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Additions to a default Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and over install

by Pierre-Yves Landuré last modified 2009-10-03 06:26

This article guides you through the completion of your Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and over default install. At the end of this page, your system will be ready for daily use.

Supported Ubuntu versions

This howto has been tested with :
  • Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex
  • Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

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 ?.

Configuration of apt repositories list

First, create a backup of our original sources.list:
/usr/bin/sudo /bin/cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.orig

Fetch the name of your Ubuntu distribution :

source /etc/lsb-release

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

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

/usr/bin/sudo /bin/sed -i -e "s/^# \(.*${DISTRIB_CODENAME} partner.*\)$/\1/" /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the Medibuntu repository witch contains various heavily needed packages:

echo "## MEDIBUNTU
deb ${DISTRIB_CODENAME} free non-free

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

We install the GPG key signing the medibuntu repository:

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

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

sudo apt-get update

Local Area Network with a DNS server managing dot local (.local) extension

If a DNS server managing the ".local" extension is present on your LAN, change extension ! On my own, I use dot lan (.lan) for my local network DNS. This will avoid you a lot of trouble with Avahi.

Installing restricted software

Ubuntu help you installing multimedia software, java and many other things by providing a meta package. To install it, use this command line:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Once this done, we add the java fonts:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-fonts

If needed, we install the Java plugin for web browsers :

source /etc/lsb-release
CLEAN_DISTRIB_RELEASE=$(echo ${DISTRIB_RELEASE} | sed -e 's/\.//g')
if [ ${CLEAN_DISTRIB_RELEASE} -gt "810" ]; then
sudo apt-get install sun-java6-plugin

And we set the Sun Java Virtual Machine as the default Java environment:

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

If you want to be able to read movies included in web pages (some of it, nevertheless), you need to install the Mozilla Firefox's VLC plugin:

sudo apt-get install mozilla-plugin-vlc

Last, but not least, if you want to be able to read DVD movies, you will need gxine and DVD decryption librairies:

sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 libdvdnav4 libxine1-ffmpeg gxine

Installing missing software

If your Internet connection was down during your Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex installation, some packages can miss from your system.

  • To complete the language support (for English only):

    sudo apt-get install
  • To enable Internet time synchronisation (in order to keep your system on the right date and time):

    sudo apt-get install ntp

Sharing folders on the local area network

To enable your users (yourself included) to share folders with other Windows or Linux computers, you need Samba:

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

Then add your own user (and other ones if needed) to the sambashare group:

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

Once you are done, close your session and open it again to be able to share a folder. Sharing a folder can be accessed by right-clicking on the folder to share, and choosing "Share options" in the context menu that shows.

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

Enhancing aspect 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.

Various enhancements

Fastening applications launch

Preload is a daemon running in background and loading the most used applications of your system into memory. By doing so, it reduce the applications launch time at the cost of a light memory consumption. To use it, you only need to install the preload package:

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

Source: Thanks to UbunBloX for the article Preload : Amélioration des performances du système.

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

Software need desktop effects

If your computer hardware allow you to use desktop effects, i encourage you to test the following software

Gnome Do

Gnome Do is a clone of the KDE tool Katapult. It allow to launch quickly a software, a Pidgin dialog, or open a bookmark, simply by typing the first letters of its name. For example, by typing the first letters of one of your Pidgin contacts, you can directly open a dialog window with him/her.

To install Gnome Do, use this command line:

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/apt-get install gnome-do gnome-do-plugins

Gnome Do is now available in the Software -> Accessories menu. Once launched, you can use it by stroking <Super> + <Space> key combination. By default, the <Super> key is the Windows key of your keyboard.

Note: starting from Intrepid Ibex, Gnome Do is automatically added to software launched at session opening.

Avant Window Navigator

Avant Window Navigator is  a dock cloning the one available on Mac OS X. To install it, use this command line:

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/apt-get install avant-window-navigator awn-manager python-awn \
awn-applets-c-core awn-applets-c-extras \
 awn-applets-python-core awn-applets-python-extras

Avant Window Navigator is now available in the Software -> Accessories menu. Once launched, it shows at the bottom of your screen.

Tip: add Avant Window Navigator to the software launched at your session opening.

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.

Installing additional tools

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 :

  • alltray : This small software allow you to create a notification icon for any software (this is great with FileZilla and Totem).
  • audacious : A better Beep Media Player. WinAmp fans, this is for you.
  • comix : A comics archive reader. It is a great tool to display images from an archive without extrating it.
  • dvdrip : A tool to backup your DVD movies as DivX by using transcode (Who am I kidding ?). It is very simple and really powerfull.
  • easytag : A great tool to edit your MP3 and Ogg Vorbis ID3 tags.
  • filezilla : A great FTP client (and its locales for Intrepid Ibex filezilla-locales).
  • fortunes : The fortunes cookies to enlighten your day :D.
  • liferea : Gnome RSS feed reader. If you are into web applications, take look at Tiny Tiny RSS (and at my howto Install Tiny Tiny RSS on Debian 4.0 Etch).
  • thunderbird : The e-mail client made by Mozilla. Make your Junk mail disappear XD.
  • miro: A movie podcasts reader. There are some great feeds availables.
  • nautilus-open-terminal : allow you to open a terminal from the Nautilus context menu.
  • soundconverter : allow to do batch convertion of music files. A real time saver for managing your (free) music collection.
  • ttf-xfree86-nonfree : Multiverse non-free fonts.
  • unrar : This tool allow you to extract RAR archives.
  • unace : This tool allow you to extract ACE archives.
  • vim-gnome : The Gnome user interface for my favorite text editor: Vim.
  • wine : A free implementation of the Windows API. Allow you to play many Windows games.
  • xchat : My favorite IRC client.

In short, just use this command line to install all of this:

sudo apt-get install audacious filezilla miro \
  fortunes liferea thunderbird \
nautilus-open-terminal ttf-xfree86-nonfree \
unace vim-gnome wine xchat unace unrar \
alltray comix dvdrip easytag soundconverter

We install Intrepid Ibex specific packages :

source /etc/lsb-release
CLEAN_DISTRIB_RELEASE=$(echo ${DISTRIB_RELEASE} | sed -e 's/\.//g')
if [ ${CLEAN_DISTRIB_RELEASE} -le "810" ]; then
sudo apt-get install filezilla-locales

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:

  • agave : This software is a color composer, it allow you to find colors that go well together (Thanks to the author of the news  Agave, un simple compositeur de couleurs).
  • kompozer : A WYSIWYG HTML editor to create your Internet site.
  • amsn : A MSN Messenger clone for Linux. I have to say that the newest versions are really nice.
  • gnochm : Microsoft Windows help files reader.

  • 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).
  • realplayer : Le lecteur multimédia de la société Real Média... pour lire les fichiers rm.

Soit, en résumé :

sudo apt-get install agave gnochm kompozer drapes subtitleeditor \
flashplugin-nonfree amsn realplayer

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 (don't forget to install fail2ban to secure it).

  • 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.

sudo apt-get install openssh-server fail2ban build-essential mlview


If you want more informations on games available on Intrepid Ibex, 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.
  • btanks : A tanks battle multi-player game with a cartoon touch (Thanks to Devil505 for his post Combat de chars d'assaut entre amis).
  • 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. (To enable sound effects, install freeciv-sound)
  • frozen-bubble : A nice puzzle game where penguins replace Bubble Bobble ghosts.
  • gweled : A puzzle game really nice, for coffee pauses :
  • mirrormagic : A thinking game where you use mirrors to reflect a laser ray.
  • njam : A multiplayer PacMan (but you can also play alone). If you are into oldies, this game is for you.
  • pathological : A thinking game where to need to match balls of the same color. Pleasant ;
  • 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 it 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

  • alien-arena : A FPS where aliens fight humans...Creepy. Its community is very active.
  • chromium : A great OpenGL shoot-them-up. (Begin with "fish in the barrel" difficulty).
  • glest : A Real Time Strategy game really nice.
  • 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.
  • supertuxkart : A Super Mario Kart clone where Tux is the heroe.
  • torus-trooper : A wired 3D shoot-them-up. Very fast, very fun and very addictive. One of my favorites.
  • tremulous : A FPS where many species are at 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

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