My Ubuntu 11.10 Desktop
At the risk of drawing universal hatred, Unity isn’t so bad once you set the icon bar to autohide. Very uncluttered, quite stable, and even with no hardware acceleration it has good performance. That said… I don’t like it.
So what to do? Everyone has been fleeing to Mint, but I’ve had stability problems, which is odd since it is basically just Ubuntu with some minor changes. I really like MintMenu, but Mint’s not an “approved” OS at work, so I need to use Ubuntu.
Here’s what I do to the stock Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneric” installation to make it habitable (for me – YMMV).
Most of this is taken from other web sites I’ve forgotten. A good resource is this one: http://www.webupd8.org/2011/10/things-to-tweak-after-installing-ubuntu.html
You can install MintMenu or GnoMenu in the Cairo dock and dispense with Gnome shell… but I actually like the “expose” feature when I hit the Window key, so I’m keeping Gnome shell for now.
Install Ubuntu 11.10. Log in with the Unity interface. Open a terminal and let’s do the following.
- Install Synaptic.
sudo apt-get install synaptic
- Fix the scroll bars. This will give you real scroll bars, but you’ll really need to reboot at some point to be sure the evil overlay library is gone.
sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar liboverlay-scrollbar3-0.2-0 liboverlay-scrollbar-0.2-0
- Install Sun Java instead of OpenJDK.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ferramroberto/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-plugin
sudo update-alternatives --config java
- Now select the Sun JDK. If for some reason you didn’t get OpenJDK during the install, you won’t have any other Java versions to select, and that’s okay.
- Mint uses the Gnome Shell, so let’s install that and some settings managers.
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell gnome-tweak-tool compizconfig-settings-manager dconf-tools
- Incidentally, at this point if you run
ccsm you can actually turn off Unity! Don’t do that yet; let’s replace it with something else first.
- Make Gnome Shell the default for logging in.
sudo /usr/lib/lightdm/lightdm-set-defaults -s gnome-shell
- Let’s install the old-style Gnome desktop, too.
sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback
- Log out. Click the little gear and select “GNOME” and log back in. Now you’re running Gnome shell, and not Unity. Congratulations! You can also select the Gnome with no fancy stuff, but then you have panels at the top and bottom (I’m going to add Cairo), and the default menu doesn’t allow typing names.
- Install the Cairo dock. I like docks, and Cairo (so far) seems to be the most stable and best option.
sudo apt-get install cairo-dock
- Now, I like Alt+F2 to bring up the “run a command” dialog. Let’s enable that.
- Click your name in the upper right and select System Settings.
- Click Keyboard and then switch to the Shortcuts tab.
- Double-click the “Show the run command prompt” item. It should change from “Disabled” to “New shortcut…”
- Type Alt+F2.
Now, if you’re me, you want to install the following, with
I like to have Scala, but I don’t install it from the packages. They scatter it around a bit, and this confuses some software like the Idea IDE. Besides, you should keep it up to date with
- To install Scala globally from a terminal do the following. Of course, you can install it for just you, and that might be what you want in some cases.
sudo tar xvzf ~/scala-2.9.1.final.tgz
sudo ln -s scala-2.9.1.final scala
cd bin; for file in ../scala/bin/* ; do if [ -x $file ] ; then sudo ln -s $file ; fi ; done
- The last command makes all the scala stuff visible to both regular users and to root, which is useful, since this lets root run sbaz. You can avoid all this by just installing scala under your home area and then adding its bin folder to your path. I assume you are all capable of that.
sudo sbaz install scala-devel-docs scala-documentation
And that’s it!