MySQL DBA - Tips and Techniques Magazine

16 Jul 2014

Run Linux Ubuntu 14.04 As Your Desktop


Linux was started as project by Linus Torvalds at Helsinki Uni, free open source license for poor students on x386 machines!  Linux Kernel is the brains of the OS  , manages memory, files etc.  Added unix utilities (GNU) and a compiler (GCC). 

Companies can enhance and distribute for free, charge for support.  Many distributions eg Debian, Red Hat, SUSE, Madriva, LiveCD etc.  Over 160 distributions
Distribution =
Linux kernel (customised minix + gnu (unix utilities))
+ supporting applications (free like KDE, OpenOffic, Apache)
+ propriety applications eg adobe reader, graphics/sound drivers)
+ distribution specific applications (eg for configuration, installation Yast, mcc)
+ manuals (man pages)
+ Support (paid – phone, internet etc)
Distribution can be targeted for : desktop, server, media, scientific, recovery (eg forensic hardrives)
Services, libraries or applications compiled into a format depending on the distribution its for. 
Red Hat & CentOS :          YUM, RPM.   
Debian (Ubuntu):              Apt-get
Generic :                             TAR, TGZ (TAR GZipped), BIN (binaries, not source)

DeskTop Linux    

A linux installation containing a GUI eg KDE, Gnome, Unity, XFCE, Cinammon
Personal Applications (Open Office, RhythmBox (music player), VLC (video player))

Server  Linux

Linux took off in the Enterprise due to LAMP stack:
Apache (Web Services)
MySQL (Database)
PHP (Presentation Language)
Other Server Apps : Gamer servers, source code (GIT), content management (Wordpress)

Server version will have command line shell,firewall, proxy server, dns server.   Desktop will have more like office, calendar etc.  But you can install everything on either.



VM Workstation  - $200 license fee,  VirtualBox is free. 

Then load from LiveCD from Ubuntu (or Can Use Daemon Tools Lite – load ISO image first.)

1Gb Ram & 8Gb Hardrive

Then full screen doesn’t display - tried installing the virtual box additions but didnt work.


Burn iso image to DVD (900M).  Use as LiveCD to install.  Didn’t work on XP laptop : need to

Detach external drive
Splash screen – F12
Icon of keyboard and man , press TAB
Install Ubuntu (don’t press ENTER), press F6, ESC (to get rid of pop up)
(append to end of line) forcepae    (ENTER)
(get message FORCING PAE in CPU Flags & Ubuntu installs)
Choose to install alongside XP (old machine i had lying around) – 20GB each (8 min     )

Computer name : hslakhan-nec
Un/pwd : hslakhan/*****

Updates & repositories

Terminal window :
sudo apt-get update     (this updates all file headers)
sudo apt-get upgrade      (this upgrades all repositories)

Top Things To DO After Installing

Medubuntu repositories – no longer needed as its in Ubuntu 14_4

Eg mp3 codec not installed by default due to licensing

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras     (mostly codecs for playing multimedia, browser add-ons, Microsoft fonts etc)
sudo apt-get install non-free-codecs  libxine1-ffmpeg totem-mozilla gxine mencoder easytag tagtool icedax id3-tool lame mpg321 libmad0 mpg321libjpeg-progs    (mostly for displaying video)
sudo apt-get install vlc      (will play any dvd and region and video codex and blueray)

Use Ubuntu software centre to install following apps:
Pidgin   (allows other chats to run eg messenger etc)

CHROME is not available from the repositories we installed so internet search for CHROMIUM on (built on chrome source), download and install package

GAMES – game platform,   install STEAM client with single click

Unity Desktop

This is ubuntu’s own desktop - stable.  Gnome and KDE are standard ones for linux.
Remove icons on left  ones you don’t want.
Ubuntu One – cloud drive - 5G storage for free 
Ubuntu software centre.

[prefers KDE, Gnome 3 looks good too but performance is suspect)
Can add icons from lens (background) to side.

Customizing Unity

Unity tweak tool allows configuration from one place
Also, systems settings allows changes – screen display : turn off built in display to just use my bigger screen.  Cant extend as its limited by my graphics card and will make performance worse. Laptop is slow enough as it is!  Pentium M  1.5GHz, 1Gb RAM 40 Gb harddrive.
sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

Gnome Desktop

Ubuntu comes with different GUIs ready made eg KDE4 –Kubuntu
X windows –Xubuntu
Education – EdUbuntu
But no Gnome bundled Ubuntu, so have to set it up as follows:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop   ubuntu-gnome-default-settings
(600M download, 1.4G in size! 
ubuntu-gnome-default-settings  - this installs GDM Gnome Display Manager  and gives you option to configure it )
Terminal>  which lightdm
/usr/sbin/lightdm   (which is ok for UNITY and KDE , but we need to switch to GDM)
sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm     (shows which one is in use and can choose)
RESTART (top right)

Have to enter username/id , click on gear icon and you can choose type of display.
GNOME – had error
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

>gnome-tweak-tool &

Can install extensions – but be careful if its not compatible, more recent ones will work better
PEOPLE give GNOME 3 bad reviews, preferred GNOME 2 and GNOME CLASSIC as it lets you do more things for utilities and developers etc


Presenters favourite.    Good for general user and developers of standalone apps.  Kubuntu has KDE as default. 
sudo apt-get install kde-full 
(500M download, 1.5GB unpacked!  Then choose display manager which is X-windows GUI)
KDE desktop has customisation.  Click on DESKTOP on top right and choose widgets.  Menu bar allows you to add.  (Eg has widget to monitor CPUs, SQP, Network, Calendar tied into google apps). Can right click on background to change wallpaper.  Can click on start icon to change settings and add widgets to desktop.  Can configure desktop effects.

Basic User Management

Can add accounts.    On Ubuntu simple :
System Settings > User ACccounts >   standard account cant run sudo.
On others:
> sudo adduser test_user

Can login as
su –test_user
sudo cat /etc/sudoers

add  to the sudoers.d file to allow sudo access
sudo vi /etc/sudoers

add test_user under root

Basic File and Directory Management

Use command line, or in Ubuntu can use windows
cd /
ls –al

Run Windows Applications in Linux

Have to just try to run windows apps.  WINE (Wine is not emulator) provides apis and dll from windows – but not complete.
To install
sudo apt-get install wine     (big download)
configure wine
need to make a windows bucket:
wine firefox …    (the windows version) –shows compatible apps


Libre office and OpenOffice – similar to MS Office.  Can be saved in XML format that MS Office can read.  Better than the other way around.
Can open powerpoint etc fine.
Evolution suite – calendar, tasks, integrates into google apps.

Following are in all linux installs by default:
Abiword – simple word used in gnome
Evince –  document viewer
Gnumeric – simple spreadsheet


Intel processors not good for gaming
Need ati graphics cards – it can also do multiple desktops
Most games are window based use wine  for World of Warcraft
Also third party configuration on top of wine called  …then allows has specific window profile to optimise the game/apps to be installed, then run the game.
STEAM runs on Linux as well…can install onto Ubuntu fine and download linux games.  Native.