The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu Studio 12.10 - Page 3

7 Install Additional Software

To install additional applications, open the Synaptic Package Manager (System > Synaptic Package Manager):

Type in your password:

In the Synaptic Package Manager, we can install additional software. You can use the Quick filter field to find packages. To select a package for installation, click the checkbox in front of it and select Mark for Installation from the menu that comes up:

If a package has a dependency that needs to be satisfied, a window will pop up. Accept the dependencies by clicking Mark:

The following packages need to be installed if you want the applications of the above primary choice (* is a wildcard; e.g. vlc* means all packages that start with vlc):

  • flashplugin-installer (necessary only if you didn't check the Install this third-party software checkbox during installation)
  • banshee
  • pinta
  • filezilla
  • thunderbird
  • deluge
  • skype
  • marble
  • pidgin
  • nautilus-dropbox
  • gwibber
  • libreoffice
  • ttf-mscorefonts-installer
  • gnucash
  • dvdrip
  • kino
  • vlc*
  • mozilla-plugin-vlc
  • k3b
  • non-free-codecs
  • ubuntu-restricted-extras
  • xubuntu-restricted-extras
  • winff
  • libdvdcss2
  • eclipse
  • virtualbox-ose
  • icedtea-plugin
  • gdebi
  • openjdk-7*

These are the packages for all the other possible alternative applications (you don't need to install them if you are happy with the above selection):

  • opera
  • chromium-browser
  • amarok
  • vuze
  • bluefish
  • gstreamer0.10*
  • gtkpod
  • mplayer
  • smplayer
  • xmms2*
  • sound-juicer
  • rhythmbox
  • evolution
  • googleearth-package
  • totem
  • soundconverter
  • soundkonverter
  • kolourpaint4
  • mypaint
  • qbittorrent
  • okular
  • xcfa
  • clementine
  • exaile

After you've selected the desired packages, click on the Apply button.

Confirm your selection by clicking Apply:

The packages are now being downloaded from the repositories and installed. This can take a few minutes, so please be patient:

You might have to answer a few questions. Accept the licenses and proceed:

After all packages have been installed, click Close:


8 TrueType Fonts

To check if the TrueType fonts have been installed correctly, open a word processor like LibreOffice. You should now find your new Windows fonts there:

9 Inventory (II)

Now let's check again what we have so far. Our inventory should now look like this:

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

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

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

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

[ ] KompoZer
[x] Eclipse

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

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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!