Ubuntu optional packages

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Ubuntu optional packages

Postposted on Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:45 am

So in light of the recent Ubuntu 9.10 thread, I thought it might also be interesting to have another thread where Ubuntu users discuss what additional optional packages they feel are essential to their Ubuntu installation.

Here's my partial list; I'm still discovering stuff I've forgotten to reinstall (and will probably continue to do so for the next week or two). Unless otherwise indicated, I install the version from Ubuntu's repository (via Synaptic or apt-get).

    audacious - This is currently my preferred music player app on Linux. There's a different music player (Rhythmbox) installed by default, but Rhythmbox is rather bare-bones, lacking features such as an equalizer.
    ubuntu-restricted-extras - This is a downloader/installer for a random collection of useful things that can't be distributed as part of the core Ubuntu system due to licensing issues. Installing this package will automatically download and install various media codecs, Microsoft web fonts, the Adobe Flash plugin, etc.
    ttf-liberation - A set of alternative system fonts from Redhat. I like the look of these better than the ones GNOME/Ubuntu uses by default. After installing this package, I go into System -> Preferences -> Appearance, and set them as my default system fonts.
    openssh-server - Secure Shell server. I need this so that I can connect from other systems on my network using ssh, rsync, etc.
    compizconfig-settings-manager - I've decided to give the compiz desktop another chance. I figure if I'm going to try using it, I might as well have the ability to tweak its fifty seven bazillion desktop effects settings.
    smbfs - Although the GVFS/Fuse file system has gotten a lot better, and provides reasonably seamless access to Windows/Samba folder shares from the Linux desktop, sometimes you just want to mount a remote file system the old fashioned way. To do this for Windows/Samba shares, you need the smbfs tools.
    thunderbird - I like thunderbird better than the default evolution e-mail client. YMMV...
    VirtualBox - Great virtualization package for Linux. I install the proprietary version from the virtualbox.org site instead of the Open Source version that is in the Ubuntu repository, since the proprietary version has some additional features (and is still free for personal use).
    audacity - Decent audio editing package.
    lame - MP3 encode/decode tools.
    flac - FLAC encode/decode tools.
    apache2 - Apache web server. Nice to have a local copy running, to test web pages before uploading them to a public server. Also needed for the dwww package.
    dwww - Indexes the Linux documentation on your system and serves it up as searchable, hyperlinked web pages. After installing it and giving it some time to build the indexes, just open localhost/dwww in your browser to search or browse the system documentation.
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Re: Ubuntu optional packages

Postposted on Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:28 am

I'm surprised you prefer TB over Evolution. I use TB on windows but it has so many annoying little bugs I use Evolution whenever I can. The most annoying problem is the way it always wants to download messages from IMAP accounts unless you manually tell it to go offline.

for me, I add:
kdenlive - nice video editor
picasa - OK so it's not open and it uses wine but it's much smoother than fspot... though I do use fspot for some things
ufraw and rawStudio - for dealing with raw files from my nikon camera
gimp-plugin-registry - a bunch of handy plugins including refocus for deconvolving
hugin - panorama maker
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Re: Ubuntu optional packages

Postposted on Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:23 am

avidemux, handbrake (not in repositories), vim-gnome lm-sensors kpat gqview imagemagick gnucash openoffice.org-filter-binfilter gftp jhead gkrellm nautilus-open-terminal k3b xfe cream openclipart-openoffice.org msttcorefonts fslint dosbox hplip-gui audacious cups-pdf vlc vlc-plugin-esd mozilla-plugin-vlc

some of this list is rather old and needs updating. Ubuntu restricted extras may take care of some of the packages. I also wonder about adding the medibuntu repository. I note that several of the firefox plugins are now packages as well so I have to go through synaptic and cull them for adding to my post install 'aptitude' script.

medibuntu also gets me interesting in learning a bit more about apt-get distribution lists (I thought a single file but that's not how recommendations to add the medibuntu repositories usually do it) as well as the security keys.

I also need to look at gvfs for mounting the NAS shares rather than autofs.

remastersys is another good one from its own repository.
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Re: Ubuntu optional packages

Postposted on Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:31 am

cheesyking wrote:I'm surprised you prefer TB over Evolution. I use TB on windows but it has so many annoying little bugs I use Evolution whenever I can. The most annoying problem is the way it always wants to download messages from IMAP accounts unless you manually tell it to go offline.

I suppose it is mostly inertia; for e-mail I've been using Thunderbird, and Mozilla/Netscape before that, all the way back to the Netscape 3.x days. I tend to use POP instead of IMAP, so I haven't hit the IMAP bug. Evolution also pissed me off massively when I tried to use it at work a few months back, though I suppose that may have been partly due to their Exchange support not being quite stable (it would randomly stop downloading new messages from the server every few days; you had to manually clear out its Exchange cache and let it re-sync from scratch to get it working again).

bryanl wrote:...
some of this list is rather old and needs updating. Ubuntu restricted extras may take care of some of the packages.

I know for certain that the msttcorefonts (at least) are part of the restricted extras.
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Re: Ubuntu optional packages

Postposted on Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:57 pm

Compiz Fusion Icon + Compiz + Emerald Window Decorator. :nod:

sudo apt-get install fusion-icon emerald compiz
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Re: Ubuntu optional packages

Postposted on Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:24 pm

Some I haven't seen mentioned yet:

units
powertop
bsdgames
angband (fun little Roguelike)
epiphany-webkit (not quite as good as Chrome, but it's somewhat close; usually I'm in Firefox anyway)
elinks (sometimes I need to do a Google search remotely)
slrn (I've been Usenetting since about '97 or '98)
surfraw (I can type "google <x>" at the console prompt & it'll launch elinks with a search for <x> on Google. Lots of other such things in this package.)
vorbis-tools & mpg321 (to play .ogg, .flac, and .mp3 files from the console)
stow (a quick&dirty package manager for locally-compiled stuff)
lftp (nice console FTP client)
vim-gnome
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Re: Ubuntu optional packages

Postposted on Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:18 pm

synergy
compizconfig-settings-manager
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Re: Ubuntu optional packages

Postposted on Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:04 pm

In addition to the ones mentioned here, on my Debian systems, I'll often add these console tools:
* screen (GNU screen)
* module-assistant (Debian blessed way of building many extra kernel modules)
* atool (uniform archive tool frontend for zip, gzip, bzip2, rar, etc.)
* build-essential (pulls in all of the base compiler and dev library packages)
* htop (extended top)
* most (less-like pager)
* dstat (python console system activity monitor)
* pssh (parallel ssh tools)
* gawk (GNU awk instead of the default mawk; some cross-Unix packages won't build/work with mawk)
* mmv (nice extended mv tool)
* pdftk (commandline PDF manipulation tool)
* sshfs (FUSE-based remote FS over SSH)
* iotop (Python top-like IO activity monitor)
* iproute (advanced, non-legacy iproute2 Linux netlink control tools)
* nload (network load monitor)
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