Ubuntu 12.04 (code named as : Precise Pangolin) is a LTS release (right now only beta version is available, stable will be out in a couple of weeks) – with 5 years of official support and updates. So LTS version is well suitable for production environment and if you’re using 11.10 or any other versions then you may want to switch to 12.04 for latest features, packages and stability.
This guide is made for absolute beginners, and will help in setting up Ubuntu 12.04 along with their existing operating system; although it’s not necessary because now you can do everything on Ubuntu and it’s fairly simple to use (and the absolute Freedom offered by Free ‘n’ Open Source softwares) , so you may swap out your current operating system completely with Ubuntu 12.04.
To install Ubuntu – first create a live USB, CD or DVD installer and boot your system – you may need to change your BIOS settings if your computer doesn’t boot from the live media installer. To get into the BIOS menu simply hit F2 or F12 or Del key – it depends on your system. Then, navigate through the arrow key and go boot devices/options and enable the USB boot, then change the order of bootable media (put USB on top) and save it (you may have to hit F10 for that).
The installation process is quite easy but first of all you must create a backup of all your important data – it’s not like you’re going to lose the data but you can’t blame me if anything goes wrong. So it’s better to have everything backed up before you start.
Although, step by step manual is described below, this screencast may help you a lot.
Step by Step Instruction for installing Ubuntu 12.04
step 0. Make Sure, You’ve backed up your important data
First of All, Backup All Your Important Data (either online, using Amazon s3 or offline or whatever way you prefer – but you must have backed up your critical data before moving to the next step)
step 1. Create USB installer
Download Ubuntu 12.04 ISO (according to your computer architecture such as 32 bit or 64 bit, and of course the Desktop Edition)
If you’re using Windows 7(most probably you’re, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, just kidding move on) or XP/Vista – then create a USB installer using the application – Universal USB Installer. It’s quite easy – download and run this installer – and locate the ISO file, select the target USB drive.
If you’re using any older version of Ubuntu such as 11.10 or 10.04 then there is one application you need to use – Startup Disk Creator, installed by default on Ubuntu. Run the application, locate the ISO image and make your pen-drive bootable.
Anyway, at the end of this step – you must have a USB stick installer for Ubuntu 12.04.
step 2. Initiating Installation procedure
Now, you got the live usb installer for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, restart you computer and boot it from the installer. If there is any booting problem check your BIOS settings – it should be able to boot from a USB and the priority should be #1 (although it’s not really required if you manually select the bootable media).
First look at Ubuntu 12.04 (with the default Unity interface)-
Click on Install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS button to start the installation process – although you can get an overview without even installing it on your hard-drive.
Now select Language – The default is English, but Ubuntu supports a lot of other languages – so you can run ubuntu in your native language.
Now’re you’re ready to install Ubuntu 12.04 on your hard disk. Although Internet connection is recommended but it’s not strictly required during installation as you can always updates or install new packages later. In some cases – Wifi network it may not be detected automatically – just relax you can configure that later.
step 3. Create hard drive partition for Ubuntu
Select Installation type – ‘something else’, the third option as it’s the safest method and you get more control over what’s going on.
Now you need to create a ext4 partition for Ubuntu 12.04; use the partition manager – swap out Windows (if you don’t want to keep windows) or unused partition or create new partition from existing hard drives.
Now click on Free Space -> Add -> Create Partition.
select the target partition (check the box), where Ubuntu 12.04 will be installed.
Until now, no hard disk changes has been committed – Now you can click on install Now button to begin installation.
step 4. Installing Ubuntu 12.04
Select your physical location from Map.
Next, choose the keyboard layout, if you’re not sure what option you should choose – then you should probably go for default value.
Enter the user (You, the sudo user) account detail – that will be created during installation procedure (you can create/manager user later).
Wait until the installation process is complete. If you’re connected to internet – it may take little extra time because of update/extra language packs – if you don’t want them, then skip those steps. (if don’t get it clearly, then watch the video)
step 5. Finishing Installation – Restart!
Update1 : BIOS settings related details added. Thanks to @Eric Criens.
Ubuntu (The latest stable version : 11.10(Oneiric Ocelot), released few weeks ago) is one of the most Linux based popular operating system and gradually becoming more popular among programmers and web developers. C/C++/Java programmers and web developers are rocking with the Ubuntu as it has a bunch of open source development tools available to increase the productivity at minimum or zero cost.
Ruby on Rails is one of the most popular framework for developing web applications using Agile approach. Rails (Latest version : 3.1) is based MVC (Model View Framework). Getting started with Rails has been little messy (On Linux platform) for beginners due to its installation/setup errors, probably due to some missing dependencies (e.g gems).Relax, it’s very simple, you just need to understand few basic things. This post has been written for those who want to get started with ‘Ruby On Rails'(commonly called as ROR) on Ubuntu 11.10 or the rails developers who want to develop cool application with Ubuntu 11.10.
To install ruby on rails in Ubuntu 11.10 (or other similar Linux distribution such as Linux Mint, Debian etc), just follow these simple steps. Although RVM is not strictly necessary but it’s strongly recommended – it will allow you to use multiple versions of Ruby, which may be be required in some cases.
step 1. Install dependencies
Install git : Git is the most popular (as well as fast and efficient; Linux kernel uses it; developed by Linux Torwalds, the same guy who developed Linux kernel) open source version control system. You can install it in one simple command to install it from the official package repository –
sudo apt-get install git
[You could also install git from the source (Download the source code, extract it and execute make && sudo make install) ]
Install Curl : Curl is a command line tool to get a file from FTP/HTTP/HTTPS server. To install, open terminal and execute the command –
sudo apt-get install curl
step 2. Install RVM (Ruby Version Manager)
Open terminal and execute the command (I assume you’ve already completed the step 1, otherwise first do that) –
Now, you might have to edit the bashrc file to load RVM in shell session. To do that type –
and add the following line to the end (and save the file) [[ -s "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && source "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" # Load RVM into a shell session *as a function*
Then reload the shell session using the command –
Now you can test whether the RVM has been installed successfully or not. Open terminal and execute the command –
type rvm | head -1
After executing above command you should be getting this output – rvm is a function
That’s All.. You’ve successfully installed the RVM. Next, you are supposed to install few additional dependencies. To find out those programs type –
After executing the above command, install the additional packages recommended by RVM – sudo apt-get install build-essential openssl libreadline6 libreadline6-dev zlib1g zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-0 libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 libxml2-dev libxslt-dev autoconf libc6-dev ncurses-dev automake libtool bison subversion
step 3. Install Ruby
Now, it’s time to install the ruby version you want (you’re recommended to use either 1.8.7 or 1.9.2). The generic syntax is rvm use version_name. It will also install the associated packages such as RubyGems and Bundler.
rvm install 1.9.2
Then select the version, you want to use –
rvm use 1.9.2
If you aren’t sure about the ruby version currently being used, then type –
step 4. install Rails
Finally, you can install the rails gem using a simple command –
gem install rails
Now, create a sample application (just for testing) using Ruby on Rails.
rails new my_app
Then open your browser and type the following address (to see the application running) – http://localhost:3000
Ubuntu 11.10 (code named as Oneiric Ocelot) stable version has released today! So you’re now ready to enjoy the cool features of Ubuntu 11.10. It’s available for download and use. If you are already using earlier version of Ubuntu then you can just upgrade the existing version or install the fresh version.
Ubuntu 11.10 has released with a lot of surprises and changes – specifically in desktop environment, as now it uses GTK 3 (instead of 2.3) and the it uses Gnome 3. Some default applications has also been changes or in other words I can say that it has been selected more wisely. Ubuntu has now become the most popular Linux distribution for Desktop users. It runs on all hardware – whether it’s old or new and the graphics performance has also improved a lot.
What’s new in Ubuntu 11.10 ?
Linux Kernel 3.*
Improved features in Unity (Default Desktop)
Cool Applications like Thunderbird Mail Client, DejaDup etc is installed by default
Improved Software Center
LightDM login manager (instead of gdm)
a lot of other cool features and Apps
Try Ubuntu 11.10 Demo
Before installing Ubuntu 11.10 on your hard drive, you can see a live demo.
After downloading Ubuntu 11.10, you can follow this step by step guide to install Ubuntu 11.10. After that – here is some cool posts I’ve already written for new users to help them in customizing it according to their dream.
Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) is expected to release on 13th of this month, I’ve tried the beta versions. Few months ago, just after the release of Ubuntu 11.04, I published a post on Ubuntu 11.04 Tips ‘n’ Tricks, and it was a big hit – I got a lot of positive feedback. In fact, it was lot useful for a beginner Ubuntu users – specifically those who are coming from the Windows background. Some of the tips explained there are also valid for 11.10 (perhaps for all version of Ubuntu or may be for all Linux based OS) but most of the tricks are obsolete due to some major change like GTK 3 (instead of 2.3).
That’s why I thought to write an updated version of those cool tips ‘n’ tricks, and the expected users are absolute beginners but intermediate and advanced users might benefit from it. If you’ve just installed a fresh version of Ubuntu 11.10 then first go through this post – 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10, then come back here and apply some tips/tricks to customize the Ubuntu in your way.
So here is my most favorite collection of Tips and Tweaks, for a beginner Ubuntu 11.10 user. If you have something to say (e.g if you want to add or improve an existing tips or you want to share you experience or have some feedback) then feel free to share with us (using comment box).
Top 10 – Ubuntu 11.10(Oneiric Ocelot) Tips ‘n’ Tricks
The tips and tricks described here, are primarily aimed for Ubuntu 11.10 users but some of the tips may works seamlessly with other Linux distributions (specifically Debian based) such as Linux Mint, Opensuse, Fedora, Debian, or other Ubuntu derivatives such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, MythUbuntu, Ubuntu Studio etc. So feel free to experiment but – always keep a backup to encounter any unexpected results.
1. Try GNOME Shell
Ubuntu 11.10 uses Gnome 3 (based on GTK 3) but the default user interface is Unity. Unity has improved a lot, but if you want to try something new or you like Gnome 3 (or you might be hating Unity), then it’s time to enjoy the next generation revolutionary desktop – GNOME 3. Gnome 3.2 is the latest version. It has a lot of new and innovative features.
GNOME 3 has been developed and designed from scratch rather than just adding some new feature in the predecessor version. The whole idea is to make desktop computing more fun and productive (switching between workspaces and windows takes very little time as compared to earlier max/min approach, distraction is also very less). So if you want to use Gnome 3 with Gnome Shell then you just need to install the second one i.e only the gnome shell (The User Interface for Gnome 3) because Gnome 3 is already installed by default (and unity is running on the top of it).
To install Gnome Shell, Open a terminal and Execute
2. Mount hard drive (partitions) automatically at startup
When your computer starts, it won’t mount any other hard drives or its partitions other than the File System (The partition where you’ve installed the Ubuntu). It means the other partitions will not be available by default, so you will have to mount it each time you log in to your computer before you use it.
For example, if you are using Ubuntu in dual boot mode with Windows 7 or any other OS then you may have multiple other partitions (including NTFS, FAT or other EXT4), so in that case if you’ve any desktop links which points to such partitions or any playlists whose contents resides on that drive, then it’s better to mount such partitions when the computer starts so that it will be available for use without any manual mount.
To mount drives/partitions automatically at startup (during system boot) you can use a simple utility – PySDM, a Storage Device Manager. It’s a cool application written using PyGTK and very helpful in customizing mount points for your hard drive(s)/partitions.
How to Install PySDM ?
Open a terminal (press Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute the command –
sudo apt-get install pysdm
Then start the application either by searching it in apps menu or press Alt+F2, type pysdm and hit Enter. Now you can customize it the way you want – Select the drive/partition, configure it and click on Apply. To avoid any possible loss from your silly mistake – Just Backup!
3. Advanced GNOME 3 Settings – using Gnome Tweak Tool
Gnome Tweak Tool is a simple application that will allow you to change/customize Gnome 3 desktop in an advanced way. If Gnome Tweak Tool has lot of options such as Shell, Themes, Fonts, Desktop, Icons, etc to tweak the appearance and look. So it’s a must have Apps for Enthusiastic Ubuntu users.
To install Gnome Tweak Tool, open the terminal and execute –
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
4. Sync Tomboy Notes using Ubuntu One Cloud
Tomboy Notes is a simple note taking application – with a lot of features. If you have been using Evernote on Windows or Mac OS X, then you will be disappointed to know that – it’s not available for Linux based OS such as Ubuntu. Tomboy is a great application – it doesn’t have all those features but it’s a good alternative to evernote or other note taking programs. The most exciting feature of evernote is Sync – it automatically synchronized your notes with the main copy (stored in the remote server/cloud), which can be accessed from any where -computer(Windows/Mac), iPad, iPhone or Android. Tomboy has all these features by default – you just need to configure it. The default functionality can be easily extended, using plugins(add-ins).
To enable sync feature in Tomboy Notes you can use Ubuntu One (it provides 5 GB free storage for everyone). Ubuntu One and tomboy both are installed by default in Ubuntu 11.10. So –
To start synchronizing your Tomboy Notes, first configure Ubuntu One for backup, Then Open Tomboy Notes and go to Edit -> Preferences and select Synchronization tab. From the list of various sync option -select Ubuntu One!
5. Configure Boot Options – GRUB, using StartUp Manager
Startup Manager is a simple application that will allow you to customize GRUB and splash screen, in GUI mode. There are various options such as display size of GRUB menu(in pixels), default operating system to boot, timeout(in seconds) etc. To install startup manager, open a terminal and execute the command –
sudo apt-get install startupmanager
6. Customize the appearance of LightDM Login Screen
The default background at LightDM login prompt isn’t cool, Right? Probably yes! Using a simple application or tweak you can’t only change the background image but also the logo. It’s Fun!
I’ve already discussed a lot about changing background screen in Ubuntu 11.10.
7. Backup Your important Files using DejaDup
DejaDup is a simple, easy to use and fast backup program. In Ubuntu 11.10, DejaDup has been included in default programs installed with standard distribution package. So you got dejadup installed by default on your system but you need to configure it before it will start any backup job. DejaDup is a very powerful backup tool – it has lot of options to backup, e.g you can backup your data anywhere you want – local file system or remote location (on a standard server or Cloud such as Amazon S3).
If you want more detailed explanation then refer the post – how to backup Ubuntu 11.10, where I’ve explained about different backup options, in detail.
8. Install Cool themes and icons
The default theme and icons is cool but you may want to try something else. That’s very easy because a lot of free Gnome 3 themes and icons are available free to use. If you aren’t sure about which themes or icons to try then refer these posts – best Gnome 3 themes or Top 10 Gnome Shell Themes (if you are using Gnome shell), where I’ve sorted few best and good looking themes for Unity and Gnome Shell interface.
How to install themes/icons in Ubuntu 11.10 ?
step 0 Open nautilus with root power. To do that, open a terminal and execute the command –
step 1 To install GTK 3 themes you just need to copy the theme package to the usr/share/themes directory.
step 2 To install gnome shell themes – First, copy the gnome-shell directory from the theme_package to usr/share/gnome-shell. Second, rename the existing theme directory to default-theme (for backup purpose). Third, rename the gnome-shell(the one you’ve copied) directory to theme. Finally press ALT+F2, type r and your new shell theme will be reloaded (or you can just logout from the current session, and on next login, you will be enjoying something new!).
step 3 To install icons – copy the icon package to usr/share/icons
step 4 Finally You can select the theme or icon you want to use, through the help of Gnome Tweak Tool (see above if you don’t know)
9. Screencast Recording with Gnome Shell
screencast recording feature is built-in feature in Gnome shell interface. So if you want to record a screencast in Gnome shell, then you don’t need to install any application. You can start recording screencast just by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+r (press again to stop/start). When the screen recording will begin, you will notice a red dot at bottom-right corner of the screen. Finally the file will be saved in home directory of the user with the file name like this – shell_today_date.webm.
10. Cool shortcuts for productivity
Keyboard shortcuts are very useful for speeding up your productivity to some extent. Since Ubuntu is an open source OS, there is no limit on how much you can customize. If you have been using shortcuts for a while, then first thing you would want is to change the default(if it doesn’t matches with yours) keyboard shortcuts.
To set your custom keyboard shortcuts go to System Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts and define your own shortcuts.
Bash Aliases are also cool if you play a lot with Terminal. For example, if you are a ruby on rails developer, and install a lot of gems using the command gem install gem_name, then you can save a lot of typing by defining an alias for that. I’ll make it more clear with an example.
Creating alias commands for Terminal
step 1 Open terminal and type
step 2 Now, insert these lines at the bottom and save the file.
# My custom commands aliases
alias gi='gem install'
alias s5='sudo shutdown -h 8:00'
step 3 Next, reload the bash profile to propagate the changes, using the command –
step 4 That’s All..now you can see the command(defined in right side) in action – just by typing its alias name.
MySQL is one of the most popular open source Relation Database Management System (RDBMS), used very widely developing database based Applications – it’s specifically very popular in web development (The blog – you’re reading right now, is based on wordpress, which also uses MySQL databases for storing contents such as post, category, comments, and other meta data). Since Ubuntu (11.10 beta 2 – latest version, final is coming within few weeks) has now become the most popular choice for application development, LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP).
In Ubuntu 11.10 (based on Gnome 3), synaptic package manager has been removed so you can use Ubuntu Software Center or terminal (or install synaptic package manager in Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) if it’s you favorite application for managing application – although due to some major improvements in Ubuntu Software Center you might not need it anymore).
In Ubuntu or any other Linux based systems there are lot of other database programs are also available such as SQLite, mongoDB, H2, CouchDB, etc but MySQL is probably the most reliable, fast and powerful database – although it depends on the type of application or your interest.
Installing MySQL in Ubuntu 11.10 – Oneiric Ocelot
I prefer Terminal for managing applications, as I think it’s very handy, although installing new softwares/Apps from Software center is also very simple – just search for the mysql server meta package (if you don’t know the actual name of the package then search using name of equivalent proprietary software, e.g if you search for Photoshop then you will get GIMP) which will automatically select the latest version and click on Install button….and wait for the download/installation procedure to finish and you’re done!
1. Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute the following command(s)
sudo apt-get install mysql-server
2. During the installation process – you will be prompted to set the password for root user (for MySQL server).
Then, enter the password again (for confirmation) and the installation process will complete within a minute.
3. That’s All..you’re successfully installed the mysql server, client and other dependent packages successfully.
Login to MySQL Server in Ubuntu @localhost
Now, you’ve mysql program installed on your computer, you can start creating databases, tables, users ..whatever you want! Login using terminal or install a query browser tool (search in Software Center). In terminal execute the command –
mysql -u root -h localhost -p
Then enter your root password (you entered during installation – step#2 ) and you will get the mysql prompt.
Just for testing purpose, lets create a database. Execute the following commands –