Getting comfortable in Ubuntu 14 LTS is not exactly trivial.

Privacy first

Disable the annoying and horrible online search in Dash:

  1. Open System Settings
  2. Go to Security & Privacy
  3. Go to Search tab
  4. Switch off online search

The keyboard

The Caps Lock key is perfectly useless. The Control key is extremely useful. In previous versions there used to be an easy way to make Caps Lock an additional Control. That seems to be gone now. This command will do it:

setxkbmap -option caps:ctrl_modifier

To make it permanent, add it to ~/.xsessionrc. (No need to make it executable.)

In case the GUI freezes (sadly it does happen), it’s good to be able to shoot down the X server easily with control alt backspace, like it used to be the default in the good old days:

setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp

Making Caps Lock an additional Control in virtual terminals is a bit harder.

Dump the current keymap and make a backup:

dumpkeys > keys.kmap
cp keys.kmap backup.kmap

Edit the keymap file, replace CtrlL_Lock with Control on this line:

keycode  58 = CtrlL_Lock

Compress it and copy to the default location:

gzip -9 keys.kmap
sudo cp keys.kmap.gz /etc/console-setup/cached.kmap.gz

I pieced this together from this more detailed article:


The startup sound can be annoying. An easy way to disable that is to rename the sound files:

sudo mv /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/desktop-login.ogg{,bak}
sudo mv /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/system-ready.ogg{,bak}

Install “essential software”

apt-get install git vim-gnome jq screen pwgen

Configure “essential software”

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C user@host

mkdir -p dev/git/github
cd dev/git/github

git clone
#./dotfiles/  # TODO ;-)

git clone


Install the Greasemonkey and JSONView extensions.

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