Essential Ubuntu Packages
When you first install Ubunu there are some packages that are not
installed that are a must IMO have. For whatever
reason these packages are omitted in the default install be it disc
space, proprietary rights, or belief that they are not that important.
Every essentail package I refer to here is installed in the Hardy, Gutsy,
Feisty, and Edgy script.
Without any further delay here they are.
In many of the
following procedures I refer to opening a terminal in
you are viewing. I highly recommend you install the Nautilus Open
apt-get install nautilus-open-terminal
This will allow
you to open up a terminal in whichever folder Nautilus
File Manager is currently viewing. You can do this by
In Terminal or right mouse clicking in the Nautilus window.
This is a
HUGE time saver as you won't have to
change directories nearly as often as the default terminal will be opened in
your /home folder. IMO, this
package should be installed by
A few of the procedures I
have will need to "make" drivers and such.
When you make a package sometimes it will envoke Ubuntu's
in C-compiler gcc. To compile C/C++ programs using gcc you
must have the build-essential package installed. The
build-essential package contains all the headers that C/C++
need like <stdio.h> or <iostream.h>.
To install build-essential type the following in a terminal:
apt-get install build-essential
build-essential is installed you will then be able to compile
C/C++ programs. This package should also be installed by
Ubuntu IMO. As far as C/C++ programming skills and syntax
there are numerous texts and online sources out there that can help you.
Ever need to partition a hard
drive or some other form of media like a flash drive? Well
Ubuntu can do that but the package to install it is not included in the
default install. The program is called Gnome Partition
Editor. It allows you to shrink, expand, delete, change
partitions of unmounted media. To install type the following
in a terminal
apt-get install gparted
After installation is complete you can access Gnome Partition Editor
from System--->Administration--->Gnome Partition Editor
There are many websites out there that use imbedded Flash and Java extensively. Since Java is not
included in the default install (mainly due to proprietary copyright)
we will install them here. To install these packages type the
following in a terminal.
32 bit (use SUN Java)
apt-get -y install sun-java6-bin sun-java6-fonts sun-java6-jdk
64 bit (use Icedtea openJDK)
sudo apt-get -y install icedtea-java7-jdk icedtea-java7-jre icedtea-java7-plugin
This will install the Java Runtime Environment on Ubuntu
Install Flash 9 for viewing Flash based conten on your web browser. Works on both 32 and 64 bit Ubuntu.
apt-get -y install flashplugin-nonfree
Occasionaly you will come across a compressed archive that Ubuntu
cannot handle. Ubuntu can handle almost any type of compressed
archive out there. You may run across either a RAR or 7Zip
compressed archive. Ubuntu cannot handle these on a default
install but there are some additional packages that you can install to
allow you to unpack these types of archives.
apt-get -y install rar unrar p7zip p7zip-full
This will allow you to unpack and create .rar and .7z archives using Ubuntu's Archive Manager.
media has become very important in Ubuntu and the computer world over.
There are lots of different media types out there like mpeg1,
mpeg2, mp3, mpeg4, avi, wmv, wma, etc. just to name a few. Ubuntu
can deal with all these media types but the user must install the
proper CODECs. Ubuntu cannot include these CODECs as they would
have to pay for them but you can get them for free from Ubuntu's
repositories. To install the CODECs do the following in a
terminal. Note the pitfdll does not function under 64 bit OS so omit that package when installing on 64 bit Ubuntu.
apt-get -y install gstreamer0.10-pitfdll gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg
Once done you will be able to play numerous media types.
Ubuntu can burn CDs and DVDs out of the box using Nautilus.
While functional it is not feature rich. Luckily in the
repositories you can install a program called K3B. K3B is
considered by many ot be the best CD/DVD burning program for Linux.
K3b will burn CDs, DVDs, video DVDs, audio CDs, bootable CDs and
DVDs, etc. Many people say K3B is as good as Nero.
Gutsy and earlier
apt-get -y install k3b libk3b2-mp3
apt-get -y install k3b libk3b2-extracodecs
This will allow you to burn CDs/DVDs and allow you to burn mp3s as an audio CD.