Desktop Configuration

Install Software Packages

There is a whole slew of software one would want on a computer for writing, graphic arts, and so forth. The selection of available packages changes with each operating system version. The easiest way to install the packages for a particular version is through a script, and scripts are provided for many recent system releases.

Desktop scripts by version

Install a script as follows. First, download the script file appropriate for your system, saving it to file in your home folder:


If your browser saved this file without asking you where to put it or what to name it, then edit your browser preferences to always ask when saving downloads.

Now perform the following:

  1. Open a console (terminal) window
  2. Type the command sudo bash <Enter>
  3. Enter your password when asked
  4. When asked for a mysql pasword, type mysql
  5. Wait an hour or so while over 1000 software packages are installed
  6. Restart your system to load updates to the Linux kernel

Install ReST, Sphinx tools

Install documentation tools with the following separate script:

  1. Download reST script to filename
  2. Open a console (terminal) window
  3. Type the command sudo bash <Enter>
  4. Enter your password when asked
  5. Wait an hour or so while packages are installed and compiled

Configure Workspaces

For laptops and netbooks, the workspace type may default to Netbook. This is changed as follows:

  • Open System Settings
  • Under Workspace Appearance and Behavior, open Workspace Behavior
  • Click the Workspace cashew icon
  • Click the droplist next to Workspace Type: and select Desktop
  • Click the Apply button in the bottom-right of the window
  • Close System Settings

Add an improved system menu and multi-workspace paging as follows:

  • Click the configuration cashew at the right on the menu bar
  • Click + add widgets...
  • Add Lancelot Launcher, remove Application Launcher
  • If missing, add Pager (already installed on KUbuntu; not installed on Mint)

Configure Clipboard, Editor

  • Click the scissors on the task bar, and choose Configure Klipper....
  • On the General tab, check the box labeled Synchronize contents of the clipboard and the selection.
  • Open the editor Kate.
  • On View ‣ Tool Views, Check all three options: Show Sidebars, Show Documents, Show Terminal.

Avoiding VIM

Change default editor in KDE with the command:

sudo update-alternatives --config editor

Change default editor when opening files in Dolphin:

  • Right-click on file, choose Properties
  • Click on the wrench to the right of file type
  • Click on your preferred editor in the Application Preference Order list
  • Click Move Up to move your preference up the list
  • Click Apply, then close the properties window.

Turn on Apple Keyboard function keys

#. display current keyboard state (1=off, 2=on):

   cat /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/fnmode

#. set keyboard state to 2 (on):

   echo 2 | sudo tee /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/fnmode

#. make the configuration change permanent version 1 (not working on Mint 12):

   sudo touch /etc/sysfs.conf
   sudo bash < <(echo 'echo "module/hid_apple/parameters/fnmode = 2" >> /etc/sysfs.conf')

#. make configuration change permanent, version 2
#. still working on this, as it must come before "exit 0":

   sudo bash < <(echo 'echo "echo 2 > /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/fnmode" >> /etc/rc.local')