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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.


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 \
        vlc \
        mpv \
        sublime-text \
            chromium-browser \
            deluge deluged \
            filezilla \
            rxvt \
            terminator \

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,

    cat ~/.ssh/

also provide the PPK format,

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


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] (

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

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.local”;

  6. OR change the resolvconf config directly,

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

also make sure that the local system hostnames resolves itselfs as FQDN accordingly ( 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


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,



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


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

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