I’ve recently migrated from Windows to Ubuntu. I was issued a new Dell laptop at the office after suffering through an HP device for… too long!
I decided to take the opportunity to migrate to Ubuntu. It’s been a long time coming. I wasn’t new to the OS, but I’m not a guru either. 🙂
INSTALLATION AND SETUP
The key to success here is a good plan before even creating your LiveCD/USB and installing the OS!
CONVERTING FROM WINDOWS
Some planning is involved to make this a success. These guides helped me:
Ensure that you have a good plan on your disk partitioning, especially for /, /home, /boot, swap:
DUAL BOOT WITH WINDOWS
Very good guide – boot loader consideration, partitioning are key here:
The installation itself is straightforward.
Becomes quite important, especially for non-trivial and dual boot.
BASIC UBUNTU DESKTOP SETUP
Just the basics for day 0 if you need it:
TEXT EDITOR – VI
I’m quite a fan. For GUI-based editors, I like Geany as well (quite a lot like Notepad++ in Windows – its pretty much an IDE).
Note – install vim immediately! vi has issues with certain keys in 14.04.
FILE RENAMING – REMOVING WHITESPACE FROM MIGRATED WIN DOCS
Sounds silly, but this is a really key issue to resolve.
Migrate files, then update them. Thankfully, this is what BASH was made for, and a one-liner find does this perfectly!
FILE SHARING AND SAMBA
Key topic in mixed office environments.
Setting up network printers for an office environment.
I chose to use Thunderbird as my mail client. Exchange generally is a problem, but there are some solutions… Took me a while to get this working, but wasn’t too emotional.
MIGRATING PST MAIL ARCHIVES
This process is key. The realpst package is awesome!
INTEGRATING TO EXCHANGE FROM THUNDERBIRD
Use Exquilla if you can.
This is not a free tool!
INTEGRATING TO OWA FROM THUNDERBIRD
I ended up using this as our exchange team couldn’t get me the EWS integration information I needed for Exquilla and auto-discovery didn’t auth with my account.
This is an excellent solution. Watch out for package dependencies needed (JDK will be required) and untrusted sources.
I used DavMail for this again with DavCal.
I also integrated Gmail with DavCal.
Thunderbird may require some tweaking to have your client act more like Outlook – I needed this to comply to office mail standards with signatures and reply/forwarding behaviour.
Consider installing the SmartTemplate4 add-on:
Creating customized HTML mail signatures:
Easy to set up. A good read as well
I decided to go for VirtualBox. Just some pointers that for things that I needed to get working with a Ubuntu Host/Win7 Guest setup.
I had some performance issues (v. high host CPU) related to:
Works with vmware-tools if you using vmware, but some considerations if you use VB:
Not too difficult to get working:
However, you do need to have Guest Tools loaded:
LEAVE IN WINDOWS
Some things are not better and for non-trivial tasks I didn’t even look at open source alternatives:
PROGRAMS / SOFTWARE IN LINUX
Just the basics – it’s a great blog! 🙂
NETWORK ENGINEERING TOOLS
Just a selection of Voice/Network Engineering tools that I found useful to immediately use in Ubuntu. This is what Linux is made for, and why I migrated I guess 🙂
Just to get started, the usual suspects:
- audacity – IVR-related stuff
- Winimage for Answer Files? – wrote a simple BASH script for that!
- SIP Workbench in Windows – will look for a decent alternative and update…
Just some to get started with:
- geany – I start with this because every good engineer needs a good text editor. For GUI-based this is my favourite
- nmap – n00bs like me can ease into the CLI by starting with zenmap
- gns3 – much better in linux!
- wireshark + tshark
- pac – excellent PERL-based replacement for SecureCRT!
A lot of scripting in Python and BASH will replace awkward Windows programs…
As a consulting engineer, I have a number of client VPNs to connect to – covering PPTP, Cisco VPN and AnyConnect/JunOs/FortiClient.
Here’s a general Ubuntu overview:
This is a stock standard for smaller clients. There are occasional errors, but most are easily solved by tailing /var/log/syslog.
Your distro should have a pre-installed GUI for this – Ubuntu 14.04 did.
Watch out for this issue (GRE tunnelling kernel-related error) that requires a modprobe!
I’d had tremendous issues with this, usually related to poor encryption on the server-side configuration that Linux doesn’t accept.
I wrote this wrapper script that deals with the challenges relating to 1DES weak encryption-related issues if you want to use the terminal to initiate the connection:
sudo vpnc –local-port 0 –enable-1des /etc/vpnc/myvpncconffile.conf
I named it vpnc-connect-wrapper, made it executable and placed in it /home/myuser/bin. It’s now available to initiate weaker connections. I saw some solutions re-naming the default binary, which I didn’t like.
Hard-coded with the .conf filename for now… Will add shell options later. It’s fairly trivial to do.
The Network Manager Gnome GUI also has added a weak encryption Advanced Setting option to deal with this as well
I still can’t get this working for multiple VPN connections. I’ve resorted to doing this in my Windows VM. I see many online posts with the same logs, and no solution in 14.04 or 14.10. Not sure about later versions, but its been broken since before 12.04.
Got this working as well!
Very easy to set up with this GUI client. Only different between the Linux GUI and the Windows GUI is that window defaults to port 443, whereas Linux defaults to 10443.
Used to be available as a Linux command line tool, but sadly is now only available through a browser connection – a number of dependencies to get this working, including installing Java.
Quite advanced. Keep for reference for later:
Just an overview for Linux newbies…
LINUX SYSTEM DEBUGGING
This really is an excellent tutorial on this topic
A basic overview of common troubleshooting tools and tips:
BASIC SYS-ADMIN HACKS
Some sys-admins tasks to get you going. Some were useful early on.
BACKUPS + SYSTEM IMAGING
Key topics when you are new to an OS and you wanna back out a f&^k up.
USEFUL LINUX FORUMS
I got a lot of value out of these:
Hope this helps a few folks!