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Mint 13 Xfce: After First Boot Configuration

Initial Hardware Check & Configure

  • The “quick check” that the Hard Drive is good only works properly after the 1st boot
    • Settings » Disk Utility → Select the Operating System Drive
      • Ensure this drive has the GREEN LED graphic & “Disk is healthy”
      • If “A few bad sectors” or AMBER/RED LED, then REPLACE the drive!
  • The Mouse/Touchpad also needs to be configured to work in a more reasonable manner.
    • Settings » Mouse and Touchpad » Behavior → Increase Double Click Time to 350ms
    • Settings » Settings Editor » xfwm4 → mousewheel-rollup » double-click » toggle to FALSE

Internet Services Configuration

Linux Mint uses .deb files to install packages and updates. So for any location that uses multiple Linux computers, downloading these .deb files once, then storing them locally on the network, can make a tremendous difference to how fast installing programs or doing updates happens. (Only the 1st computer has to waaait for the needed .deb files to download from the Internet.)
  • enable using a squid-deb-proxy server – if there is one on the local network
  • sudo apt-get install squid-deb-proxy-client
    • Make certain “-client” is at the end of the above command! (Don't install a 2nd .deb server!)
A DNS “issue” in any 12.04LTS Linux can sometimes cause an Internet connection that is connected, but not working properly– because it cannot translate the site name into the numeric address used on the Internet. This problem often occurs when going about and using different WiFi networks.
  • Install the DNS / WiFi Internet fix
  • sudo dpkg-reconfigure resolvconf
    • answer “yes” to the 1st question …
    • answer “no” to the 2nd question …
    • click on “ok” for the “need to reboot” message


Software Sources & Updates

  • Remove the Ubuntu software repository that is no longer on the Internet from the Software Sources list
    • Settings » Software Sources » Other Software
      • select then Remove the Software Source
GIMP 2.8 was the first version to offer “Single Window Mode” … which places all the parts of GIMP into a single window – in the manner that many other Paint Programs are setup – instead of having many windows open for the different parts of the GIMP program.

LibreOffice 4.2 provides drastically better compatibility with things like Microsoft Office … so I also consider it a “must have” program for using Linux.
  • Use the appropriate PPA's to update GIMP and LibreOffice to the current version. (GIMP 2.8 & LibreOffice 4.2)
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-4-2
  • Now command Linux Mint to use the about the above changes to the Software Sources
    • sudo apt-get update
  • do all Updates → The “Shield” icon in the bottom right corner (that will have a blue symbol in the centre)
    “Standard Answers” to use with the Mint Updater : (what I recommend using)
    • click ”Ok” to any additional changes pop-ups
    • click ”Replace” to any “Replace configuration file” pop-ups
Linux does NOT have the same “Rollback Drivers” capability of other Operating Systems such as Windows. So if a Proprietary Video Driver “fails spectacularly” – that can leave Linux Mint with no video at all on the display.

If that happens, it can actually be simpler to “start over & reload Linux”. Or an experienced user can use a Live Boot DVD/USB – to then use text commands to set the video driver back to something that worked.
Proprietary Video Drivers (drivers provided by the manufacture) are often needed to get acceptable performance on older ATI® or NVIDIA® Video Cards. (Hopefully an older card has a Proprietary Driver available.) For the above reason, any drivers should be tried as early in the load process as possible.

Also, if something like a phoneline Fax Modem will not be used, then I would suggest not loading any Proprietary Driver for that “unused” hardware.
  • load the Proprietary Video driver (if there is any) – then load other drivers only if they are needed.
    • Settings » Additional Drivers → let it search, then load drivers as appropriate


Language / Graphical / Display Configuration

Programs like LibreOffice use the Linux (operating system) language support for things like the dictionary. So when “Canadian English” is not installed by default, spell checking in LibreOffice does not work, etc..
  • Settings » Language Support
    • IF “Language support not installed completely” → select “Install”
  • Install some Xfce Artwork, then some TrueType font packages for Linux
    • sudo apt-get install xubuntu-artwork xfce4-artwork edubuntu-wallpapers
    • sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer x-ttcidfont-conf ttf-xfree86-nonfree
      • When asked about /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/10periodic → press ENTER for No (the default)
There have been times that the “Mint Flash Plugin” has not been updated promptly, so FireFox complained about an out-of-date plugin for several weeks. To resolve that, and to prevent any future problems with Flash, I now use the “generic Ubuntu 12.04” plugin.
  • Install the Flash Plugin used by Xubuntu 12.04
  • sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer
Supposedly, Linux Mint loads so quickly (on current hardware) that you should not need a “loading” indicator. So to speed things up a little bit more, they set the default for that to “none”. Since I am refurbishing older equipment, I set this back to using the “Mint Logo” loading indicator.
  • Enable seeing a startup screen, if things take a little longer to load.
  • sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth
    • select mint-logo.plymouth (mint logo startup screen)
XScreenSaver is an older Linux package, that is now causing problems. For example, I have seen Skype present a pop-up – to answer or decline a call – and when the mouse is move, the screensaver going away also takes away the pop-up … so the Skype call now cannot be answered. XScreenSaver apparently also prevents having multiple user accounts logged into the computer at the same time.

My answer to all of this is to “uninstall the pretty pictures” (XScreenSaver), and going back to letting the power management just blank the screen when desired.

To get the graphical Power Management utility to do that in the expected manner, it is also necessary to edit a configuration file after XScreenSaver has been uninstalled. (Otherwise OS defaults of 10 to 15 min. are used.)
  • Uninstall XScreenSaver
  • sudo apt-get remove xscreensaver xscreensaver-data
  • Edit the configuration file, so Power Management works as expected
  • sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf    # copy/paste the below text into bottom of file
    Section "ServerFlags"
    	Option "BlankTime"   "0"
    	Option "StandbyTime" "0"
    	Option "SuspendTime" "0"
    	Option "OffTime"     "0"
    	Option "DontZap" "false"
When the Xfce Desktop "Behaves Badly"
The Xfce Desktop used by Mint 13 apparently has an obscure bug that will occasionally cause the Desktop to mess up or “behave badly” …
  • Create a script to make it easy to fix Xfce Desktop “Behaves Badly”
  • sudo nano /    # copy/paste the following into this empty file
    # Fix the Xfce 4.10 Desktop "Behaves Badly"
    xfwm4 --replace
    sudo chmod +x /


kb/linux/mint13xfceafter1stboot.1403202692.txt.gz · Last modified: 2016/01/13 20:27 (external edit)