How to finish setting up Ubuntu 8.10

Dual booting to preserve existing Windows

If you want to dual boot a laptop between Ubuntu and Windows, there is video documentation if you google 'youtube dual boot ubuntu'. I have seen Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10 successfully shrink the partitions and create boot menu entries for both Windows XP and Vista. I expect this still works with 8.10. During the first boot of XP or Vista after shrinking the partition, it does a filesystem consistency check, then reboots and it's fine.

Run the disk defragmenter before shrinking the XP or Vista partition. This may take most of an hour to run. Menu paths to defragmenters are: XP: [path goes here] Vista: [path goes here]. The first boot of Windows after Ubuntu resizes it, checkdisk runs, but doesn't report any errors. Don't hit any key, and let it run.

A Vista machine only a month old was using 15 Gig of disk. Here's how to shrink overly enthusiastic use of disk space for system restore points:

  1. Click the start menu
  2. Click on All Programs, and then Accessories
  3. From the accessories menu, right click on Command Prompt and select "run as administrator"
  4. Type "vssadmin list shadowstorage" into the command prompt
  5. The results should tell you the amount of storage used and the maximum amount allotted
If you're not happy with those numbers, here's how to resize them. Keep in mind, you will lose some older system restore points when you do this.
  1. Repeat steps 1-3 to get bring up the Command Prompt
  2. Type "vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=[your hard disk]: /On=[your hard disk]: /MaxSize=[how much space you want to allocate]"
  3. For example: "vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=2GB"
  4. You should get a message saying Successfully resized the shadow copy storage association, and you should have more free space on your hard drive.
Then I ran the defragmenter. After that Vista was consuming a more reasonable Gig or two, and I proceeded with an Ubuntu dual boot install in a stock fashion.

Ubuntu 8.10

This document assumes you have just installed Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) from the cd, and then are dismayed to find that emacs, tex, R, etc. are missing. This describes how to add the missing packages.
log in to the user account you created during the install
You can set up wireless networking from the top-bar menu System -> Administration -> Network -> Wireless connection. After you enable the wireless interface in Ubuntu, start a Firefox browser and log in with your Gatorlink to enable the wireless connection.
sudo -i		# give your personal login password
Now add updates made since the cd. Download this script, make it executable with "chmod +x", and run it in the Terminal window you did sudo in with "./". If you have flaky wireless access at home that interrupts this script in the middle, it is safe to rerun this script, which will pick up where it left off.
There may be a popup asking for a reboot, or the menu bar in the upper-right may show a blue circle formed by two arrow heads. If so, do the reboot with:
System -> Quit -> Restart
If you rebooted:
log in to the user account you created during the install
sudo -i		# give your personal login password
Now add applications most everyone will want:

Populate /usr/local/share/texmf with letterhead.

Environment variables that you want to be set under the window system,
so that programs started from the window manager menus get them,
should be set with "export TEXMF=blah" in ~/.profile.  This works even
if you use tcsh.  Use LC_COLLATE=POSIX to switch back to the old sort
order of capital letters first.
Some R packages may be installed as "apt-get install r-cran-PACKAGE_NAME", but not enough of them are available. Instead, install R packages using the native R install feature:
Here are some more packages which appeal to me:
Also adjust:
System -> Preferences -> Windows -> Window Selection ->
	Select windows when the mouse moves over them
	Titlebar Action -> Roll up
System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Fonts -> Subpixel smoothing (LCDs)
	then Details -> Hinting -> Full
System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects -> None
System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> Window Management ->
	Raise obscured window, otherwise lower -> Left Windows Key (Super L)

$ gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/gtk_key_theme Emacs --type string
$ gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/num_workspaces 4 --type int

firefox URL "about:config"
	search middlemouse
	middlemouse.contentLoadURL toggle to true

System -> Administration -> Printing
	add local printer 
	set as default per user
Thunderbird config for eelpout, see:

The new system administrator of a personally maintained system should skim through this document for everything that seems relevant:

Ubuntu questions may be asked of more experienced users on this forum:

To add other software, start the gui package manager and add other things that seem attractive. Note: Synaptic locks the package system, and you can't use apt-get when Synaptic is running, even if you haven't asked for any operations to be performed.

System-> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager

	upper right panel gives list of packages,
		check square on left side of line, do 'mark for installation'
		do Apply from top menu bar

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This page was last updated Tue Sep 25 00:56:15 EDT 2012