Essential installs on Linux Mint 15

I have been installing a lot of linux distros on my laptop over the last year. Some basic packages that I like to install are as follows:
sudo apt-get install apt-file git vim htop screen
sudo apt-file update
apt-file search WHAT_TO_FIND

apt-file is quite good if you are not sure in what package a program or a file you need is located.

git, vim, htop and screen are regular suspects 🙂

The simplest way to get a scientific python environment up and running is the following:

sudo apt-get install python-numpy python-scipy python-matplotlib ipython ipython-notebook python-pandas python-sympy python-nose python-biopython python-sklearn python-joblib python-spyderlib

For latex, I do:

sudo apt-get install texlive texlive-latex-extra texlive-fonts-extra texlive-fonts-recommended latex-xcolor

My laptop has an AMD ATI Radeon HD 6600M discrete graphics card, which I have decided to turn off while running linux and depend on the integrated Intel gen2 graphics processor. I use the ATI open source drivers and the last I checked, they do not play to well with switchable graphics.

In /etc/rc.local I put the following script which uses vgaswitcheroo to turn off the discrete card on boot:

#!/bin/sh -e
# rc.local
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
# By default this script does nothing.
echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
exit 0

This method does not play too well with suspend and hibernate options which forces us to generate a script /etc/pm/sleep.d/90vgaswitcheroo with the following:

case "$1" in
echo "ON" > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
echo "OFF" > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
*) exit $NA

This turns the discrete on before the system goes to hibernate or suspend and then turns it back off after the system wakes up. We need to make it executable and owned by root:

sudo chown root:root /etc/pm/sleep.d/90vgaswitcheroo
sudo chmod 0775 /etc/pm/sleep.d/90vgaswitcheroo

Another thing I had problem with on Mint 15 was that when I put the laptop in hibernate or suspend, it did not lock the screen on wake up. This is unsecure and annoying. The simplest fix I found for this is by creating the following script /etc/pm/sleep.d/00LockScreen (found at the amazing Arch wiki):

# 00LockScreen-lock: lock workstation on hibernate or suspend

username=USERNAME # add username here; i.e.: username=foobar
export XAUTHORITY=”$userhome/.Xauthority”
export DISPLAY=”:0″

case “$1” in
su $username -c “cinnamon-screensaver-command –lock -m ‘Sleep message'” &
*) exit $NA

And as before:

sudo chown root:root /etc/pm/sleep.d/00LockScreen
sudo chmod 0775 /etc/pm/sleep.d/00LockScreen

There is a lot of other software that I install:
Skype (I am searching for an open secure alternative, leave a comment if you know any!)

Well, That is quite enough for now 🙂

Binni out!


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