I hope you enjoy this short video demo of Linux Mint 14 XFCE.
I hope you enjoy this short video demo of Linux Mint 14 XFCE.
This is a short ‘How To’ video I created on how to use the Software Manager in Linux Mint 14 XFCE. This is a basic instructional video and is mainly aimed at the newer Linux users. We welcome comments and suggestions from the more experienced users too. This was created using the Record My Desktop utility and after the upload to You Tube has lost a bit of its clarity unless you run it in 720p. In the native ogv format it was very sharp. I hope you enjoy it. Click the link to view the video.
Wired driver installs? Yes if you are using the newest of chip sets from Atheros, it might not be in the kernel yet and you could be facing no interface found when attempting to configure the network. The driver patch is pretty easy to install if a few steps are followed while using wireless or from another computer.
Before you start run the command lspci in a terminal window to determine what driver you need. You will see something similar to this at the bottom of the output window:
02:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller (rev 01)
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR8162 Fast Ethernet (rev 10)
In my case I have the Broadcom BCM4313 wireless controller and the Atheros AR8162 Ethernet controller installed as hardware. I am using kernel 3.5.0-21-generic #32-Ubuntu SMP Tue Dec 11 18:51:59 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux in this Linux Mint 14 XFCE edition. In my case the wireless was indeed supported right away but the wired controller was not.
I first found the instructions here on the Linux Foundation but for me they were missing the crucial step of installing Linux headers build-essentials which is explained in this Ubuntu forum post here. The wget command in the instructions will pull drivers from this index. On the Linux Foundation site you will see a list of two chip sets, alx and atl1c. These instructions are for the alx series of chips. If you have the atl1c chip it might be as easy as replacing the alx in the command with atl1c but I have no way in which to test. These are the instructions I followed in a terminal window for the alx controller:
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic build-essential
tar -xf compat-wireless-3.6.8-1-snpc.tar.bz2
sudo make install
sudo modprobe alx
Note the line starting with wget is wrapped to the next line. If all went well you now have a wired connection active. For some they will already have the build-essential files installed and can skip this step but for me this was the one line missing in other instructions that made this work. It does not hurt to run it again since if they are installed the command will tell you. Also note that if this is being done on another computer, follow the instructions to get the driver patch and transport it to the computer needing it. Once copied to the target computer start again at the tar command. Since this is a kernel patch, if you update the kernel you will need to run this again until the patch becomes part of the kernel.
I hope having this all in one place will help someone get connected until this patch makes it into the kernel itself.
Hot on the heels of the XFCE release, the Mint team has released their KDE version. Now I have to admit I am not a big fan of KDE. But there are certainly plenty of fans out there and this edition will be sure to please. Sporting the KDE version 4.9 there are plenty of new and improved features to go along with the Mint customizations.
Since I am not too familiar with KDE I will keep this post short. I want to invite the comments of those who do use it whether it is with Mint or another distribution. I have always stayed away from KDE because I have been using more under powered computers and did not like the performance I was getting. This goes back to version 3.5 with Mepis for my experiences. I am sure things are greatly improved and I often read much praise given to KDE on various versions. But for me I am spinning the XFCE edition and will post on this soon. So give it a try and let us know how it performs for you.
Hey all you Mint and XFCE fans. This is what you have waited for the Nadia edition of Mint 14. I looked at the RC release and I thought it was a finished product so this must be really good. I am starting my download now. If you can spare a few bits consider using and sharing the torrent for a few days. This is a super simple way to give back in a small but meaningful way. Servers get hit pretty hard during a new release announcement.
I have been using the Cinnamon release of Nadia for a week or more and I really have enjoyed the performance, the new looks and some neat features. XFCE proves to add just as many new features as Cinnamon if not more. Look for better artwork, XFCE version 4.10 and more. If you run this version let us hear about it.
Well I finally took the plunge and purchased a new laptop. I got myself a Lenovo G580 with a B980 PDC CPU sporting 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive and more goodies. For the longest time, 10 years, I have either used a build it yourself desktop or a second hand laptop. It has been a long time since last buying new. While I did not go all out and get the latest i7 or i anything, the B980 compared rather well on Intel’s site with their newer and last years models. And as a bonus it sits atop the Sandy bridge giving it an extra punch in the graphics arena. All said and done I am happy with the purchase so far.
As you might be guessing from the post’s title, Windows 8 did not last very long on this machine. First priority was to disable the secure boot in the BIOS. And I do not give Lenovo much credit in making this intuitive. Perhaps there is industry pressure not to? We’ll never know for sure. Once in the BIOS you have to enable the legacy boot option and other OS options. This disables the secure boot but does not tell you it does. But upon checking you will find it is disabled after doing this. Save the settings and boot normally. At this point you can boot Windows 8 or your favorite OS. I booted the former. I wanted to see it first hand and I knew there would be an app to register the computer.
After a rather lengthy install process and a video or slide to show you Windows 8, one slide and not helpful at all, you are finally logged in to the desktop. What surprised me right off was I was wired to the network and it would only choose wireless as an option. My second thoughts were how clunky the interface was. Once in an application, which was not an issue, getting out was. No instructions, no pop ups, nothing. I managed to get out eventually and did indeed register the laptop with Lenovo. That is as far as I wanted to go with Windows 8. I have had my experience now.
I replaced the 500GB hard drive with mine, Linux already installed, faster spindle speed (7200rpm) and booted. Linux roared to life as expected. But that is not to say there was not any issues to deal with. Apparently this laptop comes with a newer network chip that does not have a module in the kernel yet. My first thoughts were that I was running the Debian edition of Mint and that the drivers were in the non-free category. I had been planning on installing Mint 14 Nadia since its debut but had not yet given in to the task.After all nothing was broken or anything. I fired up my employers laptop and downloaded the ISO burning it to a thumb drive in short time. Once again the install went off without errors and I was running Nadia in no time.
But the wired network was not working nor was it detected. The command lspci did indeed show the chip set, Ather03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR8162 Fast Ethernet (rev 10), but nothing was happening network wise on it. Enter the best Linux trouble shooter Google and I found the answer here in the Ubuntu forums. There were other posts from Google but this one had the crucial step of installing build-essentials. Without it the fix does not work. I had Ethernet in short order once again. Wireless was functioning but where I live there are so many signals that it is degraded all the time for serious connections. So I prefer wired over wireless right now. It should also be mentioned that the wireless is the famous B43cutter and worked right off the bat. The non-free driver was also available if desired.
So far this setup is doing great and there are not any issues that are deal breakers. My only complaint and I do not yet know if it is the OS or the hardware, is when I go the click something the mouse pointer hides itself. Annoying to say the least. Oh well if that is the worst thing then I have done pretty well.
I should also mention that after setup sound was working, video was set to a good resolution and everything just worked as it should. Nice work to the Ubuntu teams and to Clem and the Mint team for putting this together.
Update: I noticed when changing themes the disappearing cursor is gone. I will have to pay attention to which one it was since I had been switching around on them. This is good to know and I will update again if I notice it.
Hot on the heels of the KDE release RC comes Mint’s spin of XFCE edition of the popular Ubuntu distribution. XFCE offers users another choice for a full-featured desktop and this one is a bit lighter on resources than KDE or Gnome. Just because it is lighter on resources does not mean it lacks in the features department either. There are many programs written just for this environment although not as many as the KDE environment.
Look for features in the Mint edition to include XFCE 4.10, new software manager improvements and more. Some of the features of XFCE are an online manual, application finder and some unique plug-ins. Also of interest to some will be the improved artwork exclusive to Linux Mint.
Most reports of the Ubuntu release have been very favorable as far as usability and stability goes so this edition of Mint should be no different. Check it out if you like XFCE and if you have never tried it yet this is a great time to do so. Do keep in mind that this is a RC and bugs should be reported before a final release is made. Enjoy.
Linux Mint 14 ‘Nadia’ was released for testing as a RC in the KDE spin. Fans of KDE will want to give this a run especially if they like Linux Mint. It is featuring the KDE v.4.9 desktop and many more features especially for Mint.
Nadia is one of Mint’s downstream spins of Ubuntu. In this version it is sporting the KDE desktop which is very versatile along with having what I think is the most ‘bling’ in a desktop environment. If you want to impress your friends with how well your desktop looks and performs, this is for you. The KDE environment also has many optional programs written just for the KDE framework. There are so many written just for KDE the list could fill a book describing them all.
Remember that this is a RC (release candidate) and if bugs are found please report them upstream as appropriate. Have fun!