Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr has just been released, and I’m sure you are about to install it. I’ve put together a few ideas for what to do after installation in order to make it work better for you. You’ll find that below. First, a bit of ranty background.

Rant

Originally, Ubuntu was a great thing. Years ago I used a Unix like system for various things and got comfortable with what we now call the “command line.” Then I used DOS, and that was still a command line operating system (but with different commands) and that was pretty good for the late 20th century. Then Windows came out and I switched to that, and later used both Windows and Mac operating systems to do my work. Eventually, I wanted to get away from those proprietary operating systems and try out Linux, which by then was a Unix like system that had windowing capabilities but also a powerful command line interface.

So, I got a spare computer and installed Fedora. Couldn’t get it to work. I tried SUSE and a couple of other systems, but there was a problem with each one of them. In order to get past the installation and configuration — to the extent that the computer would do silly things like print, or hook up to a network — I needed to already know all the stuff that I was confident I would eventually learn, once I got the system set up. It was a Catch 22 situation.

At one point I came across a new version of Linux called Ubuntu, and the fact that it was from South Africa interested me because I was at the time doing quit a bit of work in South Africa, so that was cool. But the Ubuntu servers were always overloaded and I could never download it. I think I tried one other version of Linux after that, and then decided to give up on Linux because that didn’t work for me either.

But just before I gave up, I tried downloading Ubuntu one more time. And it downloaded. And I installed it and the installation was seamless, and everything worked. And I saw it. And it was good.

Although I messed around with a few other versions of Linux, just for fun, I mainly kept installing various versions of Ubuntu, playing around with all of the know desktops but always coming back to gnome. I became reasonably good (but not high level) at working with Linux on the desktop, spent some effort promoting the operating system, and in short order I stopped using Windows (unless forced to do so) but still using a Mac now and then. I currently use a mac desktop for most things, a Linux laptop as my laptop, and a Linux server for specialized tasks. Every now and then Huxley asks me “Daddy, why do you have nine computers?” and I say “Huxley, I only have six computers, those extra monitors are hooked more than one to a computer in some cases.” And he responds “You don’t need nine computers, daddy.” Kids these days…

Anyway, then Unity came along and for this reason and other reasons Ubuntu became more annoying rather than less annoying with each release. For example, there are applications that now only work with Unity. This may be less true now than it was two months ago, last time I checked, but the Evernote clone for Linux, Everpad, would not give me menus in a non-Unity environment because it was designed to be broken when run in anything other than Ubuntu with Unity. That sort of thing is very annoying. If you want to have some alternative non Ubuntu-approved desktops AND Unity working on one computer, you have to cheat and mess around and trick the computer in to letting you do it. It is no longer safe to install Ubuntu as your basic operating system then configure the computer “exactly how you want it” (a mantra for Linux users) by swapping around desktops and other functionality. Also, Ubuntu took Nautilus, which had evolved to be one of the best file managers around, and removed some of its great features and made it one of the dumbest file managers around. And, the Unity Dashboard eventually became like that big gift shop at most museums these days … all exits lead through the gift shop.

One of the most annoying things about Unity is the disappearing menus that are no longer located on the application title bar. Both being not where I want them and invisible is incredibly annoying. All disappearing menus are stupid and anti-productive and anyone who does not realize that is a sheep. Baa..

And another thing. The simple act of creating an application launcher for your launching bar/thingie became difficult with Ubuntu. This meant that two or three of my most commonly used applications could not be launched the way I wanted them to be launched by using a simple tweak. It turns out that getting desktop launchers to work isn’t that hard, but dammit, why did I have to learn a whole new procedure that is five times more complicated than the old procedure, giving me nothing new, just because Mark Shutleworth never thought of launching emacs with a standard blank file to make his life easier? WHY???

But then Ubuntu Long Term Release 14.04. If you read about this release on the Internet, you’ll notice that people often say “nothing big in this new release, pretty much the same as the old release” but that is not true. One of the big differences is that you can now configure Unity to use normal menus. That is big. Also, somewhere along the way Ubuntu One came (I never got it to work for me either functionally or adaptively) so I couldn’t care less, but it is now gone so that is one annoying thing that has disappeared. Plus, by now, methods of removing other annoying features of Unity have developed nicely.

The irony of all this is that when you install Ubuntu 14.04 with Unity and you want it to be a sane operating system, there is a long list of things you may want to do to. I’ve culled suggestions from a number of helpful web sites (all listed below) and put them in a reasonable order. If you want to do these things, you might consider running through the list and adding all the repositories at once, then doing a sudo apt-get install update command, rather than doing the latter after every one of the former, to save time. I’ve not fully tested everything here. I.e., I’ve installed Skype but I’ve not tested it. Also, I did these things on a system that was already tweaked so several of these things were already done, but I did them again anyway. That mostly resulted in “you’ve already installed that software, dummy” notices, but at least nothing broke.

I opted or command line suggestions for most of these items, though a few send you to the system preferences, etc.

So here’s what I did, and what you may want to do. I guarantee nothing. Good luck.

Make available some important repositories that are probably turned off

Use the dash to open Software and Updates

Go to other software and check cannonical parters and probably everything else that looks important, unless it is something Ubuntu turned off that you had previously included. I don’t know what to do about those repositories. You may be asked to approve reloading the cash, or you can do this, or both:

sudo apt-get update

While you are in Software and Updates, check for additional drivers

Check in software and updates for additional drivers, under the “additional drivers” tab. Do something smart with what you find there. I did nothing but you may want to. Be careful.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Install multimedia codecs

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Install several useful software items:

VLC media player:

sudo apt-get install vlc

Install rar. I don’t know what this is but a lot of people seem to recommend it

sudo apt-get install rar

gimp image manipulation program

sudo apt-get install gimp

gnome tweak tool and unity tweek tool

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

Install pidgin if you want.

I didn’t but a lot of people like it.

sudo apt-get install pidgin

Install skype

Install Skype if you want. This is a huge installation and will take a few minutes.

sudo sh -c ‘echo “deb http://archive.canonical.com/ quantal partner” >> /etc/apt/sources.list’
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install skype

Install Java

sudo apt-get install icedtea–7-plugin openjdk–7-jre

Install extra applets

I’ve not entirely figured out the applets yet. They go on the menu bar, called the panel, along the top of Unity’s screen. There are few recommended tweaks and so far I’ve liked them. For some of these, you run it from command line and it becomes part of the panel. For others, you have to run it from the Dash. For some, when you run the app from the command line the program that puts it on the panel keeps running, so when you exit the terminal or terminate the program, the applet disappears. For some the applet ends up on the panel, for some there is an opening application that shows up and requires configuration then the applet goes in the panel, for others the applet is ready to go next time you log in but won’t show up until then. In other words, there is no standard for how applets are created or installed. I refer to the rant at the top of the page. Ubuntu. A “South African Language Word for ‘WTF’”

sudo apt-get install diodon diodon-plugins

Calendar indicator

This is actually one of the coolest applets. My own calendar is relatively sparse; for many days there is nothing at all, but everything on my calendar is very important, of course. The best way to view a sparse calendar is using the “agenda” method, where days that have nothing on them don’t even show up and everything is a list. This calendar indicator does that. The problem is, it does not stick itself to the panel unless you select “autostart” in the preferences after you’ve started it up from DASH.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install calendar-indicator

Install a weather indicator

This is an excellent indicator for weather.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install my-weather-indicator

Install Copy (instead of Dropbox)

Copy is a less expensive alternative to Dropbox. You should give it a try.

Install dropbox and the app indicator

I’ve not gotten the app indicator to work, but this is the recommended procedure. I’m probably missing something. Truth be told, I’m not sure if dropbox is working on my laptop at all at the moment. Let me know how it goes with you.

sudo apt-get install dropbox

then you might have to do this to get an indicator;

sudo apt-get install libappindicator1

But if you are like me that won’t work. In fact, while Dropbox seems to work on Ububuntu 14.04 unity, autostart does not work; I’m prompted for my system password to start Dropbox on login. For now I think I’ll wait to try to figure out how to get the icon going until this all gets resolved, presumably in one fell swoop. But, again, see rant above: how does Ubuntu fell about itself, killing off Ubuntu One at the same time it makes Dropbox harder to use. Do we users not count? Jeesh.

Anyway, if you want to verify that Dropbox is working, go to the command line and type in

dropbox -h

and you’ll get a list of commands that will allow you to play around with it, including

dropbox status

which will tell you if it is running.

Install classic menu indicator

This is a pretty important applet. With this applet in place you might even consider setting the Unity launcher bar on autohide! It is the standard debian style menu. I recommend going into preferences and changing the icon to the standard (Ubuntu) icon so you know what the heck it is a few days after installing it.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:diesch/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install classicmenu-indicator

Remove keyboard indicator

The keyboard langauge is indicated on your panel. Why? If this annoys you you can remove it.

System Settings-> Text Entry and uncheck the Show current input source in the menu bar.

Fix screen brightness controls

On some computers, including mine apparently, Ubuntu broke the ability to change the brightness of the screen. It can be fixed. I’ve not tried it, but you can check out this web page for instructions on how to do that. Good luck.

Add a nifty system load indicator

sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload

Fix the obnoxious stuff on the Unity Dash

You don’t want Ubuntu telling you to buy stuff at Amazon and all that other dumbass stuff it does? This and other annoyances can be fixed.

Go to Settings, security and privacy, and then turn that stuff off. You should turn off “include online seach results” and you may want to turn off the thingie that shows your recently open documents. All this clutters up the dashboard, but if you want this information there, by all means leave it.

Get rid of the shopping suggestions with this code at the console:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Lenses disabled-scopes “[‘more_suggestions-amazon.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-u1ms.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-populartracks.scope’, ‘music-musicstore.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-ebay.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-ubuntushop.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-skimlinks.scope’]”

Disable online searches from dash with
wget -q -O – https://fixubuntu.com/fixubuntu.sh | bash

Fix overheating and extend battery life

There is a good chance Ubuntu is not handling your fan, battery, etc. optimally but there is a nifty utility that probably will. Do this:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
sudo tlp start

Install Dolphin

Just go to Synaptic package manager or Ubuntu software center and install Dolphin file manager. Other folks are suggesting sunfish, but I don’t recommend it. At the moment, Dolphin is the only file manager I’d recommend for Ubuntu. I’m still waiting for a good file manager to come out.

Install Compiz settings manager

sudo apt-get install
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then, after you’ve installed it, DON’T TOUCH IT.

Disable the boneheaded overlay scrollbars

What is more annoying than disappearing menus? Disappearing scroll bars that are located at a specific position that YOU CAN’T KNOW WHAT IT IS BECAUSE YOU CAN’T SEE IT. Get rid of that.

gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal

Put the username back on the the panel

Why Ubuntu thinks you need to know what keyboard is running but not which user is behind the keyboard is an enigma wrapped in a riddle.

gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.session show-real-name-on-panel true

Install Adobe Flash plugin

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer

The, spend the next hour trying to get that to work consistently.

Install some Codecs and Enable DVD Playback:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly libxine1-ffmpeg gxine mencoder libdvdread4 totem-mozilla icedax tagtool easytag id3tool lame nautilus-script-audio-convert libmad0 mpg321 libavcodec-extra

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

Add workspaces

Type “appearances” at the dash (or get there from system settings), click behavior, show workspaces. A violation of the Prime Directive (have no widgets on the launcher because we broke that) will happen and a widget will appear on the launcher that shows you what workspace you are in and gives you a workspace switcher.

Integrate Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Configure social media with “online accounts” from the dashboard

Make some customized launcers

Use these instructions to set up launcher icon thingies in your unity launcher for apps that require special conditions not already installed. For example, I have emacs open with a file from the desktop called “blank.txt” which is sometimes blank and sometimes just contains the last stuff I wrote into that file.

That is all.

____________________

Comments

  1. #1 Scott Rowed
    Alberta
    April 24, 2014

    When Unity came out I switched to Linux Mint which works a lot better for me. Now running Mint KDE 64 bit on most computers (switched to KDE mostly to get digiKam to run properly) and have helped many people set up Mint on their computers. Very few issues – generally considerably easier to set up and use than Windows. Probably the most irritating thing is that some computers, mainly with ATI graphics, don’t like Google Earth in Linux. This can sometimes be resolved by using 32-bit GE instead of 64. Other computers have no problems with it.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 24, 2014

    I think you can run 32 bit Linix in a virtual machine set up on a 64 bit machine.

    Mint is a good distro with growing pains, but it is growing and developing nicely.

  3. #3 Mike Haubrich
    April 24, 2014

    I have loaded Ubuntu a few times, but since Cinnamon has been so actively developed I have been going back to Mint.

    Which I am currently running. There is a new release coming out in May, no exact date set; but it will be a LTS release as well.

    I have all my data backed up in Copy, thanks to a few people who signed up under my link and gave me 25 extra FREE gb of data.

  4. #4 Scott Rowed
    April 24, 2014

    I didn’t need to run a 32 bit virtual box. Just downloaded 32-bit GE and installed it in a 64 bit machine. Works fine.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    April 24, 2014

    But the earth is only half as big, right?

  6. #6 Robert Pogson
    Canada
    April 24, 2014

    For a lot less trouble you can just install Debian GNU/Linux and have an OS that works for you and not against you. There are reasons we all left M$. Why make GNU/Linux that difficult? GNU/Linux is Free Software you can run, examine, modify and distribute. Why accept all the restrictions Canonical imposes? With Debian, I install a minimal system, not even a desktop environment, and build it up with APT into what I want with a lot less fuss than wrestling Ubuntu GNU/Linux into submission.

  7. #7 Mike Haubrich
    April 24, 2014

    Well, Robert, that seems to be the beauty thing about most Linux distros is that there is bound to be one that pleases anyone.

  8. #8 Michael Richmond
    April 24, 2014

    Thanks for the nice writeup and suggestions.

    You wrote

    > Install rar. I don’t know what this is but a lot of people seem to recommend it

    “rar” is a program that creates and expands file archives. You can find out what programs do under any Unix system by using the “man” command. For example,

    % man rar

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    April 24, 2014

    Robert, that is an excellent way to do it. Did you compile the Debian base?

  10. #10 Surja
    India
    April 24, 2014

    Since no one seems to mention it (maybe they are too geeky), Damn nice funny article :) Love your sense of humour. And yes, it’s very useful too. If you want to to use Ubuntu and NOT try out any other distro (because we know that distro can also be a PITA) then the above listed stuff are the things to do. BTW I use and like Linux Mint 16 and the next release will kick Ubuntu’s butt. But then who gives a shit. Ubuntu’s progression is like: Good usable distro -> makes it better -> stubbornly tries newfangled counterproductive stuff but wanting to making a Mac-ish simple to use OS -> fucks it up for a few years -> tries to make it usable again bringing back old features. Hurrah! They have seen the light and give a shit about the user-base again!!

  11. #11 Or you can
    April 24, 2014

    just install elementary OS. Fast, stable and beautiful.

  12. #12 willarmand
    April 25, 2014

    Direct to bookmark
    Thanx !!

  13. #13 John Moeller
    United States
    April 25, 2014

    Xubuntu is good and clean if you don’t mind a ’90s style desktop.

  14. #14 Greg Laden
    April 25, 2014

    John, I personally think that in Windows, desktops reached their pinnacle with Windows 98 or 2000. Gnome 2.0 and Xubuntu and that overall flavor, which these days tastes like Cinnamon, is my preference.

  15. […] 10 Or 20 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr […]

  16. #16 Matthias Adam
    Germany
    April 26, 2014

    Hello,
    A very convenient way to integrate Dropbox into the system is to install it (and its integration) with the command:
    sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox
    Which will also load and install the proprietary dropbox binary for you.
    Worked for me :)

  17. #18 Gorgon
    savannah
    April 28, 2014

    dood you spelled cache cash, you win

  18. #19 john
    http://latestwallpapers.tumblr.com/
    April 28, 2014

    Nice, will surly do if not all then most of the things you suggested :).

  19. #20 boerowitz
    Netherlands
    April 28, 2014

    Great article, thanks! (Both rant and mods, that is.)
    Maybe you might want to convert the “pretty quotation marks” around the gsettings input to remove 14.04′s shopping suggestions from the Dash to the corresponding (single/double) straight quotation marks, to make that string work right away after copy-pasting it from the text.

  20. #21 Marcus Howarth
    United Kingdom
    April 28, 2014

    I think the Dropbox issue is resolved by this fix – not just a 14.04 issue. http://blog.ishans.info/2013/12/26/fixing-authentication-is-needed-to-run-usrbindropbox-as-the-super-user-error-in-linux/

    I’ve just installed http://www.edubuntu.org/ onto my daughters machine and choose classic menus during installation. Will make a few tweaks for her in due course, surprised you didn’t list Chromium here

    thanks for collating list here and mentioning Copy.

    I’ll probably wait until 14.04.2 or 3 :)

  21. #22 ray field
    United States
    April 29, 2014

    I thoght I had no use for the keyboard indicator until I saw it’s got a character map that enables you to copy characters you don’t ordinarily use — which saved me the trouble of digging up/configuring another applet, works very well.

  22. #23 Greg Laden
    April 29, 2014

    Ah thats interesting. Thanks for pointing that out!

  23. #24 Jan Greeff
    Bela-Bela, Limpopo Province, South Africa
    April 30, 2014

    Thanks Greg, that was useful.
    Before following your “things to do” I had problems with 14.04 not connecting to my camera and cellphone for image transfer, now the camera is fine but the Nokia cellphone is still a problem. Do you have any further suggestions?

  24. #25 Greg Laden
    April 30, 2014

    Maybe try mounting it from the comments line. Is it hooked up with a USB?

  25. #26 Jan Greeff
    Bela-Bela, Limpopo Province, South Africa
    April 30, 2014

    Yes it’s hooked up via USB. Never heard of “mounting from comments line” – please clarify what this means.

  26. #27 Greg Laden
    April 30, 2014

    First, look in the system notification area to see if it is there somehwere.

    If it is an android phone you may want to look at this:
    http://www.mysolutions.it/mounting-your-mtp-androids-sd-card-on-ubuntu/

    A think hooked to your computer via USB should be recognized by the system, but may not be mounted so that it can be accessed like a hard drive/file system/etc for some reason. It seems that one of your devices is being recognized and mounted the other not.

    It is possible that the cell phone connection is bad for some reason. You can test that by trying to mount it to another computer. You can also swap USB cables, perhaps, to verify that the cable is working.

    One way to tell if the computer even noticed the USB device being plugged in is to mount it and then right, at a terminal you’ve already opened, type in:
    tail -s 3 -f /var/log/messages

    which will give you the last several items (the “tail”) of a file tha the kernel keeps about stuff it does. Or just look at /var/log/messages a file on your had drive in the “file system” part.

    On that list there may be something that says something about USB and possibly a device, such as /dev/something (like sda2)

    If so, that /dev/something is the name of the thing you plugged in.

    It might even be named something obvious like /dev/usb-something

    The problem is, some phones get mounted but not as file systems, but rather, as communication devices. I’m not sure why that happens. To access the data on that phone you have to do stuff that is a bit above my paygrade, essentially treating it as a separate computer that you are “teletyping” into.

    Here is one possible solution but it is a bit esoteric:

    http://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php/480386-mobbile-phone-mass-storage-does-not-mount

    If your phone has a card that comes out, the best way to do this may be to take it out and use that to access your photos/etc. If some of your photos/etc are on the internal memory, your cell phone probably has a way of transferring those data to the card.

  27. #28 Jan Greeff
    Bela-Bela, Limpopo Province, South Africa
    April 30, 2014

    Thanks Greg.
    It’s a Symbian phone, not Android.
    Connection is fine because it shows on my computer screen when I select PC Suite.
    On Ubuntu 12.04 it worked fine in file transfer mode, but now on 14.04 this does not show at all, which makes me think that it is a software problem in this Ubuntu release.

  28. #29 Jay
    usa
    May 5, 2014

    For skype, sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list is more clear; near the bottom are instructions on which 2 lines to be un-commented and activated, save.
    Next check: sudo gedit /usr/share/alsa/cards/USB-Audio.conf to see if your headphone is listed ( I had to add the line:
    “Plantronics .Audio 646 DSP” 999 ). Following, sudo apt-get install skype:i386 libasound2-plugins:i386 works for me!

    And you may need to brew your own IcedTea:
    # sudo apt-get install icedtea-7-plugin
    # mkdir ~/.mozilla/plugins
    # ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_04/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so ~/.mozilla/plugins

    Good column, thx and cheers :-)

  29. #30 Greg Laden
    May 5, 2014

    Jay, thanks, excellent points.

  30. #31 Greg Laden
    May 5, 2014

    Jan, in that case you may be able to mount it

    http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2013/01/mount-umount-examples/

  31. #32 Lakis
    Greece
    May 9, 2014

    Since the whole world does not write in English only and many have to switch between 2 or more languages, the language indicator is not only helpful, it’s essential. It seems that multilingual support gets really effed up from time to time (13.10 changed the language switching combination, 14.04 effed up language switching on the login screen, etc). Time machine back to the 80s.

  32. #33 Lee
    May 14, 2014

    Why does no one make scripts for these things? Why make us copy commands one by one? Here’s my script, including all the suggestions from this article, plus from one or two others. Just save it into a file, chmod +x it (or right click, do properties, and give it permission to run) and run it in a terminal. WARNING: Make you sure you know what all these commands do and that you want to actually do them! Delete the lines you want. Use with caution. I take no responsibility if it causes your computer to become sentient, murder your family, and then self-destruct. You’re welcome!

    #!/bin/bash

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade -y
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y
    sudo apt-get install calibre -y
    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
    sudo apt-get install vlc
    sudo apt-get install rar
    sudo apt-get install gimp
    sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
    sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool
    sudo sh -c ‘echo “deb http://archive.canonical.com/ quantal partner” >> /etc/apt/sources.list’
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install skype
    sudo apt-get install icedtea–7-plugin openjdk–7-jre
    sudo apt-get install diodon diodon-plugins
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install calendar-indicator
    sudo apt-get install dropbox
    sudo apt-get install libappindicator1
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:diesch/testing
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install classicmenu-indicator
    sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload
    gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Lenses disabled-scopes “[‘more_suggestions-amazon.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-u1ms.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-populartracks.scope’, ‘music-musicstore.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-ebay.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-ubuntushop.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-skimlinks.scope’]”
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
    sudo tlp start
    sudo apt-get install dolphin -y
    sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
    sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer
    sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh
    echo “Downloading GetDeb and PlayDeb” &&
    wget http://archive.getdeb.net/install_deb/getdeb-repository_0.1-1~getdeb1_all.deb http://archive.getdeb.net/install_deb/playdeb_0.3-1~getdeb1_all.deb &&

    echo “Installing GetDeb” &&
    sudo dpkg -i getdeb-repository_0.1-1~getdeb1_all.deb &&

    echo “Installing PlayDeb” &&
    sudo dpkg -i playdeb_0.3-1~getdeb1_all.deb &&

    echo “Deleting Downloads” &&
    rm -f getdeb-repository_0.1-1~getdeb1_all.deb &&
    rm -f playdeb_0.3-1~getdeb1_all.deb
    sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
    sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager
    echo ‘deb http://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/stable/ /’ | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/libdvdcss.list &&
    echo ‘deb-src http://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/stable/ /’ | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/libdvdcss.list &&
    wget -O – http://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/videolan-apt.asc|sudo apt-key add -
    sudo apt-get install synaptic vlc gimp gimp-data gimp-plugin-registry gimp-data-extras y-ppa-manager bleachbit openjdk-7-jre oracle-java8-installer flashplugin-installer unace unrar zip unzip p7zip-full p7zip-rar sharutils rar uudeview mpack arj cabextract file-roller libxine1-ffmpeg mencoder flac faac faad sox ffmpeg2theora libmpeg2-4 uudeview libmpeg3-1 mpeg3-utils mpegdemux liba52-dev mpeg2dec vorbis-tools id3v2 mpg321 mpg123 libflac++6 totem-mozilla icedax lame libmad0 libjpeg-progs libdvdcss2 libdvdread4 libdvdnav4 libswscale-extra-2 ubuntu-restricted-extras ubuntu-wallpapers*
    echo “Cleaning Up” &&
    sudo apt-get -f install &&
    sudo apt-get autoremove &&
    sudo apt-get -y autoclean &&
    sudo apt-get -y clean

  33. #34 Greg Laden
    May 14, 2014

    Lee, I think people don’t make scripts because they don’t want people to get mad at them and demand technical support! Also, the interactive method is a better learning experience.

    On the other hand, a script is a great way of documenting what you’ve done, and is much more efficient if it works.

    So, let’s see how it goes! Thanks for the script!

  34. #35 Jan Greeff
    South Africa
    May 17, 2014

    Since installing Tweak Tool my menu bar is not functioning like before, e.g. if I have two or more windows open in a browser, the system used to show all the open windows minimised if I click on the relevant menu item so I can pick the one I want to go to. I have tried to establish which of the Tweak Tool settings controls this function but no success, so I have had to remove Tweak Tool, but this function is still mnot back. Where have I missed the boat?

  35. #36 Greg Laden
    May 17, 2014

    Are you talking about chrome tabs when you refer to windows? Shown in the menu bar on top? Did you install something to make that happen?

  36. #37 rorschach
    May 18, 2014

    Whoa, what is this when I click on online services? “Authorize Ubuntu to access your Twitter account”. I don’t think so.

    I would agree with Greg, 13.10 was already a step in the right direction, and 14.04 continues that trend for Ubuntu. I had bought a high-end dedicated gaming laptop a while ago, but got so fed up with the Win8 on it that I removed it completely and put 13.10 on it, runs like a charm.

  37. #38 Brainstorms
    Los Angeles
    May 18, 2014

    Regarding scripts, I have a colleciton of 60-70 bash scripts for installation & fixups that include your list & more, and includes instructions & descriptions. Each script has diagnostics, help, etc. to ensure correct use and successful installation, including dependencies. Works for 12.04 and 14.04, and I’m constantly updating, improving, and adding to them. Sure makes installation & “polishing” of Ubuntu an easy task…

    I’m sure I’m not alone at this. But you’re right — no one publishes their scripts because they don’t want to deal with people’s issues or demands for support.

    Even so, I have trouble getting the few Ubuntu users around me to even bother to look at what I have. I end up building systems for friends — I’d rather they have a positive experience with Ubuntu, and I’m always learning by doing.

    At least now I’m a bash expert. :^)

  38. #39 robG
    china
    May 18, 2014

    1/ skype. the normal font size is 6. must install qt4config. then run config-qt4. then choose your font and size (eg size 12).
    2/ fonts. add the DROID font to system. these are much easier to read on monitor.

  39. #40 Jan Greeff
    South Africa
    May 19, 2014

    Since installing all those tweak tools, my Ubuntu 14.04 menu behaviour seems to have gone awry. I used to be able to access miniature versions of more than one window in the same app simultaneously; for example, when I had two or more sites open in the browser I could simply click on the Firefox icon to see miniature versions of all the currently open websites from where I could select which one I wanted to see.

    The same principle in Thunberbird and other apps: I used to be able to go back to the main inbox window while an e-mail was being sent, this is no longer possible and is an irritation.

    This feature is no longer working.

    The problem appears to have started when I installed Unity Tweak Tool and Tweak Tool, but when I uninstall these apps the problem remains. I have tried various options offered by the tweak tools but to no avail.

    Can you please assist me to recover the feature that I am missing?

  40. #41 Greg Laden
    May 19, 2014

    I never had that capability to begin with so I’m not sure. But your answer may be here somewhere:

    http://askubuntu.com/questions/128676/launcher-and-window-menu-bar-missing-after-12-04-upgrade

  41. #42 Jeffrey Heckman
    MN 55718
    May 22, 2014

    Have you been reading my mind Greg? Ie. Unity, and the beginning of some peoples’ attempt to ruin Ubuntu?

  42. #43 Jeffrey Heckman
    May 22, 2014

    Any relation to Bin Laden?

  43. #44 Greg Laden
    May 22, 2014

    Jeffrey, no to “bin Laden” (different pronunciation). Yes to reading your mind!

  44. #46 Christopher Marx
    United States
    May 27, 2014

    Can someone PLEASE tell me how to download files, en mass, from Ubuntu One before it is shut down?! This should NOT be this hard….
    I’ve got 2.73 GB of old photos from a previous phone that I want to recover and there is no “download your stuff” button anywhere when accessing it through the browser. i’m running 14.04 – where 14.04 client has been done away with.

  45. #47 Greg Laden
    May 27, 2014

    Christopher, since I never really had any files on Ubuntu One I have no idea, but I think that if you hook up with some of the other services such as COPY, they have a migration feature that helps you do this. My friend Mike seems to have had an easy time having his Ubuntu One stuff transferred over to Copy by using Copy to do the work. Since you get 5G free with Copy that should work for you.

  46. #48 Greg Laden
    May 27, 2014

    Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 8.11.14 AM

  47. #49 Greg Laden
    May 27, 2014

    Christopher, see image above.

  48. #50 Peter Smith
    June 5, 2014

    Thanks for those useful tips. I’ve implemented many of them.
    I’ve also installed cairo-dock and hidden the unity panel.
    I like the cutesy interface of cairo-dock, It is much more configurable and additionally supplies the standard menus with a fast search function.
    The application docks and stacks are particularly useful.
    It is still slightly buggy but the benefits make the bugs bearable.

  49. #51 gbhsgbhs
    USA
    June 16, 2014

    I tried Ubuntu in the version 12 range, but switched to Kubuntu, then found Linux MATE, version 14 at the time, and been with it ever since. If you liked gnome, you’d probably like Mint MATE too.

  50. #52 Pat
    Decatur, GA
    June 27, 2014

    So so funny and so useful for us Ubuntu newbies! BTW I used your flash suggestion, fully expecting it not to work after HOURS of messing with Adobe’s download (except it wouldn’t), and VOILA, I can listen fo Grooveshark again without booting the Windows Enterprise I vowed to disavow. You have saved my sanity. Bookmark, boom.

  51. #53 Nils
    Cologne, Germany
    June 30, 2014

    I’ve never liked Gnome, I’m a huge KDE fan – that’s why I stick with Kubuntu, which is an Ubuntu variant that comes with KDE as its default desktop. Of course I could install regular Ubuntu and then install and configure all the necessary KDE packages, but that’s a lot of work.

    Actually, I’ve been a KDE user since KDE 1.0, because unlike you, I knew enough about Linux to get S.u.S.E. to work (back when it still had those little dots in the 1990s). I just always found S.u.S.E. quite annoying because it didn’t let you edit the configuration files by hand, you always had to use suseconfig, and the yast package manager was awful – so I switched to Debian around 2004. S.u.S.E. had been using KDE as its default desktop ever since KDE 1.0, but Debian was using Gnome, so I had to install all those packages manually. Besides, Debian still asked me lots of questions while installing anything, which is nice for a server OS but not so much for a desktop OS, so I was really happy when Ubuntu came and was as quick and easy to install as OS X or Windows.

    Anyway, Unity sucks. But it’s not Unity why I’m considering switching to another Linux distro, it’s some basic decisions the people at Ubuntu made about the future road map of their operating system, which will make it drift away from the Linux mainstream, no matter which desktop you use.

  52. #54 Greg Laden
    June 30, 2014

    We share concerns about Ubuntu’s road map but I wonder if they are changing with the demise of One.

    One of those early packages I tried was SUSE. I got it working of course, but it was impossible for me to figure out how to print (which ironically is something I almost never do these days) or to use the internet (very important).

    I just installed Cinnamon 2.2 on top of the Ubuntu install and it is very nice, and working well. But you would not like it since it is very Gnomish.

  53. #55 Diam Etric
    Behind the Milk
    July 18, 2014

    No offense, but how can anyone who’s ever used Winblows NOT know what RAR is. I almost stopped reading after that.

  54. #56 Greg Laden
    July 18, 2014

    Interesting response. I recommend that you don’t “stop reading” (or observing or learning or otherwise taking things in) when you experience incredulity or when you encounter a person who is slightly different than you. That would be a recipe for having very limited experiences in your life.

    I don’t archive stuff, ever. I used to do that a lot, but I just don’t any more. I have no need to. I use files as they are and store and manage them using the applicable OS tools. I’m not sure if I can explain why it is that I manage to live this way. Perhaps the better approach is to ask, why is it that some people (perhaps many people) use archives all the time, or at least now and then.

    I’m sure there is archiving that happens all the time under the hood; when I install something packages get unpacked, etc. But I very rarely do any of that myself. Every now and then I am required to unpack something and I do that and hey, I probably use RAR or something when that occurs. All I know is that an “archive manager” pops up and does some unpacking. If that is RAR than perhaps I use RAR. If it is some other application, then that is what I use. But it never calls itself “RAR” so how would I know that?

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. No offense taken.

  55. #57 Peter Smith
    July 18, 2014

    No offense, but how can anyone who’s ever used Winblows NOT know what RAR is.

    When somebody says ‘no offense, but…’, it is a pretty good indicator that they intend to be snarky and they are deliberately drawing attention to that fact.

    As an exercise, try re-phrasing your statement in a neutral way. It’s not at all difficult and it is far more helpful.

    Oh, I for one, did not know anything about the RAR format for a long time. But, if you ask me about .tar.gz I can say something useful.

  56. #58 Colin N
    England
    July 24, 2014

    I’m a very new user of Ubuntu 14.01 after many years of Windows XP. When I get a message that there’s an update, the system tells me there not enough space and to run ‘sudo apt-get clean’. I have no idea how to get to this or how to run it. I have loads of space on the hard drive. Please could someone explain in very basic terms. Thanks in anticipation.

  57. #59 Colin N
    England
    July 24, 2014

    Sorry, should have read Ubuntu 14.04

  58. #60 Colin N
    England
    July 24, 2014

    One other problem I’m having is that once booted up a window automatically opens for Keyboard Shortcuts.

    How can I stop this happening?

  59. #61 Greg Laden
    July 24, 2014

    Colin, do you have your hard drive partitioned into smaller portions so that the system is on a smaller “virtual” drive? Or, are you booting up from a CD/DVD or a thumb drive?

    I have no idea why keyboard shortcuts would open on bootup.

  60. #62 Brainstorms
    July 24, 2014

    Colin, as Greg points out, your Ubuntu is very short of disk space if you’re getting a request to ‘clean’ your repository (which amounts to removing installer files that are no longer needed).

    To do this, press Ctrl-Alt-T to open a terminal window, then enter the ‘sudo apt-get clean’ command. When it’s done, you can close the terminal window. In the longer term, you’ll need to make some rearrangements to increase the disk space allocated for Ubuntu. (Which of several methods really depends on how your system was installed.)

    The Keyboard Shortcuts display is a new ‘feature’ for 14.04. It will always disappear with the first keypress or mouse click to do something in Ubuntu. It’s a courtesy reminder, but doesn’t affect anything.

  61. #63 Colin N
    England
    July 24, 2014

    Greg/Brainstorms, thanks for your support, much appreciated. The keyboard commands has now ceased opening, but I can run ‘sudo apt-get clean’. Here’s from a couple of attempts. Any ideas?

    colin@Dell:~$ get sudo apt-get clean
    No command ‘get’ found, but there are 19 similar ones
    get: command not found
    colin@Dell:~$ apt-get clean
    E: Could not open lock file /var/cache/apt/archives/lock – open (13: Permission denied)
    E: Unable to lock the download directory

    My Ubuntu set up was just the default directly replacing Windows XP on my Laptop’s hard drive. Generally it’s really good and I think I much prefer it to Windows, any version!

  62. #64 Colin N
    England
    July 24, 2014

    Sorry, should have read ‘can’t run’

  63. #65 Greg Laden
    July 24, 2014

    sudo apt-get clean

    Then it will ask you for a password.

    apt-get is the program you are running

    clean tells it to cleanup

    sudo allows you to run apt-get which can only be run with super user permission.

    You should also, when you are done cleaning, run

    sudo apt-get update

    just to make sure everything is updated.

  64. #66 Colin N
    England
    July 24, 2014

    Greg, really appreciate your help.
    After a few attempts, I was asked for a password, which I entered. Nothing seemed to happen, so I tried again but no request for a password. I then tried the updates, and all downloaded and installed OK. Thanks again, Colin

  65. #67 Brainstorms
    July 24, 2014

    Colin, when you first (successfully) use the ‘sudo’ qualifier, you get 5 minutes of “free use” of ‘sudo’ without having to re-enter your password (a convenience).

    You can usually get a command prompt even when the GUI desktop is frozen or otherwise unusable by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1. You’ll need to log in to the console (for security reasons), then you can run command-line commands to recover, install, fix things, etc. F1 through F6 are Console Terminals, while F7-F12 are GUI sessions; you return to your GUI session with Ctrl-Alt-F7 (sometimes F8; you can always try others).

    Most of the command line commands will display an error message if something goes wrong, but will give no output if they complete successfully. (You get a new prompt, but that’s all.)

    You can enter ‘df -h’ at the command prompt and it will display how much disk space is being used and how much is available (for all the disk partitions in your system that are mounted by Ubuntu).

    There is also a graphical (GUI) tool you can use to resize your partitions to make more room, called ‘gparted’. You can search for it with the Dash (and you may need to install it for Ubuntu running on a hard drive; the “Live CD” version, when booted up, has ‘gparted’ already available). Please Google and read up on using ‘gparted’ first, though. Backups are recommended (until you know what you’re doing).

    Congrats on making the jump to Linux. There’s a bit to learn to get things set up & configured (as there was with learning Windows), but it’s rewarding and the wider range of control you have is nice.

  66. #68 Greg Laden
    July 24, 2014

    Colin, normally when “nothing happens” in Linux that is because everything went fine, as Brainstorms says.

    You can install gparted, probably, with apt-get

    sudo apt-get install gparted

    Then enter password if asked, and you may also have to say “Y” at some point.

  67. #69 Colin N
    England
    July 25, 2014

    Brainstorms/Greg,

    thanks for all you help. Luckily following the updates my old laptop is really flying again. I’m amazed how well a 9 year old laptop witha Celeron 1.4 processor and 2GB of RAM works with Ubuntu.

    Even things where I had my doubts like not being able to get a printer driver from Epson were completly unfounded as the compatible driver in Ubuntu works just fine.

    All the apps I use sit nicely in the Dash and have the virus scanner and firewall installed too.

    I really appreciate all your kind advice which gives me a lot of confidence with Ubuntu.

  68. #70 Greg Laden
    July 25, 2014

    Great!

    You probably don’t actually need the virus scanner. What is it, anyway?

    It’s like bandages after the civil war. Everybody kept them around but nobody needed them. Where the Civil War is Windows and After the Civil War is Linux. And Bandages are virus scanners.

  69. #71 Donal
    August 12, 2014

    I just got an email from Skype:
    “We are now retiring older versions of Skype and it appears that at some point you signed into Skype with one of these. To continue signing into Skype on Linux you’ll need to download the latest version. The new version comes with improved performance, the latest features and security updates, so you’ll get the best possible Skype experience.

    Update now at http://www.skype.com/download.”

    I could never get skype to work until I followed your install instructions, so I am dubious about trying to install skype’s download again. I suppose it is too much to expect that your instructions will install the updated skype?

  70. #72 Greg Laden
    August 12, 2014

    Yeah, I have to do that too. Let us know what happens when you do it! I don’t use Skype much.

  71. #73 Donal
    August 13, 2014

    Some sites claim Canonical has 4.3 – but even after enabling Canonical in Software & updates, both the terminal command line and software center just install 4.2 again. The following worked for me:

    Remove Skype 4.2:
    sudo apt-get remove skype skype-bin

    Purge Skype 4.2:
    sudo apt-get purge skype skype-bin

    Learn whether your linux install is 32 bit or 64 bit and download the appropriate file from Skype.

    Install Gdebi from Software Center. In your file browser, find the Skype package in downloads and right-click on it, select open with Gdebi and click install

    Delete your login folder from /home/[loginname]/.Skype/[loginname] otherwise Skype either hangs or comes up as 4.2 again. Hit Ctrl+H to see hidden files.

  72. #74 Greg Laden
    August 13, 2014

    Donal, excellent, thanks

    gdebi is a good idea to have on one’s system. For those who don’t know it is essentially the same thing as apt but it works on local packages that are in the form of .deb files.

    In the old days before Ubunutu broke Linux (conceptually) gdebi was normally installed, it may well be part of a lot of installations. So software what was not in regular repositories, often highly experimental stuff, would be installed by downloading the deb package. Then, you just click on the deb package in your file manager (double click) and it installs. Now, you typically have to install gdebi to get this functionality.

  73. #75 Donal
    August 14, 2014

    BTW, several of the Skype commenters are using Mint, which seems to be more open than Ubuntu + Unity. I’m going to have to try it out.

  74. #76 marees
    chennai, India
    August 14, 2014

    Thanks for the rant. The Internet was made for rants.

  75. #77 marees
    chennai, India
    August 14, 2014

    is there any conflict between LibAV/mplayer2 & ffmpeg/mencoder/mplayer?

    This conflict prevented the upgrade message appearing in my LTS 12 system. Only after I uninstalled all this stuff, I got the upgrade to 14 message. Thinking, If I need to re-install all this stuff or if it is possible to live without them?

  76. #78 Red Aura
    India
    August 17, 2014

    Right now im using Ubuntu 12.10 and it has overheating issue. I have solved this prob by installing TLP.

    Can anyone confirm whether Ubuntu 14.04 has the same issue and is it compatible with TLP and Psensor app.

  77. #79 Greg Laden
    August 17, 2014

    Not sure about the overheating issue inherent to the particular release, but TLP is compatable.

  78. #80 Jan Greeff
    Bela-Bela, South Africa
    August 17, 2014

    Psensor is working fine on my Ubuntu 14.04

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