15 Things To Do First in Linux Mint (2018)
You have just installed Linux Mint and wonderwhat you can do next.
In this video, I will show you 15 things todo after installing Linux Mint.
These 15 things will improve your system responsiveness, prevent some possible issues, make your system more secure and optimize the usability of your system.
Let’s get started! Hello everyone! It’s Average Linux User helping you to install,configure and use Linux.
I have shown how to install Linux Mint inone of my previous videos.
See the link is in the description.
Linux Mint is the most user friendly Linuxdistribution and everything is well configured by default.
You can use it as it is and you will be absolutelyfine.
However, if you make the changes I show in this video, you will get little better Linux experience.
In that previous video, I have touched uponthe things to do after install.
But in this video, I provide an extensivelist of things to do.
See the time codes in the description.
And we start with the thing number one Configure Update Manager.
I have already shown how to configure the Update manager in my Linux Mint Installation guide for Beginner.
However, even if you have configured it, youcan periodically go to the settings and check if you are still using the fastest mirrors.
Sometimes the rank of the servers can change.
Open the update manager, go to the Edit menuand open Software sources.
Enter your password.
In the mirror list click on the main mirror.
Then wait some time until the servers areranked.
And select the top one, which is the fastest.
Do the same for the Base mirror.
In the Edit menu, you can also go to the Updatepolicy and change it if you need.
I recommend to update everything.
The option optimize stability and Security should befine too.
Don’t Break my computer is too cautious.
The choice is of course upon you.
When you have configured everything, reload your update manager and install all the available updates.
Install Drivers Go to the menu and search for driver manager.
You probably will need to enter your password.
Here you see all the available drivers.
I record it in a virtual machine, so I haveVirtualbox drivers listed here.
You may also see here the drivers for a wi-ficard.
If you need to a proprietary driver for yourwi-fi card, you would need to use cable internet to update the system and install the drivers.
Then your wi-fi connection should work.
If you have a dedicated graphic card likenVidia or AMD, you will see something similar to this.
It offers us three options, usually the recommendedoption works the best.
If you experience some issue with your graphicperformance, try to use the open-source driver.
If the open-source driver doesn’t work welleither, try the third option.
After you installed the graphic driver, youcan go to the graphic card settings and try to tweak it little.
This may also help to resolve some issuesif you have any.
For example, when I had a Laptop with an AMDgraphic card, it was getting very hot.
But when I adjusted the power management settingto save energy and reduce performance, the the laptop stopped to getting hot.
So, I recommend exploring the settings ofyou graphic card.
I also have microcode listed among the drivers.
I am not sure if it is always shown in thedriver manager, so separate it as the thing to do number two.
Install microcode If you see microcode among offered drivers, install it.
If not, open the synaptic package manager,and search for microcode.
You will see two options, amd-microcode andintel-microcode.
You need to install one of these dependingon your processor.
If you do not know what processor you use,open the menu and search for System info.
Open it and in the line Processor you canfind the name of you processor.
I have intel processor here.
So, I install intel-microcode.
Microcode is the firmware for your processor,it is recommended to install for better performance and to receive the processor firmware updates.
Decrease the swap use Swap is the space on your hard drive that is used to store the data when there is noenough RAM.
If you don’t know RAM is the Random AccessMemory.
It’s kind of temporary memory on your computer.
When you open System info, you see the sizeof your RAM in the line memory.
I have 2 Gb RAM.
RAM is always faster than a Hard Drive, soit is better to use it as much as possible.
By default, if Linux Mint starts using morethan 60% of the RAM, it writes some data to the hard drive and the system becomes lessresponsive.
You can check if you open the terminal andtype cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness.
You will see the value of 60.
You can force the system to use as much RAM as possible and write to the disk only when more than 90% of the RAM is in use.
To do that, type in the termina: sudo xed /etc/sysctl.
Conf Scroll down the file, and in the end add vm.
Swappiness = 10 Then save the file and exit.
Reboot the system.
And check if changes took place.
Now it shows 10.
So, the system will access your hard driveless frequently and will be more responsive.
Enable drive cache Another option you can enable is to use the hard drive cache.
Go to the menu and search for the Disk application.
Open it and make sure that the hard drivewith your Linux Mint system is selected.
Usually it is the one on the top.
Open the menu and select Drive settings.
Go to the Write cache tab and enable it.
What does it do? Now your programs do not need to wait untilthe data is written to your hard drive.
Normally, the program would wait until thedata is written to the disk and it would proceed to the next step only after the write event.
Now the data will be cached and written tothe disk with some delay, so the program will proceed to the next step without waiting forthe write event to finish.
However, there is some trade-off of this option.
You can read here that if your system crashesor loss power, some data may be lost.
I don’t think you will loss a lot of data,and it is unlikely that Linux Mint will crash.
But keep it in mind and decide yourself ifyou can take a risk to gain the performance boost.
I've used this option and had zero problems.
Reduce SSD writes If you use an SSD drive, you can extend its lifespan by reducing the write cycles.
It may be not necessary for the latest SDD,but it is advisable for older SSD.
There are two things that are necessary forgood performance of an SSD drive.
Trim – to clean the drive, and reduce thewrite cycles.
Linux Mint already has Trim enabled by default.
You can check it if you run in the terminal cat /etc/cron.
Weekly/fstrim You should see true here.
The write to SSD cycled are not reduced bydefault.
There are many ways to reduce the writes,but they all very complicated to configure and maybe not worth your time.
However, one option you can ewnable very easy.
Type in the terminalsudo xed /etc/fstab Find your SSD partitons, usually it is everypartition that has sda in its name.
And add noatime before the word errors.
You need to do to for every partition youhave on your SSD drive, except swap.
If you have /home partition, add noatime theretoo.
Save and close the file.
Noatime will disable write action when thesystem only reads files.
It is enabled in many distro by default, butnot in Linux Mint.
Probably, because this option has a smallrisk that some programs won’t work correctly.
But I have been using it for years, and hadnot problems whatsoever.
Turn on the firewall Linux Mint is already very secure and activating a firewall is not necessary.
However, I recommend you to do so.
It doesn’t use much of the system resourcesbut it will additionaly secure your system.
Open the menu and search for Firewall.
The settings are very simple here.
You just need to enable it.
This should be fine for the most of the users.
I think new users won’t use anything whereyou need to open ports in your Firewall.
If you do need to do so.
For example, to use SSH to connect to yourcomputer, you can go to the rules and change Firewall settings for some applications.
For SSH, you select SSH and amble both directionsport.
But this is an advanced level.
Install MS fonts Due to some licensing issues, Linux Mint doesn’t include Microsoft fonts by default.
But likely you will need them, especiallyif you want to use your old documents created in MS Office.
To install MS fonts.
Open Software Center and search for mscorefonts.
And install it.
Now, when you open any application, you willhave such fonts as Arial, Times New Roman and other MS fonts.
Remove unnecessary software.
It depends what software you need, but itis usually safe to remove Mono, Orca and VirtualBox Guest packages.
Open synaptic package manager and search formono-runtime-common You can read here that mono is a platformsto run and develop some specific applications.
I am not sure about it, but I also read thatit poses a security risk.
Mark it for removal.
Then search for gnome-orca.
It is an accessibility packages.
Unless you are visually handicapped, it isfine to remove it too.
Then search for virtualbox-guest* and removeall the installed packages, which have this mark in the S field.
These packages needed to run Linux Mint ina VirtualBox, but if you are on real hardware, remove them.
I record this video in a VirtualBox, so Iwill keep them.
Linux Mint comes with many applications per-reinstalled, but from my experience many people never use half of them.
So, why to keep them.
Go through the system menu and check if thereis any application you are not going to use.
Search for them in the synaptic package managerand uninstall.
But be careful because when you remove someprograms, they will drag some other programs as dependencies.
You need to be little familiar with Linussystem to understand when you uninstall needed packages.
For example, when we mark to remove Mono, we also mark to remove Tomboy, which is a sticky notes program.
But it is ok, we will install xpad instead,which is a good alternative.
If you are complete Linux beginner, do notremove anything what comes with Linux Mint by default.
If you are little familiar with Linux, I wouldrecommend removing the programs you do not use.
For example, I would suggest removing theseprograms: simple-scan.
You do not need if you do not have a scanner.
GIMP, GIMP is a good image editor, but thereis some learning curve.
For simple image editing, you can use Pix.
Pix is very intuitive and does simple thingslike image rotating, resizing, brightness/contrast setting etc.
I do not use it, check it out,maybe you will need.
Otherwise, it is safe to uninstall it.
If you do not use any messaging program, youcan remove Pidgin.
I know that many people prefer web-email client.
If you are one of them, you can also removeThunderbird, which is an email client.
If you do not download torrents, remove Transmission.
If you do not have an Optical Disk Drive,most of the modern hardware doesn’t have it.
We all use flash drives nowadays.
Remove disk burning program Brasero.
You can also clean the system even more byremoving some unused applications from the Administration and Preferences sections, but there is a danger to remove some requited applications as dependencies.
So, I do not recommend doing so.
For example, I do not have a Bluetooth, soI usually remove all Bluetooth related packages.
But here is the danger.
If you remove these two Bluetooth-relatedlibraries, they will drag the whole Cinnamon desktop, which is the graphical environmentof your system.
To uninstall, Bluetooth you need to uninstallall Bluetooth-related packages except these two.
So, again be very-very careful.
If you are a beginner, do not uninstall anythingwhat comes with the system by default.
The gain is very small, but the risk you breakyour system is very high.
You really need to know what you are doing.
Change Firefox settings When you open Firefox, the start page is the Linux Mint website.
I prefer to open the last closed tabs, whenI start Firefox.
To enable this feature, go to the menu → PreferencesIn the field, when Firefox starts, select Show windows and tabs from last time.
Now when you close and open Firefox, you willse the table you had when you closed the browser.
Another thing, Firefox uses DuckDuckGo searchservice.
It is a good private search engine.
It doesn’t collect you search data.
Try to use it for some time, if you like it,keep it.
From my experience, DuckDuckGo doesn’t alwaysshow the most relevant results.
If you want to can change the default searchengine to Google or any other service.
Click on this magnifying glass button andhere you see Change Search settings.
Click on it.
Then click on Add more search engines.
You can read all the justifications why LinuxMint uses DuckDuckGo, and doesn’t use Google.
To add google, you need to click on this googleicon.
And now when you click on the magnifying glass in the search bar, you will see an option to add Google.
Click on it.
Then go back to the Search settings and selectGoogle as a default engine.
Now, when you do the search, you will seegoogle results.
Tweak LibreOffice There is one setting we can change to speed up LibreOffice.
Open LibreOffice, go to Tools → Optionsand in the Advanced disable Use Java run-time environment.
In the 99% of the cases, you will not needJava, but Java slows down the LibreOffice.
Now, when you disabled it, LibreOffice willbe little faster.
If you are still unsatisfied with the speedof you LibreOffice, you can increase the speed by allocating little more memory in the Memorysettings.
I use 64 in Use for LibreOffice, and Memoryper object 12.
You can also try increase it even further.
LibreOffice should start up much faster now.
Remove some applets I never use the User applet and Windows Quick list.
The information from the User applet is availablein the main menu.
The Windows Quick list duplicates the mainWindow list on the panel.
Let’s remove them.
Right click on the panel and open Add appletsto the panel.
And remove the User applet and Windows Quicklist.
Turn off some startup applications Open the system settings, and go to the Startup applications.
You may have some applications here whichyou do not want to autostart.
So, disable them.
In my case, I have only Ctrl+Alt+Backspaceshortcut and Mint update manager enabled.
This is ok.
If you have mintwelcome and mintUpload enabled,you probably need to disabled them.
InVidia prime support will probably be disableunless you use the compatible inVidia Optimus grahic card.
If you have any other program here which youdid not enable purposefully, disable their autorstart.
Disable hibernation When you hibernate your system, all the open programs do not shutdown, they are written to the hard drive.
So, next time you turn on your computer itrestores the previous state of the system with all the programs open.
This feature hasn’t worked correctly inLinux for a long time.
Now, in most of the cases it works quite well,but it still fails from time to time.
You can use it, but I do not recommend doingso.
Linux boots very fast and there is very smallbenefit of using hibernation.
Besides, hibernation is not advisable if youuse an SSD.
To disable hibernation, open the terminaland type the following command.
I leave it in the description.
Enter your password.
You need to type it blindly, nothing showsin the terminal when you type.
And the hibernation option shoulddisappear from the shutdown menu.
If you are on the laptop, go to the powersetting and check if you had hibernation in any of the options, replace it with shutdownor suspend.
We moved the settings that enable hibernationto the root of the system.
So, if you need to undo it , you need to movethe settings back.
I leave the undo command in the descriptionof the video.
Disable the Switch User option When you click logout in the menu, you will see the option Switch User.
If you use it, you will be able to login asanother user, but everything will stay open and working for a current user.
This is inefficient use of memory and resources.
It is better to disable it.
One the synaptic package manager and installdconf-editor Open dconf-editor from the menu.
Go to org – cinnamon – desktop – lockdownAnd tick disable-user-switching Close dconf-editor.
Try to open the logout window.
Switch user isn’t there anymore.
I hope after these steps your Linux Mint systemwill work even better.
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