Excellent coincidence that the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) fell into the Easter holidays. This gives me the time to install earlier than I normally have time for.

Trusty Tahr

This realease being a LTS (long-term support) release means it is a fairly conservative release. There are some nice enhancements and most importantly for me the 3.13 Kernel means finally Wacom Touch devices are supported without kernel mods.

Unfortunately some things are still not included (such as the boot-repair tools not being part of the standard repos).

Fortunately it’s relatively easy to fix most of these things.

Install core packages

One line to fix it (well – mostly …). This is a very personal & subjective list based on what I need all the time. Most things would not be relevant to casual users. Ignore at will.

sudo apt-get install -y vim chromium-browser filezilla owncloud-client gnome-gmail httrack keepass2 inkscape s3cmd putty openssh-server nfs-common fslint unoconv xsane libreoffice-base libreoffice-mysql-connector offlineimap pwgen getmail4 apache2-mpm-itk libapache2-mod-php5 mysql-client mysql-server php5 php5-mysql php5-common php5-xmlrpc php5-gd php5-common curl php5-curl php5-ldap php5-odbc php5-xsl php5-ldap php-pear libapache2-mod-wsgi python-django python-imaging python-pythonmagick python-markdown python-textile python-docutils python-mysqldb rapidsvn umit flashplugin-installer cups-pdf git gnome-schedule regexxer ubuntu-restricted-extras arduino gufw cifs-utils subversion sysinfo jobs-admin network-manager-openvpn network-manager-vpnc openjdk-7-jre openjdk-7-jdk icedtea-7-plugin bum mysql-workbench traceroute whois sublime-text bleachbit grive dia-gnome tintii calibre openscad pepperflashplugin-nonfree

NOTE: Since Chromium Flash plugin support is broken in 14.04 (due to Chromium killing Netscape Plugin API) you need to run the Pepper Flash install script to allow flash to play in Chromium.

sudo update-pepperflashplugin-nonfree --install

Adding ‘nice-to-haves’

Sublime Text

Currently my favorite text editor (even though the licensing is dodgy) – I also generally install ‘geany’ as well.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:librecad-dev/librecad-stable

Opera Browser

The main reason is that sometimes I need more than 3 browsers at the same time (don’t ask – joys of web-dev) and Opera is my 3rd choice.

sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list
#add the following repo
deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ stable non-free
sudo apt-get update
#get keys
sudo wget -qO - http://deb.opera.com/archive.key | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get install debian-archive-keyring


Get a real video player. See this blog.

echo 'deb http://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/stable/ /' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/libdvdcss.list && echo 'deb-src http://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/stable/ /' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/libdvdcss.list && wget -O - http://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/videolan-apt.asc|sudo apt-key add -


sudo echo "deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian $(lsb_release -sc) contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list
wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Note: At the time of writing this (2014-04-21) it is necessary to edit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list and edit the first replacing ‘trusty’ with the ‘saucy’ repo as Oracle has not yet (and usually is very slow) updated their repo.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y opera vlc libdvdcss2 librecad google-talkplugin virtualbox-4.3 unity-tweak-tool gnome-tweak-tool compizconfig-settings-manager


All of these are personal: ‘unity-tweak-tool’ & ‘gnome-tweak-tool’ can be used to customise lots of UI aspects (I generally limit this as I don’t have time.

The main reason for installing ‘compizconfig-settings-manager’ is that I like to disable animations. Even on fast machinery it adds to speeding up the overall experience and reduce waste. I very much prefer speed over useless eye-candy. If you want to go the next step you might look ad installing a more lightweight flavour of Ubuntu (such as Xubuntu).

Adding latest stable versions

Since Ubuntu repos sometimes have quite old version of some popular projects I tend to use some PPA’s to get the latest stable versions.

These repos update the included versions of Gimp, VLC and some Gnome3 related tools (I don’t use Gnome 3 as such as I have made peace with Unity over the years and find it quite workable these days and don’t have the time to play around too much).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y gimp vlc

Remove unwanted stuff

The main thing I always remove is the so-called ‘Amazon-Lense’ which includes Amazon search results in the HUD display in th UI. The easiest way I have found is to remove the ‘webapps’ feature. This is a bit of a sledgehammer approach as it removes other webapps, but I have always found these very annoying – so it suits me to remove the lot. However you can also disable the feature in the ‘System settings’ UI.

I also remove Empathy & Thunderbird as I have no use for local utils. All my mail and calendars are stored on remote servers as I use a number of devices and have no time for synchonisation hell …

sudo apt-get remove --purge unity-webapps-common evolution evolution-indicator empathy empathy-common thunderbird xul-ext-unity unity-chromium-extension
sudo update-desktop-database

Disable remote search scopes

Removes the online searches from the HUD.

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Lenses disabled-scopes "['more_suggestions-amazon.scope', 'more_suggestions-u1ms.scope', 'more_suggestions-populartracks.scope', 'music-musicstore.scope', 'more_suggestions-ebay.scope', 'more_suggestions-ubuntushop.scope', 'more_suggestions-skimlinks.scope']"

Normal scroll bars

gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal

Leo Gaggl

ict business owner specialising in mobile learning systems. interests: sustainability, internet of things, ict for development, open innovation, agriculture

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Simon

    LIBRECAD? What do you need that for?

  2. Leo Gaggl

    Trying to get ready for some CNC milling / 3D printing ….

  3. Stone Forest

    Neither the videolan repository nor the keyring are available

    ERROR 404

    I added the ppa, but still no libdvdcss2

  4. Leo Gaggl

    That’s the trouble with unofficial repos. The VLC Repo has been very unstable and I have removed this from the apt sources list. livdvdcss2 is now part of Ubuntu restricted extras and vlc part of the main repos (unless you want the latest version).

    sudo apt-cache search libdvdcss2
    brasero – CD/DVD burning application for GNOME
    kubuntu-restricted-extras – Commonly used restricted packages for Kubuntu
    ubuntu-restricted-extras – Commonly used restricted packages for Ubuntu
    xubuntu-restricted-extras – Commonly used restricted packages for Xubuntu
    libdvdcss2 – library designed for accessing DVDs

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