Differences between versions / editions? [SOLVED]

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SyncroScales
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Differences between versions / editions? [SOLVED]

Post by SyncroScales »

Hello,

What are the differences between the editions of Linux Mint? I am installing 64-bit.
Cinnamon (64-bit)
KDE (64-bit)
MATE (64-bit)
Xfce (64-bit)

Are they the same, but the themes and options are different? Can't everything be customized to look the same? Ubuntu/Mac looks like Mint/Windows sometimes and Mint/Windows looks like Ubuntu/Mac sometimes when I watched some YouTube videos.

It seems that these two are what I should pick. 18.2 Sonya Ubuntu Xenial Long term support release (LTS), supported until April 2021. Or 18.1 Serena Ubuntu Xenial Long term support release (LTS), supported until April 2021.

LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition does not seem to be the best choice for a new user.

The KDE and Xfce editions have documentation in languages that are not English. Are they in English too? https://linuxmint.com/documentation.php
Last edited by SyncroScales on Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Desktop:ASUS M3N78-VM, AMD Phenom II 965 3.4GHz, 3.5GBRAM(4GB), XP SP3/Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, nVidia GeForce GT 430. Laptop:AMD Athlon 64 X2 DualCore 3800+ 2GHz(AMD QL-62), 3GB RAM, Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, ATI 3100.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by xenopeek »

You're heaping four different questions onto one pile there :) Let's try to untangle.

Desktop environment / edition
Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce and KDE are the default desktop environments you can get Linux Mint with. That is in order of most popular to less popular among Linux Mint users. Think of them as the user interface to your operating system. Just like how (in general!) you can run a Windows program on Windows 7 and on Windows 10, those two operating systems look and behave quite different. Same with desktop environments. You can run any Linux program on any desktop environment, but the desktop environment determines how the user interface for your operating system looks and behaves. They all come with their own default programs for common tasks like a text editor, calculator, file browser, image viewer, video player and so on. On Linux Mint you'll find many such programs across Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce are now the same from our XApps project (a desktop environment independent collection of programs for common tasks).

They all have their pros and cons. They all are customizable to greater or lesser extent. Cinnamon has themes, applets, desklets and extension for easy installation from within the system settings itself. MATE is a bit more classic looking and runs better if you have a graphics card with a problematic driver on Linux. Xfce is similar to MATE but can be a tad more suitable for really old hardware and for a few more things you may find you'll need to go to the terminal to change things. KDE is the most customizable and that is both a pro and a con in my opinion. Explore some video reviews if you are unsure or just try first with the most popular by far, Cinnamon.

Version
As to whether you should use Linux Mint 18.2 or 18.1: that is up to you. Linux Mint 18.2 and 18.1 are both supported till April 2021. They are both using Ubuntu 16.04 aka Xenial as a package base, so the same base software is available on them and they are both fully compatible with Ubuntu 16.04. They differ in that Linux Mint 18.2 has newer versions of Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, KDE, the Mint tools (like software manager and update manager) and other things developed or added by Linux Mint on top of Ubuntu. Personally, I would go with 18.2. But any choice is fine.

Documentation
As for documentation, the non-English user guides are provided by the community. People that have translated the official user guide to their language. That there is no user guide for KDE or Xfce in English isn't really relevant. The user guide covers things like how to prepare for installation, how to install software, how to apply upgrades and so on. Those are things where the desktop environment doesn't make much of a difference. Just use the user guide for your version of Linux Mint. A user guide is also installed in your menu, just type "help" in the menu to open it.

If you're new to KDE or Xfce and want to try either of those, you may want to access the documentation for those two desktop environments instead. That cover how to use them specifically. For KDE that is as simple as installing khelpcenter and then typing "khelpcenter" in your menu to open it. It comes with documentation on how to use Plasma (the user inteface) and default KDE programs. There also is the "KDE UserBase Wiki" with online documentation and guides in many languages: https://userbase.kde.org/Welcome_to_KDE_UserBase.

Xfce have nothing as useful as that but they do have some documentation online: https://docs.xfce.org/
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by rumpus »

From a newbie....When I started with Linux I asked many questions and received wonderful answers from many
friendly, smart people. But I didn't fully understand what they were trying to tell me until I downloaded and ran
the different distros from live dvd's.

I found that Cinnamon would run on my computer, but was slow and video stuttered sometimes. Mate ran very well
with no problems. After downloading KDE I had no idea of what to do next due to lack of knowhow. XFCE worked
with no problems, and is still running on my old laptop.

How well a distro rus on your computer depends on the specs of your machine and what you expect of it. The great
thig about Linux is you can try them all. The bad thing about Linux .....well, I haven't found anything yet.

rumpus
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by SyncroScales »

Thank you for the information.

I just updated my signature so the specs of the desktop and laptop are there. This might help.

I think that Cinnamon is the choice for the desktop and laptop. But it seems I will have to try more than one DVD. I want it to be able to do well with media (audio, video, photo, graphics, etc). Listen, Watch, Create. 1080p 60fps or less resolutions. Probably 1080 30p, 720 30p or 60p and DVD quality or less.

Can you save files or anything with the live DVD's? How much of a difference does it make using a DVD-+RW (4x) compared to a regular DVD?
Desktop:ASUS M3N78-VM, AMD Phenom II 965 3.4GHz, 3.5GBRAM(4GB), XP SP3/Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, nVidia GeForce GT 430. Laptop:AMD Athlon 64 X2 DualCore 3800+ 2GHz(AMD QL-62), 3GB RAM, Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, ATI 3100.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by Mattyboy »

SyncroScales wrote:Thank you for the information.

I just updated my signature so the specs of the desktop and laptop are there. This might help.

I think that Cinnamon is the choice for the desktop and laptop. But it seems I will have to try more than one DVD. I want it to be able to do well with media (audio, video, photo, graphics, etc). Listen, Watch, Create. 1080p 60fps or less resolutions. Probably 1080 30p, 720 30p or 60p and DVD quality or less.

Can you save files or anything with the live DVD's? How much of a difference does it make using a DVD-+RW (4x) compared to a regular DVD?
Based on your specs I'd go with MATE for your desktop ( processor supports 64bit ) and Xfce 64bit for your laptop. Based on what you've said you want to use the computers for. Cinnamon is the 'all bells and whistles' version which eats more of your computers power, power that can be put to better use doing the things you want to.

Yes you'll be able to do the things you list, no problem.

No, you will not be able to save files or keep settings on a Live DVD. You'll be able to test all the default programs included and have a good play ( remember it'll be a lot slower than a proper install ). You'll also be able to find out if all your hardware/laptop works with the included drivers, keyboard, mouse... most important this one, your network/wireless connection so do make sure you can get online before even considering hitting that install Linux Icon on the live desktop ( don't worry about printers so much here, that's something that can be sorted at a later date ).

Remember the only stupid thing about questions is people who don't ask them so please do, however silly they may seem. Go slow, take your time, enjoy.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by SyncroScales »

Thanks for the information. The testing Linux keeps getting re-inforced.

With Linux Mint cinnamon, can it be customized so it doesn't eat so much resources? I like how an OS looks nice and don't want it to look like Windows 95/2000. But visuals and stuff are to enhance it 50% - 80% usually, 100% is good though.

Theoretically, can all other distro's (not Mint, the main types and their sub-distro's) that are similar to Cinnamon's approach be customized?
Cinnamon is the 'all bells and whistles' version which eats more of your computers power, power that can be put to better use doing the things you want to.
Or is this more of the core code and kernel or how it was designed to run?

I want to get an OS that has all the basics such as a Windows or Mac install has (productivity and documents, media player, etc). Then be able to install and delete a few programs so I can pick the best one or have two programs. How much do I need to be concerned about adding programs that are not the main distribution and will get updated, security updates, etc? Is it better to get the main distro updated with all the programs or keep it simple and do it manually?

I have noticed some downloads, programs, games, utilities, etc for Linux distribution's are specific to Ubuntu or Mint and other things. E.G.: Cnet.com downloads. Would a package for Cinnamon work with MATE? Or is everything designed for the main forks of Linux, then works with the editions of that main code?
Desktop:ASUS M3N78-VM, AMD Phenom II 965 3.4GHz, 3.5GBRAM(4GB), XP SP3/Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, nVidia GeForce GT 430. Laptop:AMD Athlon 64 X2 DualCore 3800+ 2GHz(AMD QL-62), 3GB RAM, Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, ATI 3100.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by Mattyboy »

SyncroScales wrote:
Theoretically, can all other distro's (not Mint, the main types and their sub-distro's) that are similar to Cinnamon's approach be customized?
Cinnamon is the 'all bells and whistles' version which eats more of your computers power, power that can be put to better use doing the things you want to.
Or is this more of the core code and kernel or how it was designed to run?
Yes you can turn off a lot of things in Cinnamon to make it 'lighter'.

The core code the Kernal are basically all the same, in layman terms. The desktop environment is build 'on top' of that. Yes you can customize them all but they have their own customize options or trees. I can only speak from experience so I will say that Cinnamon customization is the simplest to get your head round, easy to find the options. I recently tried MATE which seems to offer more options but has a steeper learning curve.. or maybe I'm just stuck in my ways with Cinnamon? :D As a new user I don't think it really matters.
SyncroScales wrote:I want to get an OS that has all the basics such as a Windows or Mac install has (productivity and documents, media player, etc). Then be able to install and delete a few programs so I can pick the best one or have two programs. How much do I need to be concerned about adding programs that are not the main distribution and will get updated, security updates, etc? Is it better to get the main distro updated with all the programs or keep it simple and do it manually?
A few pointers.

Don't remove any programs that are installed by default. Programs in Linux depend on the 'dependences' of each other. Meaning, for example, if you removed a program that plays music which is installed by default you might also remove a video players ability to play sound. So don't do it. HOWEVER it is perfectly safe to remove programs that you install 'after the fact'.

Linux isn't Windows, shocker, we don't spend hours looking all over the net for programs. We have the software manager, this is where you get all your programs, its where you install them, its where you remove them. Its recommended for a newbie to only install programs from it. If you do so you'll not have to worry about security or updates. I one click in your update manager will update EVERYTHING. ( yes you can install software thats not in the software manager but this is something you should look at after you're more comfortable with the system as a whole and have a better understanding of the risks ). Which desktop environment you choose makes no difference to the available programs. 'Anything' thats for Ubuntu based distributions, Mint, will work.

I highly recommend you stay away from downloading anything you find on the 'net until you know what you're doing.

Give this a watch, it'll give you some ideas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLWlFG1b4A4

Take a look here too https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/Home

These forums are full of advise for the newbie and the best thing you can do is read, read and ask questions.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by Hoser Rob »

SyncroScales wrote:... I just updated my signature so the specs of the desktop and laptop are there. ...
Just looked at that and I'd recommend Xfce or Mate. I use Xfce but I've had Mate installed and there isn't anything wrong with it IMO. No way I'd install Cinnamon on that hardware. It's a bit long in the tooth and frankly old AMD video cards aren't well supported in Linux (not just Mint).

Download both iso's and test them in a live boot from USB stick if possible. Optical drives are just too slow to get a feel for a desktop environment.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by mr_raider »

I agree that Mate or XFCE would be the best choice for his laptop. The graphics are weak, and he only has 3gigs of RAM.

His desktop however could support KDE. The GT 430 card is supported by the current nvidia 375 driver and would probably run KDE with several animations. Or he could disable everything in KDE. I run KDE routinely on Intel integrated graphics with no issues.

Cinnamon users can comment if it would run well, but suspect it will do fine on his desktop.

For simplicity though, a newbie might be best served using the same desktop on both computers to get familiar with it. I use KDE everywhere, and just "lighten" the graphics or disable composition if needed.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by songhuijohn »

Since performance is in the eyes of the beholder, I would suggest you let your eyes behold.
Since everyone agrees that Cinnamon is the richest GUI, I would start there. If happy, stop.
If unhappy, try the next GUI.
You should do this with each of your computers.
If you end up with the same selected GUI for both computers, stop.
If you end up with a different GUI for each of your computers, then you have to decide is that okay or do you select the least capable solution for both computers.

I have installed Linux Mint Cinnamon on eight different computer configurations , some more powerful than others, and only once did I deem performance totally unacceptable.
For seven of these computers, I was replacing a version of Windows, and the performance was always better than the replaced version of Windows (3 Vista , 2 Windows 8.1, 2 XP).

If you follow my suggested route, not only will you find the right answer for you but you will get a good jump on you understanding of Linux Mint and its desktop GUIs.

P.S. How much memory do you need - after the initial half a mega, it all depends upon what applications you currently have active. I have found that 3 mega is very adequate for email, searching, youtube, and simple games. If you are a hard core gamer or in to extensive video editing, then more memory will become important.
Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon, Mobo MSI A68HM Grenade, AMD A8-7600, 4GIG DDR3 1600, SSD Patriot Blast 120 GB
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by hcentaur13 »

In contrast to the monopoly windows that dictate only one GUI linux comes free in multiple distributions with multiple versions of deskops each:

There is
- gnome 3 - a newer version of gnome, not available on Mint
- cinnamon, a variant of gnome 3; based on gnome 3
- mate, a version of gnome2
- KDE an altanative to gnome; radical other kind of look and feel
- xfce an lightwight desktop. desiglned for small compunters with small CPU and small RAMM

All kinds of desktop above are based on Ubuntu which is based on debian.

Then ther is Mint DE, based on debian with the same desktops as Ubuntu but missing some features ubuntu has.

Mint comes with differebt images for different desktops. All images are bootable without install for testing without attach a harddirk. So you cn play around, test anything before you installs. Yes, you can save file to USB stick or after mouning a partition on that partition. But a alive image is not designerd to work with. It is designed to test the look and feel without install. If you likes to install it then use the installer that comes with it. You can install on disk beside windows without destroying it. The installer will initiate to boot both, your windows and linux alternatively. For that you have to shut down your windos completely, a quick shut down is not enough,
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by SyncroScales »

I tried Cinnamon quickly on my desktop, went on the internet, watched videos, etc. My printer was recognized, but I did not try to print yet. I did not plug in my scanner.

The keyboard is a Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator. It lights up red on the keyboard when I am in Windows, but not in Linux. I read that Linux does not usually support the lights and those features of a keyboard. Can this be fixed so I see my keyboard lit up? I have another wired keyboard if I had to use it.

Are you saying be careful about downloading from web-sites such as this method? Or should this be in the package manager? (I am not live booting at this moment.). https://www.mixxx.org/download/

Thank you.
Desktop:ASUS M3N78-VM, AMD Phenom II 965 3.4GHz, 3.5GBRAM(4GB), XP SP3/Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, nVidia GeForce GT 430. Laptop:AMD Athlon 64 X2 DualCore 3800+ 2GHz(AMD QL-62), 3GB RAM, Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, ATI 3100.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by austin.texas »

That link you provided for Mixxx says "for Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise) through Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily):"
Mint 18, 18.1, and 18.2 are based on Ubuntu 16.04 - so Mixxx is not up to date for the Mint 18 versions.
It is best to stick with the applications available in the Software Manager whenever possible, for a beginner - or ask about what you want to install (as you did).
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by xenopeek »

SyncroScales wrote:The keyboard is a Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator. It lights up red on the keyboard when I am in Windows, but not in Linux. I read that Linux does not usually support the lights and those features of a keyboard. Can this be fixed so I see my keyboard lit up? I have another wired keyboard if I had to use it.
Google first when trying to figure out how to get some hardware to work on Linux. As you're using Linux Mint and that is based on, and fully compatible with, Ubuntu it makes sense to add "Ubuntu" to your search term to get the most relevant results. Google for "Ubuntu Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator" turns up https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2299121 which looks like a possible solution. It is a bit older topic but it may still work so give that a try after installing.
SyncroScales wrote:Are you saying be careful about downloading from web-sites such as this method? Or should this be in the package manager? (I am not live booting at this moment.). https://www.mixxx.org/download/
Mixxx is available on Linux Mint through Software Manager. That's a program in your menu to install software from the central software repositories. You also get updates (security fixes) for software you install through that through Update Manager. It's the same version so there's no reason not to install it from Software Manager.

This can be a useful topic to read: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=97158. The link you provided would add a Ubuntu PPA to your system. An additional software repository. That can be useful if the program isn't found in the standard software repository or it doesn't have the version you need. In this case neither is the case so don't bother with the PPA and just use Software Manager to install the program.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by Hoser Rob »

songhuijohn wrote:Since performance is in the eyes of the beholder ...
No it isn't. That's why benchmarks exist.
Since everyone agrees that Cinnamon is the richest GUI....
Not everyone agrees with that. KDE has the most features and customizability. Maybe too much for the average user.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by SyncroScales »

Thank you for the replies and links. I was not aware of being able to download other software repositories into the current software repository or Update Manager.

When I asked about Mixxx, I thought that was related to being careful about downloading outside of the repository or the Update Manager. It looks like a link similar to me downloading programs for Windows from a web-site. Where can I obtain other software packages? Do you mean torrents and such?

Does Linux Mint or Ubuntu or any other Linux OS have a "Device Manager" such as in Windows? I was looking and only found everything separate which showed if it was recognized and had a driver.

When using Linux Mint Cinnamon I noticed there was a scanning program, I have to test my scanner still. But the program only had 300 dpi maximum. Would this change with my hardware, or are there updates I need to get once installed? In Windows XP/Vista the dpi goes up to 12,000 (and it was great for negatives). I use 150 dpi - 600 dpi depending on what it is. When using a graphics program I start at 300 dpi.

I noticed the printer program was also somewhat limited. Is this permanent? My printer is a Brother and the software has more options in Windows XP/Vista.

Also, regarding this link: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2299121 This is using the command line and placing this command into the start up or "linux registry". All of this happens at boot up after the BIOS?

I also was wondering how many people think virus/malware programs are necessary? Are there any in Linux that are recommended? I have 1 or 2. I think I need something because I have a multi-OS system and a laptop. I want to be able to scan files I download or programs I open. I have been hit by some malware a few time recently just for looking at regular web-sites. I notices Linux has a firewall, what else do I need? I don't have a physical router with a physical firewall (which I heard work and don't work.).
Desktop:ASUS M3N78-VM, AMD Phenom II 965 3.4GHz, 3.5GBRAM(4GB), XP SP3/Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, nVidia GeForce GT 430. Laptop:AMD Athlon 64 X2 DualCore 3800+ 2GHz(AMD QL-62), 3GB RAM, Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, ATI 3100.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by pbear »

Actually, anti-virus isn't recommended in Linux, for reasons explained in this article by forum member Pjotr. Of course, if you're running dual boot, you still need anti-virus on the Windows side. Although, frankly, what you really should be doing is getting the XP machine off the internet altogether (keep just for running legacy software offline). Don't know how much risk with Vista, as never had.

Also, did you end up picking a desktop and installing? (If so, which one?) Or are you still working from "live" boots?
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by SyncroScales »

I'll read the article about anti-virus and Linux.

I only would use XP if I had to online. I know it's not a good idea. Vista is getting there. I have trouble loading videos on YouTube and sometimes it takes a long time to load web-pages. It's not just extensions to try and make things a little safer. It is that the internet and web-browsers have been updating without Windows Vista and the older OS's.

I am still live booting. Even though the DVD's are slow, I get the idea.

Is there a "Device Manager" in Linux? I found the "Control Panel" area.
Desktop:ASUS M3N78-VM, AMD Phenom II 965 3.4GHz, 3.5GBRAM(4GB), XP SP3/Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, nVidia GeForce GT 430. Laptop:AMD Athlon 64 X2 DualCore 3800+ 2GHz(AMD QL-62), 3GB RAM, Vista SP2/LinuxMintCinnamon64-bit, ATI 3100.
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by pbear »

The reason you're getting hit by malware in XP is that it's no longer safe to take online. Hasn't been for a while, actually.

As for live boots, you could speed that up considerably if you burn the ISO to a USB flash drive. Does your BIOS support USB boot? If so, there a range of options -including a couple where you can save changes from session to session - but no point going into that if you won't be able to use.

Don't understand the question about Device Manager. What setting are you looking for?
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Re: Differences between versions / editions?

Post by ZakGordon »

SyncroScales wrote:Does Linux Mint or Ubuntu or any other Linux OS have a "Device Manager" such as in Windows? I was looking and only found everything separate which showed if it was recognized and had a driver.
Not really, and as an ex-windows user myself i found that difficult to deal with. I used the 'Software Manager' to install 'hardinfo' to give me the range of info that the 'Device Manager' in windows could give. It is not exactly the same, but having access to the hardware info in Mint that i was used to getting in Windows easily made me feel better.

The 'Control Panel' (i assume you mean the 'System Settings' panel?) in Mint is pretty simple, but at least you can get access to various bits of the system and adjust in an on/off kind of way. I mostly use it for when plugging in my laptop to a bigger screen and needing to route sound via the HDMI cable, and also adjusting to the new screen display. You also have the 'Printer' info here if needed etc.

Now you only ever want to use the 'Software Manager' to install 'new' programs on Mint, you don't just download stuff from the wider internet like you would in Windows. This is the best advice for a new user, and the safest advice, and Mint is great in giving you access to a whole bunch of programs (for free!) via this 'Software Manager'. Once you feel confident in your 'linux' skills (i.e you think you can fix stuff easily) then you can probably think about moving outside the 'Software Manager' for installing stuff, others can give you more specific advice on this.

To get to the 'Software Manager' is probably different depending on which version of Mint you are using, but to just give a 'windows like' explanation for you to follow, on my system that is running 17.1 Cinnamon, i would go:

Menu>Administration>Software Manager

Then you'll get asked to provide your password and then it will load up the 'Software Manager' and you get a range of categories of software to choose from. The 'hardinfo' program you can simply search for, and when it is installed it will appear in the 'Administration' branch of your menu and be called 'System Profiler and Benchmark'. When run you will get a 'Device Manager' like display of all your hardware etc.
Laptop overheating? Check link here:itsfoss guide . A move from Cinnamon to XFCE can give a -5 to -10 degrees C change on overheating hardware.

Build a modern dual-boot Ryzen Win7/Linux Mint PC:Tutorial
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