Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide (updated Jan 10)

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Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide (updated Jan 10)

Postby bimsebasse on Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:28 am

Image French version with additional tweaks at www.linuxmint-fr.org - maintained by Major Grubert.

Thanks for all the tips in the thread, some good Gnome Shell tips haven't been added as that section is getting out of hand already and I gotta keep it down to the most useful (as far as I can guess what is useful to an average Minter) :D

............................................

Please note: these tips are for - and tested in - MGSE, the default Linux Mint 12 login session, the one that looks like this. Use them in other distros, other desktop environments and other login sessions at your own risk. I don't think many of of these are of much use to MATE or Gnome Classic users. Unless otherwise noted all tips have been tested on my machine but I cannot guarantee that they work for you as well as they did for me. If you're not comfortable running terminal commands, ask in the thread if there is another way of applying the fix.

1. System
a. Get all programs and services back in Startup Applications
b. Create desktop launchers
c. Get the screensaver back
d. Configure window buttons
e. Disable Guest session login screen option
f. Login automatically to your session
g. Advanced power settings
h. Icons duplicated?
i. Remove MATE icons from Gnome Shell menus
j. Remove MATE altogether
k. Disable bluetooth on startup
l. Configure auto-mounting of drives
m. Reduce laptop screen brightness persistently
...
z. Don't like Mint 12?

2. Gnome Shell
a. Browse official Gnome extensions
b. Recommended extensions
c. Disable the bottom panel
d. Get Mint logo corner ripple
e. Change the default theme overview button image
f. Disable the Native Window Placement extension
g. Less spacing between notification area icons
h. Deactivate top left hot corner
i. Change size of overview grid icons
j. Get full(er) Icon captions (application names) in the overview grid
k. Activities button behaviour in single panel shell setup with Mint menu
l. Change Mint Menu font size
m. Permanently hide bottom notification bar
n. Disable window edge tiling ("Aero snap")
o. Disable the Show Desktop panel icon
p. Clock in the middle of panel
q. MGSE with MATE bottom panel
- NB: as the Mint themes and extensions are in the Mint PPA, they will be updated occasionally and whatever changes you make to the theme/extension system files will be overwritten each time. A way around this is to copy the theme/extension folders and use the copies for your fixes. That way you won't get updates for themes and extensions, but you won't lose your tweaks either. You can also just apply your tweaks after each update, doesn't take too long once you get the hang of it.

3. Applications
a. Install Ubuntu One
b. Install USC (Ubuntu Software Center)
c. Manage grub settings with Grub Customizer
d. Lose excess weight with bleachbit
e. Install Google Chrome
f. Jupiter for burning laptops
g. Tweak Gnome 3 with Ubuntu Tweak

4. Themes and appearance
a. How to install window themes
b. How to install icon themes
c. How to install Gnome Shell themes
d. Change login screen background
e. Updated version of Mint's icon theme


1a. Get all programs and services back in Startup Applications
You may have noticed Startup Applications is now a rather empty place and that's because most entries are now hidden by default. To unhide everything:
Code: Select all
sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

(Command explanation: changes the line "NoDisplay=true" to "NoDisplay=false" in all .desktop files in the autostart directory.)

Before:
Image

After:
Image

If the "GNOME Login Sound" entry isn't showing on your list (and you want it to), try opening "libcanberra-login-sound.desktop" as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/gnome/autostart/libcanberra-login-sound.desktop

... and change "NoDisplay=true" to "NoDisplay=false" manually.


1b. Create desktop launchers
By default in Mint 12 you can create a new folder or a new document in the desktop right click context menu, but not a new launcher. To get that option, simply open gedit, paste the following line into the document
Code: Select all
gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop/ --create-new

... and save it as "Create New Launcher" in the ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/ directory, as shown:
Image

Right click the file and under the "Permissions" tab make sure "Allow executing file as program" is checked. Done. Now you can right click on the desktop and choose "Create New Launcher" under Scripts:
Image

Create a launcher for e.g Firefox like shown
Image

Success:
Image


1c. Get the screensaver back
Modern hardware has long since rendered the need for screensavers obsolete and Gnome 3 no longer includes them by default - you have to install xscreensaver if you miss it anyway:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get remove gnome-screensaver
sudo apt-get install xscreensaver xscreensaver-gl-extra xscreensaver-data-extra

To get it to start automatically, add an entry to Startup Applications like shown below:
Image


1d. Configure window buttons
)Windows buttons can easily be configured in the new Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 (see 3g) so if you're not comfortable executing terminal commands, use that instead.)

If you prefer buttons on the left side (Ubuntu and Mac style):
Image
Code: Select all
gconftool-2 -s -t string /desktop/gnome/shell/windows/button_layout "close,maximize,minimize:"


Or the Gnome Shell default close button only layout:
Image
Code: Select all
gconftool-2 -s -t string /desktop/gnome/shell/windows/button_layout ":close"


Old school layout with a menu button on the left:
Image
Code: Select all
gconftool-2 -s -t string /desktop/gnome/shell/windows/button_layout "menu:minimize,maximize,close"


To revert to Linux Mint default layout:
Image
Code: Select all
gconftool-2 -s -t string /desktop/gnome/shell/windows/button_layout ":minimize,maximize,close"


Reload the shell to see the changes (press ALT+F2, press r, press enter).


1e. Disable Guest session login screen option
Open "lightdm.config" as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Add "allow-guest=false" to the end of the file so it looks like this:
Code: Select all
greeter-session=unity-greeter
user-session=gnome-shell
allow-guest=false

Will take effect after next restart/shutdown.


1f. Login automatically to your session
Open System Settings and find "User Accounts" - unlock in top right corner and turn automatic login on.

Image


1g. Advanced power settings
The Gnome 3 power settings are bare minimum and in order to do some more advanced fine tuning, you can install "dconf Editor" and edit the relevant strings manually:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Then launch "dconf Editor" and navigate to org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/power

Image


1h. Icons duplicated?
I had this happening after logging into MATE and back into Gnome Shell, most application icons had both their Mint-X theme icons and their inherited Gnome icons visible. To undo this, install the for some reason no longer included by default program "Main Menu" (aka alacarte):
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install alacarte

And untick away. In my case deleting all "Debian" subfolders did the trick. You must uncheck from the lowest level up, so expand all folders and uncheck upwards.
Image

As an alternate method, some users have had more luck simply uninstalling the "menu-xdg" package. Consider trying that if you can't get the above to work.


1i. Remove MATE icons from Gnome Shell menus
Using alacarte (see previous fix), easily hide the out of place MATE icons (the red car with open hood "Configuration editor", "Sound Recorder" and "Volume Control") from all your Gnome Shell menus by unticking them in the categories "System Tools" and "Sound & Video" - don't untick the proper square icon "Sound Recorder" supposed to be visible in Gnome Shell.

Image

You can also do this manually by navigating to ~/.local/share/applications/ and delete the "mate"-prefixed .desktop files.


1j. Remove MATE altogether (fix by user runol)
If every single mb is important to you or you just don't even want the option of logging in to MATE, it can be expunged with this command:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get remove caja gir1.2-mate-menus libcaja-extension libmatedesktop libmatekbd libmateweather mate-backgrounds mate-conf-editor mate-control-center mate-desktop mate-doc-utils mate-file-manager mate-media mate-menus mate-notification-daemon mate-panel mate-polkit mate-session-manager mate-settings-daemon mate-terminal menu-xdg mint-artwork-mate mintmenu python-mate-desktop python-mate-menu

Tried it on my system and no collateral damage so far, should be safe enough.


1k. Disable bluetooth on startup
Open rc.local as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /etc/rc.local

Add the line "rfkill block bluetooth" above "exit 0", like so:
Code: Select all
rfkill block bluetooth
exit 0

Save and exit. Done.


1l. Configure auto-mounting of drives
By default, when you insert a USB or an external harddisk, nautilus opens a window AND a system notification pops up asking you if you want nautilus to open a window.

Image

If this bugs you (I can't see why it shouldn't!), there are a few options:

Pop-up notification only:
Install "dconf Editor":
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Then launch "dconf Editor", navigate to org/gnome/desktop/media-handling and uncheck "automount":
Image

No pop-up and no window:
Find "Removable media" in the "System Settings" menu, check "Never prompt or start programs on media insertion".

Removable drive top panel icon:
Image
A neat little extension that adds a removable drives icon to the top panel when you insert one, from there you can then choose to open a nautilus window or eject. Get it at the Gnome extensions website (remember the site only works with Firefox).


1m. Reduce laptop screen brightness persistently (tip by user esteban1uy)
You can change screen brightness in the Screen settings dialog, but it won't be persistent, you must repeat it every time your boot up your laptop. This has bugged many users so thanks to esteban for pointing to a relatively easy fix.

First you have to find out what the "max_brightness" is on your system. Navigate to "/sys/class/backlight/" and in a relevant subfolder (mine is named "acpi_video0") find the "max_brightness" file and make a note of the number in it, mine was "15", esteban's was "976", yours may be a third number - this is the numerical value of your maximum brightness setting. Then create a start-up script to reduce brightness:
Code: Select all
gedit ~/.lowerbrightness.sh

... and paste this into the opened empty document:
Code: Select all
#!/bin/sh
#change brightness setting on startup or resume
pkexec /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-backlight-helper --set-brightness 8

... BUT! change the the last digit to a number relevant to you. I've put "--set-brightness 8" to get a ca. 50% brightness setting (my max_brightness value was 15); esteban put "--set-brightness 488" to achieve the same on his laptop (his max_brightness value was 976). If you want e.g. 75% screen brightness, set the number to 3/4 of your max_brightness number (only give whole numbers, no "324,5"!). You get the idea. That done, save and exit. Right-click on your newly created ".lowerbrightness.sh" file (it may be hidden, press CTRL+H to see it in your home directory), select Properties and in the Permissions tab make the file executable with a tick in "Allow executing file as program" - this is important or it won't work. Lastly, run the following command (replace USERNAME with your user name):
Code: Select all
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.input-devices hotplug-command "/home/USERNAME/.lowerbrightness.sh"

And that's it, persistent brightness setting.


1z. Don't like Mint 12?
If the new Gnome 3 desktop environment frustrates you, consider logging into MATE. MATE is a Gnome 2 fork and works and looks like the old Gnome 2 desktop, albeit with a few hiccups that haven't been ironed out yet, but it's getting there. Change login session by clicking the cog wheel next to your username from the login screen.

Short video demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNEB-fXBhoc


2a. Browse official Gnome Shell extensions

Image

The long-awaited GNOME Shell Extensions website is now up and running. This will be the place from which you customize and enhance you shell setup, in a way similar to how Firefox addons work for Firefox. The site is in alpha and so far only works with Firefox. I've tested a few extensions and the installation process works perfectly (no progress bars to indicate installation process, though), just remember to reload the shell (press ALT+F2, press r, press enter) every time you install an extension.


2b. Recommended extensions
appSearch for Mint
This was a thoroughly brilliant idea - install software from Mint's repositories via the overview search/filter box. If you want to install e.g. Skype, simply press the Windows key, type "skype" and press enter, then you're installing it. It even makes CTRL+ALT+T + "sudo apt-get install skype" seem cumbersome, and yet it's all GUI.
Image

Hide dash
Dash, the vertical left favourites bar in the overview, disappears with this extension activated. It's a little weird at first but after a while you've forgotten about the favourites bar and don't want it back - creates more space for windows and apps.

Jump lists
Or quicklists as they're called in Unity - this makes the above mentioned favourites bar much more useful if you don't want to remove it.

Remove Bluetooth
A must if you never connect to bluetooth devices - removes the bluetooth icon from the panel.

Remove Panel App Menu
The little focused window button at top left next to the overview button is useless if you use the MGSE bottom panel, and, well, also useless if you don't.

These are not yet on the site but can be installed through the webupd8 ppa:
- gnome-shell-extensions-autohidetopbar
Self-explanatory, toogles top panel autohide mode on and off by simply double clicking on the panel.

- gnome-shell-extensions-weather
Find your city on weather.com - on the city page, copy the last 8 letters of the url in the address bar (e.g. DAXX0009 for Copenhagen, Denmark), paste it into the WOEID field in the extension's preferences and press enter (the code for Innsbruck, Austria is there by default, so you can skip this step if that's where you live!).
Image


2c. Disable the bottom panel
Simply turn off the bottom panel extension with Advanced Settings under "Shell extensions". This moves Mint menu and the minimized window tabs up in the top panel, if you also want those gone, turn off the menu extension and the window list extension as well.


2d. Get Mint logo corner ripple
Best tweak! In action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A28hy6m-AQc

Method: Download the attached corner-ripple-ltr.png. Head to usr/share/themes/Mint-Z/gnome-shell/ as root. There's a file already there of the same name, rename it so it doesn't get overwritten, then move the downloaded mint logo into the folder. Reload the shell or choose another shell theme with gnome tweak tool and choose back again. Mint ripple, baby. (Shout out to boss man justviper @ deviantart who I nicked it from.)


2e. Change the default shell theme overview button image
Open the default theme's gnome-shell.css file as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/themes/Mint-Z/gnome-shell/gnome-shell.css

To replace the infinity symbol logo with gnome shell default "Activities" text, find the section below in the file and put "//" in front of the lines as shown.
Code: Select all
/* Replaces the activities text with a custom image. Height and width should use the same size as the image file. */
// #panelActivities {
    border: none;
    background-image: url("start1.png");
    background-position: 0 0;
    width: 58px;
    height: 24px;
    color: rgba(0,0,0,0.0);
}

// #panelActivities:hover {
    transition-duration: 300;
    background-image:  url("start2.png");
    background-gradient-direction: vertical;
    background-gradient-start: rgba(140,200,255,0.0);
    background-gradient-end: rgba(61,149,231,0.0);
    box-shadow: inset 0px 0px 1px 1px rgba(255,255,255,0.0);
}
// #panelActivities:active,
// #panelActivities:overview {
    background-image:  url("start1.png");
    background-gradient-direction: vertical;
    background-gradient-start: rgba(140,200,255,0.0);
    background-gradient-end: rgba(61,149,231,0.0);
    box-shadow: inset 0px 0px 1px 1px rgba(255,255,255,0.0);
}

To replace with a different image, simply rename the current "start1.png" and "start2.png" in the /usr/share/themes/Mint-Z/gnome-shell/ folder to e.g. oldstart1.png and oldstart2.png and replace with your own images titled start1.png and start2.png (it can be the same image as both, start2.png is displayed on mouse-over and start1.png is displayed on mouse-not-over).


2f. Disable the Native Window Placement extension
Because this has a bug where it moves window captions in the overview half into the window title bars for the infinitesimal benefit of showing windows slighly more accurately where they are placed on the desktop in the overview, consider turning it off.


2g. Less spacing between notification area icons
Almost all available shell themes set a very wide spacing between the icons (panel buttons, to be exact). To get less spacing, open the css file as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/themes/Mint-Z/gnome-shell/gnome-shell.css

Find the "natural-hpadding" line and set it to "6px" instead of "12px", like so:
Code: Select all
.panel-button {
    -natural-hpadding: 6px;
    -minimum-hpadding: 6px;

As this pushes the username button up against the screen's right edge, also set the top panel border-right to 6px instead of 0px, like so:
Code: Select all
#panel {
    border: 1px solid rgba(255,255,255,0.2);
    border-top: 0px;
    border-left: 0px;
    border-right: 6px;
    border-radius: 0px;


Before:
Image

After:
Image


2h. Deactivate top left hot corner
if this thing bugs you (there are already two other ways of opening the overview), disable it by opening layout.js as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/gnome-shell/js/ui/layout.js

And change "reactive: true" to "reactive: false" like so:
Code: Select all
this._corner = new Clutter.Rectangle({ name: 'hot-corner',
                                               width: 1,
                                               height: 1,
                                               opacity: 0,
                                               reactive: false })



2i. Change size of overview grid icons
Open the default theme's gnome-shell.css file as root (or obviously the relevant other .css if you have changed theme):
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/themes/Mint-Z/gnome-shell/gnome-shell.css

Find this section:
Code: Select all
/* Apps */

.icon-grid {
    spacing: 16px;
    -shell-grid-item-size: 118px; /* was 118px */
}

.contact-grid {
    spacing: 16px;
    -shell-grid-item-size: 272px; /* 2 * -shell-grid-item-size + spacing (was 272px) */
}

.icon-grid .overview-icon {
    icon-size: 64px;     
}

And change "-shell-grid-item-size: 118px" and "icon-size: 64px" to whatever suits your needs. This is the default overview:

Image

And this is with "-shell-grid-item-size: 64px" and "icon-size: 48px":

Image


2j. Get full(er) icon captions (application names) in the overview grid
The icon captions in the overview application grid can only take up one line and can't stretch beyond the icon, so a lot of application names are cut short:
Image

The only "fix" I know for this is to make the icons bigger and thus give more horizontal space for text titles. Open the default theme's gnome-shell.css file as root (or the .css for whatever theme you use):
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/themes/Mint-Z/gnome-shell/gnome-shell.css

Find this bit and adjust "shell-grid-item-size" (needs to be a bit higher than your icon size);
Code: Select all
.icon-grid {
    spacing: 16px;
    -shell-grid-item-size: 160px; /* was 118px */
}

And change icon-size to 128px in this bit:
Code: Select all
.icon-grid .overview-icon {
    icon-size: 128px; /* was 64px */
}

Result (on my 1366x768 screen):
Image


2k. Activities button behaviour in single panel shell setup with Mint Menu (fix by user gorellana09)
If you have disabled the bottom panel extension and still keep the Mint menu extension, your activities button will be pushed to the far right of the panel:
Image

f you'd rather have it next to the menu button, open the Mint menu extension.js as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/menu@linuxmint.com/extension.js

And comment out this bit, as shown:
Code: Select all
    /* if (!bottomPosition) {
    // Move Activities button to the right and change its label
        Main.panel._leftBox.remove_actor(activitiesButton.actor);
        Main.panel._rightBox.insert_actor(activitiesButton.actor, Main.panel._rightBox.get_children().length);
        activitiesButton._label.set_text("-");
    } */

Result:
Image


2l. Change Mint Menu font size
Open the menu extension stylesheet as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/menu@linuxmint.com/stylesheet.css

Find this bit:
Code: Select all
.category-button {
    padding-top: 7px;
    padding-left: 7px;
    padding-right: 7px;
    padding-bottom: 7px;
    font-size: 16px; /* new line */
    font-weight: normal;   
}

.category-button-selected {
    padding-top: 7px;
    padding-left: 7px;
    padding-right: 7px;
    padding-bottom: 7px;
    color: white;
    background-gradient-direction: vertical;
    background-gradient-start: rgba(255,255,255,0.2);
    background-gradient-end: rgba(255,255,255,0.08);
    box-shadow: inset 0px 0px 1px 1px rgba(255,255,255,0.06);
    border-radius: 4px;
    font-size: 16px; /* new line */
}


And add the same two new lines I have added for this result:
Image

16px is of course just an example, you can choose whatever suits you.


2m. Permanently hide bottom notification bar
Open the default theme's gnome-shell.css file as root (or the .css for whatever theme you use):
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/themes/Mint-Z/gnome-shell/gnome-shell.css

Find this bit:
Code: Select all
/* Message Tray */
#message-tray {
    background-gradient-direction: vertical;
    background-gradient-start: rgba(0,0,0,0.1);
    background-gradient-end: rgba(0,0,0,0.4);
    border: 1px solid rgba(255,255,255,0.2);
    border-radius: 0px;
    border-bottom: 0px;
    border-left: 0px;
    border-right: 0px;
    color: white;
    height: 0px; /* was 36px */

... and change "height" to 0px like I have done. Reload the shell (press Alt+F2, press r, press enter) - no more bottom notifications bar.

NB! This worked smoothly for me but if you're experiencing the same as lurkatron, try to change to 1px instead of 0px.
lurkatron wrote:regarding changing the height of the message tray to 0px i found that crashing my gnome3 and when logging in im left with a desktop without panels. changing it to 1px however worked and no crashes and no message tray visible that i can see



2n. Disable window edge tiling ("Aero snap") (tip by user borfo)
I.e. auto-maximize when you drag windows to the top of the screen and window snapping when you drag to left and right edge. Launch "Configuration Editor" (gconf-editor), navigate to desktop/gnome/shell/windows and uncheck "edge_tiling"

Image


2o. Disable the Show Desktop panel icon (tip by user Middy)
Open the Window list extension extension.js as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/windowlist@linuxmint.com/extension.js

Find this bit and comment out the second line as shown (two forward slashes):
Code: Select all
// Create a show desktop button   
// Main.panel._leftBox.add(button.actor, { x_fill: true, y_fill: true });

Reload the shell (press Alt+F2, press r, press enter) to update the change.


2p. Clock in the middle of panel
That's where the clock is by default in "vanilla" Gnome Shell. In Mint the notification extension moves the clock to the right in order to free up space for notification area icons to expand left. To get the clock back in the middle you can either disable the notifications extension or tweak its extension.js, like this:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/notifications@linuxmint.com/extension.js

In this bit:
Code: Select all
    /* Move Clock to the right */
  //  let _children = Main.panel._rightBox.get_children();   
  //  Main.panel._centerBox.remove_actor(clock.actor);
  //  Main.panel._rightBox.insert_actor(clock.actor, _children.length-1);

... comment out the three lines with two forward slashes like I have done. Reload the shell (press Alt+F2, press r, press enter), clock in middle.


2q. MGSE with MATE bottom panel (tip by user dalcde)
I haven't tried this myself but if you disable the MGSE extensions ("Menu extension" + "Bottom panel extension" + "Window list extension") and add "mate-panel" to startup applications (see 1c on how to add entries to Startup Applications), then you'll get MATEs bottom panel with the good old full-featured Mint Menu instead of the MGSE facsimile, within a Gnome Shell session:
Image
With MGSE top panel not set to autohide:
Image

dalcde has not disabled the MGSE specific extensions in the screenshot above - I think that's worth doing to avoid unnecessary duplication and to keep the shell from running more activated extensions than it has to, if you're gonna try this out.


3a. Install Ubuntu One
Add the Ubuntu One stable PPA:
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuone/stable

Now before you do anything else, be sure to check if the infamous Mint bug of changing PPA deb addresses has worked its black magic by opening the relevant .list file as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ubuntuone-stable-oneiric.list

- both 2 lines must end with ..."/ubuntu lucid main", NOT ..."/ubuntu oneiric main". Edit the file if necessary. Save and exit. Return to terminal:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntuone-control-panel-gtk ubuntuone-client

That's it, launch Ubuntu One and log in.

Image


3b. Install USC (Ubuntu Software Center)
There was a time when Mint's Software Manager could look down on Ubuntu's Software Center - with the revamped USC 5, tables have turned and Software Manager now feels like a truncated and outdated version of the big brother counterpart (despite being definitely on the sluggish side) with options to e.g. easily view installed or installable packages by PPA among other basic functionality currently missing in Software Manager. Installing it does pull 50mb of dependencies, though.
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install software-center


3c. Manage grub settings with Grub Customizer
The Ubuntu default "Startup Manager" is something bordering on useless and wisely has been dropped in Mint 12, but that leaves Mint without a grub editing GUI. The best available grub manager application I know of is Grub Customizer:
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install grub-customizer

Image

With it you can easily choose which entries you want to appear in the grub menu, rename them, set timeout, set default boot, set kernel parameters, change text and background colour and more.


3d. Lose excess weight with bleachbit
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install bleachbit

Bleachbit is like CCleaner for Windows and quickly trims off your system's love handles. I lost 744mb on a one day old install - help .pdf files in Serbian, application cache, thumbnails etc., it adds up (Warning! Make sure "free disk space" is unchecked because, unlike the other ones where bleachbit warns you they take a long time, wiping free disk space actually does take a very, very long time). The cleaning shown in the window below took less than 30 seconds.

Image

3e. Install Google Chrome
If for some reason Chromium (Chrome minus the dodgy) doesn't cut it for you, install Chrome with these commands:
Code: Select all
wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -

Code: Select all
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable

(If you want the beta version or the bleeding edge version, install "google-chrome-beta" or "google-chrome-unstable" instead of "google-chrome-stable".)

This creates two identical sources and therefore an update error - so open "Software Sources" and in the tab Other Software, remove one of the "http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/" lines (if there are 2). That's it, launch Google Chrome:

Image


3f. Jupiter for burning laptops
Like many others I've had problems with excessive laptop power consumption in Linux for some time now. Occasionally the CPUs just take off as if you were watching 3 HD movies simultaneously. Read the Phoronix article on the issue for more info. Adding kernel parameters hasn't really worked for me, what has worked is the Jupiter power management applet. To install it:
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/jupiter
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install jupiter

It places an icon in the panel (or the message tray, if you've disabled the notifications extension) from which you can easily set your laptop's power schemes:
Image
Worked brilliantly for me despite some terminal error messages on installation - no more CPUs suddenly for no apparent reason going into overdrive - not guaranteed to work for everyone, but worth trying if you have similar issues. If you're using "Power Saver" mode by default, remember to change setting to at least "High Performance" before watching videos of playing graphics heavy games.


3g. Tweak Gnome 3 with Ubuntu Tweak
Finally the new version is out. It has a revamped interface and a few less tweaks than in previous versions (tweaking Gnome 2) but is still as useful as ever. Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 is of course designed for Ubuntu 11.10 and a few tweaks like "Compiz Settings" and user menu settings under "Session Control" won't work in Mint 12, but most of the tweaks work in Mint 12 as well.
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

Image

The repositories handling and especially purging repos is unfortunately gone but it still has a handy little source editor:
Image

It also features some advanced system cleaning options:
Image

(I use Mint-Xtra, an updated and cleaned icon theme for Mint (see 4e) - if you're using the Mint default Mint-X, spot the slightly embarrassing mistake in the Ubuntu Tweak screenshot below :)
Image

4a. How to install window themes
2 great web resources for GTK3 window themes:
Deviantart
gnome-look.org

Example, install GnomishDark window theme:
Download the compressed folder and unzip it. Right click on the extracted folder and choose "Open as administrator". In the new root nautilus window that opens, press F3 to get an extra pane. In the one pane, navigate to usr/share/themes/, in the other stay in your download folder. Move the extracted theme folder into /usr/share/themes/:

Image

Then launch "Advanced Settings" and set both "GTK+ theme" and "Window theme" to GnomishDark:

Image

Reload the shell for theme to be fully in place (press Alt+F2, press r, press enter). Some themes come with an installation script and a few you can install via PPA but most themes you'll have to install like this. NB: Your themes must be compatible with your current shell version. Most available Gnome 3 window themes are made for version 3.0, not 3.2, and they won't work properly in Gnome 3.2 (current version in Mint 12).


4b. How to install icon themes
2 great web resources for icon themes (well, same as above):
Deviantart
gnome-look.org

Most of the popular icon themes for linux come with either installation scripts or have a dedicated repository you can add.
The probably most popular icon theme "Faenza" can be installed by adding the repository:
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tiheum/equinox
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install faenza-icon-theme

Another popular icon theme "Awoken" can be installed the same way:
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alecive/antigone
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install awoken-icon-theme

When installed you select your new icon theme in "Advanced Settings" under the Theme tab:

Image

The icon themes that don't come with installation scripts or PPAs you install the same way you install window themes (see 4a above), except the downloaded icon folder must be moved to "/usr/share/icons/" instead of "/usr/share/themes".


4c. How to install Gnome Shell themes
Once again, the 2 best places to find Gnome Shell themes are:
Deviantart
gnome-look.org

Download and extract the theme folder into /usr/share/themes/ the exact same way you do with window themes (see 4a above) and select it with the Advanced Settings tool:

Image

"Minty" is a recommended dark shell theme designed for Mint and customized to work with the MGSE extensions. It can be previewed here and installed like this:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:satyajit-happy/themes
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-theme-minty



4d. Change login screen background
(This can be done easily in the new Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 as well (see 3g), so of you're not comfortable editing system files, use that instead.)

Open "unity-greeter.conf" as root:
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /etc/lightdm/unity-greeter.conf

Find the line "background=/usr/share/backgrounds/linuxmint/default_background.jpg" and replace the path with the path to an image of your choice - be sure to type it correctly or you'll at best end up with no background. Mine looks like this, as an example:
Code: Select all
background=/home/brian/Pictures/green.jpg

Whatever image you choose, make sure the "Others Access" under the Permissions tab in the chosen image file right click menu is set to "read-only" and not to "none".


4e. Updated version of Mint's icon theme
See the Mint-Xtra thread.

Image

Mint-X:
Image

Mint-Xtra:
Image

Mint-X:
Image

Mint-Xtra:
Image

Mint-X
Image

Mint-Xtra
Image

Mint-X
Image

Mint-Xtra
Image

Mint-X:
Image

Mint-Xtra
Image


==========================================================
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Last edited by bimsebasse on Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:43 am, edited 88 times in total.
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby sunewbie on Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:37 am

very informative posts. thanks. Just posting from Mint 12 Live DVD.
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby ramartz on Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:41 am

nice collection m8. thanks!
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby jazz.h on Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:01 am

:shock:
Thank you very much for this. Priceless!
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby remoulder on Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:48 am

Excellent post bimsebasse. My only comment is about advising the direct customization of the theme in /usr/share as changes are likely to be overwritten if there is any update to those files. Surely it would be better to make a copy of the entire theme, customize that then select the copy, leaving the original untouched? It would still mean re-doing changes if there 'was' an update, but at least the changes wouldn't be lost.
[Edit] your original post and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby z06gal on Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:55 pm

I do not see the attachment for the Mint Logo corner ripple. Where is that? Everything else is awesome! :wink:


Edit: Nevermind. I blew right past it. Got it now. :mrgreen:
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby z06gal on Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:40 pm

How do you get the weather extension to save your city? Mine keeps reverting back to the stock setting.
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby proxima_centauri on Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:19 pm

* Stickied
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby c0nf on Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:05 pm

thx a lot :D
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby Oscar799 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:06 pm

z06gal wrote:How do you get the weather extension to save your city? Mine keeps reverting back to the stock setting.


I had trouble with that too - after putting in my city's code I hit enter and that fixed it
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby z06gal on Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:25 pm

Oscar799 wrote:
z06gal wrote:How do you get the weather extension to save your city? Mine keeps reverting back to the stock setting.


I had trouble with that too - after putting in my city's code I hit enter and that fixed it



Excellent! Thanks! :wink:
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby blueXrider on Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:34 pm

Very nice. Need to keep this thread open. I will be sending the unhappy Ubuntu users this direction.
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby bimsebasse on Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:54 pm

z06gal wrote:
Oscar799 wrote:
z06gal wrote:How do you get the weather extension to save your city? Mine keeps reverting back to the stock setting.


I had trouble with that too - after putting in my city's code I hit enter and that fixed it


Excellent! Thanks! :wink:


Better include this in the description, thanks for bringing it up.

remoulder wrote:My only comment is about advising the direct customization of the theme in /usr/share as changes are likely to be overwritten if there is any update to those files. Surely it would be better to make a copy of the entire theme, customize that then select the copy, leaving the original untouched? It would still mean re-doing changes if there 'was' an update, but at least the changes wouldn't be lost.


You're right of course, will do. :)
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby z06gal on Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:18 pm

These tips are so good that I thought I'd ask another one here. Is there a way to disable the universal access in the top panel? It doesn't appear to be a part of an extension. Thanks :wink:


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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby wayne128 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:29 pm

z06gal wrote:These tips are so good that I thought I'd ask another one here. Is there a way to disable the universal access in the top panel? It doesn't appear to be a part of an extension. Thanks :wink:


Robin


Robin,
There is an extension for that called GNOME Shell noa11y, which removes the Accessibility icon from the GNOME Shell system status area.
go advance settings, shell-extension, turn on noa11y and see what happen
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby z06gal on Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:31 pm

Wayne, thank you so much! Got it! :D
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby bimsebasse on Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:37 pm

I think that's turned on by default?
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby z06gal on Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:54 pm

bimsebasse wrote:I think that's turned on by default?



I think you are right. I think I recall now turning it off because I thought it was interfering with another extension I installed.
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby rivenathos on Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:36 am

These are excellent tips for tweaking! Thanks!
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Re: Mint 12 Tips & Tricks Guide ... Thread!

Postby hydn on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:42 am

Is there a similar thread like this for LM12 performance tips and tricks? thx
...also on StackLinux.com.
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