The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint 5 Elyssa R1 - Page 3

3 Update The System

When you log in for the first time, you will most likely see an open lock icon in the lower right corner which means that updates for the installed software are available. To install the updates, go to Applications > Administration > mintUpdate:

Type in your password:

mintUpdate tells you which updates are available. Click on Install Updates to install them:

The updates are being downloaded and installed (this can take a few minutes):

When the update is complete, click on Close:

In the mintUpdate window, the list of packages to update should now be empty (if it is not, click on Install Updates again). If this is the case, click on Close to leave mintUpdate:

The lock icon should now be closed. The system is up-to-date:


4 Flash Player

Linux Mint 5 installs the Macromedia Flash Player by default. To see if the Flash plugin is working, start Firefox (Applications > Internet > Firefox Web Browser). Then type about:plugins in the address bar. Firefox will then list all installed plugins, and it should list the Flash Player (version 10.0 b218 which is the newest one at the time of this writing) among them:


5 NVIDIA/ATI Drivers

If you have an NVIDIA or ATI graphics card and want to use 3D acceleration (e.g. for Compiz-Fusion), you must install the proprietary NVIDIA or ATI driver. There are two ways of doing this: you can either use Envy (Applications > Administration > EnvyNG) to install the correct driver for you...

... or you use the Hardware Drivers Manager (Applications > Administration > Hardware Drivers):


6 Inventory Of What We Have So Far

Now let's browse all menus under Applications to see which of our needed applications are already installed:

You should find the following situation ([x] marks an application that is already installed, where [ ] is an application that is missing):

[x] The GIMP
[ ] F-Spot
[ ] Picasa

[x] Firefox
[ ] Opera
[x] Flash Player
[ ] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird
[ ] Evolution
[ ] aMule
[x] Transmission BitTorrent Client
[ ] Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[ ] Skype
[ ] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[ ] Adobe Reader
[ ] GnuCash
[ ] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[ ] Amarok
[ ] Audacity
[ ] Banshee
[x] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[ ] gtkPod
[ ] XMMS
[ ] dvd::rip
[ ] Kino
[ ] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[ ] VLC Media Player
[ ] Helix Player
[x] Totem
[ ] Xine
[x] Brasero
[ ] K3B
[ ] Multimedia-Codecs

[ ] KompoZer
[ ] Bluefish
[ ] Quanta Plus

[ ] VMware Server
[ ] TrueType fonts
[x] Java
[x] Read/Write support for NTFS partitions

So some applications are already on the system. NTFS read-/write support is enabled by default on Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) and all derived distributions.

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From: at: 2008-09-02 19:58:16

Excellent howto!

 As you rightly say, everyone's perfect desktop will be slightly different, but that is the beauty of Linux - the options are all there for us to customise our own setup.

I have only moved over to Linux just over two months ago. I started off with Ubuntu 8.04, which I found very good, tried Mepis  7, which didn't quite suit me and have settled (for the time being anyway!) on Mint Elyssa, which, for me, is brilliant.

I didn't go the VM route as I wanted to get away from Windows (I now have a dual boot with XP) as much as possible but instead installed Wine and am able to run Macromedia Dreamweaver , which I need to maintain a website, without any problems.

 Mint Elyssa could just be the OS that woos away a lot of people from Windows.


From: at: 2008-06-27 09:38:10

Nice article.

It is sad that you don't talk about Linux Mint's software portal ( which, though not as complete as synaptic, is a cool feature and has now a good selection of daily use apps.