Setting up Ubuntu Desktop

Desktop networking

We use same old-school Debian network setup as on Ubuntu Server but eventually switch to DHCP

vi /etc/network/interfaces

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

and disable SSH in case you needed it at post-install time (this will not cut your connection eventhough you might be doing this remotely)

systemctl status ssh
systemctl stop ssh
systemctl disable ssh

Tune your SSH client.

Create a desktop user

useradd -m -g users -G adm,cdrom,sudo,plugdev,lpadmin USERNAME

and eventually make things faster (sudo without password) on a workstation, as long as you are the only sysadmin in the box

grep :11: /etc/group
grep wheel /etc/group
groupadd -g 11 wheel
usermod -a -G wheel root
usermod -a -G wheel ADMIN

cat >> /etc/sudoers <<-EOF

Make sure you’ve got a basis for Ubuntu Desktop (possibly switching from the Server version)

apt install ubuntu-desktop

Enable ctrl-alt-backspace to kill X like in the old days,

dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

Desktop Environment

Take a pick

Install a few packages from the post-installation guide. You may then add those ones for workstation usage,

apt install \
chromium-browser \
claws-mail \
deluge \
discount \
firefox \
mpv \
pandoc \
rxvt-unicode \
sylpheed \
terminator \
texlive \

#filezilla \
#irssi \
#nautilus-share \
#vlc \

update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator

Chromium w/o keyring,

--password-store=basic %U

Run (and enable?) indexing,



do you need Putty-like happy copy/pasting?

cp -pi /usr/share/terminator/terminatorlib/ /usr/share/terminator/terminatorlib/
vi /usr/share/terminator/terminatorlib/
/def on_buttonpress
(change 3 to 2 and 2 to 3)

A terminal which provides select-to-copy and right-click-to-paste

Alternate browser

opera settings

hide side bar
small font


Telegram Desktop

Markdown Syntax Guide


Deal with Java and even more


eventually fetch Eclipse, extract and install the IDE flavor of your choosing (you can do it from the gui).

Signal Desktop

check for latest repo available

curl -s | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb [arch=amd64] xenial main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list
sudo apt update && sudo apt install signal-desktop for Linux

Fetch the latest version and,

ls -lhF slack-desktop-3.*-amd64.deb 
dpkg -i slack-desktop-3.*-amd64.deb 
apt -f install

Skype for Linux

Fetch the latest skype for linux as DEB and install,

    dpkg -i skypeforlinux-64.deb
    apt -f install

DESTROY and re-initialize gnome keyring,

rm -rf ~/.local/share/keyrings
sudo apt install seahorse
seahorse &

Additional notes

Eventually install & setup Conky.

Eventually setup Netfilter to allow only outbound connections.

Workstation Networking

check your network settings handled by Network Manager,

nmcli device show ens2

Disable Automount

gsettings set automount false
gsettings set automount-open false
gsettings set automount false
gsettings set automount-open false



Domain Search

Three solutions:

  1. Control Center -> Network
  2. dhclient.conf
  3. resolv.conf.d/

use the GUI

Control Center -> Network --> (general tab) Domain name: ...
Control Center -> Network --> (DNs tab) Search domains: ...

OR add some domain searches for DHCP sessions, e.g.

cd /etc/dhcp/
cp -pi dhclient.conf dhclient.conf.dist
vi dhclient.conf

prepend domain-search "", "example.local";

OR change the resolvconf config directly

    cd /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d
    cp -pi base base.dist
    vi base


also make sure that the local system hostnames resolves itselfs as FQDN accordingly (it can point to on a desktop)

CIFS ready

Setup your default workgroup when mounting windows file shares

    sudo apt install smbclient cifs-utils
    #smbfs samba
    vi /etc/samba/smb.conf


iwl3945 power saving issue

experienced on IBM/Lenovo T60 / R60e

If you get this error in the logs while loosing iwl3945 wireless network connectivity,

BSM uCode verification failed at addr 0x00003800+0 (of 900), is 0xa5a5a5a2, s/b 0xf802020
Unable to set up bootstrap uCode: -5

and this error when trying to UP the wireless network interface,

    SIOCSIFFLAGS: Input/output error

==> disable wlan power saving using NetworkManager,

vi /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf

wifi.powersave = 2

service NetworkManager restart
iwconfig wls3

Kodi / ureadahead

(optional) you might also want to remove that one in case it is installed and not needed (it was spamming my logs),

    sudo apt remove ureadahead
    #sudo apt purge ureadahead

OEM Installation

Choose the OEM auto-install if you need to delivery the computer to someone-else: finish-up the process as oem user, then click on the Prepare for shipping and the user will have a little setup wizard next boot.

Finish-up as OEM user, choose preferred mirror for packages,

Control Center -> Software Sources

and apply updates using the little shield button in the systray.

install additional languages depending on target users,

Control Center -> Languages

make sure Firefox is also available language-specific.

You’re now ready to click “Prepare for shipping” on the Desktop and reboot.

Note. few things are missing with this method e.g. Adblock for Firefox.


DO NOT fetch the latest VirtualBox for Linux. Use the repos instead (well, the thing is already available now within Ubuntu):

deb <mydist> contrib

apt update

Access the guests through SSH using the default NAT setup,

VBoxManage modifyvm myserver --natpf1 "ssh,tcp,,3022,,22"
VBoxManage showvminfo myserver | grep 'Rule'
ssh root@localhost -p 3022

How to SSH to a VirtualBox guest externally through a host? [closed]

Legacy Adobe Reader

See reader.

Bypassing national restrictions

Install friGate3 add-on on your web browser (tested with Firefox), add the target domain into List of sites e.g.,

and edit the Proxy Servers e.g. to access from France, [RU] [RU] [RU] [RU] [RU] [RU] [RU] [RU] [RU] [RU] [RU] [RU]

or access from Russia, [FR] [UK] [FL] [FR]

Setting up an external drive

cfdisk ...
mkfs.ext4 -T largefile -m 0 /dev/...
e4label /dev/... NEWNAME
lsblk --fs --ascii


see post-install


How to Add and Delete Users on Ubuntu 18.04


4.3. Creating an ext4 File System

Creating ext4 partition from console