The Linux Mint Gnome Desktop
The current version of Linux Mint (12), uses Gnome 3 as it's default desktop. This is very similar to the Ubuntu Unity and Fedora desktops in look and operation.
The current version of Linux Mint .. uses Gnome 3 as it's default desktop..
In this section, we'll take a tour of the Gnome 3 desktop as supplied out of the box by Linux Mint. When you first boot Linux Mint 12, the desktop will look something like the screenshot below:
The default desktop consists of four main areas:
The Activities area (-the infinity icon in the top left corner of the screen)
The Top Panel (-the icons in along top line of the screen)
The Desktop (-everything between the top/bottom panels)
The Bottom Panel (-the icons / options along the bottom line of the screen)
The Linux Mint menu bar consists of seven different drop downs:
Activities Area clicking this allows you to access the Activities Area
Sound clicking this allows you to check or configure the volume and sound output
Bluetooth: clicking this allows you to to configure and check your Bluetooth settings:
Network clicking this allows you to check or configure your network/internet access
Power: clicking this allows you to to configure and check the power settings, view the state of the battery, etc:
Calendar and Appointments: clicking on this gives you access to the calendar, allows you to browse or change date and time settings and to view or change your appointments
User clicking this allows you to set your chat status, change your account setup, run various system functions or log off / lock your screen / logon as another user / shutdown the computer, etc:
There are two main ways of invoking the Activities Area:
- Clicking on the icon in the top left of the desktop
- Clicking on the "Option" key (-aka the Windows key) on your keyboard
Once invoked, there are two main functions to choose from:
Favourites List: this is a quick launch bar listing icons of your favourite applications down the side. Left-click on any of these to start that application - or to switch to it's window, if it is already running:
Show Windows: this is the default view and shows all the currently open windows and workspaces, allowing you to switch between them by clicking on the desired window (-or to close windows by clicking on the "x" icon in the top right corner of that window):
Show Applications: this shows all the available applications installed on the computer and allows you to run them by double-clicking on their icon
Unlike Fedora, the Linux Mint desktop can contain icons and shortcuts like Gnome 2.x. Mounted media - such as CDs and USB memory sticks - also show up here.
You can add icons to the desktop via the File Manager by dragging the file icon to your /home/Desktop directory:
Along the bottom of the screen, you find the Bottom Panel. The default display can be divided into five parts:
If you right-click on any blank area of the Linux Mint desktop, the Context Menu will display:
This allows you access to some basic options, such as to create a new file or customise the desktop (e.g. to organise the desktop icons and set background wallpaper).