Sunday, February 25, 2007

13 Things to do immediately after installing Ubuntu


In this article i describe some of the things to do immediately after installing ubuntu on your machine . Since most of the people reading this would be shifting from Windows to Linux with a system dual booting so i would focus more on making transition easy from Windows to Linux.

1. Enabling/Adding Extra Repositories
Ubuntu comes by default with only some of the repositories enabled because of licensing issue since downloading certain codecs and apps may be illegal in some countries so you have to enable these repositories/add new repositories to enable installation of these packages.

To enable new repositories go to (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager ) , type in the root password .Then Go to (Settings -> Repositories ), there enable all the check-boxes to enable all the repositories you need .

Also for installing some apps extra repositories are needed since they are not in the default repositories so go to third Party and add the following there

deb edgy main main-all
deb edgy main main-all
deb edgy main main-all

deb edgy-seveas all

After doing this exit Synaptic Package Manager Fire up Console and type the following command to import GPG keys .

wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -
wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

After doing this your system should be ready for installing extra application.

2. Installing ntfs-3g
ntfs-3g this is necessary if you have a ntfs drive in your computer ( Usually Windows XP installs on NTFS drive) and you want to read and write data to the drive you have to install this .

This can be installed as following type the following at the command prompt

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

sudo apt-get install ntfs-config

Then type the following command

gksu ntfs-config

This is automatic configuration of ntfs-3g , enable read , write support and it should be configured.

these commands would back up fstab file if configuration goes wrong.

sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.bak
gksu gedit /etc/fstab

Now one more thing you want your windows (NTFS) drive to be mounted automatically add the following entries to /etc/fstab

/dev/ /media/ ntfs-3g defaults,locale=en_US.utf8 0 0
Where /dev/partition is the partition which is NTFS drive , in my case /dev/hda1
/media/ this is just the directory you want to use as a mount point where windows drive would be mounted , you can very well use any drive you like.

now Restart ubuntu your windows partition should be working well.

3. Making Windows see your Linux partition

Windows XP lacks support for reading and writing files to Linux file system however external utilities like free Ext2 File system for windows allows Windows XP to read and write files to a Ext2 , Ext3 file system however ReiserFS file system is not supported .

You can get Ext2 file system for windows at the following link : -

4. Installing flash-plugin

Macromedia Flash player is not installed by default but since we would be surely needing it while browing the net , installing it is necessary
it can be installed by following command

sudo apt-get install -y flashplugin-nonfree

5. Installing Microsoft True Type Fonts
If you are making a jump from windows to ubuntu you would surely miss the true type fonts that Windows uses , since Microsoft has released them free so they can be installed without a hitch in ubuntu (Though not distributed with Ubuntu) .
sudo apt-get install -y msttcorefonts

6. Installing unrar

RAR is one of the very widely used archives on Windows , however unrar tool to decompress RAR is not shipped with distribution and has ti be installed manually.
sudo apt-get -y install unrar 

7. Installing mpg123
mpg123 is a very nice command line based mp3 player that can play mp3 files even on a slow processor based computer , further installing this provides a way of playing mp3 files from within the nautilus file manager . Hence i recommend installing mpg123
sudo apt-get install -y mpg123

8. Installing Adobe Reader
Though ubuntu comes with default evince reader for viewing pdf files , but i am sure you would like to use more complete version of pdf reader Adobe Reader 7.0 which is quiet professional and
more robust , the Linux version of Adobe Reader 8.0 has not been released but the version 7.0 is available and could be downloaded from the following website : -

9. Installing DVD playback support
Now this is a contentious issue , in some countries playing DVD files through DEcss is illegal so use it at your own will , anyways to enable dvd playback issue the following command at the command line : -
sudo aptitude install libdvdcss2

Note : the above commands would only work if you have added the repositories i had mentioned before the Seveas repositories.

However if you do not have these Repositories installed issue the following command to install the DVD playback support : -
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/./

10 . Installing the extra multimedia codecs,players

Now you would surely want to install all the codecs for playing various media files and the players primarily xine,vlc,mplayer issue the following commands to install the multimedia codecs.

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-pitfdll gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-gl gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse libxine-extracodecs w32codecs
vlc mplayer

This command would install most of the codecs for gstreamer multimedia architecture and vlc media player and Mplayer , as well as the dll files codec (w32codecs) for decoding various files whoose open source decoder are not available.

11. Updating the system

After installing Ubuntu you would surely like to update the system so that all the packages on the system are up to date to new version of the software .
It can be done by following steps , go to (System > Administration > Update Manager)Now press the Check button and then Install updates to start the installation of updates to the ubuntu system.

12 . Installing beagle
Now Ubuntu does not come with beagle pre-installed maybe because it is still not a final 1.0 release still it is very nice and efficient for searching files and directories on Linux providing features similar to Google Desktop Search and Mac OS Spotlight anyways to install beagle issue the following command at command line :
sudo apt-get install -y beagle

13. Installing gdesklets
gdesklets gives user a collection of impressive widgets that can be placed on desktop this is similar to feature available on Windows Vista and Mac OS X , it does provide quite a good look to the desktop.

To install gdesklets issue the following command at the command line
sudo apt-get install -y gdesklets
after installation go to (System -> Preferences -> Sessions) There go to Start up program and add gdesklets shell , now every time gnome loads up you should see your gdesklets on the desktop.

This is how my desktop looked like with all the desklets (Widgets )

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