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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams

12 January 2014

Download the Ubuntu 13.10 image for 64bit install and burn to DVD on Kyral. Reboot and choose F12 to boot from DVD. Then choose Try Ubuntu to run the live version from DVD. Test Ubuntu to ensure dual monitors work just fine and network connected. Looks great though screen saver puts the main monitor to sleep whilst the second monitor is just blanked (under kernel 3.8.0 with Ubuntu 13.04 both monitors go to sleep).

Whilst running the live version do backups:

$ sudo mkdir /a1
$ sudo mount /dev/sda1 /a1
$ sudo rsync -av /a1/etc/ /media/ubuntu/sabrina/nyx.etc.140112/
$ sudo rsync -av /a1/var/ /media/ubuntu/sabrina/nyx.var.140112/
$ sudo rsync -av /a1/usr/local/ /media/ubuntu/sabrina/nyx.local.140112/

Clean install of Ubuntu 13.10 from DVD using dash icon. Choose English. Choose to download updates while installing. Choose to install third-party software. Clicking on Continue and then cursor turned busy bit there was no further activity for quite some time. Eventually a popup notes that we had /dev/sda mounted and asked if it should be unmounted. It is reported that the delay is not an issue on a clean drive.

Next option is to Erase Ubuntu 13.10 and reinstall. There is an option to Reinstall Ubuntu 13.10 which keeps currently installed software where possible, but my aim here is a clean installation. By default choose to use the entire disk /dev/sda for Ubuntu, deleting the 2 current partitions overwrite empty disk space.

Ubuntu will use a default partition of the drive. From a previous installation /dev/sda1 is a 900GB partition formatted as ext4 mounted on / and /dev/sda5 is 100GB of swap. To retain this partition choose the choose advanced partitioning tool.

Choose location. Choose English (US) keyboard. Enter your name, computer name, username, and password. Log into Ubuntu One.

The system is then installed onto the chosen partition. Once completed we are asked to reboot the computer. Both screens are functional and at the highest resolutions (1680x1050 for the 22" and 1280x1024 for the 19") on reboot. From System Settings I rotate my second screen anti-clockwise.

Test this configuration out for a while before mounting my home drive (from /dev/sdb1). It will use a new empty home drive for now (on /dv/sda).

After reboot, the Software Updater (an icon in the Dash on the left hand edge of the screen) notices that 153.8MB of updates are available and provides an option to Install Now. Do so and then if requested, restart the computer.

Open a Terminal and install wajig to ensure everything is up to date and to install my usual suite of applications:

$ sudo apt-get install wajig
$ wajig update
$ wajig dist-upgrade
$ wajig install ssh meld most
$ wajig install emacs ess auctex bzr
$ wajig install nfs-server
$ wajig install keepassx
$ wajig install transfig xfig gsfonts-x11
$ wajig install r-recommended r-cran-* r-bioc-*


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