Notes for Ubuntu. Also see UbuntuBreezyNotes, and UbuntuDapperNotes.

How to run KDE on Ubuntu or GNOME on Kubuntu without a reinstall

Simply do one the following:

sudo aptitude install kubuntu-desktop  # to install the Kubuntu KDE desktop
sudo aptitude install xubuntu-desktop  # to install the Xubuntu XFce desktop
sudo aptitude install ubuntu-desktop   # to install the Ubuntu GNOME desktop

After that, log out, and at the login screen, pick KDE, GNOME or XFce from the Sessions box as you prefer.

Resizing NTFS partitions on install

Ubuntu supports NTFS partition resizing during the install process. To do this, select the partition you wish to resize, and enter a size that is smaller than the existing size. It will shrink the partition down to the new size, and leave empty space afterwards.

No DMA on IDE drives

You may have to manually add your ide chipset module to /etc/modules before ide-cd.

See for more information

How to build your own Ubuntu installer CD

See UbuntuRemastering.

How can I tell what to put in my sources.list file for some specific/obscure packages?

Take a look at the source-o-matic

Have a look at if you want Opera or RealPlayer and probably more coming.

Missing Functionality has all you need to know.

At our last installfest, we wrote an UbuntuPostInstall shell script for installing things such as:

  • media-related codecs (win32codecs/gstreamer-ffmpeg for WMV support, DVD CSS)
  • Java runtime
  • Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader browser plugins

It has mostly been made out of date by EasyUbuntu.

Skype doesn't work

Skype doesn't play nicely with the default sound setup in Ubuntu hoary as it uses the old style OSS methods and requires exclusive access to /dev/dsp. If you have a sound card that does hardware mixing things seem to be significantly nicer, but if you've stuck on something like an IBM T42 Laptop without hardware mixing you'll have problems. There are several solutions.

  1. Stop esd before starting skype
  2. Setup ALSA software mixing

Stopping esd before starting skype works perfectly, but has the rather large downside of not being able to conveniently listen to mp3's etc while you have skype running. I have found the second method to be the most reliable and convenient.

Follow the instructions in this Ubuntu forums post to setup ALSA with dmix to provide software mixing support. Once you have done this you will be able to have both Skype and another application such as RhythmBox open at the same time, however only one of them will actually be able to generate sound at once, so.

To Place a call

  • Pause RhythmBox
  • Switch to Skype, place call
  • Hang Up
  • Play RhythmBox again, for some reason I often have to close RhythmBox before it will start playing again

To Answer an incoming call

  • Pause RhythmBox
  • Answer call, talk
  • Hangup
  • Play RhythmBox again, for some reason I often have to close RhythmBox before it will start playing again

Apart from having to close RhythmBox to get it to play again sometimes this solution seems to provide functionality equivalent to what you would expect to get with any other operating system.

Other Solutions

Google reveals a host of webpages that present other solutions for solving the Skype sound problems under Hoary (and other distributions). These seem to involve one of the following

  1. Replacing esound with polypaudio
  2. Piping skype thorugh esddsp

I didn't find either of these methods to work successfully on my hardware.

Setting up wireless networking

If your wireless network uses no security, or WEP based security, then the standard network-monitor applet will do you just fine. If you want to use WPA or WPA2 security, then this applet won't help you very much.

You'll need to install the wpasupplicant package.

See WirelessNetworkSecurityNotes for more information on setting this up.

Other networking related issues

Ubuntu's network setup is identical to debian, refer to the debian pages for any tips regarding this.

If you use a laptop, you should install ifplugd(8)?, an interface event monitoring daemon. Configured properly, this will remove annoying boot delays while your distribution tries to dhcp an IP address on a non-connected network card.

Installing packages asks for verification

Sometimes you may see the following query when installing a package:

Install these packages without verification [y/N]?

See AptNotes for some solutions

Installing the KDE desktop

As of Breezy, you don't need to have universe on to install KDE. You can simply "apt-get install kde" and you will have a functioning desktop. For a bit more, you can "apt-get install kubuntu-desktop" for a full Kubuntu desktop, including things like Amarok and Konversation not included in a default KDE install.

This will fill your Gnome menus with messy KDE apps, but you can get rid of these by running the following:

sudo sed -i '/OnlyShowIn=/d;$a\OnlyShowIn=KDE;' \

Make Ubuntu clear the screen on console logout (like Fedora Core)

echo "clear" >> ~/.bash_logout

Reinstall all packages

There are times when you've damaged your install and but you'd rather rescue the system rather than doing a backup, reinstall and restore of local data. The following script will reinstall the overwhelming majority of packages on your system. Note that it will not fix broken/missing config files and may change the order of entries in grub.

for pkg in `dpkg --get-selections | awk '{if ($2 == "install") print $1}'`;
   apt-get -y --reinstall install $pkg;

You will, of course, need to be root to reinstall all packages on your ubuntu system

My NICs swap order and this displeases me! :flasheyes:

man 5 iftab

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