Friday, July 23, 2010

Basic ubuntu softwares needed

1. Restricted Extras

The Ubuntu Restricted Extras will install Adobe Flash Player, Java Runtime Environment (JRE) (sun-java-jre) with Firefox plug-ins (icedtea), a set of Microsoft Fonts (msttcorefonts), multimedia codecs (w32codecs or w64codecs), mp3-compatible encoding (lame), FFMpeg, extra Gstreamer codecs, the package for DVD decoding (libdvdread4, but see below for info on libdvdcss2), the unrar archiver, odbc, and cabextract. It also installs multiple "stripped" codecs and avutils (libavcodec-unstripped-52 and libavutil-unstripped-49). This is a single command approach.

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Note: Installation only works completely and properly when done from the command-line Terminal. The entire package will not usually install completely from within a Package Manager.

2. Multimedia

Audio and Video Playback

Playing a Video (XVid, DivX etc.) or Audio (MP3) file has become pretty easy. Just double click the file you want and allow Totem to automatically download the needed codecs. But you could also do this by yourself very easily by installing a package which contains all the needed codecs and more. Just look above at Ubuntu Restricted Extras.

DVD Playback

To play encrypted DVDs you must install libdvdcss2. In Ubuntu 10.04 there is no need to manually configure the Medibuntu repository. If you have previously installed Ubuntu Restricted Extras skip the following command. If you haven't open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install libdvdread4

Next type:

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/


Personally I prefer mplayer and smplayer (mplayer's GUI) for video playback. It supports almost any video type, external subtitles as well as DVD playback as long as you have the needed codecs installed as shown previously. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install mplayer smplayer

You will find it under Applications -> Video & Sound -> SMPlayer


Many users prefer the Video Lan Client (VLC) as their multimedia player. VLC supports many formats without need for additional codecs. Simply install it by typing:

sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-pulse


K9copy is a free open source DVD backup, copying, compression, and authoring utility that requires libdvdcss. For other info, see this or this guide. You can easily create MPEG-2. MPEG-4, or DVD videos with this utility. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install k9copy

For more information you can read my How to backup your DVDs (in dvd, xvid, mpeg-4, x264 formats) using k9copy guide.


DVD::Rip is a DVD backup/copy program, written in GTK-based perl, that uses the transcode video/audio processing and conversion tools. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install dvdrip

For more information you can read my How to rip a DVD to DivX/XviD/H264 using DVD::Rip


2ManDVD is a GUI utility for creating DVD videos. It is the successor of ManDVD. For more information on how to install it and use it read my How to author a DVD using 2ManDVD in Linux guide.


DeVeDe is a program to create video DVDs and CDs suitable for home players (i.e. VCD, sVCD or CVD) from any source video file that is supported by MPlayer. For more information on how to install it and use it read my How to create a custom DVD using DeVeDe .

3. Java

Ubuntu 10.04 uses OpenJDK, which mostly derives from Sun's JRE, as its default flavor of JRE. Moreover Icddtea is the default browser plugin to run Java applets. Most users should be fine with those JRE versions. If you don't have them installed simply type:

sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre icedtea6-plugin

However you can still install Sun's JRE and JDK like this if you are not satisfied with those packages. To do so first you must enable the partner repository. Go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager > Settings > Repositories > Other Software and enable the partner repository. Now you can either search for sun-java6-jre, sun-java6-plugin, sun-java6-jdk using Synaptic or type the following commands in a terminal.

Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and Firefox Java Plugin

Close Firefox if it's running, open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin

Sun Java Development Kit (JDK)

If you want to build applications, applets, and components using the Java programming language you need to install JDK.

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk

Now you must choose the default Java you want to use. Open a terminal and type:

sudo update-alternatives --config java

And follow the instructions. Simply select the number for java-6-sun.

4. Google Earth

Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install googleearth-package

make-googleearth-package --force

sudo dpkg -i googleearth*.deb

Afterwards you will find Google Earth under Applications > Internet > Google Earth

5. Google Chromium

Chromium is Google's open source web browser and it's fast! You should give it a try. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

If you want a daily version of Chromium (this version might have various problems and even crash) you must first add the gpg key:

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver 4E5E17B5

Next You will have to add the following chromium-daily repo to your 3rd party repository list. Go to System - Administration - Software Sources, select the Other Software tab and Click ADD.

deb lucid main

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

Now you will find it under Applications > Internet > Chromium Web Browser.

6. Eye Candy

Compiz Fusion

Compiz Fusion allows you to use advanced desktop effects such as the rotating cube desktop.

sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-main \

compiz-fusion-plugins-extra emerald librsvg2-common fusion-icon

Run Applications -> System Tools -> Compiz Fusion Icon. A blue icon will appear to the tray. From here you can configure Compiz-Fusion.


Conky is a light-weight system monitor for X, that displays any information on your desktop.

sudo apt-get install conky


Screenlets are small applications that are laying on your desktop. Eye candy stuff and useful in many ways. Just type:

sudo apt-get install screenlets

Go to Applications -> Accessories –> Screenlets choose the screenlet you want click launch/add (you can choose Auto start on login)

You can download additional screenlets from or from

Cairo Dock

Cairo Dock is a light eye-candy fully themable animated dock for any Linux desktop. It has a family-likeness with OSX dock, but with more options.

sudo apt-get install cairo-dock cairo-dock-plug-ins

You will find it under Applications > Accessories > Cairo Dock

Gnome Do

GNOME Do (Do) is an intelligent launcher tool that makes performing common tasks on your computer simple and efficient. Do not only allows you to search for items in your desktop environment (e.g. applications, contacts, bookmarks, files, music), it also allows you to specify actions to perform on search results (e.g. run, open, email, chat, play).

sudo apt-get install gnome-do

You will find it under Applications > Accessories > Cairo Dock

Windows Buttons Order

A lot of users complain that the new place for the minize - maximize - close window buttons isn't good. Mwbuttons is a script that allows you to easily change the place the buttons place from left to right. To install and run it type:


chmod +x mwbuttons


Now just select Settings > Karmic style and the buttons will go to the right.

7. Internet


XChat is an IRC chat program for both Linux and Windows. It allows you to join multiple IRC channels (chat rooms) at the same time, talk publicly, private one-on-one conversations etc. Even file transfers are possible.

sudo apt-get install xchat

You will find it under Applications -> Internet -> XChat IRC

Ubuntu 9.10 uses empathy as its default IM (Instant Messaging) client. A few others IMs are:


Pidgin is an open source IM application. It is the previous default in the Ubuntu (Gnome) desktop.

sudo apt-get install pidgin


aMSN is an MSN Messenger utility that functions like the original client. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install amsn

You will find it under Applications -> Internet -> aMSN


Emesene is an MSN messenger client that uses a simplified interface similar to the original client. To install it type

sudo apt-get install emesene

You will find it under Applications -> Internet -> Emesene


Skype is a proprietary integrated VOIP and video conferencing program similar to Ekiga. To install skype on Ubuntu 10.04 just click on the Ubuntu 8.10+ 32bit version or Ubuntu 8.10+ 64 bit version. Download skype .

8. Torrent clients

Transmission is the default BitTorrent client in Ubuntu 9.10. Here are some additional clients if you want to try them.


Deluge is a lightweight, Free Software, cross-platform BitTorrent client.

sudo apt-get install deluge

You will find it under Applications -> Internet -> Deluge BitTorrent client


Vuze is the next version of Azureus. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install vuze

You will find it under Applications -> Internet -> Vuze

9. NTFS read/write support

Ubuntu has a graphical configuration tool for enabling read/write on NTFS partitions, either from a Windows/Linux dual boot system or from external hard disks. To install it type:

sudo apt-get install ntfs-config

Run it through System -> Administration -> NTFS Configuration Tool.

NTFS-Config will auto detect your NTFS partitions and afterwards you can enable write support for them. The will be mounted under /media.

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