4.1 Installing Ubuntu

There are many options and different distributions available for GNU/Linux. We concentrate on Ubuntu, a derivative of Debian. Ubuntu has a focus on ease of setup and is widely deployed.

A Ubuntu installation is straightforward and can replace Windows altogether or can be installed beside Windows (for a dual boot option). Visit the Ubuntu Installation Tutorial for the simple instructions provided by Canonical. You can easily become familiar with the installation process by trying it out once or twice—it doesn’t hurt to practise!

The best choice is to install the latest Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Supported) on your own computer as the base operating system. This chapter also provides various options including virtual machines and cloud servers.

Once the base Ubuntu is installed you might install wajig to simplify using Ubuntu. Wajig is available from the PyPI software repository. Installation of wajig will usually take less than 5 minutes.

sudo apt update; sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install wajig
wajig update; wajig upgrade 
wajig install python3-pip
pip3 install wajig

Be sure to log out and log back in after the pip3 install so that the system will refresh the PATH to include ~/.local/bin (where pip3 installs commands). You could do the following, but it is not usually required:

echo 'PATH=~/.local/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.bashrc

If you have set up Ubuntu on a server in the cloud then a remote desktop connection can be established using X2Go. This is a good alternative to a command line connection in a terminal using ssh. X2Go usually requires the MATE desktop and the X2Go server to be installed on the cloud server. This can take 15 minutes or so:

wajig install ubuntu-mate-desktop x2goserver

For any questions asked during the install select the default option (e.g., gdm3).

In general, you may also like to install the following packages:

wajig install emacs

Some other useful initial setup includes:

sudo timedatectl set-timezone Australia/Canberra

To keep the system automatically updated add a regular task to the system crontab.

sudo crontab -e

Add the following line to update at 3am every day. Change kayon to your own username and create the sub-directory in your home directory.

0 3 * * * (wajig update; wajig distupgrade --yes) > /home/kayon/cronlog/cronlog_`date +\%Y\%m\%d`.log 2>&1

Next you probably want to add some users (see wajig’s adduser), perhaps install a web server (see Section 90.1).

Your donation will support ongoing availability and give you access to the PDF version of this book. Desktop Survival Guides include Data Science, GNU/Linux, and MLHub. Books available on Amazon include Data Mining with Rattle and Essentials of Data Science. Popular open source software includes rattle, wajig, and mlhub. Hosted by Togaware, a pioneer of free and open source software since 1984. Copyright © 1995-2021 Graham.Williams@togaware.com Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0