Things To Do First in Linux Mint

You have just installed Linux Mint and wonder what you can do next. I will show you 15 things to do 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. It’s Average Linux User helping you to install, configure and use Linux I have shown how to install Linux Min.

You can use it as it is and you will be absolutely fine. You will get little better Linux experience. I have touched upon the things to do after install. But in this, I provide an extensive list of things to do.

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, you can 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 menu and open Software sources.

Enter your password. In the mirror list click on the main mirror. Then wait some time until the servers are ranked. 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 Update policy and change it if you need. I recommend to update everything. The option optimize stability and Security should be fine 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. Open it. You probably will need to enter your password. Here you see all the available drivers.

I record it in a virtual machine, so I have Virtualbox drivers listed here You may also see here the drivers for a wi-fi card If you need to a proprietary driver for your wi-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 like nVidia or AMD, you will see something similar to this.

It offers us three options, usually the recommended option works the best If you experience some issue with your graphic performance, try to use the open-source driver. If the open-source driver doesn’t work well either, try the third option. After you installed the graphic driver, you can go to the graphic card settings and try to tweak it little. This may also help to resolve some issues if you have any.

For example, when I had a Laptop with an AMD graphic card, it was getting very hot. But when I adjusted the power management setting to save energy and reduce performance, the the laptop stopped to getting hot. So, I recommend exploring the settings of you graphic card I also have microcode listed among the drivers I am not sure if it is always shown in the driver 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 and intel-microcode. You need to install one of these depending on 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 can find 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 no enough RAM.

If you don’t know RAM is the Random Access Memory. It’s kind of temporary memory on your computer. When you open System info, you see the size of your RAM in the line memory. I have 2 Gb RAM RAM is always faster than a Hard Drive, so it is better to use it as much as possible.

By default, if Linux Mint starts using more than 60% of the RAM, it writes some data to the hard drive and the system becomes less responsive. You can check if you open the terminal and type cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness. Enter 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/sysctlconf Scroll down the file, and in the end add vmswappiness = 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 drive less 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 drive with 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 until the data is written to your hard drive. Normally, the program would wait until the data 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 to the disk with some delay, so the program will proceed to the next step without waiting for the write event to finish. However, there is some trade-off of this option. You can read here that if your system crashes or 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 if you 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 for good performance of an SSD drive. Trim – to clean the drive, and reduce the write cycles.

Linux Mint already has Trim enabled by default. You can check it if you run in the terminal cat /etc/cronweekly/fstrim. You should see true here. The write to SSD cycled are not reduced by default. 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 terminal sudo xed /etc/fstab. Find your SSD partitons, usually it is every partition that has sda in its name. And add noatime before the word errors. You need to do to for every partition you have on your SSD drive, except swap. If you have /home partition, add noatime there too.

Save and close the file Noatime will disable write action when the system only reads files. It is enabled in many distro by default, but not in Linux Mint Probably, because this option has a small risk that some programs won’t work correctly. But I have been using it for years, and had not 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 resources but it will additionaly secure your system. Open the menu and search for Firewall Open it.

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 where you need to open ports in your Firewall. If you do need to do so.

For example, to use SSH to connect to your computer, you can go to the rules and change Firewall settings for some applications. For SSH, you select SSH and amble both directions port 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, especially if 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 will have such fonts as Arial, Times New Roman and other MS fonts. Remove unnecessary software.

It depends what software you need, but it is usually safe to remove Mono, Orca and VirtualBox Guest packages Open synaptic package manager and search for mono-runtime-common. You can read here that mono is a platforms to run and develop some specific applications I am not sure about it, but I also read that it poses a security risk. Mark it for removal. Then search for gnome-orca.

It is an accessibility packages. Unless you are visually handicapped, it is fine to remove it too. Then search for virtualbox-guest* and remove all the installed packages, which have this mark in the S field. These packages needed to run Linux Mint in a VirtualBox, but if you are on real hardware, remove them I record this video in a VirtualBox, so I will keep them.

Press, apply 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 there is any application you are not going to use. Search for them in the synaptic package manager and uninstall.

But be careful because when you remove some programs, they will drag some other programs as dependencies. You need to be little familiar with Linus system 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 not remove anything what comes with Linux Mint by default.

If you are little familiar with Linux, I would recommend removing the programs you do not use. For example, I would suggest removing these programs: simple-scan. You do not need if you do not have a scanner GIMP, GIMP is a good image editor, but there is some learning curve For simple image editing, you can use Pix.

Pix is very intuitive and does simple things like image rotating, resizing, brightness/contrast setting etc. Hexchat 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, you can remove Pidgin.

I know that many people prefer web-email client. If you are one of them, you can also remove Thunderbird, 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 by removing 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, so I usually remove all Bluetooth related packages But here is the danger.

If you remove these two Bluetooth-related libraries, they will drag the whole Cinnamon desktop, which is the graphical environment of your system To uninstall, Bluetooth you need to uninstall all Bluetooth-related packages except these two. So, again be very-very careful. If you are a beginner, do not uninstall anything what comes with the system by default. The gain is very small, but the risk you break your 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, when I start Firefox. To enable this feature, go to the menu → Preferences In the field, when Firefox starts, select. Show windows and tabs from last time. Now when you close and open Firefox, you will se the table you had when you closed the browser.

Another thing, Firefox uses DuckDuckGo search service 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 always show the most relevant results.

If you want to can change the default search engine to Google or any other service. Click on this magnifying glass button and here you see Change Search settings. Click on it. Then click on. Add more search engines. You can read all the justifications why Linux Mint uses DuckDuckGo, and doesn’t use Google.

To add google, you need to click on this google icon. 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 select Google as a default engine. Now, when you do the search, you will see google results.

Tweak LibreOffice. There is one setting we can change to speed up LibreOffice Open LibreOffice, go to Tools → Options and in the Advanced disable Use Java run-time environment. In the 99% of the cases, you will not need Java, but Java slows down the LibreOffice. Now, when you disabled it, LibreOffice will be little faster. If you are still unsatisfied with the speed of you LibreOffice, you can increase the speed by allocating little more memory in the Memory settings.

I use 64 in Use for LibreOffice, and Memory per 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 available in the main menu.

The Windows Quick list duplicates the main Window list on the panel. Let’s remove them Right click on the panel and open Add applets to the panel. And remove the User applet and Windows Quick list. Turn off some startup applications. Open the system settings, and go to the Startup applications.

You may have some applications here which you do not want to autostart. So, disable them In my case, I have only Ctrl+Alt+Backspace shortcut 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 disable unless you use the compatible inVidia Optimus grahic card. If you have any other program here which you did 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 it restores the previous state of the system with all the programs open. This feature hasn’t worked correctly in Linux 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 doing so Linux boots very fast and there is very small benefit of using hibernation. Besides, hibernation is not advisable if you use an SSD To disable hibernation, open the terminal and type the following command.

I leave it in the description Enter your password. You need to type it blindly, nothing shows in the terminal when you type Press enter And the hibernation option should disappear from the shutdown menu.

If you are on the laptop, go to the power setting and check if you had hibernation in any of the options, replace it with shutdown or suspend. We moved the settings that enable hibernation to the root of the system. So, if you need to undo it , you need to move the settings back I leave the undo command in the description of 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 as another 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 install dconf-editor. Open dconf-editor from the menu. Go to org – cinnamon – desktop – lockdown. And 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 system will work even better.

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