Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Linux Mint 12 - For Artists

::Argosian Mint 12::

I was a long time user of Linux and recently of Mint 11.  As I recently started working towards growing my skills as a 2D artist I started following David Revoy and his Blog where he covers Linux Mint 11 for Digital Painting, which I used to configure my Mint 11 setup.  However the future is here and the Linux Desktop is in crisis.  Mint 11 is too old for the latest beta’s of Krita and GIMP.   There are quite a few options out there for your Desktop Environment.  Some are bad, some might work for you but not me, some are in their infancy.  If KDE is your cup of tea then I point back to David and his blog, Kubuntu 11.10 for Digital Painting, to get you going.  Here you will learn how to get Mint 12 and Mate working for you.  This process is involved and long and is not without inherent risks.  We use quite a few unstable repositories.  This can result in some strangeness or outright breakage in the future or along the way.   That was your warning.  Continue on if you dare.  I am working on an automated script to do all of this in one go.  But that is in progress and I wanted to share this with you in the now.  Also future looking will be a GUI config for xsetwacom for the MATE desktop.  Why isn’t it now?  Well writing a program from scratch is no mean feat and I do have to work for a living.  It will come but I need your patience here in this time. All of the following was done on my system as well being tested on my VMWare Virtual Mint 12 x64. For the sake of sanity all things here are presumed to be X64 unless otherwise mentioned.  Green Text is for updates, check back often or subscribe.

If you like my script and want to donate use button on the right.

We are now in Release version 1.0:  Blog Post here:

RELEASE 1.0 of ArgosianMint12 Script

 This post has now become an archive.  Thank you all for your support and help through this and I won't stop now.  As conditions and packages and gotcha's change over time I will maintain this script.  I consider it a valuable resource to the community and it is my honor to help you.

Easier to find Script Link:  now an RC1!!!!!!

UPDATE: 2/11/2012: 16:28 PST  -RC1 is here-

To tell you the truth, trying to solve the dependencies issues along with a few lingering bugs had me ready to throw in the towel. The packages were shifting about and being updated and causing troubles never ending.  But here you go some screen-shots to prove, yes it really does work. And a completed Log file.

Update 2/11/2012: Noon
Yes, I am a compulsive problem solver...  in testing right now is a hack-tastic work around to the Micro-Version Mismatch issues between MATE GTK2 and GIMP2.7.5 GTK2 requirements.  If you use APT (which occasionally actually does a micro-version check) to install these newer GTK2.0-0-2.24.8 packages it will yank MATE off your system.  We need the MATE team to port up to the latest GTK2 asap, but until they do you can use DPKG to side-step the micro-check.  Doing this is a BAD THING!!!!  Though chasing a moving target like we are requires often doing BAD THINGS (tm).  So we do one here.  It pulls down all the 2.24.8 versions of GTK2.0-0 off GNOME3-TEAM's PPA and uses DPKG to drop them on w/o ripping out MATE.  I used this solution on my actual working machine to restore GIMP 2.7 to working order.  Does this cause other "issues"?  I don't know yet.  I know I am working and typing on the machine I did the fix on and it IS working.  I am testing the whole script again against a fresh VM to see if it pulls any errors.  If I can run it through I will post it up.  If not I will continue bug-fixing till we get something workable again.

Update 2/11/2012: Nearly Noon
So, are you still with me or have you gotten as frustrated as I was.  What was causing the breakage? I thought it was all the upgrades we were doing.  But I have been so busy working on this that I have not upgraded my working machine. I did and lo and behold the GIMP2.7 error reared it's ugly head.  Looking into it I found it was a gtk2.0-0 2.24.8 package issue.  I corrected the repositories but it then wanted to uninstall MATE.  Whopse.   Ok so GIMP 2.7 is at the center of the issue of breakage in the script.  I knew this when I started that running bleeding edge cross-repositories would lead to SOME breakage.  Just a day or so ago we had a nearly complete script then something went wrong.  That wrong was an update release.  We should have expected that.  We are chasing a moving target and it seems to move pretty damn fast.  I am attempting a GIMP2.7 from GIT on my main machine.  If it works we will move away from the REPO for GIMP 2.7 and to GIT as our solution maker.  I had a feeling this might be the case even a few days ago but I wanted the "faster" option of using a PPA.  Well, that didn't work out so far.  The Blog below is now only instructional as it is woefully out of date and I don't have the time to maintain the step-by-step while chasing after these fast moving PPA's.  Expect an update later today if I can get GIMP to work on my main machine I will do some restructuring in the Script to account for it and enable the hack-tastic Menu Items to work with the wild-and-wooly GIT naming conventions.

Update 2/11/2012:
What time is it again?!?!?   Really burned the midnight oil on this one.  The repo's continued to give trouble but I think I found a round about means of solving it.  It may honestly be that we are doing too many upgrades all at once.  One package that is most certainly available fails every time.  A simple addition of an sudo apt-get -f -y install instantly fixes it.  So for now it is there as a "catch all weirdness" error check.  This one should go all the way through.   Current version links are up for version 2.6.47.

Update 2/10/2012 -almost tomorrow-

Another late night update:  Found a possible out for the Package-Tug-Of-War.  Another PPA has been added Ricotz:Testing.  If you want dangerous this is it.  This thing makes things go pretty far away from original install and Mint form.  By using this PPA however I can offer our end users a very interesting end package set: Latetest, and I mean latest, gnome 3.  It pulls out the crappy Mint-Gnome-Shell Edition.  It also solves the GIMP 2.7 error: caused by the latest gimp 2.7 being compiled with the latest GTK3 libs.  So even more is going on.  Unfortunately Unity lands on the system as well.  However what remains is exactly what we want.. even if we don't use Gnome 3 or Unity components.  All the Mint-Mate components are latest and installed.  At some point I should probably just pull everything from GIT myself but......... for now..  One more clean full run test and I will post the latest Script.  Estimated completion is about midnight or 1 am PST. Which will be right ready for my European testers for some Saturday morning fun.  Yes, Dist-Upgrade is BACK.

Update 2/10/2012 -late-
The current version is crunching away on my VM.  A backtrace showed me I was not using a "clean" VM.  Yeah, that explains a ton of why I was not getting errors others were.  I wiped out both my backup VM and Active VM and rebuilt.  Backed up my new Clean VM.  Found out also what was grenading the script for others: sudo apg-get dist-upgrade.  What was wrong with that?  Well, prior to the Tridex Repo addition everything played well together.  With the Tridex Added a package version tug-of-war occurred.  If you looked carefully with the current posted version of the script, it uninstalled some critical packages and dependencies.  The problem?  Well the upgrade would not re-add or could not find matching package updates to replace the now incompatible versions that were removed.  This broke all kinds of things, critically.  At the risk of being a little less bleeding edge but having a working product, we have reduced the dist-upgrade to just upgrade for now.  Even after release I will continue development and watch the repo's for an end to the tug-of war to push our builds to the edge again.  I might add it as a selectable option for the brave.  Also forward looking is hardware detection.  I know what I need to do to make that work but I will wait till after release before I start breaking things again with experimental code. Currently error free and on the Krita Build Section at 40%.

Udpate 2/10/2012
Minor fixes, a whitespace disappeared between my testing and it being posted.  Thanks Roy for finding that.  That relates to some GIMP issues... again.
David helped me understand the Tridex repos better.  I thought from my reading you just needed one.  Silly me.  Version is now 0.5.12-amd64.  Verify you have the latest version.  Links have been updated.  So close.  and now for an off topic rant.  There is a downside to being "the one" at work that makes stuff happen.  Your reward for being an awesome worker is..  more work.  Yes they just gave me 2300 more computers to manage and maintain.. by myself at nine more sites.  Feel The Love.  So I get to pick up for other peoples failure to do their job.  I feel like the sarcasm from Skyrim where Lyidia says "I am sworn to carry your burdens...."  *sigh*

Also lessons learned: ~/ cannot be "quoted" in bash or it checks as if it is an absolute. 

There was an issue with the file uploaded this morning to my FTP.  If you downloaded it prior to 07:30 Pacific Standard Time (15:30 GMT) -the instant after I uploaded it- please re-download it.  Name and version are unchanged so just overwrite it.
Also, how is my host doing?  Is the speed acceptable?  Let me know how you feel in email or comments.

Updates: 2/9/2012
This is a MAJOR revision.   David helped me track down a few big bugs as well as suggested some major additions.  As I have said in the comments at the bottom I have made changes more easily tracked so users know which version of the script they have.
Added software installs and double checking ones you should have
Added TRIDEX REPO and needed changes for bleeding edge MATE
**FIXED** GIMP PAINTER BUG: cause was me being an idiot and forgetting some ""
Added Thumbnail Background Fix

Outstanding BUGs:
-KRITA INSTALL: for some unknown reason calling up Kubuntiac's script does not seem to be updating to most recent version of KRITA, it is close but it should be LATEST.  This bothers me but I don't have a fix yet for it.
-Bugs no one has told me about yet :)

I am extremely excited because if we can quash any remaining bugs I can roll this baby into 1.0 :)

**late night update 2/8/2012: rounded out a few things in script and on this page. Nothing critical just added a few software installs to complete round things out -agave/audacity/filezilla/kdenlive- Script on FTP has been update to version 0.2.1 REDOWNLOAD if you want a few fixes and the software autoinstall**

**remember report all errors via my email or here on this blog so that I can fix them. Beta testing continues. Help me help you all.**

In case you wonder about the version, it is handled automatically for me so the numbers shift in ways even I don't like sometimes. It likes to update it every save.. which means it rolls pretty fast when I am working.  I need a better system.

If you don't have Linux Mint 12, get it here:  Linux Mint 12

Well first off you need to do a fresh install of Mint 12.  I do not recommend hacking a current one.  You can do it, but you are on your own.  We will be doing almost everything in terminal.  Terminal, of your choice, is the heart and soul of Linux and if you are not familiar with it now, by the end of this, you will be.

-open a terminal-

This process will take quite some time to complete so grab a cup of your favorite drink and settle in.

You have a choice, as with all things in life. You can take the RED PILL and follow along with the lengthy process below and learn a ton about what makes Linux tick. Or you can take the BLUE PILL and use this script:

The script is in beta, use it at your own risk. What does it do? Everything I have done below in one incredibly long, unbroken, script that moves from topic to topic, it will be rather hypnotic. It will prompt you for input from time to time so you do have to babysit it. Also, when the script completes it will restart your system. Don't worry, it asks first.

NOTE: The script does not handle proprietary drivers. After the reboot from the script you will still need to install them yourself. Assuming everything works correctly on the Dist-Upgrade command you can install the proprietary drivers prior to running the script (unlike below in the manual method). What this means is just a little extra time as compared to installing them later. It also means that if your drivers do not have a kernel compatible update in Xorg-Edgers you will get breakage on reboot. So know what you have before you move forward.

*updated* moved host to a non-bandwidth limited location. That means I don't have to ever worry about running out of bandwidth now.

  • wget
  • chmod +x
  • ./


We are going to add here all the repositories we will need for the entire process. It is just easier and smarter to do this at this point and it allows us for a singular apt-get-update vs many which is a time saver.

I will list the repositories here along with what each does but the text box has the copy-paste command set. The text box also handles editing the sources.list for src packages. In addition, if you don't copy past the text box command you will need to enable via Synaptic Backport, Romeo, and source. The second box handles some of the stickier things that you need su for.
  • ppa:matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn   ::GIMP RAZOR::
  • deb-src oneiric main restricted universe multiverse ::COMPILEGIMP:
  • ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports ::KRITA COMPILING and required for Tablet Function::
  • ppa:achadwick/mypaint-testing  ::MYPAINT TESTING::
  • ppa:pmjdebruijn/darktable-unstable  ::For latest lcms2::
  • ppa:cheleb/blender-svn  ::Blender 2.6 Latest::
  • ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa  ::LIVING ON THE EDGE! DRIVERS, XORG, LIBRARIES::
  • ppa:tiheum/equinox ::I LIKE HIS ICONS::
  • ppa:sunab/kdenlive-release ::kdenlive::
  • deb oneiric main ::MATE TRIDEX::
  • deb oneiric main"

Real quick get some software installs to round us out.
  • sudo apt-get install agave audacity filezilla kdenlive blender mypaint

When all of this has completed you are ready to move on.


Well, GIMP was installed to begin with right? Well what do you think that sudo apt-get dist-upgrade did? That is right, because you added the proper PPA's in it automagically upgraded GIMP! However, you are left with this crappy launcher so let's fix that! You can right click on it in the menu to edit it if you like. Just change the name so it is easier to identify. Or you can do it the terminal way. Note don't copy paste these red commands, they wont work right. Use the TEXT BOX for that.

  • cp /usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/gimp2.desktop
  • sed -i.bak -e 's|Exec=gimp-2.7 %U|Exec=gimp-2.7|' -e 's|Name=GNU Image Manipulation Program|Name=GIMP 2.7 Beta|' ~/.local/share/applications/gimp2.desktop
  • cp ~/.local/share/applications/gimp2.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/gimp.desktop

Wow, that was easy... really really hard part right? Let's move on. Plenty to do here today.


This is our first compiling event of this project. Lets get to it. There are no caveats just follow the code. We also fix the Menu Icon Launcher problem here.
  • sudo apt-get build-dep gimp
  • cd && mkdir source-to-compile
  • wget
  • tar -xvzf gimp-2.6.11-patched-src.tar.gz
  • cd gimp-2.6.11-patched-src
  • ./configure --prefix=/opt/gimp-painter --disable-default-binary
  • make
  • sudo make install
  • wget && unzip GPS\ 1_5_final\ -d ~/.gimp-2.6 && rm GPS\ 1_5_final\
  • sed -i.bak -e 's|TryExec=gimp-2.7|TryExec=/opt/gimp-painter/bin/gimp-2.6|' -e 's|Exec=gimp-2.7|Exec=/opt/gimp-painter/bin/gimp-2.6|' -e 's|Name=GIMP 2.7 Beta|Name=GIMP Painter 2.6|'~/.local/share/applications/gimp2.desktop
  • cp ~/.local/share/applications/gimp2.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/gimppainter.desktop
  • rm ~/.local/share/applications/gimp2.desktop
  • cd ~/

Menu changes for both of the above will take affect after the restart.

Are you ready for PAIN?!? Are you ready for total awesomeness? Then you are ready for this! It is late and I have been working on this for two days. So no more chit-chat. Right to business. Expect this stage to take at least an hour, probably more. Just let it do it's thing and stop harassing the terminal. Before it can even compile it needs 1.2GB of downloads. So chill.
Ok, one more very special thing. The will FAIL the first time your run it. It is unavoidable. Just keep with my terminal commands and you will be fine. Kubuntiac's script does not recognize this Distribution version.

Also, I have structured this to build under KDE 4.8. Why? Kernel-Drivers + Wacom issues. The 4.8 KDE includes the updated QT4 packages that work for pressure sensitivity with no-ghost lines under Krita. This is critical.

  • sudo apt-get install cmake git kdelibs5-dev zlib1g-dev libpng12-dev libboost-dev liblcms1-dev libeigen2-dev libexiv2-dev pstoedit libfreetype6-dev libglew1.5-dev libfftw3-dev libglib2.0-dev libopenexr-dev libtiff4-dev libjpeg62-dev xserver-xorg-input-wacom oxygen-icon-theme kdebase-runtime systemsettings qt4-qtconfig qtcurve
  • sudo apt-get build-dep koffice
  • cd ~/source-to-compile
  • wget
  • tar -xzvf
  • rm
  • ./
  • sed "2 s/_autodepencencies=true/_autodepencencies=false/" -i ~/source-to-compile/
  • ./
  • echo "export KDEDIRS=$KDEDIRS:$HOME/source-to-compile/calligra/calligra-inst" >> ~/.profile
  • echo "export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/source-to-compile/calligra/calligra-inst/bin" >> ~/.profile
  • cd ~/

An oddly critical part of work-flow. We need these to work, plain and simple. It isn't as simple as it seems on the surface but it is nothing a bit of terminal work can't solve. This will give you XCF,VIDEO, and ORA thumbnails. The first step installs them but because we are using MATE, they won't work. That is a big bummer. The rest we handle manually. Again, these changes will probably not show up till reboot.

  • sudo apt-get install gnome-xcf-thumbnailer ffmpegthumbnailer libffmpegthumbnailer4
  • cd ~/source-to-compile
  • git clone git://
  • cd ora-thumbnailers
  • sudo install -D -m755 /usr/bin/ora-thumbnailer-gnome
  • mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/image@openraster/enable "true" && mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/image@openraster/command "/usr/bin/ora-thumbnailer-gnome %i %o %s"
  • mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/image@ora/enable "true" && mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/image@x-xcf/enable "true"
  • mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/image@ora/command "/usr/bin/ora-thumbnailer-gnome %i %o" && mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/image@ora/command "/usr/bin/gnome-xcf-thumbnailer %i %o"
  • mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/application@x-flash-video/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/application@x-flash-video/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@3gpp/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@3gpp/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@mp2t/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@mp2t/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@mp4/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@mp4/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@mpeg/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@mpeg/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@msvideo/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@msvideo/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-avi/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-avi/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-flv/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-flv/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-m4v/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-m4v/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-mpeg/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-mpeg/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-asf/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-asf/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-asx/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-asx/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-wm/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-wm/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-wmv/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-wmv/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-wmx/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-ms-wmx/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-msvideo/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-msvideo/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-theora/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-theora/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
    mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-matroska/enable "true"
    mateconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/mate/thumbnailers/video@x-matroska/command "/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -i %i -o %o -s %s -t 15"
  • sudo wget
  • sudo cp thumbnailframe.png /usr/share/pixmaps/caja/thumbnail_frame.png
  • sudo caja -q
  • cd ~/

You still with me? Not dead yet? Ok, for those still alive time to wrap up this fun session of Terminal and complete the whole process. What can be left after all that? Well, Kernel Updates for one. Also, now would be a good time to install your proprietary graphics card drivers. Why wait till now to do this? Mostly as a time saver. In some of the previous steps you would be installing packages that build kernel drivers. If you did the kernels first you would be 1. restarting and 2. rebuilding the kernel drivers for each kernel on your system each time. This process was long enough so I tried to save time where I could. Now ideally, we would do these last steps at the beginning. I do them last as a time saver. Ok, you have had your break. BACK TO WORK!

I will NOT be showing you how to install your proprietary graphics drivers. That step is up to you. That step will also not be in the do-all script. It would require an over the top level of robustness to detect and manage the graphics configuration and the script, as well as this process, is already long enough. If you have a kernel 3.2 or newer there are some serious GFX driver issues that REQUIRE you to have the latest from your vendor. That would be .295 series for you NVIDIA folks. Older Nvidia cards that have become legacy may not work with proprietary acceleration with the newer kernels. Sorry guys, this is Mint12 on the bleeding edge, and that means you do need to be fairly recent in your hardware as well. The good news for NVIDIA buffs is that edgers has the right driver version in their PPA! So just sudo apt-get install nvidia-settings nvidia-common, etc. For the love of god, DO NOT USE THE RESTRICTED DRIVER INSTALLER!!!!

So that leaves Kernels, you have two path choices here. I will show you both. The script will also allow user decision between the choices.

-OPTION 1- The Safer Option:
This path uses the latest ubuntu-maintainers kernel, no they don't auto install. You will need to do this manually. At last testing the kernel was still in the 3.2 series and the tablets worked dandy with Krita + the Kernel. This information may change over time and I have not designed it to be robust.

  • sudo apt-get install linux-headers-3.2.0-14-generic linux-image-3.2.0-14-generic linux-tools-3.2.0-14 linux-headers-3.2.0-14

That is it, let it run to completion and REBOOT! If you installed the correct version of your proprietary drivers you should have zero issues. If you didn't well, very bad things can happen and you will need to select your old kernel on boot till you sort that out. The easiest way to see if there is an issue is to watch the output and look for a build failure on your graphics kernel driver. If you see it, don't restart till you fix it. I could do an entire write up on graphics driver issues with the latest kernels alone.

-OPTION 2- Living On the Edge:
This option uses kernels from So why not add the PPA you say? In this case the kernel we are using is from testing for PRECISE PANGOLIN. So, sure, we could hack it to allow it with the PPA, but to be frank I want more specific control over this process and so should you. This could break things and we need control. We grab three files and then install them

  • cd && mkdir mainlineKernel
  • wget
  • wget
  • wget
  • sudo dpkg -i linux-*
  • cd ~/

Observe the build process in the terminal with rapt attention. Look to see if the kernel drivers are built correctly! If it should fail you will need to correct that issue before you restart or important things like graphics or wireless might not work.

For Xsetwacom I turn the floor once more over to David Revoy's Blog: (which I will copy paste here for you to save time)

Wacom tablet
For hardware support have a look here

• In a nut-shell : to configure your Wacom at each start-up, you will have to write a script.
This *.sh script will be a series of 'xsetwacom' lines to setup and customise your tablet.

• to know your tablet device name :

xsetwacom list

• here it return the name of my Wacom devices :

Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus id: 8 type: STYLUS Wacom Intuos4 6x9 eraser id: 12 type: ERASER Wacom Intuos4 6x9 cursor id: 13 type: CURSOR Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad id: 14 type: PAD

• So, I wrote under a simple script of xsetwacom instructions to the devices :

#! /bin/bash
# Wacom setup at startup
# Intuos4A5
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 2 "key f12"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 3 "key x"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 4 "key m"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 5 "key ctrl z"
# round middle dial button
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 1 "key e"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 6 "key ctrl"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 7 "key c"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 8 "key w"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 9 "Key shift"
# stylus
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" button 2 "key Control"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" PressureCurve 40 0 100 80

• To autolaunch the script ( save it for exemple as ~/ ) at start-up ,
Use the Mint Menu > Preference > Startup Application and link there your script.
infos about settings :
• Stylus buttons :
button 1 = tip ( part to draw ) , button 2 = first button ( next the tip ) , button 3 = second button.

• PressureCurve parameters :
"40 0 100 80" is my preset is for a "hard"
Set your curve with this interactive javascript here : ( grab the handler with mouse )

• more documentation about the possibilities of xsetwacom :



In the future I will be working on a GUI Configurator for MINT and Tablets. The good news for Cinnamon users is that there already is a GUI being worked on for setting the Tablets up. For KDE people there is also a Graphical configurator. Which leaves MATE without one till I, or someone else, writes one.

I leave the configuring of the theme and colors to you. We all have our preferences and I believe that MATE is maintaining the freedom we have all come to know and desire of Linux. In MATE, you are free to install every theme pacakge you desire. Nearly all the Gnome 2/GTK2 themes will work correctly with MATE. You can sudo apt-get them or search through Synapetic for gnome-themes. The newer DE's are fixated on removing choice, which is contrary to the Linux Paradigm. I hope you and your system survived this process. I also hope that in going through the steps you learned something new about Linux and how it works, but most importantly I hope that you are now in a position to use Mint12 for your artistic ends.


  1. Epic blog post ! Very precious content inside it. I will blog post about when I 'll find few minute to write it.
    I'm very tempted to install all right now, but I will do after finishing my current comission of artworks ( wiser ).
    Thanks again for sharing !

  2. I have been wanting to give back to the community that has given much to me. After nearly 7 years of no programming this is a joy for me. It has been worth every ounce of effort given.

    I still need a host for my script when it is done. I am open to suggestions.
    I bow before your artistic ability. Starting late in life on art makes the hill to climb seem very long sometimes. I missed out on so many things others have already learned but if anything, I am determined and persistent.

    Especially now that I can settle down on a system for a little while.

  3. Updates: Script is up for testing! I hope the free host I found works......

  4. AWESOME work !
    Thank you so much !!

    For hosting your script, I would really recommend github ( )
    It will be easy for other people to fork, then contribute, improve, or adapt your script, discuss issues, and even submit pull requests back to you so you can merge their fixes or improvements into the master branch :)

  5. I'm trying this on a fresh and updated Linux Mint 12 install. When trying to install Gimp I'm getting the following:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    gimp : Depends: gimp-data (>= 2.7.5) but 2.7.4-2011102201~oo is to be installed
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

    I did not use your script I was going step by step.

    1. Sorry, I got this after receiving an error when doing the :GIMP-RAZOR: section. During this step I realized that Gimp was not installed.

    2. Sorry, after I completed the rest of the steps (THUMBNAILERS and ODDS AND ENDS) and rebooted, then gimp-data showed up as 2.7.5 in Synaptic. It installed fine after that.

      Not sure what happened.

  6. @ICIUS =: glad it worked for you..

    David Revoy has encountered an error with the Gimp Painter section of the script. This may or may not be a localization issue. So if any international users can try the script and report to me any issues that would be great. It also may be related to an issue I encountered yesterday with the gimp-2.6.11-patched.tar.gz from David Revoy's site where the tar was corrupted. My script ran fine for me in testing today and I did not encounter any of the errors that David did. In order to eliminate corruption as an issue I have decided to move the gimp-2.6.11-patched.tar.gz to my current FTP host. I will be adjusting the script and the blog to reflect this when I am done with the process. Also, the script will be recieving another change. With the version changes occuring it has been shown that monolithic naming conventions are a problem. From now on the script will be followed by the standard version tail and I will be adjusting the blog to reflect this as well. This should eliminate any future version conflicts or confusion as this is a moving target and I want it to be as EASY for you as I can make it..

    1. Now that Gimp 2.7 installed I am having issues running it. Getting the following error:

      GLib version too old (micro mismatch)

      GIMP requires GLib version 2.30.2 or later.
      Installed GLib version is 2.30.0

      Somehow you or your software packager managed to install GIMP with an older GLib version
      Please upgrade to GLib version 2.30.2 or later

    2. There may be an update failure occuring. Which gimp is giving you errors? 2.7 or 2.6.11? 2.7 is being updated regularly a since it is in beta. They may have rolled into a new version sine I posted this. I will investigate later today to see if I need to add a new repo to cover any dependencies with GIMP RAZOR.

      Thank you for the report. We are using unstable and beta repos that means as time progresses we will run into these things.

    3. This is Gimp 2.7 giving the error. Gimp 2.6 is working fine. I certainly understand that this is bleeding edge stuff and things can change. Just reporting back to you so you have some feedback on the process :)

      Thanks for this great work and your quick replies. Much appreciated!

    4. Ok I ran MintUpdate and now window decorations and all of the menubars are gone.

      I think I'm going to start over and reinstall 12 again. Just so I'm clear, after a fresh install and before I run your steps, should I allow MintUpdate to bring everything up to date first?

      Also do you prefer I run your steps manually or would you like me to try your latest script?

      Let me know if there is any other information you would like me to collect as I go through the process again. I'll wait for your reply before proceeding.

      I'm dual booting the 12 system with my existing Mint 11 system so I can do this several times with no issue.

    5. At this point you should probably be using the Script. The blog post step by step is more informational than perfected. There may be some lurking typos in the step-by-step. The script is king now. It is also pretty important to me that more people use the script and discover any bugs so that I can fix them. This mornings latest bug-fix I hope gets me really close to being complete. The more people who use it and report the faster I can perfect the script.

    6. Cool, I'll get started. Should I let MintUpdate update everything after the install and before running your script?

    7. I did the fresh install and ran MintUpdate. When running your script, it stopped here:

      Section Completion: Repository Correction and Addition
      Reading package lists...
      Building dependency tree...
      Reading state information...
      Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
      requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
      distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
      or been moved out of Incoming.
      The following information may help to resolve the situation:

      The following packages have unmet dependencies:
      gimp : Depends: libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.31.2) but 2.30.0-0ubuntu4 is to be installed
      E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
      Section Intiation: GIMP-2.7-beta Installation

      Installing Gimp-2.7-Beta
      Reading package lists...
      Building dependency tree...
      Reading state information...
      Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
      requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
      distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
      or been moved out of Incoming.
      The following information may help to resolve the situation:

      The following packages have unmet dependencies:
      gimp : Depends: libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.31.2) but 2.30.0-0ubuntu4 is to be installed
      E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
      cp: cannot create regular file `/home/XXXXXX/.local/share/applications/gimp2.desktop': No such file or directory
      Error detected 1. Please look just above this text and see if you can see anything that looks like it may be an error message.

    8. Just some additional info. I noticed that the script got to the above error very quickly, like within seconds. To me this said that the "apt-get dist-upgrade" couldn't possibly have run.

      When I went and did a manual "apt-get update" it threw an error about the GPG For the Tridex PPA.

      Only after I ran "apt-get install mate-archive-keyring" was the GPG error resolved.

      After that I was able to successfully run "apt-get dist-upgrade"

      However, still getting the libglib2 dependency error for Gimp.

    9. Sorry for the delay in response Icius. We have identified the issues. It is funny how one error can spawn many issues that distract when reality there is one glitch that spawned the others. I am currently in testing with another point release. It will be available later tonight. I was unable to access my linux terminal today so I was unable to do any corrections or testing till now. It has been a busy day with me being pulled to sites that I normally do not serve and hence I was far from my tools.

      I am working as hard as I possibly can and kick myself for ever glitch or over sight. I want to provide in the most immediate way possible a solution for Linux Artists, that works. I will be very happy when we are done with testing and can say for sure.. YES this works and it is universal use it and produce art you artists of the world!

      For those of you who have been disappointed, I hope that you come back on release. I want to help you, I want my script to service your needs. The blog is educational, the script is productive. Soon, very soon.

    10. No worries at all mate! I think what you are doing here is awesome. I gave Kubuntu the old college try, but I just couldn't swallow it. Guess I'm a Gnome man. I'm going to format and set up a fresh Mint 12 again so I can test your new script. Let me know if there is any other way I can help.

    11. Icius, I am proud to announce RC1. I think we got the current issues beat. I am sure with time I will need to adapt to changes in the very advanced repositories we use but that is expected and anticipated in how I wrote the script (to be easy to maintain). Check it out and let me know what you think.

    12. I was able to do another fresh run over the weekend and I'm happy to report that it installed perfectly. I had a little trouble after rebooting the first time with MATE not coming up, but I think it had to do with my graphics card/drivers specifically. I uninstalled and reinstalled my drivers and it was fine after that.

      Super work! Thanks for all of the help and support.

  7. Update to Script and BugList Published. Script on FTP is up to date.
    One current outstanding bug.

    Blog has been updated to reflect script-naming change for better tracking. All links are up-to-date.

  8. Thanks Nathaniel,

    The gtk2microsolve is really a cool fix. Thanks a lot for it.
    I prefer this time comment here than on mail box, because after all this last days of test and all reinstall and our rich mail sharing it's first time than now everything works 'out-of-the-box' ( not tested the last addition for gtk from a total blank system, but I assume it's ok, as all other parts are ).

    Congratz for the RC1 , and thanks for all the fix and all the works around it.
    I hope other user will have a good experience with it. And I also hope the script will still work as well during a long period.

    1. Thanks David. I may spawn out a separate page to cover the 1.0 release to avoid confusion with a link pointing back here. But I would like to wait to hear back from Roy and Icius and anyone else who is still alive before I move to a Release Page. That way we can link it back to your blog so that your blog points to a nice clean and up-to-date posting with maybe a grand-fathered link to the "in-depth explanation of this blog post linked back as well" for the brave.

  9. I also updated my blog post :
    Removed long text, kept the essential and centered around the script, I also added screenshots from just after a raw install ( feel free to use them if you want ).

  10. David found a small bug in KDENLIVE. MLT-SDL error. The fix is easy peasy. For those of you who have installed already with the RC1 script just execute the following in a terminal and you will be up to date.

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sunab/kdenlive-svn sudo && apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    This has been added to the release script, which, if no other bugs are reported by tomorrow will be posted. Future looking, expect breakage at some point. We are on the edge in nearly every repository giving you the absolute latest versions I can give. That comes with a fact that every developer in Linux knows: Regression. Regressions happens, you will probably run into some over the coming months. I will be maintaining the script so don't worry. Point releases will continue as bugs or errors crop up as this distribution matures.

  11. Given that you've developed this in and for x64, what are the chances of getting this to work on x32 ?
    I've an 32bit install of Mint12 at present and wondering how far to take this....

    Which bits of this process are x64 dependent ?


    1. Pete,
      Two things diverge this from x86:
      1. Testing, This has not been tested on an X86 build and there may or may not be gotchas that I don't know about.
      2. Package Names in the Script. The package names for the Kernels and a few "fix a problem" packages in the script are targeted at x64.

      Changing the package names is half the step. If you wish to do so you may and then you become my first x86 tester :)

      Starting tomorrow I have a long holiday weekend and will be using that to test my *buntu and KDE 4.8 varients of the script. Remember that the step-by-step on this page is out of date and the script is the primary and up to date method.

  12. I think the fact the I'm on 32bit and running GNOME desktop and already have functioning GPS and MyPaint will tend to make me stay where I am for now.
    Although I am sorely tempted to get the latest beta of Krita up and running...

    decisions decisions !