This post is a response to a few previous posts and comments and based on some other questions that I’ve been asked recently. I wanted to outline the few steps I use on a new installation. Your usage might vary a bit, but I realize this is something that new users might be interested in.
After I install a new Ubuntu machine the first thing I do is make sure that I have all of the appropriate repositories enabled to give me the software I need. The simplest way to do this is using a GUI method to update your “Software Sources”.
System > Administration > Software Sources
When you’ve got this open you’ll want to make sure you’ve got each box checked as seen in the picture. I always un-check the source code option as I rarely do any compiling. You might notice that removing the source code inclusion speeds up your update time as it no longer has to ping generally unneeded repositories.
You can also select the Download From option to select your local mirror.
I then hit the next tab labeled Internet Updates. This allows you to set the options concerning your regular security updates. I always want my machine as up to date as it can be. That probably explains why I normally have at least one machine in perpetual alpha / beta. In any event, this will allow you to make sure your machine is up to date on the latest stable packages.
I generally make sure to include the important security updates (of course!) and usually include the recommended updates. Proposed and backported I haven’t been using, mainly because I’m not 100% on what they are for.
The major things that I update here are the automatic updates section. I update my machines daily, download automatically, and install security updates without confirmation. Again, I like to keep my machines up to date on security and the latest versions of my commonly used packages. Your usage here might vary, but this is what I have set.
After I have taken care of the above I add one third party repository. I generally don’t suggest using any third party repositories but this one has been very well supported and I trust Seveas. He works very closely with the main community and maintains, from what I can tell, a few of the official packages. He also maintains a few packages in his repository that I always end up installing. You can install his repository using the following:
You can add the following line within the Third Party tab (as seen in the screen shots) or use the second command to manually add it directly to your sources.list file.
deb http://mirror.ubuntulinux.nl edgy-seveas all (replace edgy with your version as needed)
echo "deb http://mirror.ubuntulinux.nl edgy-seveas all" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
You’ll also want to import his public key for authentication using the command below:
wget http://mirror.ubuntulinux.nl/1135D466.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -
Another option is to download the key directly and import it using the Authentication tab as seen in the screen shots.
Get up to date
After all of that fun stuff is out of the way I then make sure my new installation is updated. Whether you’re installing Dapper, Edgy or even Feisty your machine will have security and suggested updates available. Make sure that you’re using the latest versions and the latest security. You can do this in two ways.
The first is to use the command line, which is done using the command below. It can be cut and pasted into a terminal as needed. It will check against the above changed repositories for updates, upgrade to those packages and clean up unneeded packages afterwards.
sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude upgrade && sudo aptitude dist-upgrade && sudo aptitude autoclean
This can also be done using a GUI method by using the graphical Update Manager. You can find that in the same menu area as the software sources (System > Administration > Software Updates) or launch it using ALT-F2 and typing the following in the resulting window:
You’ll want to make sure and select the Check option to scan for updates. You’ll then be prompted to update your system based on what the update manager finds.
Any new system should have quite a few updates available. The time it takes to update your system at this point will depend on your internet connection.
Install The Goodies
Now that your system is up to date you’ll want to install the goodies. Your usage really might vary here but this is a list of packages that I always install on a new machine. Mainly codecs, media players and a few of my favorite apps.
sudo aptitude install gstreamer0.10-pitfdll gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-gl gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse libxine-extracodecs w32codecs
vlc beep-media-player flashplugin-nonfree sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin libdvdcss2 rar unrar mpg321 vorbis-tools liferea tilda glipper
Your packages might vary here as mentioned above but this list in combination with the instructions above will install all your needed media codecs, the VLC player, java, flash, DVD playback, windows codecs and my favorite media player, beep (as mentioned before in the gnome media players post.)
Have I missed any packages here? What else might be on your new machine setup list?