How to Configure Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)

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How to Configure Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)

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These are just some notes I use to set up a new Ubuntu installation to get productive quickly.

More Info

Multimedia and Video Howto
Music Howto

Set Up Repositories

Add Canonical Commercial Repository

Enable the Commercial Partners repo:

System -> Administration -> Software Sources -> Other Software -> select the partner repos

Update after modifying sources.list:

Click Reload

Medibuntu Repository (Multimedia, etc.)

sudo wget`lsb_release -cs`.list \
sudo apt-get -q update; sudo apt-get -y -q --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring
sudo apt-get -q update

Update Ubuntu

sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade

Install (32-bit)

sudo apt-get autoremove vim-tiny gnash gnash-common libflashsupport mozilla-plugin-gnash swfdec-mozilla
sudo apt-get install alsa-oss faac faad flashplugin-nonfree gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad \
gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse \
gstreamer0.10-pitfdll libmp3lame0 non-free-codecs sun-java6-fonts sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin unrar \
vim-nox thunderbird keepassx xtightvncviewer ubuntu-restricted-extras acroread w32codecs \
ntp ntfs-config gnomebaker

Install Options

  • xinetd (super daemon - used for VMware Server and TFTP server)
  • build-essential (compilers and tools)
  • linux-headers-`uname -r` (kernel headers)
  • lightning-extension (calendar add-on for Thunderbird)
  • k3b (CD/DVD burning tool) (adds KDE libs)
  • k9copy (CD/DVD copy tool) (adds KDE libs)
  • lshw (hardware inventory)
  • wireshark (network diagnostic tool)
  • openvas-server, openvas-client (open source fork of nessus)
  • nessusd, nessus (network diagnostics and scanning)
  • kompozer (HTML editor)
  • libdvdcss2 (DVD playback)
  • sound-juicer, gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse (rip and encode audio CDs)
  • lame, easytag, audacity (process music files, encode .mp3's)
  • realplayer (media player)

Firefox Addons

  • Foxmarks
  • FireFTP
  • FlashBlock
  • Firebug



Most directly connected printers are plug n' play and just work automatically.

Printers shared via cups on other Linux boxes also just appear magically and work:

System -> Administration -> Printing -> Server -> Settings -> Show printers shared by other...

Most print server devices, such as our Linksys 3-port unit support the LPR/LPD protocol. Historically, we use LPR/LPD instead of SMB protocol as there have been 'issues' using SMB in the past. You need to know the LPD queue names used by your print server. Linksys often uses 'L1', 'L2' and 'L3' (case sensitive).

System -> Administration -> Printing -> New

For LPD print servers, if you don't see an option for LPD printers, select "Other" under Devices and enter the URI in the form of:


Internal printer notes:

The Lexmark C510 is on print server 'ps' on queue (port) 'L1' using the PPD (printer description) file from the Support folder. The Pan KX-2023 is on 'L2'. The Oki 520 is on 'L3'.

The network PDF printer is via SMB using a generic postscript driver.

PDF Printer

The default configuration since Ubuntu 8.10 is simpler than in the past. Just select Print -> To File -> PDF. You can print to postcsript or SVG files this way too.

NVidia Graphics Drivers

First, try System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers.

Try both nVidia driver versions if the newest one doesn't work properly.

Otherwise, and only as a last resort, you may need to download and install the drivers from nVidia. You probably shouldn't use this procedure unless you really have to:

Download the latest driver from the NVidia web site then log out and switch to a text-mode virtual console by hitting ctrl-alt-F1. Then enter the following commands:

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
sudo sh ./

If you have trouble because the xserver continues to use the 'nv' driver, edit the /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common file and add nv:




System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Fonts (Sub-Pixel Smoothing) -> Details (96dpi, Light Hinting)(try actual dpi of your monitor)

Gnome Terminal window placement

gnome-terminal --geometry=120x50+450+150

Panels (right-click, Properties) - 28 pixels

Startup Applications - Add Tomboy, Empathy and Firefox to start up automatically

Preferred Applications - Thunderbird, F-Spot

Screensaver - Lock screen

Nautilus Options

Launch nautilus - Select Edit -> Preferences.

Media - The default settings are good, but you can set your preferences for what happens when you plug in external media, cameras, etc. here.

Delete Context Option - Click on the behavior tab. Under the "Trash" section, select the option that reads "Include a Delete command that bypasses Trash"



If you have any trouble viewing fax files in the .tif format, try using the Evince viewer.

Network Faxing

See this page.

F-Spot Photo Manager

If you want to move your F-Spot photo database to a new computer or user home directory, you will normally only have to move the Photos folder plus the ~/.config/f-spot folder to the same locations in the new home directory.


Installing VMwareTools
sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools

Or install open-vm-toolbox for GUI tools (untested).

Installing VMware Server

I haven't had 100% success with Karmic yet. The server portion seems to work OK but the console (Firefox browser plugin) doesn't seem to work properly (I haven'tt tried Windows+IE).? Using the built-in VNC console access does seem to work well. Also, VirtualBox seems to work well and it appears to be kept more up-to-date than VMware Server.

If you are upgrading from VMware Server 1.x, uninstall it first with:


Download the free VMware Server software from here as a binary (.tar.gz) file.

sudo apt-get install build-essential xinetd linux-headers-`uname -r`
tar -xzvf VMware-server-2.0.0-122956.i386.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib/
sudo ./

Then after a successful installation:

cd ..
sudo rm -rf vmware-server-distrib/

You will want to add a valid (your) username as the VMware Administrator.

I don't enable NAT, and I sometimes keep my VMs in my Home Directory, but otherwise I use the defaults presented.

Using VMware

VMware Server 2.0 uses web browser management:

http://localhost:8222 or https://localhost:8333

If you have keyboard problems installing a VM, you need to create ~/.vmware/config and add xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = TRUE to the file. Save it, restart your browser and it should work fine.

Text Terminal

Here are a couple of tweaks for bash:

vim ~/.bashrc  alias ll='ls -l'
alias la='ls -A'
alias l='ls -CF'
alias ls="BLOCK_SIZE=\'1 ls --color=auto"
export GREP_OPTIONS='--color=auto'
PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[00;36m\]\u\[\033[00m\]@\h:\[\033[05;33m\]\w\[\033[00m\] \$ '
export HISTCONTROL=ignoredups

Remote Access

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

System -> Preferences -> Remote Desktop -> enable and enter password

Accessing Network (SMB) Shares

New Way

Nautilus -> File -> Connect to server -> Windows share

  • Server Name
  • Share Name
  • User Name
  • Add Bookmark (do this if you will connect to this server again)
  • Bookmark Name

Old Way (needs testing with Karmic)

If the 'smbfs' package is not already installed, install it like this:

sudo apt-get install smbfs

Create a script that mounts your SMB shares at the mount point you specify in the script. I named mine 'mymounts' and I keep it in a ~/bin folder with the rest of my scripts. You could also just keep it on your desktop and forego the automatic execution below.

# ~/bin/mymounts
# Store this file in your home directory with 700 perms as it contains SMB password
# Set variables here:
# End of variables
mkdir -p ~/mnt/$SHARENAME1
mkdir -p ~/mnt/$SHARENAME2
smbumount ~/mnt/$SHARENAME1
> /dev/null 2>&1 smbmount //$SMBSERVER/$SHARENAME1 ~/mnt/$SHARENAME1 -o username=$SMBUSER,password=$SMBPASS
smbumount ~/mnt/$SHARENAME2
> /dev/null 2>&1 smbmount //$SMBSERVER/$SHARENAME2 ~/mnt/$SHARENAME2 -o username=$SMBUSER,password=$SMBPASS

Make it executeable:

chmod +x ~/bin/mymounts

To make it run automatically when you log in:

System -> Preferences -> Sessions -> Startup -> Add



Last Updated on Monday, 15 February 2010 11:34