Perfect Desktop Using Ubuntu 13.04 – Post Install Guide

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Ubuntu 13.04  Raring Ringtail is not a LTS (Long Time Support release), however that is not going to stop us from jumping in to this Linux goodness with Ubuntu Raring. Clearly the Unity flavour keeps getting better and better with each new release. However, it should be noted that Adobe Acrobat is no longer available from Canonical anymore. It has to be installed separately.

This guide focuses on the post install steps to ensure that you have the optimum PC experience with Ubuntu 13.04. Now that you have installed Ubuntu 13.04, lets go about installing all the additional packages that would obviate the use of Windows or proprietary paid softwares. Goal is to setup a desktop system which would be self sufficient, without the need to reboot in Windows.

First step is to open sources.list file located in /etc/apt folder by doing this at a terminal (you can open a terminal by typing terminal in search box) :

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

now uncomment the following two lines by deleting # in front on them.

# deb raring partner 
# deb-src raring partner

replace them with

deb raring partner 
deb-src raring partner

Save the file and run the following command in the terminal

sudo apt-get update

This would update the package list and you would be in a position to install most softwares that an average user would typically need for daily usage. To install packages you have a bunch of options. You can either install them from command line by doing

sudo apt-get install package_name

or you can use Ubuntu Software Center or if you are more comfortable using Synaptic you can use it. Remember: Raring doesn’t install Synaptic by default, you would have to install it by doing

sudo apt-get install synaptic

Below is the list of applications that we are going to install. You can install them selectively as per your needs using Synaptic or Software Center by typing the name of app and installing it or via command line (see details below for installing everything in one shot)Ubuntu_13_013

Some of these applications are already installed but have been listed for your information (marked in black, packages to be installed are marked in blue). The names of the application packages are listed below followed by its description and status. To install any package, search for the application name in the Quick search box in the Synaptic Package Manager, once it shows up in the search result, √ (tick) the box in front of it by right clicking on the application name and then selecting Mark for Installation. Click on Mark on the pop-up window asking for permission to install additional packages required to be installed. Some of these applications would have to be installed separately and as such can’t be installed through Synaptic or Software center, they have been marked in red. If you would rather install packages from command line, then go to the end of this post and you would find a single command to install all packages listed below. you can remove those you don’t want to install.


  • flashplugin-installer: Adobe Flash Player: to be installed
  • Firefox: web browser: already installed
  • chromium-browser: web browser by Google: to be installed
  • Opera: web browser: to be installed separately
  • thunderbird: An email and news client: already installed
  • evolution: e-mail/calendar – Outlook style application: to be installed
  • transmission: A BitTorrent Client: Bittorrent client: already installed
  • skype: VOIP software: to be installed
  • Google Earth: Map software by Google:to be installed separately


  • gimp: replacement for Adobe Photoshop: already installed
  • f-spot: feature rich personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop: to be installed
  • Google Picasa: application for organizing and editing digital photos: to be installed separately


  • LibreOffice Writer: replacement for Microsoft Word: already installed
  • LibreOffice Calc: replacement for Microsoft Excel: already installed
  • Adobe acrobat: Adobe Reader: to be installed separately
  • scribus: open source desktop publishing (DTP) application: to be installed

Sound & Video:

  • audacity: free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor: to be installed
  • audacious: Winamp like music player: to be installed
  • banshee: media management and playback and synchronize music with Apple iPods: to be installed
  • gnome-mplayer: media player (video/audio), supports practically all formats: to be installed
  • vlc: media player (video/audio), supports practically all formats: to be installed
  • rhythmbox Music Player: audio player, similar to Apple’s iTunes, with support for iPods: to be installed
  • gtkPod: iPod manager, supports iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod photo, and iPod mini: to be installed
  • dvdrip: full featured DVD copy program: to be installed
  • dvd95: dvd shrink like program to convert DVD9 to DVD5: to be installed
  • kino: digital video editor: to be installed
  • sound-juicer: CD ripping tool, supports various audio codecs: to be installed
  • Totem – media player (video/audio): already installed
  • xine-console: media player, supports various formats; can play DVDs: to be installed
  • Brasero: CD/DVD burning program: already installed
  • k3b: CD/DVD burning program: to be installed


  • emacs: Feature rich extensible self-documenting text editor: to be installed
  • vim: Terminal based power text editor: to be installed
  • bluefish: HTML editor: to be installed


  • virtualbox: run your old Windows desktop as a virtual machine under your Linux desktop, so you don’t have to entirely abandon Windows: to be installed
  • VMware-Player: Similar capabilities as Virtual box: to be installed separately
  • ttf-mscorefonts-installer: TrueType fonts available on Windows: to be installed
  • openjdk-7-jre: Open Java Standard Edition Runtime Environment: to be installed
  • ffmpeg: Useful video conversion application

Home Theater (HTPC):

  • xbmc: Most awesome, easy to use Home Theater (HTPC) application for playing videos, music, photo slide show etc.!

Once you have selected all the packages marked in blue or at least the ones that you are interested in, hit the Apply button on Synaptics to start the installation process, followed by another click on Apply on the pop-up window. Let the installation finish, you might be asked to accept a license agreement if you chose to install Sun Java and Acrobat Reader. Exit Synaptics.

Alternatively you can install all packages in one shot with a single command, use it with caution (it would take a while to install it all). The command to install all the applications listed in bold font in one go is given below.

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg openjdk-7-jre ttf-mscorefonts-installer virtualbox bluefish vim emacs k3b xine-ui vlc sound-juicer dvdrip dvd95 kino gtkpod audacious audacity scribus chromium-browser skype f-spot evolution gnome-mplayer gimp flashplugin-installer transmission

Now you should have all the essential core Ubuntu applications installed on your machine. Lets install the third party applications now. You should download .deb files (32 bit or amd 64 bit depending on the version of Ubuntu you installed).

Download Google Chrome from here.

Download Google Earth from here.

Download Opera from here.

Installation of XBMC is explained here.

Installation of Adobe Acrobat is explained here.

All the packages above are .deb except that for Google Earth, and can be simply installed simply by double clicking on the downloaded file. To install Google Earth, open a terminal and cd to the directory you download the Google Earth file (by default it would be Downloads):

cd Downloads
chmod a+x GoogleEarthLinux.bin

This would launch the installer, click on Begin installation to install Google Earth. Thats it, you have installed all programs that one would need for day to day work. I would put my recommendations for specific tasks in another post soon. Remember for program like GoogleEarth to work you would need to have drivers for your video card installed, if you haven’t then you can do that by launching System > Hardware Drivers and then enabling the appropriate driver.

To download VMware Player you would have to register at their website, registration as well as download is free. Installation process is identical to that for GoogleEarth discussed above.

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has written 346 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

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