The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail)

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Submitted by CSch (Contact Author) (Forums) on Thu, 2013-05-02 15:57. :: Ubuntu | Desktop

The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>, Christian Schmalfeld <c [dot] schmalfeld [at] projektfarm [dot] de>
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Last edited 05/02/2013

This tutorial shows how you can set up an Ubuntu 13.04 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.

The software I propose as default is the one I found easiest to use and best in their functionality - this won't necessarily be true for your needs, thus you are welcome to try out the applications listed as alternatives.

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 desktop to have the following software installed:

Graphics:

  • Pinta - open source drawing application modeled after Paint.NET
    • KolourPaint - paint application with elemental functions
    • MyPaint - paint application with a large variety of brushes
  • The GIMP - free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop
  • Shotwell Photo Manager - full-featured personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop

Internet:

  • Firefox
    • Opera
    • Chromium - Google's open-source browser
  • Thunderbird - email and news client
    • Evolution - combines e-mail, calendar, address book, and task list management functions
  • Deluge - free cross-platform BitTorrent client
    • Transmission BitTorrent Client - Bittorrent client
    • Vuze - Java BitTorrent client
    • qBittorrent - free alternative to µtorrent
  • Marble - desktop globe similar to google earth
    • GoogleEarth - Google's desktop globe
  • Flash Player
  • FileZilla - multithreaded FTP client
  • Pidgin IM Client - multi-platform instant messaging client
  • Skype
  • Dropbox Client - cloud storage
  • Gwibber Social Client - open-source microblogging client (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

Office:

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

Sound & Video:

  • Banshee - audio player, can encode/decode various formats and synchronize music with Apple iPods
    • Amarok - audio player
    • 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
    • Sound Juicer CD Extractor - CD ripping tool, supports various audio codecs
    • Nightingale - audio player similar to Winamp, but not yet as feature rich (Songbird fork)
    • XMMS - audio player similar to Winamp
    • Clementine - Amarok 1.4 fork
    • Exaile - audio player
  • VLC Media Player - media player, plays all kinds of videos (video/audio)
    • Totem - media player (video/audio)
    • Xine - media player, supports various formats; can play DVDs
  • Winff - free video converter
    • SoundConverter - free audio converter
    • Soundkonverter - free audio converter
    • XFCA - free video/audio converter and ripper
  • K3B - CD/DVD burning program
    • Brasero - CD/DVD burning program
  • Audacity - free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor
  • Kino - free digital video editor
  • dvd::rip - full featured DVD copy 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
  • Eclipse - Extensible Tool Platform and Java IDE

Other:

  • VirtualBox OSE - 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
  • gedit - simple text editor

Lots of our desired applications are available in the Ubuntu repositories, and some of these applications have been contributed by the Ubuntu community. Some may also not be in the default repositories and have to be downloaded from the internet or from extra repositories.

The software provided in the above list covers most of the basic tasks one may need to do on their desktop computers, sometimes there are multiple choices for same functionality. If you know which one you like best, you obviously don't need to install and test the other applications, however if you like choice, then of course you can install more than one.

I will use the username howtoforge 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 installer doesn't offer a lot of options to choose from, so you cannot go wrong.

Download the Ubuntu 13.04 iso image from http://www.ubuntu.com/download, burn it onto a CD, and boot your computer from it:

Select your language and click on the Install Ubuntu button to start the installation:

On the next screen you see a few requirements for the Ubuntu 13.04 installation (the system should have at least 5.4 GB available drive space and should be connected to the Internet). Please check the Download updates while installing and Install this third-party software (this will install the software necessary to process Flash, MP3, and other media files) checkboxes and click on Continue:

Now we come to the partitioning of our hard disk. Usually Erase disk and install Ubuntu is a good choice, unless you need custom partitions and know what you're doing. Erase disk and install Ubuntu will create one big / partition for us:

Then choose your time zone:

Change the keyboard layout, if necessary:

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

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

After the installation, you will be asked to reboot the system. Click on Restart Now.

Your new Ubuntu system starts. Log into the desktop with the username and password you provided during the installation:

This is how your new Ubuntu 13.04 desktop looks:

Now the base system is ready to be used.


Please do not use the comment function to ask for help! If you need help, please use our forum.
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Submitted by OllieG (not registered) on Thu, 2013-05-23 09:04.
Thanks for the post, helps a lot. However, is there a video editing software capable of replacing software on Windows such as Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere Pro? If I could just find a good replacement in this field I would no longer use Windows at all.
Submitted by Anonymous (not registered) on Sun, 2013-08-04 16:33.

Unfortunately no, video editing is still at infancy stage in Linux as a whole. If you are talking about professional class video editor then you will have to stick to Windows.

 There is one software considered 'the best' for Linux called "OpenShot" but will be basic if compared to software you have mentioned. Tthere is also a paid software coming up that may be somewhat better but don't remember the name.

PS:  Just in case, you are into 3D rendering/animation then "Blender" is the best open source contender against 3Ds Max or Maya.

Submitted by A. Y. M Shahruz... (not registered) on Mon, 2013-05-20 18:05.

I really like these guides. Go through the installation process following these guides and in the end you'll feel like you have a perfect pc. I just installed Ubuntu (x86_64) following these guide on my dell notebook even though I could get it done all on my own.

Now for 64 bit systems I'd like to add a note. Before you install adobe reader using this tutorial:

1) open synaptic

2) search for ia32-libs

3) mark the package for installation and click apply

 Do it. Otherwise you won't be able to run the binary.
Submitted by Marcello Caetano (not registered) on Tue, 2013-05-14 12:59.
Good day, I am Brazilian, really like your posts, and even rode a VPS server through one of his tutorials.

Just to add, I would put in programming a very good program, much like the eclipse, the Sublime Text 2.

Use and recommend.

Att,
Marcello Caetano
IT Analyst
Submitted by Max (not registered) on Sat, 2013-05-11 17:17.

Could I suggest Wine as an addon to the desktop. I'm not sure if Wine fits your criteria for putting these together, but I think it would be useful.

Other than that, keep up the good work; I can't count the times I've used these as an assist to get a new operating system up and running.

 

Thanks a big lot,

 

Max