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How to setup the perfect Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop

29 October 2008 2,878 views 28 Comments

Now that you have Ubuntu 8.10 installed, we are going to add all the basic programs, codecs, and customizations that you may need on Ubuntu.

Services

Your new install probably has some services running that you don’t need. Let’s remove those to free up some system resources. To do this select System > Administration > Services. Unlock the services tab by entering your password. Then remove the services you do not need.

Startup Programs

Next lets disable the startup programs that you do not need by going to System > Preferences > Sessions.

Installing & Uninstalling Programs

Select Applications > Add/Remove to install any programs you may want, and uninstall any programs that you don’t.

System Updates

Now lets customize how your computer notifies you when there are updates. Select System > Software Sources.

Under the Ubuntu Software tab, you can enable or disable the main repositories for Ubuntu. One suggestion that I have is that you change which repository you are using. By default it will use the US Server (or possibly another countries server if you are located outside the US. We want our updates to be as fast as possible and Ubuntu provides a way for us to determine what the best repository server is for us. Where it says Download from: click the arrow. This will bring up a list: choose Other. A new window will pop up with a button on the right hand side that says “Select Best Server.” Click that button and Ubuntu will test the downloads from all the servers and determine which one is best for you. When it is done, the server that is best for you will be highlighted. Click Choose Server to close the window.

In the Third-Party Software tab you can enable or disable any repositories that are not official Ubuntu repositories.

The Updates tab allows you to choose which updates you want to be informed about, and how often you want Ubuntu to check for updates.

Medibuntu

To install all the “goodies” out there for Ubuntu, we need to make the Medibuntu repositories available. To do this, run the following two commands:

sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/intrepid.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

and

sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install medibuntu-keyring -y && sudo aptitude update

Install Restricted Codecs

Ubuntu does not ship with items such as flash, java, and some codecs due to licensing. Let’s enable the backports repository and install these items.

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Locate the following lines and remove the # from the front of them:

# deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ intrepid-backports main restricted universe multiverse
# deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ intrepid-backports main restricted universe multiverse

Now lets update your system and install the restricted codecs.

sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras libdvdcss2 -y

Speed up your system

Even though Ubuntu is fast on its own, wouldn’t you like to make it even faster? Lets install an application called Preload which will monitor what applications you run and then predict what you will run and fetch the binaries and their dependencies into memory for faster startup times. Say that you run Firefox, VLC, and GIMP every day, Preload will keep the libraries in your RAM to load these programs for you faster. This is similar to Windows SuperFetch.

sudo aptitude install preload

Other Programs

Now lets install Adobe Acrobat Reader, Skype, Wine VLC, and Amarok.

sudo aptitude install acroread acroread-plugins mozilla-acroread skype wine vlc amarok -y

Clean it all up

Now that we have finished installing everything, we need to go through and clean up the mess that was made. We do that by running:

sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean

The End

Now you have a fully customized full-featured Ubuntu 8.10 install. Enjoy!

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28 Comments »

  • » How to setup the perfect Ubutnu 8.10 Desktop said:

    [...] Say that you run Firefox , VLC, and GIMP every day, Preload will keep the libraries in your RAM to load these programs for you faster. This is similar to Windows SuperFetch. sudo aptitude install preload. How to setup the perfect Ubutnu 8.10 Desktop [...]

  • seegorkesolot said:

    For me, the two lines

    # deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
    # deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse

    didn’t exist yet.
    So they had to be added.
    Additionally, these are the hardy backports. So I switched it to the intrepid ones:

    # deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ intrepid-backports main restricted universe multiverse
    # deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ intrepid-backports main restricted universe multiverse

    Thanks for the guide!

  • cJ (author) said:

    @SEEGORKESOLOT Thanks.. its been fixed

  • Mr Danger said:

    Many thanks for the article.

    Can you explain a little more what the backports are all about? When i finished that part the update just deleted a few files, and didn’t add any.

    FYI – I have had Ubuntu on for a while now, this is about my third version update so I already have most of this stuff installed, i just need to fix the repositories every time I upgrade. But I don’t remember anyone recommending backports before.

    Thanks

  • cJ (author) said:

    @MR DANGER, You can get more information on backports here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuBackports

  • kensingtoncat said:

    Thank you so very much! Excellent job!

  • Hylbilly said:

    Dude! You saved me hours of frustration! Having moved from Mandriva to Kubuntu, I found this incredibly useful in the transition. Many thanks!

  • Remy Theriault said:

    Excellent, I’m new to Ubuntu… It’s a perfect site for me. I was wondering if someone has been able to install the last version of Elisa Media 0.5.18??

  • Orrin said:

    Hi,your guide is one of the best i have come across.Thank you for the time u have put into it.

    I was wondering if you had a solution to gchat w/video to work ? dont really like skype. I have been able to install empathy, and view the webcam on my end, it just hasnt be able to make any connections to other clients, unless they are on gtalk, which doesnt support video… thanks

  • cJ (author) said:

    @ORRIN, I only use google chat on Pidgin, so I don’t have a clue about the video portion. Sorry..

  • Orrin said:

    thanks anyway, I personally hate pidgin, from what I have read seems like empathy might be the go to app to replace it in future releases. thanks for your great how to!

  • Vance said:

    Hey thanks a bunch for this post. This is an excellent set of recommendations and I now include this procedure with every install that I do.

  • How to setup & Configure Reliance Datacard USB Internet in UBUNTU Linux? - Page 2 - Open Source & Linux said:

    [...] USB Internet in UBUNTU Linux? Thanx. I am trying to download and install as per the guide: How to setup the perfect Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop | Chris Johnston These commands (download n install) are taking hours to complete. And my connection sometimes gets [...]

  • Gene said:

    Best guide I’ve come across yet. Short and simple. Excellent Job!

  • ben said:

    I used chrisjohnston as a protocol (5 CPUs in 5 days) for installing Ubuntu 8.10 to spread Ubuntu in Appalachia. Thank you Chris! Two tips on Chris’s instructions for the novice like me: 1. On installing the restricted extras: When Java screen comes up for acceptance hit tab key to start acceptance questions. 2. After removing the # from the two backports in the sources.list you must hit “save” and then “close” to get back to the terminal prompt for the next step in Chris’s protocol.

  • Dj-toonz said:

    What a life saver, I’ve just re-installed ubuntu 8.10 and forgot how to install java & the the likes, thx

  • elvis said:

    ubuntu n00b so I got stuck when the java box pooped up. I was confused by it reading “configuring sun java etc” and then had “ok” at the bottom.

    So I was like “ok” I’ll just sit here and wait, but then nothing happened…lol….then I accidentally closed the terminal and then got stuck with message when I tried again, “dpkg package was interupted…”

    just type “sudo dpkg –configure -a”

    and you’ll be back in bizness

    thanks for this guide, I don’t quite understand what I’m doing but it’s kind of cool seeing all the numbers and inter workings of my computer.

    So far I LOVE ubuntu.

  • elvis said:

    How do I manually disable services permanently?

    This guy lists things to optimize ubuntu but doesn’t fully explain how to do them.

    http://www.techsopa.com/linux/optimizing-ubuntu-810-boot-speed/

    thx!

  • Robbert said:

    It’s not “sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list”

    sudo is for CLI-applications, use gksu for graphical applications.

    The right command is:
    gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

  • jack said:

    If you are looking for a good MSN client with video and voice features try using amsn.

    Also, if you are bold, try the ubuntu 9.04 alpha. works great for me. Especially fast when you manually configure the installer to make a ext4 filesystem partition.

    These instuctions work for 9.04 with some mods. substitute JAUNTY for INTREPID.

    eg:
    sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/jaunty.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

  • Runix said:

    This is probably one of the best HOW TO I have ever seen.
    Thanks a lot for the time you have put into.

  • chopinscherzo said:

    I’ve been using ubuntu for a while, but there’s some good tips I didn’t know about. Thanks!

    Have people had good luck with wine under ubuntu?

  • Mr.NiceGuy said:

    By doing this do you need to open the add/remove application to actually install or does it directly install all the updated app?

  • Torkiliuz said:

    Actually, it’s Medibuntu, not “Mediabuntu”…
    @Robbert: It does not make it any different if you use sudo instead of gksu, gksu is a “graphical front-end” for sudo…

  • pippin said:

    ubuntu n00b so I got stuck when the java box pooped up. I was confused by it reading “configuring sun java etc” and then had “ok” at the bottom.

    So I was like “ok” I’ll just sit here and wait, but then nothing happened…lol….then I accidentally closed the terminal and then got stuck with message when I tried again, “dpkg package was interupted…”

    just type “sudo dpkg –configure -a”

    I typed it exactly and it now shows Error:Broken count>0
    E:_cache->open() failed, please report.

    I am really stuck what do i do?

  • pippin said:

    i found help in irc
    It is working now.
    Am running the rest of the code now.
    Thanks

  • jeremy said:

    you are the man thank you for doing this for both 8.10 and 9.04 thank you so much

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