9 Things You Need To Do/Install After Installing Ubuntu 9.04

After you have downloaded and installed Ubuntu 9.04, what is next thing you should do?

Getting Ubuntu onto your hard disk is only the first step. It is still in the raw and unpolished state. To get the best out of it, you really need to configure and customize it to suit your needs. In part 3 of the series, I am going to go through the important things that you need to do after you have got Jaunty up and running.

1) Enable the repositories

Every time I do a fresh install of Ubuntu, the first thing that I do is to enable the universe, multiverse, backport and Canonical’s ‘partner’ repositories. These repositories open up new application choices and allows you to install popular third party software easily and quickly.

Go to System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager.

Click on Settings -> Repositories.

Checked all the boxes.

synaptic-repositories

Go to the Third-Party Software tab. Check all the boxes too.

Close the window and press the Reload button at the top left corner to update the repositories.

2) Modifying GRUB menu

The GRUB menu is the black screen that you see when you boot up your computer. You can easily modify the setting, including whether it is hidden or how many seconds before it boots up. One of the useful application that allows you to modify your GRUB menu easily is Startup Manager

Before you modify your GRUB menu, it is best to  back it up.

Open your Startup Manager, here is where you can change the timeout, how many kernel entries to keep and show/hide the grub screen.

startupmanager

3) Configure Firewall

If you are concern about your security, then it is pertinent that you activate the firewall and prevent any unauthorized access to your computer.

UFW is installed by default, but if you need a graphical interface, install GUFW.

gufwl

Alternative to GUFW is Firestarter which is a simple but powerful app that allows you to monitor your traffic

4) Wine

Wine is a must-have application for those who can’t live without their Windows applications, It allows you to install your Windows application in your Ubuntu machine and run them like native Windows apps.

Once you have installed Wine, remember to run the configuration (Applications -> Wine -> Configure Wine) before attempting to install your favorite Windows app.

5) Ubuntu-Restricted-extras

Can’t listen to MP3? Can’t watch Youtube video? Can’t run Java? Don’t worry, all you need to do is to install the ubuntu-restricted-extras package and it will install all the necessary files/codecs for you. Some common applications in the package include MP3 codec, Adobe Flash player, Java runtime and Microsoft core fonts.

6) Ubuntu Tweak

Ubuntu Tweak allows you to tweak your system settings, all in one place. You can install new applications, customize your desktop settings, configure your startup applications, changing the system filetype association and many more tweaks in this single application.

ubuntu-tweak

To install Ubuntu Tweak, first open your sources.list files

insert the following lines to the end of the file. Save and close.

In the terminal, update the repository and install Ubuntu Tweak

7) VLC

After trying out several media players, including Totem and MPlayer, I still prefer VLC for its great support for almost any kind of multimedia format out there.

8) Gnome Do

Gnome Do is a small application that allows you to search and do things faster and more efficiently in your Ubuntu machine. It is similar to QuickSilver in Mac and Launchy in Windows. For those who have not tried Gnome Do before, it might take some time for you to get used to it. But once you’re hooked to it, there will be no turning back for you.

Gnome Do also comes with a dock interface that you can use it like any other docks.

9) Eye candy

Some people like to have nice beautiful effects on their desktop while others may just want a minimal desktop. If you belong to the former, here are some applications that you can install to beautify your desktop.

  • CompizConfigSettingsManager: The  configuration manager for Compiz. Inside you can find lots of interesting (and useless) desktop effects.
  • Avant Windows Navigator, Cairo dock – Mac OSX style dock for your desktop
  • conky, GKrellM – display system setting on your desktop.

Conclusion

This is not a list about the popular applications out there that you should have, but a list of basic stuffs that you need to have for better performance. Initially, I wanted to include more of my favorite apps such as Songbird, Thunderbird, Adobe Air, VirtualBox, Filezilla, Checkgmail etc, but I find that they are more of a personal perferences rather than a must-have for everyone. If you favorite application is not in the list, do tell me about it in the comments.

73 comments

  1. Gnome-do is horrible. Do you like 30mb of ram being taken up by a rather simple feature? Uninstall gnome-do. Gnome-do is cool and all, but for all it’s fanciness for a rather simple task takes up 30mb of ram. Yay…

    Download grun, install, map grun to whatever key combination you want and does the same thing as gnome-do. Grun doesn’t take up much memory, i doubt past a megabyte. After that grun doesn’t need to run all the time in the background (something gnome-do shouldn’t need to do). Just hit your preferred key configuration that you binded grun too, and do the same thing you normally do with gnome-do.

    • Gnome-do does a lot more than launch simple programs. If you just want to do that, why wouldn’t you just press Alt+F2 instead of installing grun, unless you’re using something like IceWM?

    • Looks as if you only know whining.
      Why cry when 30MB of RAM is being used? 30MB isnt much for these days. If you don’t need Gnome Do, then uninstall it.

      Gnome-do may not be perfect, but you called it horrible. Looks like either you out of senses or you are simply a troll.

      • Look at all of your responses to this article, Manish. Every one of them would fit the definition of ‘trolling’.

        You need to try and express your opinion without insulting people.

  2. Lastly, why use ubuntu tweak? You have everything all in one place to tweak system settings and blablabla right inside of the system menu at the top of the screen.

    Ubuntu tweak in this is just stupid.

      • Sure, gnome-do can be handy. I’m not a troll, just criticizing how much memory it needs. It needs just as much memory as a single tab in firefox at google.com.

        Still, why use ubuntu tweak. You fail to realize that ubuntu tweak is just retarded in idea. Look at it, i just see the system menu in ubuntu being presented in a program. Why would people need a second system menu when they already have one.

        You answered my gnome-do question just fine. Who cares that i called gnome-do horrible, if you read my post i present why i don’t like it and what i did as an alternative.

        You didn’t answer my ubuntu tweak question. You couldn’t get past the fact that i called ubuntu tweak stupid. I did present why i find ubuntu tweak to be stupid. How about an answer? I’d really like to know as i’m curious.

        Again i’m not a troll. If you can’t handle me making some critical analysis of your recommendations, then turn off comments for everyone as you’ll get constructive criticism in the future from others. Don’t act so offended because i don’t like two programs that you use.

        • Don’t forget that Ubuntu is made not for people who know Linux, its also for people who havnt ever heard about Ubuntu ever. Ubuntu Tweak can be very handy in this case.

          Agree it or not, I have many friends just converted to Ubuntu and quite a lot of them cant even figure out properly how to change settings. “Ubuntu Tweak” is just “Mandriva Control Center”. That is the reason I supported it.

          I second a thought that if most of the newbie arnt able to do something which is still present in GUI, then it should be marked a bug. Easy accessibility is another big factor, Ubuntu’s system menu is not so friendly. There are three references to Printer – “Printing”,”Default Printer” and “Manage Print Jobs”. An all-in-one thing wont harm.

  3. I’d like to be like Shamil and have such strong opinions about such things ? Shamil, do you really think your way is the only good one?

    Thanks Damien for this article!

    • So you like gnome-do. OK, that’s fine. Nothing wrong with critical analysis. I did present why i don’t like gnome-do and ubuntu tweak at least.

      My opinion still stands for ubuntu tweak. It’s just a system menu already found in ubuntu. Idk why people would want this, recommend it, or even make it when they can just use the system menu.

  4. I love gnome do. I’m not too worried about 30mb of ram being used, and the docky feature is quite nice. I also enjoy Ubuntu Tweak, which is an amazing program for all the linux noobs out there.. and there are a lot.

  5. You might want to add the repo key before installing the ubuntu-tweak

    sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com FE85409EEAB40ECCB65740816AF0E1940624A220

  6. Hello
    Nice article.
    Small error in the Ubuntu-restricted-extras part
    You wrote “ubuntu-estricted-extras”, it lacks an “r”.

  7. A good addition to this would be installing the graphics card for Ubuntu 9.04 and don’t forget to include sli with that.
    ———————————————————–
    For a lot of people it might simple, but to us ubuntu noobs this is a real issue. The problem Ive hit so far with ubuntu, because most every time after the install and a reboot later, you start ubuntu with a text screen. login:______ password:_____, then it says thankyou for loggin in, but you are still caught in a text line.
    I don’t have the same issues with opensuse, just ubuntu. I recently printed out the ubuntu pocket guide and when I get some time I’ll jump back into learning ubuntu again.
    I guess having both video cards in when I install the driver could be causing it,but I don’t know. Lack of information or troubleshooting on installing nvidia video drivers is an issue, not sure about ati.
    Just a thought, thanks

    • Txnnok: If you’re booting up from command line, all you should need to do if it’s not booting to the GUI is type ‘sudo gdm’ and it should drop you there. If it says that you need to install ubuntu-desktop, it’s probably because you installed the ubuntu-server package.

      You can permanently enable it in the Administration Menu under Services. Make sure ‘gdm’ is checked.

      • thankyou Rob for the response. I tried what you said and it said that the gdm is already running. I guess I’m gonna have to break down and hit the forums. I haven’t done it yet, I’m one of those that reads the forums and tries different things first before asking.
        Oh, I did notice that before it got to the command line, it said no resume image, booting to normal boot or something like that, should have wrote it down.
        Something is happening or I’m not doing something right when I install the nvidia driver before I reboot.
        Thanks for trying. I am getting in the mood again to try. I’ll probably reinstall this weekend and hit the ubuntu forums.

        • If it says it’s already running, it sounds like you’re just on another TTY. Try pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7 when you get to the log-in line; see if that works.

        • Don’t worry about no resume image. It just means that you are not starting up from ‘suspend’.

      • I’m not sure that’s reliable advice. Most often when I’ve found gdm was running yet I could only get a command line, it was because of a driver issue or xorg.conf not being configured correctly for the video card and monitor combination (the latter is usually a result of the former).

        If you’ve got an Nvidia card, check the Nvidia site for instructions; you can download and install the driver from the command line. After installing it, I’d suggest installing “nvidia-settings” afterwards as well so set resolutions and positions of multiple monitors if you have them.

        If ATI, similarly you can go to their site for instructions. You’ll probably also want their Catalyst Control Center (I can’t remember if it’s installed alongside the driver or not).

    • I think you meant “slower-than-XP” but either way, it’s about 500 times better than XP is. For the record it runs faster than XP ever did on my 5 desktops and 3 laptops.

      9.04 is a grand improvement to a great OS. While I don’t use a lot of the stuff on this list, I think it’s a good one especially for people unfamiliar with Ubuntu.

  8. I just think gnome-do is quite over done for a run dialogue. It does more than just a run dialogue, but in particular it tries to complete what your typing and will show suggestions if it doesn’t know what you’re looking for. Also, 30mb of ram for a run dialogue that does two other things still seems overkill. 30mb of ram may not be that much of system usage today, but how many other ordinary programs need to get inflated also?

    After that, why use ubuntu tweak when you already have everything for tweaking the system settings inside the system menu.

  9. I just wanted to answer shamil’s constant whining on here about Ubuntu Tweak. I have news for you, Ubuntu Tweak is much easier to do a handful of things that are not just available in the System Menu. I can tell all you’ve done is looked at the screenshot, which doesn’t even give you any detail. Ubuntu tweak actually saves a step in enabled restricted extras at the command line, as there is an option in Ubuntu Tweak. In addition there are many other items in Ubuntu Tweak that are not simply available to most untrained Linux users like myself. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable in the PC realm, and I get a lot of working with Linux, but there are things that Ubuntu Tweak just makes that much easier for me. So that being said go download something and use it, before you knock it shamil. Thanks!

  10. Nice guide or tutorial or whatever you call it.

    Just as an additional thing. Installing repo from launchpad will be a bit tricky for beginners like me because it need public key. Though launchpad.net provide a video tutorial, I find it not very helpful for newbies. I have watched it more than ten times and yet still didn’t understand it.

    I managed to find another guide (and forgot where did I find it) and successfully install several repo from launchpad.net. I think you (Damien) should write some good tutorial on it.

  11. Shamil – just shut up! Please!

    It seems you only take your foot out of your mouth in order to put the other one in.

  12. Don’t forget about virtualbox. Why would you want to use wine when you can install windows to run those critical apps without all the trouble of setting up vmware.

  13. How many of these posts are there going to be? They’re all the same no matter what version of Ubuntu is out.

    Are the Ubuntu users that hard up for anything interesting happening in their distro after the failfest that was 8.10?

    With that little criticism aside, do you wanna know what I used to do whenevr I installed Ubuntu back when I still used it? It’s not too different:

    1. Enable repositories, including Medibuntu.

    2. Install codecs. I mean all of them. MP3, WMA, Flash DVD Playback, etc. Install proprietary nvidia driver

    3. Remove Mono and install Mononono. I don’t want that Microsoft-IP encumbered garbage on my computer, thanks. I don’t need it anyway since I use nothing that makes use of Mono anyway.

    4. Download the latest Kildclient source, install build-essential and a few development packages and compile it.

    5. Install Flash.

    6. Done! I don’t set up Pidgin or anything else since I always have a separate home parition, meaning all my stuff is intact.

    Now I use Arch. It’s quite a few more steps, but Arch is much superior to Ubuntu. Faster, smaller, more stable, and I have more of a say of what is on my system than on Ubuntu.

  14. Why you all picking on Shamil? He presented his opinion pretty well, I thought. Seems as if anyone that disagrees or presents a negative opinion is a troll. That, my fine friends, is bull shit.

  15. “Why you all picking on Shamil? He presented his opinion pretty well, I thought. Seems as if anyone that disagrees or presents a negative opinion is a troll. That, my fine friends, is bull shit.”

    I agree. I don’t like GnomeDo all that much. It doesn’t seem like that much of a time saver and all-too counterintuitive. Anything that requires a keyboard to invoke, then to take my hand from the keyboard to the mouse is not as time/energy saving or “user friendly” as one might think. Anything that lets me keep both hands on the keyboard is good, like the standard built in run dialog.

    There’s also the fact that Gnome Do uses Mono. To me, Mono is bad. You may disagree with me, but there’s technical and legal reasons why I think it should be avoided.

    The biggest technical reason is that it’s simply another high-level and unneeded dependency, which can result in an increase of troubles, bloat, and maintenance.

    Legal reasons? While “legitimate” I can’t help but be suspicious of a technology Microsoft willingly offered up to the Linux crowd… you know, the same community Microsoft has been threatening with patent litigation for years in the hopes of taking control of numerous distributions? I feel that Mono and Moonlight are just tainted code waiting to spring on the naive developers who actually think they’re useful.

  16. Ubuntu is for those that can’t handle Slackware, Fedora, SUSE, etc. I swear it’s the dumbest down distro I’ve ever seen.

      • Well said Manish!

        Linux’s weakness, if there is one, has always been the tech-level requirement for the user. This Ubuntu just gets us a bit closer to the eventual replacement of the Windows operating system…. and before anyone goes Window-ballistic on me, keep in mind that MS did NOT make any money on Windows this year. It LOST money. Again.

        • If anyone thinks that Ubuntu being dumbed down is bad, then please be in your camp and don’t cross into Ubuntu’s camp.

          There is one more freedom – freedom to think your own way and implement it. Just because any is tech-savvy doesn’t mean everyone on this world is so.

          Keep this in mind — Dumbing down the distro isn’t bad. If Ubuntu can find the codecs it needs to play video, then it isn’t dumbing down, infact it is helping the end-users.

          Amarok makes music management a breeze, so is it a dumbed down?
          People should stop using the word “dumbed down” as a derogatory word. It is used by those people who live in basement 24X7 and don’t know what a non-techie actually requires.

        • “If anyone thinks that Ubuntu being dumbed down is bad, then please be in your camp and don’t cross into Ubuntu’s camp.”

          I call it bad because it makes no effort to allow to the user to learn. It goes out of its way to make it so the user uses Ubuntu, not their computers.

          It also means that the developers focus more on features and less than debugging or actually improving the software. Ubuntu 8.10 was horribly bad because of this, it was probablt eh worst version of Ubuntu I have ever used, and 9.04 was basically spent cleaning up from a general lack of QA applied for three straight versions (7.10, 8.04, and 8.10).

          One thing I liked about Arch was it was simple from a technical perspective, and it is a rolling release, which means instead of wasting most of the dev cycle on features, they just add new versions of stuff as they find it works well enough on as many of the devs’ computers as possible.

          As a result I find Arch way smaller, way faster, and way more stable than Ubuntu.

          “There is one more freedom – freedom to think your own way and implement it. Just because any is tech-savvy doesn’t mean everyone on this world is so.”

          No. ARCH is all about implementing stuff your own way. It just installs the core. Ubuntu installs loads of crap you don’t want or use. You ONLY start with a text browser, BASH, and the standard system tools. Stuff you think is “essential” in Ubuntu are extras installed from the repository. Because of this, Arch has a lot of flexibility Ubuntu can’t really muster. I can fashion arch into a desktop installation, or a server installation, or anything in between and beyond.

          Too many packages in Ubuntu have dependencies that aren’t really dependencies, meaning you try to remove something that was perfectly safe, say, in Arch, is potentially disastrous in Ubuntu.

          “Keep this in mind — Dumbing down the distro isn’t bad. If Ubuntu can find the codecs it needs to play video, then it isn’t dumbing down, infact it is helping the end-users.”

          What you named are not things only Ubuntu can do. In fact, they’re not features of Ubuntu but features of Amarok, Rythmbox, Totem, etc. Stuff that isn’t even Ubuntu-targetted software.

          That’s the problem with Ubuntu users these days is they think the development of Linux software revolves around them. A lot of the so-called new features of “Ubuntu” aren’t really new features of Ubuntu but GNOME from way upstream that Ubuntu users think were made for Ubuntu by Canonical.

          Guess what? I get those features in Arch too.

          “Amarok makes music management a breeze, so is it a dumbed down?”

          If it goes out of its way to take power away from the user, yes. As it happens, Amarok is quite powerful and open-ended for the user… provided you don’t stupidly use Amarok 2. Rhythmbox and Totem ARE dumbed down to try to make things easier, but it doesn’t allow for the user to be self-innovative.

          “People should stop using the word “dumbed down” as a derogatory word. It is used by those people who live in basement 24X7 and don’t know what a non-techie actually requires.”

          If you want to be a non-techie forever, use Windows or Mac OS X, which will not allow you to have full power over your computer for the sake of the “user friendly” myth. Linux isn’t going to pander to the n00b minority. Ubuntu’s great for learning users, but I *only* think it should be a stepping stone to a real Linux as things progress, since Ubuntu does have a lot of screw ups in a lot of areas that the Ubuntu devs refuse to fix.

          You don’t HAVE to use a distro like Arch or Gentoo. I just think users are missing out on REAL Linux by sticking with Ubuntu. Switch to SuSE or Fedora or even Mandriva! Try not to use Ubuntu or its derivatives for a long, long time or you’re barely even going to learn Linux, let alone use it.

        • “”I call it bad because it makes no effort to allow to the user to learn. It goes out of its way to make it so the user uses Ubuntu, not their computers.””
          It is not 1970 that a computer user needs to be a geek. This is 2009. Check your calender. Everyone who uses Ubuntu needs not to learn how it works internally. Why would a lawyer or a banker want to know how Linux works. You are again stuck up in the illusion that Linux users need to be geeks. It is because of this mentality that Linux still has <1% market share. Get over this illusion

          “”No. ARCH is all about implementing stuff your own way. It just installs the core. Ubuntu installs loads of crap you don’t want or use. You ONLY start with a text browser, BASH, and the standard system tools. Stuff you think is “essential” in Ubuntu are extras installed from the repository. Because of this, Arch has a lot of flexibility Ubuntu can’t really muster. I can fashion arch into a desktop installation, or a server installation, or anything in between and beyond.””
          Can you recommend Arch to a newcomer?? The answer is a clear NO. If you think yes, you are suffering from the same problem I mentioned above.

          “”That’s the problem with Ubuntu users these days is they think the development of Linux software revolves around them. A lot of the so-called new features of “Ubuntu” aren’t really new features of Ubuntu but GNOME from way upstream that Ubuntu users think were made for Ubuntu by Canonical.””
          No one thinks so. Those who care know that it is not made by canonical and those non-techies who don’t want to know don’t even care who made it. Guess what, non-techies don’t even know the name of the company named “canonical”.
          The developement of Linux doesn’t revolves around them. This is you illusion. But three most important distros – Ubuntu,Fedora and OpenSUSE which do have a hand in deciding what is the face of Linux. Don’t get jealous that Ubuntu has succeeded. Ubuntu and Arch aim two different communties, it is about comparing Apples and Oranges.

          “”Rhythmbox and Totem ARE dumbed down to try to make things easier, but it doesn’t allow for the user to be self-innovative.””
          Technical Innovation needs to be done by tech-guys or those who have a knack for technology. We cannot expect every Tom,Dick and Harry to do innovation on top of Linux.

          “”Linux isn’t going to pander to the n00b minority.””
          HO HO! Boy… you have the copyright or the mentor for Linux developement who decides to whom Linux caters?? Linux caters everyone and not to whom you decide.

          “”Ubuntu’s great for learning users, but I *only* think it should be a stepping stone to a real Linux as things progress””
          This is what usually happens. It includes those who want to learn furthur the technologies and Linux. No-one sticks to Ubuntu for life.

          “”Try not to use Ubuntu or its derivatives for a long, long time or you’re barely even going to learn Linux, let alone use it””
          As I told above a hundred times, everybody doesn’t need to learn the inner working of Linux to use it.

        • “It is not 1970 that a computer user needs to be a geek. This is 2009. Check your calender. Everyone who uses Ubuntu needs not to learn how it works internally. Why would a lawyer or a banker want to know how Linux works. You are again stuck up in the illusion that Linux users need to be geeks. It is because of this mentality that Linux still has <1% market share. Get over this illusion”

          And please tell me when Linus Torvalds or any of the real Linux developers said they cared if Linux got more popular?

          Also it’s theorized by a lot of folks that the <1% is a huge underestimation of the Linux desktop base. Take into account there’s no real registration of Linux, and Linux is freely redistributable. A lot pundits are starting to say it’s actually closer to 5 to 10%.

          “Can you recommend Arch to a newcomer?? The answer is a clear NO. If you think yes, you are suffering from the same problem I mentioned above.”

          Actually, there’s plenty of cases on the Arch Forums and Linux questions that shows PLENTY of Linux newbies actually jump directly to Arch. A lot of these cases are of people who don’t have any actual technical skill, but can actually just follow directions and ask questions. Ubuntu may make it so they won’t need to follow a HOWTO or ask questions, but that hardly means Ubuntu is the only one accessible to newbies. And I can choose what is installed or not from the CD, too. Take this in combination with having only the core and you have a setup that beats Ubuntu, which sets up a lot of garbage, probably the worst of which is Pulse Audio in Ubuntu’s case.

          So, yes, I *can* recommend Arch to a newcomer, provided they are intelligent enough to read directions. (Arch has a WAY more informative and helpful Wiki than Ubuntu, btw.)

          “The developement of Linux doesn’t revolves around them. This is you illusion. But three most important distros – Ubuntu,Fedora and OpenSUSE which do have a hand in deciding what is the face of Linux. Don’t get jealous that Ubuntu has succeeded. Ubuntu and Arch aim two different communties, it is about comparing Apples and Oranges.”

          I DIDN’T say it revolved around the Ubuntu users. That’s the UBUNTU USER’S attitude. It’s why Debian users tend to hate Ubuntu because the devs and users like to act like Linux development revolves around them.

          I am far from jealous of the success of Ubuntu. I switched FROM Ubuntu because I felt it was garbage.

          Yes, they have a hand in development of Linux, yes. But not as much as Red Hat, HP, IBM, or volunteers. Most distros only contribute what they think would help with their own work.

          Also, Ubuntu has a poor track record of upstream contribution. Another thing a lot of Debian users hate Ubuntu for. And I did see this firsthand on the Ubuntu forums. Whenever I actually spoke my mind on the Ubuntu Forums about a major problem well within the devs abilities to fix and send upstream, I invariably got from users and devs alike: “That’s Debian’s job.”

          Arch aims at the community of anyone who wants to play it. It’s not that hard to use, especially if you just follow the Beginner’s Guide which says, in detail, how to get Arch up a friendly setup. Arch is probably used mor elike a desktop OS than a showoff OS. And it is much faster than Ubuntu using roughly the same software.

          “Technical Innovation needs to be done by tech-guys or those who have a knack for technology. We cannot expect every Tom,Dick and Harry to do innovation on top of Linux.”

          Why not? Isn’t that the actual spirit of free software was that anyone who wanted to could do it? Ubuntu stifles this by wiping their users’ ass for them, almost Mac style, and not encouraging exploration of the system.

          “HO HO! Boy… you have the copyright or the mentor for Linux developement who decides to whom Linux caters?? Linux caters everyone and not to whom you decide.”

          And who said I decided that? I sure as hell didn’t. Sure, Linux caters to everyone. That’s my point. My point wasn’t that few upstream dev are targeting SPECIFICALLY newbies. When it happens, you get bloated and limited crap like Totem, whereas with those who don’t try to cater to them produce the good stuff like Amarok 1.4.

          This can get bad when they try to get too advanced and complex. KDE suffers from this.

          My point with my first post in that paragraph though is that Linux is *not* for the brain-dead point-and-click mass of morons who swear Windows and Mac OS X are “easy” simply because it prevents them from getting the real use of their computers. There’s a difference between using a computer and using a system distribution, one of the biggest of which being how far the SD goes to shield the user from the system so that they can’t even have the option of doing much. Ubuntu goes a little too far.

          “This is what usually happens. It includes those who want to learn furthur the technologies and Linux. No-one sticks to Ubuntu for life.”

          As a talking point, the converse often happens, though. I’ve seen cases of Slackware/Gentoo users switching to Ubuntu, probably because Gentoo compiles everything from source, which can take a while, and Slackware lacks an actual packaging system, which also basically equates to compilign everything is slow. My opinion is they’d be happier on Arch than Ubuntu, it has the awesome rolling release model of Gentoo, the simplicity of Slackware, and a binary-based package manager. Gives them the power they want without the glaring disadvantages of the other power distros.

          “As I told above a hundred times, everybody doesn’t need to learn the inner working of Linux to use it.”

          That actually wasn’t what I meant by “learning” Linux. It’s just that the style of Ubuntu so separates it from Linux it’s hard to tell where the user actually can say he’s using Linux as opposed to an attractive, eay-to-use frontend to it. Ubuntu shields the user too much, shows little transparency so that the average Ubuntu user probably can’t grasp if they’re actually using Linux or not and, if they’re interested, explore it.

        • “”Also it’s theorized by a lot of folks that the <1% is a huge underestimation of the Linux desktop base””
          I take it to be less so that we can target more.

          “”Take this in combination with having only the core and you have a setup that beats Ubuntu, which sets up a lot of garbage, probably the worst of which is Pulse Audio in Ubuntu’s case.””
          You have the time and expertise to compile everything. Get the base and build a system on top of it. This surely makes it better but everyone doesn’t have time for doing all these. When I need to get something dont, I need a distro which I can install and with a few commands it is ready for my work. All the work is done within an hour and I get back to work. I and many more people don’t have time to compile and tweak modify right from the start. I install additional stuff, tweak settings only when required.

          “”So, yes, I *can* recommend Arch to a newcomer, provided they are intelligent enough to read directions””
          You have heard – “Time is Money”. Even if they followed directions it takes alot of time to set up a working system on Arch which is a turn off for a newcomer. I too like Arch a lot, as you pointed out that newbies do use it, those are quite less of all the total converts to Linux.

          “”Also, Ubuntu has a poor track record of upstream contribution””
          Not Ubuntu, bring Canonical which has the responsiblity. Canonical isnt making profit. RedHat and Novell make heavy profits from Linux as they work in server side and leave the desktop thing to community. They just give enough money to make sure it doesnt die. OTOH Canonical invested a lot in Ubuntu. Yes! It’s main area of target is desktop, which is a no-no for RedHat and Novell. RedHat has said that it doesnt know how to make money from desktop Linux and still Canonical invested money in it. Since RH and Novel make profit they have a obligation to contribute to the kernel and upstream. Canonical isnt making profits. Again it will have to bear this when it makes profit.

          “”Why not? Isn’t that the actual spirit of free software was that anyone who wanted to could do it? Ubuntu stifles this by wiping their users’ ass for them, almost Mac style, and not encouraging exploration of the system.””
          You are keeping on ranting the same and same and same thing. How many time have I to answer the same thing?? Everyone is *NOT* tech-savvy and we cannot expect them to hack their systems. Just give em a working system.

          “”shows little transparency so that the average Ubuntu user probably can’t grasp if they’re actually using Linux or not and, if they’re interested, explore it.””
          If a user is really interested in tech, he will go and explore it himself. You need not tell him. OTOH he doesnt like technology, no matter how much you tell him to explore, the result will be ZERO

  17. Thanks for this informative article.

    I just have one question, which is a little bit off topic. Can you tell me the name of the GTK theme shown in the screenshots. I really like this one. Unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to find it at gnome-looks.org.

    Thanks in advance.

    greetings
    Jakob

      • Thanks a lot for your reply. I am actually using Gentoo, therfore I did not realize it is theme already included in the current ubuntu :).

        I really like this new sleeky look an feel.

        greetings
        Jakob

  18. Hey i have a problem . . . I just installed jaunty . . And i need to get startup manager and the restricted extras . . But i dont have the internet . . So if you guys could tell me how to do it it will be a lot of help . . And if some parts are absolutely necessary from the net i can in to a cafe and download them but ill need help in doing that too because im a complete newbie . . And i would request you to give me a step by step method because im not familiar with linux lingo as yet . . Many thanks in advance . .

  19. ** this post is for ubuntu users, so other distro users like Arch, etc should just stay out.

    ** since Ubuntu IS FOR NORMAL USERS, you know, LINUX FOR HUMAN BEINGS. You should stop hitting it because it doesn’t teach users anything. It does, and it depends on the user too. Ubuntu will be like, the new user’s stepping stone toward a more advanced and developer-inclined distribution. you shouldn’t push Arch and praise it and put it on a pedestal to a new from-Windows user trying to learn. You shove it up his ass later when he knows what you’re talking about.

    ** if you have nothing good to say other than whining, just shut up. whine in your own camp, not here.

  20. “** this post is for ubuntu users, so other distro users like Arch, etc should just stay out.”

    Except the article is playing fast and loose with the term “Ubuntu” here. Except for maybe two of these entries, these aren’t even Ubuntu-specific apps. If it weren’t for those two apps, I’d be hard put to say this is even a genuinely Ubuntu article.

    “** since Ubuntu IS FOR NORMAL USERS, you know, LINUX FOR HUMAN BEINGS. You should stop hitting it because it doesn’t teach users anything. It does, and it depends on the user too. Ubuntu will be like, the new user’s stepping stone toward a more advanced and developer-inclined distribution. you shouldn’t push Arch and praise it and put it on a pedestal to a new from-Windows user trying to learn. You shove it up his ass later when he knows what you’re talking about.”

    Ubuntu is a Linux that teaches users bad Linux habits. It doesn’t really involve the user in that much of a decision. It preinstalls stuff that Canonical assumes you want. In most cases they’re right: (Firefox, OpenOffice, GIMP, etc.) in many cases, dead wrong (Anything using Mono, Pulse Audio, etc.) And I’ve seen plenty of cases for new-from-Windows users going straight for Arch.

    But my point was that Ubuntu should be a stepping stone originally. My problem is when so many Ubuntu users seem to think Ubuntu is the be-all end-all to Linux when most Linux power users will tell you, strenuously, in fact, that Ubuntu is pretty far from an ideal Linux distribution even for new users. The sixth month release cycle brings about QA issues as Canonical forces releases out at the end of the cycle whether they’re ready or not (Which is why 8.10 was as sucky as it was, chock full of showstoppers and clearly not finished by the time it got rushed out the door.), it’s slow and bloated, the default look remains as ugly as it was back in 2004, and did I mention that Ubuntu is among the least “choicy” Linux distributions out there?

    And I still believe to this day that Ubuntu would be thousands of times better if it ditched the six-month cycle and went rolling release. It’s no less user friendly, and QA can go on as long as it takes individually for each package. I hate to tell you Ubuntu users this but Ubuntu is not and never has been the most up to date distribution out there. IIRC you’re two versions behind on the Linux kernel (2.6.28, whereas Arch is already up to 2.6.30.1, and if you don’t think that matters then you have no clue how much goes in and out of the kernel at each release.) and various other packages.

    “** if you have nothing good to say other than whining, just shut up. whine in your own camp, not here.”

    That’s funny, I don’t see the word “Ubuntu” in the domain for this web site. This is not the Ubuntu camp any more than it’s the Arch Camp or the SuSE camp. All I see is “Make Tech Easier.” It doesn’t even imply this is actually a Linux centered site. So I’ll go ahead and voice my opinions:

    Ubuntu is great for green, newer than new users to learn the basics of Linux. It sucks all-around as a serious Linux distribution because it wipes the users ass and doesn’t encourage learning much beyond scant basics. It enforces the fear of the command line by providing more and more GUI frontends for everything so that Ubuntu users won’t learn anything “real” about Linux. All the Ubuntu users know is “System -> Administration -> Software Sources” and not “sudo vi /etc/apt.d/sources.list”

    Sure, it seems easier, but when they meet a lot of Linux users who cut their teeth by actually jumping in and mucking with Linux a la Arch, they’ll be at the bottom of the Linux skills heap and forever dependent on the community to solve even simple problems.

    Arch may not be the mythical “user friendly.” But at least it actually gets the user a lot stronger in Linux than Ubuntu ever will. And frankly, I think it’s foolish to use Ubuntu just because of a lower learning curve. You had to learn Windows, too, remember.

    Myself? I cut my teeth on DOS long before there was Windows, ever since I was three. I know people are more capable of distributions like Arch even with moderate experience, and Ubuntu takes the position of pampering people just because they’re afraid of a LITTLE learning. Ubuntu sends the message “you’re not ready for the command line, you’re not ready for the real Linux” even to people who, in my (likely more than you) experienced opinion are more than capable of starting with Arch or Gentoo or Mandriva or dozens of much better alternatives to Ubuntu.

    To me, your comment reeks of bitterness that Ubuntu is not perfect and anyone pointing out its flaws even in constructive criticism is bashing it. Ubuntu is not the best distribution. Get over it. At least I’m not in the more extreme Linux circle of “Ubuntu is just plain bad for Linux.” They’d have torn you a new one just for the last line of your comment.

  21. this whole ongoing argument is funny

    you can both probably agree that:

    Linux > Windows

    and even agree that:

    Ubuntu > Windows

    So then you can both agree that Ubuntu obviously bridging the gap between Windows and more complicated and modifiable Linux distros. Ubuntu does one thing well, it leads people away from Windows. Most people just want a functional OS, and Ubuntu does that for them. But those interested in delving deeper into Linux can and probably will switch to other distros such as Arch, while those that are comfortable with Ubuntu and Linux Mint and the like can just enoy their non-windows computer.

  22. Directly from the Arch Wiki:

    Arch vs Ubuntu

    Ubuntu is an immensely popular Debian-based distro commercially sponsored by Canonical Ltd., while Arch is an indepedently developed system built from scratch. If you like to compile your own kernels, try out bleeding-edge CVS-only projects, or build a program from source every once in a while, Arch is better suited. If you want to get up and running quickly and not fiddle around with the guts of the system, Ubuntu is better suited. Arch is presented as a much more minimalist design from the installation onward, relying on the user to customize it to their own specific needs. In general, developers and tinkerers will probably like Arch better than Ubuntu, though many Arch users claim to have started on Ubuntu and eventually migrated to Arch. Ubuntu moves between discrete releases every 6 months, whereas Arch is a rolling release. Arch offers a ports-like package build system, ABS, while Ubuntu does not.

  23. Yaro Said:
    “Ubuntu is a Linux that teaches users bad Linux habits.”

    Better to have bad habits for using Linux than excuses for avoiding it. And, even to this day, I hear people say “it’s too difficult” or “too steep a learning curve” every time I mention it… at least, those who had tried it several years ago and decided they didn’t like it. The ones who hadn’t tried it took the word of those who had. The damn thing is a meme that’s hard to overcome without something simple and easy-to-understand to show for it.

    Shamil Said:
    “Why use ubuntu tweak? You have everything all in one place to tweak system settings and blablabla right inside of the system menu at the top of the screen.”

    Some people don’t like to use menus, and will appreciate having a “control panel”-esque utility to use instead. Why have steak when you can have potatoes? Then again, what’s wrong with both?

  24. hey….. your tutorial was very useful….. but i want to no how to install apache server in linux.

    • Step one: Get a REAL server Linux distribution. Ubuntu stinks as a server. I’d recommend Red Hat, Cent OS, or Debian.

      • Ubuntu is great. I use both Ubuntu and Arch. Flash video in Ubuntu is so much better than in Arch – in Arch I have found it slow and can freeze the system. I like both but prefer Ubuntu.

        Arch is like seventies Prog Rock: “Cools” prentended to like but every one else preferred ABBA – look how that turned out.

        But however Arch is great when you haven’t got a girlfriend to waste your time with.

  25. Hi Damien
    I just want to express my heahtfelt appreciation for helping me & others who are now comes so to speak to this beautiful desktop experiance, i started off on windows, i have frnds who use mac & its cool but “linux is it” thus far its the best i can see it goin very far, cause it is what a lot of people are looking for in a desktop the os leaves alot to be desired if i should take liberty in saying so, but thats why i hope the comunity comes together and pefect this thing, leave mac and windows behind, i jus love it, since i have installed linux on my my HP laptop i’ve hav to install it over & over again cause of some bug or compiz keeps freezing up, but i doh mine, lol i will keep doin so till the system is perfected sa it were cause no os is perfect, anyway thanks again & i will really like to know how to install the latest cairo dock, kiba dock & open suse, chould you help me? thanks again! Edwin…………

  26. damn bunch of whiners..don’t be jealous because a 14 year old can pretty much do with Ubuntu what you spent learning in how many years?lol
    Thanks to the OP!

  27. “damn bunch of whiners..don’t be jealous because a 14 year old can pretty much do with Ubuntu what you spent learning in how many years?lol
    Thanks to the OP!”

    Your argument is very flawed. It’s basically saying “Because Ubuntu found a generic way to do common tasks from a GUI it must be superior to all the others.”

    The problem with Ubuntu is that it puts too much stake in GUIs, which any person with any technical knowledge (Clearly not YOU or the people quick to label Ubuntu’s critics as “whiners” simply because they can’t take the truth that Ubuntu is hardly the best distro.) can tell you that a GUI doesn’t allow a user to get specific about HOW to do things. They’re very generic. While GUIs may work well for your hypothetical dopey 14-year old, they will never, ever, get the most capability out of the task they’re meant to perform.

    A command line on the other hand, offers hundreds of tools and capabilities a GUI simply can’t by their design. A CLI offers stdin, stdout, stderr and pipes (Something that a GUI by its very nature cannot implement.), commands that offer dozens if not hundreds of arguments and features that a gUI can’t take advantage of.

    Name me a task you think a GUI can do and I’ll show you a command in a CLI that can do it better.

    And no, it doesn’t take “years” to learn this stuff. Its as easy as reading the manual or even peering onto sites that aren’t afraid to chuck their reader into a command line.

    You can’t do with Ubuntu what I can do with Arch. You can’t do with any DE what you can do with any UNIX shell.

    And labelling us “whiners” is a classic example of losing the argument via ad hominem. You didn’t offer any real argument as to why you can do more powerful things from a GUI in Ubuntu than a shell in all the other superior alternatives to Ubuntu.

    Am I against GUI’s? No! In fact, I’m typing this from KDE 4.3 right now. GUIs make things simpler. But do they make things more effective, efficient, or powerful? No! GUIs can’t touch the level of flexibility and automation that a command line can. You can’t script a GUI (The closest you get are “Nautilus” scripts, which are actually shell scripts that accept arguments from Nautilus. It’s still being run in the background from a command line the user cannot see.). You can’t send the results of one operation directly to another program. And you simply cannot do tasks to the relative scale of a command line with a GUI.

    Any technical person (Obviously not YOU.) will tell you that the more abstraction between the user and his system exists, the more problems will arise as the user has less and less contol over what the system is actually doing. This is how Windows and OS X actually got to be so less secure and stable. That many more layers of software between you telling the computer to do something and your computer doingit meaning that many more layers lost in translation until the system is a bloated, staggering mess that can’t reliably do anything but the most basic tasks. Ubuntu is headed in that direction. That is how Ubuntu got so bad during the 8 series.

    Yet Ubuntu would have its users avoid the CLI at all costs. This is why users of more advanced Linux distributions, even other desktop oriented ones like Fedora beat Ubuntu in all categories: Speed, size, stability. Why? Because they expect the user tp actually take the reins a lot more.

    Tat is the difference between using your operating system and using you computer: How much control you surrender to your operating system.

    • Yaro,
      I don’t want to say much, but one line can be apt — Don’t go after philosophies. A non-techie does not want to fight with the command-line. They don’t even need all the advanced options, they just need their basic work done right without any problems. That it is.

      I am amazed how you say that Ubuntu takes away the power of CLI from you. You have the command-line with all the debian packages right in the official repos. If you think something is missing, get it. Frankly, I would not recommend you to use
      Ubutu for dev purposes. Dev was not the target for the Ubuntu Devs. Point said.

      Tomorrow go and tell me the A to Z of your car before using it. Take out the steering wheel and operate the engine by hand.

      That’s all. Enjoy!

      • “Yaro,
        I don’t want to say much, but one line can be apt — Don’t go after philosophies. A non-techie does not want to fight with the command-line. They don’t even need all the advanced options, they just need their basic work done right without any problems. That it is.”

        “Fight with the command line?” See, THAT’S what’s wrong with desktop operating systems today, Ubuntu included. People seem to think using a command line is some abhorrently unwieldly thing to use. And its because of operating systems like Mac OS, Windows, and Ubuntu. Before you say “Yeah they’re hard” I’ll tell you that I’ve been using command lines since I was 3. If I was able to know DOS at 3, adults should be able to handle a command line now. The average user loses out on getting the most ot of their system. And I can assure you, before GUIs came about the average user was a CLI user.

        The efficiency of computer use went to crap when people fooled themselves into thinking they were more effective using their mouse than a keyboard. Sad fact is that a CLI user can out-produce a GUI user. Do you know how many CLI equivalencies I can find on Linux? Web browser, IM client, MU* client, music player, etc. Typing commands is not hard. And people like you and CEO overestimate the learning curve by far.

        I was also disputing the “fact” that CEO made about people doing stuff on Ubuntu was equivalent to command line work. It sure as hell is NOT. A GUI can’t touch the usefulness of a command line at all.

        • Yeah. I have also being using command-line for long and love it, but don’t expect everyone to use it. Whenever there is GUI way of doing a thing, there is a CLI way but not vice-versa. A normal user wants a GUI, so Ubuntu are working on that. If they want a CLI, it is right there.

          You can’t blame MAC, Windows to spoil users by GUI. They chose Mac, Windows just because of it’s GUI. So thinking that Mac,Windows are evil because they make people think differently is BS. They also have a right to choose what kind of interface they want.

          I bet, just like you are thinking them of spoilt people, they might also be thinking the same about you. The user has the freedom to choose GUI and CLI. No one can command them or bad-mouth them just because anyone does not like the option they opted for

  28. This is all very cute. Where are the grown ups? I need some help!

    I receive an error when trying to back up my grub:

    ~$ cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu-backup.lst

    cp: cannot stat `/boot/grub/menu.lst’: No such file or directory

    I’m running Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic.

    Thx in advance!

  29. Cute. Grown ups.

    1. First off. You weren’t copying with any sort of root permission, so expect a “permission denied.” But a sudo before the command.

    2. Second off, for whatever reason, your menu.lst is gone. You are no very thoroughly screweed unless you can find a way to get a new one rolled. There might be a backup if you’ve ever edited the menu.lst with a text editor (Which I doubt, considering you were just trying to copy something in a folder you have no write permissions on.), in which case I’d suggest the following command:

    ls menu.lst~

    You don’t have that you’re in big trouble.

  30. Oh right, Ubuntu uses grub2 now. The file you are lookign for is not menu.lst but:

    /boot/grub/grub.cfg

    The guy who wrote this article doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.

  31. Thank you for your swift response! It seems I am to blame. The article was aimed at Ubuntu 9.04.

  32. I'll have to try the Ubuntu-restricted-extras in Ubuntu 9.10 to get the sound to work correctly. I might need this tip for Ubuntu 10.04 also. They changed the codec packages for ALSA sound drivers in 9.10 and will probably be the same in 10.04. It may just be my laptop sound driver that is not compatible with the new ALSA sound codec in Ubuntu 9.10.

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