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Fix Ubuntu

A set of shell scripts automating a number of tasks required for a fully functional desktop user interface with Ubuntu 16.04.


Copyright 2016 Luís Moreira de Sousa. All rights reserved. Any use of these documents constitutes full acceptance of all terms of the documents licence.


Since the 12.04 release Ubuntu has provided what is these days one of the best desktop user interfaces ever created: Unity. Even if not preferred by everyone, Unity boasts a number of features that far beyond improving the visual quality of the interface, greatly increase productivity.

However, in subsequent releases the core applications shipped with Ubuntu (e.g. file browser, document reader, media player, file editor) have been greatly eroded, with a large number of features consistently removed. When Ubuntu 16.04 was released most of these applications were practically unusable.

This set of scripts automates a number of tasks that became mandatory after a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 install. It sets up a number of applications that retain the full features expected in a desktop computer.

These scripts do not remove any software, all applications originally shipped with Ubuntu 16.04 remain in the system.

Run all the fixing scripts in one go.

Ubuntu stopped shipping with a dark theme in 2011. Since then users mindful of eye fatigue or suffering with colour-blindness are forced to source their own theme.

This script install the Arc Dark theme; it presents an appeasing and tranquillising set of colours while integrating perfectly with Unity.

Ubuntu ships with Nautilus, a file browser that lost a great deal of functionality and graphical agility some years ago. This script installs Nemo, a fork of the last fully functional Nautilus release (3.8) that has been developed further.

Ubuntu ships with a minimal document reader, not allowing much beyond opening documents and zooming in and out. This scripts installs Okular, a full featured document reader providing tools to annotate and comment on PDF documents. It also has a wide variety of accessibility options.

Installs a number of useful tools that are not present in the stock Ubuntu image:

Ubuntu 16.04 no longer ships with a video editor. This script install Avidemux, which had been the default video editor heretofore.

Totem has been the default video player on Ubuntu since its early days. Unfortunately, important functionality was removed between Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04. This scripts installs xPlayer a Totem fork preserving all its functionalities.

Like many other default applications, the default image viewer shipped with Ubuntu 16.04 is now lacking a number of controls and functions. With this script a fork called xViewer is installed that restores lost functionalities.

GEdit is the default graphical file editor in Ubuntu 16.04. Although also subject to the loss of some controls, it remains a powerful tool, courtesy of its many plug-ins. This script installs a number additional plug-ins that for whatever reason are not included in the stock Ubuntu 16.04 image.

These plug-ins must be activated manually, accessing the dialogue: Edit > Preferences > Plugins.

The default audio player in Ubuntu is Rhythmbox, a stout programme that has stuck to the same user interface for many years. However, in Ubuntu 16.04 it lacks some functionality, like scrobbling to services such as This script installs Sayonara, a modern audio player, focused on library browsing and management and providing a plethora of features.

Since the Ubuntu One service was brought offline notes must be synchronised with a service like ownCloud. This script installs Tomboy and the ownCloud client linking the two using environment variables. This way any modifications to your notes are automatically synchronised with the cloud. If you wish to use an alternative service please install it manually before using this script.

Additional scripts

These scripts reflect my software needs, not particular issues with Ubuntu. They are not run automatically by the fix-all script.

Installs the famous Spotify music streaming client. Since it hiked the quality of its streams it became an undispensable Audiophile's tool.

Installs modern communication tools:

Adds the clients for the ancient free cloud service Dropbox.

Installs Oracle Java 8 from the WebUpd8 PPA. I can not use OpenJDK, some of the libraries I need do not play well with it. Java 9 is already out as stable, but some programmes are not able to take it yet.

Eclipse is by far the most useful programme I use. Programming, writing, making presentations, versioning, Eclipse supports almost my entire workflow. It is also one of the trickiest programmes to install on Ubuntu; this script performs the complete process, given a pre-dowloaded Eclipse package.


This set of scripts can be downloaded from GitHub as a compressed archive or checked out directly with git:

git clone fix-ubuntu

Since these scripts install software and change default applications, they must be run with sudo privileges. E.g.:

sudo bash ./

The same for a single script:

sudo bash ./


This set of scripts is released under the European Union Public Licence v 1.1. Please consult the LICENCE file for details.