The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu Studio 12.10 - Page 4

10 Google Earth

In chapter 7, if you chose Google Earth over Marble, you have installed the package googleearth-package which is a utility to automatically build a .deb package of Google Earth. This means, Google Earth is not yet installed; we have to first build a .deb package of it with the help of googleearth-package, and then install the .deb package.

Open a terminal and become root:

sudo su

Now you can build the Google Earth .deb package as follows:

make-googleearth-package --force

Package: googleearth
Section: non-free/science
Priority: optional
Maintainer:  <[email protected]>
Architecture: amd64
Depends: ttf-dejavu | ttf-bitstream-vera | msttcorefonts, libfreeimage3, lsb-core, libqtcore4, libgl1-mesa-glx , ia32-libs-gtk , msttcorefonts
Suggests: lib32nss-mdns, libgl1-nvidia-glx-ia32
Description: Google Earth, a 3D map/planet viewer
 Package built with googleearth-package.
dpkg-deb: building package `googleearth' in `./googleearth_6.0.3.2197+0.7.0-1_amd64.deb'.
You can now install the package with e.g. sudo dpkg -i <package>.deb
[email protected]:~#

If you don't see any errors, then you should find the Google Earth .deb package in the current directory:

ls -l 

[email protected]:~# ls -l
total 67196
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 35118382 Nov 16 15:32 googleearth_6.0.3.2197+0.7.0-1_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 33688483 May 19  2011 GoogleEarthLinux.bin
[email protected]:~#

I want to install the .deb package using gdebi which takes care of all dependencies.

gdebi googleearth_6.0.3.2197+0.7.0-1_amd64.deb


11 Kompozer

Unfortunately Kompozer isn't available from the Ubuntu 12.10 repositories, therefore you have to install it as follows:

cd /home/falko/Downloads

sudo dpkg -i kompozer*.deb


12 Nightingale

Nightingale is not available in the Ubuntu repositories and has to be downloaded from their website at Click on the big download button and open the downloaded archive with the archive manager. The application doesn't need to be installed since it can be started directly from the downloaded directory.


13 Adobe Reader

Open a browser and go to; click on the Download now button:

Click on the Save File button to store the Adobe Reader installer on your hard drive:

Open a terminal and go to the directory where the download was stored (e.g. /home/falko/Downloads):

cd /home/falko/Downloads


ls -l

to find out how the file is named:

[email protected]:~/Downloads$ ls -l
total 92004
-rw-rw-r--  1 falko falko 42950036 Nov 16 12:35 AdbeRdr9.5.1-1_i486linux_enu.bin
-rw-rw-r--  1 falko falko  7858708 Apr 24  2012 kompozer_0.8~b3.dfsg.1-0.1ubuntu2_amd64.deb
-rw-rw-r--  1 falko falko  2145516 Apr 24  2012 kompozer-data_0.8~b3.dfsg.1-0.1ubuntu2_all.deb
drwxr-xr-x 14 falko falko     4096 Nov 16 12:33 nightingale
-rw-rw-r--  1 falko falko 41244574 Nov 16 12:32 Nightingale_1.11.0-2223_linux_x86_64.tar.bz2
[email protected]:~/Downloads$

In this case it is named AdbeRdr9.5.1-1_i486linux_enu.bin. Make the file executable and then run it to install Acrobat Reader:

chmod 755 AdbeRdr9.5.1-1_i486linux_enu.bin
sudo ./AdbeRdr9.5.1-1_i486linux_enu.bin


14 Inventory (III)

All wanted applications are installed now:

[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
[x] 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

[x] 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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By: TL

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!