- Get rid of that top panel! never been happy with two panels (but just watch me contradict myself later! :))
- Install the nvidia display driver for my Geoforce 6200 using the hardware drivers popup.
- Install xubuntu-restricted-extras for all the media stuff.
- Open up thunar and selected detailed view, and change the Location selector to toolbar style. The Sidepane is set at shortcuts by default so that’s OK.
- Remove all the desktop icons, just like a clear desktop. That’s a right click on the desktop, choose Desktop Settings > icons, and untick the boxes.
- Install portmap and nfs-common for nfs client operability.
- Edit /etc/fstab to include all my local and network shares. I only use nfs on my LAN servers.
- Install rdesktop to access my ever-running Headless VBox XP on my server.
- Try out Vinagre. It actually works! I can easily vnc to my two servers.
- Try out totem. Wow! For the first time since I have used linux, totem actually played back everything i threw at it – avi,mpg,flv,wmv,ts – and it does dvb tv. More on that later. This won’t tear me away from mplayer though
- Install totem-xine to get the deinterlacing control for watching dvb tv.
- Edit the desktop configuration file for “Movie Player” in /usr/share/applications so that totem runs the xine backend instead of the gstreamer one. Just add “-xine” after totem on line 3. This will change the action on the main menu icon.
- install mplayer-nogui and mencoder, can’t live without ’em.
- Follow the instructions from Ubuntu wiki to get libdvdcss working. libdvdread4 is installed by xubuntu-restricted-extras, but you have to run a script to get the decryption working.
- audacious for music playing
- devilspie for window placement and decorations
- k3b for CD/DVD burning
- gwhere for CD/DVD cataloging
- feh for image viewing
- xdialog to make a script work
- xmltv for television EPG info
- htop for processes
- skype for comms
- Removed listen and aumix. Don’t know why they include listen, it’s bloody awful as a music player
- audacity for sound editing
- ffmpeg and transcode for my videoconversion script
- easytag for mp3 tagging
- geany for script work
- rar for compressing files
- dvtm, mc, moc, charm and cmatrix for console work
- Install sun java so I can run java apps.
- Install cups-pdf to provide a virtual pdf printer for all applications
- Firefox; tidied up the default interface, changed home page, installed extensions: Fireftp, Firefly, linkification, PDF Download, Download Statusbar, Quick Restart, and Xmarks.
So far, everything has come in from the repositories, and we are looking good. finding the new menu layout a bit cumbersome, and no way to edit it now, and the xfce4-panel looks a bit boring. I could customise it, but there is a better way
- Download tint2, wbar, wbarconf. tint2 comes as source, but all the right programs have already been installed to untar/zip it, make it and then sudo make install it.You edit the tint2rc file, found in ~/.config/tint2 to get it how you want it. wbar and wbarconf come as debs, so use gdebi to install these. wbarconf just makes configuration so much easier. Put both these programs in your startup list: Applications > Settings > Sessions and Startup. So what the hell do they do?
tint2 replaces your normal panel, it has a taskbar, a systray and a clock/date. it gives transparency a whole new meaning. On opening, program windows do not crash its space. it doesn’t autohide. I put this at the bottom of my screen. it automatically stops xfce4-panel from loading.
wbar is for your programs. It comes with a default set of icons and settings you can play with or use as templates. it’s kind of like an Apple OSX dock. I put the wbar at the top of my screen (ref: hypocracy item 1.) It doesn’t autohide either. Windows do crash its space, so you will want to set your top margin to @ 48. Go to Applications > Settings > Workspaces to do this.
A bit more to go yet
- Using gdebi again, installed virtualbox 2.2 (uses QT4) and frostwire (java). Both apps provide deb files. VBox comes from the virtualbox website, not the ose version from the repos.
- Get my printer working, a Brother DCP-540CN, a network colour inkjet/scanner/copier. The lpr and cupswrapper files for the printer are in the repos, but you still have to get the scanner driver from the brother website. Brother provide good support and instructions for linux.
- Install and configure TVFox as a frontend for xmltv.
- Install ProjectX (java) to make sense and tidy up my dvb recordings
And there we go. Plenty more to do I am sure, but I have a working and serviceable distro at my disposal. Would still like to see a menu-editor on board, but I am sure something will come along.
I have always liked xubuntu, but it has appeared to get a bit bloated of late, so I turned to openbox and ultra-minimalism for a while. But in use the desktop is as quick as openbox on arch, and there is a bit more underlying control which is there, I don’t have to think about what it is I need and then find it, install it etc. I see it falling in between gnome and a fully loaded openbox setup, and will give 8.5/10 plus another .5 for totem completely surprising me!