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Thread: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

  1. #1
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    Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    I've been playing around with various distributions of linux for a while now.
    Over the years I have tried them all, and very quickly gone back to windows.
    I was always left with the "it's not quite ready yet" feeling.

    Now that is in contrast to my experience with setting up a home server using the user friendly setup available at Amahi based on the Fedora distribution. It just worked and did exactly what it said on the tin , with no technical input from me , and has run for weeks now without flaw.

    I had being playing with Suse 11 recently but could not get it to see the folders on my Amahi server( note it is possible its just I'm Linux illiterate)

    So recently I had cause to install the latest ubuntu 8.10 on my sons laptop, as he has a propensity to click yes at every prompt and was soon over run with vermin.

    Ubuntu 8.10 installed like a breeze , wireless just worked, he could use pidgin to chat ( ala msm) I installed Firefox on it and he was happy as Larry.

    I'd been playing with PC BSD which looks nice and is very newbie friendly, but it needs finishing. I found it very laggy and the odd glitch would happen that put me off, I'm sure if you knew what you were doing you could get round this, but my search is for something that makes you just as happy to use and install and live with as my experience with windows xp had been.

    So a spare hard drive was dragged into action and I loaded ubuntu 8.10 onto it. And just like my son's laptop install, everything went great.
    I installed VLC and just basked in the glow that everything just worked.

    Cue needle dragging across record.......

    I wanted to check some files on my server, I could see the files , entered the correct username and password for access, and the computer said no

    strange tried it again, still no. A quick check of my server to confirm the details were correct , I even turned off permissions, it then let me in, but that's not the point, I want it to work like it should, and how it works for me when I'm using my windows pc.

    I must admit despite this miniscule flaw, I felt ready to chuck in the towel, no , I would not trawl google in search of an answer I just wanted it to work.

    So I remembered reading a thread on Digital Forums where a Linux Guru had posted up a "how to" for Ubuntu and so I went back and had a read.

    His guide was for version 8.04, but as he pointed out this was the LTS (long term support) version and is not quite as cutting edge.

    So I thought why not, a 30 minute download and off I went to install the 8.04 version, in the hope that I could see my server folders and interact with them.

    What followed was me following the step by step guide and using a script kindly posted by Tom the post starter, that installed all manners of things to make the end result just perfect.

    I can now see my server folders contents using my passwords , films play,music plays , internet works , oh and the icing on the cake, you can show everyone your cube spinning screen trick.

    a short video here to give you a rough idea

    [flash width=450 height=450]http://www.youtube.com/v/ZxfSwzhSn1c[/flash]

    So do you want to try it, follow this great guide by Tom, you won't be disappointed.
    So over to Tom.


    This guide will show you how to do the following:


    1. Install Ubuntu Desktop
    2. Install additional Software
    3. Install Multi-Media Codecs
    4. Enable Proprietary / Restricted Drivers
    5. Install Video Editing Software
    6. Install DVD Creation Software
    7. Install CD / DVD Burning Software
    8. Install SopCast
    9. Install Skype
    10. Install Google Desktop Search
    11. Install Google Earth
    12. Install Google Picasa
    13. Install Google Gadgets
    14. Customise your Desktop
    15. Enable Desktop on a Cube and other visual effects
    16. Install Windows Fonts
    17. Install Windows Software
    18. Edit Video Files
    19. Use Scripts to batch process image files
    20. Create DVD's from avi's
    21. Install Games
    22. Other things!





    Base Install



    Download the Ubuntu 8.04 CD

    http://releases.ubuntu.com/8.04/

    Download using a torrent if you can, it saves on bandwidth!

    Burn to CD

    Boot from PC and choose

    Try Ubuntu Without any change to your computer






    We are using this option as you need to check your hardware works with Ubuntu before committing to installing.

    Ubuntu will now start to load.





    This may take a few minutes, but be this is not surprising as it loads the OS into your machines RAM and should not be used as an indication of how fast your machine will be with Ubuntu installed.





    Once booted it should look something like this (Note this is the 7.10 screen and not 8.04, but for this guide it's not important)




    You might want to have a play around at this stage.

    Anything listed under the menu's should work, and if your hooked up to your LAN you should be able to brose the web.

    If you have a wireless connection you should be able to connect to this.

    Clicking the network icon in the top right with a single right click should display any detected wireless networks.

    To start the install process, simply double click on the install icon on the desktop.

    The following should then be displayed (Again this is the 7.10 screen and not 8.04, but for this guide it's not important. There maybe some minor differences.):



    Select your language and press Forward

    You will now be asked to choose your location, click your location on the map, then click Forward





    Select your keyboard layout, and use the testing area to make sure your keys work (check £ and @ and " are working). If you are happy then click Forward.





    You will now need to decide where you want to install Ubuntu.

    Ubuntu will detect any other OS's on your HD and will give recommendations on how it thinks you should partition the disks.

    Most of the time the recommended set-up is spot on.

    If you are going to dual boot, make sure you have backed up all your data first.

    I've never had a problem with this, but there is a first time for everything!




    Now I am going to ignore Ubuntu's recommendation and will choose to use the entire disk (I'm wiping over an existing install and I've backed up all my data. I am not dual booting! If you are DO NOT USE THIS OPTION!)



    If you have Windows installed you may see the following:




    Check all details here are correct before clicking Install.

    If your happy click Install, and the install process will begin




    But with Users to migrate, I don't so I will just click Forward.

    If you do have windows users to migrate I would use this option.

    As I don't have a Windows user to migrate / import I will need to set-up a new user



    Fill out the information, and make a note of your password. You will need to use this any time you wish to make any system changes to Ubuntu once installed (Note - Windows users, this is what you call a secure operating system!)

    Once you have filled out all the required fields you should see the following:



    Check all details here are correct before clicking Install.

    If your happy click Install, and the install process will begin



    Whilst Ubuntu is installing you can still use the system



    The install may take up to 30 minutes to complete depending on the age of your machine




    Once the set-up has completed you should see something similar to this:



    Click Restart now, removed the CD / DVD when prompted and press enter to reboot your machine.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    Stage 2
    Installing Additional Software


    You will need to enter your user name and password to login into your machine, and then should be presented with a screen like this:




    Sorry about the size, I changed my screen resolution for the rest of this guide!

    Now we can start installing more software.

    I have always used a script from - http://users.piuha.net/martti/comp/u...n/install.html to install more software.

    But I have now decided to add to this script, as it does not install all the software I use.

    To use this script we will need to use the terminal or CLI.
    The terminal is similar to the command prompt in Windows.
    Before we start using the terminal here a few tips:


    Terminal Tips
    To Open the terminal click on the Ubuntu Menu -Accessories - Terminal

    To run a single command in the terminal (like the Windows Run feature) press Alt&F2 on your keyboard.

    To paste into the terminal press Ctrl-Shift and v

    When typing a command in the terminal, type the first few letters and press tab.

    Ubuntu will now attempt to auto complete the command for you.

    Try typing the above command but stop at scree and press tab.

    You will now see all installable packages starting with screen.

    If you type screenlets then press tab it will auto complete to screenlets.

    This is really handy if you cannot remember the full name of a package.

    Now lets get started!


    Open the terminal and type:

    Code:
    wget http://freetowatchtv.co.uk/images/ubuntu/install.sh
    sh install.sh





    You will be asked if you wish to use a proxy server, I will say no by press 'n' then enter






    You will be asked if you wish to install updates, I am going to say no at this stage



    You will be asked for you local mirror country code



    You will be asked if you wish to update your sources.list, press Y

    This will add more repositories to your sources.list.






    Your sources.list will be updated, and updates will be downloaded. This may take some time.





    Once this has been completed, you will be prompted to install Multimedia Codecs.
    This will enable DVD Playback, MP3 Playback, DIVX Playback, XVID Playback, MS Core Fonts, Various Firefox Plugins plus many more.



    Press 'y' and enter and the install will continue




    This may take some time, when complete you will be presented with the following




    Press 'y' and then enter

    Next up is the Microsoft Core Font Package



    Press enter



    Now you will be prompted to install RealPlayer



    Press 'y' then enter



    Next is VLC, this is the daddy of all media players, press 'y' then enter to continue the install



    Another media player this time totem-xine, press 'y' then enter



    This will install Mplayer, press 'y' then enter

    Once complete you will be prompted to install Mozilla Thunderbird. Evolution is the default e-mail client and is very good. I prefer Thunderbird though as it's a little more lightweight

    Press 'y' then enter to install Thunderbird



    Next is GnuPG Encryption for Thunderbird, this is something I don't install, but for the uber paranoid user press 'y' then enter to install


  4. #3
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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this



    Next is WINE, this is a must if you want to install any Windows software. More on WINE later in the guide.




    Press 'y' then enter to install



    You will now be prompted to install GnomeBaker. This is a lightweight CD / DVD burning software package and is great for burning ISO's, writing data to CD / DVD etc. Press 'y' then enter to install




    You will now be prompted to install K3b with MP3 support. This is a more advanced package than GnomeBaker and is great for creating audio CD's from MP3, Ogg etc and for creating Video DVD's etc

    Press 'y' then enter to install




    You will now be prompted to install C and C++ compilers, useful for programmers but not for me.

    Press 'y' and enter if you wish to install



    Next is VirtualBox. VirtualBox is similar to VMWare and is a cracking bit of software.

    I am choosing not to install, as I will download another version from Sun MicroSystems. The Sun version has more features that the Open Source Edition (OSE)

    For most users the Open Source Edition (OSE) will serve them well, but I just like to be difficult!

    If you want to install the Open Source Edition (OSE) press 'y' then enter.



    You will now be prompted to install Skype. Don't be put off by the message!. It is perfectly safe to install, press 'y' and enter if you wish to proceed with the install



    Ktorrent is next. I bet you can't guess what this is for!

    Ktorrent has some great features:

    Bandwidth Scheduler
    IP Blocking Filter
    Web Interface

    There is a built in Torrent Client with Ubuntu.
    This is called Transmission and is a good client in it's own right, but Ktorrent offers that little bit extra.

    Press 'y' then enter if you wish to install Ktorrent



    Audacious is up next.
    Audacious is a media player, much like an old skool version of Winamp and XMMS.

    Press 'y' then enter if you wish to install




    This one is for all you old skool chatters out there. Xchat is an IRC client.

    It supports scripts, in pearl and pyton and is a pretty decent client.

    This version is the old skool one, there is a newer one but its too heavy on the GUI for my liking.

    Press 'y' and enter if you want to install





    Next up is the might Google Earth.

    This is a large install so please be patient!

    Press 'y' and enter to install.



    Next up is Google Desktop Search, a must install in my opinion.

    Press 'y' and enter to install




    More Google offerings, this time in the form of Google Gadgets,

    Press 'y' and enter to install



    Google Picasa is next.

    Press 'y' and enter to install




    Next is the Compiz Configuration Manager. This will enable you to set-up some cool screen effects, like Desktop on a cube etc.
    More on this later in the guide.

    Press 'y' and enter to install




    Next if gFTP, it's an FTP client. Simple and effective


  5. #4
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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    Next is GWget.

    Gwget is a download manager with support for pausing and resuming downloads.



    Avant Window Manager. This will give you the Mac style doc bar!

    Press 'y' and enter to install



    Screenlets are next. This will enable you to setup Vista style screenlets, clocks, weather reports, picture slideshows, system info etc

    Press 'y' and enter to install



    Next is AviDemux. This is a video editor. It has built in scripts for converting video to Ipod or PSP formats, plus allows you to rencode, and edit video.

    Press 'y' and enter to install.



    Staying with the video theme, DeVeDe is next. DeVeDe allows yout to create Video DVD's from avi's.
    You can add menus, chapters, subtitles etc. You can burn straight to DVD or write to ISO.

    Press 'y' and enter to install




    Banshee is a media player supporting podcasts and iPods, a nice little iTunes replacement.

    Press 'y' and enter to install



    Another FTP Client is next, Press 'y' and enter to install



    Press 'y' and enter to install Kompozer.

    Kompozer is a simple web authoring program, much like Microsoft FrontPage



    Press 'y' and enter to install wxDownload manager.



    BlueProximity, this lets you control your PC via a Bluetooth device. By default this program is set to lock your PC if your mobile phone is a certain distance from your machine.
    A really handy app, and with scripts it can be used to control other programs.

    Press 'y' and enter to install




    SoundConverter, easy one click conversion of audio files.

    Press 'y' and enter to install



    ImageMagick. This software converts and edits images, but from the CLI. Later on I will show you how you can use this with a script I have written to batch process a directory of files. For example you can resize a folder of files to a specific resolution.

    Press 'y' and enter to install



    VNC4, this enable you to connect to VNC servers via the Terminal Server Client.



    SSH Server, allow you to remotely use a terminal session on a remote linux server.

    Press 'y' and enter to install




    NFS - Network File System more info here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network...stem_(protocol)

    NFS allows you to share data between your linux machines. I'll cover install Samba later (Samba allow you to share data between Windows > Linux and Linux > Windows).

    Press 'y' and enter to install





    NIS - Network Information Services more info here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network...mation_Service

    Press 'y' and enter to install




    NTP - Network Time Protocol more info here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Time_Protocol

    This will allow you to synronize your PC date and time to the UTC via the internet.

    Press 'y' and enter to install






    Option to disable IPv6.



    Mount shared memory as read only, I choose the default 'n'

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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this



    And default 'n' again



    and default 'n'



    Option to change your default paper size (for printing).




    Remove unused config files, I said 'n' at this stage, but will re-run the script once I am happy with my set-up and then remove.



    Remove unused packages, as above.




    Remove obsolete packages, again as above.

    Once the script has finished I recommend you reboot your machine.

    Make sure you close all your applications, then reboot.

    You can reboot via the terminal using the following command

    Code:
    sudo shutdown now -r

    Customising your machine

    Once your machine has rebooted, it's time to start customising it!

    First up I want to add the option to Browse as Root to the Ubuntu Application System Tools Menu

    Press Alt&F2

    Enter the following

    Code:
    gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/Nautilus-root.desktop





    A text editor will now open.

    Add the following text to the document, save and then close

    Code:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=File Browser (Root)
    Comment=Browse the filesystem with the file manager
    Exec=gksudo "nautilus"
    Icon=file-manager
    Terminal=false
    Type=Application
    Categories=Application;System;
    You will now have the option to Browse as Root under the Ubuntu - Applications - System Tools Menu.

    Now I want to add some more items to the menu.

    Right click on the Ubuntu Menu Bar and select 'Edit Menu's'




    A new window will appear, this will show all the installed applications on your system, and give you the option of adding or removing them from the menu.

    Navigate to 'System Tools' and enable 'Configuration Editor'. You will notice File Browser (Root) is ticked, this is the item we added earlier on. If you right click on it and select properties you can see all the information we added via the text file we created.




    Now we have enabled 'Configuration Editor' we can click close and navigate to it under the Ubuntu - Applications - System Tools Menu. Navigate to it and click.




    Now I am going to show you how to use the Configuration Editor to add some icons to your desktop.

    Expand apps - nautilus - desktop

    You should now see the following:






    Tick everything you would like visible on your desktop, I'm going to tick all of them.

    Close the configuration editor, and you should now see the icons on your desktop.

    Now I am going to go about setting up Visual Effects.

    Navigate to System - Preferences - Appearance



    Click the Visual Effect tab



    Now click 'Extra'

    When I do this I get the following message



    If you get something similar you will have to click Enable



    Your system will then download and install the driver, and will probably require a reboot upon completion



    Once rebooted you should have new icon in the top right hand side of your screen



    This is telling you that new restricted drivers are in use.



    You can now go back into Appearance to enable visual effects

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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this






    This will enable a few different effects straight off, but the real fun starts when you mess around with Advanced Desktop Effect Settings.

    Navigate to System - Preferences - Advanced Desktop Effect Settings



    Now many of you may have seen the Desktop on a Cube in Ubuntu.

    To set this up we are going to have to change the deault number of work spaces from 2 to 4.

    Right click on the workspace switcher at the bottom of your screen, and select preferences




    Change the workspaces Columns from 2 to 4

    Change back to the Advanced Desktop Effect Settings window and tick Desktop Cube, you should then getting the following message




    Click Disable Desktop Wall

    Now tick Rotate Cube.

    Hold down 'Ctrl' and 'Alt' on your keyboard and press your right cursor key, your screen should rotate. All the cursor keys have different effects. If hold down 'Ctrl' and 'Alt', move your mouse to the left or the right of the screen then hold down the left mouse button and drag you should be able to make you screen rotate





    Another cool effect is to hold down 'Alt' then press the Windows key, then tab. You can switch between apps by pressing tab or using the cursor keys.




    There are tons of different effects, so have a play!

    I'm not keen on the default panel at the bottom of the screen, so I end up removing it, and adding more to the top panel.

    Here is how to customise the panels.

    Right click on the top panel and select 'Add to panel'



    A new window will appear.



    I don't like the default Ubuntu Menu, so I am going to Right click on it and select delete.



    In its place I am going to put a smaller menu, this is called Main Menu, click, then drag and drop onto the panel.




    You can then right click on the new menu and choose 'Move' to get the menu just right, and then 'Lock to panel' once you are happy.

    I also like to add the 'Show Desktop' button and the 'Terminal Server Client Applet' button, but this is just my preference.

    One thing you should add though is 'Window List' this shows you what applications you have open.




    I also add 'Workspace Switcher' and 'Deleted Items'.

    As always there are stacks of things for you to choose from here, so have a play.

    I then deleted the bottom panel.

    You do this by right clicking the panel and selecting 'Delete this panel'


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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    It might take a while for Windows users to get used to doing so much from the top of the screen, but I prefer it this way.

    But you can always move the panel, either by dragging and dropping or by right clicking, going into 'Properties' and setting the Orientation to 'Bottom'. Again have a play and find what you like best.




    And there you have it, if you don't want to install some of the suggested programmes just enter 'n' or if you make a mistake just start the script again (like I had to do )

    Finally a final thanks to Tom who took weeks to prepare the above guide , so all the above text in the guide copyright to Tom

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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    Very handy guide for all those looking to install Linux for the first time, cheers!
    ~'Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence--those are the three pillars of Western prosperity'~ Aldous Huxley




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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    thanks for this, looks like ill have yet another at getting to grips with ubuntu and not having to google for everything

    whos tom?

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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    love Ubuntu with Compiz, use it in work, each side of the cube has Nagios --> SNMP graphs --> Webmin and a black desktop for console etc. Just so good and I run it on a P4 2.0GHz, 1GB ram and a really really old 64mb nVidia craphics card. Runs it all at 1920 x 1200
    □ΞVΞ□

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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    @ Jack, Tom is a chap on another forum who did all the hard work of putting the above lot together , he gave me permissions to use it on other sites , as I thought he did a great job of making a simple thing even easier

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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    Thanks for this - I'll bookmark it for future ref.

    I played with Linux when Ubuntu was 7.10; also PCLOS and that seemed to be good but, as you say, unfinished.
    If one doesn't have a server, is 8.10otherwise OK.

    Trouble is, I'd miss some very goo Windows apps. I use PowerDesk Pro as a file manager and it's just so much better than the other dozen or so that I've tried, as one example.
    PeterC

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    Rocket WMD45

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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    both can be servers, I was having problems accessing my folders on another box using 8.10 on this pc , probable an easy fix , but I wanted it to work out of the box so to speak which it did fine with 8.04

    You have a programme called wine for using windows applications if you install 8.04
    best thing to do is try the live cd , it lets you try 8.04 without installing everything and changing anything on your windows install.

    I like xp , really like it, but my experience above , is the first time I can say that a real alternative that works.

  16. Received thanks from:

    Giraffe (02-12-2008)

  17. #14
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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    Nice thread pumpman, saved it for later use

    Should help lots of people should they want to try Ubuntu.

  18. #15
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    • Maccer101's system
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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    Excellent thread!
    HTPC1 - Coolermaster CM330, E2180 + Zalman 9500AT, GA-P31-DS3L, 2x1Gb PC6400 , Antec Earthwatts 430w , Fujitsu 2.5" 40gb HDD, 8600gt, Hannspree 32" LCD TV - Kubuntu 8.04

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  19. #16
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    Re: Fed up with XP and Vista You need this

    great effort by the op, and obviously very useful

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