April 25, 2007

After Ubuntu, what else?

It is a known fact that when you start using Linux as a desktop, you have a lot of stuff to do, i.e. you have to setup more stuff, tweak more configurations than your average Win* user.

However, once all the tweaking is done, the Linux "ride" is a whole lot more smoother, i.e. you don't have to worry about a lot of viruses or adware (**touch wood!!**), since quite a number of viruses are written to run on Win* machines. I won't say that Linux boxes have NO viruses, it is just probably less.

When Ubuntu was installed, most of my work was cut out for me. I had OpenOffice, Gaim (renamed to Pidgin), Firefox and even some other utilities which the team thought most users would require. Anyway, it occurred to me after my quick setup, that I needed to do a number of things to "pimp my ride". (^^)

Here's my list:

1. Install improved NVIDIA graphic drivers
My graphics is a little choppy and when I try to view videos on YouTube, it is very choppy. Sure, Ubuntu recognized my driver but nothing beats having the real deal from the manufacturer. For this, I'm relying on a little app named "Envy".

2. Install NTFS support
I'm still running the not-so-current Ubuntu Edgy Eft version and that means I don't get NTFS support off the bat. (-_-) So, I need to do some tweaking and etc, I've been Googling a bit and found out some utils like ntfs-config and ntfs-3g, which will allow me to mount/umount, read/write NTFS drives. This is because I have an external HDD which I keep some data larger than what my thumbdrive can hold.
TAKE NOTE: Most USB thumbdrives are FAT32 and so, would not have any issue. The only problem comes when you have an external HDD which is in NTFS, i.e. formatted using Win XP.

3. Install S/W Dev Tools
This means, I need Java, Eclipse and perhaps a little appserver like JBoss or Tomcat. If you require some Microsoft-based tools, chances are you need to run it off WINE or VMWare.

Ubuntu has their own version of Java installed at first but if you prefer to use Sun's JDK, you may get a copy of it and install it on your own. Just remember to add the entry where the JDK is installed in the "etc/jvm" file.

Installing JBoss or Tomcat is a cinch as all you need is to unzip the contents of the JBoss or Tomcat zip file into a directory, editing some config files and running the shellscripts to start up the server. If you want to get Tomcat or JBoss running from the time your machine boots up, you can drop a simple scriptfile in the /etc/init.d directory. (^^)

4. Install VMWare Player
I usually tend to run my stuff on more than 1 type of O/S and hence, I have to run VMWare to "play" another O/S virtually on my machine. This is an optional install which you can get straight off Ubuntu, and so, there is no need to download this.

If VMWare is not your cup of tea, Ubuntu also provides WINE.

5. Install Picasa
Yes, Picasa is supported on Linux. Head down to http://picasaweb.google.com and download a copy. Choose the debian package so that the Package Manager can install it for you. Easy Peasy!!!

6. Install a proper CD/DVD-Writing software
This is a gray area for me as my current setup is so old that it only has a CD-ROM drive. However, I believe that this could be one of the big issues why some people are not interested in installing Linux is because such software are not readily available - unlike Windows. However, there is a little software called "K3b" which can do the job of burning stuff to CD/DVD. By the way, Ubuntu also ships with CD-writing software too. It isn't as fancy as Nero or Roxio, but it works. (^^)

7. Install Media Players to watch my videos
Yes, there is other media players out there other than Windows Media Player. ;)
I like VLC and this is shipped with Ubuntu! Now, the only thing is to get the codecs necessary to play certain videos like XVID or DivX, as well as the popular MPEG-4 format files. However, when you need to play files in MKV or OGM as some Anime comes packaged in, you'll need some extra codecs. Don't worry, there is a codec available for RMV (Real Media Video) files as well.

8. Other Themes & Window Managers?
Back in the day when X-windows ruled, there were very few people very keen to customize the look and feel of a desktop other than putting up a new wallpaper and adding a few widgets here and there. If you were fortunate to work on a X-windows platform, you knew that you could write some nifty X-windows widgets to grace your desktop. Anyway, since we're on the *nix world, we are free to chose different window managers and themes as well such as KDE, Gnome (default install by Linux), Sawfish and IceWM, just to name a few.

9. Other Language Support - especially Asian languages...
Now, this is a step which even Windows expect you to perform AFTER you have installed Windows, unless you have chosen to use a non-English locale in the first place. Same goes with Linux. If you choose to have English as the default language, you may want to have an IME (Input Method) for non-English languages. For Ubuntu, this is easily solved by two things - 1) SCIM and 2) Additional Language Support.

10. Antivirus, Anti-Spyware, Firewall?? (~.~)
This is another gray area for me. Although a lot of viruses were written for the Windows platform, a lot of people say that *nix platforms would not be affected. That is half the truth. Sometimes, you may get some annoying messages on the system log indicating some file was trying to execute some non-existing *.exe file on your Linux box. Besides that, if you run a mail server, chances are you'll need a spam filter in order to sift through the garbage. Not only that, Linux boxes can also be "carriers" of viruses too. At the end of the day, it is still best to install these.. just in case!

I do agree with installing personal firewalls as this is a necessity in these modern times when hackers try to exploit every single hole made available.

As I said earlier, some of these softwares are made available as an optional install.

*Phew!!* I thought this post will never end!! Anyway, this post was inspired by this post which I found when I was surfing the web for tips on how to get my NTFS external HDD to work.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, since once your o/s is up, chances are you'll be installing software useful for you and also, try to customize it to your liking.

Happy Ubuntu-ing!!! (^___^)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to add your comments. However, take note that your comments may be edited or deleted as seen fit by the author of this blog.

Take note that the author of this blog may not be held responsible for the comments which may be insensitive, vulgar or controversial.

Related Posts with Thumbnails