Do not do any of this on a production environment PC. Take a stand-alone PC, pop out the hard disk and put in an old one to experiment.
Do you have an old SSD laying around. That’s ideal.

This article wants to achieve the following goals :

  1. Document the installation procedure of Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca
  2. Update the clean install
  3. Update the drivers using the Linux Mint update
  4. Updating to the latest kernel
  5. Updating to the latest nvidia drivers
  6. Updating to the latest Cinnamon and Nemo

Then you can go and have a look at the article “Pimp your Linux Mint“.

We will reboot a lot of times.
This is just to be able to analyze after which step it goes wrong IF it goes wrong.

Best done in a testing environment. If that is not possible, be sure that you have backups. The cloud aka dropbox, copy.com or mega are all valid linux solutions.

1. Installation procedure of Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca

I trust the pictures will be self-explanatory.

Reboot for the first time !

2. Update your Linux Mint

Look  for Update Manager or type the words “update” in the menu or find a little “shield” like icon in the bottom-right corner to start updating.

We are updating to the very last update.

 

Reboot for the second time.

3 Updating drivers via Driver Manager

In the menu you will find Driver Manager. You can let Linux Mint decide what drivers are needed. Typically you will also find broadcom wifi drivers and others. Use them.

As a matter of fact you can stop here and enjoy your installation. Then you can go and have a look at the article “Pimp your Linux Mint” and see how you can embellish your desktop.

Reboot for the third time. I trust everyone gets up to here without issues.

4 Kernel update

As described in the article “How to update the kernel in Linux Mint” we need a ‘place’ to download the latest kernel. That will be :

http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/

My machine can not cope with a kernel > 4.0 yet. At the time of writing 3.19.8 is the latest possible kernel for me.

I am downloading the amd64 versions as I have a 64 bits computer. Choose i386 for 32 bits computer. You will need the all.deb and the ones just underneath my 64 bit versions. Look at the colours in the picture.

Screenshot from 2015-05-16 11:44:26

Once downloaded they will be in your “Download” folder. Open a terminal in the download folder with right-click and choose terminal.

Make sure your download folder has only these 3 files.

Type the command :

Wait till everything is installed. Try to read what it says. It throws sometimes some errors back at you. Analyse or just wait for the reboot.

Reboot for the fourth time.

If the boot failed, go to the terminal (right-click on desktop) and type the following

Press Tab and look for the names of the newest kernel that does not function properly. The option -r removes them again so your old kernel comes back in place.
Then you can try another kernel if you like until you find one that works on your system. Choose in the grub your previous kernel if the new one crashes.

Remember you had 3 files. All of them must be uninstalled and only the ones you installed!!

Your result after the reboot.

Screenshot from 2015-05-16 12:17:11

It is possible that you get the “Cinnamon just crashed” message. Try the “yes” button to restart cinnamon.

Just continue to update the nvidia driver as you will probably not be able to restart cinnamon.

In my case that solves the issue.

5 Nvidia update

Google “nvidia drivers” with firefox and find the download page for the drivers. You should know your graphical card. If you do not, look for “VGA” after typing this command in the terminal.

Screenshot from 2015-05-16 12:20:43

At the end lspci shows I have a Geforce 9600GT. Now we go to see which driver to download. BUT we will not download it there !!

It seems I need 340 as driver.

Now we will add a repository to download this driver and to be able to download any of the future updates.

Copy/paste these lines separately in the terminal.

The last line is ideal for my graphical card. I need the 340 driver.

Choose your version by using the TAB completion.

Type “sudo apt-get install nvidia-” and press on TAB twice.

Screenshot from 2015-05-16 12:28:56Choose our own driver from the list.

Reboot for the fifth time.

Type in the terminal

This should be your result now except maybe the nvidia version numbering.

Screenshot from 2015-05-16 11:04:00

Again this is an opportunity to just let it be and have fun pimping linux mint. But if you want to further update then …

6 Linux Mint upgrade

A lot has been changed in our system, let us check if some of the programs can be upgraded as well. X-org-server is the one that provides the back-end for what you see on your monitors. So we better upgrade this as well. I also do this to keep the cinnamon and the linux mint upgrade separate (step 7). Just to be able to analyse.

 

Screenshot from 2015-05-16 14:07:09

You will be asked a question (see pictures). Just “enter” all the time to stick to the default.

 

Reboot for the sixth time.

7 Cinnamon and Nemo Update

The following is tricky!

Cinnamon is in constant evolution. You can know your version by typing

At the time of writing cinnamon has 2.4.8 (stable). But you can try out the development version. Time of writing 2.5.0.

Easiest way in Ubuntu and derivatives is to work with ppa and so we will use the following link to install the latest nightly build.

https://launchpad.net/~gwendal-lebihan-dev/+archive/ubuntu/cinnamon-nightly

Let us add the following ppa.

Copy/paste this line in the terminal.

Then update the repo’s.

Screenshot from 2015-05-16 14:17:30

By the way I added step 6 so we can see and analyze only the cinnamon updates/upgrades as shown in the picture above.

This is a critical moment. Keep your fingers crossed.

In my experience the reboot went sour but we can fix it. Read on before rebooting.

“Cinnamon just crashed” message.

Right-click on desktop and open terminal and type

As you can see there is still a lot to download and install. It is only normal that cinnamon crashes.

 

Screenshot from 2015-05-16 14:21:51

Reboot for the seventh time.

8 The end result

Screenshot from 2015-05-16 14:29:05

9 After some minor pimping

final_linuxmint171

9 Github

If you want to see what software I favour and use daily, check out this link.

https://github.com/erikdubois/UltimateLinuxMint17_1

This script is something I use to quickly install my computers from scratch.

Use at own risk!