Over the past year I have developed quite a fondness for Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook edition. Most of my laptops dual-boot it and my wife runs it full time on her little IBM Thinkpad X40. The Netbook edition works great on the 12” or smaller monitors.
I briefly tried Ubuntu 10.10. Netbook but very quickly removed it. Let’s just say that I really really didn’t like it and leave it at that.
When I setup a 10.04 Netbook edition there are a few steps I do each and every time. Figured I could take a moment and jot down some of the steps to save me some time next time around.
Firstly, the 10.04 download link can be found here: http://releases.ubuntu.com/10.04/ (courtesy of jacevesl via Twitter). Grab the Netbook live CD iso and burn it to PC or USB – the Universal USB Installer makes creating a bootable USB stick very simple.
I’m not going to cover the install here. Just boot it and run the installer directly or boot in “Live CD” mode, play around a bit and then run the installer application. If dual-booting be sure to pay attention to some of the early steps and don’t smoke your other installed OS!
Once installed, connect to your network and run the Update Manager to get current. Reboot while making the obligatory “this is just like MS Windows” comment… sorry, couldn’t resist.
The default screensaver time is at 5 minutes. This drives me batty. So the next stop is to System (left menu) and then Screensaver. I usually slide the idle timer up to around 60 minutes. Up to you if you want to keep the “Lock screen when screensaver is active” or not.
Now I head back to the Favorites menu and clear out everything except Firefox and Ubuntu Software Center. Just right-click and “remove” to get rid of the others.
For a terminal I like to install Guake Terminal. I just fire up the afore-mentioned Ubuntu Software Center and type it into the search field and then click Install. Once that finishes, head to Accessories and start it up. That’ll put the guake icon up in the top bar. Click to get your terminal and then right-click for Preferences. In the General tab I like to click “Hide on lose Focus.” Instant F12 access to a nifty little tabbed window terminal. Head to System -> Preferences -> Startup applications and check the box by Guake. Now it’ll autostart as well.
Now I have to clean up a bit. I don’t use the built-in IM and email stuff so the “indicator applet” isn’t necessary and just takes space. Fire up the Ubuntu Software Center again. Click on “installed software” in the left pane and search for indicator-me and indicator-messages (for some reason, sometimes that latter search just has to be “messages”). Lose ‘em both, log out and back in and admire the much more svelt toolbar.
And there we go, the initial steps I do almost every time. The rest depends on how the machine will be used – alternate browsers, Dropbox, etc.