This article or section is incomplete and its contents need further attention. Some sections may be missing, some information may be wrong, spelling and grammar may have to be improved etc. Use your judgment!
- This page so far is by no means a configuration and installation guide, but it contains some information that could be of use to some people. Daniel K. Schneider decided to put some of his installation notes in this wiki, so he won't loose them.
- I am be no means a systems expert. As you can see from other entries in this wiki I deal with lots of stuff and lots of it I don't really master ...
- Feel encouraged to add stuff :)
Find out what distribution you already have
more /etc/issue uname -a
Start with the official Ubuntu site (sometimes a bit lengthy):
Sometimes it is useful to hunt down short installation documentation on other sites than Ubuntu. If you are looking for an other practical, short and excellent installation guides (and that may include how to add non-free software):
After installing (Thanx a lot to you guys, the articles below really did help me to get a somewhat decent working environment - Daniel K. Schneider 22:06, 20 September 2012 (CEST))
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Below are just some notes that apply to the following case. Your old box is dead and you got a new one, but:
- Video card won't work at all
- Networking won't work
- You hate the menu on top, the icons bar to the left and other new stuff in the new 12.04 GUI.
Getting the good installation CD
I didn't manage to read the "normal" CD for my new DELL Optiplex 990 with an Quadro 600 graphics card. In addition, you can't just hook up a screen to the built-in graphics card. The machine will complain and not boot :(
lspci|grep -i nvidia
Result (seen from the repair CD):
VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF108 [Quadro 600] (rev a1)
- Downloaded a so-called alternative (text-based) installation CD from here: http://ftp.ticklers.org/releases.ubuntu.org/releases/
You now can see the installation menu (arrows based), however this is only one problem solved.
Video and network not working (details)
It is best to redo the install if the video is not working, since somehow other stuff will not work either. Once I got the VGA video going from the repair CD, the network was dead. Of course it can be done, but that would require true admin skills.
Do the following:
- Download (as I said before) the alternative version
- Walk through the whole dialogue, but at the end when the CD asks to finalize the install (sorry forgot the exact phrasing), hit ESC (say no!)
You will see the main installation menu. Open a shell and do the following:
- Change the bootloader so that it will use a dumb graphics setting
- Inhibit IP6 networking (not so sure about this, but in our institution this got my networking going .....)
1) Changes in Networking
cd /target/etc/network nano interfaces
Comment out the line that goes
- iface eth0 inet6 auto
This basically will just make sure that you use good old IP4 Internet
2) Changes in Grub (bootloader)
Change a line:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset"
- save (CTRL-O) + ENTER
- exit (CTRL-X)
Then, just hit ESC.
3) Replace the bootloader with your new one
- In the installation menu, write out the Grub (menu item) and then finish installation (menu item)
Now your machine should boot and you should have bad, but usable VGA graphics.
Installing a correct video driver and configure the screens
The new Ubuntu system thinks that users are even worse idiots than I am. In the application bar, one can't even find a terminal. Good old system admin tools are also missing.
- To get a terminal: Click on "Dash Home" and type term in the search box
(1) Install the Video driver
- Click on the system settings icon
- Under Hardware: Click on Additional Drivers. This (in my case) detected the NVIDIA card.
- Click on Activate. This should download and install the driver.
- Restart the system
(2) Enter correct settings for the display(s)
- System settings -> Displays
That should work for one screen, i.e. I could set the screen to 1920x1200. Though I find it irritating that the screen is called a laptop.
(3) configure Nvidia settings
- Open a terminal
- Type: nvidia-settings
Make a copy of your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file (!) This always can go badly wrong.
Then in the nvidia tool:
- Click on X Server Display configuration
- This should find the other screen(s)
- Select TwinView (that's what I use, i.e. 2 screens make up one large desktop)
- Fix the position if needed (mine was right of instead of left-of
- Write out file /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Restart the machine. You now should have two displays. In Twinview mode, when you click on System settings->Displays, you now can see that you have a Laptop with a 3520x1200 resolution. Not great, but acceptable. Have to buy new bigger screens sometimes soon.
....now that was easy :) I still am angry at Ubuntu for not being able to produce an install CD that works with a mainstream config (Dell Optiplex 990 + Nvidia Quadro). I can understand that users must configure the video card, but can't understand why the screen had to show a blinking chaos and why the network didn't work ...
Fixing the desktop and add missing admin tools
- Moving the menu bar can't be done intuitively (e.g. using the appearance tool, by dragging the bar, by clicking on the grey bar on top, etc.)
- The grey menu bar on top acts like a Mac. I find this hugely irritating. I do hate the Mac one-menu-for all approach. Doesn't make sense if your desktop is large and you got several open applications.
- Synaptic package manager and other essential tools are missing.
Install a better GUI tweaking tool (Ubuntu Tweak)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:diesch/testing sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install unsettings
- Offers more tweaking options for people that are unhappy with the new GUI, read on for yet more options and also more specific tweaks.
- In particular, you can disable the global menu which is something that Ubuntu tweak cannot.
Gnow-teak gnome weaking tool
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
- This simple tool allows quickly to 1) to change themes, fonts, window themes, etc. and 2) to set the all important mouse focuse mode (over instead of click). I am not using Linux in order to have a Windows clone !
In a terminal, type (else search it in the launcher)
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
Yet another tweaking tool with many options. E.g. it allows to fix the opacity of the dashboard
- Menu left -> Desktop -> Ubuntu Unity Plugin
sudo apt-get install gconf-editor
This tool allows to edit each an every property (I believe). If you can't find it in a tool, it's here:
If you want to get rid of stupid windows maximizing when you move a window to the top, type:
- Browser to:
- apps -> compiz-1 -> plugin -> grid -> screen0 -> options -> top_edge_action
- set this value to 0
In the grey menu bar on top, where you can read "Firefox Web Browser"
- Tools –> Add-ons –> Extensions
- Then Disable 'Global Menu Bar integration'
Install synaptic manager
While apt-get is more practical if you know what you want, synaptic is better suitable for browsing.
sudo apt-get install synaptic
Btw. Ubunt Tweak also has a download manager, but it only includes a short list of selected software. Good choice, but some stuff is missing, e.g. emacs.
Not sure that this works, see the unsettings tool
sudo apt-get autoremove appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt
To install it again:
sudo apt-get install appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt
- Moving the menu bar to some other place
- There is some fallout, e.g. thunderbird continues to use a central menu. Some popup menus can get lost, e.g. appear in another workspace. Some applications (e.g. openscad) will loose menu items after a few hours of use ..... that's quite a disgrace I'd say.
Install easy admin tools
The default ones do nothing. Can't even change a group id :(
sudo apt-get install gnome-system-tools
- Then, in the Dash Home search users or type users-admin& in a shell
Ubuntu 10 8.04 LTS installation start in a nutshell
This 8.04 distribution now is way too old, but it gives an idea on what you'll have to do, sorry I don't have time to update since I only install a new Ubuntu when I get a new desktop machine - Daniel K. Schneider 12:47, 3 June 2010 (UTC).
Step 1: Get it
Decide what version you want. Basically there are 4 options for a desktop machine: 32 vs. 64 bit machines and normal vs. alternative distribution.
- 32 bit (most machines, also some third-party software may only run 32bits). Two sub-choices:
- ubuntu-8.04.1-desktop-i386.iso (this is your "normal" choice)
- 64 bit (more expensive desktop machines)
- ubuntu-8.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso (also includes Xeon etc. processors)
Finally, there exist also vendor-packaged images that include additional goodies, e.g. graphics card drivers. E.g.
The image you will download is an ISO ready to burn CD image (so you need a program to do this). Read burn the image.
- Memory errors and stupidness
I spent about a weekend burning various CDs (32bit normal, alternate, 64bit) because I thought first that downloaded ISO images were damaged during burning and then that my hardware couldn't handle it. Got SQUASHFS and other decompression errors.
That was a weekend lost. I simply had to replace the RAM. It was slightly defective (after all, the days before I did use my system, though I had some Firefox and Thunderbird crashes. Never occured to me to test the RAM. Bad RAM if intensively used such as in the install process will make it fail. PERIOD.
So if you insert a CD for testing and returns errors, do it again. If the file is not the same, then blame your RAM. Basically you can ignore the "burning horrors" below, unless you really have problem with downloading or burning. Just make sure to burn at relatively low speed....
- Burning horrors
It is likely that you might download a bad image (see step 3). Make sure that your image is correct with How to MD5SUM. E.g. if you download to a Unix machine, type something like:
This file name may change of course. The output should be a single line which you can match again the magic number, e.g.
for the ubuntu-8.04.1-desktop-i386.iso image. These is an official list (if you don't trust your mirror).
Anyhow, if Ubuntu is happy (see also step 3) you don't need to worry about this.
Also to download, you may avoid using a browser, there exist FTP mirrors. Alternatively you can use a program like wget if you do this from a Unix machine. Copy the download link from the appropriate mirror and type e.g.
wget --no-cache http://releases.ubuntu.com/hardy/ubuntu-8.04.1-desktop-i386.iso
or (better) from a trusted mirror:
wget --no-cache http://mirror.switch.ch/ftp/mirror/ubuntu-cdimage/hardy/ubuntu-8.04.1-desktop-i386.iso
Now burning is another painful issue (see step three). I took the simple default CD version from some Ubuntu mirror and first used infra recorder on a Windows machine to burn the image (Menu Actions -> Burn Image..). Despite setting it to low burn speed it didn't work (i.e. failed the test in the Ubuntu installation). So I took another laptop and burned with Roxio. After 3 attempts (enabling all options like checking, very long file names, etc. it did seem to work at first (test passed). But during the install (some SQUASHFS error) and with a second test it failed again. So you actually may have two problems: CD is bad or the installation program (i.e. the SQUASHFS program) has a problem
Frustrating as experience. In any case set burning speed to something that is really low" (like 4 or 8), but never maximum !
If your CD seems to be ok and installation fails you first should check your RAM. Only then go for another install (e.g. download the fat DVD total Ubuntu-only reinstall DVD ISO from DELL or the alternative CD from Ubuntu.
- Finally, make sure to have an Internet number ready if you use your machine at work.
Step 2: save some stuff in your old Ubuntu install
(if you have one, else skip).
If you mount foreign file systems
If you have a special video setup
If you don't have your home on a different partition make a gtar archive tar zcf archiveXX.tgs directory
- save all homes (I don't keep any real data on my personal machine, but you may later retrieve some config files or navigator bookmarks.)
- You also may save /usr/local (but it's better to reinstall !)
Step 3: Format or repartition if you plan to continue using windows
- I don't want windows on this machine (erased it sometimes)
- You also may consider reformatting the hard disk (you can do this during the install process)
- If do want Windows, you may consider sharing a partition and this is a bit tricky (see docs elsewhere).
Step 4: Boot the PC with the CD and enter installation
- You may have to hit F12 or F2 (watch!) when the machine wakes up, select the CD-Rom Drive
- You then must select a language (English for example)
- You also should define your location and keyboard. Hit the F2 and F3 buttons at the bottom of the screen.
- You also should check the integrity of the CD. Bad files can be a total show stopper ! I suspect that errors can have two reasons: A bad CD (sometimes), damaged RAM, or some hardware incompatibility (bad trouble for you).
- Do not "try" Ubuntu without change unless you are afraid that Ubuntu is not compatible with your hardware. If your decision is made click on "Install Ubuntu"
... then wait a bit ... if nothing happens, it can mean that your RAM is damaged, your CD is bad or that your PC can not handle it.
Step 5: Try other versions if needed
Give up on the desktop version, if the installation fails after 2 half days or so. Take the alternative version. The interface is uglier, has less functionality, but it let's you repartition and format at early stage and make some more technical choices.
The problem is that you then have to install things more manually which is not really difficult but requires some reading...
Step 6: Make life a bit easier
In Ubuntu a desktop user can't seem to log in as root. It never asked me for a password during install. I must be root, since entering "sudo" plus a password for every command drives me crazy. The trick is simple:
passwd ... now you have root password :)
Alternative: Installation from the no-desktop distribution
So I finally got ubuntu-8.04.1-alternate-amd64.iso and wind up in a root terminal after boot.
Some stuff is already on the CD. First thing you want is the X11 system and a desktop. Reinsert the same CD and type the following. However I suggest taking this rather from an Ubuntu mirror (see packages)
apt-get install ubuntu-desktop /etc/init.d/gdm start
Then you can use the GUI to define you as user and configure the network.
Next thing is to select repositories. The easiest way is to use the "synaptic package manager" that can be found in the System->Administration menu. The click on "Settings->Repositories" and select either the fastest or one you trust. In the same software sources panel, you also may tick most checkboxes. Alternatively, edit the configuration file in /etc/apt.
Then you have to upgrade. That also was quite a nightmare, since apparently my (now that new) hardware was not fully compatible....
One thing that seems to be needed if you have the server version is:
apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-server
8.04 to 8.10 to 9.4 to 10.04
Went fine, except for the video card settings. I just ignored this problem and then directly went to the next 9.4 upgrade.
The only problem I had was that all panels were moved to the left screen, and all widgets were found in a single panel (result of the 8.10 upgrade).
By default, Ubuntu update manager (or Synaptic Package Manager) does not suggest upgrades from "long term versions" like Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy" LTS to versions like Ubuntu 8.10. You can change this behavior by configuring the update manager, e.g. with menu System->Administration->Update Manager.
Upgrade to 10.4 LTS went w/o any problems ....
Which version do I run
Hash Sum mismatch issues
- If something like GPG error: http://mirror.switch.ch hardy-updates Release: The following signatures were invalid: BADSIG 40976EAF437D05B5 Ubuntu Archive Automatic Signing Key <firstname.lastname@example.org> happens, you might change the server. Either,
- Edit /etc/apt/sources.list
- Or change with menu System->Administration->Software sources
NFS file systems and users
Mounting external NFS partitions
- Installing mnt and mount points
It's a bad idea to keep your files on your personal PC. Since we have sun servers with daily backup I just mount partitions via NFS. NFS may not be included in your install
apt-get install nfs-common
then edit /etc/fstab and enter line(s) like this
XXX.unige.ch:/export/home /mnt/YYY nfs defaults 0 0
Then mount these
- Changing your user id
- If you installed from the standard distribution, your user is is not compatible with the one you have on an other machine, so you have to change it. You can use the user management tool in the System menu (click on "unlock").
- Create a new group first and use the gid from your server (type id- a on the server machine)
- To change your user id is more tricky, can't do this while you are in the desktop. An easy method is to use the usermod tool (after logging out from the GUI !!), e.g.to change user dks to uid=6000
usermod -u 6001 dks
or if you want to change the uid too:
usermod -g 6000 -u 6001 dks
Exporting partitions with NFS
Become root, or add "sudo" in front of all commands ...
Either NFS or Samba allow to share a partition with other (client) machines. In order to use NFS:
1) Install NFS on your server machine
apt-get install nfs-kernel-server
2) Configure the directories to be exported by adding them to the /etc/exports file. For example:
will export the directory /export/data/ for the host (computer) mymachine.yourorg.org with (with-permissions). Do not use something like:
I.e. only give specific machines access to your partition and do not let your client machine be root.
2b) If your client machine (e.g. a personal Linux computer) is not in the DNS, then you can either provide an Internet number (I believe) or define your machine in the /etc/hosts file, e.g.
Then in the /etc/exports use something like
/data mymachine(rw,sync,no_subtree_check) mylaptop(rw,sync,no_subtree_check)
After doing so, type in the shell
3) Mount the exported directory on your client machines, i.e.
- Create an empty directory, e.g.
- Edit file /etc/fstab on your client machine
servermachine.x.y:/export/data /mnt/data nfs defaults 0 0
- Then yype on your client machine:
mount -a (on your machine)
If it doesn't work, look at the log files of the server machine. Most likely you failed to give permission. Also, you should restart the NFS daemon on the server. Type:
4) User id and group ids
If you want to write files in the server, then user and group id's must match on both machines....
- On your desktop machine, you can use the system menus
- On a server, you can use useradd. Make sure that user and group id's match those of other machines in case you plan to mount partitions (e.g. a web server directory on your desktop).
- useradd -ggroup_name -uNNNNN -m -p XXXXX login_name
- group_name = name of primary group
- NNNNN = uid number, e.g. 160001
- XXXXX = password
- login_name = login + home directory name, e.g. dks
If you want to add the user to other groups, use the -G flag or use usermod. E.g.
- usermod -Gadmin,adm dks
- will add the user dks to the adm and the admin group.
- id -a [login]
- will display an id of a user
Most Linux distribution's installer (at least the free ones) can't handle some slightly more fancy hardware automatically
Usually you have to do two things
- Configure the drivers from the ubuntu desktop (if your are lucky)
- Hand edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file to tweak things.
- How to install Nvidia 295.40 drivers in ubuntu 12.04/11.10 using PPA
- Ubuntu Twinview Monitors with an NVidia Graphics Card (T. Fitzgerald/3/2007)
- Remember to save every version (preferably on an other machine or in a wiki) that worked.
Example Nvidia Quadro FX + 2 digital monitors
Recent Ubuntu editions handle Quadro cards quite well (iff and after you managed to install the system, see above). Stuff below is obsolete, though may be useful for tweaking or if you have a card that is different.
- The easy way (Ubuntu 8.01 Hardy)
If you have a GUI running (the default Ubuntu desktop)
- Menu System->Administration->Hardware drivers
- Enable the driver (this will download the nvidia-glx-new package
- Menu: System->Preferences
- Screen resolution (works with a 1920x1200 screen)
Then add your second monitor if you got one:
- Read Nvidia Multi Monitors first
- Install the nvidia settings tool, in a terminal type this (or get via the synaptic)
sudo apt-get nvidia-settings
Then use this tool to configure
- Menu System->Administration->Nvidia X Server settings
I do not want the default twin view, i.e. I want to be able to switch to a different workspace in one screen and keep the current one. So I went for two different screens
- XServer Display Configuration:
- Click on 'configure... and select twin view
- Than play with the options until it looks good
Hit apply and if required CTRL-ALT BACKSPACE to restart the XServer.
- I noticed that at some point it couldn't overwrite the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. Look at the preview and then copy paste , i.e. open an editor under root :)
Anyhow this is a start, but some manual tweaking seems to be necessary
- this tool will append to the current xorg file by default. I.e. you may several conflicting definitions if you don't watch out.
- On the other hand if you don't append, your keyboard definition is gone, i.e. you have to know how to type US style. Make backups !!
- If you can't login after a XServer restart, you simply may have a US
keyboard. Don't panic.
See below for tweaking and repairing ...
- The hard way
Depending on the day (if it's rainy or sunny or the particular Ubuntu version) installing an Nvidia driver can be an absolute nightmare. If things fail, it is probably a good idea to:
- Make a copy of your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file
- Remove everything that has to do with Nvidia
- E.g. even drastic and dangerous apt-get remove nvidia*
- it also can mean to remove manually files and other stuff (see various forums)
- Also the machine needs to completely halted at some point and be restarted in recovery mode (Hit ESC when linux starts loading)
- Make sure you can get a terminal (local or remote)
- Make sure you have another machine nearby, e.g. Windows with a putty (ssh client) installed.
- Hit ctrl-alt-F5 to enter a terminal mode or see above.
- Avoid removing power (reset) ... this can damage files, try ctrl-alt-delete first (or a halt from a remote terminal)
- Log files
- Look at the log files, in particular /var/log/Xorg.0.log and search for "(EE)".
- It's likely that your keyboard won't work. E.g. if you use special characters in your password you must know the layout of the US keyboard. That can be fixed again in the xorg.conf file.
- X also remembers stuff in your personal home directory and there are logs too.
Anyhow, if by miracle, things go well, here is the rough procedure:
(0) Make sure you got a nvidia card, type:
lspci | grep -i nvidia
(1) You need to download the Nvidia driver.
- Either from Nvidia. E.g. file NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-9755-pkg1.run
- Or via apt (a package manager), this is the better solution if it works:
sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx-new
.. or maybe nvidia-glx (the older version)
(2) Save the xorg.conf file
cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.save1
(3 - manual install) Install the driver (in case you got it from Nvidia only. This is not recommended !)
(4) Run the X server configurator (but make sure you have a copy of your old xorg.conf file !!) nvidia-xconfig
There exist options which are described in the man page. Type
(5) The result won't do it, but it's a start. You have to hand-edit and merge information from the old xorg.conf.save1 file !!!
You also can try to install the nvidia graphics control panel
apt-get install nvidia-settings
and run the config. utility (on the desktop as described above !)
A particular nasty bug in older installation scripts (not Ubuntu 8.01 Hardy) is the name of the driver. If you use the ubuntu distribution, the driver's name may be "nv" and not nvidia. Remember this when your system wants to boot into low resolution mode.
- A working configuration
Here is a configuration that works with my Graphics card and two monitors: A Dell Precision 380 with a Quadro FX 3450 card, and two DELL monitors: a 24 (1920x1200) and a 20 (1600x1200).
# nvidia-xconfig: X configuration file generated by nvidia-xconfig # nvidia-xconfig: version 1.0 (buildmeister@builder57) Thu Jul 17 18:39:19 PDT 2008 Section "ServerLayout" Identifier "Layout0" Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0 InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard" InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer" EndSection Section "Files" RgbPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb" EndSection Section "Module" Load "dbe" Load "extmod" Load "freetype" Load "glx" EndSection Section "InputDevice" # generated from default Identifier "Mouse0" Driver "mouse" Option "Protocol" "auto" Option "Device" "/dev/psaux" Option "Emulate3Buttons" "no" Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5" EndSection Section "InputDevice" # generated from default Identifier "Keyboard0" Driver "kbd" Option "XkbModel" "pc105" Option "XkbLayout" "ch" Option "XkbVariant" "fr" EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor0" VendorName "Unknown" ModelName "Unknown" HorizSync 30.0 - 110.0 VertRefresh 50.0 - 150.0 Option "DPMS" EndSection Section "Device" Identifier "Device0" Driver "nvidia" VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Screen0" Device "Device0" Monitor "Monitor0" DefaultDepth 24 Option "TwinView" "True" Option "MetaModes" "nvidia-auto-select, nvidia-auto-select" SubSection "Display" Depth 24 EndSubSection EndSection
Make sure that there are no syntax errors, and that you have and empty line at the end of this file.
- Fine tuning the desktop
- Put a panel on top of each screen (right click on the one panel you have and make a "new")
- Right-click, select properties to define position (top,bottom, left right)
- Do not use "Visual effects" (System->Preferences) or get sea sick !
- Add more stuff to the panels ... and you are back to work :)
If you have dual monitor system like the one described above:
- Right-click on an existing panel to add a new one
- Right-click on the new panel, select properties and untick "Expand"
- Then move the panel to the other screen, and tick "Expand again"
Each panel widget can be move to another panel (right-click->move). Then move it to the new panel.
By default the window control buttons are to the left in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS - the Lucid Lynx - released in April 2010 (annoying for older people like me who don't want to retrain procedures for no good reason).
To fix this, i.e. move the control buttons to the right as before: Press ALT-F2 or open a terminal and type gconf-editor. Navigate to /apps/metacity/general and change the button_layout to :minimize,maximize,close (the : must be in front).
Of course, you also could specify :maximize,minimize,close ....
Hot keys for the brave
So your GUI is stuck ....
To open a console terminal (no GUI):
CTRL-ALT F1 ... same for F2 to F6 (so you can have 6 different terminals)
To go back to the desktop:
To see boot system messages
To restart the X server (your GUI)
Basically, an end-user can do most of this stuff with a GUI tool, i.e. the synaptic package administrator. However it is good to know a few command line things for 2 reasons:
- You may have damaged your desktop when trying to install a new video driver
- It's sometimes faster. In particular when you see on some website that this and this package should be installed in this and that order ...
A list of command-line stuff (you must be root or add "sudo" in front of each). Sometimes there are equivalent commands for abt-get and aptitude. See the apt howto at Debian.
Installing packages from a package archive
- To fix the ubuntu archive mirrors
(if you can, you can also do this from the desktop package manager) Edit /etc/apt/sources.list
You should at least have:
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy main universe multiverse restricted deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates main universe multiverse restricted
... but the it's better to use a nearby mirror, e.g. for Switzerland:
deb http://mirror.switch.ch/ftp/mirror/ubuntu/ (... same for the rest ...)
To check if there are any partially installed packages. It will try to complete these installations.
dpkg --configure -a
To find a package XXX
aptitude search XXX
apt-get install XXX
If this fails because of dependency issues, you then can try:
apt-get -f install
- Cleaning and such
To detect and fix dependency problems
aptitude -f install
To remove packages from the local cache
To update the package list
To reinstall a package XXX that seems to be broken
apt-get --reinstall install XXX
To upgrade conservatively
To upgrade with a an message showing packages
apt-get -u upgrade
To upgrade to a new release
apt-get -u dist-upgrade
To really remove package XXXX
apt-get --purge remove XXXX
If a package doesn't want to go (e.g. something went wrong during install, e.g. a decompression error and a crash in the middle of the install) and an installer (or you) wants it go, look for the package in /var/lib/dpkg/status and make it install ok installed Followed by:
apt-get remove --purge XXXX apt-get update apt-get dist-upgrade (or whatever you planned to install)
Installing deb files
Sometimes, software is distributed as package for download, i.e. a *.deb file
To install it:
dpkg -i XXX.deb
If you run into dependency error messages you'll have to add packages (no problem) or remove packages (avoid !).
Example (for the eXe eLearning authoring system):
dpkg -i python2.5-exe_1.04.0.3532-ubuntu1_i386.deb
Unpacking python2.5-exe (from python2.5-exe_1.04.0.3532-ubuntu1_i386.deb) ... dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of python2.5-exe: python2.5-exe depends on python-zopeinterface (>= 3.0.0-6); however: Package python-zopeinterface is not installed. dpkg: error processing python2.5-exe (--install): dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
First thing to do is to try something like:
apt-get install python-zopeinterface
Information about packages
xxx is the package name or package file (*.deb) name
- Getting information about a package
apt-cache search xxx
apt-cache showpkg xxx
apt-cache show xxx
- To find a package on your system, if you know a file name
dpkg -S xxx_file_name
apt-file search filename
- To list all packages and search for a name.
dpkg -l | grep xxx
- To extract a deb file without really installing it
dpkg --unpack xxx.deb
- To list the contents of a package file
dpkg -c xxx.deb
Printers don't necessarily work automatically either:
A good bet is to use this application:
Before you do so, it is like that you need a a PPD file (a file that defines properties of your postscript printer). Get it from:
Example for Infotec ISC 1032 (A low end color copy and printer machine)
- Look at the entry:
- Get the PPD file (and copy it anywhere) ** http://openprinting.org/foomatic-db/db/source/PPD/Infotec/PS/Infotec-ISC1032_PS.ppd
- Then, start http://localhost:631/admin in your browser and when asked upload the PPD file
- Finally configure the printer (e.g. define paper size, trays and stuff).
- If CUPs printing doesn't work, use "HP JeDirect" and port 9100.
We run a few sun servers and I prefer to run emacs (GUI) on a remote machine instead of mounting all these file systems. Also I prefer to have a root terminal open instead of typing 'sudo' all the time. If you want allow for this:
- Reconfigure the window manager (gdm)
- Edit /etc/gdm/gdm.conf and change:
- Then, you'll need to restart your X session (Ctrl + Alt + Backspace)
- Allow remote hosts to connect
- Then you can allow certain hosts to connect e.g. to allow root on your own machine type
xhost + localhost
- To allow somebody on a different machine, type:
xhost + xxx.yyy.zzz
- It's important not to to type 'xhost +'. Since anyone may then connect to your screen. However, type xhost + something is boring, so it's more practical to edit /etc/X0.hosts. Just put the names or IP numbers of authorized machines there.
- If it doesn't work
You can install nmap to scan ports (X is on 6000).
- If you don't have nmap:
sudo apt-get install nmap
- Then type (as user):
nmap -v -A localhost
In some cases you may have to define the display of your machine on your client machine. On your client machine type something like:
setenv DISPLAY xxx.yyy.zzz:0
Or more practical, log into the the client machine like this:
By default Ubuntu comes with some Java compatible version that is free. For some applications though, you need Java 6 or 7 from Oracale (formely Sun)
Worked for me (thanx webupd8 !!!)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer
End of trace:
... Oracle JDK 7 installed
u pdate-alternatives: using /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so to provide /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libnpjp2.so (libnpjp2.so) in auto mode.
Oracle JRE 7 browser plugin installed
java -version gives:
java version "1.7.0_07" Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_07-b10) Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.3-b01, mixed mode)
- You can get Sun Java as Ubuntu package in various ways.
- Note: If you already have a free Java installed, then you could consider making the Sun version the default (also explained in the above doc).
Sound may not work either.
- Install all the ALSA stuff (e.g. via the synaptic package manager)
- Then test with Menu System->Preferences-Sound
- Then set the right default volume with Menu Applications->Sound and Video->ALSA Mixer GUID (in particular PCM ! It may be as simple as that ...)
Sound trouble ?
If sound doesn't work search the Ubuntu forums: http://ubuntuforums.org/. A particular good overview posting was:
To list you sound hardware, type:
If there are none, type:
... and search through the list until you find something like:
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
This means that you do have a sound card, but that the drivers or something else is missing....
Anyhow it may take some time (between a few minutes and a few days) to find a solution. Often, the only thing you'd have to do is to add a line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base (needs root permissions). I have for my DELL/Sigmatel:
options snd-hda-intel model=ref
Then, reboot !
Note: To list all drivers on your machine, type:
If I understand right, drivers are kernel modules.
To edit a playlist (i.e. reorder items), there are two options
- You can drag items up and down (untick "browse" in the View menu, if you need more space)
- You can edit the XML (better for very large lists, maybe do a save before you do this)
Also, it's a good idea to remember that you can copy this file, if you decide to re-install your machine and start with a clean/new setup
Who else has Linux nearby ?
sudo nmap -O xxx.yyy.zzz.1-255 | grep "Running: " | sort | uniq -c
Some organization maintain their own Debian/Ubuntu package servers.
E.g. to install Skype, you could
- Add the Skype repository like this in the Synaptic Package Manager (through settings->Repositories->Third-Party Software)
deb http://download.skype.com/linux/repos/debian/ stable non-free
- Reload or update the package information and search for "skype"
- Install the skype package.
wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add - sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list' sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable
Add yours ...
- Daniel K. Schneider uses Ubuntu since March 2007, because he got fed up with Mandriva updates not working correctly. I hate all OS's (Unix, Mac, Win) but prefer to work on Unix because it's fairly stable and appropriate for what I do. I also do have Windows machines (a Dell XPS M1730 and a DELL XT2 PC) for doing stuff that needs Win. (E.g. Flash, word processing with Framemaker, X3D, Games). Our servers (e.g. for this wiki) run mostly under Ubuntu too. Before we ran Solaris which is much more difficult to install and maintain but extra solid.
- Indeed (it's now August 2007 and I went through a major upgrade) I find that Ubuntu and its packaging system is far more robust. Though I once failed with a non supported package, i.e. Cinelerra that I got from another site. It installed, but crashed on start. Have to try again at some point.
- If your applications crash (e.g. Firefox) check your bloody RAM. It may be defective and you can loose 3 days of work trying to reinstall when there is absolutely no need. Ubuntu is solid, even if the installation can be messy !
(there are many others)