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I came across a few tools today to ease the setup of common Ubuntu addons. Commonly installed applications & drivers like ATI and NVidea drivers can now be installed with just a few clicks.

These two programs are a great addition to an install of Ubuntu. It saves time having to go through the repositories and find the additional utilities often required. Easy Ubuntu is easy, graphical and safe.

Here is a screenshot:

This is what Easy Ubuntu does:


  • Enhance video player: Install a better multimedia backend (totem-xine replace totem-gstreamer)
  • Free Codecs: Add Support for playing mp3 and other non-free formats
  • Binary Codecs: Add support for proprietary video and audio formats (w32codecs) (only x86)
  • libdvdcss: Read commercial and encrypted DVDs
  • MIDI: Add support for playing midi files


  • Flash: Enable the Macromedia Flash plugin (only x86)
  • Java: Enable the Java plugin (Sun Java for x86, amd64) (IBM java for ppc)
  • Videos: Enable viewing videos embedded in webpages


  • RAR: extract and create RAR archives
  • ACE: extract ACE archives
  • 7-Zip: Extract 7-Zip archives


  • Repository list: Main, Universe, Multiverse and PLF (replace your previous sources.list)
  • Fonts: Install Microsoft and other nice fonts
  • DMA: Enable Direct Memory Access to improve DVD reading (breezy)
  • Nvidia: install the official driver to enable 3D on Nvidia graphics cards
  • ATI: install the official driver to enable 3D on ATI graphics cards

Voice Over IP

  • Wengo: a free Voice Over IP software (available in dapper)
  • Skype: the most popular VoIP software (only x86)

Another application that does a similar thing but is apparently more configurable is Automatix. See the screenshot below:

To see a list of what Automatix is capable of installing:


At 11 October 2007 at 06:09 Joseph Hartman said...

Hi Stephen. I really enjoy your blog. I'm trying to do the same thing over here in the states. I'm running into a bit more difficulty than you are evidently. I've also started blogging about my experiences recently (even though I've been researching LTSP and Edubuntu for over a year) so you can read more about my troubles there. It looks like you get to focus a bit more on the tech side of things whereas my primary responsibility is to teach kids from age 5-12 every week. In my extra time I've been trying to implement LTSP in both labs I have as well as the classrooms. My website is and my school is at You can find my contact info there but I would love to establish a mutual relationship as I'm sure you could provide me with some helpful advice. Cheers -joe


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