Linux Configuration Notes

This is current based largely on Rebuilding a Linux System and Installing Debian Linux. It is an attempt to collect my various Linux configuration notes in one place. It is also very much a living document and likely to change over time. It is primarily for my own future reference, although others are welcome to use it at their own risk. I offer no guarantees. These are steps that work for me and meet my needs and interests. They are mainly for Debian and Ubuntu based systems, but my renewed interest in Slackware has caused me to include some notes on that fine old distribution. It is very different from the Debian/Ubuntu family

  1. The first thing I do on any new Ubuntu or Debian based system is to install the Synaptic Package Manager if it is not already present (Debian has it at installation, Ubuntu does not). I find it much better than Ubuntu’s default software selection and installation tool. In fact, I prefer using the terminal sudo apt install to that.
  2. Grub Customizer has also become a regular part of my configuration process. I have no interest in splash screens but I do like to change the default boot order.
  3. Because of my Irish Language studies and other foreign language work I need the United States-International keyboard layout on both my Windows and Linux systems. On my new Ubuntu system I clicked on “Activities,” then typed “keyboard layout” into the search box and followed my nose.
  4. Install Microsoft TrueType Fonts. I will often work on the same Libreoffice documents and spreadsheets in both Windows and Linux and I need to have the same fonts on all the systems I use.
  5. Configuring Samba can be tricky. This is what I did on my primary Ubuntu Linux system.
    [gtm_current]
    comment = Current working files[gtm_current]
    path = /media/gmcdavid/GTM_CURRENT
    read only = no
    browsable = yes
    
    
    [MainData]
    comment = General data files
    path = /media/gmcdavid/MainData
    read only = no
    browsable = yes
    

    Then I put in my usual username and password with smbpasswd. After a little refreshing my Windows system recognized the shares immediately.

  6. pCloud: My cloud storage vendor. Based in Switzerland, and works well with both Windows and Linux.
  7. hosts: Add the fixed IP addresses for my local network.
  8. Thunderbird for email: With IMAP I can use it with all my systems and both of my email addresses.
  9. Debian and Slackware do not put the first created user in the sudoers file. When trying
    to sudo in the Ubuntu style you get this ominous sounding message:

    gmcdavid is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.

    Apparently this is just how Debian and Slackware like to do things. However, unlike Ubuntu, they create an actual root logon during installation. On Debian you can fix this and get your login into the sudoers file:

    su -
    usermod -aG sudo gmcdavid
    exit    
    

    For Slackware the process is more complicated.