Mike's Linux Land

I'm still what you call a linux noobie but after almost three years of using Linux Mint (Cinnamon) I guess I'm not so noob. Currently I'm using Mint 20 Cinnamon on three desktops and one HP laptop. Two desktops are dual boot Win10/Linux.

I started out with Linux by accident. I had an old 2 core desktop that I advertised on FB but nobody wanted it and I was a day from bringing it to the local recycling station when I read a FB page done by a computer teckkie who wrote about giving your old computer a new lease on life by installing linux and Mint in particular. That caught my curiosity and I looked into Mint, downloaded the .iso file and burned that onto a DVD and installed it. The rest is history.

I have a Dell Optiplex 7010 (i7) and another Dell Optiplex 7020 (i5) both with 8gb ram. Each tower has two HDDs; one linux and one Windows 10. One runs Mint 19.3 and Windows 10 and the other runs Ubuntu 20 and Windows 10. And then I have the laptop running just Mint 19.3. One Dell runs about 100% Mint. The other uses Ubuntu about 50% of the time and Windows the rest of the time. Although I've been running Mint Cinnamon for almost three years I just wanted to get some experience with Ubuntu. I hated it last year when I tried it but this time around it's much easier to get around in it due to my experience with Mint. I would tell anyone who wanted to ditch Windows for linux to go to Mint first and not Ubuntu. Mint has that Windows feel to it and Ubuntu does not. I still like Mint better but Ubuntu 20 is next down the list. I've also tried Manjaro XFCE, Linux Lite, Mint XFCE, Zorin XFCE and MX Linux but no thank you to all of those. Not what I wanted.

One of my other hobbies is DXing, or tracking down TV, FM and AM stations from far away. Because of that hobby I have a real interest in software devined radios, or SDRs. If I can find anything that will help me or others to track down these stations using linux Mint, I will post the information here.


Linux Mint 20 is now out and rather than wait for the upgrade option, I decided to do clean installs. My first install was on a Dell dual core desktop. The install went flawlessly. So, after the good experience with that, I did a clean install on my HP Elitebook laptop. That one also went flawlessly. And so, to build on that, I did another clean install on our Dell i7 desktop. That also went perfectly. Finally, for my last install, I went back to the first Dell dual core desktop, wiped the disk, installed Windows 10 2004 and then installed Mint 20 Cinnamon and converted its 160GB drive to a dual booter. It was a quick and easy install which installed effortlessly. And I'm glad I took the time to do this instead of waiting for the official upgrade instructions because I'm reading that some users have had problems with it. It was tempting to just wait for the upgrade because upgrades generally go much faster than clean installs, but I learned a few things about MBR and GPT formats and just how easy dual booting can be, at least in a desktop and one laptop.

I still have a Dell i5 with two HDDs, one for Mint 20 and a larger HDD for Ubuntu 20. My reason for installing Ubuntu was to see how much Ubuntu and Mint have in common, since Mint 20 is based on Ubuntu 20. I do intend to keep Ubuntu on this computer. The desktop may be a bit different but just takes a short time to understand. The terminal commands are about the same. The programs are the same although Mint repositories no longer carry my favorite screen capture program called Shutter. Luckily I found another great replacement called Screengrab. Ubuntu still has shutter. If you can work with Mint, you can work with Ubuntu. There's a lot of similarity and the learning curve isn't long, at least for me.

The annoying thing about Ubuntu concerns the desktop. We're all familiar with placing shortcuts on the desktop and we're all familiar with dragging icons to the desktop or from the desktop to trash. With Ubuntu, the process is different. You can drag and drop icons from window to window. You cannot drag an icon from a window to the desktop. It just won't work. What you havd to do is copy or cut the file in your document window, for example, and past it to the desktop. Instead of desktop icons to launch from the desktop, save your files,etc as favorites, which addes them into the Favorites pane.. You can set that panel either vertically or horizontally. Make it vertical and it looks more or less like Mint or Windows. The files in the panel launch with a single click. This drag and drop thing is something you'll need to just get used to since this is just one of the things that makes Ubuntu unique.

Oh yes, and Mint 20 no longer supports the two programs below. If you need these, keep Mint 19.3 or Ubuntu 19!!



7-Zip for linux is called p7-Zip. Get it from Software Manager, just look for p7zip-full.

Android phones.
When you connect an Android phone to a computer running Linux Mint and go into DCIM and then camera, you normally see icons instead of thumbnails, even though you'll see thumbnails in your picture folder. To see thumbnails when you connect your phone, go to MENU-->ACCESORIES-->FILES->EDIT-->PREFERENCES-->PREVIEW and change show thumbnails to YES instead of Local Files Only. Why Mint doesn't make thumbnails the default with an android phone, who knows.

MS Paint!!
Well, you can have one that's pretty darn close and just as easy. You can now uninstall GIMP or any of the other way-to-complex programs. What you want and need is Kolourpaint and you can get it from your neighborhood Software Manager. You'll like it! As a matter of fact, the graphic at the top of the page was made with Kolourpaint. Not too shabby, either.


neofetch This is a neat little utility I think everyone should have on their computer. Download it from the Software Manager. You can launch it by typing "neofetch" (without the brackets) in your terminal. What you find listed is your Operating System, Kernal Version, Shell type, Screen resolution, Desktop environment, your theme types, CPU type, graphics and amount of RAM in your computer and. Neofetch tells you much about your system.


Linux Mint/Ubuntu had a nice program for screengrabs called Shutter. Now I can't find it in the Mint Software Manager but I did manage to find it in Ubuntu Software. After looking around for replacements to Shutter, I came across Screengrabs for Mint, which is small and works very well.

(c)2020 M.Bugaj

Last updated 07/10/2020