Linux Mint 12 has released, with some innovative features – in fact it has integrated the features of Gnome Shell with Gnome 2 through the help of some cool gnome shell extensions. The overall performance and look is great – see the a recent review about Linux Mint 12, making it a perfect desktop for new Linux users.
In this post, you’re going to learn – how to install cool gnome shell themes on a freshly installed Linux Mint 12 (although instruction will also work on Ubuntu 11.10, but first you will have to install Gnome Tweak Tool, as it is not installed in Ubuntu 11.10, by default (Unlike Linux Mint 12) ).
First Get some cool Gnome Shell Themes
Download some cool Gnome shell themes then follow the instruction to install cool new themes. The default Linux Mint theme (GTK) looks very similar to Zukito, so you may try installing cool GTK3 themes but in this post we will stick Gnome shell themes, and the one more thing – you can manage theme manually but we will use Gnome Tweak Tool (Advanced Settings for Gnome Desktop), as it makes theme management a lot easier and fun.
Installing Gnome Shell Themes
#1. Open Gnome Tweak Tool (Advanced Settings from Menu or just search it).
#2. Then, Go to Theme -> Shell Theme and install new themes in a couple of click.
#3. After install new themes, you can select it from Shell Theme Menu. If the changes doesn’t appear instantly then hit Alt+F2 and type r (and press Enter to reload the shell theme).
#4. That’s all. Alternatively, you can also themes from PPA e.g Elementary Gnome shell themes can be installed in few simple commands –
Linux Mint 12 (Code Named as Lisa) is released. Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux based operating system – and it’s the most user friendly Linux Desktop on this planet. If you’ve been a Windows users, then you just need to relax, installing a Linux distribution isn’t so complex/difficult as you think – specially Linux Mint (well, I’m not referring to ArchLinux).
Although installing Linux Mint 12 is no different from installing Ubuntu 11.10, I’ll still provide a snapshot guide for installing Linux Mint 12 on a fresh computer or along side (as dual boot) with Windows 7 or other operating system (using a usb stick).
Step by Step instruction for installing Linux Mint 12(Dual Boot)
Attention Required! : First of all, create a backup copy of all your important files.
1. Create a bootable media (USB/CD/DVD)
download the ISO file (CD or DVD edition) for Linux Mint 12, from the official website.
Now,create a live CD/DVD installer by burning the ISO file on to an disc or better create a live USB installer using this application – Universal USB Installer (On Windows).
2. Starting Installation
Insert the bootable USB and restart your computer. Now, it should automatically boot from boot media (pendrive or CD or DVD). Then click on install button (it’s there on desktop, when you boot your system using Live media) to begin the installation procedure.
3. Selecting installation Type
There are three options (you can see in snapshot attached below), first one is also cool – will save you few steps (but not recommended), second one is super cool but delete everything and install a fresh Linux Mint 12 (so it’s recommended only for a fresh computer) and third one is advanced option with more flexibility so better go for it (specifically if you want to install Linux mint on a specific partition).
Select a partition to install Linux Mint 12
Create a partition of around 20GB (or may be 10 GB if you just want to give it a try or 50 GB or more, if you want to use Linux as a primary operating system).
After selecting a free space partition, click on Add button and fill the details according to the snapshot given – Partition Size (in MB) : e.g 20000 Location for the New Partition : it specifies the location in GRUB menu, during boot process.
Beginning : if you select beginning, then the Linux Mint will be the default OS (if you are running more than one OS, which is usually the case in this installation Type) at GRUB menu. so during boot option if you want to boot into another OS (say Windows), then you will have to select that using arrow key.
End : It means Linux Mint will be pushed in the end at GRUB menu
In short, choose beginning if are going to use Linux Mint as primary OS.
Use as (specify file system) : Ext4 journaling file system
Mount Point : /
Now, the target partition is selected, you need to select the location for boot loader installation. Leave it default if you are not sure (but do not select any hard drive that you may want to remove later or swap with another PC). Then click on Install Now button to begin actual installation.
4. Just Follow the instruction
5. Restart on Completion
Installation process will be completed with 15 to 30 minutes. On completion, you will get a confirmation window –
Just click on Restart and Enjoy! You’ve successfully installed Linux Mint 12. Have Fun
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.
Did you notice the Application Menu in bottom left corner. You can also see the desktop switcher in bottom right corner.
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.
Accessing/searching Application in Gnome Shell style
When 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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 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.