Beginer questions from a Mac user

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Beginer questions from a Mac user

Postby LinFu on Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:40 am

Hey, I just got a new-to-me laptop that has a wifi card not supported by OSx86 so I decided to install Linux Mint 7. I have a few questions that I'm hoping to get some answers to. Since this will be a lengthy post with several questions I'll be labeling all my questions so they can all be answered. If you only know one answer, that's better than nothing! Please note that I would rather use the GUI than the terminal in most cases, so if there is a way to use the GUI, I would prefer instructions using that method.

1) Firefox: Linux Mint 7 comes preinstalled with Firefox 3.0.11. However the current version of Firefox is 3.5. Common sense tells me that I would upgrade by clicking "Help" then "Check for updates." However that option is greyed out. 1a) Why is it greyed out, and why did the developers choose to put it in if it's unusable in Linux? Using common sense again I assume Software Manager is the next place I want to go to upgrade, but Firefox 3.5 does not exist in Software Manager. Okay, I'm starting to get frustrated. 1b) Why isn't Firefox 3.5 listed in the Software Manager? Common sense doesn't seem to be doing me any good so far, so instead I head to getfirefox.com and download Firefox 3.5. That pops up the Extract tool, on a Mac I have the Applications folder where all of my Apps live. 1c) Where should I extract Firefox 3.5 to? I assume /usr/lib but I am notified that I do not have rights to extract files to that folder. 1d) Once I have Firefox 3.5 installed how do I uninstall 3.0.11? 1e) Where am I supposed to install all my new apps to? I'd like them to all be in one place (preferably /home/my username/applications) Any problems with installing them all there?

2) Mint Menu: When I click on an application or item in the menu, the menu stays up. This gives me an error every damn time I click on something, "Can't grab mouse. A malicious blah blah blah, clicked a menu blah blah blah, try again." Why is this behaviour happening? When I click on an app or item the menu should close, instead I'm forced to click the menu, click the app, then very quickly click the menu again so it goes away. Is this seriously how this is supposed to work? 2b) Is there a way to remove the word "menu" next to the icon? I see no reason to take up extra space.

3) Keyboard: On a Mac the keyboard controls are made for evolved beings with opposable thumbs. Linux for some reason has chosen to copy Windows and forces you to use your pinky. I hate using my pinky. The physical layout of keys on a Mac are (ctrl, alt/option, command), on my Linux laptop they are (LEFT: ctrl, windows, alt - RIGHT: alt, odd looking menu button, ctrl). On a mac the command button is your primary key, which is nice because you use your thumb for more than just clicking the space bar, on Windows and Linux ctrl is your primary key forcing you to use your pinky. How can I switch my keys to the Mac way of doing things? I specifically want my ctrl to act like it would on a mac, left windows/right menu key to act as alt/option on a mac and alt to act as command on a mac (or ctrl on Windows and Linux).

4) Expose: Expose is a powerful tool on the Mac with lots of ways of using it. I only use it to show all open applications. Is there a way to do this on Linux? Please see my "Hot corners" question below.

5) Spaces: Spaces is basically just virtual desktops, but I really like the way it works on a Mac. How can I make my Linux box control virtual desktops like my Mac? I use keyboard shortcuts and hot corners. The keyboard shortcuts I use on my Mac are command+arrow keys.

6) Hot corners: On my Mac I have setup hot corners where I can move my mouse, or hold a key and move my mouse to a corner to activate different things. How can I set this up on Linux? On my Mac I have it setup when I move my mouse bottom-right all windows are hidden and my desktop revealed. Command+upper-right (alt on Linux) uses Expose to show all open windows. Command+upper-left reveals Spaces or virtual desktops. Shift+Command+lower-left sleeps the monitor.

7) Screenshots: This is a necessity for me. To take a screenshot on a Mac I don't have to open any programs, all I have to do is press a key combination depending on what I press. I'd like help making Linux act like my Mac in this regard. Shift+Command+4 allows me to take a screenshot of an area I choose by dragging the cursor. Shift+Command+4, then space allows me to select a window to take a screenshot. Shift+Command+3 takes a screenshot of the entire screen. Bonus points if there's an app that lets me name the picture right after I take it.

8) Quicksilver: I've done a brief search, but so far I haven't found a true replacement for this app. What are the best Quicksilver like apps and plugins for the app on Linux?

9) Dock: Simple enough, what are the best Dock-like applications on Linux?

10) Dashboard: Are there widgets for Linux? Where do I look for them? How do I run them on Linux?

11) Filevault: On Mac there is a system preference called Filevault. It encrypts your home directory so your apps, preferences and files are all encrypted. This way someone can't boot up your system with a usb key and grab all your data. Is this available on Linux? I suppose I could just use TrueCrypt, but thought I'd see if there was another way.

12) Boxee: How do I install Boxee? The instructions on their website don't work with Mint:
1) Go to System > Administration > Software Sources.
2) In Sources Software dialogue, select Third-Party Software tab, click Add, and enter:
* for Intrepid: deb http://apt.boxee.tv intrepid main
* for Jaunty: deb http://apt.boxee.tv jaunty main
3) After closing this dialogue you can either use Synaptics and select Boxee for download, or use a terminal window, and enter sudo apt-get install boxee.

13) Growl: What is a good Linux replacement for Growl on Mac?


Any other advice from Mac users would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Beginer questions from a Mac user

Postby proxima_centauri on Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:16 am

Hi there,

1) Firefox 3.5 can be found in Synaptic Package Manager [the Package Manager under Software Manager in the mintMenu].

2) No this is a bug and is documented elsewhere, try searching the forums. Like here -> viewtopic.php?f=55&t=17493&p=105295&hilit=Could+not+grab+your+mouse.#p105386
You can right-click the mintMenu > Preferences, then Remove the button text to leave just the icon.

3) Try going to Keyboard Preferemces -> Layout tab, choose the correct Apple layout.

4) Yes there is if you use Compiz, in the CompizConfig Settings Manager, Under Window Management, you can use the "Scale" for an expose like effect of scalling and showing all open windows on the screen at once.

5) With Compiz you can move virtual desktops with Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right Arrow key. YOu can also hold Ctrl+Alt+Down and then move side to side seeing all desktops. If you have the "Expo" compiz plugin enabled you can press Super+E to show all 4 desktops and from there you can drag windows from one desktop to another.

6) You should be able to accomplish this in the CompizConfig Settings Manager.

7) Don't know, check this out -> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=443348

8 ) Gnome-do

9) Avant-Window-Navigator, cairo, Docky (part of Gnome-do).

10) Yes, try Screenlets, there is also google gadgets.

11) Not sure

12) Open a terminal, type
Code: Select all
gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
Add that line to the bottom, deb http://apt.boxee.tv jaunty main, save and close. Run in terminal
Code: Select all
apt update && apt install boxee


By default Mint does not come with "Software Sources" if you really want to do it the other way, look here for installing -> viewtopic.php?f=32&t=23642&hilit=software+sources

13) Not sure.
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Re: Beginer questions from a Mac user

Postby LinFu on Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:57 am

Thanks for all the other info. I'll check into that later. Right now I need to find out what's going on with Firefox. This is really pissing me off now, and I'm quickly losing faith in Linux. This should be the most simple procedure, but on Linux it's a thousand step process.

I went to Package Manager and searched for Firefox 3.5. I checked the box to mark it for installation, then applied the installation. Nothing happened. New icons weren't added, shortcuts weren't added, the Package Manager did not tell me where it was installed to.

I found out it installed it in /usr/lib/ so I went there to the Firefox 3.5 directory. There wasn't any icon that looked like the Firefox icon, but there was an icon named Firefox 3.5, I click it and up comes a browser, except the icon is not Firefox's icon, it's just a blue globe. I wanted to check the version so I clicked help and found out this was not Firefox, but an alpha version of Firefox called Shiretoko.

There has got to be an easy way to install Firefox 3.5, the official release, not some alpha version. Note I said easy. This should literally be the most simple thing to do on a computer. Ugh, this is not how an operating system should work.

To top off this completely frustrating experience I unchecked Firefox 3.0.11 from the Package Manager and marked it for complete removal, but apparently that doesn't do anything as I can still launch it. How do I remove Firefox 3.0.11 and this alpha version of 3.5?
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Re: Beginer questions from a Mac user

Postby DrHu on Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:21 am

LinFu wrote:Thanks for all the other info. I'll check into that later
I can reply now...

One reason distributions might have for preventing an update from within the application (Firefox Help>Check for Updates) is to prevent damage to the OS, due to system changes/requirements; so as to not interrupt the user's desktop experience..

That function in Firefox Help>Check for Updates won't be grayed out if you install it from outside the distribution's package management system (synaptic, apt or aptitude), that is you install it manually from source files..
--I think you find that on a MAC, when there might be (for some users) an interminable wait for their preferred applications or games or other, like upgrades to the OS itself..

Firefox 3.5 is the updated version of Firefox 3,0 packaged by Ubuntu, if it is alpha/beta or otherwise, this is dependent on Firefox versions extant
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/up ... tomization
--people were asking, so now it is in the repository and you don't have to manually upgrade the applications..
LinFu wrote:How do I remove Firefox 3.0.11
After completely removing the application via synaptic, you can use mint menu>control center>system>Computer Janitor

You can also install an application named bleachbit
--it will help clean out temporary, history and other residue from the system..
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Re: Beginer questions from a Mac user

Postby LinFu on Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:36 am

Firefox 3.5 has been out of beta for months now. It was officially released for all operating systems. Why can't I simply upgrade from within 3.0 like I can on every other single operating system? Why can't I go to mintInstall and install it? They have an out of date version only. What good is mintInstall if it isn't going to keep up to date with programs like Firefox? Please tell me I'm missing something here.
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Re: Beginer questions from a Mac user

Postby DrHu on Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:23 am

LinFu wrote:Why can't I simply upgrade from within 3.0 like I can on every other single operating system
http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Upg ... x+3%C2%B75
    Firefox 3.5 is the latest version of Mozilla Firefox which was released on June 30th 2009 PDT.
The obvious answer, you can't, that'sa why..
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/28770
http://community.livejournal.com/mozilla/
Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
4:06 pm[dandelion]
Updates to Firefox
I have Firefox in Windows XP, Ubuntu and OS X on this computer. In Windows and Ubuntu, Firefox updates properly and is version 3.0.8. In OS X, Firefox is 3.0.6 and does not see any updates, even when clicking check for updates. It just tells me there are no updates available, when clearly there are; it doesn't seem to believe 3.0.7 or 3.0.8 exist.

--it also affects other platforms; everybody is different c'est pas

Not on a lot of Linux distributions
--might be due to Debian re-branding some apps (browsers), email packages is an issue; I don't know when/why it changed, but previously some Linux distributions had the built in Firefox help>Check for updates working..

Now the latest versions are available on all platforms, either directly from Firefox or however it is provided by the OS's package managers (Linux, windows, mac)

This method works..
http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Che ... s+disabled
Permissions
Firefox may disable software updates if the user you're running Firefox as doesn't have permission to change the Firefox installation directory. To get Firefox updated, log in to your computer as a user with sufficient permissions, for example an administrative account. Check for Updates... should then be enabled. To make Check for Updates... enabled permanently, change the permissions on the Firefox installation directory.

If you start it as root, you will see the help>check for Upgrades enabled..
--or fix the permissions on Firefox directory for the user to enable that option (rw)
Last edited by DrHu on Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:52 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Beginer questions from a Mac user

Postby Fred on Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am

LinFu,

Let me point out something here. I am sure you have heard the comment, "Linux is not Windows." Well Linux isn't Mac either. If you are starting off with the attitude that everything needs to work like a Mac to be "right," you are in for a short, rough ride my friend.

Welcome to the Linux Mint forum. I wish you well. :-)

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Beginer questions from a Mac user

Postby altair4 on Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:48 am

I believe part of the confusion is you don't quite get the Mint mindset concerning software downloads. Mint differentiates between downloading a particular package, updates, and upgrades. There are 3 different method to download software:

mintUpdate: It scans only the versions of your current installed package list and sees if there are any updates.
mintInstall: I see it as a cross between mintUpdate and Synaptic with user reviews
Synaptic: The full repository of packages available to Mint users.

Firefox 3.5 is in Synaptic:
proxima_centauri wrote:Hi there,
1) Firefox 3.5 can be found in Synaptic Package Manager [the Package Manager under Software Manager in the mintMenu].


Why isn't Firefox 3.5 in mintInstall or mintUpdate? Because it's considered an upgrade not an update. Certain addons will no longer work in 3.5 as they did in 3.x. Mint strives for stability. That's why you won't find kernel updates in mintUpdate but will find it in Synaptic.
Please add a [SOLVED] at the end of your original subject header if your question has been answered and solved.
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Re: Beginer questions from a Mac user

Postby pluraldave on Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:35 pm

With respect to Firefox 3.5 please read the Linux Mint blog post on the subject that is pretty clearly visible on the Mint home page you get when starting Firefox.

http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=958

To summarise: For whatever reason Ubuntu (an upstream distribution) decided to keep Firefox 3 as default instead of upgrading everyone to 3.5. To get around having 2 firefox's listed they left 3.5 with the "Shiretoko" beta name. Even though the label still says beta it's actually the stable version of 3.5 you have. If you want you can edit the old firefox 3 menu to launch 3.5 and delete the 3.5 ("beta") entry.

Also I echo Fred's sentiments. Linux is Linux, Mac is Mac. Rather than expecting Linux to do everything like your Mac does (and being dissapointed when things don't work exactly the same) approach it with an open mind and see what Linux can do.
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