There is a new version of this tutorial available for Xubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr).

The Perfect Desktop - Xubuntu 12.04 - Page 4

This tutorial exists for these OS versions

On this page

  1. 10 Google Earth
  2. 11 Opera
  3. 12 Skype for 64 bit Systems
  4. 13 Nightingale
  5. 14 Links

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 May 11 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 Opera

If you like Opera more than Firefox or Chromium, you have to download it directly from their website. Open a browser and go to; select Ubuntu as the distribution and then default package and click on the Download Opera button:

A download dialogue should come up. Select Save File:

The package will be saved in your default download folder, which is the Downloads folder in your personal folder. Open a terminal and install it from there as follows (replace my username with yours and the version of Opera with the one you downloaded, if it has changed since this writing):

cd /home/howtoforge/Downloads/
gdebi opera_11.64.1403_amd64.deb


12 Skype for 64 bit Systems

While Skype is only available for 32 bit systems in the Ubuntu repository, you can download it for 64 bit systems on their homepage. Therefore go on and select the right version to download:

The package will be saved in your default download folder, which is the Downloads folder in your personal folder. Open a terminal and install it from there as follows (replace my username with yours and the version of Skype with the one you downloaded, if it has changed since this writing):
cd /home/howtoforge/Downloads/
gdebi skype-ubuntu_2.2.0.35-1_amd64.deb


13 Nightingale

Nightingale is not available in the Ubuntu repositories and has to be downloaded from their website at Click on the great 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.


You are welcome to leave recommendations for software in the comments for the next issues!

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10 Comment(s)

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By: Anonymous

1.  I wonder about the safety of suggesting to people who might be Linux beginners that they user Erase Disk and Install Xubuntu without mentioning to them that they will lose any previously installed system.  (Yes, it seems obvious, but ...)

 2.  This may seem odd.  I'm aware that this series of articles isn't for changing the setup, but again with Linux beginners in mind ...  I consider the default Xubuntu desktop unusable for beginners (and perhaps for most.)  Don't get me wrong-I think Xubuntu is a great distro, and in fact am typing this comment using Xubuntu 12.04.  However, I doubt that there are many who consider the default desktop "perfect" without changing the desktop background and perhaps the screen resolution and panel and desktop setup.    Yes, I know that isn't the focus of this series of articles, but your title, "the Perfect Desktop" seems wrong to me without changing the default desktop settings.

By: Anonymous

I've tried several Live USB versions of Ubuntu 12, with nothing but aggravation about Google Earth.  This is the first I've seen of some instructions to install it.  No such problem with Ubuntu 11 or 10.  Obviously a go to app for so many users should be in the standard supported repositories ready to go. 

By: Anonymous


By: Anonymous

your talking about the top panel?  just right click the panel click panel properties then unlock panel.  all you gotta do is click the side of the panel to move it around. 

By: Markthetrigeek

Coming from someone who likes the typical menu config (ala Gnome 2, KDE 3.2) it's very disappointing to see everything across the top. At least in Gnome 2 there was a setting that allowed you to move the bar from the top to bottom. And yes Cinnamon does allow for this but why is everyone going in that direction?

By: jlane01

Nice tutorial, thanks.  I like the way that xfce is progressing.  Just installed xfce 4.10 on both xubuntu & kubuntu 12.04 (desktop and laptop respectively) and have to say that it's my new favorite desktop. 

By: Jerry C.

I just finished upgrading a dell dimension 2400 to 2gb of ram and put Xubuntu on it. Really like it and it is alot faster than Ubuntu on the same system.

It's easily customizable so making it look slick was not a problem.

My only suggestion would be the check box for "download updates while installing" should be automatic. My first attemp at installing i didn't check it and the mouse cursor was not installed. I reloaded with "download updates" checked and it runs perfectly.


By: Dalton

thanks for the help.....

By: Metric Rat

A good run through of getting Xubuntu 12.04 setup and ready to go.

 IMHO a few apps missing:

Audacious (OK you had XMMS),

Inkscape (vector drawing, and edit PDFs),

K3B (yes, it brings in a load of KDE guff, but just works better than any other Burner app),

Devede (DVD maker), 

XBMC :),

Openshot (Video Editor),

Geany (a decent text editor and coder),

Wine (for when you need a Windows app),

Grub Customiser (a must for making grub look good and work for you), 

Meld, Xsane, MKVMerge, Feh, CDCat, KeepassX, Easytag.

By: jollydoger

Really appreciate the work you did on this. I have been using Linux server commands for a while, but always gone to a MS Windows desktop for application use. I am very happy with this desktop setup this article arrives at.