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Ubuntu Post-Install Guide

Having reinstalled Ubuntu a few times on various machines, I figured it's about time that I recorded a few of the post installation steps I take, so that I don't have to keep looking them up. The instructions below are for Ubuntu 13.10, and can be done in any order.

Install Bumblebee

Bumblebee is a package that prevents laptops that run Nvidia Optimus graphics from running the dedicated graphics card permanently. Installing this is the first thing I do, otherwise things get quite toasty. Further instructions here.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia primus linux-headers-generic

sudo shutdown -r now

Disable Apport

Apport is the error reporting service for Ubuntu. Most of the errors it pops up with are pretty minor, and Canonical knows about them by now anyway. You can either get rid of it entirely or just disable it. Instructions from here.

To disable Apport:

sudo service apport stop

sudo nano /etc/default/apport

To remove Apport entirely:

sudo apt-get purge apport

Install Unity-Tweak-Tool

Unity Tweak Tool is always good for tweaking the Unity interface to your preferences. I think the default launcher is much too large, and I like to set the font-size smaller too.

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

Install Sublime Text 3

Sublime Text 3 seems to be everyone's favourite text editor these days, and it's what I use to write these blog posts. Instructions courtesy of

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

To prevent annoying update notifications, once Sublime Text is open add the following code in: Preferences > Settings - User:

"update_check": false

Install Numix GTK3 Theme

Numix is my favourite GTK3 Theme, and looks good in Unity. Check it out at their website.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:numix/ppa
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install numix-gtk-theme

Alternatively, for a few other themes as well if you're running 13.10:

sudo apt-get install shimmer-themes

Remove Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One doesn't really seem to be under active development anymore, and there are better cloud solutions out there, so you might as well remove it. Instructions from here.

killall ubuntuone-login ubuntuone-preferences ubuntuone-syncdaemon
sudo rm -rf ~/.local/share/ubuntuone
rm -rf ~/.cache/ubuntuone
rm -rf ~/.config/ubuntuone
mv ~/Ubuntu\ One/ ~/UbuntuOne_old/

sudo apt-get purge ubuntuone-client python-ubuntuone-*

Disable Login Drum Sounds

I hate login sounds, and a quick search shows a lot of other people do as well, yet Ubuntu no longer has any options to disable them. So if you can't stop it from playing the sound, just remove the file. These instructions should work regardless of version.

cd /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo
mv system-ready.ogg system-ready.ogg.old

Install VLC Player

VLC is the best video player, enough said.‎

sudo apt-get install vlc

Disable Amazon Shopping

A lot of people really dislike the direction the Canonical has taken by integrating online shopping searches into Unity Lens search, and I agree. There is a button to turn it off in the settings, but I'd just as soon remove it altogether.

Paste the following into your terminal:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Lenses disabled-scopes "['more_suggestions-amazon.scope', 'more_suggestions-u1ms.scope', 'more_suggestions-populartracks.scope', 'music-musicstore.scope', 'more_suggestions-ebay.scope', 'more_suggestions-ubuntushop.scope', 'more_suggestions-skimlinks.scope']"

Improve Battery Life

Some instructions for a tool that may help improve laptop battery life. Warning: May cause issues with external devices due to powering off USB ports.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
sudo tlp start

Development Tools

So I don't forget, these are some of the packages that are useful to have to development purposes.

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties python python-pip g++ make python-dev git

Instructions for installing nodejs.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nodejs


KeePass is my preferred password manager. Keep the password file in Dropbox and you can access it anywhere. The install instructions for Ubuntu are here.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:jtaylor/keepass
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install keepass2


You can find the download for Dropbox on their site as usual. In Ubuntu 13.10 you may come across an issue where the Dropbox icon isn't showing in the status bar. If so, just install the following package:

sudo apt-get install libappindicator1