Notes on Installing Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon LTS

The following is a rough guide to setting up Linux Mint on an ASUS S200E VivoBook (also sold as the X202E) but most of it will apply to other types of netbook, laptop or desktop PC as well. Everything here is really my own personal preference and I openly admit that I like things to look and behave as close to a Windows installation as possible, the reason being I actually like Windows and find it pleasant to use and there's nothing wrong with that. This particular 11.6" notebook (mine is the Celeron version) supports Linux Mint 'out of the box' with just a small amount of tweaking required to get it just right, and the touchscreen works quite well too. The S200E requires the 64-bit version of Mint which can be downloaded here: http://www.linuxmint.com

Internal DVD drives are becoming a thing of the past but that's no problem. Linux Mint can be installed from a USB stick by using a utility called Unetbootin which can be downloaded here: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net. The procedure of copying an ISO file onto a USB stick is covered on the Unetbootin website. The Asus has to be set to boot from an external USB drive instead of it's own hard drive by pressing the F2 key just as it starts, and then selecting the correct boot order in the BIOS menu. Mint can be run as a 'Live CD' which means you can try it first before permanently installing it onto your hard drive. The live trial has an install icon on the desktop which when clicked will guide you through the install process. Linux can be installed alongside a current Windows installation (dual boot) but I always prefer to wipe the hard drive and start fresh. If you find that your USB stick doesn't work, it may need to be set as 'Active'. A free utility that can check if this is the case and correct it is EasUS Partition Master

During installation:

1) Select Connect to this network and log into your wifi to download additional software during install
2) Select Install third-party software to add extra support for hardware and common multimedia file types etc.
3) Select Erase disk and install Linux Mint to completely wipe the hard drive for a clean install (if you want to of course)
4) Select Log in automatically when you get to the name and password entry window (if you are the only person who has physical access to your PC and prefer not to enter a password to log in during startup, select this option, but you will still need a password for other system related things though)

After installation:

If you didn't connect to the internet during the install process, click on the network icon in the lower panel (diagonal up and down arrows) and select your wireless network. After entering your network password, click Connect. Go to Menu > Administration > Update Manager to download any system updates that are required. On the window that opens, click the Refresh, Select All and Install Updates buttons. This may have to be done several times to install level 1, 2 and 3 updates (your system password will be required). When you see the message 'Your sytem is up to date' you are ready to start customising things to your own taste. The following are my own personal preferences but you can of course do whatever you want

Customising the panel:

I like the panel to look clean and as close to my Windows 10 desktop PC as possible. First I remove all the panel items (Applets) that I don't want by right clicking them and selecting the remove option. All I want showing are Menu on the left and PowerNetworkSound and Clock on the right (in that order). To rearrange these, right click the panel and select Panel edit mode. Panel items can now be dragged where you want them. Don't forget to switch panel edit mode off when finshed

To remove the Bluetooth applet from the panel go to Menu > Preferences > Bluetooth. In the Settings tab, turn off Show a tray icon

To remove the update manager applet from the panel go to Menu > Administration > Update Manager > Edit > Preferences. In the Options tab, select Only show a tray icon when updates are available or in case of errors

To modify the Menu icon, right click on it and select Configure. Click Use a custom icon and browse to the location of your wanted icon image. If you just want the icon without the word 'Menu' then simply leave the 'Text' box blank

The easiest way to get a truly Black panel is to install a new theme like Eleganse. Extract the contents of the downloaded package and place it in the .themes directory in your Home folder. Any folder with a . at the beginning of its name will be hidden, but you can unhide it by simply pressing ctrl + H. The new theme will now be available by going to Menu > Preferences > System Settings > Themes > Desktop

If you want to change the panel height, right click it, select Panel settings, set 'Use customised panel size...' to ON and move the Panel height slider

Add system shortcut icons to the desktop:

Right click the desktop and select Desktop Settings. In the window that opens, select the system icons that you want to appear on the desktop. I have Home, Rubbish Bin and Mounted volumes. Finally, right click the desktop, select Desktop and untick Auto-arrange

Add application shortcut icons to the desktop:

Go to the menu and right click the application you want to appear on the desktop. Select Add to desktop

Change desktop wallpaper:

Right click on the desktop and select Change Desktop Backround or to use a custom image, right click on an image file and select Set as Wallpaper

System Settings... your very best friend:

To open system settings, go to Menu > Preferences > System Settings. Some 'must change' settings are listed below:

Themes - Change the theme preferences
Screensaver - Change the screensaver and computer lock timing
Mouse and Touchpad - Set the mouse double click speed and touchpad scrolling
Power Management - Set the screen timeout, laptop lid and power button behaviour

Theme preferences:

Window borders - Mint-X
Icons - Adwaita
Controls - Mint-X-Blue
Mouse Pointer - DMZ-White (default)
Desktop - Eleganse

Installing software:

Software can be downloaded and installed by opening the terminal (Menu > Administration > Terminal) and entering the following command: sudo apt-get install followed by the name of the software. Multiple items of software can be installed at the same time by separating their names with a space as follows:

sudo apt-get install gthumb libreoffice-style-galaxy qshutdown

gthumb: A 'not too bad' photo editor (best of a mediocre bunch)
libreoffice-style-galaxy: A much better looking Libreoffice theme than the one that comes with it!
qshutdown: A timed shutdown utility... great for late night radio listening

Flash player is no longer supported in the Linux version of Firefox and so it is recommended that Google Chrome (which has built in flash capability) is used instead. It can be downloaded here: https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/

Skype can be downloaded as a .deb file from their website here: http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/

Uninstalling software:

Software can be uninstalled by opening the terminal (Menu > Administration > Terminal) and entering the following command: sudo apt-get remove
followed by the name of the software. Multiple items of software can be uninstalled at the same time by separating their name with a space as follows:

sudo apt-get remove firefox gimp hexchat pidgin pix rhythmbox simple-scan thunderbird transmission-common xplayer

Installing fonts:

Go to your home directory, create a folder called .fonts, then drag your fonts into it. Any folder with a . at the beginning of its name will be hidden, but you can unhide it by simply pressing ctrl + H

Installing a printer:

Plug a printer in and go to Menu > Administration > Printers. Highlight your printer and click the + Add button. In the window that opens, select your printer and click Forward > Apply. You can print a test page now if you want

Enable networking:

Samba must be installed to network between a Windows PC and Linux. To install samba, open the terminal and enter: sudo apt-get install samba

Samba requires its own password. To set one up, open the terminal and enter sudo smbpasswd -a username (username being your own of course). After being prompted for your system password, you will be asked to enter a New SMB password (this will be your Samba password needed for accessing Linux Mint from another computer). After verifying it again, press 'Enter' on the keyboard and close the terminal

Create a folder in your Home directory called 'Shared' (or whatever) then right click it and select Sharing Options. In the window that opens, set 'Share this folder' to ON. Click Create Share to finish. The Shared folder will now be available to other computers

Note: To reset the Samba password, open the terminal and enter sudo smbpasswd -x username (username being your own of course)

Useful Terminal Commands

Show system information:

sudo lshw
sudo lshw -html > SysInfo.html (this creates an HTML version in your home folder)

Show hardware information:

sudo dmidecode

Free up some hard drive space:

sudo apt-get clean (nothing appears to happen but that's normal)
and then
sudo apt-get autoremove (lists and removes unused software packages)

Shutdown Commands (change the time values to whatever you want):

sudo shutdown -h +30 (shutdown in 30 minutes)
sudo shutdown -h 08:00 (shutdown at 08:00)

sudo shutdown -c (shutdown cancel)

sudo poweroff (shutdown instantly)

Gain root access to system folders:


gksu nemo (gksu has to be installed)