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Friday, December 9, 2011

Linux MInt Debian Edition (LMDE) after install

by Ta Wan
wifi demands sudo password to unlock so:
open you home folder,
press CTRL+H to see hidden files,
type .g and look for .gnome2,
open this (CTRL+H to hide hidden files again),
open 'keyrings',
delete all files,
log off wifi,
log back on to wifi,
enter wifi password,
when prompted for a new keyring password enter nothing and press ok,
then click 'use unsafe storage.
language bar
In our household we need 2 keyboard layouts so:
click mint menu button once to open the menu,
type keyboard,
click on the result for keyboard,
click the 'layouts' tab,
add your new language,
a button will appear on the gnome panel to let you switch keyboard layout.
mintupdate prefs
You can make a few simple adjustments to Mint Update via the preferences,
Open mint update from the system tray icon (the shield),
click edit, preferences,
You may wish to add a startup delay, make it refresh less often, turn off the 'safety' of level 3 updates.
Turning off the safety means they are not automatically checked and you can choose them only if you wish to install them. Of course many are useful but some may not be.
Level 1 and 2 are of course highly recommended.
For those used to Debian and for anyone who wants to make some instalations from .deb files then install gdebi. Having that utility means that you can install any .deb file very easily with 'gdebi file.deb'
I tend to turn off system sounds for a few reasons and the way is to:
click mint menu button once to open the menu,
type 'sound'
change the 'theme' to none
You still get sounds when you want them, eg music or video but not for events such as logon or error.
restart beep
It is possible that your system gives a loud beep on restart so,
In terminal enter this:
echo "blacklist pcspkr" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
sudo modprobe -r pcspkr
You may wish to edit grub:
open a terminal and enter,
gksu gedit /etc/default/grub
I change the countdown to 3 seconds, alter the default boot and uncomment the part that gives me the unnesessary recovery option.
After saving the file you must run
sudo update-grub2
I alwasy edit /etc/fstab to mount my data partition into home, this way I share data between all the distros I have on my machine. I also look for and edit any peculiarities such as swap being listed wrong and root being listed twice. Take care here and find a suitable giude if you are unsure.
This is of course a personal preference but I:
Remove the relic idea of the "show desktop button" In linux I simply switch to a new workspace if I wish to see my desktop.
I move my panel to the top. It is clinically proven and also historically proven by monks that looking down is bad for the mood and posture. So move it up.
I declutter further too but I leave it to your own preferences.
The shiki wise theme is great but getting a little old now. I recomend WOW dark by nale for a more modern version of the theme or one of the cleaner looks such as the newly release mint clearlooks.
On the mint menu, via the preferences I remove the text next to the button, I also make some further changes but these are down to personal preference. Sometimes I dump the menu in favour of the Ubuntu style one but often I switch back for the Mint Menus advanced and very useful search.
On a side note I'd love a mini menu that offered nothing more than this search filter and a small area showing the results, no other clutter required.
Bring the system up to date with mint update:
click the shield icon in the tray and see what updates are on offer.
Click mint menu button once to open the menu,
type 'sessions'
click 'startup applications'
remove such items as print queue, bluetooth, gnome startup sound, mint welcome, remote desktop and various others - unless you need them of course.
Add compiz to the sessions.
Make compiz work
Go here and find a solution for you.
screensaver lock
Click mint menu button once to open the menu,
type 'screensaver'
follow the link and turn off the lock option (unless you require the security of course)
Make fonts look way better
open a text editor and paste in this:
save it in home as '.fonts.conf' remember the dot in front of the file name
font display
Right click the desktop and 'change desktop background'
choose the fonts tab
make a selection suitable to you,
you'll notice that all are partially selected and you just need the one suitable to your display.
key commands
I like to access most programs and useful commands via a keyboard shortcut, your own choices will differ.
desktop layout
I only like mounted devices to show on my desktop, I may leave home but do not want the computer showing. This is not windows and we have little of use beyond this shortcut. Also once any file browser is open it is simple to navigate wherever you want to be so I find this link superfluous.
ln to mybin
I always add a link to my person scripts with
ln -s /path/there ~/
this means my personal scripts that I like to access from any instalation are with easy reach.
add path to mybin to bashrc
So that I can use my own scripts easily from the command line I add the path to ~/.bashrc
open a text file and paste in something similar to this:
#path to my own bins
export PATH

save the file in your home folder as '.bashrc' (with the preceding dot)
Installation aliases
Also in .bashrc I add two aliases, these act as shortcuts for installation and searching the repos.
In .bashrc I add
alias ti='apt install'
alias ts='apt search
This means that to install a program I just have to type:
ti program name
ti firefox
I use ti for tawan install as it is just memorable to me. Be careful not to choose an alias that is already the name of a program or script.
delete unwanted folders in home
As I share my music, moveis, docs and so on between distributions via my data partition I just don't need all the premade folders in the home directory.
nautilus tweaks
Nautilus looks a bit bulky so I go:
menu > VIew
and turn off
'statusbar' and
'main toolbar'
I find nautilus just as functional but far less large and cluttered this way.
compiz settings
Of course once compiz is working with your setup and you have it launching at boot you need to make some settings:
click mint menu once to open the menu,
click on the compiz settings manager and set what you like.
auto login
Unless you require the security then auto login saves you some typing and makes the boot-up-use-PC thing a bit quicker and easier.
click mint menu once to open the menu,
type 'login' and click the 'login screen option'
edit to your needs.
rewrite mint menu
I have not done this but would love to make a personal rework of the excellent mint menu. 
install skype
With my shotcut I could type
ti skype and it would install - but skype is not available in the deban repos so, this is where gdebi comes in useful. I go to, get the debian version of skype, download it then from my desktop:
right click the desktop, open a terminal (or use a keycommand to do this as set earlier)
type 'gdebi TAB'
hitting the TAB key here makes the terminal fill in for me what I am too lazy to type, then I hit enter.
Of course as I have forgotten sudo it tells me off so I type
sudo !!
(note the space between sudo and !!)
and this redoes the last command I typed but with sudo.

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