Graphical User Instructions for Linux Mint 12 GNOME Ed. (32-bit)

Linux Mint 12 GNOME User Instructions




40562d26447207cb5111f94b93957a58  linuxmint-12-gnome-cd-nocodecs-32bit.iso
641e0ab8f746b82c36fc3f0bbca70dc7  linuxmint-12-gnome-cd-nocodecs-64bit.iso
ee3d6e2ca498bc7685b7f17cdb5f2eea  linuxmint-12-gnome-dvd-32bit.iso
548f0ac303fea840ef138e5669880a74  linuxmint-12-gnome-dvd-64bit.iso
d667a7cfbbdf965b07df7edcc2dbfb98  linuxmint-12-kde-dvd-32bit.iso
8173538eab3c060d85e0e0b74eaf11f3  linuxmint-12-kde-dvd-64bit.iso
2b54938b8e2f14a5fbca8abc6da86f6a  linuxmint-12-lxde-cd-32bit.iso

Please consult the pages available at Linux’s website for further information, that you may make an informed choice as to which build to try (live) for your system.    –L.L.

Table of Contents for this document is on c. pp 11

NOTE that Linux Mint almost always requires more of the computer’s hardware to run it, than, say Ubuntu or Xubuntu.  The computer in question may be able to boot and run Ubuntu or Xubuntu, but may be just a little short on processing power, where it comes to Linux Mint.  An exception to this os Linux Mint Fluxbox edition, which can run on very low-end hardware.  Check your computer’s CPU make/model and clock-speed (is it at least 1 Ghz?  More?), and know the amount of RAM (“memory”) that is currently installed to the machine; check these facts against the minimum recommended clock-speed and RAM, from the official webpage of the distro and build you intend to boot.

NOTE TO SELF:  IT IS WORTH NOTING that * wicd *—an alternative to the usual Linux * Network Manager *—is available in Mint 12′s software manager.

WICD is an alternative program for Linux systems, for enabling networking with other machines–or the internet:  but due to a lack of development, WICD may or may not fall to the wayside soon.  I base this supposition on a web article, Dec. 14, 2011; I guess we’ll see whether or not that actually is the case.   You may consult the entry “UNINSTALL NETWORK MANAGER FROM LINUX MINT, AND ACTIVATE WICD”, for instructions as to how to change the networking-stack.    –L.L.


One may remember—or have heard—that Linux Mint has a * Desktop Settings * tool.  Well, the tool is still present ion Mint 12 [Lisa], but, apparently due to the changing situation with Linux’s old stand-by—the Gnome desktop environ—Mint’s Desktop Settings tool doesn’t seem to do much in Mint 12 (at least * I * can’t  figure out how to get it to), but apparently is still in the system as a * legacy-ware.  * Other * means * of manipulating the desktop, however, are provided in this document.  Consult the table of Contents, c. pp 10.

Mint 12 desktop is more like ms Windows [Aero] than Ubuntu 9.10, 10.04, 10.10.

Linux Mint 12′s default DE [which is known as “GNOME 3 + MGSE”–and is distinct from the Cinnamon desktop environ—which is also included and can be launched], comes with a search-window in the “Start menu”:  much as in Windows Vista/7, if you click on the “Start button” [“Menu”] in the lower left of the screen, a context menu pops-up displaying a graphical menu of various installed programs, plus a small search-window / search-field into which you can type the name of some program or file, to have the system search your disks for it.

Just type the name of a program or of a file, or what you think the name is.  Then hit Enter.

The Linux Mint operating system will then search all disks available to it for a file/files and/or programs that match or partially match the word or phrase you’ve typed.  It will search without regard to whether something is capitalized or not—capital letters won’t make a difference.


If you open this start “Menu”, then move the mouse-pointer around the main headings (“Accessories”, “Graphics”, “Internet”, “Office”, &tc.), the nested sub-menu of each will appear as you move the pointer onto its heading.  You can then click on one of the apps that appear—if you’re quick enough.  A better way is to open the Menu, then click on  the main heading you want to select under, and this will “lock and hold” the nested sub-menu under that heading.  If you made a mistake, just click on another heading, and its own sub-menu will then appear.  It is set to “places”, by default, so don’t click on “places”; that seems to just get it confused.

Mint 12 MGSE’s desktop comes with a feature for obtaining an “overview” of what you have open and running.  This is called Linux Mint “Hot Corner”, and seems like a form of mouse-gesturing, though I’m told it is technically not.  This is in the upper-left, and is a small icon shaped like the symbol mathematicians use for infinity.  Just hovering the mouse-pointer over it (even accidentally) activates it—you don’t even have to click on it.  If you accidentally trip it, just RIGHT-clicking on any of the overviewed windows will restore your desktop to normal.  This feature can be disabled by those who don’t like it.  See “DISABLE TOP LEFT HOT CORNER [SIMILAR TO MOUSE GESTURING]” in the text below.

If you mouseover the “hot corner”, and then click on the button labeled “Applications” (centre-left in the screen), you will be taken to the Linux Mint 12 Desktop Icons Screen.  These icons (“symlinks” in Linux lingo) work about the same way as icons in ms Windows.  See the appropriate section(s), below.  To return to the default desktop, just go back to “hot corner”.

Your taskbar is in the usual place—along the bottom of the screen.

The desktop switch (“show desktop”) appears in the taskbar, next to the Menu button.  The desktop switch in Mint 12 is made to look like a small pea-green caricature of a computer’s monitor screen.

If you want to get to the Trash folder, you’ll have to do it from the files-browser (file manager).  This and certain other of the major programs/utilities also have their own icons in a special left-pane of the start Menu.  Clicking on the Menu and passing the pointer over each of these in the left-pane will give you a small pop-up of the name of the program, manager, or utility.  When you find the Files Manager, you can just click on it, and it will open, pointed at your Home folder.  LM12 uses a version of Nautilus, essentially the same as in Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04.  You can then use it to navigate to any other folder or disk on the system.

Displayed on your desktop by default are two icons, upper-left, one for “Home” and one for “Computer”.

The first is just another way to open Nautilus, to browse files from your Home folder.
The one labeled “Computer” opens Nautilus from a vantage-point where it can look out upon all your disks and drives—a mountain-top view essentially the same as when you go to Start > My Computer in Windows.

There is also a top “Panel”–a top “ribbon” or “bar” which is sort of the equiv of the taskbar-extension dialog window in Windows 7.  Except that it’s displayed all the time.  Up there you find some of the jazz that Ubuntu puts in the same place—your “personal” menu, which holds the controls for sleep / hibernate / shutdown, and so-forth.  Also the day of the week and the current time, the latter of course changeable from conventional to military time, and vice-versa.  Clicking on the day/time will cause the calendar to pop-up.  Clicking again on the day/time causes the calendar to disappear.  Moving further left along this top “ribbon”, we have the Network Manager icon, which will help you connect to a wifi hotspot if you click on it.  Next a tiny icon shaped like a speaker, which is to help you adjust volume when playing a video or audio file.  I have installed Dropbox, so its icon is also displayed here, and is the next one.  Finally I see an icon like a shield, which is for Mint Updater (the updates manager).  This has a round aperture in its center which indicates status.  A red exclamation mark indicates waiting updates which the community thinks should be installed right away.  A green check-mark indicates “all softwares up-to-date”, and so-forth.

Over on the far-right of the bottom panel, we have the buttons to switch/shuffle our Linux desktops (for productivity).  We are offered “desktop No. 1”, and “desktop No. 2”.

Of course, you can pin various shortcuts/programs to the start Menu, so stuff you use often will appear there when you click “Menu”.  And you can add icons o the desktop, or remove them, and you can add stuff to the top and/or bottom panels, and generally customize the LM12 desktop any number of ways.

Sadly, I feel compelled to add right here, that, after the first couple of times, I have not been able to get LM 12′s Updates Manager to complete.  Something about “the server(s) for these softwares cannot be accessed”.  I’ve even tried at off-peak hours—like in the middle of the night.  And I’ve clicked on the “bypass” option—to go ahead and install those updates that * are * available from the servers.  But no luck.  Conversely, I have yet to have this difficulty in Ubuntu (10.04).  In whatever case, I intend to research a possible answer some more, on the web, before I go to the procedure of filing a bug-report.  Heck, I probably wouldn’t mention this in a public-post (at this juncture)—not ordinarily, anyway; but Linux Mint is supposed to be “Out Of The Box”-ready.  At least if so much online “information” and review is to be believed.

For more about the Desktop Environ in LM12, see
on pp 3.
NOTE that the Alt + F2 “Run a program” dialog still * works * in Mint 12, just as in pre-11.10 versions of Ubuntu.


Code Name:    Lisa
Edition     DVD (32-bit)
Desktop     Gnome + MATE, with Linux Mint Cinnamon option (Alpha stage of development)
Media     DVD
Size     1GB
MD5     ee3d6e2ca498bc7685b7f17cdb5f2eea

List of Linux Mint Releases
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Linux Mint 11 “Katya”, previous stable release.

Linux Mint 10 “Julia”, previous stable release.

There are two Linux Mint releases per year. Each release is given a new version number and a code name, using a female first name starting with the letter which alphabetical index corresponds to the version number and ending with the letter “a” (e.g., “Elyssa” for version 5, “Felicia” for version 6).

Releases are timed to be approximately one month after Ubuntu releases (which in turn are about one month after Gnome releases and two months after X Window System releases). Consequently, every Linux Mint release comes with an updated version of both GNOME and X and features some of the improvements brought in the latest Ubuntu release. Selected releases (such as Linux Mint 5 and Linux Mint 9) are labeled as Long Term Support (LTS) versions, indicating that they are supported (with updates) for three years, as compared to the 18-month support period for other releases.

The current release is Linux Mint 11 “Katya”, released on May 26, 2011. The main edition is on a DVD and has multimedia support. The CD with no codecs has a Windows installer. There is also an OEM version for ease of installation for manufacturers.[1]

Linux Mint Debian Edition (“LMDE”) is based on Debian Testing and updates are brought continuously.


List of Linux Mint Releases   c. pp 3, above


How To Get The Linux Mint 12 WELCOME CENTER Back Up, After You’ve Closed It:  [Mint’s own USER GUIDE is in here] c. pp 49







Artwork Improvements [change wall paper/backgrounds]:  c. pp 13

Add or Change Keyboard Shortcuts  c. pp 17

Terminate Unresponsive Programs  c. pp 17

Re-start System without Rebooting   c. pp 18

Set Sound Output    c. pp 18

Disable Or Change Login Sound   c. pp 19

Install Extra Fonts  c. pp 19

Install Screenlets  c. pp 20

Add More Useful Software  c. pp 20

Auto Mount Drives at System Startup    c. pp 21

Manually Mount a USB Drive   c. pp 21

Name or Label a Partition   c. pp 22

Auto Start Up an Application  c. pp 22

Change Default Boot Options    c. pp 23

Remove Old Linux Kernel, Clean Up Boot Menu     c. pp 23

Auto Shutdown the System    c. pp 24



HOW TO PIN SOMETHING TO START MENU / ADD SOMETHING TO START MENU IN LM 12:     c. pp 34  [sorry, couldn’t get this to work –L.L. ]





Install Ubuntu One [A Cloud Storage Service by Canonical, Ltd., the makers of Ubuntu Linux ]   c. pp 43

Configure GRUB options:    c. pp 44

Install Ubuntu Software Center:    c. pp 45

Try MATE if you don’t like Gnome Shell:     c. pp 45


How to install Linux / UNIX *.tar.gz tarball files   c. pp 36

Install Ubuntu Software Center in Linux Mint 12    see the Cont’d section, near the end of this document

UNINSTALL NETWORK MANAGER FROM LINUX MINT, AND ACTIVATE WICD      see the Cont’d section, near the end of this document


Linux Mint 12 “Lisa”
Gnome 3 and MGSE

Linux Mint 12 comes with a brand new desktop, built with Gnome 3 and MGSE.

“MGSE” (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions) is a desktop layer on top of Gnome 3 that makes it possible for you to use Gnome 3 in a traditional way.  You can disable all components within MGSE to get a pure Gnome 3 experience, or you can enable all of them to get a Gnome 3 desktop that is similar to what you’ve been using before (so-called “classic GNOME”–a.k.a GNOME 2.x).  Of course you can also pick and only enable the components you like to design your own desktop.

NOTE that the Alt + F2 “Run a program” dialog still * works * in Mint 12, just as in pre-11.10 versions of Ubuntu.

One may remember—or have heard—that Linux Mint has a * Desktop Settings * tool.  Well, the tool is still present ion Mint 12 [Lisa], but, apparently due to the changing situation with Linux’s old stand-by—the Gnome desktop environ—Mint’s Desktop Settings tool doesn’t seem to do much in Mint 12 (at least * I * can’t  figure out how to get it to), but apparently is still in the system as a legacy-ware.  * Other * means * of manipulating the desktop, however, are provided in this document.  Consult the table of Contents, c. pp 10.

The main features in MGSE are:

The bottom panel
The application menu
The window list
A task-centric desktop (i.e. you switch between windows, not applications)
Visible system tray icons

The task-centric Alt-Tab in MGSE

MGSE also includes additional extensions such as a media player indicator, and multiple enhancements to Gnome 3.

The Linux Mint 12 MGSE desktop is a mix of old and new. It’s a brand new desktop but with traditional components. The new technology in Gnome 3 is exciting but the components contributed by MGSE make users feel at home. Linux Mint 12 GNOME Ed., like previous releases, and despite the fact that it’s based on Gnome 3, looks and behaves like a Mint desktop. You can launch applications from the bottom left, easily switch between applications and workspaces using the window list or keyboard shortcuts, keep an eye on your notifications at the top and access Gnome 3 features like “activities” from the top-left corner.


MATE is a fork of Gnome 2 which is compatible with Gnome 3. Thanks to MATE, you can run both versions of Gnome on the same system.

MATE is present on the DVD edition of Linux Mint 12. Users of the CD edition can install it via the mint-meta-mate package.

MATE is brand new, it’s not completely stable yet, and it’s missing a few parts. It’s being actively maintained and with close collaboration between the MATE developers and Linux Mint. With time the project will gain maturity and provide users with a traditional and solid desktop experience.

Eventually, MATE will be in every way identical to Gnome 2, and may well represent the future of traditional desktops within Linux.

In Linux Mint 12, both mintDesktop (in the RC) and mintMenu (in the stable release) are adapted and receive full support to work with MATE.

Artwork Improvements:

Linux Mint 12 features two new themes called Mint-Z and Mint-Z-Dark which are based on Mint-X and Zukitwo.

Backgrounds: Like in the previous release, the default background shows a 3D scene featuring the Linux Mint logo. The original artwork comes from an artist called Gelsan. Additional quality backgrounds are also available, including fantastic photographs from India and the Yellowstone National Park.  [NOTE that a RIGHT-click on the desktop gives the option to “Change Background”.]

This is not hard.  In Linux Mint 12, the way to your desktop icons is to left-click on Mint’s new “Hot-Corner”—the thing that looks sort of like the infinity symbol in mathematics—it’s in the upper-left of the screen); then click the nearby button you’ll see, that is labeled “Applications”.  [It opens in the view of “windows”, by default; there are also search-fields and links to sub-menus displayed.]  A single left-click on the program’s icon should launch it.  Normally, the appropriate new icons are added automatically, by the system, when you install a new app.

Install New Gnome shell themes

Linux Mint 12 has Gnome Tweak Tool, installed by default, which allow you to configure advanced options for Gnome Shell desktop as well as for managing themes. To install icons, simply put the icon theme (downloaded packages) to ~/usr/share/icons directory.  The author has already covered a detailed post about installing Gnome Shell Themes on Linux Mint 12. (So you are supposed to refer the link)

Search Engines:

Duck Duck Go: The new default search engine is Duck Duck Go. It doesn’t show different results depending on who’s making the search, it doesn’t track or record user information, it provides you with optmized results and it’s built on and contributes to Open Source.

Development of a new business model: Search engines will share with Linux Mint the revenue generated for them by Linux Mint users. Some search engines partnered with Linux Mint already and are present in Linux Mint 12.

Easy installation of other engines: The way you install search engines in Linux Mint 12 is radically different than in previous releases. Clear explanations and easy instructions are there for the user to understand how search engines help Linux Mint and to decide what to do. The installation of additional search engines is also now much easier than before.

Upstream Components

Linux Mint 12 features the following upstream components: Ubuntu 11.10, Linux 3.0, Gnome 3.2.

Linux Mint is free of charge (thanks to your donations and adverts on the website) and we hope you’ll enjoy it.

Some of the packages we distribute are under the GPL. If you want to access their source code you can use the apt-get source command. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please write to root AT linuxmint DOT com and we’ll provide the source to you.

Add or Change Keyboard Shortcuts

[Mint 10/11, but will probly work in LM 12]

Keyboard shortcuts are preset in the system, but you can add new ones or change them easily. For instance, change the default shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T (Run a Terminal) to Win+R (press R while holding down the Windows key, also known as Super key) by the following steps:

1. Keyboard ShortcutsGo To System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts
2. Browse to Desktop > “Run a terminal”
3. Click on the Shortcut, and it shows “New shortcut…”
4. Press Win+R, and it shows Mod4+R
5. Click the Close button and try the new shortcut.

Note 1: To disable a shortcut, press Backspace when it shows “New shortcut…” after the step 3 above.

Note 2: Shortcuts begin with XF86 refer to special keys available to some multimedia keyboards.

Note 3: Keyboard shortcuts can also be set by changing keybinding values with Configuration Editor. Press Alt+F2 and enter gconf-editor, then navigate to apps > gnome_settings_daemon > keybindings, or apps > metacity > global_keybindings and window_keybindings.
Terminate Unresponsive Programs

[most Debian-based desktops]

In Ubuntu/Linux, all you have to kill a program is open the terminal, and type “ps -A”. This will pull up a list of all the processes currently running, with the name of the program, along with a 4-5 digit number next to it.

Then, type “kill -9 PN” (PN should be substituted with the actual Process Number), and hit enter. This will kill the app, no questions asked. It will not ask you any questions, or give you any excuses. That program is now dead, until the time you decide to resurrect it. This will not work with things like Apache, or other process daemons. If you’re not sure, just try to kill it. If it doesn’t die, then it is probably a daemon. You will have to find the actual documentation to stop the daemon.

Bonus tip: In Ubuntu (Gutsy and later), the command to stop Apache is: sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 stop To restart: sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 start

[Mint 10/11]

Xkill is part of the X11 utilities pre-installed in Linux Mint and a tool for terminating misbehaving X clients or unresponsive programs. You can easily add a shortcut key to launch xkill with the steps below.

1. xkillGo to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts.
2. Click the Add button to create a custom shortcut.
3. Enter xkill to both the Name and Command boxes and click the Apply button.
4. Click on Disabled at the xkill row in the Keyboard Shortcuts window (Disabled is then changed to New shortcut…).
5. Press a new key combination, e.g. Ctrl+Alt+X (New shortcut… is then changed to Ctrl+Alt+X).
6. Click the Close button.

Xkill is ready for use. Press the above key combination to turn the cursor to an X-sign, move the X-sign and drop it into a program interface to terminate the unresponsive program, or cancel the X-sign with a right-click.

Note: As an alternative, you can right-click the panel, select “Add to panel”, then choose “Force Quit” to add to the panel. This works similarly to the above but it’s activated from a button on the panel instead of the keyboard shortcut.
Re-start System without Rebooting

[Mint 10/11]

If you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, Linux Mint brings you a menu to shut down, restart, or suspend your system. But for some reason you might encounter that the system freezes, the mouse cursor can’t move, neither pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete can work.

Remember that there’s a shortcut key Alt+PrintScreen+K that can bring you back to the log-in screen immediately without the need to reboot the system. That’s a time saver.

As an alternative, you can also use Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to do the same. If this shortcut key is disabled, you can easily enable it by the following steps:

1. Go to System > Preferences > Keyboard.
2. Select the “Layouts” tab and click the “Options” button.
3. Select “Key sequence to kill the X server” and enable “Control + Alt + Backspace”.
Set Sound Output

[mint 10/11]

If you use a PC with an integrated audio device and it has no sound when playing a media file on a player, try these simple steps to set Sound Preferences for your PC. It works for me for the audio device I have.

1. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Sound to bring up the Sound Preferences window.
2. Under the Hardware tab, change Profile to Analog Stereo Duplex from the drop-down menu.
3. Under the Output tab, change Connector to Analog Output (LFE)/Amplifier from the drop-down menu.

As the items available from the drop-down menus might differ depending on the hardware devices detected by the system, you might want to try other items in the menus to see if they work for your devices.
Disable or Change Login Sound

[Mint 10/11]

Each time when you login to Linux Mint, it plays a login sound. If you don’t like to listen to it each time you login, you can easily disable it, or you can even change it to your favorite sound.

To disable the login sound:

1. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Startup Applications.
2. Under the “Startup Programs” tab, untick “GNOME Login Sound”
3. Click Close

To change the login sound, tick the above “GNOME Login Sound” if it’s unticked, then follow these steps:

1. Press Alt+F2 to bring up “Run Application” window.
2. Paste gksu nautilus /usr/share/sounds/LinuxMint/stereo into the box, click “Run” to open Nautilus in the right folder.
3. Rename the original file desktop-login.ogg to another such as desktop-login-original.ogg for backup.
4. Copy your sound file in ogg format to the above folder and name the file as desktop-login.ogg
5. Log out and log back in to listen to the new login sound.

Install Extra Fonts

[Mint 10/11]

Do you prefer Windows TrueType fonts to the default fonts installed by Linux Mint? The mscorefonts package containing most Microsoft fonts can be installed and configured easily in a few steps below:

1. Ubuntu Extra FontsGo to Menu > Terminal.
2. Paste sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer into the Terminal (by pressing Ctrl-Shift-V in the Terminal after copying the highlighted code).
3. Go to Menu > Applications > Preferences > Appearance > Fonts.
4. Click each of them, pick a font and size to configure for window title and so on.

How about installing more TrueType fonts? With your font files, you can manually add them into the system following the steps below:

1. Press Alt+F2 to bring up “Run Application” window.
2. Paste gksu nautilus /usr/share/fonts/truetype into the box, click “Run” to open Nautilus in the right folder.
3. Create a new sub-folder and copy your files ending with .ttf into the sub-folder.
4. Enter sudo fc-cache -f -v in the Terminal to rebuild the font information.

Besides this, you can run an application such as Font-Manager to view, install, remove fonts and so on.

Note: If you like the Tahoma font which is not included in the mscorefonts package, you might want to copy the two files tahoma.ttf and tahomabd.ttf from /Windows/Fonts and install them.
Install Screenlets
[Mint 10/11]
Screenlets are small applications to represent things such as sticky notes, clocks, calendars around on your desktop. You can launch a pre-installed screenlet from Screenlet Manager, or install a new one into the Manager for launching it. Here are the steps for installing and launching a screenlet, for example, WaterMark System Information.

1. WaterMark ScreenletInstall Screenlets Manager if it has not been added.
1. Go to Menu > Software Manager.
2. Enter screenlets into the Search Box.
3. Select Screenlets, click the “Install” button.
2. Download the screenlet “WaterMark System Information” to a folder.
3. Go to Menu > Applications > Accessories > Screenlets.
4. Click Install, select Install Screenlet and click OK.
5. Browse to the folder, select the file downloaded and click “Open” to install the screenlet into the Screenlets Manager.
6. Select the screenlet “WaterMark” and click “Launch/Add”. (Tips: you can add more than one WaterMark screenlet and set it to display other system information.)

More screenlets are available for installation from

Add More Useful Software

[Mint 10/11]

Linux Mint’s Software Manager lets you search and get free software, or straight from the Menu, you can type an application name into the Search box to see if the software has been installed and ready for use. If it’s not, you can click “Install package…” to install it if the available software package is shown in the panel. What’s more? you can also go to Menu > Package Manager, type in an application name to search and install a software package from the repositories.

Alternatively, you can get the latest freeware applications by clicking the Install this now button from the GetDeb Repository after the getdeb package is installed with the instructions given.

See also our Best Free Software for Linux.
Auto Mount Drives at System Startup

[Mint 10/11]

Linux Mint is capable of reading and writing files stored on Windows formatted partitions, but partitions must be ‘mounted’ before they can be accessed each time you start up the system. With these steps, you can auto mount the drives or partitions without the need to manually mount them for access.

1. Storage Device ManagerGo to Menu > Software Manager, type pysdm into the Search box and press “Enter”.
2. Select “pysdm” and click “Install” if it has not been installed.
3. Go to Menu > Applications > Administration > Storage Device Manager.
4. Extend the list of sda and select the sda you want to auto mount, click ‘OK’ to configure.
5. Click the “Assistant” button.
6. Uncheck “Mount file system in read only mode” and keep “The file system is mounted at boot time” checked.
7. Click the “Mount”, “Apply” then “Close” button, and restart the system.

In case you wish to remove the auto-mount of a certain drive or partition, you can similarly use Storage Device Manager to do the setting.

Note: If you need to identify disk partitions by label, paste ls /dev/disk/by-label -g in Terminal, or to view partition sizes and file systems, enter sudo fdisk -l. Disk Utility mentioned in “Name or Label a Partition” also gives you a glance of device numbers, partition types, sizes and labels.

Manually Mount a USB Drive

[Mint 10/11]

A USB storage device plugged into the system usually mounts automatically, but if for some reasons it doesn’t automount, it’s possible to manually mount it with these steps.

1. Go to Menu > Terminal.
2. Enter sudo mkdir /media/usb to create a mount point called usb.
3. Enter sudo fdisk -l to look for the USB drive already plugged in, let’s say the drive you want to mount is /dev/sdb1.
4. Enter sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /media/usb -o uid=1000,gid=100,utf8,dmask=027,fmask=137 to mount a USB drive formatted with FAT16 or FAT32 system. OR:
Enter sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /media/usb to mount a USB drive formatted with NTFS system.

To unmount it, just enter sudo umount /media/usb in the Terminal.
Name or Label a Partition

[Mint 10/11]

Nautilus file manager shows the root directory as File System for your Mint system partition. If you have other partitions (or volumes), it shows them as xx GB Filesystem if they’re not named or labelled.

Using Disk Utility is one of the effective ways to name a partition easily:

1. Disk Utility    Install Disk Utility if it has not been added.
1. Go to Menu > Software Manager.
2. Enter gnome-disk-utility into the Search Box.
3. Select gnome-disk-utility, click the “Install” button.
2. Go to Menu > Applications > Administration > Disk Utility
3. Select the item Hard Disk.
4. In the Volumes section, click a partition you want to label.
5. Click “Edit Filesystem Label” (Note 1)
6. In the Label box, enter a name, e.g. Data-Disk, and click Apply.

The file manager should now show the partition label, such as Data-Disk, instead of xx GB Filesystem.

Note 1: If the option for “Edit Filesystem Label” is not shown, click “Unmount Volume” before hand. In case you can’t unmount a volume, try Storage Device Manager to unmount it. See Auto Mount Drives at System Startup.

Note 2: This tip is for naming a partition using Disk Utility, use other advanced features such as format, edit or delete partition with caution as they can delete data on your disk.
Auto Start Up an Application

[Mint 10/11]

In Windows, you can place a program shortcut in a startup folder for running a program automatically when the system starts. In Linux Mint, you can do the same in this way:

1. Auto Start Up ApplicationsGo To Menu > Applications > Preferences > Startup Applications
2. Click the “Add” button.
3. Name a program.
4. Click the “Browse” button and navigate to File System > usr > bin, where programs are usually installed.
5. Select a program, click the “Open” button followed by the “Add” button.

The above program will then be listed in additional startup programs. Check if the program runs automatically by logging out and back to the system.
Change Default Boot Options

[Mint 10/11]

After full installation, Linut Mint is set to be the default operating system to boot up if no key is pressed within a few seconds on a multi-boot system. You might want to set your preferred operating system to boot up by default. This can be done easily with StartUp-Manager.

1. Go to Menu > Applications > Administration > StartUp-Manager
2. Enter password to perform pre-configuration tasks, which include searching bootloaders to operating systems.
3. Select the default operating system from the pull-down menu, click “Close” to perform post-configuration tasks.

With StartUp-Manager, you can also do others such as manage Usplash themes, adjust bootloader menu resolution or set timeout in seconds. Avoid changing timeout to 0 seconds if you need to select a system to boot up from a multi-boot menu.

Note: If your startup splash logo is changed to text after applying a graphics driver, the StartUp-Manager can be used to change the text back to the logo by adjusting to higher resolution and color depth supported by the driver.
Remove Old Linux Kernel, Clean Up Boot Menu

NOTE that this author recommends that you back-up your old Linux kernels, before removing them from their default directory.  For further information pertaining to this, I guess you could look at the file “linux commands n instruct desktop distros2”.

[Mint 10/11]

Each time when Linux Mint updates to a new Linux kernel, the old one is left behind and the boot menu gets longer. If your new Linux kernel works well, it’s safe to remove the old one and clean up the boot menu. Do take these steps carefully as incorrect removal of the items can make your system unbootable.

1. Go to Menu > Terminal.
2. Enter uname -r to print the Linux kernel version you’re running (e.g. 2.6.32-22-generic).
3. Go to Menu > Package Manager.
4. Click Status from the left panel and select Installed.
5. Enter the main version number (e.g. 2.6.32) in the Search box.
6. Right-click the items with smaller sub version number (e.g. 2.6.32-21) for older Linux kernel and select Mark for Complete Removal. The files for the older version to remove may include linux-headers-2.6.32-21, linux-headers-2.6.32-21-generic and linux-image-2.6.32-21-generic.
7. Click Apply from the top panel.
8. Click Apply again from the pop-up window to confirm removal of the marked packages. The boot menu will be cleaned up automatically after the removal is confirmed.

Note: Try also Grub Customizer which can be used to hide items from the boot menu. Just install the program by entering the following in the Terminal, then run the program, untick the items you want to hide and click ‘Save’.

1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
2. sudo apt-get update
3. sudo apt-get install grub-customizer
Auto Shutdown the System

[Mint 10/11]

A simple command can be entered in the Terminal to schedule a time for the system to shut down.

1. Go Menu > Terminal.
2. Enter sudo shutdown -h +m (replace m with the number of minutes, e.g. +60).
OR: enter sudo shutdown -h hh:mm (replace hh:mm with the time on the 24hr clock, e.g. 23:15).
3. Enter password and minimize the Terminal window.

The system will then shut down within the minutes or at the time specified. To cancel a scheduled time, enter sudo shutdown -c in the Terminal.

Alternatively, you might want to download and install GShutdown, which is a GUI program for scheduling a time to shutdown the system.


Disable guest session and create user accounts in Linux Mint 12

November 26, 2011 7:26 pm
q.v. The file “l disable guest session in ubuntu”
Linux Mint 12 is the latest release of the Ubuntu Desktop-based branch of Linux Mint.  This release comes with several desktop options, a few screen shots of which have been posted here.
[ Remember that Linux Mint and most other Linux desktops base3d on Ubuntu run from a lower-privileged user account, by default, Administrator/Root functions being accessed by means of a simple “super-user” utility that is installed to the default set of Terminal-based utilities (in other words, the * sudo * utility).  ]
By default, Linux Mint 12 ships with a guest session enabled, so a password-less access to the system is possible from the login screen to anybody with physical access to a Linux Mint 12-powered computer. If you do not want that level of openness on your computer, this tutorial will show you how to disable that guest session, and also how to create additional user accounts on the system.
This image shows what the login screen looks like, with the guest session underlined. To begin the process of disabling it, open a shell terminal and type the following command: sudo gedit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.

That should open the LightDM configuration file in GEdit, a text editor. The original content of that file is shown below.

All you need to do to disable guest session from the login screen is to add the allow-guest=false declaration to the end of the file as shown here. Save and close the file.

That should be all you need to do.

The second stage of this tutorial is to show the simple steps involved in adding or creating a new user account. There are two types of accounts defined in Linux Mint 12 – Administrator and Standard. The account created during installation is, by default, of the Administrator kind. The next few screen shots will be used to show how to create a Standard account, one that does not have administrative privileges on the system.
To start, launch System Settings from the user profile widget. Click on User Manager, which should open in place. There are two steps in take here. First, unlock User Manager. Second, click on the “plus” button to create the new account.

From the Account Type menu, select Standard, and fill in the other credentials for the account. If you want to give the account admin privileges, select Administrator from the menu. Click Create.

By default, a newly created account is disabled because a password has not been specified for it. Click on the arrowed line to create a password.

Set a strong password for the account. Click Change.

Back to the main User Manager window, you will find the new account listed with the existing ones. To delete an account, select it and click on the “minus” icon. And to enable automatic login for any account (not recommended), select the account from the same window and turn it off by clicking on the button (upper arrow).

Create a New User Account on the System:

In Windows you go to Control Panel to create New Users. Remember? Well in Linux, despite you saying it is very different, it isn’t actually. Go to Menu, Control Center, System, Users and Groups.

You need to unlock it to add user.

This is a Linux security feature to stop ordinary users from wrecking the system, and is something that is not properly implemented in other OS’s by default.



[IMPORTANT NOTE:  It is well to remember that, in Linux Mint 12, the way to your desktop icons is to left-click on Mint’s new “Hot-Corner”—the thing that looks sort of like the infinity symbol in mathematics—it’s in the upper-left of the screen); then click the nearby button you’ll see, that is labeled “Applications”.  A single left-click on the program’s icon should launch it.  Normally, the appropriate new icons are added automatically, by the system, when you install a new app.

December 22, 2011, 4:28 PM — If you dislike the top left hot corner in Linux Mint 12, here’s how you can turn it off.

1. Open layout.js as root. You can use the following command in a terminal window:

gksu gedit /usr/share/gnome-shell/js/ui/layout.js

2. Change “reactive:true” to “reactive:false”

this._corner = new Clutter.Rectangle({ name: ‘hot-corner’,
width: 1,
height: 1,
opacity: 0,
reactive: false })

3. Save your changes.

For more, see the original article at the link below.

Linux Mint 12 Tips | Linux Mint 12 Forum

Linux Mint 12 Tips



Well, where it comes to enabling the recent documents list, I haven’t had much luck with this in trying to do it with LM 12’s default Desktop Environment.  However, I notice I can just open any document in Libre Office, and go to “file” on the toolbar, I can hover the mouse on the option “Recent Documents” in the pop-up menu, and it will display a list of recently modified documents.  Those of us who use * Dropbox * (which should be just about everybody by now) can get a very similar result by a RIGHT-click on the Dropbox icon that appears in the top panel, and left-clicking on “Recent” in the context-menu that appears.  There is also Unix’s * mtime * command, which executes pretty fast, and gives you a directory-by-directory breakdown of recently changed files:  just scroll to the proper folder in the results, and there you’ll see the filenames of the files changed in the last x-days.  Just how many days is up to you—you set the search-argument to what number you want.  For a full explanation, see “linux commands n instruct desktop distros”, and scroll to the entry on * Find Files By Access, Modification Date / Time Under Linux or UNIX *, c. pp 89-90.


NOTE THAT LINUX MINT’S “CINNAMON” IS NOT THE DEFAULT DESKTOP ENVIRON IN LINUX MINT V. 12:  CINNAMON IN LM 12 IS A PROTO-TYPE DE THAT WILL BE PERFECTED IN COMMING VERSIONS OF LINUX MINT, AND WILL BE THE DEFAULT IN COMMING VERSIONS.  THE DEFAULT DESKTOP ENVIRON IN LM 12 IS GNOME 3 + MGSE—NOT CINNAMON.  So it would be preferable to consult the section on GNOME 3 + MGSE (above), if you are using the default.  Frankly, I have been using the default for some weeks now (at the time of this writing), and I find it perfectly adequate.     –L.L.
NOTE that the Alt + F2 “Run a program” dialog still * works * in Mint 12, just as in pre-11.10 versions of Ubuntu.

One may remember—or have heard—that Linux Mint has a * Desktop Settings * tool.  Well, the tool is still present ion Mint 12 [Lisa], but, apparently due to the changing situation with Linux’s old stand-by—the Gnome desktop environ—Mint’s Desktop Settings tool doesn’t seem to do much in Mint 12 (at least * I * can’t  figure out how to get it to), but apparently is still in the system as a legacy-ware.  * Other * means * of manipulating the desktop, however, are provided in this document.  Consult the table of Contents, c. pp 10.
3 Using Cinnamon
Cinnamon’s main navigation tool is the classic system panel, by default located on the bottom of the screen. It contains the main menu button, the icon to reveal the desktop, quick start icons, running programs and the usual widgets on the right side. The main menu is tidily organized into a favourites column on the far left, the category colum next to it and the programs submenu on the far right, as known from the Gnome 2 menu. Above the categories and programs there’s the usual search bar.

Left-clicking a program menu item will open it, whereas RIGHT-clicking will expand a small submenu, giving you the option to stick the application to the panel, the desktop or the favourites menu on the left. On version 1.2, there is a bug that lets you add an infinite amount of objects to the favourite menu, so that eventually the menu will grow out of screen range, so be sure to not add too many (this was fixed in 1.3. The items now become smaller the more of them you add).

Cinnamon brings along its configuration tool, Cinnamon Settings. It can be used to change calender format, apply different themes, effects and applets, change the panel orientation (for now limited to bottom, top and both at once, but is said to be expanded) or install additional extensions:

Much as in Gnome 3, the mouse can be hovered to the top left corner to get an organized view of all open windows. This feature is known as Linux Mint “Hot Corner”; clicking it after it has given the overview will restore the normal view (or one may also RIGHT-click any window depicted in the overview, and screen will revert to normal).  This option however fades out all other control items and therefore is no control panel replacement as it is in Gnome 3:

Copyright © 2012 Christian
All Rights Reserved.


One may remember—or have heard—that Linux Mint has a * Desktop Settings * tool.  Well, the tool is still present ion Mint 12 [Lisa], but, apparently due to the changing situation with Linux’s old stand-by—the Gnome desktop environ—Mint’s Desktop Settings tool doesn’t seem to do much in Mint 12 (at least * I * can’t  figure out how to get it to), but apparently is still in the system as a legacy-ware.  * Other * means * of manipulating the desktop, however, are provided in this document.  Consult the table of Contents, c. pp 10.

In LM 12 / Lisa, there are (at least) a couple of ways to handle this:

1. You can install the free Linux program “AlaCarte” from Software Manager.
2. You can create desktop launchers


Method 1:

December 15, 2011, 5:14 PM — In Linux Mint 12 you can use the right click desktop menu to create new folders and documents. Here’s how you can add desktop launchers to that menu.

1. Open Gedit and paste this into a new document:

gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop/ –create-new

2. Save the document as “Create New Launcher” in the ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/ directory.

3. Go to your document in the directory above and then right click it.

4. Go to the permissions tab and check “Allow Executing File As Program.”

5. Go back to your desktop, right click it and then choose Scripts from the menu. You’ll see a new “Create New Launcher” option on the menu.

Now you can easily create new launchers on your Linux Mint 12 desktop.

Method 2: 


This was already installed in previous versions of Linux Mint.  For some reason, it is no longer pre-installed in Mint 12 Lisa.

Alacarte is easily installed from Software Manager.

Once installed, launch it from Menu > “Other” > “Main Menu”.
The Main Menu window displays. On the left is a list of all the menu categories available. When you select a category, items available in that category display on the right. Items in italics on both lists are not currently being displayed on the menu. To display a currently hidden item, select the check box to the left of the item.

To add an item not currently available in any menu category, select the category into which you wish to insert the item, and click New Item.

The Create Launcher dialog box displays. If you are adding a program, make sure Application is selected in the Type drop-down list. You can also add a Location (or folder) to the menu. Enter a name for the application in the Name edit box. This name displays on the menu. To enter the command to run when the menu item is selected, click Browse and find the executable file for the program. You can enter a comment for the application in the Comment edit box, but it is not required. This Comment displays as a popup hint when you move your mouse over the menu item. Click OK once you have entered the information.

By default, the items on the main menu are listed alphabetically, but you can change that and move items up and down in each submenu. You can also add separators to group items. Alacarte allows you to easily customize the main menu in Linux Mint to your reflect the way you work.


I changed my password with the Users and Groups tool and it seemed to work, the keyring manager asks me for the new password. However, when I log in with the new password it tells me authentication failure, but still accepts the old password. The same result for using ‘sudo <anything>’. This seems like a pretty big security issue..

Ok, figured it out. I can’t change my password using ‘Users and Groups’ unlocked or not unlocked. I had to use ‘About Me’ instead. Not sure if this is a ‘feature’ or not, but seems a bit confusing since there were no errors or anything and the dialogs to change the password looked the same for both applications.

Another option is to do it from Terminal/command-line.

How to install Linux / UNIX *.tar.gz tarball files

by Vivek Gite on June 18, 2007

Q. I’m new to Linux. Over few days I found lots software distributed as .tar.gz file. How do I install tar.gz files under Linux?
A. tar.gz also known as tarball, an archive format for electronic data and software. Most Linux tarball contains a source code for software. If you are new to Linux I recommend using apt-get, rpm and yum command to install all binary packages.
Tarballs are a group of files in one file. Tarball files have the extension .tar.gz, .tgz or .tar.bz2. Most open source software use tarballs to distribute programs/source codes.
# 1: Uncompress tarball
To uncompress them, execute the following command(s) depending on the extension:
$ tar zxf file.tar.gz
$ tar zxf file.tgz
$ tar jxf file.tar.bz2
$ tar jxf file.tbz2

$ tar zxf file.tar.gz
$ tar zxf file.tgz
$ tar jxf file.tar.bz2
$ tar jxf file.tbz2
It all depends on your file extension

Now change directory:
$ ls
$ cd path-to-software/
# 2: Build and install software
Generally you need to type 3 commands as follows for building and compiling software:
# ./configure
# make
# make install
./configure will configure the software to ensure your system has the necessary functionality and libraries to successfully compile the package
make will compile all the source files into executable binaries.
Finally, make install will install the binaries and any supporting files into the appropriate locations.
# 3: Read the INSTALL / README file
Each tarball comes with installation and build instructions. Open INSTALL or README file for more information:

23. D. C. – May 5, 2008

I have ThinLinux (I know it’s old..) and don’t have a “cc” program, so I can enable the network program and PCMCIA 2wire wireless laptop card, on my laptop. I downloaded the pcmcia .tr.gz file, opened it. I cannot get passed the “./Configure” step, because I don’t have the “cc” program installed.

How can I fix these problems, so I can get the network program/folder under “etc” like it should be, so KDE won’t keep saying the network program doesn’t exist? Thanks.
25. Anonymous – June 16, 2008

type: tar -zxf filename.tar.gz

26. N.Akhmar – July 12, 2008

hi.. for your info I’ve been trying to install a few tar.gz files and quite a few has some requirement that need us to install a few toolkit such as GTK2+ so that a successful installation could be achieve, where most of my first prob. (during my early days with linux) come from. So check you software requirement as it might be the reason why you can’t get the tar.gz files to be install properly
27. David – July 23, 2008

I’m using Linux mint and after i unpack the file i cant configure it pleas help me.

Probably the most common other type of package (other than “.deb”) you will see are tar files. These come in a few different flavours. You can identify them by their file extensions, which will be “.tar”, “.tar.gz”, “.tgz”, and “.tar.bz2″.
These packages can be manually opened in the shell (Terminal), or in many instances, via your file manager (Nautilus, Thunar, whatever it is on your system), where you can extract them to a folder for running the installation commands. This is like extracting a zip file in Windows with an application like WinZip. The shell commands to open and extract the contents to the current folder are as follows:

package extension
opening and extraction command

tar xf packagename.tar
standard tar file

tar xzf packagename.tar
gunzipped tar file – double compression to save space

tar xzf packagename.tgz
gunzipped tar file – double compression to save space

tar xjf packagename.tar.bz2
bunzipped tar file – higher double compression to save space

Unless these are source packages (more on that later), the package is usually extracted to a newly created folder in the current (“parent”) folder with the packagename as its name. For instance unpacking Stomfi.tar in “/home/stomfi” would extract to “/home/stomfi/Stomfi/”. Conventionally, but not always so read the INSTALL (README) file, you may see a “configure” file and will see a “Makefile” in the extract (“child”) folder. If there is a configure file, run that first with the command “./configure”. Then you can run the command “make install” to install the program. You will probably have to do this as the superuser (root) as an ordinary user does not have the security permissions to create files in the system folders.

One thing this doesn’t do is update the package database. I run a handy program called “checkinstall” instead of “make install”. What this does is run the make install and then build a package for your package manager. It will ask you what sort of package. For SUSE you answer R for and RPM. It asks about documentation. I say Y to everything else. You can find checkinstall on the web. Just type its name into your Google bar.

Other packages that are popular are ZIP files. These can have the extensions “.zip”, “.gz”. and “.bz2″. The commands used to extract these into the current folder are: unzip, gunzip, and bunzip. If there is a Makefile you can use “checkinstall” as above; otherwise there will be an INSTALL or README file or some other documentation on how to install the program. Once again, you will probably have to be the superuser.

Sometime you will come across a package for the Debian distro with the extension “.RPM”.  If you can’t find a .deb version, then you can use a package called “alien”, which converts one sort or package to another. Usually it works out what sort of package management is on your system, so all you have to type is “alien packagename.RPM” and you should end up with “packagename.deb”, which you can install in the usual manner.

The last possibility I will cover here is a source file. Source files often have the letters “src” in their name. After you have extracted the file to a folder, you can compile it into binary code as an ordinary user, but will have to be the superuser to install it.

The modern convention is to have a file called “configure” in the first folder of the program. Read any INSTALL/README notes first. Run the program configuration with the command “./configure”. This script will let you know if all is well or if you need any other libraries to be installed first. When the configuration is successful, run the command “make”. This will build the source code into a binary program. Become the superuser and run “checkinstall” as described above.

This answer should cover your question and hopefully any future installs you will come across. One thing to note is that many tar files default to install in “/usr/local” and put their shared libraries in “/usr/local/lib”. If you get a message complaining your new program can’t find “”, this probably means that “/usr/local/lib” isn’t in your library configure path.

Become the superuser, edit the file “/etc/”, adding the line /usr/local/lib to the end. Save the file and run the shell command “ldconfig”. This will save the information about the libraries in /usr/local/lib in the file /”etc/”. Try your new program again. If this didn’t work you can try running it from a shell console where you should see any error messages, and hopefully know what to do to fix them.


See the file “l security hardware n physical access holes” (I will post it as soon as i can get time).

It seems that most Linux device drivers are no more than tar-balls, which can be downloaded and installed in the ordinary manner.  See the directions above in this article.

To format a thumb to ext 2 or ext 4 in Ubuntu 10.04 (“Lucid Lynx”)—upon which Linux Mint Fluxbox 9 is based—the ususal method would be to  1) RIGHT-click the drive icon that should appear on the desktop, within a minute after plugging-in the thumb-drive.  2) select “format” from the pop-up menu, and follow the prompts.


It seems one must use Gparted or fdisk for linux to reformat a device to these formats from a Linux system.
The files “l gparted and fdisk file 1”, “l primary vs extended and logical partition “, “crunchbang from usb thumb”, “fdisk overview”, “fdisk guide” and “l format thumb useful information” would be good resources to consult.

How to Reformat an External Hard Drive to NTFS Format In Ubuntu Hardy (8.04 LTS)
By Damien | September 29, 2008 |

If you have files that are bigger than 4GB in size, you will find that you can’t back them up to your external hard disk, even though it has 1TB of storage space. The reason being, when you first bought the hard disk, it is pre-formatted with FAT32 format, and in case you don’t know, FAT32 has a 4GB file size restriction. This means that it can’t store files that are bigger than 4GB in size.

A good way to overcome this is to re-create the 4+ Gb file, making it into two or more files; or, reformat the external hard disk to NTFS format. NTFS does not has a 4GB file restriction and can be accessed easily from Windows, Mac and Linux (with the help of NTFS-3G).

Mac and Linux users might be tempted to reformat the hard disk to either HFS (for time machine) or, say, Ext3 or Ext4 format. It will work well with your Linux computer, but in the event that your system crashes and you want to retrieve your backup files from other computer (that are not Mac or Linux, like, say, Windows), you might have difficulties getting it to read your files, though there are programs that will run in Windows, and were created to this purpose.  “Ext2 FSF for Windows” I am told, is one of these.

Reminder: Before you try this, please back up all your files from on your external hard drive. The process will completely wipe off all data on your hard disk or whichever device you’re working-on.

Reformat external hard disk to NTFS

In your Ubuntu Hardy (8.04), open up the terminal and install the following applications:

sudo apt-get install gparted ntfsprogs

Plug in your external hard disk (or flash-drive, as the case may be.)
Your system should detect the hard disk and automount it to your system.
Before you can do a reformat, you will have to unmount it. On the desktop, right-click on the hard disk icon and select “Unmount volume“.

Go to System->Administration->Partition Editor. On the top right, click on the dropdown box. Select the entry that corresponds to your external hard disk.

On the main window, select the partition, right-click and select Format to -> NTFS. Click Apply.

That’s it. Your external hard disk is now in NTFS format.

FROM COMMAND LINE WITH FDISK:       (format to ntfs)
March 18, 2011 No Comments
For all Linux users using usb drives, is really easy. Just plug and play then share data with Windows users through it, it is very simple. But if you format it using Linux ext3 or any other Linux mode, you will not be able to share data with Windows users—unless they install some third-party software, which they may not feel comfortable with having running on their computer. What you need is to format the usb drive using FAT32 or the NTFS file system.
So to format a usb drive, first insert your usb drive in the usb slot of your computer, and check it out using the command from Terminal:
$ fdisk -l
(You will see the usb disk)

Let’s say /dev/sdb is where my usb thumb drive is shown as connected, in the Terminal-window.
We need to unmount it, now, in order to be able to do anything major to it, like change it’s files-format schema.
$ umount /dev/sdb
This, of course, accomplishes a software unmount:  the drive/device is still physically plugged-in to the appropriate hardware port on the side of the computer, so it is still hardware-mounted.
Be sure you do not select your hard-drive by mistake.
Now, fdisk the usb stick, and not the partition:
$ fdisk /dev/sdb
Press ‘p’ to view the partitions on the drive. Delete all partitions—press ‘d’. Create a new one with ‘n’. It will be a primary partition, and it will be partition 1. The first three partitions the fdisk utility can create—whether it is the Linux version or the version of fdisk that runs in a DOS/Windows environ—the first three partitions it can create on any drive will be of the ‘Primary’ type—which means they can be used for booting an operating system—though apparently these do not have to be used for this purpose.
Then ‘w’ to write the partition table, and exit:
Command (m for help): p
Disk /dev/sdb: 1027 MB, 1027604480 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 980 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x610fbfb2
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 * 1 980 1003504 c ext3
Command (m for help): d
Selected partition 1
Command (m for help): n
Command action
e extended
p primary partition (1-4)
Partition number (1-4): 1
First cylinder (1-980, default 1):
Using default value 1
Last cylinder, +cylinders or +size{K,M,G} (1-980, default 980):
Using default value 980
Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!
Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.
Now use the mkfs.vfat or mkfs.ntfs command to format to FAT32 or NTFS filesystem:
$ sudo mkfs.vfat -n ‘Label’ -I /dev/sdb
(Replace Label with the name you want the pen drive to have)
4. That’s it! When done formatting, you’ll be returned to the prompt
$ mkfs.vfat -n ‘sathya’ -I /dev/sdb
mkfs.vfat 2.11 (12 Mar 2011)
Remove and insert the pen drive to have it mounted again!

Install Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One is a Dropbox like backup solution and the free plan offers 5GB storage which may be sufficient for a lot of users. Ubuntu One is well integrated with nautilus and so it will allow you to backup more easily. So whether you’ve used it earlier in Ubuntu or not, you should give it a try.

To install Ubuntu One execute following commands –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuone/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntuone-control-panel-gtk ubuntuone-client

Configure GRUB options:

To customize grub menu or configure boot options there are two popular applications – startup manager (simple and easy to use) and second one is grub customizer (it has a lot of features and options).

Installing grub customizer,open terminal and execute –

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

On the other hand if you want to try startup manager, then execute –

sudo apt-get install startupmanager

Install Ubuntu Software Center to Linux Mint 12:

If you have used Ubuntu Software Center in Ubuntu 11.10 or 11.04, then you might have noticed that on Linux mint there is another programs installed by default, for managing applications. Software Manager is the default program for installing/removing applications in Linux Mint, Synaptic Package Manager is also there. If you are missing some of the cool features of USC then you can install that in one simple command –

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-software-center

Try MATE if you don’t like Gnome Shell:

If you don’t like Gnome Shell interface, with a bunch of cool extensions then MATE is probably for your – for Gnome 2 lovers. MATE is a fork of Gnome 2 project, it looks very similar to Gnome 2.3 desktop. You can see the Gnome 2 style menu in Top left corner of the screen – appears like Gnome 2. It’s installed by default – just logout from the current session and select Gnome classic (with or without effects, whatever suits your computer hardware).  [I’ve moved-on to Linux Mint 13 XFCE Edition since this was written; but if memory serves, there’s a little symbol that looks like a “cog”, or a gear, when you’re logging-in at boot-up time:  I think you have to click that, to select an alternate Desktop Environment.  If you aren’t presented with a DE choice you were looking for, go to Software Manager, and make sure the DE is installed to your system.  –L.L. ]


[In the past it was Right click > Add this Launcher to the Desktop.  One may remember—or have heard—that Linux Mint has a * Desktop Settings * tool.  Well, the tool is still present ion Mint 12 [Lisa], but, apparently due to the changing situation with Linux’s old stand-by—the Gnome desktop environ—Mint’s Desktop Settings tool doesn’t seem to do much in Mint 12 (at least * I * can’t  figure out how to get it to), but apparently is still in the system as a legacy-ware.  * Other * means * of manipulating the desktop, however, are provided in this document.  Consult the table of Contents, c. pp 10. ]

Well, in Linux Mint 12, the way to your desktop icons is to left-click on Mint’s new “Hot-Corner”—the thing that looks sort of like the infinity symbol in mathematics—it’s in the upper-left of the screen); then click the nearby button you’ll see, that is labeled “Applications”.  A single left-click on the program’s icon should launch it.  Normally, the appropriate new icons are added automatically, by the system, when you install a new app.

Of course there are two icons displayed  by default, on the normal desktop:  one for Home, and one for “Computer”.

As far as * adding * a new icon, in the past it was Right click > Add this Launcher to the Desktop.

[ I notice that, when I mouse-over the LM 12 “hot corner”, and then click where it says “Applications” (center-left in the monitor’ screen), I’m taken to the LM 12 “Desktop Icons Screen”, and, if I’ve installed a new app, its icon will be there. ]

In LM 12, One way to do is:

Type in:

gksudo nautilus

When the root nautilus opens, navigate to:


Find your icon in there and drag it to some bare space on your desktop.  This will seem to make it “vanish”.

What this results in, apparently, is that the launcher-icon is going to appear in your * Desktop * ** folder **—inside your files-manager.  Not on the actual desktop.  But this seems a minutia.  It’s easy to open the files-manager, and quickly navigate to the Desktop folder (Menu > places > documents > Desktop).


How To Get The Linux Mint 12 WELCOME CENTER Back Up, After You’ve Closed It:  

To get the Linux Mint 12 WELCOME CENTER back up, after you’ve closed it, one way is just to click the MENU button of the desktop (lower left, just like Windows’ ‘Start’ button), then type “welcome” (without the quotation marks) into the search-field that is provided.  This will then display an icon in the start menu area, and you can click on that.  Be quick.  If you miss your chance the first time, it’ll let you try any number of times.  Mint’s own (“native”) User Manual is in here.

 Mint 12 Instructions, Cont’d

Install Ubuntu Software Center in Linux Mint 12 below


Install Ubuntu Software Center in Linux Mint 12:

The Ubuntu Software Center is an interface that allows Ubuntu users to install many paid or free applications and games. If you want to port Ubuntu Software Center to a system running Linux Mint 12, then it would be possible if you follow these instructions:

1. Under Linux Mint 12, launch the terminal and install Ubuntu Software Center with this command:

sudo apt-get install software-center

2. Run now this command to create the file:

sudo cp -r /usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/distro/ /usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/distro/

3. Edit now this file with this command:

gksudo gedit /usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/distro/

4. Find now this line:

>> class Ubuntu(Debian)

And replace it with this line:

>> class LinuxMint(Debian)

  1. Save your file and exit. You can now use Ubuntu Software Center on Linux Mint 12.

That’s it, Enjoy


First, be sure to download wicd.



Code: Select all

sudo apt-get purge network-manager


Code: Select all

sudo /etc/init.d/wicd restart

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