Ubuntu Linux SETUP

  • To install Ubuntu Linux, You can download the image of Ubuntu LiveCD for free and burn a CD/DVD. It is also possible to test the Ubuntu Linux on your machine by booting from LiveCD. Installation steps are easy and straightforward. There are only 7 steps that gathers basic information about time/date, keyboard layout, user information, hard disk partitions, and etc. The defaults work fine; but if you know what you are doing, you should consider putting /home/ and /opt/ on separate partitions to make it easier to preserve your data if you need to reformat the system in the future.

  • Note that super user password can be set from System Menu » Administrator » Users and Groups menu of Ubuntu. You also need to modify the privileges for both local and SEP users which is accessible through privilege tab of user property window in this menu. Make sure to grant Administrative privilege to both of them.

  • There are two pieces of code that you need to copy to /etc/ on your machine. First, copy slave_files_ubuntu.py. Then, modify the sudoers.local file by replacing your local username of your machine and your SEP username. This file has a format of
  local_user  ALL=(ALL) ALL    
  SEP_user    ALL=(ALL) ALL 
  • Copy automounter configuration files from /etc folder on an existing machine (e.g. koko). These files are auto.master, auto.netbase, and auto.netsub, and they need to go in /etc. They are responsible for the /net/<machinename>/directory paths working on all machines. You can easily do that by running following commands.
sudo scp SEPuser@koko:/etc/auto.master  /etc
sudo scp SEPuser@koko:/etc/auto.netbase /etc
sudo scp SEPuser@koko:/etc/auto.netsub  /etc
  • Use following commands to make symbolic links (ln -s) from /homes to /net/koko/homes and /usr/local/share/setup[admin] to /net/koko/linux_local[admin]. This ensures that the machines sees your home directory on koko as well as common binaries on koko
sudo ln -s /net/koko/homes   /homes
sudo ln -s /net/koko/linux_local/share/setup  /usr/local/share/setup
sudo ln -s /net/koko/linux_local/share/admin  /usr/local/share/admin 

  • After that, run crontab -e as root (run su) to edit the

crontab list. Add following entries to crontab list:

crontab -e
# Type following entires in crontab list
#6,36 * * * * /usr/local/share/admin/common/slave_files.py external >/dev/null 2>&1
6,36 * * * * /etc/slave_files_ubuntu.py external >/dev/null 2>&1

Finally run following command to load the SEP user list:

sudo python /etc/slave_files_ubuntu.py external >/dev/null 2>&1 

  • Install autofs, nfs-kernel-server, openssh-server, and tcsh packages by Synaptic package manager of Ubuntu Linux (You can open Synaptic package manager from either System Menu » Administration » Synaptic package manger or terminal by typing sudo synaptic). If you cannot ssh to your local machine from other machines, the problem might be from iptables package which is installed on Ubuntu as default firewall. If the OpenSSH installation worked properly, the port should be open. You can edit your iptables firewall to manually open it (see also Ubuntu community help on iptables). If all else fails, you can uninstall iptables, using the Synaptic package manager (but you will have no firewall at all - this should be a last resort).

  • Keep in mind that if you lock your screen manually or by screensaver, your password will be denied to unlock the screen due to a known bug in Ubuntu. This bug will most probably be fixed soon. Till then, avoid locking your screen.

Dual Screen

Right click on top of Applications menu and activate Other » Screens and Graphics if it is not. You can also access this from terminal by running gksu displayconfig-gtk. Set type and resolution of primary and secondary screens and then logout to allow setting to be applied. If you have nVidia or ATI graphic cards, you may find This guide helpful in this process.

Add Printers

To add network printers, there are to alternative methods. Go to System Menu » Administration » Printing. You can add printers (such as gp4thlj, sephp) by entering their IP and following the steps. To find out printer IPs, type ping gp4thlj.stanford.edu and ping sephp.stanford.edu. The second method is to activate shared printers on the network and copy the ones you want to use.

  • GP4THLJ: HP LaserJet 2300dn
  • GPCOLOR: Xerox Phaser 8400
  • SEPHP:

Suggested Softwares/Packages

  • Ekee: Ekee is a free latex equation editor which is useful for putting equation in presentation files. You can download the debian package from Ekee website.
  • Subversion: Subversion, also known as svn, is a version control system much like the Concurrent Versions System (CVS). Use Synaptic package manager to install it.
  • Scons: SCons is a make replacement providing a range of enhanced features such as automated dependency generation and built in compilation cache support. Use Synaptic package manager to install it.
  • rpm: Red Hat package manager which might be useful. Use Synaptic package manager to install it.
  • Python sub-packages: If you are using python you might find the following list of packages useful. All of them can be easily installed using synaptic package manager of Ubuntu.
    1. ipython: Enhanced interactive Python shell.
    2. numpy : Numerical Python adds a fast array facility to the Python language.
    3. scipy : Scientific tools for Python.
    4. matplotlib : pure Python plotting library designed to bring publication quality plotting to Python.

Firefox Plugins/Addons

  1. Adobe Acrobate Reader:Download Debian Package from Adobe website and install it using rpm package installer provided by Ubuntu. You can also install it using Synaptic package manager (look for adobereader)
  2. Sun Java:Install sun-java using synaptic package manager. You may need to run update-alternatives –config java in terminal to configure java plugin for firefox browser (Read more in Ubuntu help community).
  3. Adobe Flash Player:The first time you visit a website which includes flash contents you will be asked by firefox to install flash plugin. The Adobe Flash plugin suggested by firefox should resolve the issue.


sep/internal/ubuntu.txt · Last modified: 2015/05/27 02:06 (external edit)
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