Setting Up Ubuntu


This is one of a series of posts where I document software configurations for personal reference. This post documents the configurations for Ubuntu.

Controlling the boot process

The grub file controls the behavior of the GRand Unified Bootloader, which is a flexible and powerful boot loader program. The full path to the file is /etc/default/grub; use the following command to edit the file:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

There are two settings that may be of particular interest:

  1. GRUB_DEFAULT=0: choose Ubuntu as the default operating system.
  2. GRUB_TIMEOUT=5: boot the default system in five seconds if no keyboard input is performed during this time.

Remember to run the following command after changing the settings to update the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file:

sudo update-grub

Dealing with a dual-boot system time conflict

When Linux and Windows constitute a dual-boot system, there will be an issue concerning system time. The solution is to use the following command to tell Ubuntu that the hardware clock is set to ‘local’ time:

timedatectl set-local-rtc 1

Note that invoking this will also synchronize the RTC (i.e., real-time clock, which stores hardware time) from the system clock (which stores system time), unless --adjust-system-clock is passed.

The following command can be used to update system time, but note that the program is no longer installed on Ubuntu by default.


Auto mount a partition on boot

Edit the /etc/fstab file to auto mount a partition on boot. An example entry could be: UUID="" /mnt ntfs uid=1000,gid=1000,umask=0077.

Use the following command to get the UUID of a partition:


Use the following command to get user and group IDs:


Customizing the GNOME desktop

The gnome-tweaks and the gnome-shell-extensions packages are required for customizing the GNOME desktop. They can be installed by typing the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks gnome-shell-extensions

Install the Yaru theme (aka “communitheme”) and the Papirus icon theme:

sudo snap install communitheme
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:papirus/papirus
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install papirus-icon-theme

Use the gnome-tweaks tool to change the theme and some related settings.

Miscellaneous packages

sudo apt install aria2 fcitx meld vlc flameshot openfortivpn filezilla


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