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Linux Mint - First Impressions and some doubts

Discussion in 'Open Source' started by sakumar79, Feb 24, 2008.

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  1. sakumar79

    sakumar79 Active Member

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    A couple of days ago, I installed Linux Mint 3.0 (came with a Aug 2007 magazine) on my system(AMD XP 2800+, Radeon9600 GFX, 512MB RAM)... Earlier, a few months ago, I had installed Vector Linux SOHO on another system, and so, thought I would submit my initial reactions and comparisons to the Mint OS, and clarify some doubts in the process...

    1. Installation:
    The installation of current Linux Distros is typically a breeze, and Linux Mint was no different... Popped the bootable DVD, chose to boot from DVD, and the Live version came up with option to install... After setting up the basics (keyboard layout, etc), the matter of where to install came up... I had two HDDs, and I had created a empty space at the end of the second hard disk... However, the default choice of the Mint Installation came up as the first HDD... May be a small issue that they can work on (choosing to install in the best location should be defaulting correctly)... However, it was quite easy to set up the partitions the way I wanted it... After that, the OS installation began and went very smoothly... Sometimes, I wish that Windows could have simplified its installation process by getting all necessary inputs at the initial stages instead of bugging users at a couple of intermediate stages...

    2. Co-existance with Windows:
    The system already had Win XP on it... No problems were encountered retaining the old OS and its partitions... During bootup, Linux Mint comes up first with a number of options and the last entry is the Windows OS... I want to edit the bootup menu to default to Windows, but I am not sure how to do it... Looked around in the Control Center, System Preferences, etc, but could not find it...

    DOUBT: How to edit boot menu to default to Windows? Any GUI or is it editing of some config file...

    The OS recognises and mounts the existing Windows Partitions automatically, which is good... Seems to use ntfs-3g... For some reason, Vector Linux did not detect the partitions and I had to manually edit a config file after googling to set it up...

    DOUBTS:
    A) does Linux retain the user rights given to folders in NTFS Security settings? and
    B) Is there Read-only access setting by default and how to set Read-write access? (I was unable to delete a redundant file)

    3. General System Performance:
    I was slightly disappointed with the performance of the Mint OS... I had already heard that it was a slightly bloated OS, but I was a bit surprised that it made my system slow down much more than XP (which I admit required some general tweaking initially and regular maintenance/registry cleaning)...

    DOUBT: Are there any tweaks to make it leaner? I will be using the system for light gaming, office use, and internet mainly...

    4. Games:
    I play computer games a lot during my spare time... Even in Linux, there are some games that I like a lot (the classic xbill and Chromium come to my mind immediately) which I used to play once in a while during my college days... While I knew that Mint was primarily a Multimedia distro, I was surprised that not even a single game was installed... Tonight, I will be downloading all the preferred game packages through synaptic (God I love unlimited night time browsing addon for 50 a month with Airtel)... Will post some comments on the newer Linux games I havent played yet...

    5. Synaptic
    This is a very good way to manage installation of various software in the OS. Makes managing the software so much easier... Software updates after installation was there, left Linux to download them last night and it was over without any further interaction... However, some improvements can be made in its user-friendliness...

    Following features I feel will be helpful (if these features are already present please let me know...)
    A. I wanted to install Opera 9.26 and Opera 9.50 beta side -by-side so that I can use both depending on the site, etc... (on Windows, Opera 9.5 was faster, but 9.26 was more stable). But when I tried to install both one after the other, the second overwrote the first... Whats worse, I had Opera running during the second installation, and it seemed to have corrupted the files or something... It should warn and close any running instances of the software during installation... Now, even after complete uninstall and reinstall, I am unable to browse with Opera (clicking on Opera icon does nothing)... Please let me know what to do... I like Firefox okay, but I prefer Opera much more... And is there any setting that allows me to install Opera beta version separately through GUI (not by gunzipping, and running make/make install, etc)...
    B. Is there an option that will automatically accept that I will install all needed packages to install any package I select... There are many packages that have dependencies, and every time I select to install such packages, a warning that the other packages will also be installed comes up... This is quite annoying....

    5. Beryl and other things:
    Beryl is nice... But strange thing I noticed... I am not getting the top menu options (minimize/toggle maximize/exit) buttons during first login... Then, after I run Beryl manager, it comes up... Any ideas why?
    Also, default there was no workspaces... Then, I went through some websites and found how to add it to the main panel...But even then it did not respond... Finally, when I started Beryl, then I got 4 workspaces and it was working...
    DOUBT: How to make Beryl start automatically on logging in?

    Internet connection is great... I have a modem that doesnt need username/password to enter; just switch it on and it starts.... With VectorLinux, if my net connection was not started during bootup, I had some scripts to run to get the net connection working after I switch on the modem... With Mint, it automatically detected the connection and set it up...


    DOUBT: Also, is it possible to set the Windows key to open up the main menu just like in Windows it opens the start menu?


    Please post your comments and clarify my doubts....

    Arun
     
  2. infra_red_dude

    infra_red_dude Wire muncher!

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    You can install the package: Startup Manager. This is a gui manager for GRUB. Which will let you change many things apart from the default OS.

    Goto System > Prefs > sessions.

    Uncheck all those which you don't use like evolution-alarm, vino (remote desktop) etc.

    You can also goto System > Admin > services and disable the services you don't use. Just search around a bit which will tell you what service does what and whether you actually need it. There is another program sys v rc conf, but I wudn't suggest that to you know. Mebbe after you haf some exp. with Linux.

    Regarding Opera, how did u install it? package manager? compiled? If thru package manager then goto synaptic and search for opera and remove it.

    If compiled then you gotta manually delete each file.

    This is coz Beryl uses its own Window manager to decorate/draw windows; no the default one.

    Goto System>Prefs>Sessions. Add a new entry in startup progs. Enter any name and in the command line enter: beryl --replace

    Got System>Prefs>keyboard shortcuts. Change the ones you like.
     
  3. Rahim

    Rahim Married!

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    To chabe Default Boot OS, open Terminal and type
    Code:
    sudo cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst.bkup
    to backup menu.lst.
    Now type
    Code:
    sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
    it will open menu.lst in Text Editor.
    Navigate to ##default num and see under default and change it to 4 from 0, if your Win XP is on the 5th line of Grun Menu.(The numbering starts from "0").
    Further you can change the timeout before you boot to the OS. Just change to the desired seconds under timeout option.
    Now save and close. And you are done.

    You can download Opera 9.5 Beta fromHere and choose Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft, Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn option, as Mint 3.0 is based on Ubuntu 7.04. Download that deb file and just install it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  4. infra_red_dude

    infra_red_dude Wire muncher!

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    To avoid all this termnial thing (coz some complain) I suggested him Startup manager. It has a beautiful gui for everything and is very easy too.

    Just point > click > select the default OS and voila it done! :)
     
  5. Rahim

    Rahim Married!

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    ^Someday he has to use command line. Isnt it?:)
    Your point is also valid.
     
  6. OP
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    sakumar79

    sakumar79 Active Member

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    Thanks guys...
    1. For the Startup Manager, there seems to be no such entry in the Synaptics package manager with same name... Closest in name is Startup-tasks... Will try out the command-line method a tonight and see what happens...
    2. Checked out System->Admin->Services... Removed some services like Actions schedulers, activity loggers, and speech synthesis support... Lets see if this helps...
    3. Opera installation was through Synaptics... I had tried completely remove and reinstall 9.26 but it did not work... Today I tried to reinstall with 9.50 and it is working... So, that problem has been solved...
    4. Inserted Beryl in startup list...
    5. In Keyboard shortcuts, got Panel Menu set originally to Alt+F1... Setting it to Windows key... But it opens the menu whereever the cursor is... Different behaviour from Windows, but thats okay too...


    New DOUBT: When I go to the Panel menu, it pops under existing windows... How to change this behaviour?

    BTW, did I say thanks guys? Thanks again...

    Arun
     
  7. Faun

    Faun Wahahaha~! Staff Member

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    nice to see yet another Curious George :D

    Dunno but in Ubuntu when u move a file(ntfs partition) to trash then it goes to a hidden folder named .Trash-$username , toggle the hidden file viewing by pressing CTRL-H and then delete the moved trash file from there permanently.
     
  8. Dark Star

    Dark Star New Member

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    Nice to another guy into Linux but bro don't you think Linux Mint 3.0 is old try using Ubuntu or I mean Kubuntu :p Gutsy .. Thats way better and nvidia 9600 is a gr8 card of its time it won't let your computer slow down in Linux ;)
     
  9. infra_red_dude

    infra_red_dude Wire muncher!

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    Download this and install: http://ubuntusoftware.info/sum_0.9-9_all.deb


    Sorry, couldn't get it.
     
  10. FilledVoid

    FilledVoid Who stole my Alpaca!

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    Thats because its name is "startupmanager" . Also make sure you have your repositories enabled. That is if universe is not enabled you will not see it. To enable repositories go to System > Administration > Software Sources . On the Ubuntu Software tab enable Universe.

    http://ubuntu-tweak.com/downloads . I haven't run it so I cant vouch for it. But I think some have so you can wait for their input also.

    This may or may not vary for Mint so you might want to confirm that also.
     
  11. OP
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    sakumar79

    sakumar79 Active Member

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    @Anirudh, thanks for the Startup-manager link, set it up... Hopefully, next boot will be right...

    BTW, setting the new command at startup "beryl --replace" did not work... Any ideas why?

    @Darkstar, my gfx is Radeon 9600 not nvidia 9600... It is a couple of years old...

    To everybody who has posted here, thanks again... Will try out other comments also and get back...

    Arun
     
  12. infra_red_dude

    infra_red_dude Wire muncher!

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    I hope it worked.

    Are you sure its beryl and NOT compiz? To ascertain that, Press Alt+F2 to bring the run dialog box or Goto Terminal windows and type: ber and press Tab. If its beryl then it should either show that or complete it to beryl by itself (autocomplete).

    Then try to type: comp and press Tab. You can see the same if compiz is intstalled. Just be sure as to what is installed and then goto Sys > Prefs > Sessions > startup programs.

    Now create a startup entry.

    If you use Beryl use this:
    Click Add button to create a new startup entry. Give the name Beryl Manager and command as: beryl-manager
    Add another entry, name it Beryl and command: beryl

    If you use compiz then:
    Click the Add button to create a new startup entry. Give the name Compiz and Command: compiz --replace

    Either of them should work for sure.
    [SIZE=-1][/SIZE]
     
  13. Dark Star

    Dark Star New Member

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    ^^Oops my bad I was referring to the same :)
     
  14. OP
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    sakumar79

    sakumar79 Active Member

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    @Anirudh, I will try that out... Also, I can try to check out the launcher link that is called when I run the Beryl Setting menu option in the main menu... Then, copy that to the new startup entry... The bootup option seems to have worked (I was careless and left the PC during bootup, it came to Windows...)

    @Darkstar, thats okay....

    Arun
     
  15. OP
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    sakumar79

    sakumar79 Active Member

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    Update: It was a crazy couple of weeks and I had no time to go to Linux (since this is my home computer and I was coming in late)... Just went back today...

    Now, the window is coming up okay... A few more queries have come up...
    1. Through Synaptic, I installed a few games like Chromium, kRaptor, xBill, etc... Now, in the start menu, there is Games list but only some of the games are listed... Chromium, kSudoku and some others are listed, while kRaptor, Mahjong, xbill, etc are not... Any idea why?
    2. To access the games missing in the list, I went to /usr, there was a games subdirectory which gave me access to all the games... How to create a shortcut on desktop? Copy followed by Paste Shortcut worked in Windows, but Paste Shortcut is not available in Mint...
    3. On playing games like kRaptor in low res, after game quits, the screen becomes enlarged and I have to move the mouse cursor to the screen edges to see the rest... How to fix this issue?

    Thanks in advance,
    Arun
     
  16. QwertyManiac

    QwertyManiac Commander in Chief

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    2. Right Click file > Make Link. Then copy the link to wherever. (ln command acts behind this.)
     
  17. narangz

    narangz Web developer

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    @QwertyManiac- Congrats man! Your blog is being featured in Google Reader's top recommendations :)
     
  18. QwertyManiac

    QwertyManiac Commander in Chief

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    @narangz - Err, I think it showed that due to relevancy! All blogs with a decent subscriber count get featured on that! :)
     
  19. narangz

    narangz Web developer

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    ^^ But it showed :) So you deserve to be congratulated :)
     
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