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The Perfect Desktop – Kubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron)


This tutorial shows how you can set up a Kubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Kubuntu 8.04 LTS is derived from Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and uses the KDE desktop instead of the GNOME desktop.

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

 

1 Preliminary Note

To fully replace a Windows desktop, I want the Kubuntu desktop to have the following software installed:

Graphics:

  • The GIMP – free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop
  • F-Spot – full-featured personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop
  • Google Picasa – application for organizing and editing digital photos

Internet:

  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Flash Player 9
  • FileZilla – multithreaded FTP client
  • Thunderbird – email and news client
  • Evolution – combines e-mail, calendar, address book, and task list management functions
  • aMule – P2P file sharing application
  • KTorrent – Bittorrent client
  • Azureus – Java Bittorrent client
  • Kopete– multi-platform instant messaging client
  • Skype
  • Google Earth
  • Konversation– IRC client

Office:

  • OpenOffice Writer – replacement for Microsoft Word
  • OpenOffice Calc – replacement for Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe Reader
  • GnuCash – double-entry book-keeping personal finance system, similar to Quicken
  • Scribus – open source desktop publishing (DTP) application

Sound & Video:

  • Amarok – audio player
  • Audacity – free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor
  • Banshee – audio player, can encode/decode various formats and synchronize music with Apple iPods
  • MPlayer – media player (video/audio), supports WMA
  • Rhythmbox Music Player – audio player, similar to Apple’s iTunes, with support for iPods
  • gtkPod – software similar to Apple’s iTunes, supports iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod photo, and iPod mini
  • XMMS – audio player similar to Winamp
  • dvd::rip – full featured DVD copy program
  • Kino – free digital video editor
  • Sound Juicer CD Extractor – CD ripping tool, supports various audio codecs
  • VLC Media Player – media player (video/audio)
  • Helix Player – media player, similar to the Real Player
  • Totem – media player (video/audio)
  • Xine – media player, supports various formats; can play DVDs
  • GnomeBaker – CD/DVD burning program
  • K3B – CD/DVD burning program
  • Multimedia Codecs

Programming:

  • KompoZer – WYSIWYG HTML editor, similar to Macromedia Dreamweaver, but not as feature-rich (yet)
  • Bluefish – text editor, suitable for many programming and markup languages
  • Quanta Plus – web development environment, including a WYSIWYG editor

Other:

  • VMware Server – lets you run your old Windows desktop as a virtual machine under your Linux desktop, so you don’t have to entirely abandon Windows
  • TrueType fonts
  • Java
  • Read-/Write support for NTFS partitions

Lots of our desired applications are available in the Ubuntu repositories, and some of these applications have been contributed by the Ubuntu community.

I will use the username falko in this tutorial. Please replace it with your own username.

 

2 Installing The Base System

The installation of the base system is easy as 1-2-3 because the Kubuntu installer doesn’t offer a lot of options to choose from, so you cannot go wrong.

Download the Kubuntu 8.04 Desktop iso image from http://www.kubuntu.org/download.php, burn it onto a CD, and boot your computer from it. Select your language:

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Then choose Try Kubuntu without any change to your computer – this boots the Live system so that you can see if Kubuntu works on your hardware. We can then install Kubuntu from the Live system. If you know that your hardware is supported, you can pick Install Kubuntu instead:

2

After the Live desktop has started, click on the Install icon on the desktop to start the installation to the hard drive:

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The installer starts. First, select your language:

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Then choose your time zone:

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Change the keyboard layout, if necessary:

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Now we come to the partitioning of our hard disk. Usually Guided – use entire disk is a good choice, unless you need custom partitions and know what you’re doing. Use entire disk will create one big / partition for us:

8

Type in your real name, your desired username along with a password, and click on Forward:

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The next screen shows us a summary of the installation settings. Click on Install to start the installation:

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The hard drive is being partitioned:

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Afterwards, the Kubuntu system is being installed. This can take a few minutes, so be patient:

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After the installation is complete, we must reboot the system to use it. Click on Restart now:

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The Live-CD desktop shuts down. At the end, the Kubuntu CD is ejected. Remove it from the CD drive and hit the <ENTER> key to boot into your new Kubuntu desktop:

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Your new Kubuntu system starts. Log in to the desktop with the username and password you provided during the installation:

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This is how your new desktop looks:

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Now the base system is ready to be used.

3 Update The System

Before we go on, we should check if there are any updates available for our system. Start the Adept package manager (System > Adept Manager):

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In Adept, click on the Fetch Updates button to check for updates:

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The packages database is now being updated:

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If there are any updates available, you can pick them one-by-one and click on the Apply Changes button, or you click on Full Upgrade to install all available updates.

 

4 Inventory Of What We Have So Far

Now let’s browse all menus to see which of our needed applications are already installed:

20

You should find the following situation ([x] marks an application that is already installed, where [ ] is an application that is missing):

Graphics:
[ ] The GIMP
[ ] F-Spot
[ ] Picasa

Internet:
[ ] Firefox
[ ] Opera
[ ] Flash Player
[ ] FileZilla
[ ] Thunderbird
[ ] Evolution
[ ] aMule
[x] KTorrent
[ ] Azureus
[x] Kopete
[ ] Skype
[ ] Google Earth
[x] Konversation

Office:
[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[ ] Adobe Reader
[ ] GnuCash
[ ] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[ ] Audacity
[ ] Banshee
[ ] MPlayer
[ ] Rhythmbox Music Player
[ ] gtkPod
[ ] XMMS
[ ] dvd::rip
[ ] Kino
[ ] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[ ] VLC Media Player
[ ] Helix Player
[ ] Totem
[ ] Xine
[ ] GnomeBaker
[x] K3B
[ ] Multimedia-Codecs

Programming:
[ ] KompoZer
[ ] Bluefish
[ ] Quanta Plus

Other:
[ ] VMware Server
[ ] TrueType fonts
[ ] Java
[x] Read/Write support for NTFS partitions

So some applications are already on the system. NTFS read-/write support is enabled by default on Kubuntu 8.04 LTS.

 

5 Configure Additional Repositories

Some packages like the Adobe Reader or Opera are not available in the standard Ubuntu repositories. The easiest way to make such packages available to your system is to add the Medibuntu repository and enable the hardy partner repository.

Open the Adept package manager again:

21

Click on the Adept menu and select Manage Repositories:

22

In the Software Sources window, go to the Third-Party Software tab and mark the hardy partner repositories:

23

To enable the Medibuntu repository, click on the Add button:

24

In the Add APT repository window, fill in the following line and click on OK:

deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ hardy free non-free

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Then click on Close:

27

The package database is now being updated:

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Click on Fetch Updates afterwards to check for new updates:

29

If new updates are available, click on the Full Upgrade button…

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… and then on Apply Changes to install them:

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The updates are then being downloaded and installed:

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6 Installing The Synaptic Package Manager

Kubuntu’s Add/Remove Programs tool shows only a selection of all available software – therefore we install the Synaptic Package Manager now and use that instead to install our wanted packages. Open a terminal (System > Konsole):

39

In the terminal, type

sudo apt-get install synaptic

to install Synaptic.

 

7 Install Additional Software

To install additional applications, open the Synaptic Package Manager (System > Synaptic Package Manager):

40

Type in your password:

41

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Select the following packages for installation (* is a wildcard; e.g. gstreamer* means all packages that start with gstreamer):

  • gimp*
  • f-spot
  • ubufox
  • flashplugin-nonfree
  • kubuntu-restricted-extras
  • filezilla
  • thunderbird
  • evolution
  • amule-utils-gui
  • amule
  • azureus
  • scribus
  • gnucash
  • skype
  • opera
  • googleearth
  • acroread*
  • mozilla-acroread
  • audacity
  • banshee
  • kmplayer
  • mplayer*
  • mozilla-mplayer
  • rhythmbox
  • gtkpod-aac
  • xmms2*
  • dvdrip
  • kino
  • sound-juicer
  • vlc*
  • gstreamer*
  • helix-player
  • mozilla-helix-player
  • xine-ui
  • xine-plugin
  • gnomebaker
  • non-free-codecs
  • msttcorefonts
  • libdvdcss2
  • kompozer
  • bluefish
  • quanta
  • sun-java6* (except sun-java6-doc)
  • totem
  • totem-mozilla

There are also lots of other applications available that you can install as well if you like.

You can use the search function to search for the desired packages:

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To select a package, click on the checkbox left of it and select Mark for Installation from the menu:

44

If a package has dependencies, click on Mark to install them as well:

45

After you’ve selected all wanted packages, click on the Apply button:

46

Confirm your selection by clicking on Apply again:

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Afterwards all selected packages are being downloaded and installed:

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49

50

51

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After all packages have been installed, click on Close:

53

8 Flash Player

To see if the Flash plugin is working, start Firefox. Then type about:plugins in the address bar. Firefox will then list all installed plugins, and it should list the Flash Player (version 9.0r124 which is the newest one at the time of this writing) among them:

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9 True Type Fonts

To check if the TrueType fonts have been installed correctly, open a word processor like OpenOffice. You should now find your new Windows fonts there:

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10 Inventory (II)

Now let’s check again what we have so far by browsing the menus again:

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Our inventory should now look like this:

Graphics:
[x] The GIMP
[x] F-Spot
[ ] Picasa

Internet:
[x] Firefox
[x] Opera
[x] Flash Player
[x] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird
[x] Evolution
[x] aMule
[x] KTorrent
[x] Azureus
[x] Kopete
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Konversation

Office:
[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[x] Adobe Reader
[x] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[x] Audacity
[x] Banshee
[x] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[x] gtkPod
[x] XMMS
[x] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[x] VLC Media Player
[x] Helix Player
[x] Totem
[x] Xine
[x] GnomeBaker
[x] K3B
[x] Multimedia-Codecs

Programming:
[x] KompoZer
[x] Bluefish
[x] Quanta Plus

Other:
[ ] VMware Server
[x] TrueType fonts
[x] Java
[x] Read/Write support for NTFS partitions

 

11 Google Picasa

Open Firefox and go to http://picasa.google.com/linux/thanks-deb.html.

57

A download dialogue should come up automatically. Select Open with and then select Other… from the drop-down menu:

58

Select /usr/bin/gdebi-kde from the Choose Helper Application window:

59

In the Firefox download dialogue, you should now see Open with gdebi-kde – select that option and click on OK:

60

A Package Installer window comes up. Click on the Install Package button to install Picasa:

61

Picasa is now being installed. Afterwards, you can close the Package Installer window:

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12 Inventory (III)

Browse the Applications menu again and check what you’ve got installed so far.

Your list should look like this now:

Graphics:
[x] The GIMP
[x] F-Spot
[x] Picasa

Internet:
[x] Firefox
[x] Opera
[x] Flash Player
[x] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird
[x] Evolution
[x] aMule
[x] KTorrent
[x] Azureus
[x] Kopete
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Konversation

Office:
[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[x] Adobe Reader
[x] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[x] Audacity
[x] Banshee
[x] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[x] gtkPod
[x] XMMS
[x] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[x] VLC Media Player
[x] Helix Player
[x] Totem
[x] Xine
[x] GnomeBaker
[x] K3B
[x] Multimedia-Codecs

Programming:
[x] KompoZer
[x] Bluefish
[x] Quanta Plus

Other:
[ ] VMware Server
[x] TrueType fonts
[x] Java
[x] Read/Write support for NTFS partitions

13 VMware Server

With VMware Server you can let your old Windows desktop (that you previously converted into a VMware virtual machine with VMware Converter, as described in this tutorial: http://www.Kreationnext.com/vmware_converter_windows_linux) run under your Kubuntu desktop. This can be useful if you depend on some applications that exist for Windows only, or if you want to switch to Linux slowly.

To download VMware Server, go to http://www.vmware.com/download/server/ and click on Download Now:

63

Accept the license agreement by clicking on Yes:

64

Then download the VMware Server for Linux .tar.gz file (not the rpm file!) to your desktop (e.g. to /home/falko/Desktop):

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66

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To get the serial number you need to run VMware Server, go to http://register.vmware.com/content/registration.html. Fill in your personal details. Afterwards you will get a page with a serial number for VMware Server. Write it down or print it out:

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Then open a terminal (System > Konsole) again.

Run the following command to install some necessary packages:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential xinetd

Then go to the location where you saved the VMware Server .tar.gz file, e.g. /home/falko/Desktop (replace falko with your own username!):

cd /home/falko/Desktop

Unpack the VMware Server .tar.gz file and run the installer:

tar xvfz VMware-server-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib
sudo ./vmware-install.pl

The installer will ask you a lot of questions. You can always accept the default values simply by hitting <ENTER>.

If the installation aborts with an error like the following one…

Building the vmmon module.

Using 2.6.x kernel build system.
make: Entering directory `/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only’
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.24-16-generic/build/include/.. SUBDIRS=$PWD SRCROOT=$PW
D/. modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.24-16-generic’
CC [M]  /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.o
In file included from /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/./include/vmware.h:25,
from /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:48:
/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/./include/vm_basic_types.h:161: error: conflictin
g types for â€˜uintptr_t’
include/linux/types.h:40: error: previous declaration of â€˜uintptr_t’ was here
In file included from /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.h:20,
from /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:49:
/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/./include/compat_wait.h:37:5: warning: “VMW_HAVE_
EPOLL” is not defined
/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/./include/compat_wait.h:43:5: warning: “VMW_HAVE_
EPOLL” is not defined
In file included from /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.h:20,
from /tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:49:
/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/./include/compat_wait.h:60: error: conflicting ty          pes for â€˜poll_initwait’
include/linux/poll.h:65: error: previous declaration of â€˜poll_initwait’ was here
/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:147: warning: initialization from           incompatible pointer type
/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:151: warning: initialization from           incompatible pointer type
/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c: In function â€˜LinuxDriver_Ioctl’:
/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.c:1659: error: â€˜struct mm_struct’ ha          s no member named â€˜dumpable’
make[2]: *** [/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only/linux/driver.o] Error 1
make[1]: *** [_module_/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.24-16-generic’
make: *** [vmmon.ko] Error 2
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/vmware-config0/vmmon-only’
Unable to build the vmmon module.

For more information on how to troubleshoot module-related problems, please
visit our Web site at “http://www.vmware.com/download/modules/modules.html” and
“http://www.vmware.com/support/reference/linux/prebuilt_modules_linux.html”.

Execution aborted.

falko@falko-desktop:~/Desktop/vmware-server-distrib$

… you must patch VMware as follows…

cd /tmp
wget http://downloads.Kreationnext.com/vmware_server_on_f8_2.6.24/vmware.tar.bz2
tar xvfj vmware.tar.bz2
cd vmware/
sudo cp vm* /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/

… and resume the installation:

sudo vmware-config.pl

When the installer asks you

In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files?
[/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines]

you can either accept the default value or specify a location that has enough free space to store your virtual machines.

At the end of the installation, you will be asked to enter a serial number:

Please enter your 20-character serial number.

Type XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX or ‘Enter’ to cancel:

Fill in your serial number for VMware Server.

After the installation, please run:

sudo ln -sf /lib/libgcc_s.so.1 /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libgcc_s.so.1/libgcc_s.so.1

Otherwise VMware Server will refuse to start on Kubuntu 8.04 LTS.

After the successful installation, you can delete the VMware Server download file and the installation directory:

cd /home/falko/Desktop
rm -f VMware-server*
rm -fr vmware-server-distrib/

You will now find VMware Server under System > VMware Server Console:

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When you start it, select Local host:

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Afterwards, you can create virtual machines (or import your virtual Windows machine that you created with VMware Converter):

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14 Inventory (IV)

We have now all wanted applications installed:

Graphics:
[x] The GIMP
[x] F-Spot
[x] Picasa

Internet:
[x] Firefox
[x] Opera
[x] Flash Player
[x] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird
[x] Evolution
[x] aMule
[x] KTorrent
[x] Azureus
[x] Kopete
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Konversation

Office:
[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[x] Adobe Reader
[x] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[x] Audacity
[x] Banshee
[x] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[x] gtkPod
[x] XMMS
[x] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[x] VLC Media Player
[x] Helix Player
[x] Totem
[x] Xine
[x] GnomeBaker
[x] K3B
[x] Multimedia-Codecs

Programming:
[x] KompoZer
[x] Bluefish
[x] Quanta Plus

Other:
[x] VMware Server
[x] TrueType fonts
[x] Java
[x] Read/Write support for NTFS partitions

 

  • Kubuntu: http://www.kubuntu.org

 

 

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