The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint Debian 201009

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Submitted by falko (Contact Author) (Forums) on Tue, 2010-11-02 17:48. :: Debian | Desktop

The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint Debian 201009

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
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Last edited 10/21/2010

This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint Debian 201009 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. While the "normal" Linux Mint editions are based on Ubuntu, Linux Mint Debian 201009 is a Linux distribution based on Debian Squeeze (testing); its aim is to look identical to the main edition and to provide the same functionality while using Debian as a base.

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 Debian 201009 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
  • Vuze - Java Bittorrent client
  • Pidgin - multi-platform instant messaging client
  • Skype
  • 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)
  • RealPlayer - media 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

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 Debian 201009 iso image from http://www.linuxmint.com/download_lmde.php, burn it onto a DVD, 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 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:

Then choose your time zone:

Change the keyboard layout, if necessary:

Now we come to the partitioning of our hard disk. If you don't see any devices/partitions on the next screen, click on the Edit partitions button:

Now GParted should start. Mark your hard drive and then go to Device > Create Partition Table...:

Click Apply on the next screen to confirm that you want to create a partition table on the hard drive (select msdos as the oartition table type):

Next click on the New button to create a new partition (for the sake of simplicity, I will create one big partition for / and a small swap partition; of course, you can create a different partitioning scheme):

On the next screen, please specify how big the new partition (in this case it is the / partition) should be (you can drag the right arrow to shrink or enlarge the partition). Also select a file system (e.g. ext4). Then click on Add:

Now mark the unallocated part of your hard drive and click on the New button again, this time to create the swap partition:

Again, please specify the size of the partition (you can select all space that is left on the hard drive) and choose linux-swap as the file system. Then click on Add:

Click on Apply afterwards to write the new partitions to the hard drive:

Click on Apply again to confirm that you want to write the partitions to the hard drive:

The partitions are now being created:

Click on Close afterwards:


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Submitted by Nick (not registered) on Thu, 2011-02-17 15:42.

Hi Falko

Tried to load this onto Windows 7 64bit under VMWare Viewer.  Appeared to load OK but failed to complete and reload.  Loaded Debian Desktop under VMWare Viewer, clean load and faster than all previous desktops.

Regards
Nick