Default packages

Free Software, Jonathan Add comments

The Mother

My mother have been using Ubuntu on her desktop PC since just after Ubuntu 7.04 has been released. My mother doesn’t do much on her PC, she manages photos, browses the web, reads e-mail, keeps in touch with Pidgin and plays the occasional game. About 3 months ago, she bought a new laptop with Vista. I thought she’d get along with it fine, and with me being so far away from home so much these days, I thought she’d be fine. Well, she wasn’t. In fact, the laptop has been lying in a cupboard because she just couldn’t get things to work on it. She’s been visiting over the weekend, so I installed Ubuntu 8.04 on it, and she’s very happy with it. She’s been telling everyone how nicely her laptop is working now since I’ve “upgraded” it :)

I did a Google search to find what people install on their mother’s machines, but couldn’t find anything really helpful. These are the packages I installed on my mother’s laptop:

  • thunderbird
  • gnome-ppp
  • some games from universe

I then just added some bookmarks to Firefox for the sites she often visits, configured Pidgin and Thunderbird, added a photo to her session info and imported all her music into Rhythmbox. So far everything is working very nicely.

The Server

These are packages I usually install on servers. Not all of these packages usually gets installed on all servers though. These are just a few favourites.

  • screen
  • mc
  • htop
  • debmirror
  • irssi
  • debootstrap
  • vim
  • toilet
  • figlet
  • openssh-server
  • ethstatus
  • ddclient
  • apache2
  • nmap
  • rkhunter
  • postfix
  • traceroute
  • links2
  • sshfs
  • strace
  • gpw
  • ccze

The Desktop

At least, my desktop, plus the packages on the server list.

  • wireshark
  • thunderbird
  • network-manager-openvpn
  • quanta
  • agave
  • build-essential
  • k3b
  • nautilus-open-terminal
  • fakeroot
  • freemind
  • debhelper
  • devscripts
  • strace
  • liferea
  • vlc
  • virtualbox

If there’s something else I should install by default and don’t know about, please leave a comment :)

7 Responses to “Default packages”

  1. Vadim P. Says:

    Just installed Ubuntu for my mother recently. I got the flash plugin, ffmpeg codecs, adblock for firefox, and placed a firefox icon and stretched it to the max on the desktop

  2. ssam Says:

    I always recommend preload.

    it tried to keep useful things in the disk cache in RAM. this makes programs cold start times almost as good as their warm start times. (try this: reboot your computer, login, wait for everthing to settle. now start openoffice. now close open office. now start it again. preload makes the first start as fast as the second.)

  3. jonathan Says:

    Ah yes, I installed the codecs for my mother too (a few from medibuntu as well). Completely forgot about that :)

  4. jon Says:

    Don’t forget about sensitive data encryption - I think Truecrypt is the best for that, and the data files are OS portable too.

  5. anastacia haddon Says:

    You said “she manages photos”. Does she have a web album? like Picasa or Flickr for example? because there are cool uploader apps to install. I’m not sure what is standard for Gnome as I using KDE. I think a mommy will love the ‘making uploading photos procedure’ easier?

  6. oliver Says:

    Yes, I too installed Thunderbird instead of Evolution on my mother’s laptop (gnome-ppp was not needed as she lately got broadband + WLAN, and Sudoku is enough for gaming).

    Still looking for a decent photo manager app… F-spot is too “heavy” (she won’t use the tagging stuff anyway), and it doesn’t play nicely with her old non-PTP camera, it doesn’t seem to manage the short movie clips from the camera, and (worst of all) there’s no good duplicate detection… Anyone has an idea what to use instead of F-spot?

  7. bastianazzo Says:

    what about video communication? I think nowadays it’s very common for sons to be far away from home, and in my experience mothers really enjoy videochat (at least a couple of minutes a week). what is the easiest way to accomplish this? I used skype, unfortunately not open source, but definitively very easy to setup and use.

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