Linux Mint

De Organic Design
Linux Mint is a free operating system using the Linux kernel, but most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux. At Organic Design we install Linux Mint on our workstations and have been using it since early 2014. We changed to Linux Mint mainly due to the fact that they're very up to date with their choice of Linux kernel version which allowed me to use my touch-screen on my Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro (XE700T1C) and fixed a long-standing bug on Beth's Lenovo Ideapad S10-3 which prevented it from resuming from standby, but we've found it to be a very nice distro and will continue using it as our choice of OS for our workstation machines.

Why's the mouse so fast!

The desktop applet doesn't allow you to slow the most speed down enough for some models of mice. I found a good solution here which I've copied below.

First find the name of your mouse device with xinput -list which will produce something like this (I've highlighted my mouse):

⎡ Virtual core pointer                id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer      id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ GASIA USB KB V11                id=10   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech Optical USB Mouse      id=11   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Wacom ISDv4 EC Pen stylus       id=12   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Atmel Atmel maXTouch Digitizer  id=13   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Wacom ISDv4 EC Pen eraser       id=17   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard               id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard     id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                    id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                       id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                    id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ GASIA USB KB V11                id=9    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ WebCam SC-50AFL11C54N           id=14   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ WebCam SC-20HDM12347N           id=15   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard    id=16   [slave  keyboard (3)]

You can then adjust the speed using the name from the list as follows (the higher the number, the slower it goes):

xinput -set-prop "Logitech Optical USB Mouse" "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" 5

Bluetooth became very intermittent after upgrading to 18.1

After upgrading, the bluetooth connection would only establish once in every five or ten reboots! Looking at the bluetooth status revealed that the soft rfkill was activated in the bluetooth.

$ systemctl status bluetooth
● bluetooth.service - Bluetooth service
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/bluetooth.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Tue 2018-02-27 08:21:46 -03; 23min ago
     Docs: man:bluetoothd(8)
 Main PID: 1972 (bluetoothd)
   Status: "Running"
   CGroup: /system.slice/bluetooth.service
           └─1972 /usr/lib/bluetooth/bluetoothd

Feb 27 08:31:13 nad-sammy bluetoothd[1972]: gatt-time-server: Input/output error (5)
Feb 27 08:31:13 nad-sammy bluetoothd[1972]: Not enough free handles to register service
Feb 27 08:31:13 nad-sammy bluetoothd[1972]: Not enough free handles to register service
Feb 27 08:31:13 nad-sammy bluetoothd[1972]: Sap driver initialization failed.
Feb 27 08:31:13 nad-sammy bluetoothd[1972]: sap-server: Operation not permitted (1)
Feb 27 08:31:13 nad-sammy bluetoothd[1972]: Failed to get connections: Not Powered (0x0f)
Feb 27 08:31:13 nad-sammy bluetoothd[1972]: Endpoint registered: sender=:1.30 path=/MediaEndpoint/A2DPSource
Feb 27 08:31:13 nad-sammy bluetoothd[1972]: Endpoint registered: sender=:1.30 path=/MediaEndpoint/A2DPSink
Feb 27 08:31:13 nad-sammy bluetoothd[1972]: Failed to set mode: Blocked through rfkill (0x12)

Looking at the kill list shows that it's soft-blocked for some reason:

$ rfkill list
0: samsung-wlan: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
1: samsung-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
5: hci0: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: yes
	Hard blocked: no

This can simply be fixed with the rfkill unblock bluetooth command and then everything connects as it should :-)

USB 3G modem stopped working after moving to Mint

This same modem used to work fine on Ubuntu, but for some reason it would not show any response on Mint even though internally it uses the same version of Ubuntu. This seems to be a very common problem, especially for Huawei 12d1:1446 devices. I have got it working, but I'm not sure which things are required yet. I've done these things.

First, ensure that you have the 12d1:1446 file available in the /usr/share/usb_modeswitch/ directory, and extract it from the configPack.tar.gz file in the same location if you don't have it.

cd /usr/share/usb_modeswitch/
tar -zxf configPack.tar.gz 12d1:1446

Check dmesg after you insert the device to check what CD-ROM device it's being seen as and eject that device, for example I have the following outpushown in dmesg after inserting the device:

[  396.158650] scsi 6:0:0:0: CD-ROM            HUAWEI   Mass Storage     2.31 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
[  396.158683] scsi 7:0:0:0: Direct-Access     HUAWEI   SD Storage       2.31 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
[  396.160556] sd 7:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 0
[  396.163984] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk
[  396.164126] sr 6:0:0:0: [sr0] scsi-1 drive
[  396.164452] sr 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[  396.164687] sr 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 5

So I can then eject that device using the following command:

eject /dev/sr0

Finally, run the usb_modeswitch command to initialise the device, and then if you don't see the device appear in the menu after a few seconds, try restarting the network manager, you might also try removing and in-inserting the device if still no luck, but you shouldn't need to do any of the above commands again.

usb_modeswitch -v 12d1 -p 1446 -J
sudo service network-manager restart

Brightness stopped working after installing Mint 18

After I installed Mint 18.1 the brightness keys stopped working - none of the applets or command-line brightness tools such as xbacklight worked either.

I found an old post here by Ryo Cook from 2013 which is still relevant now. Edit your /etc/default/grub file and add the following acpi parameters to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT setting as follows:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor"

Then run sudo update-grub and restart the system, all backlight tools should then be working again!

Backup and restore desktop settings


dconf dump /org/cinnamon/ > BACKUP_FILE


dconf load /org/cinnamon/ < BACKUP_FILE


  • The suspend/resume events on 18.1 are in /lib/systemd/system-sleep/ with param equal to pre and post

See also