I was pleasantly surprised to have all the hardware working and a smooth install of Kubuntu 8.04rc for a year old Dell Latitude D820 notebook PC. There was still a bit of customization to do to make it work like I wanted, but who can fault Canonical for not knowing what I like?

Add Codecs, Java, and other Customizations

The official way to do this is documented in the Ubuntu Wiki under CommonCustomizations. There is also a wiki page on EasyCodecInstallation. The official meta package is called “ubuntu-restricted-extras” and this installs:

  • MP3 playback and decoding
  • Sun Java runtime environment
  • Flash plugin
  • DVD playback
  • LAME (to create MP3 compressed audio files)
  • msttcorefonts (may be missing in kubuntu extras)
  • DeCSS script to download and install for DVD viewing

$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras
$ sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/install-css.sh
$ sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

Add the ability to compile, edit, and maintain code

Here are the compilers and their documents
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential subversion-tools gcc-4.2-doc glibc-doc manpages-dev
$ sudo apt-get install mingw32 mingw32-binutils mingw32-runtime
I need access to subversion and XSLT ChangeLog tools
$ sudo apt-get install subversion-tools
$ sudo apt-get install xsltproc
I install a couple of editors, useful for various things. Kate is already installed.
$ sudo apt-get install scite
$ sudo apt-get install vim-full
Useful tools for cleaning up code, converting comments and line endings, and code statistics:
$ sudo apt-get install splint
$ sudo apt-get install sloccount
$ sudo apt-get install indent
$ sudo apt-get install liwc
$ sudo apt-get install tofrodos

Add favorite online music source and music/video player VLC

$ sudo apt-get install streamtuner
$ sudo apt-get install vlc

Get rid of limited use Dolphin

This is one of the main reasons I use Kubuntu and KDE: Konqueror allows me to do many things that Nautilus and Dolphin prevent or are unable to customize
$ sudo apt-get remove dolphin

Get Rid of IcedTea – Install Sun Java JRE

I had several errors which prevented me from doing useful work on some websites that used Java. Turns out that the default install of Kubuntu used IcedTea – the OpenJDK. Well, apparently it doesn’t mimic Java the way the websites expected, and so, it didn’t work. Into the hopper it goes, and Sun gets the install.
$ sudo apt-get remove openjdk-6-jre
$ sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre

Get rid of annoying PC speaker beep

Using a console, remove the PC Speaker driver from the kernel:
$ sudo modprobe -r pcspkr
Edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and add a new line to keep the PC Speaker driver from automatically loading:
# Keep the annoying beep from occurring - don't load the PC Speaker driver
blacklist pcspkr

Get rid of annoying Synaptic Tap Button

Edit the X11 configuration file /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Add the Tapbutton line and any other missing lines in the Synaptic Touchpad section:

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier  "Synaptics Touchpad"
Driver      "synaptics"
Option      "SendCoreEvents" "true"
Option      "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option      "Protocol" "auto-dev"
Option      "HorizScrollDelta" "0"
Option      "SHMConfig" "On"
Option      "TapButton1" "0"

You can disable the Tap Button effect immediately using the synclient tool as long as SHMConfig is On:
$ synclient TapButton1=0

Fix a bug in Firefox 3 rendering Check boxes and Radio boxes

Check boxes and Radio boxes show as a blank box or circle until the focus is moved away. This bug was reported, and the solution is to install a GTK2 engine:
$ sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-qtcurve

Additionally, go to System Settings->Appearance->GTK Styles and fonts, and Set: Use another style = QtCurve.

Updating a Toshiba A135 Notebook

I also updated our Toshiba A135 Notebook and the sound and sound controls now work! I did have to fix an fglrx bug to keep from locking up on logout.