My Ubuntu Manual
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Table of Contents
- Getting Started
- Video Drivers
- Adobe Flash Player
- Multimedia Codecs
- Restore configuration files
- Preferences and Administration
- Double click
- Power Management
- Installing fonts
- "Well known" user directories
- Places menu
- Writable shared folder with Samba
- Seeing startup messages at boot time
- Date & Time
- Add-On Applications
- Packet-writing file-system for CD
- Google Desktop
- Ubuntu 10.04 = Lucid
- Ubuntu 9.10 = Karmic
- Ubuntu 9.04 = Jaunty
- Ubuntu 8.10 = Intrepid
- Ubuntu 8.04 = Hardy
- Ubuntu 7.10 = Gutsy
- Ubuntu 7.04 = Feisty
- Ubuntu 6.10 = Edgy
- Ubuntu 6.06 = Dapper
- Ubuntu 5.10 = Breezy
- Ubuntu 5.04 = Hoary
- Ubuntu 4.10 = Warty
Resize Windows partition to give more space for Ubuntu
There are several live CD distros out there that have
gparted with a GUI
interface, or tools such as Parted Magic.
Before resizing partitions, you might make things easier by booting Windows and using its built-in tools to reduce the size of its page file and to defragment its partition.
Shrinking an NTFS partition is a lot easier when that partition has been defragmented.
Installing Ubuntu 10.4 (Lucid)
To install Ubuntu, boot with the CD "Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop i386". Choose "Start or install Ubuntu".
Wait for the system to be ready.
Click on the "Install" icon, which will ask for:
- the language used for the installation process;
- your location;
- your keyboard layout;
- how to partition the disk;
- which documents and settings to migrate;
- your name, login and password and the name of your computer.
It's then ready to install!
Prepare your partitions
"Manually edit partition table" launches the Partition Editor
- Delete all the old partitions (are you really, really sure?).
Create at least 2 new partitions:
/mount point, and
512 MB swap should be enough for any desktop system with 512 MB RAM or more.
Consider adding more swap if you are running applications that really require much memory, like VMware for instance. 2 GB is more than generous for a swap partition, then.
Here, I have:
- a swap partition of 2048 MB (sda1),
- a reiserfs partition of 91053 MB (sda3) for the / mount point, and
- a reiserfs partition of 5453 MB (sda4) for the /var mount point.
# sudo fdisk -l Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes Disk identifier: 0x67224d98 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 1 249 2000061 82 Linux swap / Solaris /dev/sda2 * 913 3523 20972857+ 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/sda3 3524 14593 88919775 83 Linux /dev/sda4 250 912 5325547+ 83 Linux
Search for hints in the
dmesg output, like "try …".
Go to "Administration" -> "Hardware Drivers". Activate the driver "NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (version 185) [Recommended]", and restart the PC.
Go to "Preferences" -> "Display".
"It appears that your graphics driver does not support the necessary extensions to use this tool. Do you want to use your graphics driver vendor's tool instead?" Yes. NVIDIA Xserver settings.
sudo aptitude install bash-doc
sudo aptitude install rxvt-unicode
Get zsh to replace bash by default
sudo aptitude install zsh zsh-doc chsh -s /bin/zsh <username>
Check that you username is associated with
grep <username> /etc/passwd
Procedure for Cygwin:
- Install the zsh package
- Stop all cygwin processes.
From command prompt, start ash:
Run the following command:
PATH=/bin rebaseall -v
Adobe Flash Player
sudo aptitude install flashplugin-nonfree
Install the "restricted extras" package:
sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras
To play DVDs, you also need to install
sudo aptitude install libdvdcss2
Restore configuration files
sudo aptitude install subversion cd ~ # rename the bash skeleton files (otherwise they conflict with my version'ed # ones) mv .bashrc .bashr.orig mv .bashrc_logout .bashrc_logout.orig # rename the Public folder (that I'm using in my versioning) mv Public/ Public.orig svn co http://svn:81/svn/users/fni/MundaneumHome/trunk/ .
Note - Don't get the bad idea of putting the
.subversion directory itself
as well in SVN, even if you customized some of its files…
Find your IDE chipset
# lspci | grep 'IDE' 00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) IDE Controller (rev 03) 00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801FBM (ICH6M) SATA Controller (rev 03)
Find your wireless chipset
# dmesg | grep ipw ipw2200: Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200/2915 Network Driver, 1.2.0kmprq ipw2200: Copyright(c) 2003-2006 Intel Corporation ipw2200: Detected Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection ipw2200: Detected geography ZZD (13 802.11bg channels, 0 802.11a channels)
Sound with HDA Intel (Alsa mixer)
WARNING!!! Some channels for the ALSA driver are muted by default:
Master 81 Headphone 81<>81 PCM 100<>100 Front 81<>81 Front Mic 0<>0 (muted) Line-in 0<>0 (muted) CD 80<>80 Mic 0<>0 (muted) PC Speaker 54<>54 (muted) Mono 0 (muted)
You would use ALSA mixer to set the appropriate volume.
from lsmod cat /proc/asound/cards cat /proc/asound/modules
Preferences and Administration
In Kubuntu, to enable double-click (instead of single-click): Go to "Kmenu" -> "System Settings" -> "Keyboard & Mouse" and click on "Mouse" in the left hand menu, and then choose "Double-click to open files and folders - select icons on first click".
When closing the lid of my laptop, I expect my computer to go into standby automatically (called suspend in Ubuntu), which means it shuts down all other hardware but the RAM. When reopening the lid, the computer is therefore ready for use almost instantly.
Installed via Automatix.
Installing Vista Fonts in Ubuntu
See http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/2007/09/16/installing-vista-fonts-in-ubuntu/ to add Consolas.
Installing Lucida TrueType fonts
sudo aptitude install sun-java6-fonts
"Well known" user directories
~/.config/user-dirs.dirs to change the defaults. For example:
XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop" XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Desktop" XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Personal/Templates" XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Public" XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Media/Documents" XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/Media/Music" XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Media/Pictures" XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Media/Videos"
You can modify or add new entries that will automatically appear in the
"Places" menu by editing the
file:///home/sva/Documents file:///home/sva/Music file:///home/sva/Pictures file:///home/sva/Videos smb://russell/backup/manbck/fni/MUNDANEUM/home/sva sva smb://frege/d$/Users/Mvb Mvb smb://192.168.2.16/backups/ backups on 192.168.2.16 smb://192.168.2.16/music/ music on 192.168.2.16 smb://192.168.2.16/activefolders/ activefolders on 192.168.2.16 smb://192.168.2.16/movies/ movies on 192.168.2.16 smb://192.168.2.16/photos/ photos on 192.168.2.16 smb://192.168.2.16/public/ public on 192.168.2.16
Writable shared folder with Samba
VirtualBox offers the option to access folders of your host from within your guest system, what is called shared folders. Although it is working most of the time, it has a slow transfer rate.
An alternative way to access shared folders between guest and host systems, is to completely by pass the built-in shared folders facility of VirtualBox, and use SMB/CIFS directly over a private network connection between the host and guest system.
Seeing startup messages at boot time
If you want to enable the scrolling list of startup steps below the Ubuntu
logo, edit the file
splash, but remove the
quiet for those kernels where you would like to see visual
See The Linux BootPrompt-HowTo for more information about all the possible boot time arguments.
Date & Time
Right-click on the Date and Time widget, choose Settings and set the configuration to "Keep synchronized with Internet servers". If NTP support is not yet install, you will be asked to install it.
Alternatively, type the following command:
sudo aptitude install ntpdate
You can confirm that
ntp is working fine by running a few of the
commands that are described in the NTP Toolkit.
Add the Keyboard Indicator applet to your panel:
- Right-click on an empty space on the panel where you want to add the applet
- Click "Add to Panel…"
- Choose "Keyboard Indicator" from the "Utilities" section
- You can now right-click on the "Keyboard Indicator" to manage your keyboard layouts.
Optionally change the shortcut used to switch the keyboard layout, by choosing another option in the "Keyboard Preferences" menu -> "Layout Options" -> "Group Shift/Lock behavior".
- Common keys
Go to "System" menu -> "Preferences" -> "Keyboard Shortcuts" to find the keyboard shortcut editor. Many of the common multimedia & control keys should be predefined, and if they aren't you should be able to assign functions to them through "Keyboard Shortcuts" very easily.
- Bind commands to keys
gconf-editor(from the menu under "Applications" -> "System Tools" -> "Configuration Editor").
gconf-editor. You will see among others:
If you click on
global_keybindings, on the right pane, you can assign some entries for
run_command_1and so on, like:
These have to be filled up with the relevant keysym for your key (like:
XF86MyComputer, etc). Use
Then you can assign the matching command (or script) under
This should add Emacs key-bindings to a solid number of applications:
M-! gconf-editor <RET>
- Navigate to "Desktop" -> "Gnome" -> "Interface"
Set it to the value
Gnome Terminal shortcuts
To edit the keyboard shortcuts for the gnome terminal, open the "Edit"
-> "Keyboard Shortcuts" menu, and remap copy to
Ctrl-C (for example)
and paste to
How to install a new printer?
sudo aptitude install cupsys cupsys-client foomatic-filters
To manually add a network printer (bypassing Samba), just navigate with your web browser to your local CUPS (http://localhost:631, by default) and:
- "Add a Printer"
- "Name" it: "C510"
- Select the "Device": "LPD/LPR Host or Printer"
- Select the "Device URI": e.g. "lpd://10.10.10.248/ps"
- Select the "Make": "Generic"
- Select the "Model": "Generic PostScript Printer Foomatic/Postscript (recommended) (en)"
The added printer is described in
- lpstat -p
List all available printers
- lpstat -p C510
Display printer status information
Creating Saved Options
A full list of the options supported directly by the spooler is available from the CUPS web site.
Saved options are supported in CUPS through printer instances. These
are copies of a printer that have certain options associated with them.
lpoptions command to create a printer instance:
lpoptions -p C510/2up -o number-up=2
User defaults and instances are created in
See The Must-Have Freewares.
Before anything else, for the sake of security, backup the original
sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.orig
Automatix is a free graphical package manager for the installation, uninstallation and configuration of the most commonly requested applications.
It massively simplifies the installation of a whole range of multimedia codecs, burning and ripping software, file sharing software, email clients, VoIP enabled chat clients, browsers, encryption software and a lot more!
This is a fantastic tool that all first-installations of Ubuntu should download and run!
Simply download the
.deb, install it, and it will make a few additions
/etc/apt/sources.list file, and then it presents an extremely
easy to use and intuitive GUI, much like Synaptic does!
Alternatively, you could use EasyUbuntu, an easy to use script of the same kind that gives the Ubuntu user:
- the most commonly requested apps (VoIP, etc.),
- Xvid codecs,
- MS fonts, and
- tweaks that are not found in the base distribution.
wget http://easyubuntu.freecontrib.org/files/easyubuntu-latest.deb wget -q http://medibuntu.sos-sts.com/repo/medibuntu-key.gpg -O- |\ sudo apt-key add -
You could as well generate your own
/etc/apt/sources.list file with:
Update and upgrade:
sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude -y dist-upgrade
Click "reload" in Synaptic or run
aptitude update any time you change
- Recommended packages
Packages that are almost always found with a specific package, but are not actually required for its use. By installing them, you can avoid having to know about "magic" packages and almost always install all related tools at one time.
- Suggested packages
Packages that may make another package more usable.
By default, none of the APT tools install recommended packages, but
synaptic have built-in support to auto install recommended packages.
aptitude, use the –with-recommends command-line option when
installing or upgrading packages.
synaptic, select Settings -> Preferences -> General, and click the
check-box labeled "Consider recommended packages as dependencies".
Otherwise, you can automatically install the recommended/suggested
packages by installing the
sudo aptitude install wajig
Then, based on your choice, you can use one of the following commands
installr Install package and associated recommended packages installrs Install package and recommended and suggested packages installs Install package and associated suggested packages
So, for example, if you want to install the Apache package with all its suggested and recommended packages, issue the following command:
sudo wajig installrs apache
To install rpm packages on Ubuntu systems, use alien.
sudo aptitude install alien
Packet-writing file-system for CD
sudo aptitude install udf-tools
On your keyboard, hold down the alt key and hit F2. Enter