How to disable desktop icons on the Linux Mint 13 MATE desktop. Very easy with the Configuration Editor.

Remove the icons from the Linux Mint MATE desktop.

Opening the MATE Configuration Editor.

Opening the MATE Configuration Editor.

This post will tell you how to disable the desktop icons on the Linux Mint 13 MATE desktop. I prefer to have the desktop this way as it is a little faster and better looking. Just go to Applications->System->Configuration Editor in the MATE Menu as shown above. Or System Tools->Configuration editor if you are using the standard Mint menu.

Then navigate the tree to apps/caja/preferences and untick the show desktop button and the icons will disappear. Of course you may simply reverse this procedure to re-enable the desktop icons. This will make your MATE desktop slightly faster. Then you will have nothing obscuring the desktop wallpaper. Due to a bug that is still present from Gnome 2.32.2, you will need to re-enable the desktop icons to change the wallpaper. Apart from KDE 4.8.3, the MATE desktop is the best modern Linux desktop and little tweaks like this make it better still. The MATE desktop offers the most freedom to customise your desktop and layout to suit whatever you are using it for. That is why Linux is better than Windows. Windows 8 will let you change themes; I had a Macintosh OSX theme installed. But you can do that with MATE as well. And you do not need to worry about the many bugs that are present in Windows 8. Linux offers open-source software that will do exactly what you wish it to without any hassles. Having the desktop laid out exactly the way you want does help with productivity.

More information: http://mate-desktop.org/. There are also some incredible themes available for the MATE desktop; these are well worth installing to make your desktop stand out from the crowd.

Disabling desktop icons with the Configuration Editor. Easy way to clean up the MATE desktop.

Disabling desktop icons with the Configuration Editor. Easy way to clean up the MATE desktop.

Re-installing the Grand Unified Boot loader (GRUB2) in Linux Mint 13.

I recently installed Ubuntu 11.10 on my computer, triple-booting with Linux Mint 12 and Linux Mint 13, this overwrote my boot-loader for my Linux Mint 13 installation. Therefore, after booting into my Linux Mint 13 distribution I re-installed the boot-loader using the command-line.

Using the grub-install command to re-install the proper boot-loader to the boot sector of the hard disk.

C:\HOME\FLYNN> sudo grub-install /dev/sda
[sudo] password for flynn: 
Installation finished. No error reported.

Then updating the grub.cfg to add the other installed distributions to the boot menu.

C:\HOME\FLYNN> sudo update-grub
Generating grub.cfg ...
Found background image: grub2wall.png
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.4.0-rc2-bejiitas
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.4.0-rc2-bejiitas
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-24-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-24-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-23-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-23-generic
Found memtest86+ image: /boot/memtest86+.bin
Found Linux Mint 12 Lisa (12) on /dev/sdf1
Found Ubuntu 11.10 (11.10) on /dev/sdh1
done

Then the next time you boot up your machine, you should see the proper boot menu.

My thoughts on the Unity desktop, the lack of customization sucks.

I am trying out the Ubuntu Unity desktop again, in Ubuntu 11.10, the design is starting to grow on me, I recently bought a copy of Ubuntu user magazine that came with a copy of Ubuntu 11.10 with extra software included and I decided to try it out. I have not had any problems with this distribution at all. I tried out a couple of fixes to move the Unity launcher to the bottom of the screen, but they both caused problems with the Unity desktop. My screen is wider than it is tall, so if I make the Unity launcher only 32 pixels wide, it does not take up as much space as it would on the bottom of the screen. I ran sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade and I was upgraded to Firefox 13, and Chromium 18. Chromium is the open-source version of the Google Chrome web browser that does not have the code in it that tracks the users activity online and sends it to the Google servers. I am hesitant to upgrade to 12.04, I will wait a while before taking that road, I just wanted to try out Unity again and see how I like it. I like the Unity desktop but Canonical could have put a little more effort into the desktop design.

Wayland compositor demo screenshot. Quite unstable, but it does work.

Wayland compositor demo screen-shot. Quite unstable, but it does work.

I hope that when Ubuntu upgrades to the Wayland X11 server to replace the current Xorg display server that it currently uses, that the Linux desktop still works as well as it does right now. The Wayland display server is already available for Ubuntu 11.04 users: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/02/wayland-enters-ubuntu-11-04-repo and I gave it a go. The Wayland demos that are available are quite unstable, but this software will get better as time goes on. I guess you would not want to replace the whole Xorg compositor with Wayland yet, it is not ready for prime time as of now. I have included a video from Phoronix that shows the Wayland demo in action. The Unity dashboard that allows you to search your music as well as software that is available through the software centre. It will even return results for the videos in your collection as well. The ability to search the software centre from the Unity dash to find just the right program you are looking for is a good feature.