(Ubuntu) Linux Starter Pack

(Ubuntu) Linux Starter Pack


This content is open source. Help improve it.

I’ve found myself repeating, and having a hard time remembering all of the steps when setting up ubuntu. Over the past 3 years, I started with Mint, as a daily driver, and have moved on to Ubuntu 19.04, and 18.04 LTS.

This is now where I’ll be keeping track of this info. Over time, I’ll organize this better, and add some notes for context, and mean to walk through the first steps of a few different setups.

At the moment, this is just a loosely organized collection of links I found useful, and leads for further exploration.


  • Linux and the GNU System

    Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called “Linux”, and many of its users arenot aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.

  • The GNU Manifesto - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation

    I consider that the Golden Rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it. Software sellers want to divide the users and conquer them, making each user agree not to share with others. I refuse to break solidarity with other users in this way. I cannot in good conscience sign a nondisclosure agreement or a software license agreement. For years I worked within the Artificial Intelligence Lab to resist such tendencies and other inhospitalities, but eventually they had gone too far: I could not remain in an institution where such things are done for me against my will.

    So that I can continue to use computers without dishonor, I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that I will be able to get along without any software that is not free. I have resigned from the AI Lab to deny MIT any legal excuse to prevent me from giving GNU away.(2)

  • Overview of the GNU System - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation

    The word “free” in “free software” pertains to freedom, not price. You may or may not pay a price to get GNU software. Either way, once you have the software you have four specific freedoms in using it. The freedom to run the program as you wish; the freedom to copy the program and give it away to your friends and co-workers; the freedom to change the program as you wish, by having full access to source code; the freedom to distribute an improved version and thus help build the community. (If you redistribute GNU software, you may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, or you may give away copies.)

    The project to develop the GNU system is called the “GNU Project”. The GNU Project was conceived in 1983 as a way of bringing back the cooperative spirit that prevailed in the computing community in earlier days—to make cooperation possible once again by removing the obstacles to cooperation imposed by the owners of proprietary software.

  • What’s in a Name?

    A great challenge to the future of free software comes from the tendency of the “Linux” distribution companies to add nonfree software to GNU/Linux in the name of convenience and power. All the major commercial distribution developers do this; none limits itself to free software. Most of them do not clearly identify the nonfree packages in their distributions. Many even develop nonfree software and add it to the system. Some outrageously advertise “Linux” systems that are “licensed per seat”, which give the user as much freedom as Microsoft Windows.

    People try to justify adding nonfree software in the name of the “popularity of Linux”—in effect, valuing popularity above freedom. Sometimes this is openly admitted. For instance, Wired Magazine said that Robert McMillan, editor of Linux Magazine, “feels that the move toward open source software should be fueled by technical, rather than political, decisions.” And Caldera’s CEO openly urged users to drop the goal of freedom and work instead for the “popularity of Linux”.

  • GNU/Linux FAQ by Richard Stallman



Boot Loaders and Partition Tables

Basically all new systems use UEFI. However, if you are shopping for old laptops, or simply installing linux on some old windows machine you have laying around, then you might run into the legacy setup. The deal is how they are partitioned, MBR vs GPT, and can depend upon your BIOS. So it matters to figure out from the beginning what your system requirements are.

Actually, when I first installed linux, I just hit the install button, and the installer did its magic. It was only later, I puzzled for quite some time over this matter, when trying to “properly” set up a fresh system, not just letting the installer do all the work.


Install Media


How do I configure swappiness? How to add a directory to the PATH? How To Set Up a Firewall with UFW on Ubuntu 18.04

By default, Ubuntu comes with a firewall configuration tool called UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall). UFW is a user-friendly front-end for managing iptables firewall rules and its main goal is to make managing iptables easier or as the name says uncomplicated. Ubuntu 12.10 “Turn screen off when inactive for: Never” still turn… How to install executables


vlc, pinta, vscode, keepassxc, git, ssh\gpg

Install walpapers from old releases of ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-wallpapers-* edgy-wallpapers feisty-wallpapers gutsy-wallpapers


  • Understanding Linux configuration files

    This article explains configuration files on a Linux system that control user permissions, system applications, daemons, services, and other administrative tasks in a multi-user, multi-tasking environment. These tasks include managing user accounts, allocating disk quotas, ma…

  • Getting Started With Dotfiles
  • dotfiles.github.io
  • The Rabbithole Series, Part 1
  • logind.conf.5.en.html

    The default configuration is defined during compilation, so a configuration file is only needed when it is necessary to deviate from those defaults. By default, the configuration file in /etc/systemd/ contains commented out entries showing the defaults as a guide to the administrator. This file can be edited to create local overrides.

Accounts and Permissions

I was having a bit of trouble understanding how to properly set up and operate a user alongside and admin acct

I guess the idea is that the administrator account is the first created automatically (in ubuntu) then create a user account. Although the default administrator requires password for sudo, since ‘root’ is actually abstracted from the ui. Though not actually root, that administrator does, have generally elevated privs otherwise. So by making a user account, you have an additional layer of security, should some application get loose, it doesn’t inherit any administrator privliges from you

but……… to use sudo from the user account

you must either su administrator or add the user account to your list of sudoers

and if you break sudo by messing up /etc/sudoers then you can use pkexec as an alternative to sudo to fix it



Filesytem Navigation

4.9. /usr/local : Local hierarchy /usr/bin vs /usr/local/bin on Linux

Why are there so many places to put a binary in Linux? There are at least these five: /bin/ /sbin/ /usr/bin/ /usr/local/bin/ /usr/local/sbin/ And on my office box, I do not have write permissions… HomeFolder hier - description of the filesystem hierarchy


  • Linux Tutorial - 2. Master File System Navigation

    This section of the Linux tutorial introduces the basics of the Linux filesystem and commands used to move around it. Also discusses absolute and relative paths.

  • LinuxFilesystemTreeOverview
    • /bin is a place for most commonly used terminal commands, like ls, mount, rm, etc.
    • /boot contains files needed to start up the system, including the Linux kernel, a RAM disk image and bootloader configuration files.
    • /dev contains all device files, which are not regular files but instead refer to various hardware devices on the system, including hard drives.
    • /etc contains system-global configuration files, which affect the system’s behavior for all users.
    • /home home sweet home, this is the place for users’ home directories.
    • /lib contains very important dynamic libraries and kernel modules /media is intended as a mount point for external devices, such as hard drives or removable media (floppies, CDs, DVDs).
    • /mnt is also a place for mount points, but dedicated specifically to “temporarily mounted” devices, such as network filesystems.
    • /opt can be used to store additional software for your system, which is not handled by the package manager.
    • /proc is a virtual filesystem that provides a mechanism for kernel to send information to processes.
    • /root is the superuser’s home directory, not in /home/ to allow for booting the system even if /home/ is not available.
    • /run is a tmpfs (temporary file system) available early in the boot process where ephemeral run-time data is stored. Files under this directory are removed or truncated at the beginning of the boot process. (It deprecates various legacy locations such as /var/run, /var/lock, /lib/init/rw in otherwise non-ephemeral directory trees as well as /dev/. > * and /dev/shm which are not device files.)
    • /sbin contains important administrative commands that should generally only be employed by the superuser.
    • /srv can contain data directories of services such as HTTP (/srv/www/) or FTP.
    • /sys is a virtual filesystem that can be accessed to set or obtain information about the kernel’s view of the system.
    • /tmp is a place for temporary files used by applications.
    • /usr contains the majority of user utilities and applications, and partly replicates the root directory structure, containing for instance, among others, /usr/bin/ and /usr/lib.
    • /var is dedicated to variable data, such as logs, databases, websites, and temporary spool (e-mail etc.) files that persist from one boot to the next. A notable directory it contains is /var/log where system log files are kept.

Encrypted Home Folders

How to decrypt a Ubuntu 16.10 encrypted home folder?

I have a defunct Ubuntu 16.10 installation* on a separate hard drive. There are files on that drive, in my home directory, that I need access to, but are encrypted using Ubuntu’s “encrypt home fold… Encrypted folders on Ubuntu Linux using eCryptfs on an external ha… This blog post continues my Ubuntu encryption tools testing. Previously there was an example for losetup. However, with the latest Ubuntus eCryptfs is recommended instead. eCrypfs makes one directory in a file-system crypted. Since it does not work on a partition level, you d…

Prevent Overheating



  • Shell Scripting Tutorial

    This tutorial is written to help people understand some of the basics of shell script programming (aka shell scripting), and hopefully to introduce some of the possibilities of simple but powerful programming available under the Bourne shell. As such, it has been written as a…

  • How to write idempotent Bash scripts





Version Management