Preparing for Linux Mint Petra

The release of Linux Mint 16 Petra is right around the corner, so this is a preparation guide for installing Petra over my existing partition and recreating my work environment.

I don’t like posting something without a photo or two, so as a matter of historic record, here’s the desktop image of my current Linux Mint 15 Laptop. Nice, eh?

The next screenshot image you see will be Petra…

Below is the upgrade list I used when upgrading from Nadia to Olivia five months ago posted in Operation Olivia Complete!

  1. Apache for web development configured with PHP5.  MySql, PostgreSQL and Sqlite3 databases.
  2. Ruby on Rails, installed using non-sudo Ruby Version Manager (RVM) to home directory and configured as Gem Sets
  3. Phusion Passenger Apache Module for Rails sites
  4. Both WordPress and Rails web apps running on their own http://localurl
  5. Sublime Text 2 as Development Editor
  6. Ubuntu One and Dropbox cloud storage
  7. Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition, Glx-Cairo Dock, Linux Mint White Theme, Login Icons collection
  8. Chrome, Thunderbird, Polly Twitter Client, Blue Griffon HTML Editor, Shutter Screen Capture, upgrade to Gimp 2.8.6

I’m not doing Rails development at the moment, so I won’t need to install RVM or Phusion. I’m doing Java and PHP work these days and am using IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate instead of Sublime Text.  With those changes in mind, here is my Mint Olivia to Petra configuration to-do list.

  1. Will start with the full LAMP stack with Apache, PHP5, MariaDB and PostgreSQL databases. Yes, I plan on installing MariaDB instead of MySQL in Petra and hope to go MySQL free.
  2. Oracle Java 7 SDK
  3. Migrate several WordPress, PHP and JSP websites and databases on their own local http://host url
  4. Tomcat for Java web projects. Configure Proxy with Apache so Tomcat JSP sites can use their own local http://host urls
  5. Jetbrain’s IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate, my everyday go-to Development IDE
  6. Navicat Premium SQL Administration and Development IDE. Navicat uses Wine so I’ll have to install that prior to installing Navicat. (Must remember to de-authorize both Navicat and IntelliJ licenses to be sure there are no problems re-installing and registering them on a fresh OS.)
  7. Ubuntu One Linux cloud storage client. May eventually install Dropbox and Copy
  8. To keep the same desktop look and functionality I currently enjoy in Olivia I’ll need Glx-Cairo Dock, the Linux Mint White Theme and the Login Icons collection set
  9. Configure Samba to talk to other Linux PCs and my sole Windows 7 PC (which I use less and less)

Here are the applications I’ll either be installing or upgrading once Petra is installed, all of which I use.

  1. Chrome
  2. Thunderbird
  3. Polly Twitter Client
  4. Blue Griffon HTML Editor (which I’m using to write this post)
  5. Shutter Screen Capture
  6. Upgrade to latest Gimp 2.8.x release
  7. Diodon Clipboard Manager
  8. Pithos Pandora Desktop Client
  9. Calibre eBook Manager
  10. UberWriter Markdown Editor
  11. Meld File Compare
  12. Oracle VM VirtualBox

Then there’s the transfer of data files:

  1. Thunderbird email data
  2. SSH Keys
  3. Blue Griffon Custom Keyboard Configuration Settings
  4. Gimp Custom Keyboard Configuration Settings
  5. Filezilla host site ftp info
  6. .bashrc
  7. The bash Scripts I use every day

You may wonder why I would go through this process every 6 months with new Linux Mint releases. There are several reasons.

  1. First, it’s not as big of a deal as it may look on paper.  And keep in mind I do it twice, once on my workstation and a second time on my laptop.
  2. I like the idea of refining the process, of doing it more efficiently with each new Mint release.
  3. Updating the OS in-place instead of installing from scratch opens the potential for problems down the road. A fresh install guarantees NO problems, now or in the future.
  4. Linux Mint’s 6 month release cycle gives me the opportunity to start fresh, of having a clean system with only the applications I use and getting rid of the stuff I don’t. I really like the feeling of cleaning out the old and starting fresh.
  5. Each new Mint release has compelling reasons to upgrade.  In Petra the upgrade to Cinnamon 2.0 and new Nemo File Manager features are reasons alone to upgrade, and there are others. Here’s the official announcement.
  6. And finally, when you have an application or OS that you love to use, investing in the very latest and greatest is a no-brainer.

Next up in the Petra Preparation series will be a more technical guide to installing what’s on this list. add-apt-repository, apt-get install, that sort of thing. Man, is this upgrade going to be efficient!