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Even though it's an Ubuntu-based system, Linux Mint features only one panel at the bottom which looks closer to the taskbar in the Windows system, and a well-organized start menu complete with a useful Search box. It also pre-installs some proprietary software, including the Adobe Flash plugin and necessary media codecs, by default so that you can view streaming media, such as YouTube videos in a browser, and play mp3, mp4 or most other media files with a player right away out of the box.
The MATE Edition of Linux Mint 13 Maya uses MATE , a traditional desktop environment which continues to develop as a fork of GNOME 2. If you have this Edition installed in your PC, you might find these tips and tricks useful for working with the system.
Note: The steps described in this article work best with Linux Mint 13 Maya [MATE Edition]. If you're using the Cinnamon Edition, please check out this article .
This menu allows you to set your personal preferences with the steps below, for example:
The code in Step 1 below sets the font color to white and applies Digital Face font (Note 1), bold and size 16.
Note 2: The filename leading by a dot represents it's a hidden file and visible by toggling the key Ctrl-H in the file browser.
When you double-click the title bar of a window, the default setting is to maximize a window. Since there's already a maximize button you can use for this, I always like to change the default setting to rolling up a window when I double-click on its title bar.
Note 2: Shortcuts begin with XF86 refer to special keys available to some multimedia keyboards.
Note 3: Keyboard shortcuts can also be set by changing keybinding values with Configuration Editor. Press Alt+F2 and enter metaconf-editor, then navigate to apps > meta_settings_daemon > keybindings, or apps > marco > global_keybindings and window_keybindings.
Note: As an alternative, you can right-click the panel, select "Add to panel", then choose "Force Quit" to add to the panel. This works similarly to the above but it's activated from a button on the panel instead of the keyboard shortcut.
Remember that there's a shortcut key Alt+PrintScreen+K that can bring you back to the log-in screen immediately without the need to reboot the system. That's a time saver.
As an alternative, you can also use Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to do the same. If this shortcut key is disabled, you can easily enable it by the following steps:
Note: If you like the Tahoma font which is not included in the mscorefonts package, you might want to copy the two files tahoma.ttf and tahomabd.ttf from /Windows/Fonts and install them.
Ubuntu Apps Directory  is one of the good sources to look for applications to run in Linux Mint system. On a web page listing a product such as K3b , you can click a download button, in which the APT protocol is applied to invoke the default package manager to download and install software for you, right from a web browser and pretty straightforward.
This works well when you're using Firefox which allows you to choose "AptUrl" to handle the protocol. But when you're using Chrome, clicking the download button triggers "xdg-open" which is unable to detect the MATE desktop environment.
With some tweaks below, you can then use Chrome to download software from the Ubuntu Apps Directory.
Besides this, you can browse the Ubuntu Apps Directory to find software products you need as mentioned in the tip above.
Alternatively, you can get the latest freeware applications by clicking the Install this now button from the GetDeb Repository  after the getdeb package is installed with the instructions given.
See also our Best Free Software for Linux .
Note: If you need to identify disk partitions by label, paste ls /dev/disk/by-label -g in Terminal, or to view partition sizes and file systems, enter sudo fdisk -l. Disk Utility mentioned in "Name or Label a Partition" also gives you a glance of device numbers, partition types, sizes and labels.
Using Disk Utility is one of the effective ways to name a partition easily:
Note 1: If the option for "Edit Filesystem Label" is not shown, click "Unmount Volume" before hand. In case you can't unmount a volume, try Storage Device Manager to unmount it. See Auto Mount Drives at System Startup.
Note 2: This tip is for naming a partition using Disk Utility, use other advanced features such as format, edit or delete partition with caution as they can delete data on your disk.
Under the same tab, you can choose a style "Themed with face browser", which lists user names on a login screen and saves you the trouble of typing out a username each time you log in:
Some themes are made for Gnome Display Manager (GDM), but you can also add it to MDM with just a minor tweak:
Note: If your startup splash logo is changed to text after applying a graphics driver, the StartUp-Manager can be used to change the text back to the logo by adjusting to higher resolution and color depth supported by the driver.
Alternatively, you might want to download and install GShutdown, which is a GUI program for scheduling a time to shutdown the system.