book, and task list management functions
  • aMule - P2P file sharing application
  • Transmission BitTorrent Client - Bittorrent client
  • Azureus/Vuze - Java Bittorrent client
  • Pidgin - multi-platform instant messaging client
  • Skype
  • Google Earth
  • Xchat IRC - IRC client

Office:

  • OpenOffice Writer - replacement for Microsoft Word
  • OpenOffice Calc - replacement for Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe Reader
  • GnuCash - double-entry book-keeping personal finance system, similar to Quicken
  • Scribus - open source desktop publishing (DTP) application

Sound & Video:

  • Amarok - audio player
  • Audacity - free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor
  • Banshee - audio player, can encode/decode various formats and synchronize music with Apple iPods
  • MPlayer - media player (video/audio), supports WMA
  • Rhythmbox Music Player - audio player, similar to Apple's iTunes, with support for iPods
  • gtkPod - software similar to Apple's iTunes, supports iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod photo, and iPod mini
  • XMMS - audio player similar to Winamp
  • dvd::rip - full featured DVD copy program
  • Kino - free digital video editor
  • Sound Juicer CD Extractor - CD ripping tool, supports various audio codecs
  • VLC Media Player - media player (video/audio)
  • Helix Player - media player, similar to the Real Player
  • Totem - media player (video/audio)
  • Xine - media player, supports various formats; can play DVDs
  • Brasero - CD/DVD burning program
  • K3B - CD/DVD burning program
  • Multimedia Codecs

Programming:

  • KompoZer - WYSIWYG HTML editor, similar to Macromedia Dreamweaver, but not as feature-rich (yet)
  • Bluefish - text editor, suitable for many programming and markup languages
  • Quanta Plus - web development environment, including a WYSIWYG editor

Other:

  • VirtualBox - lets you run your old Windows desktop as a virtual machine under your Linux desktop, so you don't have to entirely abandon Windows
  • TrueType fonts
  • Java
  • Read-/Write support for NTFS partitions

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).

I will use the username falko 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 7 iso image from http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php, burn it onto a CD, and boot your computer from it:

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:

Then choose your time zone:

Change the keyboard layout, if necessary:

Now we come to the partitioning of our hard disk. Usually Use the entire disk is a good choice, unless you need custom partitions and know what you're doing. Use the entire disk will create one big / partition for us:

Type in your real name, your desired username along with a password, and click on Forward:

The next screen shows us a summary of the installation settings. Click on Install to start the installation:

The Linux Mint system is being installed. This can take a few minutes, so be patient:

After the installation is complete, we must reboot the system to use it. Click on Restart now:

The Live-CD desktop shuts down. At the end, the Linux Mint CD is ejected. Remove it from the CD drive and hit the <ENTER> key to boot into your new Linux Mint desktop:

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.


Please do not use the comment function to ask for help! If you need help, please use our forum.
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Submitted by savedin94 (not registered) on Mon, 2009-08-31 01:53.
screensaver plays then monitor goes to sleep, is there a way to turn off the sleep mode using linux mint 7?
Submitted by Relst (not registered) on Sun, 2009-05-31 19:48.
Great tutorial for a great distro. You say to everyone that they should replace falko with their own username, but in commands you can also use ~ instead of /home/falko. Maybe good for the next tutorial.
Submitted by James Watt (not registered) on Sun, 2009-05-31 16:39.
I don't get the point. Why do people keep promoting KompoZer all the time only. There was no big/public update for the tool since ages (though interested might have a look at http://kazhack.org/?post/2009/05/04/KompoZer-0.8a3 which the latest one can have). I admit the tool is good but the are alternatives which are in some respect better. Have a look at Amaya ( http://www.w3.org/Amaya/ ). It comes with the same benefits as KompoZer does (open source, cross platform, support for CSS, web standards, …) but it is frequently updated and has a SVG editor. At least worth a look in my humble opinion.