Friday, April 20, 2007

Feisty Fawn customization

Here are the things I did after I installed Feisty Fawn Ubuntu 7.04 off of the alternate install CD on my Compaq X1000 laptop/other systems.

If on an AMD64 processor system
  • Follow these instructions (and run the script) to get mplayer, flash and java support for firefox. Update all launchers and shortcuts to launch firefox32 instead of firefox
  • Skip the remaining instructions that are italicized

Install add-on packages (by the way, all except the first can be done in one command... just append all the packages you want to install after "install")

  • Edit /etc/apt/sources.list following these instructions to add extra repositories
  • Install full Vim support (without this, no help, syntax highlighting, etc.) sudo aptitude install vim-full
  • Install Flash sudo aptitude install flashplugin-nonfree
  • Install media codecs sudo aptitude install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-gl gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse w32codecs
  • Install Amarok sudo aptitude install amarok
  • Install Java sudo aptitude install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin sun-java6-fonts
  • Install Azureus sudo aptitude install azureus (or, alternatively, ktorrent)
  • Enable DVD support
  • Possible user programs: xmms, xchat, mplayer plugin, vlc, skype, picasa, eclipse, google earth, beagle, clipboard manager
  • Security programs: sudo aptitude install nmap kismet wireshark airsnort aircrack-ng john
  • Install Beryl (nVidia) (I also find it convinient to add a sessions entry for beryl-manager so the stone shows up in the tray)
Trick out Firefox
Trick out the Terminal (and partners in crime)
  • Either create a new profile or edit the current profile
  • Disable General->Show menubar by default in new terminals
  • Set Colors to aesthetically pleasing values
  • Set Effects->Transparent background and set the bar about 2/3 of the way to Maximum
  • Set Scrolling->Scrollback to 2000 lines
  • Edit ~/.bashrc
  • Edit ~/.vimrc
  • Put the line set editing-mode vi in ~/.inputrc (the configuration file for readline... this also makes the set -o vi in the .bashrc redundant)
Trick out GNOME
  • Fix the Right Alt key System->Preferences->Keyboard->Layout Options->Third level choosers->Press Menu Key to Choose 3rd Level
  • Change the Desktop Background by right clicking on it (good backgrounds here (OSX Tiger) and here (fractals) and at DeviantArt)
  • Map the Windows keys to do something cool in System->Preferences->Keyboard Shortcuts (I think "Run a terminal" and "Hide all windows and focus desktop" are good candidates)
  • Enable visual system beep System->Preferences->Sound->System Beep->Flash Window Titlebar
  • Make the panels transparent Right Click on Panel->Properties->Background->Solid Color and adjust the slider appropriately (about halfway looks good)
  • Add the system monitor to the panel Right Click on Panel->Add to Panel->System & Hardware->System Monitor->Add to Panel (I enable all but "Load"... wtf is load?)
  • Disable launching of unnecessary programs at startup (such as Evolution Alarm Notifier) Preferences->Sessions->Startup Programs
  • Save your session in a desireable state: gnome-session-save (don't use the automatic option in Prefs->Sessions... it causes problems!)
  • Put the panels in a desirable place by dragging them across the screen
  • Get 4 workspaces Right Click on Workspaces on Panel->Preferences->Number of Workspaces
  • Disable Rhythmbox launching upon iPod detection (Amarok rulez!) System->Preferences->Removable Drives and Media->Multimedia->Uncheck "Play Music Files when Connected" and also Uncheck Storage->"Browse removable media when inserted"
  • Enable the text-based location bar in Nautilus (in favor of the button-based one) by hitting the notepad button on the top left in a Nautilus window
If on a laptop...
So what's so different about Feisty (as opposed to Edgy)?
  • All the latest stable versions of software in the repos, obviously
  • GNOME network manager manages wireless devices by default (and keyring support to boot)
  • Fool-proof support for installing restricted drivers, media codecs, etc.
  • Nice command line assistance if you try and run software that's not installed (prints a "use this repository and this command to get the software"-type message)
  • Easy enabling of "Desktop Effects"
  • And more

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