Sunday, 9 November 2014

To Do's After a Fresh Linux OS Installation

Hey there, as I mentioned in the last post, I had to quit OpenSUSE due to overheating. So I went for a short distro hunt in the Linux world.

Well the first option that came in my mind was obviously Ubuntu, my first distro when I entered the Linux world 2 years ago. Ubuntu has a nice interface and Unity is a pleasing eye-candy. Though many still criticize Unity, I am its good fan.
But I needed my KDE back! And sorry Gnome fans, Brasero, Rhythmbox, Shotwell and other Gnome apps are no match for the powerful K3b, Amarok, DigiKam and similar KDE apps.

And yes of course, Kubuntu was a big NO for me. The reason is, Kubuntu and other *ubuntus being derivatives of Ubuntu, never receive the proper attention from the developers.

So the other option that came in my mind was Linux Mint. Linux Mint is well known for its stability, reliability and beauty and elegance. Some call it Linux for beginners, but I would call it a wise distro as most of the things work out of the box, without much post-install configurations. 
And the best thing, Linux Mint has a KDE version too!



So I tried the live session of Linux Mint KDE 17 (Qiana). It worked like charm, no such overheating and far stable than Kubuntu, not to mention that Qiana is LTS, so it will be supported till 2019.

I am penning down some of its features worth noticing:
  • Preinstalled codecs : Play mp3, mp4, flv files, watch videos in YouTube, just after installing your OS. It works great, install it, and start working.
  • Synaptic Package Manager : Qiana KDE has Synaptic as its default package manager, unlike Kubuntu, which has the buggy Muon Package Manager.
  • Stability : KDE being the heaviest DE, demands stability which Qiana provides well.
  • Preinstalled Software : Most of the important software like Gimp, DigiKam , Ksnapshot, LibreOffice suite, Vlc media player, USB Image writer are already installed.
  • Dolphin : The default KDE file manager, Dolphin, is one of the most feature rich file manager I have ever seen for any OS. Linux Mint KDE adds little more beauty to it by the beautiful icon set and makes the "boring" default folder icons better. Just have a look :


So finally I installed Qiana KDE. Installing a fresh Linux distro calls for a complete list of software and tweaks needed by the newbies. I am making a note of such software required to make Linux feel you right at home. The following list is helpful for Ubuntu users also:

  • Update the system: To do this, enter the commands sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade in the terminal. In Ubuntu, synaptic package manager is not installed by default, so to install it, enter the following in the terminal: sudo apt-get install synaptic
  • Pictures:
    • Picture viewer: Gwenview is already installed for viewing pictures. Ubuntu also has the picture viewer preinstalled.
    • Editor: Gimp is preinstalled in Qiana, but not in Ubuntu. Also it is better to install extra packages for Gimp in both distros, so make sure you have the following packages installed by opening synaptic package manager:
      • gimp
      • gimp-data
      • gimp-plugin-registry
      • gimp-data-extras
    • For managing your digital picture collections, DigiKam is preinstalled, and Ubuntu also has Shotwell preinstalled.
    • Drawing vector and simple graphics : Install Inkscape. Search inkscape in synaptic and install it.
  • Videos:
    • Media Player : Vlc is preinstalled, Ubuntu users need to install Vlc, so search vlc in synaptic. Personally I prefer SMPlayer to Vlc. Search smplayer in synaptic and install it. It is always good to have more than one player after all!
    • Video Editor: No match for the Kdenlive, install it from synaptic. Ubuntu users may also try Openshot instead, if they don't want to bloat their system with KDE libraries.
    • Sound editor: Audacity is what you need in this case, and it can be installed easily from synaptic by searching audacity.
    • Music Player: Amarok is preinstalled, and Ubuntu also has its Rhythmbox.
    • Audio Tagger: I like to keep my music collection well maintained, and use a tagger to manage the audio tags. For this I use EasyTag. Install it from synaptic by searching easytag.
    • Webcam: Though I am a big an of KDE, I must admit that Cheese still rules. The KDE users may install Kamera and Kamoso apart from Cheese to make their collection more flexible. Install them by searching cheese, kamera and kamoso
    • 3-D Modelling: Blender, install it from synaptic by searching blender
  • Internet:
    • Web Browser: Firefox is preinstalled in both Qiana and Ubuntu. But you can install Google Chrome and Opera as well. They are not available from the default repositories and thus can't be installed by synaptic. Hence you need to download the respective .deb files (similar to .exe files in Windows OS). To install any .deb package, I would always recommend you to do it from terminal. This ensures that you get a debug output as well in case the installation fails due to any error or unmet dependencies. To install a .deb package, open the terminal, go to the respective directory and enter:
      sudo dpkg -i <package-name>
      dpkg is the Debian Package Manager, -i option is for installation.
    • Mail Client: Qiana KDE has KMail already installed, but it is better to make sure that Kontact is also installed. Search kontact in synaptic. Ubuntu users can install the all time favourite Mozilla Thunderbird from synaptic by searching thunderbird.
    • IRC Client : Konversation is already installed in Qiana, and Ubuntu users can install X-Chat from synaptic, the package name is xchat
    • Messaging Clients : Kontact ( KDE IM ) is already installed, Ubuntu users can install Pidgin by searching pidgin from synaptic.
    • Torrent Client : Qiana KDE has KTorrent installed while Ubuntu has Transmission installed. Transmission is a very light weight client, so to get a more feature rich client I would recommend Deluge. Install it by searching deluge in synaptic.
    • Miscellaneous : Apart from these, Skype, Teamviewer, Google Earth (A similar software, Marble, is available in the repositories) and other software can be installed from their respective websites. The .deb packages are readily available.
  • Development:
    • Office Suite: Though LibreOffice is now much more improved, you can install Apache Open Office if you prefer. Don't forget to remove LibreOffice to avoid collisions. Apache Open Office can be downloaded from their website. Once you download the archive file, you will need to extract it. You will get a directory full of .deb packages. When there are more than one packages to be installed, installing them one by one is not recommended as each package depends on the other. So in the terminal, go to the package directory and enter the following:
      sudo dpkg -i *.deb
      The Debian Package Manager resolves the dependencies and installs all the packages.
    • Text Editor: KDE's text editor, Kate, meets all the needs for a programmer's text editor. For Ubuntu, I find gedit a bit novice in front of Kate, and hence would recommend you to install Sublime Text . It can be downloaded from their website. Other than that, for the CLI, make sure you have vim and nano installed from synaptic.
    • Make sure you have gcc ( already installed ) and g++ for C and C++ developing.
    • Oracle Java 8 : Qiana may have preinstalled OpenJDK/JRE, but I would recommend to install Oracle Java instead. Type in the following in the terminal :
      • sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/java
      • sudo apt-get update
      • sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
      Now make sure to remove the OpenJDK/JRE from synaptic to avoid collisions. To do this, search openjdk in synaptic and remove them if installed.
    • If you are a python developer, install idle-python3.4,  ipython3 from synaptic.
    • For IDEs, install Netbeans and Eclipse from their websites. Netbeans can also be installed from synaptic, search netbeans.Netbeans already installs the Glassfish server for you, so no need to install Apache Tomcat Server.  For html editing, there is no match for Bluefish, install it by searching bluefish from synaptic.
    • For DBMS, I would recommend you to install ORACLE MySql (mysql-client, mysql server), which is very much similar to ORACLE DBMS. Install mysql-workbench for the GUI front-end. To install the MySql JDBC driver, search and install libmysql-java from synaptic. 
    • If you work with Microprocessor 8085, GNUSim8085 (gnusim8085) is right for you.
  • Games: SuperTux (supertux-stable), SuperTuxKart (supertuxkart), (K)Mines, Sudoku, 0ad and many games can be installed. Linux also supports Steam for the dedicated gamers. Don't forget to install SuperTuxKart, you wont regret.
  • Utilities:
    • Many utility software like PDF reader, Archive tool etc. are already installed in the popular Linux distros. For the codecs in Ubuntu, install ubuntu-restricted-extras, libcodec-extra, libdvdread4 (after installing this package, run the following from terminal : sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh) ,  and for the archiving extras, install rar and unrar
    • Preview for pdf files in dolphin(KDE) can be enabled by installing the package kdegraphics-thumbnailers 
    • Wine (wine, q4wine[for KDE], winetricks, wine<version>-amd64, winegecko<versionname>)
    • PlayonLinux (playonlinux)
    • Oracle Virtual Box (virtualbox-nonfree)/ VMWare Player (Downloadable from their website)
    • Artha offline dictionary (artha)
    • Yakuake (yakuake), a beautiful and handy drop-down terminal.
    • Dosbox (dosbox) for running old DOS programs and DOS games.
    • Partition Manager : The KDE partition manager is preinstalled in Qiana KDE, but for Ubuntu, you will need to install gparted from synaptic.
    • CD burner : I would recommend installing K3b for both Ubuntu and Qiana. K3b is far better than Brasero, the default CD burner for Ubuntu. Install the package k3b from synaptic.
    • Boot-Up Manager : For both Qiana and Ubuntu, install it to control the startup services and programs easily ( though you must be cautious enough else you may mess up with your system ). Install the package bum from synaptic.
    • Duplicate File Searcher: You can install FSLint (fslint) and fdupes to search and remove duplicate files. 
    • Preload : preload can be installed to make your system boot faster. Install the package and run sudo preload in the terminal to start it. To manage it use the Boot Up Manager.
    • Misc: Don't forget to install youtube-dl, the CLI utility to download videos from YouTube and similar websites efficiently.Acetone ISO (acetoneiso) can also be installed to manage CD/DVD images, though Ubuntu itself manages them beautifully. For the Ubuntu users, I would recommend installing the Unity Tweak Tool (unity-tweak-tool), then Variety, the wallpaper sequencer. To install it, enter the following in the terminal : 
      • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa
      • sudo apt-get update
      • sudo apt-get install variety
So this completes my list for the general software that I needed after a fresh Linux OS install. You can suggest more software to enrich the above list. Please put your valuable suggestions and queries in the comment section below.

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