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Things to do after installing Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

Warning: Outdated Version

This tutorial pertains to an outdated version of Ubuntu. While Ubuntu Saucy is still supported, a later version has been released. It is recommended that you consider using Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr instead.

After Installing Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander, there are a wealth of things that need to be dealt with, including Hardware Drivers, DVD, Audio and Video Codecs, Archiving formats, generally useful stuff.

These instructions presume you are proficient with PPAs, .Debs, and other terminal commands, Ubuntu Tweak, and require a full set of video, audio, and archive codecs, as well as Skype, Flash, and a truck-load of wallpapers.


Using the sudo command can result in severe system damage. Read all instructions and confirm you understand before executing any commands.

Make sure you type commands correctly, or copy and paste the entire code. Your first click will highlight all the code, or you can double click in the code area to do it again.

1. Enable Partner Repositories

The partner repositories are another source of software, but for those with restrictive licenses that mean the general public cannot simply share them, such as Flash and Skype. These are official repo's that are already added but disabled in Ubuntu. This command enables them.

2. Install Additional Drivers

If the Additional Drivers dialogue has not opened, and does not appear as an icon in the system tray, you may not require any Additional Drivers. However, if you wish to check, you can simply search for and open Additional Drivers. It will automatically check for the latest drivers for your system as it opens. This may take a few seconds.

Once the Additional Drivers program has finished searching for new drivers, it will open a dialogue similar to the one to the left (above on mobiles). Here you can see the selection of drivers, if any, available to you. Grey icons indicate that the driver is not in use, and green indicates that it is in use, or "activated".

To learn which driver you should be activating, if any at all, you should do some research into the component it applies to. Some basic details are provided: testing, license, and a short description, but much more information can usually be found online. Specifically, drivers for mid-to-high -end Graphics Cards are frequently complained about when they offer sub-standard performance, because the people in possession of them frequently car about such things.

Ultimately, the decision is yours, but most drivers tested by Ubuntu Developers should work without a hitch.

3. Download and Install GetDeb and PlayDeb

Both GetDeb and PlayDeb are repositories, sources of updates for actual software you have or will have installed. They are useful for getting more up-to-date versions than those that ship in the official Ubuntu repositories, which programmers can find difficult to update as they encounter red tape. They may also contain less popular software which is not listed in the official repo's.

While this may look like an awful lot of code for something that should be relatively simple, you should know that while GetDeb and PlayDeb are repositories, they're not launchpad hosted, and hence a little more difficult to add.

4. Add Personal Package Archives

Personal Package Archives, or PPAs, are yet more sources of updates and new and exciting software. These are some of the most popular, useful, and reliable sources for some default software and some more things we'll install later.

Updates to the latest version of VLC, the popular media player that many people believe should be installed by default.

GIMP is an image editor akin to Adobe Photoshop, except free. It is included in many open-source systems, and it would be a crime to use a version old enough not to have single window mode.

While we won't be installing the full GNOME desktop environment, they do make many of the packages that are already installed on your system, and they can be updated from here.

Another WebUpd8 PPA, this time a masterfully crafted Java package. It hosts Java 8Beta (not yet stable), Java 6 (an old version) and, most importantly, Java 7 (which we will install later).

This PPA (WebUpd8 again), hosts the program Y PPA Manager. That's right, we're adding a PPA so we can add PPAs. But that's not all it does, it can also remove, purge, check for duplicates and remove broken ones.

This PPA is for the amazing(ly popular) Ubuntu Tweak, which, as it's name suggests, is a tool for tweaking Ubuntu (and other distributions based upon it, to a certain extent).

Transmission is the default torrent client in Ubuntu, and as such should be kept shiny and new.

LibDVDCSS is a library required for reading some DVDs. Unfortunately, due to legal issues, it is not included by default. This repository is provided by Videolan, and requires a bit more code to add.

5. Check for Updates

Now that we've added all those new sources, you're going to need to check for updates, even if they've already popped up of their own accord.

6. Upgrade Packages

Now that we've finished adding places to get updates from and secured them, it's time to update what you already have.

7. Major Upgrades

Some updates are bigger than others. This command is for the huge ones.

8. Disable Guest

Now we're all up to date, we can disable the guest session. This is the only step not to do with installing or updating software.

9. Install Essentials

Now we're going to install all the things we thing the average user will need to not encounter any problems playing Music or Videos, watching DVDs, going on YouTube or extracting archives.

Below you can find a breakdown of what each package does. This is the step that most frequently goes wrong and you should read what your terminal prints out before confirming. You may end up removing something you don't want to if there is a conflict.

synaptic is a package manager, which we use in many tutorials.

ubuntu-tweak is far more than a settings manager, it has templates, scripts, workarounds and a file type manager, plus an amazing but simple cleaning utility.

vlc is one of the most popular and powerful media players available.

gimp, gimp-data, gimp-plugin-registry, and gimp-data-extras are all parts of a powerful photo editor, built to rival Adobe Photoshop.

y-ppa-manager is there so you can manage PPAs without needing to use the Terminal.

bleachbit is a powerful cleaning utility.

openjdk-7-jre is an open-source Java emulator.

oracle-java7-installer is the official Java installer.

flashplugin-installer is the official Flash installer.

unace, unrar, zip, unzip, p7zip-full, p7zip-rar, sharutils, rar, uudeview, mpack, arj, cabextract, and file-roller are there to extract and compress files in various archive formats.

libxine1-ffmpeg, mencoder, flac, faac, faad, sox, ffmpeg2theora, libmpeg2-4, uudeview, libmpeg3-1, mpeg3-utils, mpegdemux, liba52-dev, mpeg2dec, vorbis-tools, id3v2, mpg321, mpg123, libflac++6, ffmpeg, totem-mozilla, icedax, lame, libmad0, libjpeg-progs, libdvdcss2, libdvdread4, libdvdnav4, libavcodec-extra-53, libavformat-extra-53, libavutil-extra-51, libpostproc-extra-52, libswscale-extra-2 and ubuntu-restricted-extras are all media codecs. They play videos, music, and DVDs.

ubuntu-wallpapers* adds basically every wallpaper that has ever lived.

10. Install Google Chrome

Google Chrome is not only one of the more popular, fastest, and most reliable browsers available, but it also includes a pre-packed and fully patched version of Adobe Flash and a huge array of extensions and apps.

This is another section of the script that seems long for what it does, but Google Chrome sets up it's repository itself when you install it. This script is set to download the current version and install it, but is more than three times as long so that it can detect whether you are using 32bit or 64bit and download and install the right one.

11. Clean Up

Now it is time to tidy up, and the first command here makes sure we have everything we want. Second, we get rid of any old dependencies, then remove all the packages we've downloaded and installed, as we likely won't use those again. You can also use Ubuntu Tweak to remove orphaned Configurations and Outdated Kernels.


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