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Ubuntu on Thinkpad X41 – Installing Utility Programs

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on February 16, 2007

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This is one of a number of posts detailing how to install Ubuntu 6.10 (codename Edgy) on a Thinkpad X41.

This post explains how to install some programming tools on Ubuntu. Since I am a Java developer these days, and also participate in open source projects, I’ll be showing you how to install the Java runtime, the Eclipse IDE and Subversion for working with remote repositories. I also describe installing a tool for uploading to the Flickr photo sharing site, jEdit, my text editor of choice, and WLAssistant, a utility for working with Wireless networks.


To install Sun Java 5.0 and Eclipse 3.2:

  1. Click Application->Add/Remove & search for “Java”
  2. Check the “Sun Java 5.0 Plugin”, “Sun Java 5.0 Runtime” and “Eclipse” plug-ins.
  3. Click “OK”.
  4. If the download fails, try going to System->Administration->Software Sources and changing the Server, and repeat steps 1 to 3.


Subversion is a source control program used by many open source projects. It does not come as standard with Ubuntu Edgy, which is strange enough, but it also seems to have disappeared from most of the software repositories, which is even stranger. To install it:

  1. Open a Terminal by clicking Applications->Accessories->Terminal
  2. Type sudo apt-get install subversion
  3. If this doesn’t work, it means that subversion is not in your selected software repository, and you need to change the list of software sources.
  4. Type sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
  5. Find the URL with “main” after it, and remove the first two characters, e.g.… becomes
  6. Save and close the file.
  7. Click System->Administration->Software Sources and change the “Download From” dropdown box to use the “Main” server.
  8. Repeat steps one and two.


For a good text editor, with many available plug ins, download jEdit from for the stable version,
for the latest development version (at time of posting) as a Debian package. Whichever file you download, double click on it and run it.

Rar Utilities

To be able to extract RAR archives,open a terminal and type sudo apt-get install rar unrar

Wireless Assistant

Wireless networking support in Ubuntu Edgy is pretty terrible – essentially, there is no wireless network browser to show you what wireless networks are available provided by default. However, there is a utility, called “wlassistant”, that you can install that provides similar functionality to the wireless connection tool in Windows.

To install it: [source link]

  1. Open a Terminal by clicking Applications->Accessories->Terminal
  2. Type sudo apt-get install wlassistant
  3. To run it, type sudo wlassistant. You can also run it by clicking Applications->Internet->Wireless Assistant, but the application requires root permission to run, which you don’t get unless you launch it from the command line.
  4. To run Wireless Assistant from the menu with super-user permissions, click System->Preferences->Menu Layout.
  5. In the left menu, choose the Internet button.
  6. Right click on the Wireless Assistant button in the right menu and choose Properties.
  7. Change the execution command from wlassistant to sudo wlassistant. That should do it! You’ll be prompted for the super-user password when executing it from the menu from now on.


To install Synergy, a useful program for sharing a mouse and keyboard among multiple computers:

  1. Click Applications->Add/Remove
  2. Search for QuickSynergy and click OK
  3. See for usage instructions

2 Responses to “Ubuntu on Thinkpad X41 – Installing Utility Programs”

  1. […] Ubuntu on Thinkpad X41 – Installing the Beryl Window Manager Table of Contents | Prev Post […]

  2. open source…

    […]Ubuntu on Thinkpad X41 – Installing Utility Programs « SOS[…]…

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