Opening repositories in Kubuntu 6.06


Objective.
Set up a number of repositories to allow the easy installation and updating of software. These instructions have been written for the Kubuntu 6.06 release using the KDE interface but many of the instructions are valid for Ubuntu and it's default Gnome interface.

Tasks.
Enable the repositories.
Install the Synaptic Package Manager.
Add the Automatix repository.
Update or install software as required.

Recommendations.
Review all instructions on this page before you begin.

Page dependencies (ensure you have access to everything you need before you begin).
Commands issued at the command prompt in this section are done so as superuser or root unless otherwise specified. When installed, Dapper does not ask for a root password to be specified. Either set a root password using sudo passwd root so that you can log in as superuser, or enter the commands listed in this guide prefixed with 'sudo'.

Text file editing from the command line.
This guide uses the Nano application for text editing because of its simplicity. Alternative text editors are available. Basic Nano key combinations to remember are CTRL-O to save and CTRL-X to exit.

Page format.
Text in this format indicates command line entry by the user.
Text in this format indicates an error returned by the system.
Text in this format indicates a normal return from the system.
Beware of similar characters such as 1(one), l(lowercase L), 0(zero), O(uppercase 'o'), | (pipe – Shift ' ' usually).
Text enclosed in [square brackets] indicates a build-specific variable such as a version number or user name.

Conditions.
This page was written for kubuntu 6.06 and may contain content or instructions that are not relevant to other distributions.
This information is provided for guidance only. Use of these instructions is deemed to be at your own risk.
R3UK Limited welcomes comment on this information but cannot guarantee a reply and provides no technical support. Please use one of the many dedicated Linux forums or IRC channels if you require assistance.
Text colours and fonts used in the formatting of this page relating to command input and output are used for illustration purposes. Actual command line colours and fonts will vary according to individual system preferences.
GUI instructions were written for the KDE3.5.1 desktop environment and may differ for other desktop environments.

Procedure.
Once you have finished installing your shiny new kubuntu installation, you'll want to run some updates and get some software installed onto it. Fortunately you don't need to start downloading binaries of all sorts of apps from all sorts of vendors as there are some easy tools to do the job for you. Firstly, open up a command prompt (konsole or the like), and edit your sources.list file to open up the repositories contained therein.

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

If you have installed while offline (i.e. no internet connection) then all repositories within sources.list will be commented out (a hash '#' will be at the start of the line). If you have built with a network connection then some of the repositories should be available. Remove the comments from the repositories to enable them. For example...

change:
#deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security main restricted

to:
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security main restricted

... and when finished, save your changes and exit from nano.

If you didn't have a connection to the internet before then make sure you have one now as you won't be able to connect to a repository without one! Connecting to the internet is beyond the scope of this guide but the easiest way is to plug the computer into an ethernet network - one that has DHCP so that the computer can configure itself and no policy preventing access to the outside world. Assuming you have such a connection, we must instruct the computer to refresh its list of available software from the repositories we have now enabled. This can be done with:

apt-get update

The next piece of software to install is the Synaptic Package Manager. This is included by default with Ubuntu/Gnome but it has to be installed separately with Kubuntu. The following command will download and install Synaptic.

apt-get install synaptic

Another application worth getting hold of is the Firefox web browser....

apt-get install firefox

In fact, any application can be installed from the repository this way, so long as you know the name. If you don't know the name, try the search command as shown in the example below...

apt-cache search synaptic

Once the application has been pulled down and installed, it will appear in the KDE start menu under the relevant title (i.e. Firefox will be under Internet, Synaptic under System, etc.) You can now launch Synaptic and use it for installing or removing packages. Don't forget, the Adept package manager is included with Kubuntu by default and will probably be nagging you to check for and apply updates (an icon showing a warning triangle near the clock). It's probably worth doing so long as you're not on a slow dial-up internet connection (at the time of writing Adept reports 91MB of downloads are required for my installation).

The built-in repositories are great for the nuts and bolts that hold Kubuntu together but don't contain the third party software people reeeeally want to install. I'm talking about stuff like Acrobat Reader, RealPlayer, DVD playback, Flash, etc. While elsewhere on this site I mention installing some of these packages individually, by far the easiest way is to add another repository called Automatix which can find this stuff for you. Full details are available on www.getautomatix.com.



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