Ubuntu fresh install

As I tend to do frequent fresh installations of Ubuntu, I decided to make a list of all the libraries I would have to install manually as well as how I installed them ( e.g. via code, software center, other).

C++ compiler

To my surprise Ubuntu 14.04 (16.04 was ok) had no c++ compiler, however installation requires two lines of code

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install g++

Building Essentials

That’s easy too:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install build-essential

MPI compilers

First download openmpi from their website and extract it locally. Then

./configure --prefix=/path/to/install/openmpi
make all install

Last we have to define the paths so that the programs can see the new library. First open an editor

gedit ~/.profile

and add at the end of the file the following lines:

export PATH=$PATH:/path/to/OPENMPI/bin

log out and log in and you are all set.


Cmake is a very important tool to have and the installation is also straightforward.

Download the code for their website and extract the files. The following lines should be enough for the installation:

./bootstrap --prefix=/path/to/CMAKE
make install

Flex and Bison

These two libraries were required by various packages.

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get upgrade 
sudo apt-get install flex bison


Just follow the guide


You can use the following two lines to get the version that’s already compiled, which is typically older than the most recent

sudo apt-get install libcgal-dev
sudo apt-get install libcgal-demo


That’s one of the few libraries that I have always failed to compiled from the source, therefore I always get the one provided by the repositories

sudo apt-get build-dep openscenegraph
sudo apt-get install libopenscenegraph-dev openscenegraph
sudo apt-get install openscenegraph-doc openscenegraph-examples gxine xine-ui libxine1-doc


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install splint


sudo apt-add-repository ppa:octave/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install octave

If the command window executes but doesn’t print the commands use the following

sudo apt-get install octave-strings


Ubuntu Software Center

This is a list of software to get right from the software center

  • Krusader (Similar to total commander)
  • Geany (Great Text editor)
  • QGIS (as an alternative to ArcGIS)
  • graphviz
  • Gnuplot
  • Povray
  • PETSc
  • splint





Useful Linux commands

How to

1)  untar files:

tar xvzf filename.tar.gz

see more

2) create desktop shortcut:

gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop

3) switch g++ compilers (assuming you have more than one)

sudo update-alternatives --config gcc

see more

4) shutdown from terminal

shutdown -h now

5) find the ubuntu version

lsb_release -a

see more

6) Switching workspaces

While most Ubuntu users may know that ctrl+arrows is a quick way to navigate through the different workspaces, fewer may know that ctrl+shift+arrows is also transferring the currently active window to the new workspace.

7) Move files recursively

Lets suppose we want to move all files with *.bin suffix from the current directory to a different one (e.g. ../Results/). The following command does the trick

find $PWD -name '*.bin' -exec mv {} ../Results/ \;

8) Setting up Swap space

This link has all one needs to configure a swap space