Ubuntu Tweaking Part I

Here’s a list of essential apps that I install everytime after setting up a fresh Ubuntu system. I plan to keep this list updated so maybe you’ll find it useful too. Editing config files and other tweaks will be (sooner or later) covered in Part II of this article.


  1. build-essential: A meta-package that includes all the stuff you’ll need to compile source code. If you ever find yourself typing ‘make’, then you need this.

    sudo aptitude install build-essential

  2. ubuntu-restricted-extras: The default Ubuntu insallation can’t play MP3’s and other audio/video formats. Lift this restriction by installing the “restricted extras”.

    sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras

  3. Compression Software: Everything you’ll ever need.

    sudo aptitude install unace rar unrar zip unzip p7zip-full p7zip-rar sharutils aish uudeview mpack lha arj cabextract file-roller

  4. Java: Check out this link.


  1. Amarok: Do I need to explain?

    sudo aptitude install amarok

  2. VLC: DINTX? (wow, new acronym)

    sudo aptitude install vlc

  3. MPlayer: Another nice Vid player. I don’t use it much though..

    sudo aptitude install mplayer

  4. K3B: The best CD-Burning software available. Period.

    sudo aptitude install k3b


  1. Kopete: Pretty good IM client. I wouldn’t say it’s better than Pidgin, but it’s worth a try..

    sudo aptitude install kopete

  2. FileZilla: For all your FTP needs.

    sudo aptitude install filezilla

  3. Azureus: A very powerful Bit-Torrent client. Requires Java.

    sudo aptitude install azureus

  4. X-Chat: IRC Client. The best.

    sudo aptitude install xchat

  5. Axel and Aria2: Download accelerators (command-line) for Linux. I prefer Axel.

    sudo aptitude install axel aria2


  1. gVim: Better than plain VIM imo..

    sudo aptitude install vim-gnome

  2. gdb: The GNU Debugger. Immensely useful.

    sudo aptitude install gdb

  3. CVS (If it isn’t there already): If you plan to use bleeding-edge software, chances are you’ll need to pull it out of a CVS repo.

    sudo aptitude install cvs

  4. cscope: Very useful tool – analyzes C/CPP files.

    sudo aptitude install cscope

System Tools and Utilities:

  1. Bum (Boot up Manager): Tweak runlevels and other init scripts. Very useful.

    sudo aptitude install bum

  2. Preload: The adaptive Read-ahead daemon. Can increase performance of your Ubuntu system drastically.

    sudo aptitude install preload

  3. GParted: A superb Partition manager for GNOME. I recommend burning the GParted Bootable CD as well (It’s available at their site – Click Here).

    sudo aptitude install gparted

  4. AllTray: Minimize any app to system tray.

    sudo aptitude install alltray

  5. NTFS-Config: Stop messing around with /etc/fstab and configure your NTFS partitions the easy way.

    sudo aptitude install ntfs-config

  6. Quake-like terminals: These can be real time savers. You can choose between Tilda, Yakuake and Guake. (For guake, visit their site).
  7. HTOP: View and manipulate processes in the system. For a brief intro, Click Here.

    sudo aptitude install htop

  8. Envy: Problems with your video drivers? Envy will take care of everything.

    Download from: http://albertomilone.com/nvidia_scripts1.html

That’s all I can remember as of now.. If you think I missed something important, then please do leave a comment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s