I hope your Linux Mint is loaded now, so if you look into the desktop, it almost resembles Win XP or Win 7.
Lets start with panel (which is called taskbar in windows). Panel in Linux Mint has more facilities than windows. More over in windows you have only one taskbar, whereas in Linux Mint or almost all Linux you can have multiple panels in every corner of our desktop.
To go through the panel options, please go through the image below. If you right click on panel and expand the “Modify Panel” option, you get this view.
Panel Edit Mode – Lets go to the last option “Panel Edit Mode” which allows you to change the look and icon positions. After Panel Edit Mode is switched on, just click on the icons and drag to re-position. In Linux Mint you can re-position almost every item in a panel, which is not possible in windows.
Add applets to the panel – As we discussed earlier, Linux is all about softwares, you will get multiple softwares for doing your work. The softwares which are used for panel are called Applets in Linux. If you select the first option, it will take you to the Add Applets Dashboard. The Below picture shows how it looks
On the top there are two tabs, Manage and Download. Manage shows all the installed applets and download gives option to download new applets on your system, which is then shown in the manage dashboard until you remove it.
If you look at the bottom of dashboard there are five icons, “+” – Shows that applet on the panel, In Linux Mint although your applet is installed but it will not show until you select it to show it on panel. “-” – Removes showing of applet from the panel, but it is not uninstalled yet. “x” – Uninstalls the applet from the system. “reset all” – Resets all applets to its default position. “i” – provides information about the applet (in linux you can get all information about any software before installing it).
In the manage dashboard there is an applet called “Menu” (Main Cinnamon menu) (equivalent to start menu on windows) which gives all details of all the application softwares installed in your system. If by chance you remove the “Menu” option from your system, you will not be able to load any application softwares for your working. Do not worry!! in that case you have to go the “Add applets option and select “Menu” option to visible it. In Linux Mint you can also install “CinnVIIStarkMenu” applet to view your Menu options to look like WIn 7 Start Menu (but I prefer using Linux as Linux instead of Windows as Linux has more better features than windows).
Themes – As we have discussed earlier, that Linux has many desktop environments and inside every desktop environment there are many themes by which you can change the look of your system. Click on themes option and change the look and feel of your system. You can always change new themes from “Add / Remove” option on the top of theme dashboard. Here also you can get full information about the theme before installing it by clicking on “i”.
System Settings – Takes you to all the options used for system settings (equivalent to Control Panel in Windows)
Modify Panel – By this option you can add or remove additional panels on your desktop to which ever corner you wish. In Linux you can install multiple panels to your system (which is not possible in windows).
Apart from Panel you also have Dock in Linux which provides more flexibility to manage your icons, we will discuss about this in future.
I think for today this is enough, until next lesson you can keep exploring Linux, I don’t think by now it is really tough thing to learn Linux.