2008-07-21

Ubuntu post-install customization

Here I've collected some of the things I did last time I installed Ubuntu from scratch on my commuting-part-time-LAMP-developer laptop.
  • Get security upgrades.
  • Install my favourite firefox extensions:
    • Firebug. The must have web developer extension.
    • Delicious bookmarks. I don't care much for the social part of it (at least right now,) but I consider it the best bookmarking feature I've found.
    • Scrapbook. Commuters best friend! Allows me to download web sites recursively, read, and even search in downloaded web pages.
    • All-in-One gestures. (I absolutely love keyboard shortcuts, but when I am using the mouse, why change back to the keyboard just to go back to the previous page? With mouse gestures it's just pressing the right button and drag the mouse to the left, release, welcome back.)
    • Google gears. (For offline access to Remember the Milk.)
  • Install LAMP-server. (Using Synaptic.)
  • Install subversion.
  • Install php-pear.
  • Install symfony by running the commands below in a terminal:
    • sudo pear channel-discover pear.symfony-project.com
    • sudo pear install symfony/symfony-1.1.0
    (Symfony is, in my opinion, one of the best php frameworks out there. Maybe also one of the best web frameworks, regardless of language.)
  • Download PHP Development Tools. Since last fall, Ive considered the eclipse based PDT a better alternative than anything else I've used, including both commercial and open source alternatives. Earlier I used to use jEdit, an awesome heavyweight text editor (hey, I've got 2 GB RAM, and I don't really care if it uses 40 MB as long as it is the best editor I know.) in combination with a lightweight alternative like notepad++ (on Windows) or gedit or kate on Linux.
  • Download the php documentation.
  • Using the Scrapbook extension mentioned above, download the symfony 1.1 book. (After installing the Scrapbook extension it's just a matter of right clicking the site, choose "Capture Page As..." from the context menu and set depth to follow links to "1" under "In-depth Capture". And if you're in a hurry, like me, choose "Filter" and "Restrict to Directory", so that you'll only download the relevant files.
  • Install keepassx and copy the old database from the backup. I use it to keep rarely used passwords, serial keys (e.g. vmware server,) and other details that I don't want to be available for whoever uses my PC.
  • Install vmware server.This used to be a matter of installing it from the repositories, but now it's slightly harder. Here is the best way I've found to install it on Ubuntu Hardy Heron, a script made by Brett Alton.
Edit 2008-07-22: Forgot a couple of details when first publishing this post last night.
  • Add nautilus-gksu from repostitory.
  • Add nautilus-open-terminal from repostitory.
  • Add edit as root to the nautilus context menu. It really shouldn't be necessary to open a terminal to edit /etc/fstab . (e.g. for enabling acl)
Edit 2008-07-30: Another detail:
  • Add php-xsl from repository. Without this, data-load doesn't work.
Btw: Seems like I'd rather use this checklist myself next time : )

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