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install:ubuntu504_desktop [MojaveWiki]
 

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Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary) Install Notes

This page details the setup and configuration of Ubuntu Linux on my HP machines at work. Ubuntu's motto is "Linux for Human Beings". Something about that just wins my heart.

Machine Specifications

  • CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz (Hyper-Threading)
  • RAM: 1GB DDR
  • Video: Quadro NVS 280 PCI
  • Moniter: 1280x1024 Princeton LCD

Acquiring the Disks

CD ISO files can be freely downloaded from Ubuntu's download page or CDs can be ordered for free from the Ubuntu shipit initiative.

First Steps

Once you have the disk in hand (you want the install disk, not the Live CD), you pop it in your CD-ROM drive and turn on the computer. The installation is very straightforward and merely asks you a couple of basic questions. Be sure to have an ethernet cable plugged in when installing!

The only part requiring any decisions at all is when you have to create your user. Just enter your name, your unix account name, and a password of choice. At one point in the installation, it does ask you about moniter resolutions. Be sure to use the arrow keys to move down to the option 1280x1024 and hit the spacebar to select it. The default resolution is 1024x768, but the LCD moniters works best at the higher resolution.

Login and Beyond

After the installation is complete and the installer has downloaded and install all the updates, you will be presented with a login screen. At this point, you might want to stop and adjust your LCD. To do so, hit the left button on the LCD (labeled [1]), and then hit the one second to the right (labeled [2]). Once that is complete, you can type your username and password created during the install to login.

Once the login is complete, look in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. You will notice a red icon that is notifying you that additional updates are available. You will want to click on this icon, enter your own password, and allow the updates to run. Once the updates are complete, this icon will disappear and only appear again when there are additional updates.

The next step is to run the initialization script that will setup a couple of additional programs, install some of the development related software and establish some common settings.

Root Access?

If you are familair with Unix/Linux, you may be asking yourself, "How do I become root? How do I get root access?" The answer to the first question is you don't and the answer to the second is with sudo. Sudo it a tool for Unix/Linux that grants specific users superuser access for a single operation. Ubuntu is configured to use sudo for all administrative operations. When using sudo, instead of typing in the root password, you actually type in your own password instead.

If, for whatever reason, it is necessary to get access to a root shell, you can simply type:

$> sudo su

Any other single operation that you would like to execute with root priviledges, simply prefix the call with sudo

$> sudo vim /var/log/messages

Browsing Shared Folders

Linux uses the smb protocol to browser windows shares. It is possible to view the "Network Neighborhood" by selecting the desktop menu item Places > Network Servers. To jump directly to a shared named "Public", follow these steps:

  1. Select the desktop menu item Places > Connect to Server...
  2. Select the service name Windows share
  3. Enter the server name sharehost
  4. Click on the button "Connect" (fill in windows domain login information when requested)

You can access the windows network using the file prefix smb://, so in the case of the so-called "public" drive, the address is:

smb://sharehost/Public

NOTE: You can open documents directly from the shared folder except for office documents, which have to be first copied to the desktop. Neither OpenOffice or the archive manager are able to resolve file paths that are prefixed with smb:// (these programs are not aware of these transparent network protocols). In order to edit office documents directly from the share, it is necessary to mount the share into the filesystem.

Tweaking the Desktop

After installing, it is always customary to tweak the desktop to your likely. We have included some options here which you may or may not choose to use. If you have a strong opinion to how your desktop and windows operate, I encourage you to click on the System > Preferences menu and take a look at each of the available option screens. There are enough to keep you busy for a while.

  • Disable the system bell (STOP THE MADNESS!)
    1. Select the desktop menu option System > Preferences > Sound
    2. Select the tab "System Bell"
    3. Uncheck the audible bell and select one of the visual feedback options
  • Enable subpixel smoothing for LCD
    1. Select the desktop menu option System > Preferences > Fonts
    2. Check the box "Subpixel smoothing (LCDs)
  • Single click desktop icons to activate
    1. Select the desktop menu option System > Preferences > File Management
    2. Select the tab "Behavior"
    3. Check the option "Single click to activate items"
  • Enable a "Delete" option in the file manager (default is to only have "Move to Trash")
    1. Select the desktop menu option System > Preferences > File Management
    2. Select the tab "Behavior"
    3. Check the box "Include a Delete command that bypasses Trash"
  • Periodically synchronize time with NTP servers
    1. Select the desktop menu option System > Administration > Time and Date
    2. Check the box "Periodically synchronize time with servers"
    3. Click on the button to select several NTP mirror sites with which to synchronize (any ones will do)
  • Shade window on title bar double click
    1. Select the desktop menu option System > Preferences > Windows
    2. Check the box "Select windows when the mouse moves over them"
  • Add klipper (clipboard tool) to start on login
    1. Select the desktop menu option System > Preferences > Sessions > Startup Programs
    2. Select the tab "Startup Programs"
    3. Click the button "Add"
    4. Enter the text "klipper"
  • Add the System Monitor to the taskbar
    1. Right click the upper task bar and select "Add to Panel..."
    2. Select the applet named "System Monitor"
  • Adjust keyboard delay and repeat rate
    1. Select the desktop menu option System > Preferences > Keyboard
    2. Move the sliders for the "Delay" and "Speed" to adjust how the keyboard reacts when holding down a key
  • Make capslock another control key
    1. Select the desktop menu option System > Preferences > Keyboard
    2. Select the tab "Layout Options"
    3. Expand the "Control Key Position" option
    4. Check the option "Make CapsLock an Additional Control"

Desktop Sharing

It is possible to share your desktop with VNC (for both windows and linux users), connect to remote linux desktop with VNC enabled or connect to a remote windows desktop using RDP.

  • Sharing your desktop
    • Select the desktop menu option System > Preferences > Remote Desktop
    • Check the box "Allow other users to view your desktop"
    • Decide what other options you want to enable those
    • Send and message to the other party and tell them to use a VNC viewer to connect to your IP address followed by :0 (example: 10.44.0.150:0)
  • Connecting to a remote desktop
    • Select the desktop menu option Applications > Internet > Terminal Server Client
    • Enter the IP address in the box labled "Computer"
    • Select the protocol (VNC for linux, RDP for windows)
    • Enter any authorization details
    • Click the button "Connect"

7-button Mouse

For those of you that might have splurged on a 7+ button mouse, these instructions will help you to enable the "back" and "forward" buttons on the mouse for use in browsing the web and the local file system.

  1. Add/replace these lines in the "InputDevice" section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    Option          "Buttons"               "7"
    Option          "ZAxisMapping"          "6 7"
    Option          "Protocol"              "ExplorerPS/2"
    
  2. Enable 'universe' in apt-get and install package imwheel
  3. Edit /etc/X11/imwheel/startup.conf to have the following settings:
    IMWHEEL_START=1
    IMWHEEL_PARAMS="-k -b "67""
    
  4. Edit /etc/X11/imwheel/imwheelrc and add the following lines:
    ".*"
    None, Up, Alt_L|Left
    None, Down, Alt_L|Right
    

    and also comment out the special section for Opera (no longer need for Opera 8+)

  5. Create the file /etc/X11/Xsession.d/57xmodmap and populate with:
    #!/bin/bash
     
    xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 6 7 4 5"
    
  6. Logout and Restart X (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace)

Nvidia Driver

In order to get the most out of your graphics card, you may want to go the extra mile and install the official nvidia drivers. Please see the Ubuntu wiki for installation instructions.

...and beyond!

If you would like to read more about tweaking and configuring Ubuntu linux, follow the links below to the setup guides.

  • Advanced Ubuntu Setup Guide - if you want to go the extra mile and get more gooides, take a look here.
  • Ubuntu Notes - some additional notes and tweaks across several ubuntu versions
  • IE6 on Wine - HOWTO for running IE6 using Wine setup with Winetools
  • Opera on Ubuntu - HOWTO for getting the right Opera browser and customizing its look. Be sure to "use system colors" to blend theme.
    It is also necessary to install lesstif1 from universe.

Some of the package repositories have been left disabled since they are 3rd party packages and not supported directly by ubuntu. In order to manage the repositories, open the Synaptic Package Manager and select the menu Settings > Repositories. In that dialog screen, click on the button "Settings" and check the box "Show disabled software sources". Enabling this setting actually gives you the control to enable or disable sources at will.

Xcomposition

  • sudo apt-get install xcompmgr transset
  • add to /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    Section "Extensions"
        Option  "Composite" "Enable"
    EndSection
    
  • add to nvidia section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf
        Option      "RenderAccel" "true"
    
  • in ~/.xsession add one of the following to start the extension:
    xcompmgr -c -r 5 -l -5 -t -5
    xcompmgr -sfF
    
 
install/ubuntu504_desktop.txt · Last modified: 2006/10/28 21:17
 
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