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OUCS Linux Desktop Project


1. What is the OULD Project?

The aim of the project is to establish a common Linux desktop within OUCS, and offer some peer support. It is not a managed desktop, but provides a supported base system on which users can build and from which they can restart for disaster recovery. Support is provided using an (archived) internal mailling list to capture a knowledge base as a set of web pages.

The simple idea is to standardize on Ubuntu, to smooth the way by creating local virtual packages and to package local software as needed.

2. Getting started with OULD

2.1. Introduction

The basic principle of OULD is that a user will take the latest version of an untouched Ubuntu CD, install it, and then add other software. These additional bits of software will be added using Ubuntu's standard way of installing packages.

The additional software consists of:

There are therefore two steps: first install Ubuntu, and then install additional software.

2.2. Installing Ubuntu

Use the following steps to install Ubuntu:

2.3. Installing additional software

OULD provides additional software. To install these additional pieces of software you will first install the ould-config-current-deb package and then you will install one of:

Finally, you optionally install one or more of:

You can either install these packages from the command line or from a GUI interface. Both are described below.

2.3.1. Using a GUI to install the OULD packages

After having installed Ubuntu, you can use a GUI to install the OULD packages as follows:

Firefox should offer to run the GDebi Package Installer on it or save it to disk.

  • Choose GDebi and let it install the package.
  • Start up Synaptic by going to System|Administration|Synaptic Package Manager.

In Synaptic, click on Reload in order to refresh the repositories database.

This has installed the ould-config-current-deb package. It enables you to install the other OULD packages. To do this:

  • Search in Synaptic to find ould.
  • Use Synaptic to install one of:
    • ould-desktop
    • ould-laptop
    • ould-developer
  • If you wish, use Synaptic to install one or more of:
    • ould-oucs-printers
    • ould-tei

2.3.2. Using the command line to install the OULD packages

After having installed Ubuntu, you can use the command line to install the OULD packages as follows:

  • Start up a terminal window by going to Applications|Accessories|Terminal.

  • Then type in the following commands:

    cd /tmp
    wget sudo
    dpkg -i ould-config-current.deb

    The sudo command will ask you for your password (the one you entered earlier when installing Ubuntu).

  • To refresh the repository database, type:

    sudo apt-get update

    This has installed the ould-config-current-deb package. It enables you to install the other OULD packages.

  • You can use the following command to find out the names of the OULD packages:

    apt-cache search ould --names-only
  • At the command prompt, type one of the following:
    sudo apt-get install ould-desktop
    sudo apt-get install ould-laptop
    sudo apt-get install ould-developer

The OULD packages should now be installed.

3. OULD on a USB key

It is easy to make a bootable USB key of Ubuntu, so that you can carry around an operating system in your pocket. Use the tool at System/Administration/Startup Disk Creator to make one from your running system.

4. Support

Please join the OULD discussion list ( send a blank email to and you should receive an automated reply telling you how to confirm your request to join the list.

There is an OULD wiki which may offer useful advice, and to which you are encouraged to contribute with your own advice and experiences, successful or otherwise!

If you use this documentation to install Ubuntu onto a PC, please add your comments to the OULD Wiki User Reports page. In particular, record any difficulties you encounter, and any other packages you have installed. Not only will this give you a record of what you did for future reference, but it will help others.

Conversely, if you run into difficulties when installing OULD, you may find it useful to look at the User Reports page to see if someone else has had the same problem already.

The RT queue for OULD problems is: