Why You Should Replace Linux Mint Google Search in Firefox

I recently was did an important search using the default custom Linux Mint Google search on my computer and I was not happy at all. First of all I realized that the search was inadequate and disappointing. I noticed that it was so filtered that it crippled my research as the results where horrendous.

I figured this out because someone asked me to “just Google” them and well I got nothing in return. I let them know and they freaked out and did a search and reported back to me that I’m crazy they are definitely listed. So I went to Google.com and did the search from there and true, they where there! I felt somewhat cheated.

I understand that Linux Mint get financial help from having this custom Google search but I value my information and it seems a bit censored to me. So I found a solution to easily change it without messing with any computer files at all. It is an easy fix done all in Firefox.

How To Do it:

-> FireFox Search Bar  -> drop down menu select  -> Manage Search Engines -> Get More Search Engines -> Search for “Google Language EN” -> Install it.

As the post said it will give you all the functionality you should expect from Google without totally replacing the option of occasionally using the Linux Mint Custom search to help out the developers.


It was pointed out to me in the comments that there is an issue with the suggestion query option (auto suggestions as you type) in that it was not showing results I have tested the following extension and has fixed this for me. If you have a similarly named search engine already you will see a pop up during install all you have to go into “manage search engines” as stated above and remove the original search engine and try again. You can find the Google search engine with suggestion query option here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/67149/

It wouldn’t hurt if you do this option to do as the poster did and donate to Linux Mint.

You can find the original post where I found the solution here


12 thoughts on “Why You Should Replace Linux Mint Google Search in Firefox

  1. Linux Mint is superb for newbies, and the XFCE community edition is excellent on older hardware.

    But for ETHICAL reasons I won’t ever use or recommend Linux Mint. For THREE reasons:

    1 – While nothing they have done is illegal, and there is really no such thing as plagiarism in the world of Free and Open Source Software, Linux Mint seems completely plagiarized. Linux Mint is “Ubuntu with green paint” and multimedia codecs pre-installed. Other apps which are supposedly unique to Mint also appear to have “plagiarized.” MintMenu, for example, looks suspiciously like a green version of Gimmie (see http://beatniksoftware.com/gimmie/Main_Page). Take the Number One Linux distro, change a little artwork, take Canonical’s name off of it and put your own name on; add a few multimedia codecs (of questionable legality in several countries like the United States and Japan) and other apps borrowed from elsewhere, and bingo! You’re a “Linux developer.” Now all you have to do is make a deal with Google and rig it up as an automated fund-raiser. Perfect. Make money and gain fame with your new “distro.” Linux Mint is an Ubuntu remix, not a true distribution.

    2 – Following “the Great Linux Mint Political Train Wreck” (see http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2346637,00.asp), Linux Mint has become an infamous project associated with anti-Semitic terrorism.

    3 – Because merely USING Linux Mint raises money for the project (thanks to the default automated fund-raising Google search feature), it is reasonable to assume that if the “developer” is a man of conscience who puts his money where his mouth is, that a portion of those funds may be used to benefit Hamas and other terrorist groups in the so-called “Palestinian cause.”

    Sorry. Great Ubuntu remix though it is, it is distasteful at best because of its politicization, and unworthy of the GNU/Linux community.

    • Hello robinzrants,
      I appreciate your comments. I will respond briefly to them.
      1.Linux Mint has never tried to deny the fact that they are a derivative of Ubuntu as Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian. Either way it is still a distro. My understanding of all that happens in the Open Source Community is to share and grow. Projects are meant to fork, change and evolve. There should be no negativity involved. Under Wikipedia’s Definition Linux Distributions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_distribution : Linux Mint, a distribution based on and compatible with Ubuntu

      2.Ok. I followed this controversy as it happened. In his comments the statement was directed towards the Israeli Government and it’s supporters in regard to the plight of the Palestinian /Arab (Israeli) civilians caught in the mire. Not in support of Hamas. But against all terrorism and unnecessary hostility affecting innocent people caught in the middle. In those posts their where Jewish Israeli Citizens who understood the difference in the comments. Any way too much politics and it was pointed out and accepted that his views or any personal political views for that matter did not belong in that forum. I couldn’t find the original comments but the closest run down as I remember it can be found at the bottom of this site. http://www.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=89108ber

      3.The Google search fix is widely known on the forum I just didn’t want to go that route. I found this easier solution and used it. I was disappointed at the lack of search results not the fact that it allows Linux Mint to raise money. That is why I suggested one donate if they chose this route.

      Thanks again for your comments and take care.

  2. Linux Mint is simply gorgeous, and I’ve heard that the Xfce Community Edition is one of the very best implementations of Xfce in ANY distro.

    The Mint Search thing is so easily fixed that it should simply not be an issue – certainly not enough to prevent someone from using an awesome distro. It would only be a “show stopper” if there was no way to fix it. But it’s Linux! Infinitely configurable.


  3. You said:

    “…it will give you all the functionality you should expect from Google… ”

    No, it won’t. If you do as you suggest, you lose the ability to show search suggestions. In other works, as you’re typing in the Google search field, no suggestions will pop up in the drop-down box. I haven’t been able to figure out a way to restore that capability. It appears that the Mint developers have crippled that important feature, and offered no instructions on how to get it back.

    • Hi Bob,
      Yes, I did say that I hadn’t noticed that the suggestion query option was not working. It seems to be a search add-on problem not a Linux Mint problem… I did a quick search and found this explanation from one of the search add on developers: “Google Suggest is language-specific and this add-on is aimed at people of any nationality who simply prefer using google.com or want consistency while they travel.
      I uploaded a version of this add-on with English suggestions from Google Suggest (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/67149/). It says it’s experimental, but it’s exactly the same as this one except for the suggestions. Don’t forget to have the “Show search suggestions” switched on in the “Manage Search Engines…” options panel if you use it.”
      I’ve tested it and it works. If you have a search engine with the same name as I did. It will not install until you remove it. Just click under manage search engines and remove it and install the one from the link above. I hope this helps you.

  4. Thanks fosslinuxland. Before I read your post, I figured it out. Your way may work too, but here’s what I did in case it might help others:

    –First, download a google.xml file that will produce an original google search. I got one here, but you can find the same thing at Mozilla and several other places: http://pastebin.com/f7fe72c2a

    –Then I replaced the google.xml files in the following two directories with the one I downloaded. You’ll find these two paths mentioned on many sites, but those sites leave out one important step that took me a long time to find. Anyway, replace the google.xml files in the following two directories:


    –What you WON’T find on most of the instructions online is a third place where you must replace the google.xml file. If you don’t replace this one, the crappy Mint search may re-appear when you reboot. So replace this one and you should have complete functionality (including “search suggestions”) that will survive rebooting:


    That’s it. Now I’m back to a fully functional google search.

    • Thanks Bob for posting this for other users. I have done this method before and the article was written as an easier way to change the default search without having to do it this way. But either way it may be useful to others and I appreciate you mentioning it.

  5. One thing I forgot to add in my post above… if you download the google.xml file at the site I linked to, click the “DOWNLOAD” link and just rename the file to “google.xml”. Don’t copy/paste or you’ll end up with the line numbers in there (which you don’t want).

    • Thanks for the fix, Bob. I’m new to Linux Mint, hence the revival.

      Thanks to Fosslinuxland for the article. I always remove the search bar, though.

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