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The Perfect Desktop – Ubuntu Studio 8.04


This tutorial shows how you can set up an Ubuntu Studio 8.04 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.

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 Ubuntu Studio 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
  • BitTornado – Bittorrent client
  • Azureus – Java Bittorrent client
  • Pidgin – multi-platform instant messaging client
  • Skype
  • Google Earth
  • Xchat IRC – 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
  • Brasero – 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 Ubuntu Studio installer doesn’t offer a lot of options to choose from, so you cannot go wrong.

Download the Ubuntu Studio iso image from http://ubuntustudio.org/downloads, burn it onto a DVD, and boot your computer from it. Select your language:

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Then select Install Ubuntu Studio:

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Choose your language again (?):

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Then select your location:

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Choose a keyboard layout (you will be asked to press a few keys, and the installer will try to detect your keyboard layout based on the keys you pressed):

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The installer checks the installation CD, your hardware, and configures the network with DHCP if there is a DHCP server in the network:

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You can accept the default hostname or specify your own one:

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Now you have to partition your hard disk. For simplicity’s sake I will create one big partition (with the mount point /) and a little swap partition so I select Guided – use entire disk (of course, the partitioning is totally up to you – if you like, you can create more than just one big partition, and you can also use LVM):

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Select the disk that you want to partition:

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When you’re finished, hit Yes when you’re asked Write the changes to disks?:

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Afterwards, your new partitions are being created and formatted:

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Now the base system is being installed:

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Create a normal user account:

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Next the package manager apt gets configured. Leave the HTTP proxy line empty unless you’re using a proxy server to connect to the Internet:

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On the Software selection screen, I select all package groups and hit Continue:

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The installation continues:

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Select UTC unless this is a dual-boot system with other operating systems (such as Windows) that expect the system clock to use local time:

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The base system installation is now finished. Remove the installation DVD from the DVD drive and hit Continue to reboot the system:

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The new Ubuntu Studio system is booting:

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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

First we should update the system. If the system tells you that software updates are available (like in the screenshot below), you can simply click on the icon in the task bar to start the Update Manager. Alternatively, you can start the Update Manager by going to System > Administration > Update Manager and then check for updates.

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The Update Manager starts, and the packages database is now being updated:

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You can now select/unselect packages; typically you select all packages and click on the Install Updates button to update the system:

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Type in your password:

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The updates are now being downloaded…

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… and installed:

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I got the following error regarding some GNOME packages. My system was working ok afterwards, so this does not seem to be a serious issue. Click on Close if you get the same error:

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Click on Close again and leave the Update Manager:

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If a new kernel was amongst the updates, a system restart is required to make the changes effective. If this is necessary, you will see a blue reboot icon in the upper right panel. Click on the blue reboot icon to restart the system. Confirm by clicking on Restart Now:

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4 Inventory Of What We Have So Far

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

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

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

Internet:
[x] Firefox
[ ] Opera
[ ] Flash Player
[ ] FileZilla
[ ] Thunderbird
[ ] Evolution
[ ] aMule
[ ] BitTornado
[ ] Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[ ] Skype
[ ] Google Earth
[ ] Xchat IRC

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

Sound & Video:
[ ] Amarok
[x] Audacity
[ ] Banshee
[ ] MPlayer
[ ] Rhythmbox Music Player
[ ] gtkPod
[ ] XMMS
[ ] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[ ] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[ ] VLC Media Player
[ ] Helix Player
[x] Totem
[ ] Xine
[x] Brasero
[ ] 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 Ubuntu Studio 8.04.

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 Synaptic Package Manager (System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager):

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Type in your password:

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In the Synaptic Package Manager, go to Settings > Repositories:

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In the Software Sources window, go to the Third-Party Software tab and mark the hardy partner repository (you don’t need to enable the source repository). To enable the Medibuntu repository, click on the Add button:

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Fill in the following line and click on Add Source:

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

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Then click on Close:

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The next message tells us that we have to click on the Reload button, so we close that message…

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… and click on Reload to update our packages database:

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You can ignore the following GPG error, it’s nothing serious:

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Don’t leave Synaptic yet, as we will need it in the next chapter…

 

6 Install Additional Software

Still in Synaptic, we can use it to install additional software.

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

  • opera
  • flashplugin-nonfree
  • filezilla
  • thunderbird
  • evolution
  • amule-utils-gui
  • amule
  • azureus
  • bittornado-gui
  • xchat-gnome
  • gnucash
  • skype
  • googleearth
  • acroread*
  • mozilla-acroread
  • openoffice.org
  • amarok
  • banshee
  • mplayer*
  • mozilla-mplayer
  • rhythmbox
  • gtkpod-aac
  • xmms2*
  • dvdrip
  • sound-juicer
  • vlc*
  • gstreamer*
  • helix-player
  • mozilla-helix-player
  • xine-ui
  • xine-plugin
  • non-free-codecs
  • msttcorefonts
  • libdvdcss2
  • k3b
  • kompozer
  • bluefish
  • quanta
  • sun-java6* (except sun-java6-doc)

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:

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

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

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

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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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Some packages require that you accept their licenses; please do so and click on Forward to continue the installation:

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After all packages have been installed, click on Close:

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7 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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8 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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9 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] BitTornado
[x] Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

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] Brasero
[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

10 Google Picasa

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

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10 Google Picasa

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

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A download dialogue should come up automatically. Select Open with GDebi Package Installer (default):

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

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Type in your password:

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

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11 Inventory (III)

Browse the 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] BitTornado
[x] Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

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] Brasero
[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

12 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 Ubuntu Studio 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:

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Accept the license agreement by clicking on Yes:

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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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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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To get the serial number that 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 (Accessories > Terminal):

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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>.

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 Ubuntu Studio 8.04.

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 Tools > 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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13 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] BitTornado
[x] Azureus
[x] Pidgin
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

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] Brasero
[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

 

  • Ubuntu Studio: http://ubuntustudio.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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