Linux Mint 12 System Requirements

Linux Mint LogoLinux Mint 12 codenamed Lisa is now available for download. Following are the minimal system requirements for installing and running Linux Mint 12 (Lisa),

Minimum System Requirements for Linux Mint 12

  • x86 or amd64 processor. The ISO you need to download depends on the processor you have. Currently Linux Mint 12 is not available for ia64.
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 5GB of hard disk space
  • Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution
  • CD/DVD or USB support

However the above minimum system configuration is not good enough for a good experience with Linux Mint 12. For example, to get GNOME 3 running in full power, you need a 3D capable video card. Following is the recommended base configuration for Linux Mint 12,

Recommended System Requirements for Linux Mint 12

  • x86 or amd64 dual core processor (Phenom X2 or Intel E5700 or above) with a clock speed of 2GHZ and above
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 10GB of hard disk space
  • A 3D capable graphics card (NVidia GeForce or ATI cards)
  • CD/DVD or USB support

Ideal System Configuration for Linux Mint 12

Lisa is lightning fast on my system. Here are my machine specs,

  • Intel Core i5-2500K – 3.3GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 512GB Seagate hard drive
  • AMD Radeon HD 6800 with 1GB RAM

If you have older system which is slow while running GNOME 3, you can switch to GNOME classic (without effects) desktop during login (Click on the wheel icon shown in the login screen).

Changing Default Search Engine to Google in Linux Mint 12

DuckDuckGo Search Engine in Firefox

How to Change Linux Mint 12 Duck Duck Go Search Engine to Google Search Engine?

Linux Mint 12 comes with Duck duck go as the default search engine. When you use Mozilla Firefox, the default search engine is shown as DuckDuckGo. Duck duck go project claims that they don’t personalize search results and no type of user tracking is done. If if you are paranoiac about privacy, Duck duck go is the search engine to use.

However I prefer Google search engine and it is easy to change DuckDuckGo to Google search engine. Click on the duck icon inside the search box and select "Manage Search Engines",

Changing duck duck go to google - Linux Mint 12

Click on the bottom link – "Get more search engines". Firefox will open the search engine list page at http://www.linuxmint.com/searchengines.php. At the bottom of the page you have a tiny list of icons representing other search engines,

Selecting google search engine - Linux Mint 12

Adding Google Search Engine to Firefox in Linux Mint 12Click on the Google icon in the other engines list.

Now again click on the duck icon in the search field located at the top of Firefox. You will see a new option named Add "Google". Click on "Add Google" option. This will change the default search engine in Linux Mint 12  to Google.

After installing Google engine, you can use the Firefox URL field for entering search keywords. If you enter a web address you are taken to the address else you are taken to the Google search results for the text you entered. This feature is not available in Duck Duck Go engine.

Linux Mint 12 Installation Guide

Linux Mint is a simple, elegant distribution which aims to be very user friendly. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and is derived from the Ubuntu repository. The latest version is Linux Mint 12 (code named Lisa) and ships with a brand new GNOME 3 desktop and Linux Kernel 3.0.

Downloading Linux Mint 12

Linux Mint 12 is available as a 32-bit or 64-bit edition. In each edition, you have two options, you can either download the CD version which doesn’t contain codecs/MATE or download the DVD version which contains both. The recommended download is the 32-bit DVD which contains Gnome and MATE. You can download Linux Mint 12 from here.

Downloading Linux Mint 12

Boot your machine with the DVD created from the downloaded ISO file.

Installing Linux Mint 12

The DVD is a live DVD and immediately after booting you can start using Linux Mint 12. To install Lisa to your hard drive click on "Install Linux Mint" shortcut.

How to install Linux Mint 12

Select your preferred language and click on continue. Lisa tells you that for best results, you need the following,

  • At least 5.6GB of hard drive space
  • An active connection to internet

Note that 5.6GB is the absolute minimum you need and if you have large swap partition this is not enough. I suggest you install Linux Mint 12 to a partition which has at least 10GB free space.

If you don’t have any other operating system on your hard drive you will get the following options.

Installation types in Linux Mint 12

You can either let Linux Mint 12 to partition your disk automatically or you can partition manually. If you selected automatic partition, Mint will create a primary partition and a swap partition.

Linux Mint 12 Installation

Alternatively you can create partitions manually. For example, I selected the following options for a 500GB hard disk with 2GB RAM,

Manual partition - Linux Mint 12

Give a swap space which is at least twice the size of your system’s RAM. Also you can create additional partitions for boot and home mount points if you want them to be logically separated.

Click on "Install Now" to begin installation. During installation, you are prompted to select your location, keyboard layout and username/password. You can choose between automatic login or manual login. Select "encrypt my home folder" option if you need high security of your data.

Installing Linux Mint 12 - user creation

Click on continue. Linux Mint 12 will download language packs from internet if an active connection is available. During installation, a slide show of Linux Mint 12 features are shown. In my Intel i5 system with 4GB RAM, it took less than 5 minutes for Linux Mint 12 installation.

After installation, remove the DVD from drive and restart the system. You should see the new GNOME 3 based login screen. During login you can select one of the GNOME desktop types. Select GNOME to login with GNOME 3.

Linux Mint 12 Login Screen

Keeping Linux Mint 12 Secure and Stable

Once you login to GNOME, you are shown a welcome screen which lists various resources available for Linux Mint 12. On the top menu bar you will see a flashing shield icon which indicates that you have various patches available for download. Click on the icon to download and install all pending patches. These are updates to the system after the last DVD release. Updating the patches keeps your system secure and stable. It took me about half an hour to apply all the updates.

After Linux Mint Install

The DVD 32 bit installer comes with a good set of applications focusing mainly on Internet and Media players. Following is the complete list of applications under each category,

  • Graphics  – Gimp, LibreOffice Draw, gThumb Image Viewer, Simple Scan, Image Viewer and Document Viewer
  • Internet – Firefox, Pidgin, Thunderbird Emails, XChat IRC, Transmission BitTorrent client, Sun Java 6 Web Start
  • Office – LibreOffice Suite
  • Media Players – Brasero, Banshee, GNOME MPlayer, VLC media player, Movie Player and Sound recorder
  • Others – Sun Java 6, Standard Linux Tools

The centralized Linux Mint 12 repository has over 35,000 applications. Use the Software manager application to find and install these packages. The packages are well organized and are listed based on its popularity. Ratings and user reviews of the applications are useful in deciding on a download.

Adding software in Linux Mint 12

For example, the Eclipse IDE is available for download under the programming category,

Installing Eclipse IDE Linux Mint 12

If you are not able to login to GNOME 3 desktop, check whether your system has 3D acceleration turned on. This is common problem if you are installing Lisa on VMware or VirtualBox virtual machines.

Even after turning on 3D acceleration, sometimes the system booted to MATE desktop even when I selected GNOME 3 during login. It seems there are still some open issues with GNOME 3 integration.

The key new features in Linux Mint 12 include,

  • GNOME 3 with MGSE (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions)
  • MATE a fork of GNOME 2 which is compatible with GNOME 3
  • Improvements in visual interface
  • Linux 3.0 kernel
  • Ubuntu 11.10 updates
  • Duck duck go search engine

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