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Setting up Ubuntu Desktop for a workstation

Desktop Install

Two methods for deploying Ubuntu Desktop or Linux Mint:

The thing with the OEM method is that you can finish-up the process as oem user, then click on the Prepare for shipping on the desktop, reboot, and the user will have a little setup wizard next boot.

e.g. finish-up as oem/sudo, choose preferred mirror for packages,

Control Center -> Software Sources

apply updates using the little shield button in the systray

install additional apps,

Control Center -> Software Manager

Sublime Text
(not Skype, this is the old version, see below)

install additional languages depending on target users,

Control Center -> Languages

make sure Firefox is also available language-specific.

click “Prepare for shipping” on the Desktop and reboot

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

Desktop Post-install

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

vi /etc/sudoers.d/ADMINUSER

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 \
            chromium-browser \
            deluge deluged \
            filezilla \
            rxvt \
            terminator \

(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,

    cat ~/.ssh/

also provide the PPK format,

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

Additional applications

Skype Alpha (not the freaking old v4.3)

fetch and install SKYPE BETA RELEASED (Apr 2017)

old link

[alternate link for skype 1.5 alpha / linux] (

OVH Hubic

fetch and install Hubic for Linux from the Hubic forum

actually use the shit,

mkdir hubic
hubic login 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] (, extract and install the IDE flavor you need (you can do that from the gui).


do you need Putty-like happy copy/pasting?

cp -pi /usr/share/terminator/terminatorlib/ /usr/share/terminator/terminatorlib/
vi /usr/share/terminator/terminatorlib/
/def on_buttonpress
(change 3 to 2 and 2 to 3)



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

to add some domain searches for DHCP sessions (usually the case for a desktop/workstation), e.g.,

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

prepend domain-search "", "example.local";

OR change the resolvconf config directly,

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


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


Reduce the boot-loader timeout,

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


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



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

Network Fix

In case you’ve got this error when trying to make Wireless work,

    ifconfig wlan0 or wls3 up
    SIOCSIFFLAGS: Input/output error

try this,

    service network-manager stop
    service wpa_supplicant stop
    ifconfig $wif down
    ifconfig $wif up
    service networking restart
    service network-manager start
unset netif


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