Some notes on Linux, Ubuntu PPAs, Wine apps, and more

1. Check out KDE Neon User Edition. It is based on the current Ubuntu long-term support (LTS) edition which is currently version 16.04 codename “Xenial”. Neon seems to be the way of the future for KDE. But I must qualify this statement because there is also criticism of Neon since it is not an offical Ubuntu derivative any longer. For the most part this doesn’t seem like an issue, but it potentially could be although the possibility is very slight. If you’re running Kubuntu you can setup the Kubuntu Backports PPA to upgrade to KDE Plasma destkop version 5.8.4.

Another distro to check out is Linux Mint Cinnamon which is based on the Cinnamon desktop. Linux Mint are also the developers of the Cinnamon desktop environment which is derived from Gnome. Linux Mint is also based on Ubuntu like KDE Neon above (and many other distros). The latest Linux Mint Cinnamon version 18.1 codename “Serena” features Cinnamon 3.2 which brings significant updates including support for vertical panels.

2. If you install Ubuntu or an Ubuntu-based distro like either of the two above, here are some useful extras that can be added. Most of these use what are called PPA’s – personal package archives – which are basically repositories for different projects:

The main Ubuntu page for PPA’s: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+ppas

Owncloud client
If you use Owncloud then you need the client.
https://software.opensuse.org/download/package?project=isv:ownCloud:desktop&package=owncloud-client
Note that Nextcloud has forked from Owncloud, and I’m not sure but it looks like Nextcloud is gaining momentum at the moment so you might want to check out Nextcloud. Also KDE and Nextcloud are apparently working on tight integration of Nextcloud into KDE. Also expect other things to integrate with Nextcloud/Owncloud in the future. Any app that supports remote backup or storage functionality could potentially integrate with it. Plus there are other cool features in Owncloud/Nextcloud like galleries, collaborative document editing, calendaring, and more. All you need to do is wean yourself off the “free” shit that is provided by companies like Google and Facebook, pay a little bit of money to a hosting company each year (or set up your own server at home if you have decent bandwidth and a plan from a non-fucked-up Internet provider who doesn’t try to block it or charge you extra for a static IP which is robbery – the bottom line is they don’t want people going the Owncloud/Nextcloud route. They want you addicted to their “free” apps so they can steal your data, money, and freedom.)

Skype
Now available as a 64-bit build for Linux

Before installing skypeforlinux_1.14.0.5_amd64.deb you have to install gnome-keyring.
When the Skype package is installed it will automatically set up its own PPA.

Enlightenment 21
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:niko2040/e19
This is yet another window manager which goes way back. Way back. Is really cool with a unique look. And you can run it on a system running KDE, Cinnamon, or anything else because this is Linux and you can do what the fuck you want freely. You just select Enlightenment (or any other desktop environments you have installed such as LXDE, Xfce, etc) from the login screen. The PPA listed above is for the latest version 21 even though it says 19.

Wine
To run the latest version of Wine, which is always increasing support for more programs and compatiblity:
wget https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/Release.key
sudo apt-key add Release.key
sudo apt-add-repository 'https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/'
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-devel wine-mono0.0.8

winetricks which is a great way to do simple installs of a wide variety of programs. I recommend the latest version from the link above, and not installing the Ubuntu version from the package manager. You can also install playonlinux (install with the package manager similar to other apps using Discover as mentioned below) which is similar to winetricks and simplifies the installation and configuration of apps under Wine.

Ubuntu Containers Team LXD stable
If you plan on using virtual machines then check out Ubuntu LXD. This is their PPA for the latest stable builds.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-lxc/lxd-stable

Ubuntu Graphics Drivers Team PPA
For proprietary (NVidia) drivers.
Useful if you have an NVidia graphics chip.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa

3. Wine apps
Below is a list of some Wine apps and the commands to create their containers and run winetricks:

Acrobat
WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.acrobat bin/winetricks

Notepad++
WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.npp bin/winetricks

MediaMonkey
WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.MediaMonkey bin/winetricks

Kindle
WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.kindle32 bin/winetricks

Photoshop
WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/..photoshop32 bin/winetricks

Some other useful programs:

To install most if not all of these you can just hit the Win key or click on the menu and type “software” which will open the Discover app.

LibreOffice – includes LibreOffice Writer (word-processor) and Calc (spreadsheet) apps

pavucontrol – PulseAudio Volume Control, the best mixer app

smplayer – the best video player for Linux. vlc is also good.

hexchat – excellent IRC client.

okular – KDE-based PDF viewer

kate – KDE-based notepad app