Things to do after installing Linux Mint 15 MATE

I have installed Linux Mint 15 MATE on my desktop for a few weeks and in my opinion, this release is nearly perfect so I didnt change much from the default settings.

However, for the new users of Linux Mint 15 MATE, if you need some ideas about what to do after installing the distro, here are some suggestions you can try.

1. Upgrade system and update packages

This is the first thing you need to do after installing any distro. On Linux Mint 15 MATE, there will be a shield icon on the bottom panel, click on it, enter the password and the Update Manager window will appear. On this window you will see the packages that need to be updated, click on the "Install Updates" button and wait for the system to complete the task. You can also select which packages you want to update first if you have a slow internet connection.

after installing Linux Mint

You can also update the system via the command line. Just open the terminal then run the following commands:
 sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade   

2. Check for available proprietary driver

If you use a dedicated video card, you may need to install the proprietary driver for it. Although the open-sourced driver still works, the proprietary one is always more stable and has a better performance in my opinion. To check for available proprietary drivers, open the Mint menu, go to control center then Additional Drivers then select the driver to install.

After the driver is installed, you need to reboot your computer.

3. Install dconf-tools

In the old versions of Linux Mint MATE, you can use mateconf-editor to tweak the settings. However, in Linux Mint 15 mateconf-editor is replaced with gsettings so you will need dconf-tools for tweaking. To install dconf-tools, open the terminal then run the following command:
 sudo apt-get install dconf-tools   

After you got dconf-tools installed, you can launch dconf-editor and you can tweak a lot of things in your MATE system from there.

4. Change the search engines of Firefox

Linux Mint ( both MATE and Cinnamon) uses DuckDuckGo and Yahoo Search as the default search engines for Firefox. Some people love these search engines, some still want to use the good old Google. Here is how you change the search engines of Firefox in Linux Mint 15 in to Google.

To change Yahoo search in the search bar to Google, you use Firefox to visit this following url:   

On the new web page, scroll down to the bottom and you will find the Commercial Engines section:

Click on the icon of Google search and now you have the option to enable Google Search for the search bar of Firefox:

To change DuckDuckGo with Google search for the address bar, you type "about:config" in the address bar to go to the config page of Firefox. On this config page, search for the line that starts with "keyword.URL":

Once you find this line, right click on it to edit it, replace the search url of DuckDuckGo with that of Google:  

Then hit "OK" and you got Google as the search engine for both the address bar and search bar of Firefox in Linux Mint 15.

5. Change the wallpaper and icons and GTK theme

Linux Mint is really conservative when it comes to appearance. They use the same wallpaper, icons and GTK theme over year and the default desktop has become tedious over time.

To change the appearance of the MATE desktop, you can right click on the desktop then click on "Change Desktop Background" to open the Appearance Preferences. You can also search for the Appearance Preferences from the Mint Menu as well. From that, you can select new wallpaper for you desktop.

To get new icons and GTK themes, you can check gnome-look, there are a lot of awesome GTK themes and icons you can download for free on gnome-look. After downloading the icons and themes, you create 2 folders, ".icons" and ".themes" in the home directory then extract the downloaded themes and icons to these folders. After that, you can use the new icons and themes for your MATE desktop.

6. Some applications to install

Linux Mint 15 comes with several default applications that can meet all your basic tasks. However, there are some other apps you may need to install here.

Chrome / Chromium Browser

Some may prefer Chrome/Chromium browser over Firefox. To install Chrome, you can click here to download the deb package to install it.

To install Chromium, you can search for it in the software manager or just open the terminal then run this command:
 sudo apt-get install chromium-browser  


I use Skype a lot so this is a mandatory app for me. To install Skype, just use this command:
 sudo apt-get install skype  


In case you need to run Windows apps, you will need Wine:
 sudo apt-get install wine  


Perhaps you have seen the videos about the cubic or cylinder Linux desktops. To do these tricks, you will need Compiz:
 sudo apt-get install compiz  

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