As I think I’ve mentioned already, I’m trying to rediscover my music collection this month. I’ve made a playlist with a few highlights from the first couple of weeks of the experiment.
The way I buy and consume music has changed recently. So far this year I’ve only bought 5 records (the three that Rough Trade send me, plus two Belle & Sebastian records that I pre-ordered last year). All my other music discovery has been via Spotify, and I find I’m using it more on my phone now, with a huge big playlist of new discoveries being the soundtrack to my commute. I also spent most of January and February listening to vinyl and CDs rather than music on my computer (at least when in my study – I still need digital music for when I’m travelling).
This month I’ve been doing an experiment around listening to all my old digital music, and trying to rediscover old things rather than buying new ones. I’ve been building up a library of MP3s since I got this computer, and it’s now up to about 400Gb of music, which would take several months to play. I’ve had this playlist on shuffle for about a week now, and I’m fairly sure I can manage to hold off buying too much more new music this year based on the amount of great things I’ve rediscovered that I totally forgot I owned.
I’ve had to set up a few Ubuntu desktop machines recently, and I thought it was worth documenting what I install on each one, and how I automate those installations as much as possible. I wrote about this a few years ago but so much has changed with my setup that I thought it was worth revisiting these instructions.
Generally I’ll always install from USB, and from the latest desktop version. I make my installer in Ubuntu, using
Disk Image Writer and boot the computer from that. From 18.04 onwards I’ll be using the minimal installation feature (which I love), but for now assume that I just go with the defaults for everything.
Once it has finished installing, I’ll go through the process of getting everything I want on to the machine.
I download the latest version from https://www.dropbox.com/install?os=lnx and then type:
sudo dpkg -i dropbox <hit the tab key>
I have a lot of files on Dropbox, so I let this sync while I’m doing the rest.
Add a script to make updating software easier
First all install something I’ll need to make the script work:
sudo apt install byobu
Then I’ll create a new file called
#!/bin/bash echo "updateall v.1.2 for Ubuntu" #Run this as a normal user. Your admin password will be asked for if required. sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade -y sudo apt full-upgrade -y sudo apt autoremove -y sudo purge-old-kernels -y echo "The script has now finished running."
I move it to
/usr/local/bin/ then make it executable with
sudo chmod -X update all.
Add some software from the Ubuntu repositories
sudo updateall sudo apt install git gimp vlc ubuntu-restricted-extras build-essential hexchat openssh-server gnome-tweak-tool tilix testdrive tasksel gnome-session sudo snap install --classic atom sudo snap install spotify
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tails-team/tails-installer sudo apt update sudo apt install tails-installer
wget https://github.com/jgm/pandoc/releases/download/184.108.40.206/pandoc-220.127.116.11-1-amd64.deb sudo dpkg -i pandoc-18.104.22.168-1-amd64.deb sudo apt install texlive
See here for more on how I configure and use Pandoc.
Reduce dock size to 24.
Change desktop wallpaper.
Log out, and choose a vanilla Gnome session from the chooser.
Browse to https://extensions.gnome.org/local/ and install some extensions. The ones I go for are Alternate Tab, Gravatar, Places Status Indicator, windowNavigator and Workspace Indicator.
Settings --> Security and Privacy and turn off all “phone home” functionality.