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Setting up Ubuntu Desktop for a workstation

OEM Installation

Choose the OEM auto-install if you need to delivery the computer to someone-else: finish-up the process as oem user, then click on the Prepare for shipping and the user will have a little setup wizard next boot.

Finish-up as OEM user, choose preferred mirror for packages,

Control Center -> Software Sources

and apply updates using the little shield button in the systray.

install additional languages depending on target users,

Control Center -> Languages

make sure Firefox is also available language-specific.

You’re now ready to click “Prepare for shipping” on the Desktop and reboot.

Note. few things are missing with this method e.g. Adblock for Firefox.

Post-Installation

eventually make things faster (sudo without password) on a desktop env if you’re the sysadmin of the box,

vi /etc/sudoers.d/ADMINUSER
ADMINUSER   ALL = NOPASSWD: ALL

enable ctrl-alt-backspace to kill X,

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

either tune Unity or eventually install e.g. MATE or Cinnamon.

Tweak your environment

Take a few hints from the Ubuntu Server post-installation guide. You may then add a few packages specific to workstation/desktop usage,

    sudo apt install \
        vlc \
        mpv \
        sublime-text \
            chromium-browser \
            deluge deluged \
            filezilla \
            rxvt \
            terminator \
            xterm

sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator

(optional) you might also want to install & setup Conky.

SSH key pair

generate your workstation key pair and copy/paste it to the servers you need to maintain,

    ssh-keygen
    cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

also provide the PPK format,

    cd ~/.ssh/
    puttygen id_rsa -o id_rsa.$USER@$HOSTNAME.ppk

Security

Eventually setup Netfilter to allow only outbound connections.

Additional applications

Skype Beta (not the freaking old v4.3)

fetch and install SKYPE BETA RELEASED (Apr 2017)

old link

[alternate link for skype 1.5 alpha / linux] (https://community.skype.com/t5/Linux/Skype-for-Linux-Alpha-and-calling-on-Chrome-amp-Chromebooks/td-p/4434299)

OVH Hubic

fetch and install Hubic for Linux from the Hubic forum

actually use the shit,

mkdir hubic
hubic login user@example.com hubic
(enter your password)

check the sync status,

hubic status

Java & Eclipse

install Oracle Java,

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt update
sudo apt install oracle-java8-installer
sudo apt install oracle-java8-set-default

fetch [Eclipse] (https://eclipse.org/downloads/), extract and install the IDE flavor you need (you can do that from the gui).

Terminator

do you need Putty-like happy copy/pasting?

updatedb
locate terminal.py
cp -pi /usr/share/terminator/terminatorlib/terminal.py /usr/share/terminator/terminatorlib/terminal.py.dist
vi /usr/share/terminator/terminatorlib/terminal.py
/def on_buttonpress
(change 3 to 2 and 2 to 3)

Ref. http://askubuntu.com/questions/211292/a-terminal-which-provides-select-to-copy-and-right-click-to-paste

Networking

there is a main difference with the Ubuntu Server setup: network. It’s ok to keep using Network Manager on a desktop environment.

domain search

three solutions:

  1. Control Center -> Network
  2. dhclient.conf
  3. resolv.conf.d/

  4. use the GUI,

    Control Center -> Network –> (general tab) Domain name: … Control Center -> Network –> (DNs tab) Search domains: …

  5. OR add some domain searches for DHCP sessions, e.g.,

    cd /etc/dhcp/ cp -pi dhclient.conf dhclient.conf.dist vi dhclient.conf

    prepend domain-search “example.com”, “example.local”;

  6. OR change the resolvconf config directly,

     cd /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d
     cp -pi base base.dist
     vi base
    
     search example.com
    

also make sure that the local system hostnames resolves itselfs as FQDN accordingly (127.0.0.1 on a desktop)

NFS & CIFS ready

install nfs client to mount nfs shares,

    sudo apt install nfs-common

setup your default workgroup when mounting windows file shares,

    sudo apt install smbclient cifs-utils
    #smbfs samba
    vi /etc/samba/smb.conf

Multi-Boot

Reduce the boot-loader timeout,

cp -pi /etc/default/grub /etc/default/grub.dist
vi /etc/default/grub

GRUB_TIMEOUT=3

You can ask GRUB2 to boot the same OS that was booted last time by default,

GRUB_DEFAULT=saved
GRUB_SAVEDEFAULT=true

Troubleshooting

iwl3945 power saving issue

experienced on IBM/Lenovo T60 / R60e

If you get this error in the logs while loosing iwl3945 wireless network connectivity,

BSM uCode verification failed at addr 0x00003800+0 (of 900), is 0xa5a5a5a2, s/b 0xf802020
Unable to set up bootstrap uCode: -5

and this error when trying to UP the wireless network interface,

    SIOCSIFFLAGS: Input/output error

==> disable wlan power saving using NetworkManager,

vi /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf

wifi.powersave = 2

service NetworkManager restart
iwconfig wls3

Kodi / ureadahead

(optional) you might also want to remove that one in case it is installed and not needed (it was spamming my logs),

    sudo apt remove ureadahead
    #sudo apt purge ureadahead

locales

sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales
#sudo locale-gen
sudo update-locale LANG=en_US.UTF-8

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