The Perfect Desktop - Xubuntu 12.04 - 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:  <root@howtoforge-VirtualBox>
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

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

ls -l

root@howtoforge-VirtualBox:~# 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

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.


14 Links

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

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From: andrew at: 2012-05-16 07:21:48

"KompoZer - WYSIWYG HTML editor, similar to Macromedia Dreamweaver, but not as feature-rich (yet)" .. you wrote that yet over there.. but kompozer's latest stable version is from 2007-08 .. and latest development version is from 2010.. i don't think this guys will continue development for kompozer .. but instead other WYSIWYG, aloso by firefox is: BlueGriffon..

From: Anonymous at: 2012-05-16 02:57:55

Thanks for the article -- great selection of apps!

 Perhaps you could add an additional page for "eye-candy." In other words, how to tweak the desktop and UI to react more like Windows, and how to add cool effects and features (like conky). You needed to wrap up the great selection of apps, with a section on customizing the UI features and settings.

 But, once again, thanks for your efforts!

From: at: 2013-06-25 01:26:00

Hello guys,

Thanks for a nice tutorial. I would like to introduce my small tutorial on how-to use encryption for both Windows and Xubuntu installations and how to access/mount an encrypted Windows drive from Xubuntu.

I hope you'll find it useful.

From: Shaun at: 2012-05-14 00:20:11

 1. gedit wasn't installed for me, it gave me a command unknown error, so I just used leafpad instead.

 2. linuxmint-keyring wasn't found in the repositories, so I added an extra line to the sources.list,  deb debian main upstream import

 I'm completely new to Linux and was fairly sure I'd followed all the steps up to these points correctly, so it took me a second to find a way to make it work, just thought I'd comment in case anybody else completely new runs into the same problems

From: Anonymous at: 2012-06-27 04:07:23


thank you sooo much for your dedicated work. For anyone, even a bit advanced users, an excellent piece of work.

Amazing to get it out there so fast.

thanks again

From: Anonymous at: 2012-12-26 02:19:47

Just a note for all Xubuntu beginners: two very useful tips.  First. to use alt+right key for resizing windows.  Just right-click somewhere near the bottom right corner of a window while holding down the alt key to resize (xfce is otherwise not sensitive enough and it can be frustrating trying to find that sweet spot without this trick).  Second, an interesting and useful windows trick with xfce is to scroll while the mouse is in the window border - this scrolls up the windows leaving only the title bar, and vise versa, which can be a neat way to navigate windows that other desktops don't offer. For what it's worth, as far as appearance goes I always do the following immediately: use desktop settings to change the icons display to leave a clear desktop; use the settings editor to not show the removables files (now the desktop is really clear); and in settings manager switch to the Xubuntu Bluebird theme for window borders.  Hopefully xfce devs will realize some day that no, most of us do not want to see a dozen drive icons on our desktop (!).


Thanks for the great tutorial - I've been an xubuntu user for two years and this an excellent walk through.

From: Anonymous at: 2012-05-16 03:26:30

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.

From: Anonymous at: 2012-05-16 14:06:17

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. 

From: Anonymous at: 2012-06-24 10:49:24


From: Anonymous at: 2012-05-16 22:49:40

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. 

From: Markthetrigeek at: 2012-05-16 11:24:15

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?

From: jlane01 at: 2012-06-10 16:17:27

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. 

From: Jerry C. at: 2012-10-28 16:59:27

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.


From: Dalton at: 2013-02-06 00:11:59

thanks for the help.....

From: Metric Rat at: 2013-04-13 23:34:33

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.

From: jollydoger at: 2014-02-16 10:31:56

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.