The Perfect Desktop – Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron)
Author: Oliver Meyer <o>
Last edited 04/26/2008
This document describes step by step how to set up a Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) desktop. The result is a fast, secure and extendable system that provides all you need for daily work and entertainment.
This howto is a practical guide without any warranty – it doesn’t cover the theoretical backgrounds. There are many ways to set up such a system – this is the way I chose.
1 Install Media
The install media is available at http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download.
First choose your language and hit “Enter”.
Select “Install Ubuntu” and hit “Enter”.
The installer is being booted.
This is the install wizard which will guide you through the installation. Choose your language and click on “Forward”.
Select the timezone nearest to your location and proceed.
Select your keyboard layout and proceed.
Select how you want to partition the disk and proceed.
If you chose the manual partition in the window before, you’ll see this window. Here you can create, modify or delete partitions and mount points.
Enter the required data for your first account and the name for your computer into the corresponding fields.
This window contains the summary of your choices. If you want to change the device for the boot loader installation click on “Advanced” and change it to your needs. Click on “Install” if you agree to your choices.
The system is being installed.
The installation is complete – remove the install media and click on “Restart now” to reboot into your new system.
The system is starting. If you want to start another kernel, edit the start parameters or run a memory test, hit “Esc”. Otherwise wait a few seconds to start with the default settings.
The system is being booted.
Afterwards the login-screen appears. There are some options available in the bottom left corner. Log in with the username and password that you chose in the install wizard.
Welcome to your desktop:
3 Basic Configuration
It’s a good idea to enable the delete command that bypasses the trash – because if you delete something from external storages with the standard delete command, the things will not really be deleted but moved to a trash on the device (.trash). This trash will not be affected when you delete the trash on your desktop. To change this open any folder and edit the settings.
3.2 Font Rendering
The general font settings are available in the GNOME system menu.
Select “Subpixel smoothing” if you’re using a LCD monitor – click on “Details” to see further options.
Set the resolution to 96dpi.
Some services are enabled by default on your system – maybe some of them are needless (depending on your hardware and your needs). The deactivation of needless services will save system resources, so it’s worth to take a look on the service settings. The settings for services are available via the GNOME system menu.
Before you can change the service settings you have to unlock them – click on “Unlock”, enter your password and click on “Authenticate”.
Disable the service “Bluetooth device management (bluetooth)” if there is no bluetooth device attached to your system or if you don’t want to use it.
3.4 Startup Programs
The settings for the startup programs are available in the GNOME system menu.
Have a look at the enabled startup programs – disable all that you don’t need. For example the bluetooth stuff – it’s useless if you have no bluetooth devices that you can use with these programs.
3.5 Reduce Power Consumption
With Powertop, a tool from Intel for Intel Platforms, you are able to find what software is using the most power on your system. Especially notebook users will benefit from reduced power consumption – there will be more time left on battery power.
If you want to use powertop, install the following package:
Note: How you can install software is explained in step 4.2.
Afterwards you can run powertop within a terminal. It’s recommended to run it with root privileges, otherwise you can’t use all the features of this tool.
Run powertop with root privileges:
- Code: Select all
Powertop will permanently collect data from the system. In intervals it shows you what is using the most power and at the same time how you can optimize your system. In certain cases powertop is able to optimize the system itself if you hit the key that is shown.
It’s not improbable to save a few watts.
3.6 Uninstall Software
Before you are going to update the system for the first time you should check if there is software installed that you don’t need, or rather that you want to replace with another software. The goal should be a clean system with only the programs installed that you really need.
Which programs you should uninstall or replace with others is up to you – you’ll find a summary of already installed software in step 5 and a little assortment of additional software (including replacements for already installed software) in step 6.
You can simply uninstall software with the Synaptic Package Manager.
4 Synaptic Package Manager
The Synaptic Package Manager is an easy-to-use program to install and deinstall software from the available repositories – or just to check which programs are installed. There are about 24.000 Packages available in the repositories that are added by default in Ubuntu 8.04.
The Synaptic Package Manager is available in the GNOME system menu.
Enter your password.
After you entered your password the Synaptic Package Manager appears.
4.1 Uninstall Packages
To uninstall one or more packages switch to the status view and mark “Installed”. Now you’ll see all packages that are installed on your system – you can browse them or search one or more packages with the search function. In the search field you can enter a package name or search term.
If you found a package that you want do uninstall, click on the green checkbox and select “Mark for Removal” or “Mark for Complete Removal” from the context menu. The difference between the both options for uninstall is, that a complete removal will also delete the configuration files while the normal removal won’t delete them. This can be useful if you want to keep your configurations for a package (you can install it again later and don’t need to configure it a second time).
Afterwards the package is marked with a red cross.
To make the changes effective click on “Apply” in the upper menu bar and afterwards confirm your choice.
Now the uninstallation begins.