These are my notes and observations taken from a full, bare metal installation of Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon (Sarah). This version of Mint is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. I’ve now migrated my main workstation to Linux Mint 18 after spending weeks wrestling with KDE Plasma 5 (Kubuntu-16.04). I still like the new Plasma (5) but it still has bugs and missing features. Maybe the missing features and increased stability will be present in 18.04… So after spending a full week with Mint 18, it is my opinion that Linux Mint is THE best DE (Desktop Environment) for Linux.
This document assumes that you have a working Linux Mint 18 install.
First, apply recent updates:
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade
Install restricted packages “ubuntu-restricted-addons” and “ubuntu-restricted-extras”. Ubuntu-restricted-addons includes GStreamer, GStreamer plugins and libdvdread4 (library for reading DVD’s) ubuntu-restricted-extras includes the Adobe Flash plugin, ffmpeg, lame (MP3 encoding library), and Microsoft TrueType fonts.
$ sudo apt-get -y install ubuntu-restricted-addons ubuntu-restricted-extras
Enable DVD playback.
$ sudo apt-get -y install libdvd-pkg
Firefox comes installed as the default browser, however I like to keep Chromium handy.
$ sudo apt-get -y install chromium-browser
I use two e-mail clients Thunderbird and Claws Mail:
$ sudo apt-get -y install thunderbird claws-mail claws-mail-plugins claws-mail-tools
Install utils to mount exfat file systems
$ sudo apt-get -y install exfat-fuse exfat-utils
Install some multi-media apps VLC, WinFF, and Devede and Handbrake:
$ sudo apt-get -y install vlc vlc-plugin* winff devede handbrake soundconverter
My workstation sometimes serves files over the LAN so additional Samba/CIFS utilities are helpful
$ sudo apt-get -y install samba cifs-utils fusesmb
Install other favorite utilities
$ sudo apt-get -y install p7zip gimp gcolor2 agave filezilla putty zim gwenview geeqie
Install developer/code and documentation tools
$ sudo apt-get -y install geany bluefish retext
Install Skype, which is included in offical Linux Mint repos
$ sudo apt-get install skype
Install Bittorrent clients Transmission and qBittorrent, however Transmission is installed as the default BT client.
$ sudo apt-get -y install qbittorrent
Install (Oracle) Java The easiest way to get Java (8) and to keep it updated is via ppa.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
Desktop Eye Candy – Desklets!
For those of us (like me) who have come from the KDE universe, Desklets are like KDE Widgets. On my rig I like to have a nice analog clock, a picture frame slideshow app, and a weather app. KDE4 had these but sadly the widgets available under KDE4 are not (yet) part of Plasma. Bummer.
On Linux Mint 18 the default included Desklets includes a nice picture frame app. So I needed to hunt down an analog clock and a weather app.
Analog Clock Desklet
We’ll need to install a dependency:
$ sudo apt-get install gir1.2-rsvg-2.0
Download the zip file: 389A-C5WM-FQ3G.zip
Extract zip file –> “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Copy “email@example.com” to: ‘$HOME/.local/share/cinnamon/desklets/’
To activate: Go to Desktop | (Right-click) Add Desklets
My favorite: Accuweather Applet/Desklet
Full list of Accuweather city codes: http://pastebin.com/dbtemx5F
Example: Location: Berkeley, CA
Install utilities needed for compiling apps
$ sudo apt-get install cmake build-essential debhelper fakeroot checkinstall
Add Thumbnail Icons for Nemo (File Manager)
By default, there are no thumbnail icons for mkv/avi/mpeg files in Nemo. To get this functionality, install ffmpegthumbnailer.
$ sudo apt-get install ffmpegthumbnailer
Modify Edit:* /usr/share/thumbnailers/ffmpegthumbnailer.thumbnailer* Save the original
$ sudo cp ffmpegthumbnailer.thumbnailer ffmpegthumbnailer.thumbnailer-orig
Now, edit ffmpegthumbnailer.thumbnailer. Modify the second line (Exec=…) to look like this one:
$ sudo nano ffmpegthumbnailer.thumbnailer [Thumbnailer Entry] TryExec=ffmpegthumbnailer Exec=/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -s %s -i %i -o %o -c png -f
Save and quit Nemo
$ nemo -q
Delete the existing thumbnail cache:
$ rm -r ~/.cache/thumbnails/
Restart Nemo, and now you’ll have video thumbnails!