Build a multimedia workstation on Mint/Ubuntu

 

Don’t trust those who say you can’t have the latest versions of softwares or build a complete multimedia station on Linux distros, it is absolutely wrong.

 

Yeah, I know : Typing commands could be boring , but it is just a matter of habits and anyway, it is an essential part of good Linux use to learn some of them.

Note : This method works for both Mint and Ubuntu users, but do NOT use it if you use a pure Debian, it could break your system for good.

Let’s start :

Firstly, and in case of issues after an update, it would be more wise to have the ability to boot on a previous version of the kernel. But when you don’t have a dual-boot with a Microsoft product, for example, the bootlader (Grub) doesn’t display, so you have to tell grub to show up on startup :

Open a console and type :

sudo xed /etc/default/grub

Your root password will be asked, no worries if it diplay nothing while you are typing, it is normal.
Note : Of course, replace « xed » by your favorite text editor (nano, gedit, vim, geany, etc.)

Now, go to :

GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0

And add a « # » before the line like this :

#GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0

Save and exit
Note : Another solution would be to add a value>0 (not less than 10) and then holding down the Shift key on reboot, but from my side, it did not work and displayed an error.

Once done, and still into your console, type :

sudo update-grub

Now reboot your pc, Grub should be displayed. Select the 2nd option and choose the kernel you want to boot on.

Installing the latest versions of your drivers for your graphic card :

If you are a multimedia user, or a gamer, you certainly would want use the latest proprietary drivers available, Here is how to achieve this :

First, add a PPA (Personal Package Archives) to your source of softwares, open a console and type:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa

Then :

sudo apt-get update

Close the console then, in your Mint/Ubuntu menu, go to Administration → Driver manager and make sure to select the proper driver.

Important :
During a kernel update, it is necessary to reinstall the open source driver. Indeed, dpkg has configured the module for the current kernel, so, if you don’t reinstall the open source driver first, you could have a black screen on reboot.
Installing softwares latest versions :

Blender :

First, to be sure you can use Cuda (Nvidia), you have to add the user (ie: yourself) into the « video » group :

sudo adduser <user> video

Note :
– It could be also usefull to install nvidia-modprobe (which is not a dependancy and depends of the hardware)
– For some addons like « Animation Nodes », Python3-numpy must be installed.

Then into your console :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thomas-schiex/blender

Validate, then :

sudo apt-get update

Install now :

sudo apt-get install blender

GIMP :

Into your console :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp

Validate, then :

sudo apt-get update

Install :

sudo apt-get install gimp

Krita :

Into your console :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kritalime/ppa

Validate, then :

sudo apt-get update

Install :

sudo apt-get install krita

Audacity:

Into your console :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/audacity

Validate, then :

sudo apt-get update

Install :

sudo apt-get install audacity

OpenShot Video Editor :

Into your console :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openshot.developers/ppa

Validate, then :

sudo apt-get update

Install :

sudo apt-get install openshot-qt

VLC :

Into your console :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily

Validate, then :

sudo apt-get update

Install :

sudo apt-get install vlc

Done ! You got now a fully functional multimedia station. Neverheless, think to not add too much PPAs to you system, it could lead to its instability.

Note : I did not add Rosegarden because this one have to be compiled from source to have the latest version. Maybe into another tutorial…