Tag: Mint

48x96-mint-xp-logosToday’s tip is once again using Disk Usage Analyzer that comes with Linux Mint and it is giving Windows XP another helping hand. You may recall a while back we Used Linux to check our Windows disk usage and found it to be quite useful.

I have XP installed on one hard drive in the computer, and I have Linux Mint 13 XFCE installed on a separate hard drive and I use Grub Super Boot Disk installed on CD when I need to boot into Mint.

Since the hard drive that has XP on it is a measly 80GB I loaded up the Disk Usage Analyzer in Mint to try to find any storage space hogs that I could eliminate.


As you can see in this screenshot, the System Volume Information folder used almost 10% of the entire hard drive! This simply cannot stand, I don’t care how official that folder name sounds. So, upon looking at it it was not too tough to realize those are restore points that Windows uses. I am quite well-versed in computers and I don’t think I’ve ever resorted to “rolling back” Windows to a usable state. Anyway I proceeded to investigate further and sure enough I found that Windows was set by default mind you to a max 12% hard drive cap almost 10 gigabytes!! as the image later below shows.

First, I clicked on the Start button, right-clicked on My Computer, chose Properties and got the System Properties box:


Next, I clicked on the System Restore tab, and that’s what I saw that I had expected, extreme hard drive usage for something that 99.99% of the time I wouldn’t even consider having to use:


All right, that’s been confirmed. “Now how do I fix it?” you ask– Well, one way to fix it is to turn off System Restore, but honestly I’m a chicken and as much as I disparage Windows it might use that as reason to get back at me…I digress. So, I slid the slider bar down to 1%, a much more easy to swallow ~1GB of disk space.


Still a lot, but I can live much better with that. After you click OK, it will take a few seconds to adjust the space on the disk then you are done.

Where does that leave us? Now, we are going to go back to Linux Mint and check the Disk Usage Analyzer to see how much better it’s looking:


Much better now, we have gone from almost 20% of the entire used space on the hard drive and more than 7 gigabytes  to just 2.1% and just over 600 megabytes used.

This would not have been something I would have readily spotted without using my Linux tools to show me. This is also one more reason why someone that would ordinarily have no need for an OS besides Windows should have at least one Linux Live CD in his arsenal.

© 2012 Linux.Bihlman.com

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By Christopher P Wakefield

64px-Virtualbox_logoHow do you manage virtual machines over a network using Oracle Virtualbox? I have been asked this a couple of times recently and today I will show you how. Most of my tutorials on Virtualbox have been along the lines of installing the software onto a system and managing the virtual machines on that system in person. This works well if you have a couple of virtual desktop machines but when you have quite a few servers involved going between each server to carry out maintenance becomes very tedious.

This is where you need a piece of software called phpvirtualbox. Phpvirtualbox is an open source web based front end for Virtualbox which allows you to manage all of your virtual machines over the internet.

linux-mint-logo-128x128So lets take a look at how we set this up. For the basis of this tutorial I will be using Linux Mint 12 and Virtualbox 4.1.4.

We first need to download and install the current version of Virtualbox from the Virtualbox website.

Once installed we need to add a user who will run Virtualbox. Open up a terminal as root and type:

adduser vbox

When asked supply a user password. Next we have to add the vbox user to the vboxusers group in the /etc/group file. So type (as root):

gedit /etc/group

Add vboxusers:x:113:vbox to the file and save.

Once we have finished with Virtualbox it is time to set up our web server. Since this is Linux we will be using Apache. Open up a terminal and install the following packages:





During the install process MySQL will ask you for a root password. Make this something complex but do not forget it!!!

Once installed open up a web browser and type your server address into the address bar and you will see the message IT WORKS! This means that you have a working web server.

Now we need to download, install and configure phpvirtualbox. The current release can be downloaded from the phpvirtualbox website.

I am assuming your downloads go to your Download folder. If not replace Downloads with the location that the file was downloaded to. Open up a terminal and type the following commands one at a time:

cd Downloads

cp -a phpvirtualbox-4.1.7 /var/www/phpvirtualbox

cd /var/www/phpvirtualbox

mv config.php-example config.php

It is now time to configure the config.php file so type:

sudo gedit config.php



* phpVirtualBox example configuration.

* [@version] $Id: config.php-example 366 2011-12-01 19:56:57Z


* rename to config.php and edit as needed.



class phpVBoxConfig {

/* Username / Password for system user that runs VirtualBox */

var $username = ‘vbox’;

var $password = ‘*********’;

/* SOAP URL of vboxwebsrv (not phpVirtualBox’s URL) */

var $location = []

/* Default language. See languages folder for more language options.

* Can also be changed in File -> Preferences -> Language in

* phpVirtualBox.


var $language = ‘en’;


Locate the username and password (BOLD above) and change the password to the one you created earlier. Once done save and exit.

Now we need to make sure that Virtualbox can start at boot time and that means configuring init scripts. Open up a terminal and type:

cd /etc/init.d

and then:

sudo touch /etc/init.d/vbox.start

Now we need to configure the file so type:

sudo gedit /etc/init.d/vbox.start

Copy /usr/bin/vboxwebsrv -b into the file. Save and exit.

That is Virtualbox configured to start at boot time but we now have to enable it so type:

chmod +x /etc/init.d/vbox.start

followed by:

update-rc.d vbox.start defaults

Now it is time to reboot the server. Once it has rebooted go to a web browser and point it to your server address/phpvirtaulbox

You will now be able to manage all the virtual machines on the network from the comfort of your own chair.

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT support to both personal and business clients from my base in Alloa, Clackmannanshire. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more. Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

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Glxgears reveals the advantages of installing proprietary Nvidia drivers to greatly improve 3D performance on your Linux system. This post shows step by step how to install the drivers on your system, as well as show the big increase in performance achieved.

My system is an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.67GHz box with 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, Nvidia 8400GS card, running Linux Mint 13 Maya Xfce 64-bit.

First, here is a screenshot of my glxgears running on my system before I install the Nvidia drivers:

Glxgears before Nvidia driver








Now, the after screenshot with the drivers installed, notice the huge improvement!:

Glxgears after Nvidia driver








How did I install the drivers? It’s easy, first click on Menu | Settings | Additional Drivers, highlight the appropriate driver (I chose the recommended one), then click “Activate” in the lower-right corner.

Before installing Nvidia drivers








It’s a big download, so depending on your Internet connection it may take a long time. (my high-speed connection got it done in about 10 minutes)

almost there!








Once the install is finished you need to click “Close” and restart the computer to activate the driver.

Nvidia installed on Linux Mint!








Thank you for reading, remember Linux rocks!

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By Christopher P Wakefield

Linux MintToday we will have a look at setting up a DNS server on Linux. This tutorial was configured using Linux Mint 9 but the steps are the same for any Linux distribution.

First thing to do is to install the software we need. Open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install bind9

Once installed it is time for some configuring. The first file we need to configure is named.conf.local. So in the terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.local

I have used nano to open up the file but use whichever text editor you are happy with. Insert the following code into the file:

# This is the zone definition. replace example.com with your domain name

zone “business.com” {

type master;

file “/etc/bind/zones/business.com.db”;


# This is the zone definition for reverse DNS. replace 0.168.192 with your network address in reverse notation – e.g my network address is 192.168.0

zone “1.168.192.in-addr.arpa” {

type master;

file “/etc/bind/zones/rev.0.168.192.in-addr.arpa”;


Replace business.com with the name of your DNS domain (this is not the same as an active directory domain but rather a name for your DNS zone).

Next up is the options file. In the terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.options

Within this file we need to modify the forwarder with the address of your ISP’s DNS servers. So modify the file adding the following:

forwarders {;;


Replace the addresses above with the addresses of your ISP’s DNS servers.

Now we need to add the zones file:

sudo mkdir /etc/bind/zones

And then configure it:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/business.com.db (replace business.com with your DNS domain).

Add the following code to the file:

// replace example.com with your domain name. do not forget the. after the domain name!

// Also, replace ns1 with the name of your DNS server

business.com. IN SOA chris-server.business.com.

// Do not modify the following lines!







// Replace the following line as necessary:

// ns1 = DNS Server name

// mta = mail server name

// example.com = domain name

business.com. IN NS chris-server.business.com.

business.com. IN MX 10 mta.example.com.

// Replace the IP address with the right IP addresses.

www IN A

mta IN A

chris-server IN A

In the above code replace the following:

business.com with your DNS domain name, with your static DNS server address,

chris-server.business.com with your computers hostname.dns-domain,

mta is your mail server (if you have one). If you do modify the IP address to show this.

Next we have to create the reverse DNS zone file:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/rev.1.168.192.in-addr.arpa

Add the following code:

//replace example.com with yoour domain name, ns1 with your DNS server name.

// The number before IN PTR example.com is the machine address of the DNS server

@ IN SOA chris-server.business.com admin.business.com. (







IN NS chris-server.business.com.

1 IN PTR business.com

All that is left to do is restart bind:

sudo service bind9 restart (using upstart) or sudo /etc/init.d/bind9 restart (init scripts)

Don’t forget to test the new configuration:

dig business.com

Here at ComTech I love Linux. I use it for my own systems in the office and ‘pass on the good word’ to clients when appropriate. I can sort out any Linux queries you might have, including setting up servers, or offer advice if needed. Please go to http://www.comtech247.net/business-it for more information.

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Linux Mint 12 logoBy Christopher P Wakefield

Usually I would set up a Linux dhcp server using the dhcp3-server package. With the arrival of Linux Mint 12 the configuration is slightly different. This tutorial will outline the new steps.

First thing to do is to give your server a static IP address.

Now we need to install the dhcp package. Open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install isc-dhcp-server

There are two main files /etc/default/isc-dhcp-server and /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf~ which we will need to configure so lets take the first. Open up a terminal and using your favourite text editor type:

sudo gedit /etc/default/isc-dhcp-server

You should get the following:


# Defaults for dhcp initscript # sourced by /etc/init.d/dhcp # installed at /etc/default/isc-dhcp-server by the maintainer scripts

# # This is a POSIX shell fragment #

# On what interfaces should the DHCP server (dhcpd) serve DHCP requests? # Separate multiple interfaces with spaces, e.g. “eth0 eth1″. INTERFACES=”eth0″


Replace eth0 above with the name of your network interface that you want the server to lease addresses on. Onto the next file. Open up a terminal and type:

sudo gedit /etc/dhcp/dhcdp.conf~

which should give you the output below.


# # Sample configuration file for ISC dhcpd for Debian # # Attention: If /etc/ltsp/dhcpd.conf exists, that will be used as # configuration file instead of this file. # #

# The ddns-updates-style parameter controls whether or not the server will # attempt to do a DNS update when a lease is confirmed. We default to the # behavior of the version 2 packages (‘none’, since DHCP v2 didn’t # have support for DDNS.) ddns-update-style none;

# option definitions common to all supported networks… option domain-name “example.org”; option domain-name-servers ns1.example.org, ns2.example.org;

option domain-name “business.com”; default-lease-time 600; max-lease-time 7200;

# If this DHCP server is the official DHCP server for the local # network, the authoritative directive should be uncommented. #authoritative;

# Use this to send dhcp log messages to a different log file (you also # have to hack syslog.conf to complete the redirection). log-facility local7;

# No service will be given on this subnet, but declaring it helps the # DHCP server to understand the network topology.

#subnet netmask { #}

# This is a very basic subnet declaration.

subnet netmask { range; option routers; option subnet-mask;

option broadcast-address; option domain-name-servers,;

option ntp-servers; option netbios-name-servers; option netbios-node-type 8; }

option routers rtr-239-0-1.example.org, rtr-239-0-2.example.org;


# This declaration allows BOOTP clients to get dynamic addresses, # which we don’t really recommend.

#subnet netmask { # range dynamic-bootp; # option broadcast-address; # option routers rtr-239-32-1.example.org; #}

# A slightly different configuration for an internal subnet. #subnet netmask { # range; # option domain-name-servers ns1.internal.example.org; # option domain-name “internal.example.org”; # option routers; # option broadcast-address; # default-lease-time 600; # max-lease-time 7200; #}

# Hosts which require special configuration options can be listed in # host statements. If no address is specified, the address will be # allocated dynamically (if possible), but the host-specific information # will still come from the host declaration.

#host passacaglia { # hardware ethernet 0:0:c0:5d:bd:95; # filename “vmunix.passacaglia”; # server-name “toccata.fugue.com”; #}

# Fixed IP addresses can also be specified for hosts. These addresses # should not also be listed as being available for dynamic assignment. # Hosts for which fixed IP addresses have been specified can boot using # BOOTP or DHCP. Hosts for which no fixed address is specified can only # be booted with DHCP, unless there is an address range on the subnet # to which a BOOTP client is connected which has the dynamic-bootp flag # set. #host fantasia { # hardware ethernet 08:00:07:26:c0:a5; # fixed-address fantasia.fugue.com; #}

# You can declare a class of clients and then do address allocation # based on that. The example below shows a case where all clients # in a certain class get addresses on the 10.17.224/24 subnet, and all # other clients get addresses on the 10.0.29/24 subnet.

#class “foo” { # match if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 4) = “SUNW”; #}

#shared-network 224-29 { # subnet netmask { # option routers rtr-224.example.org; # } # subnet netmask { # option routers rtr-29.example.org; # } # pool { # allow members of “foo”; # range; # } # pool { # deny members of “foo”; # range; # } #}


This needs a little bit of explaining.

1. Everything in bold needs adding to the file. Adjust your settings according to your network requirements.

2. The option domain name is your dns zone name. For example set to business.com.

3. Range should be the range of ip addresses that you want the server to give out to clients.

Now restart the dhcp service by typing:

sudo service isc-dhcp-server restart

That’s it!! Your dhcp server should be running, however it is best to check. Open up a terminal and type:

sudo netstat -uap

which will show you the following information:


Active Internet connections (servers and established)

Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State PID/Program name

udp 0 0 *:55827 *:* 916/avahi-daemon: r udp 0 0 chris-desktop.lo:domain *:* 1273/named udp 0 0 chris-desktop:domain *:* 1273/named udp 0 0 *:bootps *:* 4525/dhcpd udp 0 0 *:17500 *:* 1768/dropbox udp 0 0 *:54407 *:* 4539/VirtualBox udp 0 0 *:* 1016/nmbd udp 0 0 chris-deskto:netbios-ns *:* 1016/nmbd udp 0 0 *:netbios-ns *:* 1016/nmbd udp 0 0 *:* 1016/nmbd udp 0 0 chris-deskt:netbios-dgm *:* 1016/nmbd udp 0 0 *:netbios-dgm *:* 1016/nmbd udp 0 0 *:mdns *:* 916/avahi-daemon: r udp6 0 0 [::]:domain [::]:* 1273/named udp6 0 0 [::]:51853 [::]:* 916/avahi-daemon: r udp6 0 0 [::]:mdns [::]:* 916/avahi-daemon: r


This shows that the dhcp daemon is working.

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT support to both personal and business clients from my base in Alloa, Clacknmannanshire. Here at ComTech I am experienced in using Windows and Linux technologies whether it be for the home or business. I also incorporate Blackberry hardware into my business, namely the Blackberry Playbook and Bold 9780. I can advise, design and implement solutions to any problems you may have so if you have IT issues just pick up the phone. Please go to http://www.comtech247.net for more information.

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By Emma Rosenberg

Linux Mint

In this tutorial, the reader will learn how to install the Linux Mint 12 KDE on a btrfs file KDE logosystem. The B-tree File system (abbreviated to acronym Btrfs) has not matured far enough to be used as a default file system on Linux machines. Fortunately, those who choose to run Linux with btrfs do have options on installing useful components such as the highly coveted Linux Mint 12 KDE. For those who are not familiar, Linux Mint 12 KDE is a linux distribution based on the Ubuntu desktop operating system, and is gaining massive popularity in the past couple of months in the world of the low cost dedicated server running Linux. Due to popular demand, this tutorial will teach how to precisely install Linux Mint KDE on a btrfs file system.

Before we proceed, do keep in mind that this tutorial is optimized for the current version of Linux Mint made available on their main website on January 11,2012, which is still a release candidate. Regardless, the stable version will likely have an identical installation process as the current release candidate, so it should not affect the validity of this article.

Installing a Linux distribution on a btrfs file system will require three partitions. The first partition is a boot partition, which is mounted at the /boot. The second partition is the root partition, which is mounted at /. The last partition is for the Swap partition, which provides disk space that the system will use as virtual memory.

In order to setup these partitions, download the installation file for the distribution from the Linux Mint download page. Stick the downloaded package onto either a DVD or a USB stick, and boot the computer accordingly.

After the computer has booted, the Linux Mint 12 KDE installation should be on your desktop. Click on the “Install Linux Mint” icon on the desktop. Click the Continue button to proceed onto the next step. Two disk partitioning options are available, default and manual. Make sure you use Manual, so that we can install it on a Btrfs file system.

Selecting Manual will pull up the advanced disk partitioning tool. Make sure the target disk has been initialized before you create the partitions. Select the appropriate disk and click on the New Partition Table button. There will now be a free space option on your menu. Select the free space, and then click on the Add button so that the first partition can be created.

The first partition will be mounted at /boot. Make sure it is a Primary partition out of the two options. A disk space of 500 MB should be plenty for this partition, so go ahead and put 500 MB. Even though we are installing on a Btrfs file system, make the boot partition as a Ext4 file system. It will still work properly.

Now that the boot partition has been created, select the remaining free space and once again, press the Add button to create the next partition. This time this partition is for /, which is the main file system. Instead of choosing Primary, choose Logical. The majority of the remaining disk space can be put on this file system, leaving only 4 GB for the last partition. Then, make sure the btrfs journaling file system option is chosen for this partition. Mount point will be set as /. Press ok, and the second partition is finished.

Lastly, choose the remaining free space and press Add button. Depending on the disk space, allocate 2 to 4 GB for the Swap partition. Make the partition type Logical. Finally, use the partition as swap area under the Use as drop down menu. Press ok, and the third and last partition is created.

Double check that all three of these partitions were created properly. If the list checks out, click on Install Now. Congratulations, you have now installed Linux Mint 12 KDE using the Btrfs file system!

Learn more about free and popular Linux distributions to use on your low cost dedicated server.

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In this piece I will show how the system usage differs among Live CD distributions running different Linux Windows Managers mainly on distros considered to be lightweight. The first distro we will look at is a bit dated, but it is the most recent Fluxbox edition of Linux Mint, Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition, and is a damn fine distro that I must say looks great and it’s fun to use. The next lowest contender in regards to initial system usage is PCLinuxOS 2011.08 Openbox edition. Thirdly, we are looking at Crunchbang 10 (Statler) running Openbox. Finally, for comparison’s sake we also looked at the modern, full-featured Gnome distro, Linux Mint 12. We booted each distro using default boot options, then opened a terminal window and ran the ‘ top ‘ command.

mint-9-fluxbox-screenshotLinux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition

As you can see, this distro comes in at a svelte 536 MB of RAM usage upon intial boot




pclinuxos-openbox-screenshotPCLinuxOS 2011.08 Openbox edition

Next, we see a still slim offering from the PCLinuxOS team which comes in at 580 MB (this distro also curiously only saw 388MB of my 1GB swap space on my HD??)



Crunchbang-10-statlerCrunchbang 10 (Statler)

The last offering we are looking at today is the latest Crunchbang distro, based on Debian that comes in at a very surprising 815 MB of RAM – I’m really puzzled by that number and I’d love to know why it comes in so high on this test. (this distro also did not even see my 1GB swap space on my HD??)

mint-12-ScreenshotLinux Mint 12 Gnome

To show you what a current, standard distro uses we have included the latest Mint distro. As you can see it is running just past Crunchbang at 869 MB of RAM.



As you can see, the alternate Window Manager distros really do start with a lower system memory footprint, however that isn’t always the case we discovered by looking at Crunchbang.

©2012 Linux.Bihlman.com

This post proudly written using Firefox on Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition!

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In this tutorial we will show how easy it is to enable Adobe Flash player to your Linux Mint 12 Live CD. As usual, please click each screenshot for a larger view.

Linux Mint 12 Live CD -no flash

Linux Mint 12 Live CD -no flash

First step is to boot up your Live Disc and open Firefox. This screenshot shows what will happen by default if you try to view content that relies on Adobe Flash to display.






Type mint-flashplugin-11 into Software Manager

Type mint-flashplugin-11 into Software Manager

Well, obviously that is going to severely limit the functionality of your Live CD, so the next step is install Flash the easiest way I’ve found. Click on Menu and choose the Software Manager (the yellow star). In the search box, type mint-flashplugin-11  then click on it in the list.





Click Install

Click Install

Once you’ve clicked on the mint-flashplugin-11 that appears in the list, you’ll see the next window that will have the Install button. Click Install and the Flash player will install to the Live CD environment.






Now, once it’s installed, close the Software Manager and reload Firefox. Voila! Your Youtube page you were trying to watch earlier is now working!

Linux Mint running Firefox with Flash installed

Linux Mint running Firefox with Flash installed

That’s really all there is to it. If you follow these steps you will find installing Flash much easier than trying to click the “Missing Plugins” button that first appears.

©2012 Linux.Bihlman.com

post written using Firefox on the Linux Mint 12 Live CD!

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default linux mint 12 Menu

default linux mint 12 Menu

So, you downloaded Linux Mint 12 and are excited to try out all the fancy stuff that people have been saying about it. You have your Live CD burned, you boot into the desktop, you click on Menu in the bottom-left corner, see the popular folders listed there, but one seems to be missing– the games folder!

In just a few simple steps, we will show you how to get the Games folder to appear, complete with a nice selection of popular games for the Gnome desktop environment.

Step 1

Click on the terminal located under the Menu:

click on the terminal

click on the terminal

 Step 2

Type sudo apt-get install gnome-games at the prompt:

terminal window

terminal window

Press Enter when it asks if you want to continue, then it will download the games, and all the dependencies, all within your Live environment!

Step 3

Finished! Enjoy your new games, as you can now see, there are quite a few games to try out, for all ages. Here is a screenshot of the final product, that just took a couple of minutes of your time:

Finally, we have games!

Finally, we have games!

Here is a list of the games we just installed:

AisleRiot Solitaire, Chess, Five or More, Four-in-a-row, FreeCell Solitaire, lagno, Klotski, Mahjongg, Mines, Nibbles, Quadrapassel, Robots, Sudoku, Tali, Tetravex

©2012 Linux.Bihlman.com

post written using Firefox on the Linux Mint 12 Live CD!

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By Liz Lavender

Linux Mint is a upcoming and popular distribution of Linux. There are many common questions about Linux Mint that people want to know the answers to.

How do you install Linux Mint?

Download the distribution and burn it to a CD as an image and not a data file. You can put this CD into your computer and boot up from it. You have the option of previewing the operating system and not installing it if you wish. If you want to install it, simply click on the install icon on the desktop and follow the prompts. This process will take about 5 minutes to fill out basic information about about 20 to install.

How do you install the flash player to Linux Mint?

One version of Mint does not come with Flash. Simply search the repositories with the Mint Install tool and find Flash. This will install it to your system.

Is Ubuntu or Linux Mint Better?

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. The core system is basically the same. Mint comes with a different look and feel and a few additional tools. Neither one is really better than the other. There are differences that just come down to user preference.

How do you run EXE files in Mint?

You need to install a program called Wine. This will let you run EXE files and other Windows programs on your Linux system. It won’t run everything, but will do a fairly good job.

Where is the Thunderbird profile in Mint?

Your application settings are going to be in your home folder. Most of the time these folders start with a period meaning they are hidden from you. You need to select the option to see your hidden folders. For every Thunderbird folder to find your stored mail and profiles. This is the same for just about any program installed to your system.

Liz has been a freelance writer for over four years. Come visit her latest website over at http://walkietalkie-radios.com/ which helps people find the best deals on all types of walkie talkie radios.

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