I got a new computer! I’ve finally left the Dell XPS line! This is my first time getting a laptop that already has Linux on it. And, I’m excited to have a little larger screen now. (Actually, I’m a bit slow. I’ve had it almost 7 months now, so I can comment a little better on things I like and don’t like.)
I really procrastinated installing Jammy Jellyfish. I waited so long my last install quit getting updates. Better late than never, right?
It is always nice to see a fresh new interface. The UI looks just different enough to feel new and fresh.
I’m a little late to the party here. I’ve been fighting with this install for 6 months! It got to the point that my laptop wouldn’t suspend and would crash when I would reboot. The next version of Ubuntu was released before I could get this proof read and published!
I’ve been keeping a list of the files that I restore so I don’t forget anything. I like formatting the drive and starting from scratch, but I have to be careful what I copy back, otherwise it defeats the purpose. Maybe this list will help you think through what you need to backup and restore on your system:
- ~/.ssh: connection keys for SSH connections
- ~/app: (as in application development) this is where I keep my play space for programming projects
- ~/Documents: where most of my regular files, like documents, of course
- ~/DigitalEagleServices: work-related files
- ~/Insync: OneDrive files (saves times resyncing from the Internet)
- ~/.config/google-chrome: my Google Chrome browser profile, restores bookmarks, last used tabs, browser history, etc.
- ~/.remmina: the configuration for Remmina, the remote desktop software
- ~/.sword: the data files for the sword project, which I use with Xiphos
- ~/.vim: my custom configurations for the Vi editor
- ~/.vimrc: the actual configuration file for the Vi editor
- ~/.local/share/fonts: extra fonts that I have collected over the years
- /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections: this saves all of my wireless connections and VPN connections (I’m not sure this worked this time)
- .local/share/applications: I review this directory for shortcuts to apps that I use
- ~/bin: certain programs and scripts that I installed manually
- ~/Zotero: research data, depending on how you installed it may be in ~/snap/zotero-snap/common/Zotero
- ~/.config/obs-studio: my setup (scenes, etc) for OBS Studio
Permissions are important for the SSH files. Here’s how I fixed them:
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/*
chmod 644 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys2
chmod 644 ~/.ssh/known_hosts
chmod 644 ~/.ssh/config
chmod 644 ~/.ssh/*.pub
The network manager connection files also have to have certain permissions. So, it is easier to restore them to my Downloads directory and then use these commands:
chmod 600 *
sudo chown root:root *
sudo cp * /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/
sudo service NetworkManager restart
Flameshot is my current screenshot tool. I need it installed sooner than later to help document. First off, it’s easy to install with:
sudo apt install flameshot
To make it better, I like it mapped to the print screen button. That way I get the control of Flameshot for every screenshot. Here’s the commands I can run on the command-line to make that happen:
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys screenshot ''
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys custom-keybindings "['/org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/media-keys/custom-keybindings/custom0/']"
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys.custom-keybinding:/org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/media-keys/custom-keybindings/custom0/ name 'flameshot'
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys.custom-keybinding:/org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/media-keys/custom-keybindings/custom0/ command '/usr/bin/flameshot gui'
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys.custom-keybinding:/org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/media-keys/custom-keybindings/custom0/ binding 'Print'
Finally, I went to Configuration > General and checked “Launch at startup”.
Note: My old favorite was Shutter. I haven’t installed it and gone back to it yet.
My favorite browser so far has been Google Chrome. I could make arguments for other browsers, but Chrome has been my favorite for a while. I downloaded the browser package from Google’s Website and installed it by double clicking on it in the Downloads folder (opened in the Software Center).
Don’t forget, I also restored my profile in ~/.config/google-chrome to keep all of my bookmarks and such. After that, I just had to sign in to my Google account at the upper right corner of the browser because it said the sync was paused. I had to sign in to all of the websites because it lost the session, but that was no big deal. I was back in business where I left off.
I also went to System Settings > Default Applications and set the default for Web to Chrome.
On past installations, I have used KeePass2. Since getting into Flutter, I found AuthPass, which is a KeePass implementation in Flutter. So, I’m jumping ship and going for it. Their blog post documents an Apt repo, but that didn’t work. Here’s what I tried:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:codeux.design/authpass
sudo apt-get install authpass
Here’s the error you get when you try to update:
E: The repository 'http://ppa.launchpad.net/codeux.design/authpass/ubuntu hirsute Release' does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
Instead, I found a snap that I could install:
sudo snap install authpass
Dropbox is the easiest cloud to get working. I don’t use it as much, but it’s nice to have. I just downloaded it from the website. I installed it and the dependency with:
sudo apt install python3-gpg
sudo apt install ~/Downloads/dropbox_2020.03.04_amd64.deb
After installing, it popped open a prompt to start Dropbox. That places the indicator icon by the clock. It also downloaded the “proprietary” binary required to make it work. It also opened a browser window to do the log in. I had trouble making that work until I signed into the website first and then connected the desktop client.
OneDrive itself doesn’t have a sync client. So, I have been using InSync. I just downloaded that from their website. Then, I installed with:
sudo apt install ~/Downloads/insync_126.96.36.199983-focal_amd64.deb
Like Dropbox, a short while after installing, it prompts to start InSync:
It starts by asking which account type you want to sync. When I picked Microsoft OneDrive, it opened the browser to a sign in page.
After signing in, this window took me through a few steps. I accepted the defaults until I got to the folders to sync. Then, I picked my folder for KeePass and for Joplin.
I use VMWare Horizon for connections. I downloaded it from the website and installed with these commands:
sudo chmod +x VMware-Horizon-Client-2103-8.2.0-17742757.x64.bundle
sudo apt install python
I accepted the default for all of the questions after accepting the agreements. I had no problems with the install.
Teams is another key software needed for work. It allows me to chat and screenshare with others. I downloaded the official client from the website. I downloaded the deb file for the desktop client.
sudo apt install ~/Downloads/teams_1.4.00.13653_amd64.deb
I have an Nvida card, so I wanted to install the driver. Last Ubuntu version automatically installed the drvier. This time, I had to do it myself. I opened the Additional Drivers app an selected the 465 driver:
After trying the 465 and 470 drivers for a while, I found it was locking up a lot. Chrome and Teams would crash everytime I would open the laptop lid up. I guess restoring after a suspend caused memory issues. Worse, it would lock up everytime I would disconnect from my D6000 dock. So, I tried the 450 driver I had on the previous version of Ubuntu.
I haven’t done some good testing to confirm, but I think Power Top has doubled my battery life. I installed with:
sudo apt-get install tlp powertop
sudo tlp start
sudo tlp-stat -s
Just because it’s fun to see as the years go by, here’s the stats:
--- TLP 1.3.1 --------------------------------------------
+++ System Info
System = Dell Inc. XPS 15 7590
BIOS = 1.10.0
Release = Ubuntu 21.04
Kernel = 5.11.0-22-generic #23-Ubuntu SMP Thu Jun 17 00:34:23 UTC 2021 x86_64
/proc/cmdline = BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-5.11.0-22-generic root=/dev/mapper/vgubuntu-root ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
Init system = systemd v247 (247.3-3ubuntu3.1)
Boot mode = UEFI
+++ TLP Status
State = enabled
RDW state = enabled
Last run = 11:30:47 PM, 10 sec(s) ago
Mode = AC
Power source = AC
To be prepared for any VPN requirement, I install all the VPNs:
sudo apt install vpnc \
LIbreOffice comes pre-installed. But, to keep it up to date, I added the official repository:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
For Bible study software, I use Xiphos. Remember up in the backup section, I restored the .sword directory for the Bible text and commentaries.
sudo apt install xiphos
I’ve been using Zotero off and on for a while now. It’s hard to figure out the best way to install in a way that keeps it automatically updated. I finally found a place that claims to update the repository within 24 hours of updates. So, I’ll use that.
wget -qO- https://github.com/retorquere/zotero-deb/releases/download/apt-get/install.sh | sudo bash
sudo apt update
sudo apt install zotero
Restoring the data directory was a big challenging because I had use the snap before. I had to move the data from ~/snap/zotero-snap/common/Zotero to ~/Zotero
I’ve been using Joplin as my notes application. I installed it from the software center, but I noticed it was a snap app:
snap install joplin-desktop
After installing, I went to Tools > Options > Synchronization, and I changed the target to OneDrive. After that, I exited back out to the main app and clicked the Synchronize button. That took me through the login process.
The cups-browsed service is very annoying because it adds printers that don’t get removed. So, a laptop that travels around a bit just collects printers that never get removed.
sudo systemctl stop cups-browsed
sudo systemctl disable cups-browsed
To install my Dell E525W printer, I downloaded the driver from the Dell website. I unzipped and installed the deb package:
sudo apt install ./dell-color-mfp-e525w_1.0-28_all.deb
I have found the settings app unreliable for working with printers. So, I used the cups web interface at http://localhost:631. I added an IPP printer with the URL ipp://DELLA40A1E/ipp/ and the PPD file located at: /usr/share/cups/model/Dell/Dell_Color_MFP_E525w.ppd.gz
Application Package Systems
Ubuntu comes with the ability to use DEB packages and snap packages. I used this to add AppImages:
chmod a+x appimaged-x86_64.AppImage
And, I added Flatpak:
sudo apt install flatpak
Here are just a few utilities that I install:
sudo apt install menulibre \
p7zip-full p7zip-rar \
- Menu Libre is a menu editor that makes it easy to add .desktop files to the menu system
- 7Zip is handy for compression, although I rarely use it
- synaptic just makes it easier to see what is installed
- gnome-tweak-tool has a few settings that lets you tweak your system
Balena Etcher is one more utility that is great for putting images onto USB drivers for installing. I downloaded the AppImage from their website.
To finished the tweaks, I opened the regular settings app and made these changes:
- Changed the time display on the top bar to 12 hour display under Date & Time > Time Format
- Added the percentage by the battery indicator under Power > Suspend & Power Button > Show Battery Percentage (at the bottom)
- Added the an avatar picture for my login under Users > click on the picture
In the Tweaks app (Gnome Tweak Tool), I made the following setting changes:
- Added the weekday to the date with Top Bar > Clock > Weekday
- Changed the modal behavior by unchecking Windows > Attach Modal Dialogs
Before I can install any extensions, I had to install the chrome plugin:
sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell
I also had to have this extension from the Chrome Store. Actually, I just restored my Chrome profile so the extension came with that.
So, then, these are the extensions that I like:
- Keep Awake: keeps computer from going to sleep (I’m going back this now that it is working because I really liked it)
- Bing Wallpaper: automatically sets the desktop background to the Bing image of the day
- Clipboard Indicator: clipboard manager allowing you to access copy/paste history
- GSConnect: integration to my Android phone
- Notification Alert: flashes clock to make sure I don’t miss notifications
- Sound and Input Device Chooser: makes selecting the output device for sound easier
- Compiz alike Windows Affect: brings back the old Wobbly Windows!
I retired these two extensions. I list them because maybe I’ll go back:
- Caffeine: the tool I used to use stop the computer from going to sleep
- Do Not Disturb Button: I used to use this for hiding notifications during meetings. It’s no longer maintained.
I’ve had issues with old versions of Gimp and collaborating with others . According to Gimp’s website, 2.10.24 is the latest version. Gimp came installed as a snap and it is actually the latest version. So, I left it alone.
sudo apt install inkscape \
- Inkscape: My go to program for drawing (vector-based drawing)
- Xournal: I use it for annotating PDFs
These are the programs I use with audio:
sudo apt install audacity \
- Audacity: good for editing sound
- soundconverter: good for changing sound formats
- Musescore: good for working with sheet music
- Easytag: good for changing the files’ meta-data
These are the basic programs I like:
sudo apt install mplayer \
- mplayer: simple video player
- vlc: good player that will play about anything
- youtube-dl: makes it easy to download things from YouTube
For the codecs, I installed:
sudo apt install \
sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg
Note: If you forget that second (reconfigure) command, you’ll get errors like this every apt install:
apt-get check failed, you may have broken packages. Aborting…
N: Download is performed unsandboxed as root as file '/home/skp/Downloads/insync_188.8.131.52983-focal_amd64.deb' couldn't be accessed by user '_apt'. - pkgAcquire::Run (13: Permission denied)
For OBS, I repeated what I did on the last version of Ubuntu:
sudo apt install ffmpeg
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:obsproject/obs-studio
sudo apt install obs-studio
I found most of the plugins and such came over by restoring the config directory. One thing I did have to do was download the plugin from Dev47Apps and put it into ~/.config/obs-studio/plugins
Finally, I use Kdenlive for editing videos. I just downloaded the AppImage from their download page.
I tried to install an extension into my newly installed Brackets. For some reason, it failed! Here are my notes to troubleshoot.
The error I get is: “Installation failed. Unknown internal error.”
Continuing on with outfitting my new Ubuntu 16.04 install, this post contains my notes for installing the utilities that didn’t really fit into another post. I have some configuration changes that I like to make it my own.
The MenuLibre tool makes it easy to add shortcuts that allow you to launch programs from the Unity menu. It is a must have if you install anything manually without using a deb pacakge.
sudo apt-get install menulibre
Note: If you have shortcuts from an old installation, those would be located in the ~/.local/share/applications directory. (That helped me with shortcuts for which I forgot all of the command line parameters)
I use the File Roller application usually. But, I wanted the 7zip and rar libraries available:
sudo apt-get install p7zip-full p7zip-rar
For my dual screen setup at my desk, I have a few tweaks that I like to make. I can open the “Displays” settings app to make these changes:
- Sticky edges: off
- Launcher placement: only 1 screen
Package Managing Tools
With as much trouble as I am having with the Ubuntu Software app, I want the power of Synaptic.
sudo apt-get install synaptic
Another tool is the Y PPA Manager from Web Upd8:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install y-ppa-manager
Compiz Settings Manager
The Compiz Settings Manager is a handy tool to tweak the compiz settings. I installed the compizconfig-settings-manager package from the Software Center.
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager sudo apt-get install compiz-plugins
If you search for “compiz” in the Unity menu, you can easily open it.
I like the Wobbly Windows, so I enabled that. It requires disabling Snappy Windows, which it will do for you.
Unity Tweak Tool
I installed the Unity Tweak Tool for a few more changes:
sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool
Then, under “Panel”, I added the seconds, date, and weekday to the clock. And, I checked “Display remaining battery life”. Under scrolling, I changed the scrollbars to legacy. I don’t like the Overlay ones that hide.
In the Appearance Settings app, I made 2 changes:
- Show the menus for a window: In the window’s title bar
- Menus visibility: Always displayed
There are times that I don’t want my computer to lock. I am finally installing the caffeine indicator to make that easy.
Previously, you had to add a repository. I found in this bug report, that caffeine has been brought into the main Ubuntu repositories.
sudo apt-get install caffeine
After installing, I added the indicator to the startup applications. I opened “Startup Applications” from the dash. “Caffeine” was already in the list. The indicator was not. I added “caffeine-indicator” to the list.
My first step this time around after restoring files was to install the network-related applications. I needed to get back online quickly with being able to talk to people, connect to clients’ VPNs, and hit websites.