kubuntu 12.04 Precise 64bits reinstall notes
When it comes to the usage of my computer, I have a precise set of requirements, combining the needs of web/ruby programming with the graphic/web design and digital painting.
I’ve used Gnome 2, then fought Unity (and lost the figh), and experimented with Gnome 3. but finally moved to KDE after reading this article from David Revoy.
KDE proved to be the only desktop environment I’ve tried so far which was able to meet all my requirements out of the box, or with relatively simple customization. It’s flexibility and no-nonsense makes it the most friendly and productive environment I’ve used so far. I have the feeling that KDE evolution was made without forgetting the priorities, and while I’m not convinced by some of its newest features (activities, nepomunk, …), they are easy to disable or ignore, and don’t interfere in my workflow at all.
I was very happy with my Mint 12 KDE (which is a derivative from Ubuntu 11), but I was not able to install Skype and Gimp 2.8 because of some dependencies problems.
Having to work for distant clients and not having Skype on my toolbelt was becoming a problem. This consideration, with the LTS status (long term support) of the latest Ubuntu were good enough reasons to move.
So I decided to try Kubuntu 12.04, after backing up my home directory to another partition. Then after having experimented with it during a few hours, I decided to make a new fresh reinstall with just what I need.
- Having multiple ruby versions, using RVM
- A good advanced text editor for programming: Kate, which is the KDE default is perfect (better than Gedit IMHO).
- Decent dual screen support with different resolutions (Gnome3/Unity is depressing)
- Wacom tablet support
- Current graphic drivers for my nvidia graphics
- A customizable desktop theme to make it gentle for my eyes
- Gimp, Skype, LibreOffice, Inkscape, Firefox, Chromium, Krita, Mypaint: latest stable versions
- Decent accelerated graphic drivers
- A fast way do disable window compositing instantly (desktop effects)
- A control panel for my Wacom tablet so I can map it easily to my second monitor
- Gimp: version 2.8 with its solo window interface
- Current graphic drivers for my nvidia graphic card, with 3D support
- Bluetooth support for my headset with AD2P (high quality sound)
- A way to have customizable shortcuts & toolbars so I can quick launch anything
- A Gmail icon in my taskbar, with the unread meassages count
1. Installing Kubuntu 12.04
1.1. Creating the bootable usb stick
After having downloaded the Kubuntu 12.04 iso image, I used the “Startup disk creator” utility under Kubuntu to create a Kubuntu bootable usb stick.
(Or you can use Unetbootin to create the same usb stick, from any operating system)
1.2. Booting on the usb stick
- Reboot the PC, from usb
- Keymap: belgian
- Startup menu: “Try Kubuntu”
1.3. Kubuntu desktop, booted from USB
Now, the original system is untouched but we are already under a Kubuntu desktop living in RAM, which allows us to use the computer, browse the net and, and install Kubuntu on the Original system
1.4. Installing Kubuntu on the original system
Click on the desktop icon “install Kubuntu 12.04 LTS”
My install options
- Language: english
- install third-party software: checked
- download updates when installing: unchecked (I prefer to do this later)
- unmount sda: yes
- disk setup: manual
- sda6 (40gb): ext4, format => mount point: “/”
- sda5 ( 4gb): swap
- Boot loader: /dev/sda
- User info:
- encrypt home folder: yes
Reboot the computer
2. Customizing Kubuntu to my needs
Kubuntu lives now on the system, installation was smooth, fast and easy.
2.1. RVM, ruby & rails
In a terminal (konsole):
2.2. Replace Amarok with Guayadeque, install Krita, Scribus, K4dirstat, …
Using the “muon software center” (from the KDE menu):
2.3. Enable the media keys for Gayadeque
Launch “Custom shortcuts” from menu
Create new group called “Guayadeque”, inside it, create new global shortcuts (edit>new>global shortcut > Command/URL)
"Next": dbus-send --print-reply --type=method_call --dest=org.mpris.guayadeque /Player org.freedesktop.MediaPlayer.Next "Prev": dbus-send --print-reply --type=method_call --dest=org.mpris.guayadeque /Player org.freedesktop.MediaPlayer.Prev "Play/Pause": dbus-send --print-reply --type=method_call --dest=org.mpris.guayadeque /Player org.freedesktop.MediaPlayer.Pause "Stop": dbus-send --print-reply --type=method_call --dest=org.mpris.guayadeque /Player org.freedesktop.MediaPlayer.Stop
2.4. Gimp 2.8.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gimp
HUH ? Seems like Gimp 2.6 was installed instead of 2.8.
sudo apt-get purge gimp sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gimp
Gimp 2.8 was installed successfully this time.
2.5. Firefox, Chromium
- Launch “Mozilla Firefox browser installer” from the kubuntu menu.
- Using the Muon software center, install “chromium-browser”.
- Using the muon software center, install “dropbox”
- Launch Dropbox from the menu, ignore when it complains about the non standard location
- Configure with your credentials when asked
Dropbox integration with Dolphin
- “Settings” > “Configure Dolphin” > “Services” > “Download new services”
- Search: “dropbox”
- Select and instal “Dropbox ServiceMenu”
2.7. Current nvidia drivers
- Launch “Additional Drivers” from the KDE menu
- change nvidia driver version from 173 to version current-updates
- Download the (official Skype 4 for Linux)[http://www.skype.com/intl/fr/get-skype/on-your-computer/linux/].
- Choose version “ubuntu 10.04 64bits”.
- Double-click on the downloaded file “skype-ubuntu_184.108.40.206-1_amd64.deb” to launch package installer.
- From the KDE Software Center, find and install “OpenJDK Java 7 Runtime”
2.10. Wacom tablet
The drivers already work smoothly out of the box, but I want a conrol panel so I can map the tablet to my external monitor. Under KDE, it’s easy:
sudo apt-get install kde-config-tablet
2.11. Various developer tools: s3cmd, gitk
sudo apt-get install s3cmd gitk
Despite my efforts, i couldn’t make bluetooth work correctly with my headset.
Fortunately, blueman solves this
- Using the Software Center, find and install “blueman”