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The idiots guide to Linux Mint

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The idiots guide to Linux Mintlinuxmint-logo-baru1

Computers and the Internet are an integral part of the Type It Tiger business, whether we are building websites or providing typing and transcription services. We are huge fans of Linux Mint and highly recommend it.


(1) Introduction

(2)  Downloading and installing Linux Mint

(3) Solving issues in Linux Mint

(4) Migrating to the latest version of Linux Mint

Introduction to Linux Mint

Linux Mint is a 32- and 64-bit operating system (OS) for PCs which aims to provide a modern, elegant and comfortable OS which is both powerful and easy to use. Mint provides full out-of-the-box multimedia support by including some proprietary software such as Adobe Flash. Mint’s motto is “from freedom came elegance”.

This is a fantastic operating system which means that you are now able to break free of Microsoft (which we have always found to be notoriously unreliable and frustrating to use).

Additionally, being an open source operating system, the Software Manager built into Linux Mint allows you to download almost all of the software that you will ever need for FREE! For example, there is no need to use expensive Microsoft Office because Libre Office is just as good (if not better) and it is absolutely free. For emails we would recommend using Mozilla Thunderbird which is also free and far better than Microsoft Exchange.

New versions of Linux Mint are released every six months. The first release, named “Ada”, was released in 2006. The 17th release, “Qiana”, was released in 2014.

There are several versions of Linux Mint, the primary difference being appearance. We like Cinnamon at Type It Tiger.

System requirements for Linux Mint Qiana:

  • x86 processor (Linux Mint 64-bit requires a 64-bit processor. Linux Mint 32-bit works on both 32-bit and 64-bit processors).
  • 512 MB RAM (1GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 5 GB of disk space (20GB recommended).
  • Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution (1024×768 recommended).
  • CD/DVD drive or USB port

Downloading and installing Linux Mint

This is really very simple:

  1. Go to the Linux Mint website
  2. Burn onto a DVD the ISO image file from one of the HTTP Mirrors (selecting either 32-bit or 64-bit according to the specification of your PC) – do not save the file – you must burn the image to the disk. Most DVD burning software such as NERO will give you the option to ‘burn image’.
  3. Boot up your computer from the DVD drive with the disc containing the ISO file. Linux Mint will then guide you through the set up process with its set up wizard.
  4. You are now ready to go! Enjoy.

Solving issues in Linux Mint

The best solution for resolving any glitches with the operation of your Linux Mint is simply to update and upgrade the operating system software.

The commands are as follows:
=> apt-get update : Update is used to resynchronize the package index files from their sources via Internet.

=> apt-get upgrade : Upgrade is used to install the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system

=> apt-get install package-name : Install is followed by one or more packages desired for installation. If package is already installed it will try to update to latest version.

Update synchronizes your list of available packages with the servers in source repositories.
Upgrade then downloads & installs any newer versions of your installed programmes.

These can be run together as follows

  1. Ensure that you have an Internet connection.
  2. Open terminal in Linux Mint
  3. Type: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  4. Hit the return key
  5. You will be prompted to enter your password as you are acting as administrator for the system and modifying it – enter your password and press return
  6. The update will be carried out for you. If you are prompted for a response about replacing various parts of your operating system simply type a letter ‘Y’ and hit return.
  7. You will find that 99% of all problems can be resolved in this simple way and with the added benefit that your system is now current and up to date.

Sometimes you may try to install software using the terminal and run into the following error message:

E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (13: Permission denied)
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), are you root?

In order to solve this you need to become root:
  1. Type: sudo -s
  2. This should cause the your computer name in terminal to change from green to red (an indication that you are now root).
  3. Type: apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
  4. This will now update and upgrade your system.
  5. Type: apt-get -f install
  6. This will fix broken dependencies

Migrating to the latest version of Linux Mint

There are various versions of Linux Mint, generally released semi annually.

Version Code name Release date Support status
1.0 beta Ada 2006-08-27
2.0 Barbara 2006-11-13
2.1 Bea 2006-12-20
2.2 Bianca 2007-02-20
3.0 Cassandra 2007-05-30
3.1 Celena 2007-09-24
4 Daryna 2007-10-15
5 Elyssa 2008-06-08
6 Felicia 2008-12-15
7 Gloria 2009-05-26
8 Helena 2009-11-29
9 Isadora 2010-05-18
10 Julia 2010-11-12
11 Katya 2011-05-26
12 Lisa 2011-11-26
13 Maya 2012-05-23 Long-term support release (LTS), supported until April 2017.
14 Nadia 2012-11-20 Supported until May 2014.
15 Olivia 2013-05-29 Obsolete since January 2014.
16 Petra 2013-11-30 Supported until July 2014.
17 Qiana End of May 2014 Long-term support release (LTS), supported until April 2019.

There are also regular releases of the software:

Code name Release date Supported until
Warty Warthog 20 October 2004
Hoary Hedgehog 8 April 2005
Breezy Badger 13 October 2005
Dapper Drake 1 June 2006
Edgy Eft 26 October 2006
Feisty Fawn 19 April 2007
Gutsy Gibbon 18 October 2007
Hardy Heron 24 April 2008
Intrepid Ibex 30 October 2008
Jaunty Jackalope 23 April 2009
Karmic Koala 29 October 2009
Lucid Lynx 29 April 2010
Maverick Meerkat 10 October 2010
Natty Narwhal 28 April 2011
Oneiric Ocelot 13 October 2011
Precise Pangolin 26 April 2012 26 April 2017
Quantal Quetzal 18 October 2012 16 May 2014
Raring Ringtail 25 April 2013 27 January 2014
Saucy Salamander 17 October 2013 July 2014
Trusty Tahr 17 April 2014 April 2019

If you have an older version of Linux Mint and wish to update to the latest version, then simply follow the instructions below:

  1. Determine which version and which release you are using based on the tables above. For the purpose of this example we assume that you are using version 14 NADIA and release SAUCY SALAMANDER. We also assume that you want to migrate to version 17 QIANA and release TRUSTY TAHR
  2. Ensure that you have an Internet connection.
  3. Open terminal in Linux Mint
  4. Replace references to saucy with trusty, and nadia with qiana in the sources (if you are migrating from a different version to a different version then simply substitute the names accordingly. The same is true for the releases):
    • Type: sudo sed -i ‘s/saucy/trusty/’ /etc/apt/sources.list
    • Hit return (if you are prompted for your password then provide it and hit return again)
    • Type: sudo sed -i ‘s/nadia/qiana/’ /etc/apt/sources.list
    • Hit return
  5. Update the repositories with the new settings and run a dist-upgrade to upgrade to the new version cleanly
    • Type: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    • Hit return (if you are prompted for your password then provide it and hit return again)
  6. Then run upgrade to make sure all the packages are updated.
    • Type: sudo apt-get upgrade
    • Hit return
  7. Now you should be all done. Re-boot your PC and you should be up and running on the latest version  of Linux Mint without having to re-install from a DVD. [However, if for whatever reason this does not work then simply follow the instructions under the header “Downloading and installing Linux Mint” above and reinstall the latest version via DVD from the Linux Mint website but beware that installing from DVD will be a fresh total install and will clear all files and software on your existing system so back up anything important if you decide to take that route!]

Importing Microsoft True Type Fonts (TTF) for use in Linux Mint

  1. Open Terminal in Linux Mint and ensure that you are connected to the internet.
  2. Type: apt-cache search “microsoft truetype core fonts”

when found you will see the following message display:

ttf-mscorefonts-installer – Installer for Microsoft TrueType core fonts

  1. Now to install, type: sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer
  2. Press <ok> and <yes> as prompted to accept the installation options
  3. For better rendering of the fonts (which will take effect when you next login), once the fonts are installed type: sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-autohint.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/
  4. The Microsoft most famous fonts are now available in your Linux:
    • Andale Mono
    • Arial Black
    • Arial*
    • Comic Sans*
    • Courier New*
    • Georgia*
    • Impact
    • Times New Roman*
    • Trebuchet*
    • Verdana*
    • Webdings

* where applicable these will also import the Bold, Italic and Bold Italic versions of the fonts

Now typing and transcription services may be provided using Linux Mint with Microsoft TTF fonts

Libre Office instead of Microsoft Office

Libreoffice is a full-featured office productivity suite that provides a near drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office.

Libre Office is an open source software that provides equivalent functionality to Microsoft Office. In fact it is better than Microsoft Office because it is free and, being open source, the community works together to constantly improve it. It has a Word processing facility for all of your typing needs, a spreadsheet facility to replace Excel, a presentation facility to replace Power Point, a database facility and a draw facility.

Best of all you have the option to save all of your work in a Microsoft format too so that when you send it to someone using Microsoft Office Software they will be able to open it as though you had prepared it in Microsoft Office –  so .doc and .docx for WORD, .xls and .xlsx for EXCEL, .ppt for PowerPoint, etc. – 100% compatible!

If you do not have Libre Office installed, here’s how:

  1. To uninstall any old versions of LibreOffice (which you should do before installing the latest version), open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and use the following command:sudo apt-get remove –purge libreoffice*
  2. Follow the on screen instructions to proceed. Once you have removed the older version, you are ready to install the latest version of LibreOffice. Use the following commands one at time, hitting <Enter> after each command:
  3. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install libreoffice

  4. The standard icons in libre office are, quite frankly, ghastly. These can be changed. LibreOffice’s icon theme is set in Tools > Options > View, under the heading ‘Icon Size and Style’. The drop down list will contain the available list of icon sets accessible to LibreOffice. I suggest that you try “SIFR” in the drop down – much better.

You’re done! Enjoy Libre Office!

Problems using a scanner with Linux?

1) First you need xsane to be able to scan things at all.

sudo apt-get install xsane

2) Plug in your scanner by USB. Attempt to scan by typing scanimage. It won’t work, but you need to see the error message.


The error message will be something like this (I added the red for reasons that will become clear below):

[gt68xx] Couldn’t open firmware file (`/usr/share/sane/gt68xx/PS1Dfw.usb‘): No such file or directory scanimage: open of device gt68xx:libusb:004:002 failed: Invalid argument

See that PS1Dfw.usb? You need to get that file from but be aware that your computer might require a different file depending on the scanner that you are using such as ps1fw.usb or ps1fw.usb, so look carefully at the error message. Whichever file you need, find it on the web page link and download it.

3) Remove any redundant gt68xx file from SANE using this command

sudo rm /usr/share/sane/gt68xx

if you receive an error message about there being no file then all well and good because there is nothing to be removed.

4) Make a new directory in SANE called gt68xx

sudo mkdir /usr/share/sane/gt68xx

5) Move the downloaded driver from DOWNLOADS into the new directory (be sure to type the name of the file that you downloaded in place of the red file name below)

sudo mv ~/Downloads/PS1Dfw.usb /usr/share/sane/gt68xx



Enjoy using Linux!

Idiots Guide to Linux Mint

Now you have all of the tools for the provision of typing and transcription services in

Linux Mint.

We hope this was helpful. Good luck and enjoy the freedom and elegance of Linux Mint!

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