The Perfect Desktop - Xubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) - 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:

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 Now 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, whereas [ ] is an application that is missing):

[ ] The GIMP
[ ] Shotwell Photo Manager

[ ] Pinta

[x] Firefox
[x] Flash Player
[ ] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird
[ ] Deluge
[ ] Skype
[ ] Marble

[x] Pidgin

[ ] Dropbox

[ ] Gwibber Social Client

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

Sound & Video:
[ ] 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

[ ] Synaptic Package Manager

[ ] gedit

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


6 Configure Additional Repositories

First we install gedit. Open a terminal and run:

sudo apt-get install gedit

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.

Again, open a terminal and edit /etc/apt/sources.list...

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

..., 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

## 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.

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. To make sure you don't get errors concerning the Mint repository, install its keyring next:

sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring

Finally install Synaptic:

sudo apt-get install synaptic

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4 Comment(s)

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From: Bonnie Dalzell at: 2013-03-11 15:34:35

Nice introductory article. I have expanded a few points.

Xubuntu presents a traditional computer desktop environment for those of us who do not like the newer style desktops that emulate a cellphone or tablet multi-icon, "no useful menus" desktop.

Xubuntu's desktop, Xfce, is a relatively "light" program so it runs well on older computers (such as my built in 2002 single core Athlon) but the demand that many modern web pages make on your machine may cause a really old computer to have problems when you are trying to access modern feature rich web pages. That is not a problem of the operating system itself but a computational limitation of an elderly computer.

As the author mentioned, you can download a "live" .iso file and burn it to a CD and run Xubuntu from the CD alone until you decide if you want to commit to putting it on your machine. You can also install it as a dual boot with Windows although that is a bit tricky to do the first time so make sure you read up on how to do it.

Also Canonical, the Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Edubuntu/Lubuntu, etc, parent company releases its updates in two formats - Long Term Support and cutting edge releases.

Quantal Quetzal 12.10, until April 2014 is a short term support release

Precise Pangolin 12.04 LTS, until April 2015 is the current long term support release.

I would suggest getting Precise Pangolin Long Term Support initially until the next long term release candidate comes out. The long term releases are numbered with the .04  Here is a link:

page down to the Precise download link on this page.

As with almost all operating systems, when upgrading to a later release it is a good idea to carefully read the upgrade directions and make sure you have backed up important files. This precaution is not needed for your basic day to day updating of programs from the notification icon even though its message says "upgrading system".

I would strongly recommend WINE which allows MANY windows programs to be run directly in Xubuntu without having to fool around with a virtual machine such as VirtualBox. Since I started using Linux WINE and its commercial (although inexpensive cousin CrossOver) have been greatly improved and recently the majority of the Windows programs I have needed to run have run under WINE or Crossover.

Also the file manager, gnome-commander, which is a two pane file manager with the ability to link to remote accounts is very useful. 

It should be mentioned under Programming that Xubuntu, as with most Linux installs,  comes with perl, python, php and a number of other programming languages already installed. In addition adding new programs either through the Ubuntu Software Center or via the Synaptic Package Manager is very easy and since the programs are coming from a secure archive you do not have to worry about introducing malware or about the complex installation methods that used to be characteristic of Linux installations.

There is even a automatic "notification of updates" icon that is part of the install.

I have been running one version or another of Linux since 2000 and I have yet to have any problems with malware appearing on my Linux computer although I have had to go and help rescue my roommate's windows computer at least two times in the last 3 years.

If you decide to venture into Linux the major distributions maintain forums (for Ubuntu see: and its relatives such as Xubuntu: ) and there are a great many on line local Linux Users Groups (such as NOVALug in my area) which are excellent communities for support.

Some other useful tools available through the Program Manager to have:

GParted for disk partitioning

FSLint - for searching out duplicate files. Very useful because it does not search on file name but on other characteristics of the file.

Screenshot - takes a picture of your screen. I find it useful for recording receipts in a more compact for than as a saved web page.

Sensor Viewer - keeps track of the temperature of your harddive, video card, etc. 

From: Anonymous at: 2012-12-16 13:04:02

sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package linuxmint-keyring


so what's goin' on here ?!


From: jfiosi at: 2012-11-08 12:22:46

This article is a perfect example of how the members of the Linux community help each other! Thanks for the step-by-step guide. I have an older laptop which will be the target of your advice. Excellent job, I hope you write more articles targeting the newly interested. The pros don't need handholding; they are engaged in forums and groups. The newbies need the love!

From: Anonymous at: 2012-12-16 13:46:46

sudo ./AdbeRdr9.5.1-1_i486linux_enu.bin
[sudo] password for amber:
sudo: unable to execute ./AdbeRdr9.5.1-1_i486linux_enu.bin: No such file or directory


Once again, any ideas why so many failures in your instructions ???