Ubuntu XX.YY Upgrade and setup


This guide has been used to upgrade from ubuntu 12.04 TLS to 13.10 and from 13.10 to 14.04 TLS, so the title has changed to reflect the multi-version upgrade scenario.

Upgrade to Ubuntu 13.10

After some time I finally have the possibility to upgrade my laptop to ubuntu 13.10 64x, from the 12.04 TLS. I use this Laptop for my developing activity when I’m out, and so I use VirtualBox to have Win7Home64x and a Mac OSx Mountain Lion. In this way, I can develop in Visual Studio, Linux, XCode and Android on the same machine. A lot of swapping windows screen (and sometimes typing on the wrong OS window), but with 2 monitors things go better.

Ubuntu 13.10 is currently (January 2014) under heavy improvements, but many glitches can arise and so I wouldn’t suggest the upgrade from 12.04/12.10 to a newbie.

Laptop specs:

  • HP ENVY 17-1020el
  • CPU Intel  i7-720QM – 1,6 GHz (4/8 core)
  • 6GB RAM DDR3
  • 1 HD 250GB SSD
  • 1 HD 750GB
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 with 1 GB dedicated memory
  • Display 1920×1080
  • very hot… Heat dissipation is the real Achilles heel of this beautiful machine.

One purpose is to having a mobile development system with all platform that I use (mac OSX, Windows, Linux), so on my ubuntu laptop I put VirtualBox and some Virtual OS with their developments tools.

After reboot, I’ve some issues to resolve. This is the list of what I’ve done to my system and how to resolve some issues I’ve encountered.

I’ve found many issue with this installation, so this list may be useful to someone and save him a lot of time googling and trying to solve many malfunctions..

Unity Dash found any application

When use Dash for launch applications (like firefox, skype, etc), no results are presented for applications. Sure I’m allowed to launch them manually from terminal, but it’s easier with dash.

I’ve tried to reinstall lens:

sudo apt-get install –reinstall unity-lens-* unity-scope-home

you’ve to reboot to let dash runs again.

ATI Catalyst install procedure

To correctly make X11 runs with an ATI Card, the native Catalyst package must be installed. Reference to a complete howto:


Install ubuntu-restricted-extras package

This package let ubuntu play popular file formats like mp3, avi, flash videos, etc:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras p7zip libavformat-extra-53 libavcodec-extra-53

System load indicator

System Load Indicator is a port of the popular System Monitor GNOME Panel applet and it can display CPU, memory, network usage, hard disk I/O and more on the panel.

sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload

iOS 7 (iPhone) compatibility with Ubuntu

I’ve some issues about connecting my iPhone at the ubuntu laptop, seems due to some Apple stuff to manage hackers activity on iPhone. However, I need to make iPhone visible like USB device on my Mac OSx Virtual Machine. Here I’ve have many Mac computers (Mac Air, Mini, iMac, etc) but I find it really handy to have so many OS on the same computer.

Symptoms: when you attach your iPhone to USB, ubuntu show a page inviting to unlock the phone. And you will be stuck on that.

A solution I found is to upgrade the libmobiledevice4 service, as this thread point out:


Obviously the VirtualBox Mac OSx machine has been configured to manage correctly the iPhone device:

  • install Extention Pack to ubuntu VirtualBox (not the Guest Addition, that currently doesn’t exist for Mac Guest)
  • Enable USB Controller and the EHCI Controller
  • Add a filter to include the iPhone
  • Start the VBox with the Mac OS

Next, after installing the package, reconnecting the iPhone: unplug out from ubuntu (not from USB socket) when it recognizes the device , than let mac osx take ownership of the USB connected to the iPhone.

Cpufreq indicator

Cpufreq Indicator is the equivalent of the old GNOME CPU frequency scaling applet which can be used for changing the CPU frequency on-the-fly.
sudo apt-get install indicator-cpufreq

Samba client

Samba (smb or new smb2 standard)  is the UNIX implementation of the SMB/CIFS protocol to access shared files, folders and printers across home network.

If you’are in need of access a samba server (like windows, etc), here are the procedure to install and activate the samba service on ubuntu.

First of all, install samba related stuff:

sudo apt-get install samba samba-common-bin winbind cifs-utils

winbind is the process to let unix user login to windows folders, so it’s needed.

smbtree – let you see all resources in your workgroup. Check if the current workgroup is correct (see https://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch06.html to see a guide how to configure a samba server).

You can manually check a single samba client for shared resources:

smbclient -L <hostname> -U <username> [-d 5] 

the optional -d parameter can be used to show log information, followed by the log level

Make others access the public directory

Add some configurations: sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

wins support = yes

name resolve order = wins lmhosts hosts bcast

To be able to surf the sharing resource, check if in the nsswitch.conf contains wins put at files and dns (some others  names could be present, but wins must be present.):

sudo gedit /etc/nsswitch.conf

After change, restart samba: sudo service smbd restart

After network change, restart network: sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

Then, to connect to a server, use the gigolo package:

sudo apt-get install gigolo gvfs

 Must have applications list

  • VLC
  • Skype
  • VirtualBox
  • DropBox

Virtual Box

Virtual Box Ubuntu issues

Using an Ubuntu guest 13.10 under a Win7 64x I frequently an annoying messages when try to save message commit in git: when try to save (for example in Gedit) you could see a “File Busy” error reported, and no saving is done: this is reported when I try to save a file in a shared mounted folder (a windows shared folder with VBox). The error say:

“Could not save the file /…/filename. Unexpected error: error renaming temporary files: Text file busy!

To fix (in gedit):

  • gedit preference –> editor –> check “Create a backup copy”
  • when saving, hit the save button twice. So : CTRL-S, than ENTER and then CTRL-S

Time disappear from Main Manu Bar

sudo apt-get install indicator-datetime
sudo dpkg-reconfigure --frontend noninteractive tzdata
sudo killall unity-panel-service

then restart (or logout/login).

Bluetooth cannot be use in ubuntu

Some issues regarding the connection of BT devices to my laptop.

First of all check if bluetooth module is loaded:

lsmod | grep btusb

than, if anything is showed, try to start:

sudo modprobe btusb

Cannot see the B icon on the up-left corner of the screen.

sudo rfkill unblock bluetooth

and then reboot.

Maybe it could be not enough, so open the main.conf of the bluetooth subsystem froma  terminal:

sudo gedit /etc/bluetooth/main.conf

and change RememberPowered value from true to false

save the document (CTRL-S). And reboot again.


Setting up Display Manager

On ubuntu you can have many different display managers: during login you select the Display Manager to be used during session. Display Managers can be installed/removed, and you can use gdm package to select which one to use on boot.


sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm

(if you don’t have the dpkg-reconfigure, install it with sudo apt-get install dpkg-reconfigure).


Some Display Managers:

  1. KDM (kubuntu Display Manager): http://askubuntu.com/questions/70171/make-kdm-the-default-display-manager
  2. lightdm, the default ubuntu display manager

Virtual Box OSX: changing video size

Follow this link to customize the resolution of virtual screen:


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