Help to make Mint more user friendly (like Windows)

Help to make Mint more user friendly (like Windows)

Postby daniel1212 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:19 pm

[Edit: this post was written when using the defaul Gnome desktop, but i found some improvements after trying the KDE, which i will place in italics]

(Or like Windows can be made to be.) I know that is a provocative title and one that may invite some fire by some avid devotees, but it is asked because i want a bettter alternative to Widows , which itself takes some tweaking to be more user friendly and efficient (which is not by doing things like hiding details and burying setttings), without having to learn coding, and i am looking for some simple help in this area that may help me and other newbies, but thought what follows was too long or complicated for the newbie section.

I am running a new Mint 12 installed off the live CD, with the standard desktop and window and file manager, and with the latest recomended updates, on a Sony PC with 2.8ghz cpu and 3gb ram. Mint is on a 10Gb parition on an IDE drive, which also has another 10gb partition formatted as Fat32. XP is installed in a seperate sata drive (with its own boot file). I use the keyboard during the POST phase to choose which drive to boot from.

The first issue is that while in Windows (at least XP) if i want to find out where a program in the Start menu is actually located, or make a shortcut for it, then all I have to do is right click on it to get the options. But in Mint nothing at all happens when i right click therein. Nor can i drag a program icon from the Start menu to the taskbar to pin it there (you also cannot right click and paste into the search box, but Ctrl+V will work). [Under KDE, you can right click on items in the Start menu (i like Classic the best) and find options such as add to favs, desktop, panel or uninstall, but not "Find target/location"]

In Windows you can configure the Window pane of explorer to show an address bar and the whole path, which is good for copying locations, but while i found some options under Edit>Preferences, i did not see this option. [This and more are part of the options in the KDE Dolphin FM]

Seeing the whole path is helpful to see where you are quickly, and pasting paths is easier when doing things like editing paths in LibrOffice, as the file manager will not go outside the Linux directory to another partition, like the Fat32 parition on the same drive Mint is on.

By default there are only a few wallpapers offered under System settings>Appearance, and under Colors and Gradients there are only 3 options, and none for changing borders, etc. In Windows much more customization is offered (Title bar color, fonts, etc.) , and i do not know if such options are be available in Mint. [Under KDE far more customization is offered, like as under XP Advanced setttings]

Right clicking on an empty part of either Taskbar (panels) also results in no options, or allowing the moving of icons, nor does a mouse hover over icons show any tool tip. Left clicking on the Places icon in the Taskbar also does nothing. [KDE enables panel and notification options via R. click, and replaces the Places icon with Konquerer, which is a good file browser, which also has an address bar]

And how do you stop the mouse action that results in losing the window in focus and showing all the widows and the desktop?

The power settings are very rudimentary, only offering set times for suspend, or shutdown or hibernate for low battery (this is a PC). XP offers much more customization for the same Sony PC. [Under KDE there are more options, if not as many (like turn off hard disks) as in Windows]

In Windows, all the programs are usually within one main folder with its subfolders, and most all the user settings in another. But it seems(?) that due to the diversity of flavors of Linux then default locations are not always the same. Is there a chart of location equivalents for Mint and Windows?

In particular i am looking for the user profile folders for Firefox and LibreOffice. I also hope to use AutoHotKey in Mint as i do in Windows so this would help.

I did find the Firefox program folder in/usr/lib, and many profile folders are there, but they only have one file in it (and i have it set to view all files). And apparently i would not be able to even overwrite a file in there. [see my 3rd post below.]

Along that line, how do i obtain full privileges by default, as i can under Windows (i know about security, but would like the freedom to do so).

Finally, the spell check does not work in the Firefox 7 that came with the live cd which i find is a big help with my stiff fingers results in typos. [Under Fx 11, and which disabled the LM add on, this lack remained, although "Check my spelling as I type" was checked in Preferences>Advanced. (After I added a dictionary and it worked: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:3]

Thanks for any help with any of these.
Last edited by daniel1212 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:15 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Grace and peace through the Lord Jesus Christ
daniel1212
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 9:28 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Help to make Mint more user friendly (like Windows)

Postby sagirfahmid3 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:56 pm

If you want to make your Mint look and feel 90% similar to windows, use the Win2-7 transformation pack found here.
I use it myself, it's awesome. (Note: Works on Gnome2 ONLY, meaning Mint12+ doesn't support it).

As to giving admin privileges, you can login to the root account by, in the login screen, entering:
Username: root
Password: {your password}

Better idea, imo, is to open a terminal and type in: gksu nautilus
User avatar
sagirfahmid3
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:39 pm

Re: Help to make Mint more user friendly (like Windows)

Postby daniel1212 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:17 am

Thanks. I just installed the KDE over Gnome, so there is more to do tommorow.

Edit: Now it is "tommorow" and though hibernate failed to work (it does under XP), i rebooted and logged out and choose the KDE at the login screen, and like the KDE better (including the classic Start menu), as it offers far more options such as in appearance. Thank God for those who enable variety in Linux and eyes to see such!
Grace and peace through the Lord Jesus Christ
daniel1212
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 9:28 am

Re: Help to make Mint more user friendly (like Windows)

Postby daniel1212 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:11 pm

I was also able to make a shortcut to the Desktop from the KDE start menu, and placed this string: firefox -profilemanager -no-remote firefox %u in Icon settings>Application>Command. Then i launched the shortcut and then hit "Create a new profile," which enabled me see the profile location, a well as to make a new profile in a different folder (use the Choose folder option), which i did and then launched it. Then i shut that down and pasted all the contents of my folder from XP into the new profile folder, overwriting what was in it, and it chose that one on my next Fx launch, and except for the Count N Character extn and the PitchDark theme it works fine, thank God, containing all the tabs from my last session, and extensions, etc. (I found later that the auto spell check worked to show errors, but did not offer correction).

I find it that easier than the process described in other places like here, but which may help others: http://www.libre-software.net/how-to-in ... linux-mint.
Grace and peace through the Lord Jesus Christ
daniel1212
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 9:28 am

Re: Help to make Mint more user friendly (like Windows)

Postby dalcde on Thu May 31, 2012 8:06 am

After reading your post, this is what I can conclude:
1) You picked the wrong release. Mint 12 is somewhat controversial to some (I bet if Mint didn't have a fixed schedule of having a release every 6 months, Mint 12 wouldn't have just been skipped), since it includes a "brand new" GNOME 3 desktop, which is so new that it doesn't offer as much customization as it used to be, and the ways of using the computer is a bit altered. Some of the customization issues you've mentioned are due to GNOME 3. You can try Mint 11 or Mint 13 MATE to get a taste of what Mint used to and imho should be looked like. The issues such as no showing tooltips are because, as mentioned, the development of the desktop is not yet mature enough. Some features are hidden and you need to launch a tool called gnome-tweak-tool to use them. You might want to search about GNOME 3 and see how people complain - but Linux is about choice! As you've did, you can switch to KDE, or even Xfce/Lxde/Openbox/Fluxbox... so much that I cannot list them all out!

2) (The most important point) Different does not mean less user friendly. Regarding the "programs in one folder", it is just a different implementation. There are several problems with the Windows implementation. In the Windows implementation, when you run a program, the computer has to search through all those program folders to find the desired program. This way it could be much slower and can cause many troubles (most notably, I've once accidentally deleted the "PATH" variable in Windows and the computer was unable to run anything since the computer doesn't know where to find my programs). In Linux, every program is stored in /usr/bin/ with some core components in /usr/sbin, /sbin or /bin. For complicated programs such as firefox, the "program" in /usr/bin actually links to the real program found in, as you've mentioned, /usr/lib/. Then configurations are stored somewhere else (usually /etc and user's home folder for user-specific configs such as background color). Plugins or similar things are installed in /usr/share/. Installing plugins there require root (admin) privileges, so each user actually has a .local/share/ folder that can also store plugins (which are only available to the user). This way users can install plugins/addons without being an admin.

It might seem complicated at first sight, but from a techincal point of view it makes much more sense, and it can provide many conveniences to users. It's just different, not un-user-friendly.

We also don't have things corresponding to C/D/E drives in Windows. In Linux, we mount the other drives into the huge "linux directory" and they seem to be included inside. For the sake of convenience, you can go to Computer:/// to look at the drives.

3) The Start Menu/Taskbar stuff are actually hacks onto the desktop since the original one is very unfamiliar to many. They certainly lack many features since they are not proper components. You really should check out Mint 13 MATE since it provides a much more familiar and, to many, user friendly desktop.
dalcde
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 211
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 8:15 am

Re: Help to make Mint more user friendly (like Windows)

Postby daniel1212 on Thu May 31, 2012 9:48 pm

Thanks for the tip on Mint 13 MATE, and the Mint 12 info, and further explaining the differences.

I since installed OpenSuse, which I liked with the KDE interface, though it again demonstrated the the type of learning curve of difficulty that can be required to get Linux to do some (http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get- ... html%20%20) things (http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get- ... html%20%20) that i have found much simpler in Windows, one (http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get- ... rk.html%20) of which was due to lack of hardware support, which i want Linux to be a more switchable alternative to.

I do like the move in Linux toward making detailed customization and configuration easily found more in one main place, with subdivisions. And of course, the so-called "God mode" http://www.techspot.com/guides/236-windows-god-mode/%20God%20mode in W/7 is neat.
Grace and peace through the Lord Jesus Christ
daniel1212
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 9:28 am


Return to MATE

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests