How to Install and Configure Linux Mint
Compiz with Desktop Cube enabled and Emerald Window DecoHave you ever
wanted something better than what's running on your computer now? Whether
it's a Windows, Mac or Linux OS, be ensured that there are better systems
out there. This wikiHow will show you how to install and configure Linux
Mint on your computer. Linux Mint is one of the most popular and fastest
growing OSs out there, and be a complete replacement for Windows. The
advantages are clear: it's faster, better quality, easy to use and
extend, secure, lasts forever as well as free to use and distribute.
Still not convinced? Go tohttp://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/for a huge list
of advantages that Linux has over other OSs. (Linux Mint is unique in its
look, easy theme management, large free software repositories, and out-
of-the-box functionality. Things just work. You will be amazed.
1Install Linux Mint. It is one of the most elegant and user-friendly OSs
out there. Check outthis articlefor instructions.<
2Install Compiz Fusion. Open Synaptic Package Manager, type 'simple-ccsm'
(without quotes) right click and mark for installation. This should also
install 'ccsm', if it doesn't, install that as well. We also need compiz,
compiz-plugins, compiz-core, compiz-gnome and compiz-fusion-plugins-
extra. Make sure they are all marked for installation (use the search box
at the top) and click apply.
3Configure Compiz.Ok, this is the fun part. Compiz is a window manager
that takes full advantage of your graphics card (however good it is) and
adds many effects, eg. 3D desktop rotation. Right click on your desktop
and click on 'change background' to open Appearance preferences. Navigate
to 'Visual Effects' and select 'custom'.Shift Cover - seen this
before?Now click the preferences button to open the Simple CompizConfig
Settings Manager, and click on the 'Desktop' tab. Select 'Desktop Cube'
under Appearance. Use 3 to 5 Desktop Columns and one Desktop Row. Now go
to the Effects tab. Select 'Shift Switcher (Cover)' as your Alt+Tab
window switcher. Select Deformation: Cylinder, change the opacity to
about 70, and tick every box EXCEPT Blur, unless you have a graphics card
that can handle it. If your graphics are relatively old/integrated, don't
even touch this option. Close the simple manager. Try things out, eg.
hold down Ctrl+Alt and click&drag with the mouse. Next, we will customise
what you are seeing there. Open the CompizConfig Settings Manager (ie.
the non-simple one). On the main screen, untick Negative and tick 'Show
Mouse'. Click on 'Rotate Cube' and change Zoom to about 0.4. Go back, in
the 'Effects' section (left menu), tick 'Bicubic Filter' and
'Trailfocus'. Try out the 'Paint Fire' and 'Water' Effects if you want
(Simply Enable them and use the shortcuts from the settings page). Now go
to 'Cube Reflection and Deformation' (tick it if it isn't ticked
already), expand appearance and click on the top image file. Click Edit
and replace everything with '`' (without quotes). To the same for the
bottom image. Go the top and bottom cube colours and change opacity to 0
for both. Now go back to the main screen and tick 'Window Previews'. Feel
free to try out other things, too. Everyone has different requirements
and a different taste.
4Install Emerald Window Decorator. Go to the Package Manager (Look in
Main Menu). Type emerald in the search box at the top. Right click
emerald and mark it for installation, then apply. After it has installed,
press Alt+F2 (run dialog) and type 'emerald --replace' (without quotes).
You should notice the change instantly. To make sure emerald loads at
every system boot, add it to the list in 'Startup Applications' (see Main
Menu). Use the same command.
5Configure Emerald. You can make your window borders look absolutely any
way you want, whether thats like Mac Snow Leopard or Windows 7. For this,
you need the Emerald Theme Manager. If it's not already installed, go
back to Synaptic (the package manager) and install 'emerald-theme-
manager'. Then open it and have a look around. There are literally
thousands of themes to choose from and configure to your liking, just go
tognome-look.org -> beryland download some. Then add them through the
theme manager. You can try my theme:Earth Magic. You can see screenshots
there as well. If you want something more blue you can go forthis
one(more like Windows 7). Still, you can always change the colours to
what you prefer.
6Install Synapse to launch programs easily. Just add ppa:synapse-core/ppa
to your software sources, update and search for ¡®Synapse¡¯ in the Ubuntu
Software Centre. Open it from the main menu. You can now trigger it by
tapping Ctrl+Space. Type to search for a program and hit Enter.
7Get a dock. A dock is an application launcher and window manager. Think
MacOSX - they have one at the bottom of the screen. You have many
different options for this, including: Docky, Cairo-Dock, ADeskBar and
AWN. Personally I found AWN to be very customisable, powerful and stable.
Simple instructions (copy&paste the commands in Terminal) for
8Install other programs. Don't forget to install other programs you may
need. Linux Mint does come bundled with loads of software already, but
they can't put everything on their CD. Pimp out FireFox with add-ons and
themes. Before you jump over to Chrome or Opera, consider that you can
configure FireFox to do pretty much everything they can and still be
faster and secure. Say hello to Google Earth (now easily installable
through the Software Manager).
9Need to install Windows Software? Install Wine and/or VirtualBox Wine
tries to emulate Windows and can often install or run Windows programs.
However, it can be quite tricky to get to work; it may not work with
every program. I would recommend installing PlayOnLinux
(http://www.playonlinux.com/en/), it is a program that makes installing
Windows Software (eg. MS Office 2007, games) from a CD really easy. Your
second option for running non-Linux software is installing VirtualBox,
which creates a virtual partition on which to run the OS. Basically, you
can install and run Windows (or anything else) inside Linux, just like in
another window. Then you can install your software on that. You also
don't risk ruining Linux Mint.
10Install gstreamer plugins, restricted extras and other useful stuff. Go
back to synaptic and install Ubuntu restricted extras, gstreamer extra
plugins, ms core fonts, and Flash.
11Browse through blogs like webupd8.org and omgubuntu.co.uk. Of course a
blog is a lot more up to date than this article!<
If you are using a laptop and the Wi-Fi light is not working, search for
Linux Back-port Modules in Synaptic and install them. Next time you
reboot, the LEDs should work.
Some of the compiz effects may not work whilst running the Live CD (but
should work once you have installed the system).
Not all graphics cards can handle these effects. However, mine is an old
Intel integrated graphics accelerator (ie. really cheap) and does just
fine. Its only limitation is handling large textures (eg. for the
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