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. This has become slightly more complicated with Ubuntu 22.04
  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. I put in my usual username and password with smbpasswd. On my primary Ubuntu system I added the following at the end of the file /etc/samba/smb.conf:
    [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
    

    References:

    1. Install and Configure Samba
    2. How to configure Samba Server share on Ubuntu 22.04 step by step instructions
    
    

    On the Windows client the key point is to map a network drive with different credentials, since your Windows and Linux logons may not match. After a little refreshing my Windows system recognized the shares.

  6. pCloud: My cloud storage vendor. Based in Switzerland, and works well with both Windows and Linux. With Ubuntu 22.04, unlike 20.04, I had to do this:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe
    sudo apt install libfuse2
  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.

  10. Install the trash-cli package. This includes the trash-empty utility which I use in my backup scripts.
  11. (Ubuntu) Change the default application association for .deb files from Archive Manager to GDebi (if installed) or Software Install.
  12. On Ubuntu 22.04, “Save page as” may not open the appropriate dialog. This can be fixed by
    sudo apt install xdg-desktop-portal xdg-desktop-portal-gtk

    With 22.04 Firefox is a snap instead deb, but apparently some of the necessary support for snaps was not included.

  13. If using Gnome, install gnome-tweaks.
  14. My systems may be able to boot multiple versions of Linux. In that case I may want to Hide Mounted Drives on the Ubuntu Dock. The command for this is
    gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock show-mounts false