Linux Mint Notes

Russell Bateman
20 May 2013
last update:

Linux Mint 13 (Maya) with Cinnamon. In general, I've been very pleased with Mint as compared to Ubuntu Precise, even with Cinnamon on the latter.

My present policy is not to move ahead with subsequent releases of any Linux distro, but stay behind on LTS releases until the next LTS appears. This is because I got sorely burned by installing Maverick (10.10), whose support ran out a year before Lucid's. As it was an important development host with software very hard to duplicate at the time, I couldn't risk upgrading it and so it became a virtual cul de sac. As I make this note (December, 2013), I'm still a few weeks being able to junk that installation.

Linux Mint (Cinnamon) window focus settings

See notes for general Linux here.
See notes for Debian, Ubuntu and Unity here.
Or, see the Permuted Index.

$ uname -a
$ cat /etc/issue
$ cat /etc/os-release
$ cat /etc/lsb-release


There is no resolv.conf. Instead, there's a more complicated, probably newer-thinking, configuration involving a subdirectory tree, /etc/resolvconf. See here for a solution.

Linux Mint support username

If you forget your Mint forum username, you won't find it using your password. So, don't forget it. Mine's russellbateman.

Installation quirk

Installing behind a firewall (behind a proxy) created a problem for Mint. Here's the installation process as it worked for me.

  1. Boot from CD.
    If behind a proxy, do this...
    1. When desktop appears, open a console (Ctrl+Alt+T or click an icon that does it).
    2. Express your proxy, i.e.:
          mint@mint ~ $ export http_proxy=""
          mint@mint ~ $ export http_proxy=""
    3. Right-click the Install Linux Mint icon and choose "Properties".
    4. Scrape what's in Command: and paste into open console window; for me this was:
          $ ubiquity --desktop %k gtk_ui
    5. Press Enter and wait a while for the Mint installer to launch.

    What does this do? It sets up your Internet proxy before running the Mint installer so that it can reach files it needs on the Internet.

    If not behind a proxy, simply double-click the Install Linux Mint icon.
  3. Welcome: Choose your language, click Continue.
  4. Preparing to install Linux Mint: If Mint can see its files on the Internet, there should be a grey checkmark near is connecte to the Internet (instead of a red circle with an X). Click Continue.
  5. Installation type: Choose desired installation, click Continue.
  6. Click Install Name.
  7. Do install (timezone, keyboard, owner/user, hostname, password, etc.)...
  8. Reboot when prompted.

Dead launchers in Cinnamon panel...

Once, I had the situation where clicking on launchers in the panel didn't launch anything. See Panel launchers don't launch when clicked.

A family member put me on to this link: Applications won't launch from panel applets. Neither the response to my question nor this bug report were particularly cogent, however, the latter did put me directly on to the solution:

  1. From the command line, launch dconf-editor. If not installed, install it.
  2. In the left-hand column, expand org.
  3. Click on (no need to expand) cinnamon.
  4. Scroll down to panel-edit-mode and uncheck it.
  5. Click the close box to dismiss dconf-edit.

This resolved the problem in a way that, per the bug report, could not be solved except by mindless combinations of changing the setting in the GUI manager for Cinnamon Settings.

How to make /etc/resolv.conf work the way it used to...

By default, /etc/resolv.conf is no longer a file, but a subdirectory on Mint distributions. This can get in the way of some incidental consumers of this file such as my own employer's VPN script, my inability to consume which a) put Mint at a disadvantage as a viable developer platform and b) forced me to keep another host running Maverick (or Precise, etc.) in order to perform deployments and other work.

I stumbled upon a solution to this. Answer affirmatively to all interaction this installation proposes:

    $ sudo dpkg-reconfigure resolvconf

I have observed no ill side-effects after doing this on two hosts at this point.

How to fix advanced packaging tool proxy issues

Create a new file, /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/95proxy with these contents:

Acquire::http::proxy  "";
Acquire::https::proxy "";
Acquire::ftp::proxy   "";

How to fix Firefox proxy issues

Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Network -> Connection -> Settings...

    Manual proxy configuration:
    HTTP Proxy:  Port: 8080
               x Use this proxy server for all protocols

Final proxy solution

Once everything is set up, these settings are available from the panel icon (that looks like a little computer with monitor), click it, then Network Settings, then Network proxy -> Manual, etc.

How to relocate bottom panel to top

Menu -> Preferences -> Cinnamon Settings -> Panel -> Panel Layout -> Flipped

How to install a new launcher in the top panel

How to install a newly obtained application in the menus?

(Note made in October 2016:)

Now using Cinnamon on Fedora, CentOS and Mint, and details having changed, I found this link useful on CentOS 7:
How to add shortcut to Cinnamon taskbar. Also, alacarte is installable on Red Hat systems:
sudo yum install alacarte

  1. Open a console.
  2. Install alacarte if absent.
        mint@mint ~ $ sudo apt-get install alacarte
  3. Right-click Mint menu, choose Preferences -> Main menu.
  4. Select one out of Applications Group for the new application.
  5. Click New Item.
  6. Fill in Name, Command (path to the executable), and Comment (if desired), just as you would when setting up a panel launcher for Gnome.
  7. (Usually, the icon will auto-fill, but if not, go download a suitable one from any page with something nice for the application you're insalling; it can be GIF, PNG, anything.)
  8. Click OK.
  9. Go to the Mint menu, find the application you just installed, right-click it and choose Add to panel.
  10. Reorder the icon that shows up on the panel.

Then, in the menus, if you right-click the new application, you'll have the option to put it on the top panel, desktop, etc.

Can't edit launcher in the top panel

This happens to me every time I need to change my IntelliJ IDEA launcher in the top panel (I put my panel at the top) to reach the new version I just downloaded.

Because the edit dialog will not dismiss, check out ~/.cinnamon/panel-launchers, fgrep to find the ones containing references to the old version of what you're trying to change and delete those you identify.

That doesn't actually fix the problem, but it cleans up things.

Right-click on the desktop (not the panel) and choose Create a new launcher here.... Set up the launcher just as you would. You'll find it in the Start Menu under Other. Right-click that and choose Add to panel. Then, delete the new launcher from the desktop (unless you want it there).

The compose key (accents)...

...whatever has been chosen (Menu -> Preference -> Keyboard Layout > Layouts -> (keyboard language) -> Options... -> Compose key position -> (whatever you've chosen) doesn't work quite like Ubuntu. Instead, you must maintain the compose key while pressing both the diacritic selector AND the character to receive the diacritic.

Screenshot on Mint Cinnamon... in Menu -> Accessories. You can pin it to the top panel.

How to make console window title bars show active/inactive

To make the active console window appear different than inactive windows, do Menu -> Preferences -> Cinnamon Settings -> Themes -> Other Settings -> Window theme and choose Adwaita. It's subtle, but it does produce a slightly different title bar in the active console window.

Window tiling...

Using Window Tiling preference, turn off Enable Window Tiling and Snapping or...

How to restore the Gnome workspace switcher to the panel

I disengage the hot corner because I keep hitting it all the time.

  1. Go to Menu.
  2. Look for the icon with the gears in it (Cinnamon Settings).
  3. Choose Applets.
  4. Scroll way down to Workspace switcher.
  5. Check the box.
  6. Dismiss by clicking Close.
  7. The old, old-style switcher will reappear (though it will not have any graphical representation of activity in it, but this is better than
    1. The Hot corner.
    2. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Up Arrow.
    3. Pressing Crrl+Alt+Right/Left Arrow.

How to add a workspace in Cinnamon

This can't be done if, as I do, you've disabled the workspace hot spot. Re-enable it, then put the mouse into it (usually the upper, left-hand corner) and then you'll see, to the right of the rightmost workspace thumbnail, a plus (+) sign. Click it and it will add another.

How to get wireless working on Mint 13

This promised to be a big mess, but really, it was all a matter of receding back into the days before plug and play and being okay with that. I've gotten altogether too lazy about expecting distros to do this sort of thing for me. It is a perennial problem with Ubuntu (and, to be fair, all Linuces). I Googled using the string "mint 13 won't enable wireless". The symptom had been that I couldn't enable my wireless.

De fil en aiguille, I got this link: No Wireless linux mint. It was suggested to a poster that he try this command (and you see what I got afterward—really import what's in bold):

    $ sudo mintwifi

    * I. scanning WIFI PCI devices...
      -- Intel Corporation Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (rev 35)
          ==> PCI ID = 8086:4238 (rev 35)
    * II. querying ndiswrapper...
    * III. querying iwconfig...
    lo        no wireless extensions.

    wlan0     IEEE 802.11abgn  ESSID:off/any
              Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=off
              Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
              Encryption key:off
              Power Management:off

    eth0      no wireless extensions.

    tun0      no wireless extensions.

    * IV. querying ifconfig...
    eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 88:ae:1d:ae:37:b1
              inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
              inet6 addr: fe80::8aae:1dff:feae:37b1/64 Scope:Link
              UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:439098 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:46544 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
              RX bytes:57210957 (57.2 MB)  TX bytes:9162863 (9.1 MB)
              Interrupt:20 Memory:d7500000-d7520000

    lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
              inet addr:  Mask:
              inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
              UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
              RX packets:596 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:596 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
              RX bytes:48254 (48.2 KB)  TX bytes:48254 (48.2 KB)

    tun0      Link encap:UNSPEC  HWaddr 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
              inet addr:  P-t-P:  Mask:
              RX packets:4644 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:5478 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:500
              RX bytes:816830 (816.8 KB)  TX bytes:384646 (384.6 KB)

Then, I Googled for "intel corporation centrino ultimate-n 6300 linux driver" and got this link:, clicked on the "Download" link, downloaded and exploded the tarball. I also noticed their advice of how to install the driver:

    $ sudo cp iwlfifi-*.ucode /lib/firmware

I ensured myself that /lib/firmware existed and contained drivers (it did) and followed these instructions. After copying the adapter, I clicked the network icon in my top panel and enabled wifi producing the following including some nearby wireless access points:

Previously, I had not been able to move the switch control for Wireless from OFF to ON. Then, I reissued the mintwifi command and got the following; the important differences are in bold, though I didn't tried to connect to these unknown points to get an address for wlan0:

    * I. scanning WIFI PCI devices...
      -- Intel Corporation Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (rev 35)
          ==> PCI ID = 8086:4238 (rev 35)
    * II. querying ndiswrapper...
    * III. querying iwconfig...
    lo        no wireless extensions.

    wlan0     IEEE 802.11abgn  ESSID:off/any
              Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=15 dBm
              Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
              Encryption key:off
              Power Management:off

    eth0      no wireless extensions.

    tun0      no wireless extensions.

    * IV. querying ifconfig...
    eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 88:ae:1d:ae:37:b1
              inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
              inet6 addr: fe80::8aae:1dff:feae:37b1/64 Scope:Link
              UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:466445 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:57224 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
              RX bytes:88141997 (88.1 MB)  TX bytes:9966593 (9.9 MB)
              Interrupt:20 Memory:d7500000-d7520000

    lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
              inet addr:  Mask:
              inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
              UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
              RX packets:596 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:596 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
              RX bytes:48254 (48.2 KB)  TX bytes:48254 (48.2 KB)

    tun0      Link encap:UNSPEC  HWaddr 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
              inet addr:  P-t-P:  Mask:
              RX packets:4687 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:5521 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:500
              RX bytes:825292 (825.2 KB)  TX bytes:387309 (387.3 KB)
    wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:24:d7:43:68:1c
              UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
              RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

How to set up a printer on Mint 13

First, do not use the totally useless printer set-up dialog at Menu.

Launch the real one, installing it if need be, and use it instead. It's pretty self-explanatory once you launch it.

    $ sudo apt-get install system-config-printer
    $ system-config-printer

How to set up rdesktop

rdesktop works on Ubuntu post Unity fisco. And on Mint. So I'm no longer bemoaning the fact that Remmina can't be configured; I'm just ignoring it. Here's how to set up rdesktop.

  1. sudo apt-get install rdesktop
  2. Create a launcher.
  3. Configure by modifying the Command property in the launcher to the appropriate arguments geometry, connection, username, domain, something like
        rdesktop -g1200x1080 -u russellbateman -d AD
  4. Launch rdesktop and fix whatever you didn't get right.

Screensaver on Mint

There isn't one, except GNOME's, but the solution is the same for Unity. This is done by root:

$ apt-get remove gnome-screensaver
$ apt-get install xscreensaver xscreensaver-gl-extra xscreensaver-data-extra

$ ln -s /usr/bin/xscreensaver-command /usr/bin/gnome-screensaver-command

To reverse (restore default functionality):

$ apt-get remove xscreensaver xscreensaver-gl-extra xscreensaver-data-extra
$ rm /usr/bin/gnome-screensaver-command
$ apt-get install gnome-screensaver

Upgrading Mint

How to upgrade to a newer release.

Burning an ISO (Brasero, K3B)...

Ready the ISO...

  1. Go to and download (e.g.:) the Linux Mint ISO (not the torrent).

For some years, I have been using K3B.

  1. Launch K3b.
  2. Choose Tools → Burn image.
  3. Navigate to select the ISO downloaded above.
  4. Click OK (or rather probably Start).
  5. Eject (usually automatic) and label the new DVD (or CD).

I used to use Brasero. If absent, install as root:

# apt-get install brasero

Find in Menu → All Applications. Use option, Burn an image.

Frequently, Brasero gives the message at the end, "Please eject the disc from (device) manually."

Note: Once I installed Brasero (under Mint Sonya) and it wouldn't accept some blank DVD+R discs I had. I installed K3B and it did accept them. Go figure.

Burning files to disk using K3B...
  1. Install K3B.
  2. Insert blank disk into optical drive.
  3. Click New Project at upper left, a pane opens below.
  4. Navigate in upper, filesystem browser pane, to find what you wish to reproduce on the new disk—click and drag it to the pane below.
  5. In the pane below, click Burn.
  6. When the filesystems chosen have been copied to the blank disk, the drive will open offering the disk to you. It's ready to use at this point.
  7. Without taking special steps, the disk is burned closed and cannot be added to.

Booting directly to console prompt, no X Windows GUI

The major problem I have with these instructions, which I got here, is that if they fail, and I'm struggling with my display support (why I'm doing this in the first place), the only choice I've found so far is to reinstall.

  1. Save off a copy of /boot/grub/grub.cfg.
  2. Make this file writable.
  3. Edit the file and search for the section named, ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###.
  4. Search again for "quiet splash" under this section and add " text" (minus the quotes) just after those words.
  5. Important note starting with Mint 17 LTS
  6. At least by Mint 17, you must...
    1. Look for GRUB_CMD_LINE_DEFAULT="quiet splash".
    2. Add "text" to the end of that command.
    3. Exit the editor (with update).
    4. Run update-grub to integrate these changes.
    5. Cross your fingers.
    6. Reboot the system.

Setting static IP address on Mint

This sort of worked the same for Mint 13.

  1. Find and launch the Network setting manager.

  2. Choose Wired and click Options.

  3. Click the IPv4 Settings tab and enter the desired values.

  4. Make the General tab look like this and click Save....

Time and date settings

This worked a little differently in Mint 13 where there was a Calendar setting in Settings.

How to change date format properly in Mint 17:

  1. Menu → All Applications → Applets → Calendar (or Settings → Applets)
  2. (Select Calendar.)
  3. Click Configure button.
  4. Use custom date format.
  5. Change Date format: to %a %e %b %Hh%M to get Mon 11 May 15h12"
  6. %A %e %B %H:%M to get "Wednesday 2 February 16:59"


  1. Right-click at upper right, the date and time displayed,
  2. Choose Configure,
  3. Do as above.

Thawing Cinnamon...

Sometimes Cinnamon freezes, though in fairness, it's only happened when I've screwed around with the computer case or something.

  1. Switch tty. I usually try Ctrl+Alt+F6.
  2. Log in, get root.
  3. Type w and press Enter to see the number of the display in use, for example :0.
  4. Type export DISPLAY=:0 ; cinnamon &
  5. Go back to the graphic displays, to find the one you were on, just start doing Alt+Fn, where Fn is successive function keys, until you "get back" to the screen that froze.

A link to peruse is How do I restart Cinnamon from the tty?.

Mounting a network drive in Cinnamon...

I found this here, but these are the steps:

  1. Launch whatever passes for the GUI filesystem explorer (Nautilus, etc.).
  2. Under the File menu, find Connect to Server....
  3. Type in the server address or name if you've got that in /etc/hosts.
  4. Select Type: SSH and (likely) Port: 22.
  5. Add your username and password.
  6. Click Connect.

This should do it.

Microphone on Cinnamon

Plugged my microphone into the backplane of my computer and headed for the adjustment:

Once I found that I had to install pavucontrol...

~ $ sudo apt-get install pavucontrol
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 35 not upgraded.
Need to get 116 kB of archives.
After this operation, 1,041 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 trusty/universe pavucontrol amd64 2.0-2 [116 kB]
Fetched 116 kB in 0s (136 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package pavucontrol.
(Reading database ... 167955 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../pavucontrol_2.0-2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking pavucontrol (2.0-2) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ( ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.54ubuntu1.1) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.10.1-0ubuntu2) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu1) ...
Setting up pavucontrol (2.0-2) ...
~ $ pavucontrol

(This launches pavucontrol:)


Reputedly, one must never leave in a checked state the box Allow Skype to automatically adjust my mixer levels at Skype → Options → Sound Devices.

Chrome/Shockwave Flash freezes

This began happening to me in August 2015 on Mint 17 and on Fedora as soon as I upgraded from 20 to 22. It drove me back reluctantly to Firefox. Here's what I did at work where I'm on Fedora 22.

I Googled "linux hang chrome flash" and saw this:

I went here from a link in that article:

  1. I clicked on Downloads near bottom.
  2. I clicked on Adobe Flash Player under Downloads at the right.
  3. I selected .rpm for other Linux (there is an option for Debian apt*).
  4. I clicked Download now and saved the file in ~/Downloads.
  5. I went to ~/Downloads and did this:
    $ sudo  rpm -Uvh flash-plugin-

* However, at some point, this had already made it onto my Mint 17 box.

After that, I bounced Firefox completely. Back up, it was then able to run France2 news, YouTube and Classical 89 streaming. I don't think it can do those without this plug-in.

I bounced Chrome and looked at its plug-ins. It has only the PepperFlash plug-in, which I'm pretty sure is at the root of my system freezing.

I ensured Shockwave Flash disabled in Chrome:

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Type "about:chrome".
  3. Scroll down to and click chrome://plugins.
  4. Scroll down to
        Adobe Flash Player - Version:
        Shockwave Flash 18.0 r0
    and click Disable.

My theory is now to use Firefox to play content while still being able to use Chrome for normal work (not including playing content).

Programming menu missing in Cinnamon start

When you install Linux Mint fresh, you'll usually find some menus you're used to seeing have gone missing, like Programming. This is because, fresh, there are no items for that menu. Once you add some, the menu will show up. The easier one (or ones) to add are Python (e.g.: v2.7 and v3.5) because they're installed, just not items in the menu yet.

Here's what to do:

  1. Ensure alacate is installed because, usually, Main menu won't be found in the Preferences menu unless this program is installed and it doesn't come by default:
        mint@mint ~ $ sudo apt-get install alacarte
  2. Go to and select Menu → Preferences → Main menu.
  3. Click on Programming in the left pane.
  4. Check at least one program from the center pane.
  5. Likely, you'll find Programming now shows up.

Ensuring ssh and scp working on new installation

Likely, openssh hasn't been installed. Do this (on the new system you're trying to get into):

$ sudo apt-get install openssh-server

Change hostname (permanently)
$ sudo hostnamectl set-hostname new-hostname

How to get workspaces and the panel representation

If the workspaces don't exit (4 of them generally do), enable Hot Corners via the System Settings dialog under the panel menu, then go see them or create them.

To get the squares representation on the panel, for convenience in reaching them, go to the panel menu and look for Applets, then launch it. Scroll down to the bottom to Workspace switcher, right-click and choose Add to panel.

If these land in the wrong place, right-click the panel, and enable Panel edit mode, then move whatever icons fell to the left past to the right of the workspace switcher. I found this doesn't work yet—still trying to fix the problem.

Upgrade from Mint 18 Sarah to 18.2 Sonya

Here's how to upgrade from 18 Sarah to 18.2 Sonya. This is simple because both are based on the same codebase, Ubuntu 16.04.

  1. Diable screensaver.
  2. Launch Update Manager and apply all updates.
  3. Relaunch Update Manager. In menu Edit, choose Update to "Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya".
  4. You get a wizard that conducts your preparation for the installation. Here are some notes I found to be potentially useful. They are available at You will be asked to overwrite some configuration files with newer copies. I always chose to overwrite them. There are issues introduced by the upgrade to 18.2 Sonya. In particular, ...

    Known issues

    Cinnamon freezes when changing resolution (Intel GPU)

    If your Intel GPU is recent enough (2007 or newer) it is recommended to remove the legacy Intel driver "xserver-xorg-video-intel" and to use the built-in modesetting driver instead:

    apt remove xserver-xorg-video-intel
    sudo reboot

    Not only will the modesetting fix the freeze issue when changing resolutions, it should also work better with Cinnamon and produce better performance.

    The legacy driver is no longer maintained and only useful for the old i800x and i900x family of chipsets.

    If you are using one of these old chipsets or if you do not want to use the modesetting driver, an alternative is to continue to use the "xserver-xorg-video-intel" driver, but to disable VSync:

    echo CLUTTER_VBLANK=none >> ~/.profile

    Log out for this change to take effect, and please be aware that disabling Vsync might result in video screen tearing.

    Sound and microphone issues

    If you're facing issues with your microphone or your sound output, please install pavucontrol.

    This will add "PulseAudio Volume Control" to your menu. This application has more configuration options than the default volume control.

  5. After the last step, the installation starts; be patient, it won't always give warm fuzzies that it's doing something.
  6. After installation, a reboot is required.
  7. From Linux Mint: how to upgrade quickly and safely to Mint 18.2 Sonya, I also did:
    1. Install the new display manager LightDM of 18.2.
    2. Correct the Grub bootloader menu items.

Installing Sun VirtualBox...

When Mint/Ubuntu come with VirtualBox and you attempt to install it (directly) a second time, a big mess results. When you power up your VM, you see:

virtualbox RTR3init failed with rc=-1912

The best advice is to uninstall VirtualBox (every one):

# apt-get purge virtualbox-5.2
# dpkg --purge virtualbox virtualbox-dkms virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11

Then install properly (which, at the time, was using apt-get):

# apt-get install virtualbox-5.2

Incidentally, bounding my installation left configuration such that I never lost the VM definitions I had set up. After re-launching VirtualBox, I was able to continue on installing the OS.

Failing Ethernet and USB of Dell docking station

Installing Linux Mint 19 Tara on a Dell Precision 5520 with docking station, once up I had no wired network connection and the USB ports did not work for keyboard, mouse, external drives, etc.

I found a post in the Linux Mint Forums that described an identical failure for another notebook computer and dock. I added to it:

There's no NIC (only wireless) in this machine; typically, one buys the docking station and uses the NIC in that for wired Ethernet. Like the original poster here, I could not get wired Ethernet after smoking my Windows 10 installation and installing Linux Mint 19 Tara.

I did these things in the BIOS:

  1. Reboot and press F2 repeatedly--about 2-3 times per second until gaining entrance to the BIOS.
  2. Open System Configuration.
  3. Click on Thunderbolt Adapter Configuration; I did the following:
    1. Enable Thunderbolt Technology Support (checkbox was already checked)
    2. Enable Thunderbolt Technology Adapter Boot Support (I had to check this)
    3. Enable Thunderbolt Technology Adapter Pre-Boot Modules (I had to check this)
    4. Security level - User Authorization (radio button was already marked)
  4. Exit the BIOS with update.
  5. Relaunch the notebook.
  6. Linux Mint came up and I had a wired Ethernet connection.

With installation of Linux Mint 19, Google Chrome doesn't open

On my first, completely new installation of Linux Mint 19 Tara, I could not get Google Chrome to come up. It launched, was represented by a title on the panel, but no window on the desktop. When I clicked on the Google Chrome title on the panel, a window would briefly flash, then disappear. Note that I have multiple monitors.

I tried all the wiggles recounted here (and elsewhere, such as in Ubuntu forums) of uninstalling using the Software Manager, using apt-get, doing updates, and also I tried:

$ rm -rf ~/.config/google-chrome

Nothing worked until I did this:

$ rm -rf ~/.local/share/applications/chrome*.desktop

(There were many of these.) Then I launched Google Chrome again from the Menu → Internet. Same symptoms, but I right-clicked the panel title again and chose to move it to a different monitor whereupon the window did open on another monitor. I found I could drap the window off that monitor on to my primary display and, after that, the window remained open. I signed in (to Google Chrome), then closed the whole window. Then I relaunched and Google Chrome started up, window open on my desktop just as it should.

How to set up network-time synchronization
  1. Menu → Software Manager
  2. Type "ntp" into the search box.
  3. Click on ntp in the list.
  4. Click on the Install button.
  5. $ sudo apt-get install ntpstat
  6. $ ntpstat.
  7. It's probably working as long as
    • you do not see unsynchronized
    • stratum is loger than 16
    • time correct is a "lower" number (like 35 ms)

How to force Ubuntu (and Mint) updates that are being held back

See How to force Ubuntu (and Mint) updates that are being held back

How to pair a mouse and the nib it's divorced from

Install Solaar:

# add-apt-repository ppa:daniel.pavel/solaar
# apt-get update
# apt-get install solaar ( or solaar-gnome3)

This will install solaar at /usr/bin/solar. You must run it as root

$ gksudo solaar

This will put Solaar in your panel whence you can launch Unifying Receiver and pair your mouse and the nib you propose to run it from. This process worked for me using a Logitech Performance MX (MX 510) mouse and Logitec USB nib under Linux Mint.

See Solaar Makes Managing Logitech's Unifying Receiver Easy.

How to instruct Nemo and others what to run...

When choosing what to run with the context menu, like right-clicking on a .pdf and choosing Send by Email wanting Thunderbird to come up instead of Google, set the desired applications in Mint's Menu → Preferences → Preferred Application configuration.

How to set up alien in order to build RPMs

I can't produce an RPM. I was surprised to discover that I did not have Debian alien installed. I must have done this in an earlier existence of my present development host. I install that:

russ@gondolin ~ $ sudo dpkg --list | grep alien
russ@gondolin ~ $ sudo apt-get install alien dpkg-dev debhelper build-essential
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
build-essential is already the newest version (12.1ubuntu2).
dpkg-dev is already the newest version (1.18.4ubuntu1.6).
The following additional packages will be installed:
  autoconf automake autopoint autotools-dev debugedit dh-autoreconf dh-strip-nondeterminism
  libfile-stripnondeterminism-perl librpm3 librpmbuild3 librpmio3 librpmsign3 libtool po-debconf rpm rpm-common
Suggested packages:
  autoconf-archive gnu-standards autoconf-doc dh-make rpm-i18n libtool-doc gfortran | fortran95-compiler gcj-jdk
  libmail-box-perl elfutils rpmlint rpm2html
Recommended packages:
  libltdl-dev libmail-sendmail-perl
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  alien autoconf automake autopoint autotools-dev debhelper debugedit dh-autoreconf dh-strip-nondeterminism
  libfile-stripnondeterminism-perl librpm3 librpmbuild3 librpmio3 librpmsign3 libtool po-debconf rpm rpm-common
0 upgraded, 19 newly installed, 0 to remove and 31 not upgraded.
Need to get 2,986 kB of archives.
After this operation, 8,826 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 xenial/main amd64 autotools-dev all 20150820.1 [39.8 kB]
Get:2 xenial/main amd64 autoconf all 2.69-9 [321 kB]
Get:3 xenial/main amd64 automake all 1:1.15-4ubuntu1 [510 kB]
Get:4 xenial-updates/main amd64 autopoint all 0.19.7-2ubuntu3.1 [406 kB]
Get:5 xenial/main amd64 libtool all 2.4.6-0.1 [193 kB]
Get:16 xenial/universe amd64 rpm2cpio amd64 [7,756 B]
Get:17 xenial/universe amd64 debugedit amd64 [15.5 kB]
Get:18 xenial/universe amd64 rpm amd64 [114 kB]
Get:19 xenial/universe amd64 alien all 8.95 [54.5 kB]
Fetched 2,986 kB in 1s (1,725 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package autotools-dev.
(Reading database ... 421045 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../autotools-dev_20150820.1_all.deb ...
Unpacking autotools-dev (20150820.1) ...
update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/automake-1.15 to provide /usr/bin/automake (automake) in auto mode
Setting up autopoint (0.19.7-2ubuntu3.1) ...
Setting up libtool (2.4.6-0.1) ...
Setting up libfile-stripnondeterminism-perl (0.015-1) ...
Setting up rpm ( ...
Setting up dh-strip-nondeterminism (0.015-1) ...
Setting up debhelper (10.2.2ubuntu1~ubuntu16.04.1) ...
Setting up alien (8.95) ...
Setting up dh-autoreconf (12~ubuntu16.04.1) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu10) ...

...and, behold, I am able to build the RPM.

How to create a bootable USB drive for Linux Mint

Prevent focus stealing—stop browser from switch workspace when opening a link

Annoyed when you... a hyperlink, Chrome is your default browser and, because the last time you in Chrome was in a different workspace than the one you're on, Chrome switches to itself in that workspace instead merely of using one of its instances in the workspace you have up front and center?

In Cinnamon, go to main Menu → System Settings → Preferences → Windows → Behavior → Prevent focus stealing → On.

# 4Tb Western Digital Blue
UUID="8fc4c3eb-b49c-4923-bc1a-dc604a4db339" /home2    ext4    defaults       1 2

How to install youtube_dl on Linux Mint 20.1

Recent versions of Linux distributions no longer come with Python 2 and, as has always been the case, they still have ancient software, so you can't easily get a hold of the latest version of youtube_dl, which is written in Python.

Moreover, youtube_dl --upgrade no longer works.

So, do this:

$ youtube-dl --version               # latest version from Mint
$ where youtube-dl                   # where it lives
# apt-get purge youtube-dl           # remove current version
# pip3 install youtube_dl            # install using Python 3
Command 'pip3' not found, but can be installed with:
apt-get install python3-pip
# apt-get install python3-pip        # (try harder)
# pip3 install youtube-dl
$ youtube-dl                         # or fix PATH? no I won't
bash: /usr/bin/youtube-dl: No such file or directory
# pushd /usr/bin
# ln -s /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl    # fix-up link
# popd
$ youtube-dl --version

How to relocate Chrome tabs and windows to another workspace

It can't be done without going into Chrome settings and choosing

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. From the triple-dot/hamburger/general menu, choose Settings. This brings up the Settings page.
  3. Click Appearance.
  4. Click to turn on Use system title bar and borders.

(Mint/Cinnamon) GUI static IP address

DON'T DO IT THIS WAY! (see the next note after this one)

  1. Go to start menu and type "Network."
  2. Choose to launch Network.
  3. Select Wired, then click on the gear icon (settings/options).
  4. Click IPv4.
  5. Change Automatic (DHCP) to Manual.
  6. Type in the static IP Address you want. (
  7. Type in the Netmask. (
  8. Type in the Gateway. (
  9. Add the following DNS Server addresses:
    1. (Google's DNS server)
    2. (ibid)
  10. Click on Apply.
  11. You should see a summary that looks like this:
        IPv4 Address
        IPv6 Address (some long hexadecimal number)
    Hardware Address (another hexadecimal number)
       Default Route
  12. In a console, type:
    $ sudo bash           # (get root)
    # ipconfig            # (discover your Ethernet device name)
                          # (let's say it turned out to be eno1)
    # ipconfig eno1 down # (bring down your Ethernet device)
    # ipconfig eno1 up   # (bring back up your Ethernet device)
    # ^D                  # (unget root)
    $ ping     # (ping Google)
    —if you get no ping returns here, you screwed something up in your configuration
  13. You will likely have to bounce any open browser before being able to do much with it (like search for stuff).

Static IP address—the right way!

There's potential monkey business in your operating system which wants you not to hold a static IP address. So, the right way always to get the same address is to go to the assigning authority which, in my case, is my TP-LINK router.

If you're at the mercy of a power utility that loves to leave you literally in the dark from time to time, you're often getting a new and different address to any device when the power comes back on.

Every router will be a bit different, but most offer a way to impose or prefer a node (host) getting the same address. In my case, I have a TP-LINK Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, model number Archer C7. To reserve an IP address, I do this:

  1. Avoid configuring my Wired IPv4 address by Manual.
  2. Instead, I bring up my Network configuration GUI to observe my host's details as given to it by DHCP. Among these details is the Hardware Address.
  3. In TP-LINK, as seen below, I click Add New, then type in that hardware address that is my MAC address, the Reserved IP Address and enable it.
  4. I Save this and then reboot my router, which takes a few minutes.
  5. Once that's done, I bounce my assigned network configuration as show above at the end of the previous note (using ifconfig up/down).