Michael's "Gots-to-Have" Package List for New *nix Installations

NB: Check Mint gots-to-dos after install stuff
Before downloading and installing software:

(All these commands are listed at the end of this article, ready for you to copy and paste into a nearby bash script)
Remember to run update first:

sudo apt update

 

Sound and Video:

sudo apt-get install audacity
sudo apt-get install kdenlive
sudo apt-get install vlc
sudo apt-get install avidemux
sudo apt-get install openshot
sudo apt-get install sound-juicer
sudo apt-get install totem

Graphics:

sudo apt-get install gimp
sudo apt-get install gimp-plugin-registry
sudo apt-get install rawtherapee
sudo apt-get install luminance-hdr
sudo apt-get install imagemagick
sudo apt-get install inkscape
sudo apt-get install gphoto2
sudo apt-get install hugin
sudo apt-get install scribus
sudo apt-get install netpbm
sudo apt-get install dcraw
See how to download, build/install and run Povray 3.7 benchmark here

Programming and Miscellaneous Geekery

sudo apt-get install geany
sudo apt-get install virtualbox

Connectivity

sudo apt-get install openssh-server
sudo apt-get install screen
sudo apt-get install tightvncserver
sudo apt-get install tightvnc
sudo apt-get install ncftp
sudo apt-get install vsftpd
sudo apt-get install x11vnc

System tools and utils

sudo apt-get install gparted
sudo apt-get install htop
sudo apt-get install nmap
sudo apt-get install unzip
sudo apt-get install inotify-tools
sudo apt-get install curl

Internet

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
sudo apt-get install filezilla

Filesystem

sudo apt-get install btrfs-tools -y

Lamp Stack

sudo apt-get install apache2 mariadb-server php libapache2-mod-php php-mysql -y

MARIADB CONFIGURATION:

# The MariaDB configuration file
#
# The MariaDB/MySQL tools read configuration files in the following order:
# 1. "/etc/mysql/mariadb.cnf" (this file) to set global defaults,
# 2. "/etc/mysql/conf.d/*.cnf" to set global options.
# 3. "/etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/*.cnf" to set MariaDB-only options.
# 4. "~/.my.cnf" to set user-specific options.
#
# If the same option is defined multiple times, the last one will apply.
#
# One can use all long options that the program supports.
# Run program with --help to get a list of available options and with
# --print-defaults to see which it would actually understand and use.

#
# This group is read both both by the client and the server
# use it for options that affect everything
#
[client-server]

# Import all .cnf files from configuration directory
!includedir /etc/mysql/conf.d/
!includedir /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/

[mysqld]

bind-address           = 0.0.0.0
# skip-networking

# for ophiuchus 4GB tot RAM...

innodb_buffer_pool_size = 1920M
key_buffer = 1920M
query_cache_size = 1920M
query_cache_limit = 1920M
thread_cache_size = 8
max_connections = 400
innodb_lock_wait_timeout = 100

#from stack exchange...

innodb_io_capacity = 2000
innodb_read_io_threads = 64
innodb_thread_concurrency = 0
innodb_write_io_threads = 64

********** eof ***************
For mounting fs on server (e.g. to mount btrfs /btrfs_on_server on server 10.0.0.100) the client will need something like this:
sudo apt-get install nfs-common
sudo apt-get install portmap
sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils
Other packages to download and install:

linssid - follow instructions here  (e.g. http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/linssid/LinSSID_2.7/linssid_2.7...)
Opera - download here and do dpkg -i opera-download-file
Povray - See how to download, build/install and run Povray 3.7 benchmark here

Or just paste the whole bunch from here to EOF into a script, chmod +x it and run:

#!/bin/sh
​sudo apt-get update
# ---------------------------------
#    Sound and video
# ---------------------------------
sudo apt-get install audacity -y
sudo apt-get install kdenlive -y
sudo apt-get install vlc -y
sudo apt-get install avidemux -y
sudo apt-get install openshot -y
sudo wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo apt-get install sound-juicer -y
sudo apt-get install totem -y
sudo apt install xfburn -y
sudo wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo apt install ibttspico-utils -y
# ---------------------------------
#    Graphics and photography
# ---------------------------------
sudo apt-get install gimp -y
sudo apt-get install gimp-plugin-registry -y
sudo apt-get install rawtherapee -y
sudo apt-get install luminance-hdr -y
sudo apt-get install imagemagick -y
sudo apt-get install inkscape -y
sudo apt-get install gphoto2 -y
sudo apt-get install hugin -y 
sudo apt-get install dcraw -y
sudo apt-get install netpbm -y 


# ---------------------------------
#    Programming and Miscellaneous Geekery
# ---------------------------------
sudo apt-get install geany -y
sudo apt-get install build-essential -y
sudo apt-get install automake -y
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-qt -y
sudo apt install  libgconf-2-4 libpango1.0-0 libcurl3 gconf-service-backend
#DOWNLOAD BRACKETS.DEB AND: sudo dpkg -i Brackets.Release.1.14.1.64-bit.deb
sudo apt install meld
# ---------------------------------
#    Connectivity
# ---------------------------------
sudo apt-get install openssh-server -y
sudo apt-get install tightvnc -y
sudo apt-get install tightvncserver -y
sudo apt-get install ncftp -y
sudo apt-get install vsftpd -y
sudo apt-get install x11vnc -y
sudo apt-get install screen -y
# ---------------------------------
#    System tools and utils
# ---------------------------------
sudo apt-get install gparted -y
sudo apt-get install htop -y
sudo apt-get install nmap -y
sudo apt-get install unzip -y
sudo apt-get install inotify-tools -y
# ---------------------------------
#    Internet
# ---------------------------------
sudo apt-get install curl -y
sudo apt-get install chromium-browser -y
sudo apt-get install filezilla -y
# ---------------------------------
#    File System
# ---------------------------------
sudo apt-get install btrfs-tools -y
sudo apt-get install nfs-common -y
sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-tools -y
sudo apt-get install portmap -y
sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g -y
# ---------------------------
#     lamp sTACK...
# --------------------------

sudo apt-get install apache2 mariadb-server php libapache2-mod-php php-mysql php-curl -y
# sudo mv /var/www/html /var/www/public_html
# sudo systemctl restart apache2
# sudo mysql_secure_installation
# sudo mysql -u root -p
# create database ssws;
# CREATE USER 'www-data'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'atad-www_2020';
# GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON * . * TO 'www-data'@'%';
# sudo vi /var/www/public_html/info.php
# insert this: <?php phpinfo(); ?>

Michael's "Gots to do's" list...

Install Anaconda:

https://www.anaconda.com/download/

Install from .deb packages, e.g., Google Chrome:

Download .deb package.​

sudo dpkg -i /path/to/deb/file
sudo apt-get install -f .

Install youtube-dl

sudo curl -L https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
      -- or ---

sudo wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

and then:

sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl


Configure x11vnc on server:

x11vnc -storepasswd
x11vnc -usepw -forever

Configure Pidgin for Facebook Messenger:

sudo apt install -y build-essential
sudo apt install -y libglib2.0-dev
sudo apt install -y libjson-glib-dev
sudo apt install -y libpurple-dev

tar xvf purple-facebook-*.tar.gz
cd purple-facebook-*
./configure
make
make install
mkdir -p ~/.purple/plugins
cp pidgin/libpurple/protocols/facebook/.libs/libfacebook.so ~/.purple/plugins

 

Configure openssh-server:

sudo vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config
port 2222
MaxAuthTries 3
AllowUsers mik mina
sudo service ssh restart
ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096
ssh-copy-id mik@10.0.0.100
 

Add timestamp to prompt:

add this to ~/.bashrc

export PS1="[\$(date +%H:%M:%S)]$PS1"
Back to the home page
 

With a couple of changes in the settings, you can improve the performance of Firefox in Linux Mint. These tweaks will make this fine web browser leaner and cleaner.

 

 
Contents of this page:

 

Menu bar visible in Firefox

1. Unfortunately, the menu bar of Firefox isn't visible by default. Very annoying, but this is how you can fix that:

Firefox menu button (with the three horizontal dashes on it, top right) - Customize... - bottom left: click on the button Toolbars - click on: Menu Bar
 

Make Firefox cleanse itself automatically upon quitting

2. Improve your privacy: you can configure Firefox to cleanse itself automatically, upon quitting. All cookies and history are being deleted then. Furthermore, you can limit the tracking that some websites do to follow you.

The price you pay is a small decrease in user friendliness, but it's not much. The privacy gain is huge, and outweighs this price by far.

You can do it like this:

Firefox menu button (with the three horizontal dashes on it) - Preferences - tab Privacy & Security

a. Item History: change the setting to:
Firefox will: Use custom settings for history

b. Now tick the following setting:
Clear history when Firefox closes

c. Then, click the button Settings... (on the right of "Clear history when Firefox closes") and tick everything, except for Site Preferences. Click OK.

d. Item Cookies and Site Data:

Change the "Accept cookies (...)" setting to:
Keep until: Firefox is closed

e. Item Address Bar: remove the tick for: Browsing history

f. Item Tracking protection: leave those settings at their defaults, because otherwise some websites might function less well.

You've just set all cookies to be thrown away automatically upon closing Firefox (in the previous steps), so this tracking doesn't impact your privacy by much anyway!

g. Close the Preferences tab and you're done with optimizing the settings for privacy.

Tip: sometimes it may come in handy to force a cleansing during your web browsing. Simply by closing Firefox and launching it anew.
 

Limit the storage

3. By default, Firefox can store far too many files. Limit it like this:

a. Type in the URL bar of Firefox:

about:config

Press Enter.

b. Now you're being presented with a warning. Ignore it and click on the blue button "I accept the risk!".

c. Type as search term: cache

d. Double-click on browser.cache.disk.smart_size.enabled which is currently set to the boolean value true, so that it changes into false.

e. Then double-click on browser.cache.disk.capacity and change the value into 102400.

By doing that you've set the storage maximum to 100 MB, which is more than enough.

Note (1): Leave the other cache settings as they are: usually, the less invasive a hack is, the better. Because this reduces the risk of unexpected unwanted side effects.

Note (2): this is a user preference. Repeat this hack in each user account.
 

Disable spam by Web Push notifications

4. Firefox contains a true "feature from hell" by default: Web Push notifications. These allow Firefox to deliver on-screen notifications from websites, even when those sites aren’t loaded. Time for some sarcasm: now what on earth could possibly go wrong with that?

A website should ask for permission to do this abomination. But even then, it's simply too easy to allow a website this misbehaviour. A mere wrong click and you could be in for a lot of notification spam....

So I advise to disable this horrible thing fully and permanently for all websites, like this:

a. Type in the URL bar of Firefox:

about:config

Press Enter.

b. Now you're being presented with a warning. Ignore it and click on the blue button "I accept the risk!".

c. Type as search term: webnotif

d. Double-click on dom.webnotifications.enabled which is currently set to the boolean value true, so that it changes into false.

Note (1): Leave the other webnotification settings as they are: usually, the less invasive a hack is, the better. Because this reduces the risk of unexpected unwanted side effects.

Note (2): this is a user preference. Repeat this hack in each user account.
 

Disable the memory of the URL bar

5. The memory of the URL bar is more aggravating than useful, when you want to type a website address directly. An irritating busybody: "Maybe you want to type this?". Thank heaven you can disable this annoyance like this:

a. Type in the URL bar of Firefox:

about:config

Press Enter.

b. Now you're being presented with a warning. Ignore it and click on the blue button "I accept the risk!".

Type in as search term: maxrich

c. Double-click on browser.urlbar.maxRichResults and change the value to 0.

d. Click on OK.

Note (1): Leave the other maxRichResults settings as they are: usually, the less invasive a hack is, the better. Because this reduces the risk of unexpected unwanted side effects.

Note (2): this is a user preference. Repeat this hack in each user account.
 

Some graphics cards: disable hardware acceleration in Firefox

6. A few video cards have trouble because of the hardware acceleration that's on by default in Firefox. On most hardware, this browser feature is useful and boosts performance.

However, when you experience graphics problems in Firefox (delay when typing text, problems with displaying video's), try if it helps when you disable it as follows:

Click on the button with three horizontal dashes in the top right corner - Preferences

Tab General: remove the tick for: Use recommended performance settings and then remove it for: Use hardware acceleration when available

Close Firefox and launch it again.
 

Add-ons and extensions: don't turn Firefox into a Christmas tree

7. You can install a lot of add-ons (extensions) in Firefox. Some of those add-ons can be very useful.

But they have a couple of important disadvantages, because they are "applications within an application":

- they slow Firefox down, especially if there are a lot of them;
- they can cause malfunctions; both in each other and in Firefox itself;
- it has occurred: add-ons with malicious content. Don't trust them blindly.

So don't turn Firefox into a Christmas tree: don't adorn Firefox with lots of add-ons. Limit yourself to only a few add-ons, that are really important for you.

Strictly speaking, extensions and add-ons pollute the clean code of your browser. It's wise to keep the level of pollution down to an absolute minimum.

Note: watch out especially for add-ons that claim to make Firefox faster! Often they do more harm than good. Do not install them: even if one or two of them can really make Firefox run noticeably faster, they may damage the stability of your browser.
 

Test Firefox with a clean slate

7.1. For troubleshooting purposes it can be useful to test Firefox with a clean slate. So with a default profile and with no other add-ons and extensions than the default ones.

You can do that as follows:

a. Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

b. Now disable your current Firefox profile by renaming it. For that, copy/paste the following line into the terminal:

mv -v ~/.mozilla ~/.mozillabackup

Press Enter.

c. Then make sure that the default Firefox profile is present in your user folder. For that, copy/paste the following line into the terminal:

cp -v -r /etc/skel/.mozilla ~/.mozilla

Press Enter.

d. Close Firefox and launch it again. It should have a clean slate now.

e. Do your testing.

When you're done, you can restore the old profile like this:

f. First remove the newly created profile folder, with this terminal command (use copy/paste):
rm -v -r ~/.mozilla

g. Then restore the old profile with this terminal command (use copy/paste):
mv -v ~/.mozillabackup ~/.mozilla

h. Close Firefox and launch it again. All should be as it was before.
 

Run Firefox from within a secure sandbox

8. You can increase the security of Firefox greatly, when you run it from within a secure sandbox. This neat solution causes almost no loss of user-friendliness and only causes a little extra system load, while making Firefox much more secure.

You can achieve that by applying this how-to.
 

Enable rendering of DRM content

9. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a nasty phenomenon, because it limits your usage options. But unfortunately it's a fact of life that some web content has been contaminated with it, so we have to deal with it....

You can enable playback of DRM content in Firefox like this:

Firefox menu button (with the three horizontal dashes on it) - Preferences - tab General - Digital Rights Management (DRM) Content: tick Play DRM-controlled content
 

Letters too small on web pages? Increase the font size

10. You can enlarge the displayed font size like this:

Press the Ctrl key and keep it pressed (don't release it). Now hit the plus key ( + ) for as many times as you wish, until the font size that you want is achieved. Minimize: keep the Ctrl key pressed and hit the minus key ( - ). Back to default: keep the Ctrl key pressed and hit the zero key ( 0 ).

This however enlarges both text and images. That often renders images ugly. Set the enlargement therefore to "Zoom Text Only". Like this:

First make the Firefox menu bar visible:
Firefox panel - right-click on the right of the green plus sign - tick:
Menu Bar

In the menu bar (first make it visible as described in item 1 on this page): View - Zoom - tick: Zoom Text Only.

Note: even if you see no tick box, you can place that tick nevertheless!

On laptops with small displays you can also use one of the nifty add-ons for setting the default zoom level. You can install one in Firefox like this: Firefox menu button (with the three dashes on it) - Add-ons - Get Add-ons.

Note: be very reluctant to install add-ons in Firefox: the more add-ons it contains, the slower Firefox becomes.
 

Optimize the Places database from time to time

11. In your Firefox profile there's an sqlite database called Places, which after a while starts resembling a swollen Swiss cheese with holes. That might slow your Firefox down.

You can speed your Firefox up a bit, by optimizing (vacuuming) that database: you can namely deflate that swollen Swiss cheese into a compact smaller cheese. As follows:

Type the following in the URL bar of Firefox:

about:support

Press Enter.

Almost at the bottom of the page you get to see then, there's a header called Places Database. Click there on the button called Verify Integrity.

You're done! Repeat this on a monthly basis, so that your Firefox won't lose speed again because of a swollen database.
 

Stop Firefox from automatically playing videos

12. It can drive a man crazy: videos that start playing automatically on web pages. Why, for heaven's sake, did someone at Mozilla think it's a good idea to enable that horribly invasive feature by default?

Thankfully there's this solution:

Click on the small letter "i" with the circle around it ("Show site information"), on the left in the address bar of Firefox - Permissions: click on its small gear wheel - Autoplay: click on the button Settings... - Default for all websites: set that to Block Audio and Video - click on the button Save changes.
 

Make new tab pages empty

13. By default, when you open a new tab page, Firefox shows tiles of websites that you've previously visited. If you prefer those new tabs to show an empty page instead, you can do that as follows:

In the new tab, click the gear icon in the top right of the new tab - remove all checks except the one for Search.
 

Want to get rid of polluted settings in Firefox?

14. Do you have polluted settings in Firefox (possibly because of shady add-ons), and do you wish to start anew with a clean browser? Then proceed like described in item 7.1 on this web page.
 

Change the search engine of the Firefox search bar into Google or Startpage

15. Linux Mint has set Yahoo as default search engine for the search bar of Firefox. That's not ideal: most people prefer Google or the privacy-respecting Startpage (which yields Google results without invading your privacy).

Mint has made it rather difficult to change Yahoo into Google or Startpage (sigh...), but this is how you can still do that.
 

Configure Adobe Flash Player well

16. By applying the multimedia how-to you'll have installed Adobe Flash Player. You can improve its default settings, and among other things remove the relatively unknown Flash cookies.

Unfortunately most of this can only be done by a strange and unusual web based tool from Macromedia. This is how you do it:

a. Go to Adobe Flash Player Settings Manager

Note: that web page is the tool itself!

b. Now the settings manager opens with the tab Global Privacy Settings panel. First click on Run Adobe Flash. Then you get to see the full panel; in it, click on "Always ask..." Or, if you prefer a higher degree of security, "Always deny...".

c. Now click the tab Global Storage Settings panel.
Put the slider at at 10 KB (otherwise it'll remember too much information in your cookies, which is bad for your privacy). This is a per-cookie maximum size.

d. Now click the tab Website Privacy Settings panel. Click "Delete all sites".

e. Finally, click the tab Website Storage Settings panel. Click "Delete all sites".

You may want to run this settings manager on a regular basis, in order to remove stored content.
 

More tips?

16. Do you want more tips and tweaks? There's a lot more of them on this website!