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Five Softwares to Install in Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron [Recommendation]

with 24 comments

The much-awaited 8.04 version of the Ubuntu Desktop named ‘Hardy Heron’ was released yesterday. I downloaded the 699 MB ISO and managed to install it today. There have been really worthy improvements. We can only hope that this latest version brings a lot of users into the Linux World.

Ubuntu comes with functional and free software for all your needs, but still I’d like to recommend you the following five software that’ll make it even more better:

1. Compiz Advanced Settings Manager

Ubuntu comes with a set of graphic effects that are really a treat to your eyes, but you can just choose between three levels – normal, extra, and no graphics. Ubuntu doesn’t give you options to configure/add additional snazzy graphic effects for window movements.

By installing the Compiz Config Settings Manager, you can control the magical graphic effects by using a GUI. For instance, you can alter the window opacity settings, and add a bunch of rotating cube effects, etc.

Compiz Settings Manager can be installed by typing:
$sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

2. Startup Manager

Ubuntu does come in with a little msconfig-like startup program manager that can be accessed from System > Preferences > Sessions but it doesn’t give you many settings to play with.

You can download and install a program called Startup Manager that can help you modify a few cool settings. Have a look at the screenshot above this paragraph. It’s got the options to alter the GRUB settings, menu timeout, colours, background image, menu resolution, grub password, etc.

Startup Manager can be installed by typing:
$sudo apt-get install startupmanager

3. GParted

Did you know that you never need to defragment your Linux filesystems? So, a defragmenter is unneeded. However, you might want to manage your hard disk partitions if you have cluttered data all around.

GParted does the job for you. It’s an excellent, open source partition manager that can format, resize, delete and perform all sorts of operations on your hard disk partitions. If you keep tweaking your system, this is an essential utility.

GParted can be installed by typing:
$sudo apt-get install gparted

4. NumLockX

I use the number pad on my keyboard most of the time, but the fact is that when I boot into Ubuntu, the NumLock key is not switched on by default.

When I scouted for a way to turn it on, I came across this little package called numlockx that does the job perfectly. At less than 75 KB, this tool does what it says – turns on the NumLock key when the GUI starts.

Numlockx can be installed by typing:
$sudo apt-get install numlockx

5. Adobe AIR

AIR-based apps are getting quite popular by the day, and since I’m an active twitterer, I really need twhirl to access it. Twhirl is Adobe AIR-based, so I had to install the runtime.

Adobe AIR installation was quite easy, thanks to the installation guide from Sizlopedia. There are many other useful AIR apps available. Don’t forget to check them out.

Besides all the above five, I also installed Avant Window Navigator and Gnome Do (read my Gnome Do review)
Do suggest your favourite software apps for Ubuntu in the comments! I’m all ears.

Written by Killer Tech Tips

April 26th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Posted in linux

Tagged with ,

  • I am eager to try out Ubuntu with the Wubi installation . Will try all these softwares after installation.

  • I have no interest in letting any more of Adobe’s crapware (perfectly valid! Flash for Linux is half-arsedly implemented and Acrobat Reader crashes browsers on Windows (so I keep it off my Linux)) touch my system. What’s Twhirl got that Twitux (0.61, the one I packaged) or GTwitter haven’t?

    Well, for the ladies I’d say Cycle is invaluable. For webcam users, Cheese. For designers, Agave and Gnome-Specimen.

  • I’m also waiting for my CDs. Will try all these applications when I get them 😀


    Sorry mate, but this is pure and utter crap. The list you compiled is quite superficial and gnome-centric. It also lacks coherence; it just contains 5 random items with debatable degrees of usefulness for the normal user.

  • Jeff

    I would think that Yakuake or the Gnome equivalent would be far more useful than most of the stuff on this list, aside from Gparted.

    Funny thing, though, I type in “apt-get” on my system and it replies:

    “apt-get” is not installed on this system. You may install it by typing “sudo emerge apt-get” from a command prompt.

  • i like these softwares…
    amarok – music
    VLC media player -video
    krusader – file management/backup/synchronization
    Ubuntu Tweak – various useful desktop/system/etc. settings manager
    k3b – CD/DVD burning software
    RSIBreak – App that tells you how long you’ve been using the computer and tells you to take breaks
    Picasa – photo editing
    Krita – Image editing
    stardict – super customizable dictionary
    Downloader for X – helpful downloader software that works well with flashgot
    WebHTTrack – website downloader software

    And that’s that…:-) Have fun folks. Thanks for your five. I’ll check out 2, 4 and 5.

  • AIR is a security hole waiting to happen. There’s no good reason it won’t install in userspace, and why does it insist on requiring root-access for every applet installed? There’s no telling what one of those applets will do to your system.

    Avoid it like the plague, that’s what I say.

  • HI shankar, very good post dude. I ordered the UBUNTU cd, i hope i will get it soon.. and lemme try all these.. once again thanking you..

  • thanks for the tips bro !!

  • Ryan

    This is an Ubuntu programs. Obviously apt-get is not installed by default on your distribution. It is however, in Ubuntu 8.10.

  • Very useful tips.

    Derive Host

  • Rebenga

    AIR is essentially a pre-packaged security hazard. I wouldn’t install if even if Adobe held a gun to my head. I have a hard time trusting Adobe with root-access to my box, much less some random Joe Q. Scripter. Because that’s what it is. Every applet you install in air will need root-access.

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  • bahmak2003

    first thing i did to my new ubuntu 8.04 is install wajig then yakuake. it save time a lot.

  • linuxbot3000

    You seem to be using Gentoo not ubuntu

  • @Sumesh: The link opens here. What problem are you having?

  • wahyu007

    Why I failed to install compiz-config-manager.
    the error is not found server. thanks.

  • Nice list Shankar! My current linux desktop doesn’t seem to handle compiz very well. I am waiting for openSUSE 10.3 to kick my setup into the next gear.

  • I meant openSUSE 11. LOL

  • Hi,

    I downloaded Ubuntu (studio) 8.04 and will be putting it on a partition in a few days.

    Thanks for the great utilities! I will try them all. By the way, I will be struggling (probably for weeks) with linux command line to get the refresh rate up to 100 Hz. In windows, my trusty old but high-end Hitachi CM771 19″ monitor does 1152 lines at 100 Hz easy.

    In Linux, this is a nightmare to setup! But I will try. I’ll try modeline generators & try entering horiz & vert Hz rates for the CM771. Question: If some guy could write an easy to use script utility for doing this in BEOS 5, (I got 100 Hz there), why on earth doesn’t somebody do it for Linux? This stuff should be plug & play, not command-line!

    Yes, I will eventually buy an LCD monitor, where 60 Hz all day is fine, but for now, I need to use my Hitachi.

    Peace, & thanks again for your great utils! Any help or tips would be appreciated too!


  • the adobe air works amazing. awesome article

  • also dont forget to install amarok or Songbird
    vlc,pidgin and mplayer for all the multimedia needs 🙂

  • sohan paul

    i want to know about a question is ubuntu is supported with nokia pc suite please help me to download