Beginner's Guide to Installing Linux Mint 19
How to Install and Configure Linux Mint
Have you ever wanted something better than what's running on your computer now? Whether it's a Windows, Mac or Linux OS, be ensured that there are better systems out there. This wikiHow will show you how to configure Linux Mint on your computer. Linux Mint is one of the most popular and fastest growing Operating Systems out there, and be a complete replacement for Windows. The advantages are clear: it's faster, better quality, easy to use and extend, secure, lasts forever as well as free to use and distribute. Linux Mint is unique in its look, easy theme management, large free software repositories, and out-of-the-box functionality.
Install Linux Mint.It is one of the most elegant and user-friendly OSs out there. Check out this article for instructions.
Install Compiz Fusion.Open Synaptic Package Manager, type 'simple-ccsm' (without quotes) right click and mark for installation. This should also install 'ccsm', if it doesn't, install that as well. We also need compiz, compiz-plugins, compiz-core, compiz-gnome and compiz-fusion-plugins-extra. Make sure they are all marked for installation (use the search box at the top) and click apply.
Configure Compiz.Ok, this is the fun part. Compiz is a window manager that takes full advantage of your graphics card (however good it is) and adds many effects, eg. 3D desktop rotation. Right click on your desktop and click on 'change background' to open Appearance preferences. Navigate to 'Visual Effects' and select 'custom'. Now click the preferences button to open the Simple CompizConfig Settings Manager, and click on the 'Desktop' tab. Select 'Desktop Cube' under Appearance. Use 3 to 5 Desktop Columns and one Desktop Row. Now go to the Effects tab. Select 'Shift Switcher (Cover)' as your Alt+Tab window switcher. Select Deformation: Cylinder, change the opacity to about 70, and tick every box EXCEPT Blur, unless you have a graphics card that can handle it. If your graphics are relatively old/integrated, don't even touch this option. Close the simple manager. Try things out, eg. hold down Ctrl+Alt and click&drag with the mouse. Next, we will customise what you are seeing there. Open the CompizConfig Settings Manager (ie. the non-simple one). On the main screen, untick Negative and tick 'Show Mouse'. Click on 'Rotate Cube' and change Zoom to about 0.4. Go back, in the 'Effects' section (left menu), tick 'Bicubic Filter' and 'Trailfocus'. Try out the 'Paint Fire' and 'Water' Effects if you want (Simply Enable them and use the shortcuts from the settings page). Now go to 'Cube Reflection and Deformation' (tick it if it isn't ticked already), expand appearance and click on the top image file. Click Edit and replace everything with '`' (without quotes). To the same for the bottom image. Go the top and bottom cube colours and change opacity to 0 for both. Now go back to the main screen and tick 'Window Previews'. Feel free to try out other things, too. Everyone has different requirements and a different taste.
Install Emerald/Compiz Window Decorator.Go to the Package Manager (Look in Main Menu). Type emerald in the search box at the top. Right click emerald and mark it for installation, then apply. After it has installed, press Alt+F2 (run dialog) and type 'emerald --replace' (without quotes). You should notice the change instantly. To make sure emerald loads at every system boot, add it to the list in 'Startup Applications' (see Main Menu). Use the same command.
Configure Emerald/Comfiz.You can make your window borders look absolutely any way you want, whether that's like Mac Snow Leopard or Windows 7. For this, you need the Emerald Theme Manager. If it's not already installed, go back to Synaptic (the package manager) and install 'emerald/comfiz-theme-manager'. Then open it and have a look around. There are literally thousands of themes to choose from and configure to your liking, just go to and download some. Then add them through the theme manager. You can try my theme: . You can see screenshots there as well. If you want something more blue you can go for (more like Windows 7). Still, you can always change the colours to what you prefer.
Install Synapse to launch programs easily.Just add ppa:synapse-core/ppa to your software sources, update and search for ‘Synapse’ in the Ubuntu Software Centre. Open it from the main menu. You can now trigger it by tapping Ctrl+Space. Type to search for a program and hit Enter.
Get a dock.A dock is an application launcher and window manager. Think Mac OSX - they have one at the bottom of the screen. You have many different options for this, including: Docky, Cairo-Dock, ADeskBar and AWN. Personally I found AWN to be very customisable, powerful and stable. Simple instructions (copy&paste the commands in Terminal) for install:
Install other programs.Don't forget to install other programs you may need. Linux Mint does come bundled with loads of software already, but they can't put everything on their CD. Pimp out FireFox with add-ons and themes. Before you jump over to Chrome or Opera, consider that you can configure FireFox to do pretty much everything they can and still be faster and secure. Say hello to Google Earth (now easily installable through the Software Manager).
Need to install Windows Software?Install Wine and/or VirtualBox Wine tries to emulate Windows and can often install or run Windows programs. However, it can be quite tricky to get to work; it may not work with every program. I would recommend installing PlayOnLinux (), it is a program that makes installing Windows Software (eg. MS Office 2007, games) from a CD really easy. Your second option for running non-Linux software is installing VirtualBox, which creates a virtual partition on which to run the OS. Basically, you can install and run Windows (or anything else) inside Linux, just like in another window. Then you can install your software on that. You also don't risk ruining Linux Mint.
Install gstreamer plugins, restricted extras and other useful stuff.Go back to synaptic and install Ubuntu restricted extras, gstreamer extra plugins, ms core fonts, and Flash.
Browse through blogs like webupd8.org and omgubuntu.co.uk.Of course a blog is a lot more up to date than this article!
- If you are using a laptop and the Wi-Fi light is not working, search for Linux Back-port Modules in Synaptic and install them. Next time you reboot, the LEDs should work.
- Some of the compiz effects may not work whilst running the Live CD (but should work once you have installed the system).
- Not all graphics cards can handle these effects. However, mine is an old Intel integrated graphics accelerator (ie. really cheap) and does just fine. Its only limitation is handling large textures (eg. for the Skydome).
Video: Linux Mint Installation Guide for Beginners
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