The perfect Linux desktop for broadcast or general use.

Desktop Installation Notes

Start the installation:

First, download Linux Mint 19 "Tara" - Xfce 64-bit
(filename: linuxmint-19-xfce-64bit-v2.iso)

You'll now need to create a bootable CD or USB stick to install the downloaded ISO file on your computer. Full installation details for all computers are beyond the scope of this article, however please be aware that doing so will wipe any data from the existing machine. To prepare a USB key and make it bootable on a Windows computer, I use the Rufus utility.

Once you have booted the USB key or DVD you should see a desktop appear. Double click on "Install Linux Mint" to start installation. When prompted click "Continue" and choose your keyboard layout.

Ensure you tick the box labelled "Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware, Flash, MP3 and other media".

When prompted you will usually want to "Erase disk and install Linux Mint" and click the "Install Now" button. WARNING: This will wipe all data from the machine (if prompted accept the option to "Write changes to disk").

During the install select your location (used to set the clock and other settings correctly for your country).

When prompted enter the following and click continue:

Your Name: broadcast
Your Computer's Name: desktop1 (or any name following the rules below)
Pick a username: broadcast
Choose a password: (choose a password)
Confirm your password: (repeat the above)
Log in automatically: Tick this if the machine is going to run Rivendell unattended.

DO NOT use capital letters, spaces or any characters other than letters and numbers in the machine name and username (this is important as Rivendell uses the machine name for authentication). To ensure your configuration matches the one given in the notes on this site, I recommend you set the initial username to "broadcast" (without quotes).

Once the Linux Mint install has completed, click "Restart now" to reboot.

Our customisations:

Once the machine has booted, login to the desktop (if not set to auto-login). Close the "Welcome to Linux Mint" prompt if it appears.

Ensure the machine has an internet connection, open a terminal window (click the fourth icon from the left at the bottom) and type:
sudo passwd root
Enter your password in each box when prompted to enable root account use.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install synergy openssh-server vim numix* gtk-theme*
sudo apt-get install xfce4-goodies firefox vlc audacity
sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility gparted openvpn acpi curl wget rdesktop remmina ntp network-manager-openvpn-gnome seahorse libgnome-keyring0

Right click the main menu (Mint logo, bottom left), select "Properties".
Click the Icon. At the top of the window that appears choose "Select icon from", "All Icons".
Type format-justify-fill-symbolic and click to select it.
Under "Appearance", "Item icon size": Very small. Show application descriptions: untick.
Under "Behaviour", "Switch categories by hovering": untick. "Position categories next to panel button": Untick.

Right click on the desktop and select "Desktop Settings".
Click "Icons". Set Icon size: 38. Under "Default Icons" tick only "File system" and "wastebasket".

Click the menu (bottom left) and enter and select "Power Manager".
Disable all the suspend and "put to sleep" options.

Click the menu (bottom left) and enter and select "Driver Manager".
See if any additional drivers are prompted for your hardware.

Right click the middle of the bottom panel. Choose "Panel" then "Panel preferences".
Change Row Size from 32 to 24.
Change Appearance: Style: Solid colour, Alpha: 100, Click on colour: 141414.
Click "Items". Add a separator between "Whisker Menu" and "Show Desktop"
and another separator between "Launcher" and "Window Buttons".
Close the "Panel" window.

Download or copy the file to the Downloads folder.
Click here to download the file.
Type the following:
cd /home/broadcast/Downloads
cd broadcast-themes
sudo mv Broadcast\ Theme/ /usr/share/themes/
mv pixmap-backgrounds/ /home/broadcast/
mv wallpapers/ /home/broadcast/
cd ..
rmdir broadcast-themes
Select our custom theme:

From the main menu enter and click "Window Manager".
Choose Theme: Broadcast Theme. Window Alignment: Left.
Drag the "Menu Item" from "Hidden" to the left of the "Active" "Button Layout".
Click "Advanced" and untick "Window Snapping", "To Borders" and "Other Windows.
Close the Window Manager.

From the main menu enter and click "Appearance".
Choose "Style", "Broadcast Theme". "Icons", "Ubuntu-mono-dark".
Close Appearance.

Double click on "File System" on the desktop.
Click "View" then "View as Compact List".
Click on "broadcast" then double click on "wallpapers".
Right click on "broadcast-16-9.jpg" and "set as wallpaper".
Close the File manager.

Fix the clock:
The default XFCE "Clock" often lags behind the system time by up to a second so can not be relied on for exact time display. We therefore replace this with a different clock:

Right click in the middle of the bottom panel and select "Panel", "Panel Preferences".
Click Items. Click the + symbol and type "DateTime", select this and click "Add" then "Close".
Scroll down the "Items" list and find "Clock". Single click to highlight, then click - to remove.
Double click on "DateTime".
Select "Layout", "Format", "Time Only". Then "Time", "Format", "Custom".
In the custom field enter "%a %d %b %H:%M:%S" (without quotes).
Click "Time", "Font". Select "Noto Sans Adlam Regular Regular" 12pt.
Close the open windows.

Right click in the middle of the bottom panel and select "Panel", "Add new items".
Add "Free Space Checker" and close the windows. The disk space will show near the clock.
Right click on disk space and select "Move". Move to the left of the other icons on the right.
Right click on disk space and select "Properties". untick "Display Meter" and "Display Button".
You can also add a separator to the right of the disk space to make things look neat.

Additionally, to the right of the disk space, you can add "Weather Update" and a separator.
This will give you the current weather as a taskbar icon!
Right click on "Weather Update" and enter your "Location Name".
Also click on "Scrollbox" and remove all labels other than "temperature".

Right click on taskbar "shield" icon and select "Preferences".
Tick "only show a tray icon when updates are available" and
"Hide the update manager after applying updates". Apply.
Reboot the machine and then apply any updates if prompted.

Make the active panel item more visible:
Right click the centre of the bottom panel (task bar):
Panel \ Panel Preferences: Items \ Window Buttons (double click):
  Show button labels: tick
  Show flat buttons: tick
  Show handle: untick
  Sorting order: None, allow drag-and-drop
  Show windows from all workspaces: tick
Close the windows.

Clean up the login and unlock screens:
Click on the main menu (bottom left) and enter and click "Login Window":
  Background: /home/broadcast/Pictures/wallpapers/broadcast-16-9.jpg
  Draw user backgrounds: off
  Draw a grid: on
  Allow manual login: off
  Hide the user list: off
  Hostname: off
  Accessibility options: off
  Keyboard Layout: off

Your Linux desktop is now ready for general use!

You can now install applications such as Rivendell or services such as VNC.
See the other notes for those details.