10 Things To Do After Installing Linux Mint 16 Petra

10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 16 Petra

Linux Mint 16 Petra has been released recently. Based on Ubuntu 13.10, Linux Mint comes with Cinnamon and Mate desktop environments (separately). I was using Ubuntu 13.10 before and replaced it with Linux Mint 16 to try my hands on it. [Read: How to install Linux Mint 16 in dual boot with Windows 8].

After installing any new OS, the first thing that comes to the mind is, what next? Previously, I have written on similar topics on things to do after installing Ubuntu 13.10 and things to do after installing Elementary OS Luna. In this post we shall see what are the must to do things after installing Linux Mint 16 Petra.

Things to do after installing Linux Mint 16 Petra

I have written this article for Linux Mint with Cinnamon but it should be equally applicable for Mate version as well. Lets have a look:

Update Linux Mint 16:

First and foremost thing to do is to update the OS. Since there will be sevreal updates released since the OS image was released, it is suggestable to do so. Of course, Update Manager will pop up some time soon to remind you of available updates but why not do it right now before going to install several other things?

Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and use the following command:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Enable touchpad click:

First strange thing that you’ll notice (if using a laptop) is that touchpad click is not working in Cinnamon and if you want to click on something, you will have to use the touchpad button to click. This is not at all a friendly behavior as a regular user is habitual of tapping on the touchpad to click.

Cinnamon has this behavior disabled by default, for reasons beyond my comprehension. You can easily enable it by going to System Settings-> Hardware-> Mouse and Touchpad-> Toucpad tab-> Enable mouseclicks with touchpad. In case you are not sure how to follow this path, refer to this screenshot tutorial to fix touchpad click not working in Linux Mint.

Install additional drivers in Linux Mint 16:

Linux Mint is an excellent Linux distribution for beginners. It packs all the necessary things to run it out of the box. But it does not mean you may not have troubles. Linux desktops are notorious for hardware drivers issue. Third party proprietary drivers are not installed by default. It is advisable to look if there are any proprietary drivers available for your system. This will avoid the troubles with wireless and graphics related common issues.

Go to System Settings and under the Administration section, choose the Device Drivers option. If there are any additional drivers available for your system, it should be listed here.

Install Additional drivers after installing Linux Mint 16

Improve battery life and reduce overheating:

Feeling the heat from your laptop? Overheating and reduced battery life is common ‘phenomenon’ in Linux Mint. Jupiter was the best tool to reduce overheating in Linux desktop but since its development has stopped, you can use TLP or CPUFREQ instead of Jupiter. Install TLP using the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
sudo tlp start

No configuration required for using TLP. Install it and forget about it. If you want to use CPUFREQ, read this article how to use CPUFREQ to reduce overheating in Ubuntu.

Change screensaver timing:

An untouched Linux Mint has power saving options enabled. Which means the screen will dim after some minutes of inactivity and eventually the screen will be locked. This is pretty annoying specially if you are watching videos and movies. You should change the screensaver configuration as per your preferences.

Go to System Settings -> Preferences -> Screensaver & Lock Settings to change it.

Screensaver option Linux Mint 16

Install weather indicator and other applets:

I really liked Linux Mint for segregating Applets from main applications. Applets sit in the Panel and gives you quick access to an application or provides stats about it. You can add, install, remove and configure applets from Applets settings.

Go to System Settings -> Preferences -> Applets to manage the applets. You will not see all the applets like weather indicator here, at first. You will have to click on Get more online tab. It will update the source cache and will provide you with other applets available from Linux Mint community. You’ll have to activate the applets after installing them.

Installing applets in one of the first few things to do after installing Linux Mint 16

When you install weather applet, you will have to configure it with weather location codes. It takes some time to give you the correct weather for your selected location.

Install RAR:

To avoid errors like “There is no command installed for RAR archive files“ install RAR in the following manner:

sudo apt-get install rar

Install VLC media player:

I must say that I cannot live without VLC media player, undoubtedly the king of all video players (if I’m not exaggerating). There are several hidden features of VLC media player which most of the users might not be aware of it. Installing VLC media player is one of the first few things that I do in any OS. Use the following command to install VLC:

sudo apt-get install vlc

Install and change themes:

Linux Mint 16 comes with a default green-ish theme which has Mint written allover it. But this is not the only theme for Linux Mint. It comes with three themes pre-installed in the system but you can get many more from Cinnamon community, in the same way as the applets.

Go to System Settings -> Appearance -> Themes and there click on the Get more online tab. Once the cache is updated, you can select the desired themes to install in the system and can activate them accordingly.

Install Mate desktop enviornment:

Not happy with Cinnamon? If you want the Gnome Classic experience, try Mate then. While downloading you might have seen that there were two flavors available for Linux Mint: Cinnamon and Mate. No, you don’t need to re-install Linux Mint with Mate flavor. You can install Mate desktop environment in Linux Mint 16 using this command:

sudo apt-get install mate-desktop

Install cloud storage like Dropbox and Ubuntu One:

In this age of Cloud, you must be having an account with Dropbox or Ubuntu One. You can install Ubuntu One and Dropbox from Software Manager (Linux Mint’s equivalent to Ubuntu Software Center). Alternatively, you can install Dropbox using the following command:

sudo apt-get install dropbox

What else?

Apart from these there are several other things to do as well. I deliberately omitted to mention to get rid of welcome screen or installing other web browsers etc. Linux Mint comes with lots of applications by default. This is why you don’t need to install Java, Flash etc. I know it varies from people to people and this why your list of things to do after installing Linux Mint 16 might be different from mine. Do share what else do you do after installing Linux Mint.

  • Yousef El-Sayed

    Thank you for the information.

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Yousef.

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Yousef.

  • erix

    Thanks for the info.I’d like to note that VLC player comes with Mint 16.

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Erix,

      I remember installing VLC in it. I don’t remember whether it was pre-installed. Thanks for the info anyways.

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Erix,

      I remember installing VLC in it. I don’t remember whether it was pre-installed. Thanks for the info anyways.

  • The Abstract

    Thanks a lot bruh, especially for the how-to on enabling touchpad click. I really do wonder why that is disabled upon installation. Anyway, this might be weird but I really do dig the wallpaper shown in Cinnamon theme. How does one get that?

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Abstract…. which wallpaper are you talking about?

      • The Abstract

        The one seen here: http://cinnamon-spices.linuxmint.com/uploads/themes/ZUDA-XGMR-Z4O1.png

        That should be the right one but I can’t tell since I don’t have my notebook in front of me at the moment. I can’t seem to find where I can get that wallpaper.

        • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

          I just digged up a little. Its from “Tempered_glass__cinnamon_ 1″ theme. May be if you download/install this theme and then look in to its content, you will found the wallpaper there.

          • The Abstract

            Thanks again

          • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

            Always welcome :)

        • Ben Guy-Williams

          I’d fully recommend trying out Variety for a change – You can control it – mind gives me a nice selection of macro desktops with a green theme – and I must say that probably 8/10 images (from a few selected Flickr sources) are as good as, or mindblowingly better than the image above…

  • François Jallut

    Good article. Very useful particulary for power saving action

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Glad you liked it Francois.

  • betterfru

    You are awesome

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome :)

  • Airclay

    Thanks a ton. Trying linux for first time and both this and the dual boot articles were very helpful.

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      glad it helped you :)

  • pusnakts

    Hi, thank you forgood article, really helpful for me as I`m newbie in Linux world :) Indeed VLC is already included in Mint 16. I`m googling around to find a list with all included softs, no luck so far…

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Hi,
      Yes, I verified VLC comes by default with Linux Mint. I’ll update the article with a suitable “must do” suggestion soon :)

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  • Luis Quintana

    Hey Abishek, thanks so much for the post. I do would like to ask you if you could post something about enabling compiz and the cube desktop as soon as you have a chance.

    Regards.

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Thanks for the suggestion Luis. I have added it to my list. I’ll try to write it soon. Stay tuned.

  • Nicola

    Hi, nice post! A question. I have just installed Mint 16 MATE. When I was trying it out live from the USB stick, the wireless worked; now it doesn’t. But I can’t seem to find anything relevant in the Driver Manager. I installed bcmwl-kernel-source via Synaptic, but it doesn’t show up in the Driver Manager, nor is the wireless working. Any suggestions?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Nicola,
      Sorry for my late reply. Is the problem still persists.

  • Tonkec Palonkec

    Hey I have one question. I installed Linux Mint 6 cinnamon but i can not configure brightness at all. When I go on screensaver & lock settings I can not do anything with brightness button. The line is there but there isn’t round button at all. Any help? My eyes really hurts me. Brightness is too high. ;/ Btw very helpful post. Good job. I hope there’ll be more :D

  • Ben Guy-Williams

    Best install Mate from the DVD and install Cinnamon as an extra desktop.
    I’ve used both, and whereas I can see why folks love shiny Cinnamon I can say that for reliability and simply being able to get the job done, Mate is a better original install.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Its just matter of preference. I think Mate is ideal for old Linux user who liked Gnome 2 and users who are habitual of Windows.

  • BreakTheChains

    Hi Abhishek,
    Am very new to linux running mint 16 Petra from a 16 GB usb stick after my vista acer laptop’s HDD died, but thats all I know about the version I have ( Gnome, KDE, Xfce, LXDE? havent a clue!).

    Problem #1 is not being able to enter the commands you gave; pushing ctrl+alt+T does nothing and therefore unable to “open a terminal”. Also, no “system settings” or “preferences” labels anywhere. Any advice please? Oh, and does the command line ‘get’ mean to download from internet? Thanks for your help.

    • http://KingArthur13th.Blogspot.com/ KingArthur13th

      crtl+alt+T is just one way of getting to the terminal. You can also open the start menu and type in “terminal” and it should come up. There should also be a “terminal icon” in the panel which you can just click on.

      The same thing applies with “System settings” and “preferences.” Just type them into the start menu.

      “Preferences” is also on the start menu and both “System settings” and “Terminal” are listed under “Administration” on the start menu.

      • BreakTheChains

        Thanks for the reply, KingArthur13th. Just discovered that I’m using the wrong version for my machine (64 bit instead of 32bit) plus still not able to hook up to internet while using LinuxMint (which is possible through wi-fi that I do not have, only a usb modem that runs on a windows-based program), so I am kinda stuck a bit as far as downloading updates, etc..

        But I did find the terminal heading inside the menu, though not in the context you described as the items in my menu and the start menu you mention seem very different. How can I take a screen shot in Linux? I sure would like to post that for clarification.

        • http://KingArthur13th.Blogspot.com/ KingArthur13th

          You can take a screenshot by pressing the print screen (PrtSc) button on your keyboard.

          Sorry, I was a little off about the menu thing.
          *”System Settings” is listed under “Preferences.”
          *Both “Preferences” and “Administration” can be found when you open the start menu.
          *”Terminal” can be found by typing it into the Start Menu or by pressing the icons which are found on start panel and the left side of the Start Menu.

          When it comes to the wifi issue. Do you have an internet provider (Comcast, Verizon) or are you just using a wifi adapter?

        • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

          Sorry for not reply earlier. Your comment just got buried among many others.
          Thanks @KingArthur13th:disqus for helping @BreakTheChains:disqus . I appreciate your help to a fellow Linux user.

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  • Paul C

    Hi Abhichek,
    Thanks for the list. I was wondering what your thoughts were on anti-virus software for Mint 16? Do you have any suggestions? I am on Mate.

    Thanks.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Paul,

      I see no use of an antivirus software for a Linux based desktop, here is why: http://www.howtogeek.com/135392/htg-explains-why-you-dont-need-an-antivirus-on-linux-and-when-you-do/

    • TechInMD

      I think using ClamTK (ClamAV Linux GUI) could help put your mind at ease. It allows you to scan your hard drive for known-infected files. Especially if you are using Wine or some other type of platform emulation software. I have found infected files on my linux machine in the past, and was able to remove them before anything bad happened. So, it doesn’t hurt to be safe.

  • Rusty1

    This is possibly the worst advice anyone using mint can follow. Mint is a GUI based distro and use of apt to update and upgrade can have disastrous consequences. Stick to the Update and package managers. If you want to use the terminal to manage packages and updates , Mint is not the distro for you.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      With due respect, I beg to disagree.
      While Mint Update is good with its ‘level of update’, it does not mean updating via APT will be disastrous. Most of the apps mentioned here are from the official repository so even if you install these apps from Update Manager, it will be the same.
      For the apps which are installed via PPA, obviously they are not in official repository and you will have to add extra source in your software list.
      I see no harm in using terminal a little.

      • HerHealthySelf

        I so agree with you (and *thank you* for your help, BTW–I was crying in my keyboard after loading Mint until I found your tips). Using the terminal can seem scary–until you try it. Having small breadcrumbs–like these tweaks for Mint–is an excellent way to reduce the fear factor.

        • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

          Glad that you found it helpful :)

        • Ben Guy-Williams

          Cool.

          One of my favourite terminal tweaks is to improve the information you get.

          For example, to get a really nice prompt (with subtle but useful colour feedback, and a simple structure….

          add this line to your .bashrc file:
          PS1=”$LIGHTBLUEu @h$DARKWHITE @$BROWN n[w] $NC ”

          Fire up a new terminal to see how it looks – delete the line if you don’t like it.

      • Ben Guy-Williams

        Certainly for me, apt-fast is a saviour…. it can take days for an update to succeed otherwise

    • Rd1

      Are you serious? Why are you so afraid of the terminal? I’ve been using linux for the past 9 years and the terminal is nothing to be afraid of. Stick to your precious GUI’s. Linux is obviously not for you. Useless fear monger-er.

    • Ben Guy-Williams

      ROFL.

      Obviously you’re not using apt-fast (which uses aria2c or axel to greatly accelerate any downloads which don’t already take up your full download bandwidth…).

      My greatest problem with linux is getting repositories to connect and update… Sadly we cannot all get the kind of connection that Koreans have, and people in countries developed enough to offer everyone instant full speed connections around the globe should certainly NOT dominate the needs of the few.

      EDIT your .bashrc. Have fun…. here’s something worth trying…

      alias dl=’axel -v -a’

      Next time you have a link to download in Chrome, copy the link, open a terminal and type ‘dl’ and then press CTRL+ALT+V to paste the url – compare the timing.

      AFter that try out:
      alias upgrade=’sudo apt-fast update && sudo apt-fast upgrade’
      alias repo=’sudo add-apt-repository’
      alias remove=’sudo apt-fast remove’
      alias clean=’sudo apt-get autoclean && sudo apt-get autoremove && sudo apt-get clean && sudo apt-get remove’
      alias install=’sudo apt-fast install’
      alias update=’sudo apt-fast update’

      There, now yer granny can use the terminal ;)

      • Ms Jas

        I installed mint 16 Petra and cannot connect to the internet, when I go to driver manager, I am told my device is not working. Please, how can I fix it??

  • velvetart

    Thanks so much for your advice. I am about to turn my old laptop (dell, about 5 years old, running windows xp now) into a dedicated Linux computer (no partition, erasing windows entirely). just a couple of questions: Do you recommend the Cinnamon version as I have seen suggested? Should I download the 32 or 64 bit version? is there any good guide to installing Mint for the first time (or do you think another Linux version is even better?) thanks so much, Shabtai

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Since your laptop is 5 years old, it could be that its 32 bit processor. You’ll have to check on internet if your laptop model is 32 bit or 64 bit.

      As you are going to completely remove Windows, I would suggest to stick with Linux Mint as it is known for running put of the box with least hardware issues. Mate is more suitable for your laptop as it is a bit old. So, the answer to your question is Linux Mint Mate 32 bit.

      Hope it helps. And welcome to Linux world :)

  • r3p0

    Pretty messed up code sections on this page. Can’t hardly tell if your copy pasta-ing correctly because of your code section color selections. About makes this page … worthless.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Agree… It’s very difficult to distinguish on Firefox…a little better if you view it on Chrome though..

    • Steve

      Code sections are completely readable as well as copy-able. “Worthless”? nonsense. Time to the the glasses prescription checked maybe!

  • Nicu Zecheru

    Thanks for the battery improvements tip!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome

  • James Burnby

    I have a grunty desktop (without batteries) but was hoping the battery tip will let me quieten down the PC when its not needing a lot of power. It just made linux crash repeatedly like the Windows 95 days. I wouldn’t take that step if you have no batteries.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Ah.. Never tried without batteries… Thanks for the info.

  • HerHealthySelf

    Abhishek, I just read your reply re: using Mate on old computers. I downloaded the Cinnamon version of Mint, but–as I am using it on an old Toshiba Satellite–now want to use the Mate DT. I’ve downloaded it (thank you again for providing terminal instructions!), and have two questions:
    1. How do I actually switch over to it?
    2. Would deleting Cinnamon cause any problems (and, if not, how would I go about doing that?)
    Oops! That’s three questions!
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Hi,
      Sorry for my relatively late reply. As you mentioned you already installed Mate. So when you login, where you type your password, there should be a gear symbol for settings, click on it and choose the desktop env of your choice.
      You don’t need to remove Cinnamon.

      Hope this helps :)

      • HerHealthySelf

        Thank you! I see it now. I really appreciate your help.

  • karthik

    hi abhishek,
    i’ve a problem i hope you can help me with. iv installed mint on my macbook pro and have installed drivers and updated as per your article, but no matter what, i cant seem to change the brightness. the brightness bar in settings doesn’t even have a slider… it’s too bright. how can i reduce the brightness? please help

  • ms jas

    I installed mint 16 Petra and cannot connect to the internet, when I go to driver manager, I am told my device is not working. Please, how can I fix it??…. I previously posted this comment below in the wrong part of the thread.

    • Darky

      You most likely can connect to the Ethernet. I would start looking up Wi-Fi driver issues if I were you. I recently had to overcome this obstacle myself – RT3290. Go to the Mint Forums and ask for help there.

    • Paran

      Connect your system using wired. Click on Driver Manager. It should list the wifi drivers. Select one. That worked for me.

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  • Chetan

    sudo apt-get install mate-desktop
    using this command i upgraded my cinnamon to mate
    but
    now, i want my cinnamon back

    • Snarfed

      when you log in there should be a box in the top corner, click it and select cinnamon instead of mate, very simple :)

  • wahaxs

    Succesfully dual boot bro,.Thanks,.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome :)

  • New2Linux

    Just installed Mint/Petra with the xfrc desktop (migrating from Win XP). Nice, though I can’t find some fundamental things like:
    1. How do you “shut down” the computer to turn it off?
    2. The Linux computer can see my LAN (folder) but not the other PCs on it; the “Permissions” tab won’t allow me to give read/write access so I others on my LAN can access it, saying I don’t have authorization.
    Sounds like simple solutions, but forums haven’t seemed to help & docs offer no leads. Suggestions?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      I think turn off is too obvious. If you are saying that it saves your session at each turn off and at next login you see same application opened, you can change the setting.
      For the LAN issue, I have virtually no experience with it till now as I have only 1 laptop at home. It’s sad that you could not find the solution on forums.

  • Sunil Goel

    Hi,
    I need you advice on something. I have a dual-boot of winxp and linux mint 14. I am (55yrs) and are not an expert on linux but I am in the process of switching over as now winxp is officially dead. I do not intend to get win7/8 on my laptop.
    I have dropbox on winxp ntfs partition which is mounted automatically on boot up in Linux . There are no problems in accessing and using data on either system. BUT using the same dropbox for both the systems is problematic and have read about many bad experiences of other users. The ‘symlink’ way is only partially successful and has caused much heartburn and data loss. Questions: what is the way out to do this successfully OR is there any free alternative to dropbox that I can use safely on both xp and mint. I cannot give up xp completely at this stage.
    I will be glad if you could help me please.
    SK

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Sunil,

      Usually I keep my music folder on auto-mounted NTFS partition but I have never used the same strategy for Dropbox therefore I cannot comment on whether it will create an issue or not.

      One, not so clean way, is to have two different install of Dropbox in Windows and Linux. To save the data usage, stop Dropbox as soon as you have installed it in Linux, copy the dropbox files from the windows and paste it in the Dropbox folder of Linux install. This will save the trouble of downloading all the data again, and it will just index the file.
      Since Ubuntu One is dead, its no longer a valid alternative. There is Google Drive but it doesn’t have an official Linux client.

  • Danni Khan

    hi abhishek i installed a linux mint 13 mate version and i am unable to connect with the internet i am busting my head for quite a while now and couldnot find any proper help
    i run inxi -N and the result is
    card-1:broadcom device 4365
    card-2: Realtek rtl8101E/RTL8102E PCI EXPRESS Fast ethernet controlle
    i tried to get drivers for linux mint through another computer but i am unable to install them
    any help will be much appreciated thanks in advance

  • IAF101

    Thanks a lot. I’m a Linux OS newbie (though not computer illiterate) and I was really worried about all the drivers (display, audio, printer, webcam, external HDD, etc) being recognized by this OS. So far so good, only minor issues with some proprietary software.

    Please keep writing more such articles. They really help a lot.

  • Guest

    Is it possible to run NAS service with this OS ? Anybody know how to configure this ??

  • acm

    Thank you! I’ve installed Mint 16 for my sister, and this was hugely helpful in setting up thoughtful touches (Dropbox, for one) before turning her machine back over to her.