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/22.214.171.124/pandoc-126.96.36.199-1-amd64.deb sudo dpkg -i pandoc-188.8.131.52-1-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.