A Beginner's Guide to Linux Mint 13 Maya

11:30 PM

In this article I will discuss everything you need to get started with Linux Mint 13 Maya. This is going to be a really long article so kick back and relax while you read it. This article assumes the user has installed Linux Mint 13 Maya on their system and has a basic knowledge of how to set up an internet connection. 

If you need help with installing Mint Linux 13 Maya, look here.

Once you have Mint Linux 13 Maya installed, you will want to set up your firewall by going to Menu > Firewall Configuration:

To turn on the firewall, we will need to enter the password for your account. Click on the Unlock button:

Enter in your password:

From here we can turn the firewall on by sliding the Status slider from OFF to ON:

Click on the + sign if you want to add rules to the firewall that allow certain types of connections:

The Preconfigured tab is the easiest way to set up firewall rules. From here you can either select a specific application:

... Or you can select a specific service:

On the Simple tab, you can select the type of connection and port you want to allow in:

On the Advanced tab, you can not only select what type of connection and port to accept but you can also specify the IP addresses that you want to connect to each other:

Now is a good time to connect to the internet if you haven't already. In the bottom right hand corner of your screen you will find a networking icon. If you use an ethernet cable to connect, you probably don't have to configure your internet connection. However, if you use wireless internet to connect, you will need to know the name of your network and the password. 

If you use wireless internet and you're having problems getting it to work, you may want to connect via an ethernet cable and go to Menu > Preferences > Windows Wireless Drivers. From there you can install the Windows driver for your wireless network card. 

Once you're connected to the internet, check the Additional Drivers program:

It will do some searching:

If there are any proprietary drivers for your hardware, you will see something like this:

Select the driver you want to install and then click on Activate:

The Additional Drivers program will automatically download and install the drivers you need. Remember it may ask that you reboot to complete the process!

Now it's time to have some fun and start configuring the desktop. Head over to Menu > Preferences > Cinnamon Settings:

From the Cinnamon Settings program you can configure your panel, calendar, hot corner, themes, effects, applets, extensions, desktop, windows, and fonts:

The Panel part of Cinnamon Settings allows you change the Menu text, change the Menu icon, change the hover delay (the amount of time it takes for the list of programs to pop up after you click on Menu), the desktop layout (panel at top, panel at bottom, or two panels with one on top and one on bottom). It will also let you go in to Panel edit mode (helpful for adding icons to the Panel) and decide whether or not you want Panel launchers (icons) to be draggable:

This is something really important you should know about the Calendar tab. In Linux Mint 13 Maya the calendar by default shows a 24 hour clock (military time). If you want a 12 hour clock, change the capital H under Date format for the panel to a lowercase L

The Hot Corner section of Cinnamon Settings allows you to configure the hot corner, which shows all your available workspaces on the desktop (workspaces are like having multiple monitors, only you have one monitor and several screens). By default the hot corner is in the top left hand corner of your screen, so if you want to see your available workspaces move your mouse pointer to the top left hand corner of your screen:

The Themes section of Cinnamon Settings lets you change the theme of your desktop. Linux Mint 13 Maya comes with a lot of default themes. However, if you want even more, you can click on Get new themes to download more. Installing a theme is as simple as unzipping it and placing it in /home/yourusername/.themes/:

The Effects section of Cinnamon Settings allows you to change the behavior of your windows:

The Applets section of Cinnamon Settings allows you to add applets, or widgets, to your panel. More applets are available by clicking on Get new applets. Do the same thing with downloaded applets as you do with downloaded themes, only put them in /home/yourusername/.local/share/cinnamon/applets/ instead:

The Extensions section of Cinnamon Settings allows you to install new extensions. There aren't very many available for Cinnamon yet, but I'm sure that as time goes by there will be more. Do the same thing with downloaded extensions that you do with downloaded applets, only put them in /home/yourusername/.local/share/cinnamon/extensions/ instead:

In the Desktop part of Cinnamon Settings, you can select whether or not you want to have the file manager handle the desktop (i.e. whether or not you want icons on your desktop) and also what icons you want to be visible on your desktop:

In the Windows section of Cinnamon Settings you can change what happens when you double-click, middle-click, and right-click on a title bar. You can also change what causes the window to come in to focus and what title bar buttons are present (and where):

The Fonts part of Cinnamon Settings lets you change the default fonts the system uses:

In Menu > Preferences you will find the Software Manager:

The Software Manager allows you to search for new applications to install:

When you see an application that looks interesting, click on it:

The next screen will pull up a description... :

... The list of installed software... :

... And reviews with ratings. You can also add your own review and rating:

In Menu > Preferences there is also Synaptic Package Manager. This is pretty much the same thing as the Software Center, only it's a little more simplistic. Search for an application and right click on it then click on Mark for installation to install it:

Also in Menu > Preferences is the Ubuntu Tweak tool. This provides hardware information... :

... Tweaks for miscellaneous items, sound, themes, and workarounds... :

It also allows you to conduct extra administrative tasks like managing file types, adding software sources, and adding scripts to Nautilus, the default file manager:

The Janitor section of Ubuntu Tweak allows you to clean out junk files from your system:

Now go to System Tools > System Settings:

As you can see in the picture below, this is a lot like Windows' Control Panel. Click on Details down at the bottom:

This is where you can find your Default Applications settings... :

... And it's also where you can find your Removable Media settings:

Now that you have some software installed (you did install some software when you saw the Software Center and Synaptic, right?) it's time to try making a backup of that software with a tool called APTonCD (again, it's in Menu > Preferences):

Click on Create to make a backup of your software. Make sure you have a CD in your CD-ROM tray:

While APTonCD is burning our software to a CD, let's look at another way of backing up software - the Backup Tool:

From here you can backup a list of your installed software so you can redownload it if you need to reinstall the operating system. You can also use this utility to make a backup of your files:

Go to Menu > System Tools > System Monitor. This is just like the System Monitor in Windows. From here you can get system information... :

... The list of running processes... :

... The graphs of system resource usage... :

... And also the space being used on the available file systems:

That concludes this beginner's guide to Linux Mint 13 Maya. Hopefully this guide/tutorial helped you to find all the settings you need in Linux Mint 13 Maya. Linux Mint is a great system, and I hope you enjoy it! :)

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  1. This is really useful. Many TThanks

  2. I am considering to install Linux Mint (Cinamon) as only OS on my laptop. This text will help me a lot :)

    Thank you!