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Currently updating my distro, so making a note of what I did for my own reference and to help anyone else.
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day 1

Posted 03-14-2012 at 08:25 AM by campanula

Ran the live edition, seemed to go OK, internet working etc, so decided to install. My partitions were as follows, to make it easier (glad I decided to do that last time!):

/sda1 12GB obsolete ubuntu version to be replaced by the new LMDE
/sda2 logical partition:
/sda5 2GB swap
/sda3 36GB DATA partition with all my files on
/sda4 11GB Linux Mint 10 (to leave for now so I know it works if I need to do work!)


Install ran fine (/sda1 formatted as ext4 and given mount point /) - wish it didn't spend so much of the setup with a black screen (makes me nervous!), but then booted into new distro without any problems. I downloaded the iso a while ago, so as expected there were loads of updates, specifically an 'update pack'. Set it going to do about 400 updates, and went off to have lunch. After lunch, it hadn't got very far - problem with two incompatible sets of gstreamer plugins. Eventually found the info on the Mint website that I needed to uninstall one of them first, and change my repository list in apt (if you're a new user reading this, its not really scary - just follow the instructions! What you are doing is changing the website the computer downloads software and updates from, that's all!)

So now had updated computer, with scary message saying I'd installed a new kernal, and might need some firmware files added to nouveau to make my hardware work... Googled a bit on this and looked in synaptic to see if there were any obvious packages I should install (no), and saved the warning message by copying and pasting it to a text file. Then with some trepidation I rebooted the computer, noting with thanks at the grub menu that both Mint 10 and LMDE with the 2.6 kernal were still available if the new kernal didn't work. But it was fine.

Next I started trying to get the desktop how I like it, which is with nothing except pretty wallpaper on the main desktop, and 2 semi-transparent panels (top and bottom) with application shortcuts and a few utilities. This is where the fun started

Every time I tried to add a second panel and move it to the top of the screen, the panels vanished! Had this once before ages ago in xfce, so I knew what to do (either right-click and navigate to the panel settings using the menu if you have the 'menu on right-click desktop' set, or otherwise alt+F2 and type 'xfce4-panel' in the box), but it kept doing this, and even if I logged out with just one panel running and clicked 'save session', I got a dialog saying there were no running panels when I logged back in. So got a bit irritated and decided to change to the lxde desktop tomorrow!
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