Ubuntu installation notes

Some things I had to do when I first installed Ubuntu.

As I plan to install it again at home these notes will come in handy (maybe only for me).

First off; I installed it on a new partition, keeping my old Slackware install on another partition.

The first thing to do is to set it up so that I can still boot back into Slackware – just in case.

Dual boot

Mount the old Slackware partition, I normally mount it on /mnt/old as I often need to refer to old config files etc.

Copy the slackware kernel image from /mnt/old/boot to /boot on Ubuntu.

Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and add an entry for the old kernel.

Edit the entry so that it boots off the correct partition (note: grub partitions count from zero).


The next thing was to install the NVidia drivers so that I could run it at 1600X1200.

Luckily there’s a HOWTO for that – (I followed method 1).


After installation I edited /etc/X11/xorg.conf to add 1600X1200 as a resolution for the 24 bit colour depth line.

keyboard shortcuts

I’m very big on keyboard shortcuts and multiple workspaces so I then did the following:

Increase number of workspaces to 6

Right click panel; Preferences.

Map keyboard shortcut to each workspace (Alt-1, Alt-2 etc)

Run gconf-editor /apps/metacity

Edit Global keybindings.

Map keyboard shortcuts to arbitrary commands

Run gconf-editor /apps/metacity

Add command to “keybinding_commands”

Map key to “run_command_n” in “global_keybindings”


I then installed qmail by following http://www.lifewithqmail.org/lwq.html#installation.


A friend (the one who gave me the Ubuntu CD) told me to look at Automatix.

It sets up lots of stuff for you with a nice installer tool.


Stuff I installed

I also installed a whole bunch of stuff using the Synaptic package manager.

I got this list from the history feature in Synaptic.
















That’s about it.

I still have a few things to sort out – mutt is playing up – so I’m having a play with Evolution.

xmms is skipping when playing music streams from home – not sure yet why that is.

But so much other stuff works better than it did in Slackware so overall I’m happy.


I’ve spent yesterday and today installing Ubuntu.

This is a big deal for me, I’ve been running Slackware as my main OS at home and work since around 2000.

My main reason for switching was that the latest release of Slackware no longer comes with Gnome. I don’t run the Gnome desktop environment, but I like my apps to be compiled against Gnome as I prefer its look and feel to GTK.

A few weeks ago one of the chaps at work handed me an Ubuntu live CD to try out, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out so I gave it a whirl.

I liked it, so eventually I took the plunge and installed it properly.

I set it up to dual boot so I can still go back to Slackware if I need to.

So far though, I like it.

Not sure about all these GUI apps though, I’m used to running Slackware – when I want to do something I hack on text files using vi.

Now I’m supposed to run some fancy-schmancy GUI tool instead. That’s not what Linux is all about surely! 🙂