Configuring Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

From BC Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Software Installation[edit]

Create and customize launcher icons by hand

Create custom application launcher icons for the current user by creating <appname>.desktop files in ~/.local/share/applications/ and images for these icons in ~/.local/share/icons/. For example, the contents of .local/share/applications/trans-connect-d105.desktop:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Torrents @D105

This application is represented by ~/.local/share/icons/bc-d105.png (note the lack of full path and file extension in the <appname>.desktop file) and when clicked, runs the script trans-connect-d105 in the system $PATH (meaning, this script has executable permissions and is somewhere like ~/bin/<script> so it can be executed in the terminal from any working directory just by typing the script's name, full or relative path needed). Add the application to your launcher by searching for them in the Unity dash and then dragging and dropping them to the launcher.

To install an application for all users, instead put <appname>.desktop in ~/usr/share/applications/ and images for these icons in /usr/share/pixmaps/.

Apt Install[edit]

sudo apt install unity-tweak-tool ppa-purge git gimp guake stellarium chromium-browser python-pip libfreetype6-dev libpng12-dev libffi-dev libssl-dev ant openjdk-8-jdk mdadm kate autokey-gtk pidgin

Personal Package Archives (PPAs)[edit]

Nothing currently! See 'Not Used' below.

Free Downloads[edit]

Add Facebook Chat to Pidgin, via webupd8:

"Facebook shut down their XMPP service in 2015 and because of this, Pidgin/libpurple no longer supports Facebook Chat. For those of you who want to use Facebook Chat in Pidgin, there's a new plugin which makes this possible, called purple-facebook."

Non-Free Downloads[edit]

From Source[edit]

The latest stable version of the Arduino IDE in the repositories is 1.0.5; this is really old, so we can clone the Arduino source from Github and build the newest stable version (v1.6.9) ourselves:

git clone ~/repo/arduino

Service Log-Ins[edit]

  • Google Accounts in Chrome
  • Firefox Sync
  • Github Authentication

Configuration Commands[edit]

Look and Feel[edit]

Change the number of workspaces with the Unity Tweak Tool or by editing these keys in the dconf database:

  • dconf write /org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/core/hsize 2
  • dconf write /org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/core/vsize 2

Note that these keys will NOT exist in a fresh install - they'll appear when you turn on the workspace switcher in Unity Tweak Tool. It is probably possible to active the workspace switcher plugin and create the keys from the terminal.

gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.datetime custom-time-format '%Y.%m.%d %T'
gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.datetime time-format 'custom'
gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.datetime show-week-numbers true
gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences default-folder-viewer 'list-view'
gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences default-sort-order 'name'
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher launcher-position Bottom
sudo sed -i "s/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g" /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop 
sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=10

sudo nano /etc/default/locale

Operating System Settings[edit]

mkdir ~/repo


sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
  # Decrease swap usage

sudo apt purge unity-lens-shopping

eliminated in Unity 8, but default is Unity 7

online search is disabled by default in Unity 7

Install Unity 8 preview with Mir desktop:
sudo apt install unity8-desktop-session-mir

more stuff via:

Enable ‘Minimise on Click’
gsettings set org.compiz.unityshell:/org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/unityshell/ launcher-minimize-window true

Move The Unity Launcher
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher launcher-position Bottom

Virtual Environments for Python Development[edit]

preparing a virtualenv containing Julia in Jupyter:

Setting up virtualenvwrapper:

pip install virtualenvwrapper
nano ~/.bashrc
 # setup for virtualenvwrapper
 export WORKON_HOME=$HOME/.virtualenvs
 export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/.local/bin
 source /home/brandon/.local/bin/

mkvirtualenv graveslab
pip install requests[security]
pip install numpy scipy matplotlib jupyter

RAID Configuration[edit]

To get an existing RAID1 array working after adding its configuration information to /dev/mdadm/mdadm.conf, I first needed to remove dmraid with sudo apt remove dmraid and reboot; /dev/md0 then appeared, and I could mount this by configuring /etc/fstab.

Uninstalling Stuff[edit]

If you install something from the repositories and decide you don't want it, it's easy to completely uninstall with:

sudo apt-get remove <package-name> && sudo apt-get autoremove

If you install something from a Personal Package Archive (PPA), manual removal takes a couple steps. Use `ppa-purge` to automate these steps:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge sudo ppa-purge <ppa-creator>/<ppa-name>

Stuff I Don't Use[edit]

Apparently you can integrate Google Drive with the Nautilus file manager via GVfs and Gnome Online Accounts, but I haven't played with it.

Pidgin is up-to-date in the repos, so there's no need to install from a PPA or compile from source:

Xenial repos:

VLC is already the newest stable version, so this doesn't do anything:

newest stable version of VLC:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily
was: 2.2.2-5
now: 2.2.2-5 (so this didn't do anything)

Libreoffice is already the newest stable version, so this doesn't do anything:

newest stable version of libreoffice:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
was: 1:5.1.2-0ubuntu1
now: 1:5.1.2-0ubuntu1 (so this didn't do anything)

Gimp is already the newest stable version, so this doesn't do anything:

Newest stable version of GIMP:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install gimp
was: 2.8.16-1ubuntu1
now: 2.8.16-1ubuntu1 (so this didn't do anything)


I prefer the default theme over the ARC theme, so I didn't use it:

add the ARC GTK theme:

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/arc-theme.list"
sudo apt-key add - < Release.key  
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install arc-theme

install the ARC theme for Firefox:



Fixing network-manager-openconnect in Ubuntu 16.04:

How to install just one package from xenial-proposed?

Removing a package's build dependencies: