VLC Player is one of the most popular open source (released under GPL) and free media player (encoder). Ubuntu 11.10 (code name : oneiric ocelot)- has banshee installed as the default media player. So if you want to play a video file then you need to install VLC – all in one media player. it has lot of advanced features. VLC has been the part of videoLAN project. VLC is good not only in playing files from your hard disk but also from your DVD/CD, network streams, capture cards. One of the best thing about vlc is that – it’s cross-platform and available not only for Linux based operating systems such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, OpenSuse but also for Mac OS X , Windows (vlc for android is under development – soon, you will be able to enjoy vlc on android too).
vlc isn’t installed by default on Ubuntu 11.10, but it’s available in official package repository so it’s very easy to install it. You can use Ubuntu Software Center (it’s one of the most popular Application in software center – rated as 5 star (out of 5)) or terminal, But in order to play any mp3 files or a video file such as avi, flv etc you would have to install some restricted plugins/codecs. libdvdcss library is required if you want to play encrypted DVD’s (most proprietary dvd uses CSS(content scramble system)). The latest version for Ubuntu/Linux is vlc vs 1.1.11.
Installing VLC Media Player on Ubuntu 11.10
Open Terminal and execute the following command(s)-
sudo apt-get install vlc
Now, you’re recommended to install ubuntu restricted extras and other libraries/codecs/plugins to start playing media files (audio/video..)
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
Then, install libdvdcss2 for playing encrypted DVD’s
If you’re using Ubuntu 11.10 (oneiric ocelot) beta1 (released on the first of this month), then first install some basic applications – if you want a list then go here – I’ve already covered in a post – 10 things to do after fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.10. Anyway, in this post you will learn how to install Java Run time Environment (commonly called as JRE) on Ubuntu 11.10.
Java is one of the most popular programming languages , so probably you would be running a lot of software written in Java i.e Java Runtime environment (includes JVM – Java Virtual Machines – which translate java bytecodes into native – executable machine codes, and so JVM makes the Java programs platform independent) is required if you want to run applications/programs that is developed using Java. Additionally – if you want to run applet programs (java applets – small programs that runs in a browser) then you will have to install a plugin for that.
Installing Java Run-Time Environment(JRE) on Ubuntu 11.10
There are many options when it comes to Java Runtime Environment (sun-jdk-jre, openjdk-jre …) but we will go for openjdk-jre (one of the most popular JDK – which is an open source equivalent of proprietary jre, it works well on Linux based distro such as Ubuntu, and it’s pretty stable too). You can install it either from Ubuntu Software Center (search for java or open jdk, don’t forget to select the add-on plugin for applets while installing jre),
or open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and execute the command(s) –
OpenJDK 7 Java Runtime
sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre
install Java for browser – firefox/chrome..
For running applets in your web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, you need to install icedtea plugin. Execute –
Ubuntu 11.10 (code named as Oneiric Ocelot) beta 1 has released and final (stable version of 11.10) released a week ago. If you’re a absolute beginner – i.e you’ve very little (negligible) or no experience with Linux distributions then this post might help you in getting started with Ubuntu as it contains step by step instruction for installing Ubuntu 11.10 on your Desktop/Laptop/Netbook.
The instructions given in this post assume that you want to install ubuntu as a dual boot with Windows 7 (or XP/Vista or whatever you’ve already installed), which is recommended for absolute beginners as if any problem occurs with Ubuntu (or you are not feeling comfortable with Ubuntu, although that’s not probably going to happen) then still you would be able to access Windows, but if you want something else like – removing windows and install Ubuntu or erase whole disk and install Ubuntu on a new computer – then most of the steps would be same – few things will change that I’ve pointed out (Jump to steps).
Ubuntu 11.10 beta 1 has released with a lot of surprises/changes, new features and some improvements in the unity desktop. One of the biggest change is that Ubuntu 11.10 uses Gnome 3, unity also uses Gnome 3 so it means you can install gnome shell on ubuntu 11.10 – in few steps without breaking the unity i.e it will support Gnome 3 without any problem. (although there may be some bugs right now as it’s beta release).
Installing Ubuntu 11.10 – step by step guide
Ubuntu 11.10 can be installed in many ways – one of the easiest method is using wubi installer, but it doesn’t provide much control options so we would go with advanced installation..and one more thing – it’s not as difficult as it appears to be, just follow the instructions – if you’ve any doubt then drop a comment.
Preparing for installation : First of All – backup your important data
Before going to start the installation procedure – you are strongly recommended to backup your data (using a backup disk or online backup program), although you aren’t going to loose any if you’ve multiple partition on your drive and want to go for custom installation procedure, but you’re supposed to have a backup of all your critical data before starting any experiments.
Step 1. Download Ubuntu 11.10 ISO file
First, Download Ubuntu 11.10 ISO , select the archive file (ISO) depending on your computer architecture – such as Intelx86 or AMD64. If you are not sure then go for first one. When the download is complete move on to next step.
Step 2. Create a bootable media (USB/CD)
Then create a bootable USB stick/drive or a CD/DVD from the ISO file you’ve just downloaded. If you want to create a bootable CD/DVD – then it’s pretty easy- you just need to burn the ISO image to the cd.
If you are using windows now then use the free program called – universal USB installer. To make your pendrive bootable – use Universal-USB-Installer (Download and run it – then locate the ISO file, choose your USB drive as a target and your will be done in a minute). In Windows 7 you can burn ISO files directly in few simple steps – Insert cd in to the tray, right click on the ISO file and select burn this ISO.. and finally you will get a bootable cd.
There is a program called – ‘Start Up Disk creator’ is installed by default on Ubuntu. So just run the program – browse the ISO and select your pendrive/cd as the target startup disk. That’s All.
In the and of step 2 you will get a bootable media – which is also called as Live CD/USB Installer (this is also very useful for removing viruses from Windows or recovering data from corrupted OS, as you don’t need to enter any password (exception : BIOS password) when your boot your computer using this live cd/usb), Now we will boot the computer from this bootable disk and finally we will install it permanently into the hard drive.
step 3. Insert the USB disk (or CD) and restart
Now restart your computer (and enter your supervisor BIOS passsword, if you have set any password – you system may not boot from CD if you enter user BIOS password). Your computer should boot automatically from the bootable media, and the Ubuntu will be loaded in RAM (if any option comes then select ‘try Ubuntu without installing if you want to take a look before installing it on your hard drive’).
Then click on the install Ubuntu 11.10 icon on the desktop to begin.
Step 4. Select Installation Type
Now select the check boxes such as ‘Download Updates’ and ‘install third party software’, but you must be connected with Internet (it’s recommended – if wireless network doesn’t seem to work use wired connection). Although there is no hurry – you can always install them later, so it’s optional.
then click on continue – then a new window will appear – where you need to select installation type.
You may get different options depending on your computer configuration. The above snapshot has been taken while installing Ubuntu 11.10 on a computer with Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows 7 pre-installed as dual boot (Now it’s time for triple boot, it’s cool! Hmm). Most of the option seems self explanatory –
Install Ubuntu alongside with them : it will install Ubuntu 11.10 alongside with existing operating systems such as Windows 7.
Erase Entire Disk and Install Ubuntu : it’s going to erase your whole hard drive and everything will be deleted (your files as well as other operating systems), useful only if your hard-drive doesn’t have any important files or you just bought a new computer and want to keep only one OS – i.e Ubuntu.
Something Else : Create, Allocate and choose the partition to which you want to install Ubuntu, using advanced partition manager. At first look it may seems little difficult but it’s better as it give you more options/control.
We will go with the third option – select Something else and continue.
Step 5. Create a new Ext4 Partition and Install Ubuntu 11.10
In the end of step 4, you will get the partition manager window for creating/deleting partitions.
Then select the free space available for creating partition (if you don’t have any free space then try deleting any empty NTFS drive or the partition whose files has been backed up completely).
Now select the partition which says – ‘free space’ and click on ‘New Partition Table’.
Now, there are so many field in new partition window –
New Partition Size : The size of the partition (in megabytes) where you are going to install ubuntu 11.10.Recommended minimum size is 15 GB, if you want to use it for daily purpose, although 5GB (or may be less) is critically required. I’ve left it default as I want to use all that selected free space partition (around 51GB).
Location for the New Partition : beginning (if you want it to appear on the top in grub menu (when the system starts) – default OS ) or end (if you want the Ubuntu 11.10 to appear at the end in OS list at GRUB). Don’t worry you can change the default OS later. Let’s choose Beginning.
File System (use as) – select Ext4 journaling file system , the latest and recommended files system for Ubuntu 11.10.
Mount Point – select / (forward slash), it’s used to mount additional file systems, forward slash means – mounting is done with reference to root.
Then click OK to apply.
Next, click on Install Now button to begin installation procedure.
Step 6. Enter some basic info and Create a user
While installation procedure is going on – you will be prompted to enter some basic information such as
Your Physical Location – it will be used to set your local time and other settings. Select it on world Map.
Keyboard Layout – Leave it default if you aren’t sure or select the one you want to use.
Then Enter some basic details about the user –
Your Name : of course your Name (Mr(s). X)
Computer’s Name : x’s computer
username : Your username – e.g mrx
password : Your password (strong – something like this (think twice it’s very easy to remember and it’s very strong!) – U11#kkd_MS!)
Require my password to login : better leave this option selected if you want authorized access (unless you aren’t using BIOS password) to your computer, else you can also choose the other option – login automatically.
Step 7. Restart your computer
Now the installation procedure will complete within few minutes.
Now when you see a window saying installation is complete – restart your computer and remove the installation media and select Ubuntu 11.10 at the boot menu, and login to ubuntu.
Dropbox is one of the most popular files sharing program, and it also works an online backup tools (with one month history – i.e the files deleted can be recovered with next thirty days), for writers, programmers, designers etc. On Ubuntu 11.10 – Oneiric Ocelot, ‘Ubuntu One’ is installed by deafult – which also provides 2GB free backup and direct streaming (very good for listening music on your iPhone or Android). Dropbox also provides 2GB free space (which can be extended to 8GB by referring some friends, beyond that you would need to buy any premium plan)
Dropbox is not only for backup and sharing – other cool features is Sync. If you’re using more than one computer and want to resume your development/writing/whatever work, then Sync feature will help you a lot. You just need to install dropbox in both of the computer, then whenever you will change a file or add a new one or delete an old one – it will automatically get updated (synchronized) on other computers. This feature of Dropbox is very handy for developers – as it allows them to work collaboratively on a project. The files/folders can also be managed from the web interface. You will also get some notification if any of the file changes; there are many other options to explore (right click on a file or folder), it’s very easy to choose –
what to sync – select the folders you want to sync
sync with whom – select the people (using email invitation) with whom you want to sync a particular folder
Installing Dropbox in Ubuntu 11.10
Now, the dropbox program has been added in official repository of Ubuntu 11.10 – so you can install it in a one simple command. Open Terminal and execute –
sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox
Set up dropbox account in Ubuntu 11.10
Now the set up process will begin. You must have a dropbox account to begin – if you don’t have one – then create a dropbox account first (it’s free).
Then, enter your login details and a computer name, now when you click next first it will verify the authentication data. If everything is correct then you will be proceeded for next step.
Next, choose your plan – if you haven’t purchased any premium plan – then go for free 2GB plan.
Now, select the installation type – if you aren’t sure – then just go for typical and hit install button.
Finally you will get a Dropbox folder in your /home/Dropbox directory. Here is a snapshot of my Dropbox Folder.
Ubuntu 11.10 – Oneiric Ocelot beta 1 is out now! Now it’s the time to install some necessary applications/packages to make the system useful for any common purpose such as Listening music, watching movies, playing videos over the web etc. or any specific purposes (e.g if you’re a web designer then you need to install some cool fonts, image editors, graphics designing tools etc).
Since Ubuntu 11.10 has already made some good changes in the selection of default applications (as compare to previous versions), but still a lot of efforts are required to customize the Ubuntu for your needs. Here is list of top 10 customization tips that I think is required for most of the users, feel free to add one if you feel it’s useful for Ubuntu users, through comments. Some of the packages are mandatory while some are recommended based on its popularity – if you don’t like any Apps, just swap it out with your favorite one.
Things to do after a fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)
1. Update Ubuntu (Repository cache)
After installing Ubuntu 11.10, first of all, update the package information (you are always recommended to update your computer as frequently as possible but surely before installing any new programs so that you will get the latest one available in the repository). You can update your system either from command line
Open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + t) and execute the following commands –
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Alternate way – start update manager (it’s installed by default, just search for it) and click on install updates.
You need to install the audio mp3 (MPEG Layer 3) decoders as it’s required for playing your mp3 songs), similarly you need to install Adobe flash player on Ubuntu 11.10 for playing flash content such as YouTube Videos (although they are trying to replace the flash dependencies with HTML 5). You can install all these proprietary plugins/codecs by installing the package called ‘ubuntu restricted extras’. Open a terminal and execute the command –
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
Restricted library/packages for playing encrypted DVD’s
Although you’ve installed ‘ubuntu-restricted-extra’, you still won’t be able to play any proprietary DVD (which is usually encrypted with CSS(Content Scramble System) ). Therefore You also need to install libdvdcss2, a free software library for unscrambling/accessing those DVDs. Open terminal and execute the following commands (You may need to reboot) –
3. Install Additional (graphics card and webcam) drivers
If you are using any graphics/video card (which is recommended for 3D effects in Unity or Gnome-shell, if your computer doesn’t fulfill the graphics requirement then you will be 2D version of Unity, in fallback mode). In most of the cases, Ubuntu will automatically detect and tell you there any additional hardware drivers are necessary or not, you just need to select the appropriate driver and click on Activate.
For any reason if your graphics card (probably NVIDIA or ATI) doesn’t get detected automatically then don’t be panic. Go to System Settings -> Additional Drivers and wait for the window to appear with driver options. Select the driver software you want to install and click on Activate. After installing the driver – restart your computer. That set.
install cheese – webcam software/driver for your webcam
If you want to use your webcam for taking pictures or recording videos then you must need a webcam software. Cheese is the most popular webcam software, and it’s already there in Ubuntu Software Center, or install it from terminal –
sudo apt-get install cheese
4. Install Chromium Web browser for faster browsing
Firefox is the default web browser in Ubuntu 11.10, which is slow and very unstable (if you’ve multiple tabs and add-on’s installed). On the other hand Chromium is pretty fast and it’s popularity is increasing exponentially. So it’s a must have Application on Ubuntu (or any other OS). Chromium supports all the extensions/themes that you use on Chrome. it’s one of the most popular software in Ubuntu Software Center. So you can install it in a single click from Ubuntu Software Center, or just type the command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T ) :
sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
You should install some codecs like FFmpeg for playing multimedia contents on web.
VLC player is one of the most popular open source media player. It is commonly called as – ‘all in one‘ media player, it has lot of features that you expect from a modern media player. On Ubuntu 11.10 – it’s a must have application – for video player it’s probably the best one. VLC player is capable of playing a wide range media formats such as mp3, avi, mp4, flv etc. Since it’s available in Ubuntu Software Center – you can either install it from there or type the command –
sudo apt-get install vlc
6. Install any Image editing program
An image editing/creating software is necessary for every one, by default no such program is installed. So you’re recommended to install an image editor.
GIMP is the most popular open source and free image editor, having features similar to Adobe Photoshop. GIMP has a lot of powerful features which allows you to create complex graphics designs/images. it is more suitable for intermediate users – those having some experience in image editing. To install gimp – either search in Ubuntu Software Center or install it from terminal –
sudo apt-get install gimp
For some extra set of brushes, gradients and plugins etc execute :
Pinta is a good image editing program – with some basic features. it’s very easy to use, so most suitable for absolute beginners. it looks very similar to MS paint program. To install pinta – use Ubuntu Software Center or execute the command –
sudo apt-get install pinta
7. Try Gnome shell
Ubuntu 11.10 uses Unity as the default UI/window manager but it’s based on Gnome 3 so you can install Gnome shell simultaneously (without breaking the Unity desktop, which used to happen in previous version of Ubuntu i.e in 11.04). Gnome shell has been developed from scratch for a totally new experience. The interaction and navigation has been evolved in Gnome shell – so it appears to be the next generation desktop. The Gnome shell is already there, in the official repository of Ubuntu 11.10 – so you can install Gnome 3 in one simple command (or from USC)
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
If you’ve any problem in using Gnome shell – then refer to my previous post about installing Gnome shell on Ubuntu 11.10 , where a little bit of extra information is there along with step wise installation instructions.
8. setup an online file backup program
You must keep an an online backup of your important files. Now a days- cloud backup is recommended. Ubuntu 11.10 has ‘Ubuntu One’ installed by default, in which you will get 2GB free storage and you can access (direct music streaming is also available) your files from anywhere. Most of the backup programs such as Dropbox offers sync features – which can also be used in collaborative projects.
it’s already installed in Ubuntu 11.10. You will get 2GB of free storage (in cloud). So you can easily synchronize your critical files using this application. Click on the Ubuntu One launcher in the panel and follow the instructions. Files can accessed from anywhere – and music streaming is also available on Android and iPhone.
Dropbox is one of the most popular file sharing (as well as backup) program. Dropbox offers 2GB storage for free. You must have a dropbox account to start, if you don’t have then create an account first. Sync feature of dropbox is great! which makes it well suitable for collaborative projects (as files are secure and easy to share/collaborate, deleted files can be recovered up-to 30 days (in free plan)). In Ubuntu 11.10 – dropbox (integration script with Nautilus) has been included in official repository. So you can install it directly from Software Center or type the command –
sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox
9. install gnome tweak tool
Gnome Tweak Tool is a utility for Gnome 3 desktop for tweaking the desktop settings – and so it allows us to customize (windows look/behavior, theme, Fonts etc) the desktop as we want. The ‘appearance’ settings doesn’t have much option now (as it used to be in earlier version of Gnome) so Gnome Tweak Tool will do that.
To install Gnome Tweak Tool open terminal and execute –
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
10. Try cool themes / icons
The default theme in Ubuntu isn’t that cool. Right? I don’t know about you but many of us like to have cool/charming icons and themes. So find out some great themes and icons, and enjoy Ubuntu 11.10.