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Friday, October 28, 2011

Linux Mint 11 installation tips:

In Linux Mint there is a lot working out of the box. A lot more than in the corresponding Ubuntu version. But not everything i want in my Mint is installed by default. So follow me:

Use this batch file, save it, make it executable (sudo chmod +x  /home/yourname/ an run it or do it yourself:

Update Repositories
  • After you install brand newLinux Mint 11, the first thing you need to do is to update repositories and make sure you have the latest updates installed(Like I said before, you need to do this only if you haven't ticked the boxes shown in the above screenshot).
  • Open Terminal(Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl + Alt + T) and copy-paste the following command into Terminal.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Done. Ubuntu and Mint repositories have been successfully updated. 
Install Ubuntu Restricted Extras
  • Install the "ubuntu-restricted-extras" package. This will enable your Ubuntu to play popular file formats like mp3, avi, Flash videos etc. Click Here OR simply copy-paste the command below into Terminal to install the package.
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

DVD playback is installed by default so lets go on:

Check For Availability of Proprietary Hardware Drivers

Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 11.04
  • In my case, the hardware drivers except graphics, sound and wireless drivers were enabled automatically. I had to install the Nvidia drivers by hand.
Software I can't do without

You can update your system with unsupported packages from this untrusted PPA by adding ppa:stellarium/stellarium-releases to your system's Software Sources.

If you're using the most recent version of Ubuntu (or any version from Ubuntu 9.10 onwards), you can add a PPA to your system with a single line in your terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stellarium/stellarium-releases  
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install stellarium

Some of the applications that I regularly use in Ubuntu are not available by default. And all of them are available in the default Ubuntu 11.04 and Linux Mint 11 repo.

xsane (easier scanner GUI)  
GFTP (Easy file transfer)
Samba (to share folders on your local network)
Eye of Gnome plugins,  (to make EoG better)
Exaile music player,  (An easy to use music player)
Sound Juicer (cd rip tool)
VLC DVD player (A very versatile media player. It plays anything)
Audacity (The best audio editor)
The GIMP (The GNU Image Manipulation Program)
Keepassx (Manage your passwords crossplatform)
Chromium web Browser (The open source version of Chrome, the Firefox alternative)
Stellarium  (Your own planetarium allready installed if you did anbove)
Kompozer (To make HTML pages with wysiwig)
Mozilla Thunderbird  (Read and write email)
Grsync (Sync directories in your system)
Klibido (Read usenet binaries)
Gwenview a kde viewer
Geeqie another versalite viewer 
Thunar the XCFE filebrowswer with an awesome batch rename function
PDFshuffler split and merge pdf files 
fcrackzip to crack ZIP passwords
k9copy copy DVD's and reduce them to max 4.5 Gb
k3b a versatile CD and DVD burning tool. 
Celestia A multi view planetarium
Phatch A batch renamer and photo resize. manual  
UMPlayer a versatile media player including youtube recording function.

Install them using a terminal with this command:

sudo apt-get install umplayer phatch celestia-gnome celestia celestia-common-nonfree k3b k9copy gftp fcrackzip pdfshuffler sound-juicer thunar gwenview geeqie gparted system-config-samba xsane eog-plugins exaile vlc audacity gimp keepassx stellarium chromium-browser kompozer thunderbird grsync

And some games for the children:

sudo apt-get install tuxpaint gcompris kbreakout kollision ktuberling ktron kspaceduel planets frozen-bubble supertux supertuxkart  extremetuxracer gnome-breakout  pacman torcs micropolis lincity-ng  pychess

Install Dutch language using a terminal with this command:

sudo apt-get install gimp-help-nl kde-l10n-nl language-pack-kde-nl-base  language-pack-kde-nl childsplay-alphabet-sounds-nl chromium-browser-l10n gcompris-sound-nl language-support-nl thunderbird-locale-nl 

Install DockBarX 0.43 in Ubuntu from the WebUpd8 PPA

DockBarX 0.43 is not yet available in the official DockBar PPA, but as usual they've uploaded the latest version to the WebUpd8 PPA (for Ubuntu Karmic, Lucid, Maverick and Natty). Add the WebUpd8 PPA and install DockBarX 0.43 using the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dockbarx dockbarx-themes-extra

The above command will install both DockBarX and an extra themes package. If you want even more themes (and you use Avant Window Navigator / Faenza icons), see: DockBarX Theme Pack For Avant Window Navigator / Faenza Users.

To be able to use the Helpers, you also need to install the following packages:
sudo apt-get install dockmanager dockmanager-daemon libdesktop-agnostic-cfg-gconf libdesktop-agnostic-vfs-gio 

For Zeitgeist support, add the Zeitgeist PPA and upgrade to the latest Zeitgeist:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:zeitgeist/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

And finally, if you want to use DockBarX in Avant Window Navigator, you need to install the AWN DockBarX applet:

sudo apt-get install awn-applet-dockbarx
Tip: to be able to use the Window Previews feature, firstly enable it from DockBarX (Applications > Accessories > DockBarX Preference, on the Window List tab enable "Show previews") and then in CompizConfig Settings Manager make sure the "KDE Compatibility" plugin is enabled and that both options for this plugin (Support Plasma Thumbnails and Support Present Windows) are enabled.
As soon al DockbarX wil be implemented in de dockbar ppa use these commands instead:
To install Dockbarx to implement taskbar buttons like Win7 has

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dockbar-main/ppa 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dockbarx

Now add the dockbarX to your Gnome panel by right clicking on it an select it. After that remove the windowlist applet by right clicking right to the left of it and select the remove option. You may resize the Gnome panel by right clicking on it, select the properties and resize the panel.

Furtherone you may need a PDF stitcher if pdfshuffler doesn't suit your needs:  Couturier
You can download the .deb file and install this program. It offers the option of stitching PDF files into one larger file. Direct link
Second direct link

A nice wallpaper called Xplanet

The DEB Packet is available via repository. Please keep in mind to never trust external repositories, unless you know what you're doing! 

sudo wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb /" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xplanetFX

If you want to download a .deb or a .rpm please go to:

Early Feb 2011 there was a new release with many improvements. Some of these include: -
  • Consistency between tabs, padding and buttons used throughout
  • ‘Display’ now gives a more accurate preview of changes
  • ‘View’ Position widget has colour, a new grid, more
  • The application has a new Splash screen and application icon
Amongst those changes come a few new features, notably: -
  • Ability to change corona blur
  • Star field can be zoomed
  • More shadow options
  • Faster rendering time


The latest release of XPlanetFX, provided pre-packaged as a .deb, can be downloaded @
Once installed the application can be launched the from the ‘Applications > Accessories’ sub-menu.


This is a simple tool that allows you to search for PPAs and install them without hitting the terminal. It also allows you to manage (add/remove/purge) your existing PPAs with a few clicks.


Open a terminal (hopefully this will be the last time you install PPA via the terminal) and type:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install y-ppa-manager
Once installed, go to “Applications -> System Tools -> Y PPA Manager“.

Grub Customizer for customizing Grub2

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer

Grub Customizer will now show up in the Applications/System Tools menu.

Redent NotifyOSD in Ubuntu,

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jconti/recent-notifications
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install recent-notifications

To use it, you have to right click on the panel and select “Add to Panel” From the window that pop up, select “Recent Notification”.
You should now see a new applet in your Gnome panel.
Simply click the applet and it will show a window with all your past notification 



if you need the Closed source virtualbox read this and use this:

Debian-based Linux distributions

Note: VirtualBox has been moved from non-free to contrib with 4.0, so please adjust your repository settings.
Add one of the following lines according to your distribution to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

type: sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
and add one of these lines to your file and save it.

deb natty contrib
deb maverick contrib non-free
deb lucid contrib non-free
deb karmic contrib non-free
deb hardy contrib non-free
deb squeeze contrib non-free
deb lenny contrib non-free
(Up to version 3.2 the packages were located in the non-free section, starting with version 4.0 are located in the contrib section)
The Oracle public key for apt-secure can be downloaded here. You can add this key with
sudo apt-key add oracle_vbox.asc

or combine downloading and registering:
wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

The key fingerprint is
7B0F AB3A 13B9 0743 5925  D9C9 5442 2A4B 98AB 5139
Oracle Corporation (VirtualBox archive signing key) <>
(As of VirtualBox 3.2, the signing key was changed. The old Sun public key for apt-secure can be downloaded here.)
To install VirtualBox, do
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.0

Replace virtualbox-4.0 by
  • virtualbox-3.2 to install VirtualBox 3.2.12
  • virtualbox-3.1 to install VirtualBox 3.1.8
  • virtualbox-3.0 to install VirtualBox 3.0.14
  • virtualbox-2.2 to install VirtualBox 2.2.4
  • virtualbox-2.1 to install VirtualBox 2.1.4
  • virtualbox-2.0 to install VirtualBox 2.0.12
  • virtualbox to install VirtualBox 1.6.6
Note: Ubuntu/Debian users might want to install the dkms package to ensure that the VirtualBox host kernel modules (vboxdrv, vboxnetflt and vboxnetadp) are properly updated if the linux kernel version changes during the next apt-get upgrade. For Debian it is available in Lenny backports and in the normal repository for Squeeze and later. The dkms package can be installed through the Synaptic Package manager or through the following command:

sudo apt-get install dkms

What to do when experiencing The following signatures were invalid: BADSIG ... when refreshing the packages from the repository?
# sudo -s -H
# apt-get clean
# rm /var/lib/apt/lists/*
# rm /var/lib/apt/lists/partial/*
# apt-get clean
# apt-get update
Indicator-Virtualbox offers a quick way to launch virtual machines via the desktop panel.

Indicator virtualbox for Ubuntu
The applet, created by astrapi, sits in your panel and, on opening, lists all the virtual machines configured in Virtualbox. Selecting an entry launches the machine without the need to call the main virtualbox window.
The Indicator can be installed from astrapi‘s PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:michael-astrapi/ppa 
sudo apt-get- update
sudo apt-get install indicator-virtualbox

To launch press ALT + F2 (or use Synapse) and type: -
or add the indicator to the list of automatically started programs.

Choqok Twitter client

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:neversfelde/experimental
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get-install choqok 

Openshot video editor

To install OpenShot 1.3.0 in Ubuntu 9.10 or higher add the following PPA to your software sources: -
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonoomph/openshot-edge
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install openshot

Grub Customizer for customizing Grub2

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer

Grub Customizer will now show up in the Applications/System Tools menu.

Redent NotifyOSD in Ubuntu,

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jconti/recent-notifications
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install recent-notifications

To use it, you have to right click on the panel and select “Add to Panel” From the window that pop up, select “Recent Notification”.
You should now see a new applet in your Gnome panel.
Simply click the applet and it will show a window with all your past notification 


Naked Hobbit said...

This was a fun article. I just assumed it would be the usual vanilla "here's a cute program!"

I know adding some of the PPAs comes with a risk. Now I'm excited to get Mint installed quickly so I can check out some of these applications that I've wanted for a long time.

You mention the "old school" way of using an RSS to download from an external repo. Can you explain that or suggest a URL for more info?


Robin Catling said...

love the content, but seriously you need to tweak your theme; a transparent layer of brown over orange? Black text isn't great, but the orange link text just disappears... Yellow and white circles don't help. I now know what it's like to be colour blind!

All in good faith, Robin Catling

Siggi said...

I'm sure this page has some value for someone but as tiny as your font is set, combined with the partially blinding and partially dark yellow, plus white blurry bubbles and almost invisible orange links ... this page is a shining example of inconsiderate webmastering. First and foremost, anything that you expect for the general public to pay attention to ... should be designed, written, and presented in a manner that's easy on the eyes. I'm a Linux Mint user and after about 3 minutes of reading with my fairly decent vision, I couldn't stand it anymore. When you design you pages you may want to consider that some people use large displays, small resolutions, or a combination of both. I'm using 1650 X 1050 and your pages are a real pain in the you know what to read.

Jeroen said...

Thanks for your comment. I think it really difficult to make a neat lay out in Blogger.

I am planning to move the site to google webs.

you could try reading this :

Thanks for your feedback

Anonymous said...

The other things that I do are:
Install BleachBit. System cleaner similar to CCleaner
Install Bum (BootUp Manager) - disable services you don't need.

Keyboard shortcuts:
Since you have the Windows key why not use it, plus you probably use it without thinking, just a habit. At least it was with me.

Winkey+E = Open nautilus to your home directory
Winkey+R = Run command
Winkey+T = System monitor (similar to Task manager)
Winkey+C = Terminal window for the times you need to go to the command line.
Winkey+F1 = System Help
Winkey+S = Search

X = Reduce sound volume
C = Increase sound volume

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