Parental Units Setup


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My parents somehow agreed to try Linux. Here the steps I performed after the default install of Ubuntu 7.10.


Configure user auto-login

From /etc/gdm/gdm.conf:

# Automatic login, if true the first attached screen will automatically logged
# in as user as set with AutomaticLogin key.
$ sudo sed --in-place -e 's/AutomaticLoginEnable=false/AutomaticLoginEnable=true/' \
> -e 's/AutomaticLogin=/AutomaticLogin=user/' /etc/gdm/gdm.conf

Enable playback of "restricted formats"

"Restricted formats" comprise non-free media formats, including DVD, MP3, Quicktime, and Windows Media.

$ sudo apt-get -y install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Of the installed packages installed by the ubuntu-restricted-extras metapackage, I remove msttcorefonts as they make my Web browsing experience look worse in my opinion.

$ sudo apt-get -y remove msttcorefonts

Remove the metacity minimize animation

  • Disable the animation.
$ gconftool-2 --set --type=boolean /apps/metacity/general/reduced_resources true
  • Display contents of windows when moving (i.e., disable the awful wireframe effect).
$ gconftool-2 --set --type=boolean /desktop/gnome/interface/accessibility true

Install Opera

  • Add the Opera .deb repository.
$ sudo sh -c 'echo "# The Opera browser (packages)\ndeb etch non-free" >> /etc/apt/sources.list'
  • Add the GPG key.
$ sudo sh -c 'wget -O - | apt-key add -'
  • Install Opera.
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install opera

Install Frostwire

$ wget
$ sudo dpkg -i frostwire-*.deb

Install Internet Explorer 6

Install IE6 just-in-case a site is unusable with Firefox or Opera. Instructions on installing IE6 on Ubuntu are here[1].


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