My Guide To My Own Favourite Ubuntu Setup

Andrew Bolster

Senior R&D Manager (Data Science) at Synopsys Software Integrity Group and Treasurer @ Bsides Belfast and NI OpenGovernment Network

This is my own self-indulgant reminder for how to do the things I like. I’ll keep adding to this as I think of them.

Basic Setup

Install Ubuntu Latest (currently 11.10), With the third party libraries and a home partition leaving at least 20GB for ‘/’.

Then Update everything, during which time you can plod along to download the relevant packages for Chrome Beta, Dropbox, etc

Once the update is done (I’d restart in most cases), additional packages I like to add are;

vim  vim-latexsuite vim-vimoutliner vim-scripts vim-addon-manager synaptic gnome-do gnome-shell python-setuptools python3-setuptools python-distutils-extra python3-distutils-extra ipython terminator guake evolution openssh-server evolution-plugins-experimental libreoffice-evolution htop gnome-schedule nload perl-doc etherape zenmap gnuplot graphviz dot2tex latexmk cmus irssi etckeeper exuberant-ctags.


The Repo-bound texlive isn’t complete, so I use the ‘real’ one.

I seem to be cursed that anywhere I need to install TeXlive, the internet sucks, so I do a full mirror and install locally.

cd ~; mkdir -p src/tl; cd src/tl; rsync -va --delete rsync:// .

Let that run away in the background and get to something else.

Once it’s done… chmod+x install-tl sudo ./install-tl Select <I> (Full install)


You’ll want to put something like this in your ~/.profile to put texlive in your PATH.

# set PATH so it includes TexLive if [ -d "/usr/local/texlive/2011/bin/i386-linux" ] ; then PATH="/usr/local/texlive/2011/bin/i386-linux:$PATH" fi

To enable the tlmgr package manager, you’ll need to configure with your friendly neighbourhood CTAN mirror; in my case, Heanet.

sudo tlmgr option repository

sudo tlmgr update –all

Dropbox Integration

I use Dropbox to hold a lot of configuration data. Specifically ‘dotfiles’. As such, in my Dropbox folder, I have a folder (dotfiles) full of the kind of files you expect to see; .bashrc, .vimrc, .vim/, etc etc etc.

In order to make things simple (ish) remove  the default .bashrc, and Symbolically link (ln-s) this to my custom one in Dropbox.

cd ~; rm .bashrc; ln -s ~/Dropbox/dotfiles/.bashrc ~/.bashrc

This bashrc is common to all my machines and is pretty basic.

The .profile file is where I do most of the work; it has the stuff that I always need, like ‘Add Dropbox/bin to the path’ and ‘add ~/bin to the path’, but also says ‘source ~/.bashrc_local’ for the times I need to have differences between machines (think 32 vs64, etc).

cd Dropbox/dotfiles; 

for entry in .profile .vim* .bashrc .vim .config .cmus .irssi .xchat2 ".ssh/config"; do rm $HOME/$entry; ln -s $HOME/Dropbox/dotfiles/$entry $HOME/$entry; done

Fixing Gnome-shell

Gnome shell is not perfect, but these help.

Bring back minimise buttons: ` gconftool-2 -s -t string /desktop/gnome/shell/windows/button_layout “:minimize,maximize,close”`

Other Fixes


Funnily enough, installing vim-addons and vim-latexsuite doesn’t actually install vim-latexsuite. Package managers are funny that way. Here’s the plugins I like to enable.

` sudo vim-addons install python-indent latex-suite taglist markdown-syntax detectindent doxygen-toolkit info justify nerd-commenter utl vimoutliner xmledit`


Don’t forget to init etckeeper; cd /etc; sudo etckeeper init

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