Ubuntu Intrepid Dell Mini how to

This tutorial describes how to configure a Ubuntu Desktop for daily use.

Follow my older post to install ubuntu on Dell Mini using a USB drive. Install the Broadcom STA wireless driver, as suggest by Ubuntu after first boot, and install all available updates.

Dell Apps
# Dell airplane mode
wget http://dell-mini.archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/dists/hardy-dell-mini/universe/binary-lpia/aircraft-manager_belmont11_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i aircraft-manager_belmont11_all.deb
Fix sound:
sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base

# at the end of alsa-base file add

options snd-hda-intel model=dell

after saving the file, reboot the system and set the volume as described in the picture

Tweaks for the desktop:

Setting smaller font sizes

gconftool-2 --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/desktop_font --type string "Sans 8"
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/document_font_name --type string "Sans 8"
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/font_name --type string "Sans 8"
gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/titlebar_font --type string "Sans Bold 8"
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/monospace_font_name --type string "Monospace 8"

Unconstrain windows to the top of the screen

gconftool-2 --set /apps/compiz/plugins/move/allscreens/options/constrain_y --type bool 0

Making the top & bottom panels smaller

gconftool-2 --set /apps/panel/toplevels/top_panel_screen0/size --type integer 19
gconftool-2 --set /apps/panel/toplevels/bottom_panel_screen0/size --type integer 19

Enabling the windows key as keyboard shortcut as fullscreen mode
Preferences --> Keyboard Shortcuts --> Window Management --> Toggle Fullscreen Mode then press the windows key.
You can also set the tool bars to use small icons, as showed by the picture.

Multimedia Codecs, Java, Flash
# java , fonts, codecs
# The ubuntu-restricted-extras
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Configure repositories for extra Applications

On Ubuntu goto to System->Administration->Software Sources->Third Party Software and select "Add". You can also edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add lines to the end of the file.

# Canonical repository (VMWare and DB2 Express)
# enable this on the Software Sources Management tool (tab thir-party) from ubuntu/kubuntu menu

# Ubuntu tweak
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ubuntu intrepid main

# Google Linux repository, add both to get picasa
deb http://dl.google.com/linux/deb/ stable non-free
deb http://dl.google.com/linux/deb/ testing non-free

# Miro - The free open-source video platform.
deb http://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/pculture.org/miro/linux/repositories/ubuntu intrepid/

# Virtual Box
deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian intrepid non-free

# MediaTomb
deb http://apt.mediatomb.cc/ hardy main

# medibuntu repositories
# run this command to add this repository
sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/intrepid.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

To get the GPG key for Picasa and Virtual Box
# Google Key
wget -q -O - http://dl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -

# Virtual Box Key
wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/sun_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

# medibuntu Key
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

# Mediatomb Key
wget http://apt.mediatomb.cc/key.asc -O- -q | sudo apt-key add -

Java, Skype, Acrobat, GoogleEarth, Proprietary and Others

For installation execute the following commands:

# Update the index of your repositories
sudo apt-get update

# java, flash, google earth, virtualbox, libdvdcss2, codecs, skype, ffmpeg, amarok, lastfm, picasa, wine acrobatreader
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras googleearth libdvdcss2 ffmpeg non-free-codecs skype miro amarok libtunepimp5-mp3 lastfm picasa wine acroread acroread-escript acroread-plugins ksnapshot kget ubuntu-tweak cheese awn-manager powertop
For other very usefull apps:
# Ubuntu Tweak
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

# Amarok media player, Lastfm music cleint
sudo apt-get install amarok libtunepimp5-mp3 lastfm

# The kubuntu-restricted-extras (install this one if you use kubuntu)
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras

# Mediatomb UPnP MediaServer with a nice web user interface. Share your media with PS3 and XBOX devices.
sudo apt-get install mediatomb

# Acrobat Reader
sudo apt-get install acroread acroread-escript acroread-plugins

# Google Earth, Picasa
sudo apt-get install googleearth picasa

# Skype
sudo apt-get install skype

# Miro - The free open-source video platform.
sudo apt-get install miro

# KDE download manager
sudo apt-get install kget

# OSS voip, softphone, video conference tools
sudo apt-get install ekiga wengophone twinkle

# image and publishing tools
sudo apt-get install krita scribus inkscape karbon

# Kexi is considered as a long awaited Open Source competitor for Microsoft Access, Filemaker and Oracle Forms.
# Kivio is an easy to use diagramming and flowcharting application
# KPlato is a project management application.
sudo apt-get install kplato kivio kexi

### Advanced usage

# visual partition editor
sudo apt-get install gparted

# To change the default JVM run the command below and select the relevant version.
# If you only have one JVM this step should not be required.
sudo update-alternatives --config java

# remote login using ssh
sudo apt-get install sshfs openssh-server

Auto start AWN when ubuntu starts?
Click New. Add a Title for it then for the command enter

Restart, enjoy

Note: this post was created on a Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu Intrepid.

Other Links:
Firefox on NetBooks: http://www.ubuntumini.com/2008/11/customizing-firefox-for-netbooks.html
Blog on Dell Mini: http://www.ubuntumini.com
Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/UbuntuMini


  1. Hi, can you confirm me that 8.10 works fine on Dell Mini 12?
    I've heard that there are some problems...


  2. I don't have a Mini 12, but since Dell sell the mini 12 with Ubuntu, I'm 99.9% sure that 8.10 will work, but I would problem go with Jaunty even if it's Beta since it contains a lot of updates related with the netbook segment.


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