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Additions to a default Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron install

by Pierre-Yves Landuré last modified 2008-10-31 21:01

This article guides you through the completion of your Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron default install. At the end of this page, your system will be ready for daily use.

Other Ubuntu versions

This howto is available for many versions of Ubuntu. If you do not use Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, choose between the links below the one that fit you:

Installing in a click

Last Ubuntu versions enable you to install software by clicking on a link in your browser. If you want to install only some of the software list in this page, you can do it by simply clicking on the links put on the packages' names. This is not a security breach, since these packages are installed using apt-get and your configured repositories. It's only a little helper for lazy people :D

Source: Thanks to Cedynamix for his article Le protocole apt, qu'est-ce-que c'est ?.

Mozilla Firefox et les extensions

For the moment, Mozilla Firefox 3 being still beta, numbers of extensions are not available on this version. If you can not live without theses extensions, you can install Mozilla Firefox 2:

sudo apt-get install firefox-2 firefox-themes-ubuntu

You will be able to use Mozilla Firefox 2 and 3 at the same time, until all your favorite extensions are available for Mozilla Firefox 3.

Configuration of apt repositories list

First, we reset our sources.list. It happens that in some cases (for example, when the installation is done without Internet connection), most of the repositories needed by this guide are disabled. We create a backup of our original sources.list:

/usr/bin/sudo /bin/cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.orig

And we replace it by a "complete" version, with all the needed lines uncommented.

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/wget \

We remove the ability to get packages from the install CD-Rom :

/usr/bin/sudo /bin/sed -i -e 's/^\(deb cdrom:\)/#\1/' /etc/apt/sources.list

We enable the partner repository (aka. commercial repository) of Canonical Ltd. :

/usr/bin/sudo /bin/sed -i -e 's/^# \(.*hardy partner.*\)$/\1/' /etc/apt/sources.list

We add the Medibuntu repository witch contains various heavily needed packages.

echo "## MEDIBUNTU
deb hardy free non-free

# Dépôts de sources (uniquement utiles pour télécharger les sources avec apt-get source. Dans ce cas enlever les #)
# deb-src hardy free non-free" \
| /usr/bin/sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

We install the GPG key signing the medibuntu repository :

/usr/bin/wget -q -O- | /usr/bin/sudo apt-key add -

Once the apt sources configured, we update the list of available packages :

sudo apt-get update

Local network with a 'dot local (.local)' extension

If your local network domain end with a .local extension, and that you have problems to connect to it, you need to disable avahi. To do this, just run the following command line :

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f avahi-daemon remove

Missing packages installation

If you weren't connected to Internet during the install of your Ubuntu, some packages can be missing to your system.
  • To complete the language support (for English only):
sudo apt-get install
  • To enable the date and time update by Internet :
sudo apt-get install ntp

Manage shared folders

The configuration tool "Shared folders" available in previous versions of Ubuntu disappear for a easier tool. To enable it for your user, install Sambal:

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/apt-get install samba

And add your use to the "sambashare" group :

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/sbin/adduser $USER sambashare

To share a folder, right-click on this folder in the explorer (aka. Nautilus) and click on "Share options" (approximated translation). (You may need to reopen your session (aka. log in again) to enable this).

Source: Thanks to Yostral for his reply to the post "plus de menu dossiers partagés" on the Ubuntu french speaking forums.

Enhance graphics on Xubuntu

If you use Xubuntu, you can use the following command line to enhance Open Office interface aspect:

sudo apt-get install

Source: Thanks to Oxdot for his help.

Java 1.6 install

In order to install Sun JRE 6, run the following command line :

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin sun-java6-fonts

Then, we choose Sun JRE 6 as our default Java machine with this command :

sudo update-java-alternatives --set java-6-sun

You can check that Java plugins are working by visiting about:plugins using Firefox.

Multimedia support enhancement

In order to be able to read inline Web video (well, some of it), you need to install the VLC plugin for Mozilla Firefox :

sudo apt-get install mozilla-plugin-vlc

To be able to read most of the video available on Internet, you need to install more codecs. This is done by running this command line :

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3 \
gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mpegdemux gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly \
gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad \

If you want to enable sound files preview in Nautilus, use this command line :

sudo apt-get install mpg321 vorbis-tools

If you want to read DVD, you need to install gxine and DVD decrypting libraries :

sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 libdvdnav4 libxine1-ffmpeg gxine

Warning : if you encounter problems to read DVD, it is likely that is due to a problem with Medibuntu libdvdcss2 package. To solve the problem, run the following command lines :

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/

For the moment i've not be able to find the codecs need to play DVD using Totem.

Note : If you want to use Totem to read your DVD (witch i do not recommand), run this command line :

sudo apt-get install totem-xine

Various enhancements

Desktop effects

Since Gutsy, desktop effects are available by default. In order to enable them, go in the "Visual effects" tab of "System -> Settings -> Appearance". If the default settings are not sufficient for your needs, you can tweak them using the compizconfig-settings-manager :

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Hard disk checkup

In order to avoid to think when your hard disk has a problem, this command line simplify the correction of errors during the repair of a partition with problems :

/usr/bin/sudo /bin/sed -i -e 's/\(FSCKFIX=\).*/\1yes/' /etc/default/rcS 

Don't worry, it is not dangerous. It do what you would have done by hand if you were confronted to the problem. Only professional file system rescuers should have this setting to No (for me, it is clearly a rest of the days where Linux was made for geeks by geeks)).

Source: Thanks to Cep for his post E2FSCK au mauvais moment.

Colorized Man pages

If you want to have a little color in your man pages, you can install the page reader most :

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/apt-get install most

And use it as your default page reader :

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/sbin/update-alternatives --set pager /usr/bin/most

Source: Thanks to the author of the blog This is (not) my idea for his article Ubuntu: Trucs et astuces #2.

Additional tools installation

If this software list does not fit your needs, you can read the yekCim article on this subject : Logiciels sous Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon.

Essential ones

The tools listed below are the ones that really miss to the default setup of Ubuntu. You should not hesitate to install them :

  • audacious : A better Beep Media Player. WinAmp fans, this is for you.
  • filezilla : A really fine FTP client (and its translations filezilla-locales).
  • liferea : Lecteur de flux de syndications de Gnome.
  • thunderbird : the mail client of the Mozilla foundation.
  • msttcorefonts : free Microsoft fonts.
  • miro: Miro is a video podcast reader. It allow you to follow easily a bunch of video podcast on the web.
  • nautilus-open-terminal : allow to open a terminal from the Nautilus context menu.
  • ttf-xfree86-nonfree : Multiverse non-free fonts.
  • unrar : Tool to read *.rar files.
  • unace : Tool to read *.ace files.
  • vim-gnome : Vim text editor GUI.
  • wine : A free implementation of the Windows API.
  • xchat : A really great IRC client for Gnome.
In short, just run this command line :
sudo apt-get install audacious filezilla liferea thunderbird filezilla-locales \
msttcorefonts nautilus-open-terminal ttf-xfree86-nonfree \
unrar unace vim-gnome wine xchat miro

Nice ones

You do not really need the following tools, but some are really usefull and having them close to your hand does not hurt:

  • comix : A cbr file reader, for reading your favorite digital comics.
  • opera : A nice web browser, available in "parner" repository (recommends flashplugin-nonfree).
  • kopete : KDE instant messaging client. Unlike Pidgin, it allow you to use your webcam.

  • gnochm : Microsoft Windows help files reader.

  • dvdrip : A tool to rip DVD using transcode. It is really powerfull and easy to use.
  • easytag : A tool to edit MP3 and Ogg Vorbis information tags.
  • kompozer : A WYSIWYG HTML editor to create your Internet site.
  • drapes : A little software that take place in the notification area and regularly change your background by picking in your image library.
  • subtitleeditor : I often play video with subtitles. This little tool is a great subtitle editor that can be used to resynchronize subtitles with the video (I just love the fact that this software show the sound volume graphic).
In short, just run this command line :
sudo apt-get install comix kopete gnochm dvdrip easytag kompozer \
drapes subtitleeditor flashplugin-nonfree opera

Some softwares are available in other repositories. Please read the according guides.

Other softwares

  • openssh-server : Serveur Secure SHell. Allow you to connect to your computer over the network.
  • build-essential : Package installing the minimum required to compile software on your Ubuntu.
  • mlview : A XML specialized editor. It is very simple and light, but provides all needed and sufficient functionalities. It is really nice.
sudo apt-get install openssh-server build-essential mlview


If you want more informations on games available on Hardy Heron, you can read yekCim guide on this subject : Jeux sous Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon.

2D games

  • atomix : A thinking game where you must build molecules using atoms... Review your chemistry and have fun.
  • beneath-a-steel-sky : A point-and-click in a science-fiction universe.
  • defendguin : Defender for linux... Save the penguins !.
  • fillets-ng : A commercial reflexion game became free. You guide a couple of fish across various levels.
  • flight-of-the-amazon-queen : A point-and-click where you are a pilot flighting over the amazon jungle.
  • flobopuyo : A Puyo Puyo clone, a well known Tetris-like.
  • freeciv-client-gtk : A Civilization II clone. A very good game.
  • frozen-bubble : A nice puzzle game where penguins replace Bubble Bobble ghosts.
  • gweled : A puzzle game really nice, for coffee pauses :D
  • mirrormagic : A thinking game where you use mirrors to reflect a laser ray.
  • pathological : A thinking game where to need to match balls of the same color. Pleasant ;D
  • pingus : A game where you must save a bunch of stupid little pets.... black, white, and yellow ;) (nope, not the blue, white and green ones).
  • powermanga : A shoot-them-up with a quite slow ryhtm, but that is really addictive. You can by new weapons, new ships, ... And the graphics are beautiful.
    • ri-li : A game where a train must get its wagons back in a railroad maze. Very cute ;)
  • wormux : Worms for Linux... Blow up your friends :D
  • xwelltris : A 3D tetris. Strange.
  • wesnoth-all : One of the best turn by turn strategy game of the world (yep, even compared to Heroes of Might and Magic) (ttf-sazanami-gothic is recommended).

3D accelerated games

  • chromium : A great OpenGL shoot-them-up. (Begin with "fish in the barrel" difficulty).
  • gltron : A 3D tron game. Beautiful.
  • lincity-ng : A SimCity clone for Linux.
  • nexuiz : A quality FPS.
  • extremetuxracer : One of my favorite game, involving Tux and a beautiful music.
  • rrootage : A shoot-them-up in wire 3D and a bunch of final Boss. Beautiful !. Only problem : it is in japanese. A read of the man page is mandatory before playing.
  • supertux : A super-mario like where Tux is the heroe.
  • tremulous : A FPS where many species make war.
  • vegastrike : A space combat simulation in the spirit of Wing Commander Privateer, X2 : The threat...


If you are installing Edubuntu, here are some packages that can be useful to you:

In short:

sudo apt-get install childsplay childsplay-plugins childsplay-plugins-lfc \
tuxtype-data-nonfree tuxtype \
 tuxpaint tuxpaint-stamps-default


This page is inspired by many others that i thanks :


Description issue

Posted by niefba at 2008-04-17 08:27
What are we talking about, Gutsy Gibbon or Hardy Heron? The Title or the description? Please tell us!


Posted by Pierre-Yves Landuré at 2008-04-17 18:11
A little copy / paste error corrected now. Thank you for the report


Posted by seminewuser at 2008-07-28 17:01
thanks this helped get some of the apps i liked before on a new install, and helped me get java working without searching for hours


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