We provide 8 suggestions about after installing Linux Mint 18 LTS "Sarah" for any edition (Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, XFCE). We write this article for new users in GNU/Linux especially first timers in Linux Mint. We also include here a suggestion to install some educational software to fill the gaps in education field. The 8 things here are just suggestions, so perform any of them with your own risk.
Generally, the first thing to do is doing synchronization between our Linux Mint system and the repository server it uses, or simply call it reload*.
To do it, firstly check your software sources settings. You may do it from console or from GUI program called Software Sources. Check whether they are already completed or not. The example of complete software sources shown below from two files: official-package-repositories.list and ubuntu-defaults.list files inside the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory.
After checking, you may do reload directly from the GUI Software Sources program by clicking the "Update the cache" button. If you want the console way, perform the command sudo apt-get update. By doing either of them, you reload your software sources.
|Reloading from GUI|
|Reloading from Console|
*) Software sources is a term to call /etc/apt/sources.list file; and also files inside /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory; which contain list of URL addresses of the repositories, the source of software. Anyhow, there is a GUI program named also Software Sources to help end users setting those sources list files easily.
2. Change Repository Server
If you prefer to use the nearest repository mirror server, change it from GUI Software Sources program. You can change the default server into local server available in your own country, or even your city, so the download speed can increase. There are 2 types of repository you can change in Linux Mint:
- Change the main (Linux Mint) repository: click the button > select one server from the list.
- Change the base* (Ubuntu) repository: click the button > select one server from the list.
- Press "Update the cache" button. It is the same with Reload.
*) Base: Linux Mint is an operating system and software distribution derived from Ubuntu. So, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and Ubuntu repository is compatible with Linux Mint. So, Linux Mint gives the users two repositories at the same time: main repository (Linux Mint own repository) and base (Ubuntu repository).
3. Install Multimedia Codecs
Starting from version 18, Linux Mint is no longer containing multimedia codecs (for proprietary multimedia formats) by default anymore. Instead, every edition of Linux Mint brings a shortcut to install them right from desktop menu.
- Linux Mint KDE: menu > Applications > Add all the missing multimedia codecs.
- Linux Mint Cinnamon: menu > Sound & Video > Install Multimedia Codecs.
sudo apt-get install mint-meta-codecs
And now you can play any audio or video file format.
Upgrade means installing new version of every software in the system. In this term, upgrade is the same thing as apt-get upgrade, and not apt-get update. Doing upgrade in Linux Mint is very simple. You may choose the GUI Update Manager or the console method.
IMPORTANT: upgrading a Debian-based distribution with GUI are often resulting in broken packages. So consult Linux Mint community or technical supports first before doing so. Be careful.
Open the update manager from menu > Update Manager. Press "Refresh" button > press "Install Updates" button. By doing this, you install the updates available.
Do the command lines below:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
IMPORTANT: if you are facing broken packages or errors after upgrading, do some search like this "linux mint upgrade broken" or more.
4. Arrange Desktop Icons
Among things desktop users usually do is re-arranging their desktop icons. For example, adding LibreOffice and GIMP icons to desktop and panel. To do that, simply open desktop menu > drag one icon > drop into desktop/panel.
KDE: to move an icon on desktop, press and hold it then move it.
5. Fix Font Hinting (for KDE)
Only for KDE edition, there is a known issue with its font hinting (e.g. the ugly appearance of all text) for specific application such as LibreOffice. If it happens in your Linux Mint, open desktop menu > System Settings > Fonts > select Use antialiasing: Enabled > select Configure: Sub-pixel rendering=RGB; Hinting style=Slight > press Apply.
6. Install Popular Desktop Software
If you have some must-install desktop software, the easiest way to install them is by using Software Manager program available in desktop menu. It provides easy to understand user interface, just search and click to install software. In Linux Mint 18, there are about 50.000 packages available to install. Of course you need internet connection to do every installation.
If you prefer console to do installation, then there are some popular suggestions and their respective command lines for you:
sudo apt-get install inkscape
sudo apt-get install scribus
sudo apt-get install shutter
Note: there are three options to do software installation in Linux Mint 18: by console, by GUI Software Manager, and by GUI Synaptic Package Manager. If you want the best control but you don't want console, we recommend you to use Synaptic instead.
7. Install Education Software
Linux Mint provides very large numbers of free software for educational purposes. We recommends few of them here, as interesting programs for teacher and students. You may install them from the easy GUI Software Manager or from the detailed console.
sudo apt-get install kalgebra
sudo apt-get install kalgebra
sudo apt-get install gcompris
sudo apt-get install marble
8. Install Communication Software
There are many free software for communication available from Linux Mint or from a third party. The most trending now is Telegram Desktop from Telegram.org (third party). And for the sake of VoIP or video conferencing, there is Ekiga Softphone evailable directly from Linux Mint repository.
https://desktop.telegram.org. Extract the archive file and just double click the `Telegram` file name.
sudo apt-get install ekiga