The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu Studio 12.10 - Page 2

3 Update The System

Now it's time to check for updates and install them. This is done using the Update Manager. Start it by clicking the red exclamation mark on the top bar and selecting Show updates (or start the Update Manager under System > Update Manager):

Click on the Install Now button to install all available updates:

Type in your password:

The updates are now being downloaded and installed:

When the update is complete, click on OK (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 Restart button. Click on that button to restart the system.).

The system is now up-to-date.


4 Flash Player

If you have checked the Install this third-party software checkbox during installation Flash Player should already be installed on the system.

To check this, open Firefox and type about:plugins in the address bar. Firefox will then list all installed plugins, and it should list the Flash Player (version 11.2 r202) plugins among them.


5 Inventory Of What We Have So Far

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

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

[x] The GIMP
[x] Shotwell Photo Manager
[ ] Pinta

[x] Firefox
[x] Flash Player
[ ] FileZilla
[ ] Thunderbird
[ ] Deluge
[ ] Skype
[ ] Marble
[ ] Pidgin
[ ] Dropbox
[ ] Gwibber Social Client

[ ] LibreOffice Writer
[ ] LibreOffice Calc
[ ] Adobe Reader
[ ] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Audacity
[ ] Banshee
[ ] dvd::rip
[ ] Kino
[ ] VLC Media Player
[ ] K3B
[ ] Multimedia-Codecs
[ ] Winff

[ ] KompoZer
[ ] Eclipse

[ ] VirtualBox
[ ] TrueType fonts
[ ] Java
[x] Read/Write support for NTFS partitions
[ ] gdebi
[x] Synaptic Package Manager
[x] gedit

So some applications are already on the system. NTFS read-/write support is enabled by default on Ubuntu Studio 12.10.


6 Configure Additional Repositories

Some packages 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.

First we open a terminal and edit /etc/apt/sources.list...

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

... and enable the quantal partner and Ubuntu Extras repositories (if they are not already enabled):

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
deb quantal partner
deb-src quantal partner

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Ubuntu's
## 'extras' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by third-party
## developers who want to ship their latest software.
deb quantal main
deb-src quantal main

Then save the file.

Next we create the file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/opera.list...

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/opera.list

... and add the Opera repository to it:

deb stable non-free

Import Opera's gpg-key:

wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -

To enable the Medibuntu repository, please do the following:

Import the repository:

sudo wget$(lsb_release -cs).list --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

Import the gpg-key and update your package-list:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

Then run

sudo update-apt-xapian-index

to make Synaptic display packages from third-party repositories.

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From: TL at: 2012-12-09 17:55:06

Great job! This is a wonderfully clear and comprehensive article. It includes just about everything you need to do to repurpose an old computer into an Ubuntu machine. It's a great way to extend the life of used computers before handing them off to younger kids or elder relatives.

And, these instructions can be applied to other Linux distributions -- for example, Linux Mint -- that are based on Ubuntu.

A couple of additional items might be worth mentioning:

-- If you're setting up a machine for someone else to use, enable remote Desktop Sharing so you can control the computer online for those inevitable tech support sessions. Most Linux distros have Desktop Sharing built-in, but they require you to unblock a port in the user's wireless router.  That's why I prefer TeamViewer for remote assistance (

TeamViewer has a native Linux version that works with Ubuntu (download and install the Debian DEB package), and you can access the computer without having to do anything on the router.

-- Most of the newer Ubuntu-based distros do a good job out of the box with identifying on-board WiFi adapters, but sometimes they miss. It might be worth mentioning that you can often get these WiFi cards to work by using the lspci command to identify the type of chip your WiFi adapter uses, then opening up Synaptic Package Manager to search for and install a compatible driver (you might have to get online via wired network).

If the Synaptic-based driver fails, you can install a proprietary wireless driver using modprobe ndiswrapper. Note: this method might tax your patience!