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Say hello to Linux Mint
Linux desktop distributions can vary wildly in their look and feel. Unlike Windows 8 before the recent Windows 8.1 update, where a one-size-fits-all interface was the order of the day, Linux gives you an almost endless number of primary desktops such as GNOME, KDE, and Enlightenment. Then you your choice of variations based on them. In GNOME's case, for example, there's Ubuntu's Unity and MATE, and the interface I'll be talking about today: Cinnamon.
To be precise, I'm going to show you some handy tips you can use to get the most from Linux Mint 16 with Cinnamon 2.0.
Previously on Six clicks:
You don't need to know how to use a Linux shell, but it can be darn handy.
People will tell you even today you must know Linux shell commands to do anything with desktop Linux. That's complete nonsense. Most users will never need to learn how to use Linux shell commands.
That said, if you do want to learn how to use shell commands, you'll gain far more power over your operating system than any GUI can ever give you.
In this example, I'm pretending I'm having trouble with my e-mail program, Evolution, and since it won't shut down by ordinary means, I've decided to kill it.
To do that, I first open a terminal, which will give me access to the shell. From here I enter the commands
ps -ef | grep evolution
The first command ps and its flags -ef tell the shell to display all currently running programs. Now, since that would give me a list as long as my arm, I "pipe" the results with | to another program grep. Grep is the Swiss army knife of Linux/Unix text searching tools, and I'm telling it to look at everything ps -ef sends for the string evolution, my locked-up program's name.
This now gives me another list of programs and I know that the last one, evolution is the master misbehaving program. So I enter my next command:
kill -9 20287
Kill does just what you think it does. It kills off programs. The -9 means "kill the process with extreme prejudice!" Don't let that program run for one more microsecond! For the program I want to kill in this example, I give the kill command the process identifier (PID) number. In this case it's 20287. I hit Enter, and, bang, Evolution is as dead as a doornail.
Now, if this hasn't frightened you off — better still if you like the idea of having this kind of fine control over what's going on in your computer — you can start learning a lot more about the shell and its associated programs at the Linux Command site.