Getting more out of Ubuntu box

In howto on Jun 4, 2008 by theoryl Tagged: , ,

So, Ubuntu works out-of-box for you? Great! But, the fact that you dumped Windoze and come into GNU/Linux world surely tells that you always want something more. Due to licensing issues, a lot of useful softwares are not bundled together with Ubuntu, but are available in the `multiverse’ repository. As a personal user, most of the license terms do not concern you, so go ahead and enable `multiverse’. If you do not know how to do it, go to Community Doc for a graphical guide. After that, you are open to various tools that Ubuntu has to offer:

  1. If you dual-boot, you sometimes want to access Windows NTFS partitions from Ubuntu. Certainly you want to avoid rebooting into Windows then rebooting into Ubuntu again. In fact, it is very easy, do:
    sudo apt-get install ntfs-config
    Reboot if you need to. Go to `Computer’ and you’ll see Windows partitions are listed there. Isn’t it amusing how simple this can be? (note that FAT32 partitions can readily be accessed without this step).
  2. I’ve covered how to install Adobe Reader and Flash viewer previously.
  3. To customize the looks of Ubuntu, you can install themes into $HOME/.themes, and icon packs into $HOME/.icons. Or you can go to Preferences->Appearances to install themes and icon packs. offers you plenty of choices.
  4. Why doesn’t Linux has a word-processor that owns M$ Word? (ok, OpenOffice Writer is pretty much a M$ Word clone, and so is the entire OpenOffice suite, which is why I dislike OO). The short answer is, because Linux has \LaTeX typesetting! Who needs M$ Word if you know \TeX? Do:
    sudo apt-get install texlive
    Again, so simple isn’t it? If you have tried installing \LaTeX in Windows, you’ll certainly appreciate this as much as I do!
  5. Also, if you have ever tried installing ssh in Windows, and had to go through all kinds of troubles to get ssh working right, you surely appreciate how ssh `just works’ in Linux. However, Ubuntu doesn’t come pre-installed with Kerberos, or GSSAPI, authentication. To install, do:
    sudo apt-get install ssh-krb5 krb5-user
    Don’t forget to edit the `REALM’ and stuff in /etc/krb5.conf . Also, add this to /etc/ssh/ssh_config if you want to prevent automatic logoff after an inactive interval:
    ServerAliveInterval 15
    This will send a null packet to the server every 15 seconds to pretend that you are active/alive.
  6. Perhaps because Bazaar is the default version control system, Ubuntu doesn’t have svn support. It’s trivial to install svn:
    sudo apt-get install svn
  7. Sometimes webpages or M$ documents do not look like how they should be due to the lack of fonts. But you can actually install the common Micro$oft fonts with:
    sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts
  8. To open .RAR files: sudo apt-get install unrar
  9. Lastly, to use Gmail as your default email client (yes, you can!), please refer to the howtogeek’s great article.

One Response to “Getting more out of Ubuntu box”

  1. […] if you want something more from Ubuntu, read here. Rate this: Share this:EmailTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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