Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Set up my way in ten minutes.
So you’ve just installed Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick. Some geek mate of yours has been raving about Ubuntu to you since forever. You’ve been impressed by the ease and speed of the installation. You boot it up for the first time and, it looks like this:
Fortunately, you will need to look at this aesthetic disaster for no longer than a few minutes while you fix it.
Step 1: Install the Bisigi themes
Open up a terminal window (applications>Accessories>Terminal) and type in
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bisigi/ppa && sudo apt-get update
You’ll be prompted for your password
Now, to install all the themes, type next into the terminal
sudo apt-get install bisigi-themes
Alternatively to the above, specifically I am after just the Bamboo Zen theme so for me, this suffices:
sudo apt-get install bamboo-zen-theme
Now, go to System>Preferences>Appearance and select the theme you wish to use. Click it and all should be done!
Step 2: Fonts
Still a bit… BIG… isn’t it? I change most of the fonts to ‘Droid Sans’ which is a nice font designed (obviously, Google Android) for mobile devices and hence space-saving. Open up the terminal again and type:
sudo apt-get install ttf-droid
You should now be able to go to System>Preferences>Appearance, ‘fonts’ tab and change those fonts down. This is how I have mine set:
One last thing on fonts, you may notice I’ve used Inconsolata as the mono font. It’s a free version of the Microsoft Visual Studio font, Consolas. It’s available to download here.
Step 3: Compiz Effects
System>Preferences>Appearance, ‘Visual Effects’ tab
For this you’ll probably have had to accept the proprietary drivers for your graphics card to get it to work. Depending on how good your graphics card you can choose the default setups of “None”, “Normal” or “Extra”. This can be customised further by installing CompizConfig but personally “Extra” suits me fine. Wobbly Windows for the win.
Now, everything should look much better:
Much more attractive and useable
A few more words…
Next up I head to the Ubuntu Software Centre and get rid of Empathy, Evolution, Rythmbox, Shotwell and Tomboy. The first three I replace, the last two I just don’t need. I then install everything I need for my day to day computer useage.
My software recommendations:
Docky – Mac like application launching dock
Thunderbird – the Mozilla email client counterpart to Firefox
Banshee – a decent media player
Emesene – Think msn messenger circa 2003.
GIMP – Like Photoshop, but no way near as good . Suits my needs fine, though.
Wine – Windows Emulator. I only use this for Spotify. instructions can be found here. That said I believe it supports a lot of stuff, Warcraft, Starcraft II, Counterstrike and Photoshop for example. See here for more.
XChat IRC – Decent IRC Client
Eclipse – For Java / Android dev
FileZilla – FTP client
I said ten minutes in the title, but I did spent a further hour fighting the Android Plugin and Mercurial plugin for Eclipse… Not relevant to the post, mind