Upgrade & Personalize Ubuntu 10


I recently purchased the magazine Linux Identity Office Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meercat. It came with 2 dvds: one a 2-sided bootable Ubuntu install dvd with 32 bit on one side and 64 bit on the other. The other dvd is a Bootable Live CD. You can order the magazine by going to the website here:

See that specific issue’s table of contents and one viewable article here:

Since I have a new install of Ubuntu 10.10 on a laptop I decided to follow their article on things a user can do after a fresh install of Ubuntu. Here are some of the things they recommend doing:

Enable all of the available repositories so you can have access to installing a larger variety of applications, drivers and utilities

  1. Under System select Administration
  2. Checkmark “Software Sources” and press Close
  3. Now open System > Administration > Software Sources
  4. If they aren’t already check-marked you can check off “Proprietary drivers … (restricted)” and “Software restricted … (multiverse)”
  5. Click on the Other Software Tab and if they aren’t already check-marked check off the “Canonical Partners” and “Third-Party Software Developers” packages as well.
  6. Now you will have access to more installable applications and drivers!

Run the best drivers for your graphics card and wireless card

  1. System > Administration > Additional Drivers
  2. Ubuntu now searches to see if there are better drivers for your computer and lets you know if you are running proprietary drivers.
  3. On my laptop I discovered I am running a Broadcom proprietary driver for my wireless card. In the past, getting a wireless driver so easily installed on Linux was not always possible.

Enable desktop effects and Compiz

  1. System > Preferences > Appearance
  2. Click on “Visual Effects” and you will see three levels of desktop effects. Choose which one is right for you based on the power of your graphics card.
  3. My laptop since it is a little older is set to the “Normal” setting
  4. If you want some really cool desktop effects and your computer has a decent graphics card you may want to install the “CompizConfig Settings Manager”.
  5. To install Compiz open a Terminal (Applications > Accessories > Teminal) and type
    sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
    (You will need to give your admin password and key in “y” + enter when prompted to execute the install)
  6. Now go to System > Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager and have FUN! Make sure you try “Wobbly Windows” under “Effects”and also try the “Desktop Cube”. In the CompizConfig Settings Manager Click on the “Desktop” section and then checkmark “Desktop Cube” and “Rotate Cube.” Now holding down the Ctrl + Alt keys and press the “Right Arrow” and “Left Arrow” keys … or holding down the Ctrl + Alt keys click and drag …. Oooooo!

Install a Docking Application

  1. Three docking applications are recommended: Avant Window Navigator, GNOME Do, and Cairo.
  2. To install AWN Avant Window Navigator. Open a terminal and type:
    sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator
  3. Once the install is complete you can start the program by going to:Applications > Accessories > Avant Window Navigator
  4. You can Right+Click on the dock to change the preferences

Author: Dan

Dan teaches computer networking and security classes at Central Oregon Community College.

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