Change the settings in Update Manager


Level 1 and Level 2 updates are risk-free and you should always apply them

Level 3 updates “should be safe” but, although we recommend you take them, make sure you look over them on the list of updates

Level 4 or a Level 5 so as to warn or even discourage others against applying it

Pick what level you're comfortable with. Just 4 to 5 may break your OS

Never apply any updates when you're in the middle of doing important work. That goes for level 1-3 updates as well. First finish your important work, then apply the available updates.

TRIM allows the OS to “inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally”. Without using TRIM, the SSD speed decreases after a while so if you have a solid-state drive that supports TRIM, you should enable it so your SSD remains fast over time.

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Mint by default the firewall is disabled by default, but usually it's better to turn it on. Especially on mobile devices like laptops, which sometimes connect to other networks than your own.

Open a terminal window and copy and paste sudo ufw enable

You can check the status of the firewall with this command:
sudo ufw status verbose

It's easy to disable the firewall (should you wish to do so) with this command:
sudo ufw disable

Go to Menu - Administration - Synaptic

Query: microsoft

Click ttf-mscorefonts-installer for installation and press the Install button.

During the installation of the Microsoft fonts, which you definitely want to have, you'll be asked to check a box stating that you accept a license agreement of.... Microsoft, press ok to continue.

Changes to the settings you can improve the performance of Firefox in Linux Mint. These tweaks will make this fine web browser leaner and cleaner.

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By default, Mono is installed. This package is a security risk, because it's an implementation of Microsoft's .NET. That's cross-platform, which means it works in many operating systems (including Windows). That Mono infrastructure could potentially be abused by specially crafted cross-platform malware and viruses.

It's only a limited risk, but a risk nevertheless: with Mono, you're partly in the contaminated and infected Windows ecosystem. Whereas the benefit of Mono is only small, because there are usually excellent alternatives for the Mono based applications.

So it's better to remove Mono. You can achieve that as follows:

Menu - Administration - Terminal

Type (use copy/paste to transport this magical incantation to the terminal):
sudo apt-get remove mono-runtime-common

Press Enter. When prompted, type your password. Your password will remain entirely invisible, not even dots will show, this is normal.
Press Enter again.

This removal will also delete two Mono based applications, namely media player Banshee and notepad Tomboy. With the following terminal command you can install fine alternatives for them, that don't depend on Mono:

sudo apt-get install gnome-mplayer xpad

Press Enter.

b. Furthermore, Linux Mint contains screen reader Orca by default. Nifty, when you're visually handicapped. But useless when you're not. And it's rather disconcerting when, after pressing the wrong key combination, your computer suddenly starts addressing you with a heavy bass voice....

Remove it like this:

sudo apt-get remove gnome-orca

Press Enter.

Computer has very little RAM (768 MB or less), your best choice is a lightweight member of the Mint family, like Mint Mate. But even then the lack of memory will remain a problem, which will cause your system to slow down from time to time. Even when the swappiness has been decreased to 5.

In that case, you might achieve better results by enabling the experimental kernel module zRam. zRam creates a compressed swap file in your RAM. The compression factor is the gain: with that, you "increase" your RAM.

Note: this could might make your system unstable! So make a backup of your system first!
The price you pay for this, is threefold:

1: Your processor (CPU) is being taxed more heavily, because it'll have to compress and decompress all the time;

2: When the system has filled the RAM swap, it'll start swapping on the hard drive as well. With a heavy burden: the chunk of memory that has been sacrificed for the RAM swap.

3: For the time being it's still an experimental module, so this extra layer of complexity might cause instability.

That's why, for the time being, I advise zRam only for computers with very little RAM, and even then only in combination with a swappiness that has been decreased to 5. Furthermore, zRam isn't suitable yet for production computers, but only for test machines and other, non-essential computers.

You can install it as follows:

Launch a terminal window.

Copy and Paste into the terminal window

sudo apt-get install zram-config

Press Enter.

Reboot your computer.

Check whether it works, with the following terminal command:

cat /proc/swaps

Press Enter.

If it's gone well, you should receive see one or more /dev/zram "partitions". zRam is active then; no need for further action.

How to disable zRam again

When you want to disable and remove zRam again, it can't be done by the simple terminal command "apt-get remove". This is how you do it:

Launch a terminal window.

Copy and Paste into the terminal window

sudo apt-get purge zram-config

Press Enter.

Reboot your computer.

Check whether the removal has succeeded, with the following terminal command:

cat /proc/swaps

Press Enter.

If it's gone well, you should receive no report anymore about one or more /dev/zram "partitions".

Click on Menu button, go to System or Administrator and select the BleachBit program

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You may be able to improve the functioning of the central processor (CPU) in your computer, by applying the latest Intel or AMD microcode. This will improve the functioning of your CPU, because it corrects bugs in the default microcode that it receives from the motherboard

Launch Synaptic Package Manager.

Press Search in the popup window

Check the date of the microcode package: it needs to be newer than your BIOS / UEFI! The date of the microcode package is in its version number, for example: 3.201501106.1 (meaning it's version 3 from November 6, 2015)

Now tick the following package: intel-microcode

Press the button Apply in the toolbar

Reboot your computer

Now check whether the microcode has been loaded properly, with the following terminal command (use copy/paste to avoid typo's):
dmesg | grep microcode

Press Enter

If all has gone well, you should see several reports about the applied microcode.


By default Synaptic save all the packages it downloads and this can waste a lot of space. So it's best to configure Synaptic to delete packages after they are installed. This is how to configure to delete packages after they have been installed.

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