Karmic Over Koala

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Having downloaded the latest distribution of Ubuntu – Karmic Koala a few week ago, I have invested considerable time in tweaking the best configuration for my needs. This, rather technical post lists a number of applications that I’m running on my Ubuntu laptop. I will add/remove applications over time, so this post is likely to be updated. I hope you find it useful.

Essentials

1. Install the Latest Updates

As with most modern operating systems, applying the latest updates should be top of the agenda list after installing Ubuntu.  This can be achieved in two ways, either click on System > Administration > Update Manager. Alternatively, launch a Terminal window and the choose  Applications > Accessories > Terminal.

Next enter in the following command:

sudo apt-get update

Enter your password if prompted. After the $ prompt, enter the following:

sudo apt-get upgrade

Enter Y if prompted to proceed.

2. Install Restricted Extras

Restricted updates contain a number of key enhancement to the system that Ubuntu are unable to ship as part of the distribution. However, there are key bits of software here including Adobe Flash Player, Java Runtime Environment (JRE) (sun-java-jre) with Firefox plug-ins (icedtea), a set of Microsoft Fonts (msttcorefonts), multimedia codecs (w32codecs or w64codecs), MP3-compatible encoding (lame), FFMpeg, extra Gstreamer codecs, the package for DVD decoding.

Enter the following Terminal command to install these extras:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Again, enter your system password if prompted. You may need to do this going forward after running each sudo command!

Security

3. Install a Firewall

Ubuntu isn’t prone to attacks as some other operating systems. However, I think it is worth installing nevertheless.

Enter the following Terminal command to install the firewall.

sudo apt-get install gufw

The firewall can be configured by navigating to System > Administration > Firewall Configuration

4. Antivirus

Generally speaking, Ubuntu users do not need install antivirus software. However, you can install the ClamTK Virus Scanner.

Enter the following Terminal command to install the client:

sudo apt-get install clamtk

5. Install Backup Software

Use the following Terminal command to install backup software

sudo apt-get install backintime-gnome

Media Players and Codecs

6. Media Player – VLC

Simply the best open source media player there is. It will play virtually any kind of media you can throw at it. 

Enter the following Terminal command to install VLC

sudo apt-get install vlc

7. MPlayer

Another great media player worth installing is MPlayer

sudo apt-get install mplayer smplayer

8. AmaroK

AmaroK integrates with Wikipedia, lyrics and album cover look-ups! It should also sync with your iPod too

sudo apt-get install amarok

9. DVD Playback

Most commercial DVDs are encrypted with Content Scrambling System (CSS), which attempts to restrict the software that can play a DVD. You’ll need to install libdvdcss if you want to play them. Type the following Terminal command:

sudo apt-get install libdvdread4

Then enter:

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

10. K9copy

K9copy is a free open source DVD backup, copying, compression, and authoring utility that requires libdvdcss.  You can easily create MPEG-2. MPEG-4, or DVD videos with this utility. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install k9copy

11. DVD::RIP

DVD::Rip is a DVD backup/copy program, written in GTK-based perl, that uses the transcode video/audio processing and conversion tools. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install dvdrip rar

MSN Messenger Client

12. Emesene 

Emesene is an MSN messenger client that uses a simplified interface similar to the original messenger client.  To install it type:

sudo apt-get install emesene

FTP Clients

13. Filezilla

Filezilla is the ubiquitous free open-source FTP client and server for all platforms.

sudo apt-get install filezilla

Microblogging

 

14. Gwibber

Gwibber is a small microblogging client for people who frequently use sites such as Twitter, Identi.ca, Jaiku, Facebook, Digg, and more.

sudo apt-get install gwibber

 

Utilities

15. Webcam

Cheese is an Apple Photobooth inspired application for taking pictures and videos from a webcam.

sudo apt-get install cheese

16. Compiz Fusion

Compiz Fusion allows you to use interesting desktop effects such as a rotating cube desktop.

sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-main
compiz-fusion-plugins-extra emerald librsvg2-common fusion-icon

Run Applications > System Tools > Compiz Fusion Icon. A blue icon will appear in the tray. From here you can configure Compiz-Fusion.

17. Conky

Conky is a light-weight system monitor for X, that displays any information on your desktop.

sudo apt-get install conky

18. Screenlets

Screenlets are small applications that are laying on your desktop. Eye candy stuff and useful in many ways. Just type:

sudo apt-get install screenlets

Go to Applications > Accessories > Screenlets and choose the screenlet that you want click launch/add.

Additional screenlets can be downloaded from www.gnome-look.org or from http://screenlets.org/index.php/Category:UserScreenlets

Web Browsers

19. Google Chrome

To add the repository, open the source list :

sudo gedit  /etc/apt/sources.list

Add these 2 lines at the end of the sources.list

For Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala :

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-daily/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-daily/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

Open the terminal and add the GPG key

sudo sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 0xfbef0d696de1c72ba5a835fe5a9bf3bb4e5e17b5

Now update the cache

sudo apt-get update

Google Chrome can be installed with the following command:

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

Utilities

20. ntfs-3g

ntfs-3g allows you to read and write data to NTFS formatted drives and can be installing with the following command:

sudo apt-get install ntfs-config

Then type the following command:

gksu ntfs-config

21. Mount Windows Hard Drives on Startup

Mount your Windows HDD ‘s on Ubuntu startup with PySdm. You can install Pysdm with Ubuntu Software Center or with your terminal:

sudo apt-get install pysdm

Next run the app with

sudo pysdm

On the partition list you can found all of your hard drives. Click on the drive you want to mount, then on general preferences tab click Mount and apply. If the disks are not mounted on startup, start your Pysdm again and select Mount on startup options then apply. Be careful, don’t play with the rest options if you are not experienced user because you can damage your Ubuntu system.

22. Unrar

sudo apt-get -y install unrar 

23. Beagle

Similar to Google Desktop Search and Mac OS Spotlight, Beagle offers a great desktop search tool for Ubuntu, and can be installed with the following command:

sudo apt-get install -y beagle

24. Gnome Deskbar Applet

The Gnome Deskbar Applet is a cross between Spotlight and Quicksilver. Basically it’s a great app launcher and then some, with plugins designed to integrate more search options than you can shake a stick at, from live Google searches to integration with Beagle.

To use the Deskbar Applet, right-click the top panel and select Add to Panel… and find Deskbar Applet (incidentally, there are a lot of other great tools in the Add to Panel… dialog worth checking out). It’s no Quicksilver, but it’s better than any app launcher/search tool available on Windows.

apt-get install deskbar-applet

25. UNetbootin

Unetbootin allows you to install Ubuntu from a USB Drive. Install the app with the following command:

sudo apt-get install unetbootin

26. Search App Explanation

apt-cache search xxxxx     

(Where xxxxx is the name of app that you wish to learn more about).

27. Skype

sudo apt-get install skype

28. Clipboard

sudo apt-get install parcellite

29. Add/Remove App

The Add/Remove app is a great app for installing and removing applications. It can be easily installed, by following the instructions below:

Applications  > Ubuntu Software Center then search for “Add/Remove” without quotes. Double click on Add/Remove Applications and hit install

30. Wine (Windows Compatibility Layer) 

sudo apt-get install wine1.2

31. Adobe Air

sudo apt-get install adobeair1.2

Optionally, install the Twitter client Twhirl

sudo apt-get install twhirl

Blogging Clients

32. Lekhonee – A WordPress Client

sudo apt-get install lekhonee-gnome

ScreenSavers

33. Cool ScreenSavers

sudo apt-get install stellarium

Bittorrent

34. Bitorrent Client

sudo apt-get install deluge

Sun Java

35. Java Client

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

Email Readers

36. Thunderbird

Thunderbird from Mozilla is one of the best email client applications available, it can be installed with the following command:

sudo apt-get install thunderbird

Virtualisation

37. Sun’s Virtualbox

Sun’s Virtualbox offers free virtualisation software. Install the latest build below

http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads

Themes

To add the repository, open the source list :

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add these 2 lines at the end of the sources.list

For Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala :

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/bisigi/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/bisigi/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

Open the terminal and add the repository verification key server

gpg --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:11371 --recv-key

881574DE && gpg -a --export 881574DE | sudo apt-key add -

Now update the cache

sudo apt-get update

Type in the following commands to install the required themes:

sudo apt-get install balanzan-theme

sudo apt-get install infinity-theme

sudo apt-get install wild-shine-theme 

 

sudo apt-get install exotic-theme

 

sudo apt-get install tropical-theme 

 

sudo apt-get install bamboo-zen-theme

 

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-sunrise-theme 

 

sudo apt-get install aquadreams-theme 

To remove the themes you have just installed, use the command :

sudo apt-get remove “theme-name” 

Author: Jas Dhaliwal

Jas Dhaliwal is a highly experienced International Social Media Strategist. He specializes in building and engaging with social communities across the web. Born and bred in London, he is passionate about technology and social anthropology. You can follow @Jas on Twitter

Author: Jas Dhaliwal

Jas Dhaliwal is a highly experienced International Social Media Strategist. He specializes in building and engaging with social communities across the web. Born and bred in London, he is passionate about technology and social anthropology. You can follow @Jas on Twitter