Category Archives: Linux Mint

linux-mint-12 : Gnome shell interface

Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) Review – with Screenshot Tour

Linux Mint 12 (aka ‘Lisa’) is released, before you install it or not, wouldn’t you like to go for a snapshot tour? of course, yes. Linux Mint 12 has arrived in the time when a lot of Ubuntu users were having some problem in using the new interface (Gnome 3 shell or Unity). Linux Mint has solved the problem in a new way – by preserving the feel of Gnome 2, in Gnome 3 shell interface. So this post, is basically a snapshot tour or you can call it review or may be an overview.

Gnome (Default Interface of Linux Mint 12)

Although Linux Mint 12 is based on Ubuntu 11.10, it doesn’t uses Unity as the default desktop in Mint (in fact it doesn’t use unity at all) -that’s pretty cool and makes it popular among the user who don’t like Unity. Gnome is the default desktop in Linux Mint 12. It is basically Gnome shell desktop with gnome 2 features and feel. If your computer lacks graphics processing power (required for Gnome Shell interface), then it will automatically move on to classic version, which looks very similar to Gnome 2. If you are using any graphics card, then must install the appropriate driver software to use Gnome (shell) interface.

 

linux-mint-12 : Gnome shell interface
Linux Mint 12 - Default Interface

Did you notice the Application Menu in bottom left corner. You can also see the desktop switcher in bottom right corner.

Application Menu

Application Menu

All installed applications can be launched from the Menu. You can see all the applications of a category just pointing mouse on them (you don’t even need to click). Quick search box is available that will allow you to search through the installed applications, instantly.

Mint 12 Menu
Accessing/searching Application in Gnome Shell style

gnome-shell-view
Notification bar

notification-barWhen you click on Bottom Right Corner (on ! symbol), the notification bar appears just above the bottom panel (Gnome 3 style notification), Although it does have Gnome 2 style notification in top right panel.

Window management

You can switch between open windows  either using Gnome shell style or Gnome 2 style (from bottom panel). In Linux Mint 12, if you open a new Window then it will open another window (instead of just moving to the opened window, unlike Ubuntu 11.10, and sometimes it’s very annoying). Due to gnome 2 look and feel, window management is easier in Mint 12, both for Gnome 2 and Gnome 3 fans.

Desktop Switcher

In Gnome 2 style, there is a desktop switcher in bottom right corner numbered as 1,2… and it’s dynamic i.e it increases/decreases as you create or delete new desktops.

desktop-switcher

Alternatively, you can also switch desktop in Gnome shell style – by moving(or clicking or hit Windows button of your keyboard – refer for more Gnome shell shortcuts ) the mouse to top left corner (you will get the workspace view) and rolling the mouse wheel.

gnome-shell-effects-mint

Software Manager

software-manager

It’s very similar to the Ubuntu Software Center of Ubuntu 11.10. User Interface is little different – in fact less cluttered as compared to Ubuntu 11.10.

Gnome Tweak Tool – Advanced Gnome Desktop Options

advanced-desktop-settings

If you want to control the overall look and layout, and interested in tweaking the look/layout of Linux Mint – then try installing the meta mint package. Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute the command –

sudo apt-get install mint-meta-mate

Gnome Advanced options application has lot of cool themes and Gnome shell extensions installed for use. You just open the application and start playing with the options.

gnome-shell-extensions

Gnome Classic

It’s the classic version – very similar to Gnome 2 and the purpose is to provide the Gnome 2 look and feel in Gnome 3.

mint-desktop-classic
Linux Mint 12 - classic Gnome

Application Menu in Gnome classic

In Gnome classic, there is an application menu at top -left corner of the screen (along with the charming logo of Linux Mint), very similar to Gnome 2. You can access all applications from there, in a single click. Ubuntu Software Center or Package Managers are also there categorized in Other section.

application-menu-classic

Gnome Classic (No effects)

If you are running on an old hardware then you should go for classic version of Gnome, rather than the default one. This is very similar to Gnome classic desktop but it has no graphical effects.

gnome-classic-no-effects
Gnome Classic (No effects)

Default Applications

In Linux Mint 12, most of the default applications are same as it is in Ubuntu 11.10. Synaptic package Manager is installed by default to search and install/uninstall packages/programs (unlike Ubuntu 11.10, in which Synaptic Package Manager was not included by default).

  • Firefox for web browsing
  • Pidgin for instant messaging
  • Mozilla Thunderbird for sending/receiving emails
  • Brasero for burning disc
  • Nautilus for file browsing etc

Overall Score of Linux Mint 12:

  • Performance : pretty fast
  • Usability : great! it’s very simple and easy to use. Due to  integrating the gnome 2 features with Gnome 3 using MATE/MGSE it’s a super cool desktop, specially recommended for absolute beginners
  • Features : Great! Just give it a try, you will love it :)
  • Stability : good,  although it’s a new release so there might be some critical bugs (I was having some problem in changing user, actually I was getting a  black screen when I switched back to normal user after using the guest account for a while)
adobe-flash-plugin

how to install adobe flash player on Linux Mint

Adobe flash player is a must have application if you want to browse we with happiness (I hope it won’t be the case after few years), either on Linux Mint (version 12 released few days ago) or Windows or Mac (because more than 50% pages have some sort of flash content, you need adobe flash for playing video on your favorite websites such as YouTube). Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) have firefox web browser installed by default – so if you are browsing web with firefox then you might got stuck on youtube page.

Adobe flash player or similar must have applications/plugins/codecs can not be shipped with Linux distribution ISO because of License compatibility problem (Ubuntu or Linux Mint uses GPL which doesn’t allow them to ship proprietary component along with the main packages). Anyway, if you want to install adobe flash in Linux Mint then you can either install it along with some other necessary plugins/codecs just by installing ubuntu-restricted-extras package or just the adobe from Software Manager (very similar to Ubuntu Software Center in Ubuntu).

adobe-flash-plugin

So, if you want to install Adobe Flash Player Plugin, then first,

#1. Go to Applications -> Other -> Software Manager 

#2. Search for Adobe and click on install button; wait for installation procedure (download and setup process) to complete

#3. Now, restart your web browser to apply the changes, and enjoy :)

linux-mint-12-lisa

Linux Mint version 12 Released : Download it now!

Linux Mint vs 12 (code named as ‘Lisa’) released yesterday. It is based on Ubuntu 11.10. Some of the important features/changes include – Artwork Improvements and MATE – which is forked from Gnome 2 and the purpose of the project is to make Gnome 2 compatible with Gnome 3. Currently it’s in development phase so right now it may not be well stable to use.

Linux Mint is now second most popular Linux desktop and the user base is growing rapidly. Linux mint is popularly known for its ease of use. So if you are a window user, interested in trying Linux based distributions then Linux Mint is a good choice (for absolute beginners). In Linux Mint, you can also use Gnome 3 – through MGSE (Mint Gnome Shell Extension), and you can control the features available in Gnome 3.

linux-mint-12-lisa

What’s New in Linux Mint 12 ?

  • Gnome 3.2
  • MGSE (Mint Gnome Shell Extension)
  • MATE
  • Linux 3
  • Search Engines
  • Artwork improvements

More Details on the latest features in Linux Mint.

Download Linux Mint 12

CD Edition (Without Codecs)

Standard DVD Edition

ubuntu-11-10 with Unity

Ubuntu 11.10 or Linux Mint 11 ?

I’ve been an Ubuntu user from last three years, (although I had tried a lot of other Linux distributions – including Linux Mint, OpenSuse etc, but Ubuntu has been my primary OS). I’ve written this post to collect your experience/thought/opinion related to Ubuntu and Linux Mint (it’s not an Ubuntu vs Linux Mint debate)

In the latest version of Ubuntu – 11.04 and 11.10 (released last month) – a lot of things has changed. Some of the changes seems innovative, exciting and revolutionary but most of the changes are annoying and unnecessary, in fact some design related changes are just different without any advantages over the previous design. Anyway – it’s what I think, if you have some comment about the recent changes in Ubuntu 11.10, Gnome 3 or Unity desktop, then please share your idea through comments.

ubuntu-11-10 with Unity
The frequent version release is another big problem with Ubuntu (in fact a lot of open source projects are the victim of version crap), stable version (which is achieved after a lot of bug fix) becomes outdated with the release of next version, the new and exciting features makes people shift to buggy – latest version and this continues. In other words –

stable version v is released
while(1)
{
Initially v is buggy and annoying
Most of the bugs are fixed in next few months
Now v is stable/usable/customized, but soon v+1 is announced with lot of exciting features/changes
We are looking for next version
v+=1
}

Linux Mint has been developed from Ubuntu and Debian based but it has some different strategy. It supports Gnome2 as well as KDE and XFCE. In later version(12) it will also supports Gnome 3 but you can still use Gnome 2 if you want – there is no compatibility problem. It focuses on usability and supports the things you expect. It is Linux based operating system, it is free of cost and available as an open source software – so you can customize it as you want. That’s why Linux Mint is now the 2nd most popular Linux distribution among desktop users.

linux-mint

ubuntu-11-04-Linux distribution for beginners

best Linux distribution for beginners

The popularity of GNU/Linux is increasing exponentially,  probably due to a lot of benefits such as Full control, openly available Source Code (Usually open source softwares are licensed under GPL, Apache.. ),  zero or less cost, etc; Despite of that, common users gets afraid of Linux distributions (There are some obvious reasons for that – one of the most common reason is ‘Command Line’, they want fancy GUI where everything can be done in few clicks), but the fact is that – GNU/Linux is very simple. It’s Fun, but only when you know about it and learning curve might be an issue in that case.

If you have been using Windows (XP, Vista or 7) from years (or just few months) and want to try something new i.e a Linux based operating system or if you are beginner computer user and interested in learning new stuffs, then you’ve come to the right place. In this post I’ll explain about about top 2 Linux distro – select one depending on your choice.

Ubuntu – The best Linux distro for novice users

Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution for desktop users. It is a free and open source operating system based on GNU/Linux. You can choose any suitable desktop environment e.g Gnome, Unity, KDE, Xfce etc depending on your need and hardware specifications. Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) is the latest stable release available now, while it’s successor – vs 11.10 is coming in Oct, 2011 (probably with Gnome 3, The Next Generation Desktop Experience).

ubuntu-11-04-Linux distribution for beginners

Why Ubuntu is recommended to beginners ?

  • it’s very easy to use and administrate. (As compare to other Linux based OS)
  • Ubuntu Software Center makes the software installation/Management much easier
  • a vast collection of free and open source applications are available
  • a lot of online community, blogs and forums are available to help you, in any problem/bugs
  • it’s secure from viruses and *wares
  • Learning curve is not so steep (as you expect from a Linux based os)
  • it’s Fun!

Download and install Ubuntu 11.04

Best Linux distribution for Beginners (from Windows background) : Linux Mint

Linux Mint is very similar to Ubuntu but it has better hardware compatibility. It is also based on Debian and has many versions depending on the Desktop such as Gnome or KDE. Linux Mint has windows like interface (In fact you can also customize the Gnome in Ubuntu, to look like Windows 7 or Vista), so it’s more suitable for those who have migrated from Windows to Linux. It has also all the features listed above, and the most important point is simplicity. Linux Mint 11 is the latest version available for download.

Linux Mint for beginners

Download Linux Mint (Installation procedure is similar to Ubuntu)