Automate Software Installation After Installing Ubuntu

What is the usual thing you do right after a fresh install of Ubuntu? In most cases, it will be sourcing your favorite applications and installing them one by one to your system. This can be a hassle if you have hundreds of applications to install. What if there were a better way to automate the installation of these applications? With a single click you will be able to install your favorite applications all at once, even for those that are not available in your package manager.

Ubuntu After Install is a simple application that does just one thing: Automates the installation of useful extra software on your Ubuntu desktop. Here is how you can automate software installation after a fresh installation of Ubuntu.

To install Ubuntu after install, simply add the following PPA (only available from Ubuntu 12.04 to 14.04):

Update your repository and install the application.

In case you are not able to add the PPA, you can install from the deb file found here (scroll down to the bottom of the page to download the deb file).

Note: It should work in other Ubuntu-based distros as well.

When you run Ubuntu After Install (UAI), you will see a list of software on the screen. All of them are checked by default unless it has already been installed.

ubuntu-after-install-main-screen

Here is the software included in UAI:

  • Ubuntu Restricted Extra
  • VideoLAN libdvdcss2
  • Unity Tweak Tool
  • Variety wallpaper changer
  • Google Chrome
  • LibreOffice
  • Skype
  • Grive Tools
  • DropBox
  • VLC
  • XBMC
  • Radio Tray
  • Gimp
  • Darktable
  • Inkscape
  • Scribus
  • Samba
  • PDF Tools
  • OpenShot
  • Kdenlive
  • HandBrake
  • Audacity
  • Steam
  • KeePassX
  • Shutter
  • Filezilla
  • p7zip

Since all the applications are checked by default, to install the application you want, simply uncheck the application that you don’t want to install. Click the “Install Now” button to proceed.

For applications that are not in your package manager, Ubuntu After Install will fetch the PPAs, add them to your repository, update your system and install the applications. It certainly saves you the effort of doing it on your own.

ubuntu-after-install-complete-installation

You probably won’t be doing a fresh install of Ubuntu every day or month, but when you do, Ubuntu After Install is a useful tool for you to set up your desktop quickly and get back to working mode.

14 comments

  1. Ubuntu After Install seems like another attempt by Canonical to dictate what users should and should not install. Everyone’s list of favorite apps is different. Those included in Ubuntu After Install may be the most popular ones but the program would be much more useful if it allowed the users to create their own list of favorite packages to add after the default install.

    I can understand automating the software install process when building a system based on a TinyCore Linux or antiX Core/Base Linux but to do it for Ubuntu seems redundant. Unless Canonical is following in Microsoft’s footsteps and trying to include only the O/S in its default install which seems silly since most of Linux can be installed by the users for free.

    The big advantage of using Linux is that all the necessary and desired software is installed by default. In fact, in some distros the packagers go overboard and install multiple packages that do the same thing. I am a distro-hopper so I have used/installed a lot of distros. All distros, other than the minimalistic ones, by default install GIMP, LibreOffice, VLC, Samba, Inkscape, libdvdcss2, some sort of audio editor, screenshot program, video editor, digital photo organizer, etc.

    • that’s made by a South African company but not Cannonical!

      Já o redesconto é o contrato mediante o qual um
      banco comercial endossa a letra ao Banco Central que antecipa o pagamento do
      respectivo valor, descontando os juros remuneratórios até à data do vencimento.

    • You choose Ubuntu and not Debian because Ubuntu has made more choises for you then Debian does. To make choises takes knowled, time and effort. If you have that fine, Debinan should be your choice. If not, take some Ubuntu or Ubuntu based distro instead.

      Distributions IS about what choices have been done for you. If they don’t suit you, make others or install another distribution.

  2. lel,this is not a Canonical developed tool, why would they recommend using different from the ‘Software Center’ or adding ppa when they control the system repos?. Just looking for lame excuses to dirt Canonical, that you like it or not, does a wondeful work for Linux.

    • “this is not a Canonical developed tool”
      Whether it is or is not a Canonical product, the fact remains that users might want to install different apps than what is in UAI. The list should at least be editable, where the user can add his own apps to install.

      “Just looking for lame excuses to dirt Canonical, that you like it or not”
      I have plenty of serious reasons “to dirt Canonical.” I don’t need lame ones. But this is place to expound on them.

      “does a wondeful work for Linux.”
      That is debatable. Just because Ubuntu is the most popular distro does not mean that it is “wonderful.” Windows is still way more popular than Linux but that does not mean that Microsoft “does wonderful work” on that O/S. Again, this is not the place to discuss that.

  3. If you already know what you want to install then Synaptic Package Manager would be a much better way to go. There is far more software available than UAI has in its list and you can quickly find and mark most everything that you want. After it’s all marked you hit ‘apply’ and it installs it all in one shot.

    • Yes, synaptic is good and I used it often, however it doesn’t add the PPA for you automatically when installing an app not in the repository. This is where UAI stands out.

  4. At first, I thought this software might be just the thing I’ve wanted for a couple of years, but it’s not really.

    The most useful application known to man (eg. for OS reinstallation) would be one where a user would be able to install all the repositories and applications in that user’s account.

    For example, if I reinstall Ubuntu 14.04 (like I did a few weeks ago), I don’t need to add repositories and applications one by one, but I just run an application and all my chosen repositories and applications are installed.

    • Agree with you on that, Greg – I was hoping this could be used to somehow collect all the info on installs I’ve done (including tweaks) since the last install so that when I go to the next flavour of Ubuntu (or Mint), I can run it and it re-installs everything, but this isn’t _that_ solution.
      Maybe someone’s creating that?

      • Yes I hope *somebody* is making it happen. I would happily start to work on it myself but I am not able to at the moment.

        Previously, I found out how to do it (via running a command in the terminal and listing all installed applications into a text file, and then another command to install the listed applications) but that only works within one release of Ubuntu, eg. 12.04.

        Something that works with applications’ generic names across Ubuntu versions would be the ticket.

        • “Something that works with applications’ generic names across Ubuntu versions would be the ticket.”
          It would be nice if there was an app that worked on all Linux distros, nit just Ubuntu.

          • True, but that might introduce some complications (eg. due to a user’s desktop version). I’m sure it would be relatively straightforward on one distro.

  5. @greg:
    Synaptic Package Manager works across all Debian-based distros and that includes *buntu-based ones. The developers of Synaptic seem to have worked out the “complications.” I don’t see why the developers of UAI can’t work them out too, unless they want to keep it an Ubuntu only application.

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