It would be ideal if all my software were Free Software, but until then, I have to be pragmatic if I want my wireless to work. To me, almost any GNU/linux or BSD distribution would be just fine... unless it is too bloated or too confusing to make work. Over the last decade or so, for better or worse, I have settled on lubuntu, even on my more capable hardware.

That written, there are some things that I almost always do to fix problems or set up machines to work the way I prefer. Some of those things appear below for my reference, and may become dated as time marches on.


Although not my preferred way to produce documents, it is quick and practical unless the dialog menu fonts are simply too small. In that case, the following seems to work wonders:

$ sudo apt install libreoffice-kf5

$ sudo apt purge libreoffice-qt5

swap file

lubuntu doesn't automatically set up that annoying swap partition, but sometimes swap is needed.

To setup a 16GB swap file (with 16383 1-M blocks), do the following. Remember, the dd command can ruin not only your disk, but also your life when it deletes important and non-backed-up files, so be very careful with it.

  1. $ sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swap16GB bs=1M count=16384
  2. $ sudo chmod 600 /swap16GB
  3. $ sudo mkswap /swap16GB
  4. Edit /etc/fstab using sudo: $ sudo emacs /etc/fstab and enter the line:
    /swap16GB none swap defaults 0 0
You can check to find any mistakes if you enter "$ sudo swapon -a" which will try to activate all swaps listed in your /etc/fstab file. Disable any unwanted swaps in your /etc/fstab file and reboot.

Note that some like to use /dev/random instead of /dev/zero.

  • Auto updates
  • Disable keyring password prompt
  • Latex

    Usually, ubuntu and lubuntu are far behind with texlive. So, do not install with apt. Instead, do this: