When you buy a Windows computer from the store, it comes with a lot of good (and bad) software pre-loaded.

For example: it will likely already have a Blu-Ray player installed as well as Skype and Chrome. It will also probably have adware, spyware, and other malware installed on it (that's how they subsidize computers that are sold at less than the cost of manufacturing, as well as boost profits on the expensive ones).

Because Ubuntu stays out of such legal and political entanglements, it's missing some pretty important stuff out of the box.

Installing the missing bits (just the good parts)

I've compiled guides for installing many of the missing programs that you would expect a store-bought computer to come with:

But lucky for you, I've also made the entire process simple and seemless. Although I'd recommend you visit those links if you're interested in learning how they're each installed, all you really need to do is a few simple steps:

  1. Do not continue unless you agree to the licenses

  2. Open Dash (the top-left launcher on the menu)

  3. Type Terminal in the searchbar

  4. Hit the <enter> key (or click on Terminal) to open it

  5. Copy the following command (all three lines together)

      sudo apt-get install -y curl && \
      curl -L https://raw.github.com/gist/4671312/ubuntu-install-media.sh \
        | sudo bash
    
  6. Hit the <enter> key

  7. Wait a few minutes

  8. Agree to the License for the Microsoft fonts (use the arrow and enter keys)

  9. Wait an hour or so (less if you have a fast internet connection)

  10. Agree to the License from Adobe

  11. Be happy

Warning: Never run a curl whatever | sudo bash anything from someone you don't trust - such as a nigerian prince, an advertisement or really anyone who stands to get monetary gain from having access to your computer (same as with running downloads that ask for a password on Windows or OS X)

Note: You can continue using your computer during this installation, but you won't be able to use the Ubuntu Software Center during that time. The installation will likely take over an hour (mostly download time, so potentially much faster if you have a great connection).

Playing Blu-Rays with Blu-Play

Because the encryption on a Blu-Ray is much more complicated, the method for playing a Blu-Ray is slightly more involved.

Every time you want to play a Blu-Ray:

  1. Stick a Blu-Ray in the Drive
  2. run blu-play in Terminal
  3. Wait a bit (perhaps a few minutes) as the encryption is broken and the movie is found
  4. Enjoy the show

DVDs can be played with the default video player (Ubuntu should ask you whether you want to watch a DVD or not when you insert it)

iPod / iPhone / etc

Your iMobileDevice (be it iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc) works with Ubuntu out of the box!

You don't even have to install iTunes (in fact, you couldn't install it anyway).

Just plug in and enjoy (using Rythmbox). You can even recover songs from your iPod!

Rumor has it that Google Music Manager can also sync with your iDevices.

License Agreements

I just have to include this for legal reasons since I repackaged MakeMKV to make the installation an automated process.

If you do not agree with any of the license agreements, you can't use the script above.

If you do not agree to the terms set forth by MakeMKV then you do not have the right to use the Blu-Ray player.

If you do not agree to the terms set forth by Microsoft then you do not have the right to use Arial, Times New Roman, and other Microsoft fonts.

If you do not agree to the terms set forth by Adobe then you do not have the right to use Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.


By AJ ONeal

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Published

2013-01-31


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