A new version of Linux Mint came out a few months ago. It contains lots of improvements and new features. With each new release, the operating system brings in thousands of new users.
If you’re new to Mint, you’re probably lost and unsure about your new system. For this reason, we’ll go over common things you should do after installing the latest version of Linux Mint.
1. Backup With TimeShift
After installing Linux Mint, it’s a good idea to make an initial backup. Doing this will allow you to keep a snapshot of the Linux Mint defaults. That way, if anything changes, you’ll be able to return things to the way they were quick.
TimeShift handles the backups on Linux Mint. It’s very straightforward and fast. It works by creating incremental snapshots of your entire system and is among one of the best system backup tools available on the Linux platform.
To create a backup in TimeShift, open up the app menu on your Linux Mint desktop, go to “system tools” and search for the “Time Shift” application.
Now that TimeShift is open, it’s time to create a new backup. Follow the setup wizard on screen as it walks you through creating your first backup!
Having problems understanding how TimeShift works on your Linux Mint PC? Do yourself a favor and check out our guide!
2. Install Updates
Each time you set up a new Linux operating system, it’s imperative that you check for updates and install them so your PC is running the latest security patches.
Updating Linux Mint is quite easy, thanks to the update manager. To update, click on the shield icon in your system tray and bring up the updater.
Once the Mint updater program is open, click on the refresh button and let it check for new updates. When it’s done refreshing, select the “install updates” option to install the latest packages to your Linux Mint PC.
3. Graphics Driver Set Up
Many Linux users have dedicated graphics cards. Unfortunately, many of these graphics cards don’t work to the best of their ability on Linux Mint.
Thankfully, graphics drivers are super easy to enable on Linux Mint. To do it, click the application menu and search for “Driver Manager.”
Launch the Driver Manager and let it load. As it loads, it’ll automatically detect your graphics card hardware.
Select the driver that says (recommended) and click the “apply changes” button to install it.
When the driver installation is complete, restart your Linux Mint computer. As you log back in, your graphics card will be fully operational.
4. Install Programs
Linux Mint comes with a lot of software out of the box, but it doesn’t have everything. If you have special needs, it’s a good idea to install some software with the Software Manager.
To open the Software Manager tool, click the “Menu” button on the Cinnamon panel. Once it’s open, click on the white and green icon under Firefox to launch Software Manager.
In the Software Manager tool, scroll down to “Categories.” Select the category of programs you’d like to browse. When you’ve found a program, click on it, then select “Install.”
5. Set Up Snap packages
Snaps are new universal packaging formats for Linux. With Snaps, any user can install software quickly without worrying about the operating system as a whole.
Unfortunately, the Linux Mint startup section doesn’t walk the user through the features of Snap, so many users aren’t learning how they work. If you want access to Snap packages on your new Linux Mint system, you’ll have to turn it on yourself.
To turn on Snap packages in Linux Mint, follow our in-depth guide on the subject. It’ll teach you all about how to set up Snaps, and how to install software using Snapd.
6. Media Codecs
Linux Mint doesn’t come with proprietary media codecs installed, due to legal issues. As a result, if you’d like to play back Mp3s (and another proprietary codec), you’ll need to install a particular package.
To get proprietary video and audio media codecs working on your Linux Mint machine, click the application menu, search for “terminal” and launch it.
Once the terminal window is open, write in the following command.
sudo apt install mint-meta-codecs
7. Customize Desktop
A popular thing to do in the Linux community is customization. People love to install custom icons and custom desktop themes to make their desktop look beautiful and unique.
If you’re eager to change the default look of your Linux Mint desktop, consider installing one of the themes below.
Note: many other Cinnamon themes are available on the Cinnamon Spices website.
Not sure how to customize the Cinnamon desktop environment? Follow our guide and learn how to make it your own.
8. Install Google Chrome
You probably have a Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime video subscription that you plan to use on Linux Mint. Sadly, these services will not work very well in the included Firefox browser.
If you plan to watch proprietary video services on Linux Mint, you’ll need to use Google Chrome, as it’s the only browser on Linux that supports all proprietary video services with ease.
To download Chrome for Linux Mint, head over to the Chrome download page and select the “64 bit .deb (For Debian/Ubuntu)” option.
When Chrome finishes downloading, click “menu,” search for “Nemo” and open it.
In the Nemo file manager, click on the “Downloads” folder. Inside the Downloads folder, double-click on the file labeled “google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb”.
Double-clicking on the Chrome DEB file will open up the Linux Mint program installer. Use the installer tool to install Google Chrome on your PC.
In this list, we showed you ten things to do to set up your new Linux Mint system. If you still have questions about what to do with Mint, feel free to post in the comment section below!