Archive for May, 2012

Linux Mint 12: More post installation tasks

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 | Linux, Tech-savvy | No Comments

I started to write down my personal Linux Mint post installation tasks as of version 10. After installing a few Mint 12 machines I had to update the list. As always, highly personal, take whatever info might be useful, ignore the rest.

  1. Add favorite programs to autostart
  2. GNOME 3 has no point-and-click tool to add autostart options, at least no default shortcut for it. Alt-F2 and gnome-session-properties does the trick. I have essentials like my browser, media player and ssh-add in my autostart.

  3. Disable extension overkill
  4. Whether you use MATE, GNOME 3 or Cinnamon is up to you. I kinda like the new GNOME, but not all the default “extensions” that come with Mint 12 extend my user experience in a good way 😉 I decided the following options work the best for me:

  5. Install VirtualBox with USB support
  6. Well, installing VirtualBox is a little confusing, as you have multiple versions (virtualbox-ose, -nonfree, -4.1) in your available software list. Some people suggest adding new repos and installing the latest version, I just stick to what’s being delivered by the default repos. Makes me feel better for some reason.

    The VirtualBox site states that the “standard” installation names are the ones with the major version at the end, so I just went for the -4.1 (writing this 4.1.14 is the latest stable, the official Mint repos provide 4.1.6, yeah, whatever…)

    If you want USB support you have to add the appropriate extension pack. Go to and get it for your installed version. You also have to make all users that want to use VirtualBox members of the vboxusers group. As there is no GNOME 3 default group editor simply open a shell and enter

    nick $ sudo adduser username vboxusers

    Your group memberships will be updated the next time you log in.

    Finally, add USB devices in your VBox config’s USB section (select the desired machine, click “Change”, choose “USB”). After that you should be ready to go. What a drag.

  7. Use the users group as the default group
  8. I share my computer. I share a lot of files, like pictures and stuff. I don’t like that my user – nick – also has his primary group called “nick”. So ownership of files is nick:nick. This makes little sense to me and I’d rather have it like this: nick:users and nickswife:users so that I can easily access the same files as my picture taking wingman. So issue

    nick $ sudo usermod -g users username

    for each user that should have the “users” group as the default group. (The sticky bit approach cd /our/pics; chgrp -R users .; find . -type d -exec chmod 2770 {} \;; find . -type f -exec chmod 660 {} \;was not sufficient for me, by using the same primary group I hope we won’t have any permission troubles in the future again)

  9. Increase history size
  10. Remember that wicked command you entered a few weeks ago? No? Increase your history size to something that lives up to the term “history”. Open your ~/.bashrc and enter something like export HISTFILESIZE=10000

That’s it for today. Have phun!

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