Configuring Ubuntu 12.04 Precise (beta) to get work done

In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise (Beta) we installed the basic OS. Now we will configure so we can actually get work done. First we need to know what the root password is so that we can shell to root. Otherwise we are stuck every command typing sudo and our password — which gets old very fast.

Open a text box with Control-Alt-T

$ sudo passwd root
[sudo] password for jdnash: <enter password>
Enter new UNIX password: <enter new password for root>
Retype new UNIX password: <enter new password for root again>

In case we would like to do the remaining steps remotely, install the openssh-server package.

$ su –
Password: <enter password for root>
# apt-get install openssh-server

And then run the update. I use ‘apt-get dist-upgrade’ as it seems to overcome some of the intermittent problems ‘apt-get update’ encounters.

# apt-get dist-upgrade
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Calculating upgrade… Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
linux-headers-3.2.0-19 linux-headers-3.2.0-19-generic linux-image-3.2.0-19-generic
The following packages will be upgraded:
linux-generic linux-headers-generic linux-image-generic ufw
4 upgraded, 3 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 50.5 MB/50.6 MB of archives.
After this operation, 216 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? Y
Get:1 precise/main linux-image-3.2.0-19-generic amd64 3.2.0-19.30 [38.1 MB]
4% [1 linux-image-3.2.0-19-generic 2,224 kB/38.1 MB 6%] 93.1 kB/s 8min 38s

(and so it continues for a bit…)

run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub 3.2.0-19-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-19-generic
Generating grub.cfg …
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-19-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-19-generic
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-18-generic
Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-18-generic
Found memtest86+ image: /boot/memtest86+.bin
Setting up ufw (0.31.1-0ubuntu1) …
Setting up linux-image-generic ( …
Setting up linux-generic ( …
Setting up linux-headers-3.2.0-19 (3.2.0-19.30) …
Setting up linux-headers-3.2.0-19-generic (3.2.0-19.30) …
Setting up linux-headers-generic ( …

We have done these next steps before in Ubuntu 11.10, in Practical Ubuntu Part 2 of 2, so we will abbreviate here, repeating the steps but omitting the photos. We want to install the Google Chromium Web Browser, the Compiz Zoom feature so we can magnify any section of the screen in class for demonstration purposes, and the GNOME Desktop in case Unity is not wanted for some reason.

# apt-get install chromium-browser
# apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
# apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

To make Compiz work, you must enter the command CCSM in terminal or in the ‘Dashboard’ circle at the top of the launcher bar — the place where all the programs NOT on the launcher bar can be found. Click the icon in Compiz labeled Enhanced Zoom Desktop. The settings I used are:

Zoom in: Button4
Zoom out: Button5
Zoom box:Button2

To start Chromium the first time, go to the ‘Dashboard’ black circle at the top of the launcher bar and start to type ‘chromium’ in the search box. By the time you have ‘chr’ typed in you should see the Chromium icon below the search box. Click it. You will see an icon for Chromium appear in the launcher bar — at the bottom. Right click it and check the box ‘Keep in Launcher’. Now to move Chromium to the top of the launcher bar click and drag it up to the top of the launcher bar — the other icons will move out of your way to make room — then let go. To remove FireFox from the launcher (if you so desire) right click FireFox and click the line ‘Remove from Launcher’.

The last piece is to install the VMWare Tools software so you can cut/paste and such from the VM. If you are not using a VM then you wouldn’t do this. First, while logged into the VM, in the menu at the top of the VM window frame, click Install VMWare Tools. This will open a CD Drive with an archive named VMWare-Tools-<something>.tar.gz.  Copy this archive to your Downloads folder and Extract it there (right click on the archive, click on Extract Here). Open a Terminal Window with CTL-ALT-T, shell to root with ‘su -‘,  and cd to your /home/username/Downloads folder. Confirm you are in the right place by typing ls — you should see the extracted archive there. Run chmod +X to make the install script executable, then type ./ to run it. After that follow the prompts and just take the defaults by pressing ENTER each time it stops and asks for your input.

If you are installing to a host machine and want to install VMWare Player, download Player from, extract it from the archive, make the install script executable, and run it — very much like installing the VMWare tools.

The OS responded quite well — our host was a six-core 3ghz AMD with 16gb RAM. We allocated two cores and two gig of RAM to the VM. There was no noticeable lag.

Hope this helps!

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