Ubuntu 7.10 Post Install Customization

As soon as I installed Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), I took the steps detailed in this post. When Linux allows you to customize to your heart’s content, why not utilize the opportunity. Please remember some options may be highly unsafe and make your computer susceptible to malicious users. So please read more about security before attempting these things yourself.

Set Password for root

Ubuntu by default does not set a password for root while installing. So you have to manually set it. And it is as easy as:

sudo passwd root

You will be asked to set a new password and then confirm it.

If you want to change the password of your current user, just run


and enter the new password when asked. That’s all there is, folks.

Enable Auto Login

Go to System > Administration > Login Window and then the tab Security. Check Enable Automatic Login and from the User drop-down menu select the user you want to auto login. Click Close. Now whenever the computer reboots, this user will login to the GNOME session.

This is certainly not a secure option. However, I did this so that I may use VNC without messing around with settings that allow remote control without auto login. This takes me to my next step.

Enable VNC Remote Desktop

Go to System > Preferences > Remote Desktop. Check Allow other users to view your desktop, check Allow other users to control your desktop. Uncheck Ask you for confirmation and check Require the user to enter this password.

Along with auto login, this allows me to login and control my computer even if the computer reboots.

Disable Install CD as Resource for apt-get

Go to System > Administration > Software Resources. Under the tab Ubuntu Software, uncheck all options under Installable from CD-ROM/DVD.

I don’t like to put the CD in every time I need to install some packages. I also do not want to leave the CD in there. With a broadband connection, why bother? So I always disable CD as a place to look for packages. Now when I use apt-get, my system fetches the package from the Internet.

Change the Default Server for Packages

Go to System > Administration > Software Resources. Under the tab Ubuntu Software and the drop-down menu called Download from choose Other. From the list choose any server of your choice and then click Choose Server. You may wish to reload all packages through GUI or command-line with sudo apt-get update.

I don’t want to hit one server every time, especially when the same server may be chosen by default for many other users. This affects the resources of that server. Therefore, I choose some other suitable server. Usually it is a University close to my geographic location.

I also like to periodically change the server so that all are used fairly and I do not put a lot of burden on just one. My usage of the servers is not much but it is all about the principle of fairness.

Sync Your Clock

You can synchronize the clock on your machine with Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers automatically. To do this, just install an NTP client by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install ntp

Then right-click the clock, click on ‘Adjust Date and Time’ and select servers you want to use for this purpose.

BitTorrent Client

A fairly simple BitTorrent client is called Deluge. You can install it by

sudo apt-get install deluge-torrent

More Packages Please

I also like to install the following packages once I am done with the other stuff.

sudo apt-get install build-essential ssh vim screen smbclient zip unzip

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