Xubuntu Install Tweaks: Repositories and Programs

With a fresh Xubuntu (but it’s similar for the rest of ’em) install up & running, it’s time to set up some basic system-level stuff.

Fire up Synaptic, enable some repositories:

  • Backports
  • Multiverse
  • Restricted

Add custom repositories (first link is the main site, second is repository & install info):

There’s some public-key installation required to validate each repository; check the howtos or just search for the obvious keywords, then do what the nice man tells you.

Update: There seems to be a Synaptic buglet in 8.10 that prevents the Quick Search bar from finding third-party packages; the ordinary Find works correctly. If you can’t find, say, acroread from Quick Search, do this:

sudo update-apt-xapian-index

That should get it up to speed again.

Update 2: The bug is still present in 9.04, if you’re keeping track: 288797

Reload package info, mark upgrades, apply. Perhaps you’ll get a new kernel out of that, so do one of the few mandatory reboots…

Install useful programs using Synaptic:

  • flashplugin-nonfree — but turn off Flash cookies — more on that later
  • acroread
  • libdvdcss2 — gasp!
  • non-free-codecs
  • mplayer / mencoder / ffmpeg / sox / lame
  • realplayer — to watch NASA TV
  • nfs-common
  • ssh
  • htop
  • java-common
  • openoffice — not installed by default in Xubuntu
  • msttfcorefonts
  • pilot-link
  • build-essential — you will compile something, eventually
  • gizmo or skype
  • xchm (for LTSpice IV)
  • digikam (it normalizes camera filenames during upload)
  • kmail (or all of Contact, sigh)
  • kmymoney
  • kate

You can shortcut some of those by installing xubuntu-restricted-extras if you prefer.

The National Weather Service radar plots require Genuine Sun Java, so:

  • install sun-java6-jre, -bin, -fonts, -plugin
  • remove default-jre, default-jre-headless, openjdk6-jre, openjdk6-jre-headless, -lib

Doing it in that order makes the dependencies work out. Otherwise, you’d yank the entire OpenOffice suite out by the roots.

Installing KDE apps perforce drags in much of the KDE infrastructure, but it mostly works. The KDE program menu fonts are tiny and there seems no obvious way to crank them up.

Download & install: