Install some stuff on Xubuntu 16.04

28 Mar 2017 ᛫ 5 min read


I recently upgraded my machine to Xubuntu 16.04 after almost 3 years of using Xubuntu 14.04. This is always an exciting (or frustrating) time as it allows me to reinstall most of my stuff and keep my machine updated.

This post will just detail how I install/reinstall on Xubuntu 16.04 the common software and tools I use everyday as well as the not-so-common ones that I keep for special ocassions so that I don’t forget them in the future.

Set Proxy for the Shell (bash)

I usually set my proxy in the bash config file (.bashrc) if I need to access the web through the shell.

cd ~
nano .bashrc

Add this line to .bashrc file.

export {http,https,ftp}_proxy=<proxy-username>:<proxy-password>@<proxy-host>:<proxy-port>

Restart the shell.

Another method is to create a 95proxies file inside /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/.

sudo nano /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/95proxies

Then add the following lines:

Acquire::http::proxy "<proxy-username>:<proxy-password>@<proxy-host>:<proxy-port>";
Acquire::https::proxy "<proxy-username>:<proxy-password>@<proxy-host>:<proxy-port>";
Acquire::ftp::proxy "<proxy-username>:<proxy-password>@<proxy-host>:<proxy-port>";


The first thing I reinstalled was Atom because every developer/programmer needs a good text-editor. A few years ago, this spot was reserved for Sublime Text (still one of the best text editors EVER) but recently I’ve found myself liking and using Atom more. Atom gets plus points for being open-source – something that Sublime is not (probably one of the few bad points with Sublime for me).

If you’re using ‘buntu, installing Atom is easy. Just download the .deb then install it using:

sudo dpkg --install atom-amd64.deb


LibreOffice is my go-to Office Suite. Xubuntu comes packaged with LibreOffice Writer, Calc, and Math but not the entire Suite. What I usually do is remove the built-in LibreOffice package and replace it with one from the LibreOffice Fresh PPA.

First, you remove all the built-in LibreOffice packages.

sudo apt remove libreoffice-*

Then add the PPA to your software sources.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
sudo apt update

Then install LibreOffice.

sudo apt install libreoffice

If the above method doesn’t work, we can try using snaps.

sudo apt install snapd
sudo snap install libreoffice

PDF Chain

PDF Chain is a GUI for the PDF Toolkit (PDFtk). For those times I need to combine or split pdf files.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pdfchain-team/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install pdfchain


Because Python devs still need pip.

sudo apt install python-pip python3-pip


Same as above. virtualenvwrapper makes Python development easier.

sudo pip install virtualenvwrapper

Edit .bashrc by adding

export WORKON_HOME=$HOME/.virtualenvs
export PROJECT_HOME=$HOME/Projects
source /usr/local/bin/


Add the UbuntuGIS Unstable PPA to your software sources

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntugis/ubuntugis-unstable

or you can add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list

deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

Update your software sources and install GRASS.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install grass


There are a lot of ways to install QGIS depending on the version that you want and if you want the repos to be based on the ubuntugis-unstable PPA.

There are 3 main versions of QGIS that you can install on your machine:

QGIS LTR (Long Term Release)

A Long Term Release is a special QGIS release that receives updates and bug-fixes for up to 1 year. Afterwhich it undergoes a feature freeze where no new features are added. This is suitable for people who want a version of QGIS that does not vary often. The current LTR is 2.14 with the latest version being 2.14.12. There are talks of increasing the LTR support time to 2 years but it won’t be implemented, if approved, until QGIS 3.0.

To install the QGIS LTR, add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

For ubuntugis-based dependencies, add:

deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

QGIS Latest Release

QGIS releases a new version every 4 months. This is more bleeding edge than the LTR release and often contains newer features. However, this version also comes with the occasional bugs due to these new features. Get this release if you always want the latest version of QGIS on your machine.

To install the Latest Release, add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

For ubuntugis-based dependencies, add:

deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

QGIS Development Version

This is more bloody than bleeding edge. Get this if you want to check/test the upcoming release and/or you want to get into QGIS development.

To install the Development version, add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

For ubuntugis-based dependencies, add:

deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

If you will use one of the ubuntugis-based repos, you have to add the following lines on your /etc/apt/sources.list if you haven’t already.

deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

Add the public keys (without fingerprint verification).

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-key 073D307A618E5811

When working behind a proxy, try:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-key 073D307A618E5811

Make sure that you uninstall all previous versions of QGIS not coming from the repos above.

Update your software sources and install:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install qgis python-qgis qgis-plugin-grass

For more information, you can visit the QGIS website.


PostGIS is an extension of PostgresSQL database which adds support for geographic objects allowing for location queries to be run in SQL.

The ubuntugis-unstable PPA maintains a version of postgis. You can install it by:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install postgis


Installing GDAL in a virtual environment isn’t as straightforward as we like.

First make sure that you have the ubuntugis-unstable repo in your sources list then install libgdal-dev.

sudo apt install libgdal-dev

Now you can install GDAL in a virtual environment with:

pip install gdal==<gdal-version> --global-option=build_ext --global-option="-I/usr/include/gdal"

rvm (Ruby Version Manager)

curl -sSL | bash -s stable --ruby

Add the following lines to .bashrc if you encounter the ‘rvm is not a function’ message

source $HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm

A Note with RVM: The PATH export lines of RVM should be the last line in your .profile or .bashrc files


Download the Steam installer (.deb) and run it.

When you first run Steam, it will ask you to download certain packages. Install these packages.

Update Steam and start playing.

If you’re behind a firewall, you won’t be able to play but you’ll be able to update steam through the command line.

steam update


Xubuntu 16.04 doesn’t come with Startup Disk Creator. You can still install Startup Disk Creator but mkusb is a little bit better because it uses dd to create the live-usbs. You can install it in your machine by:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install mkusb


Pinta is a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Paint. For simple graphics manipulation. It’s 1.6 version is part of the Ubuntu Official Repository. The pinta-stable PPA has no release for 16.04 while the pinta-daily PPA has.

If you’re okay with version 1.6, just type:

sudo apt install pinta

If you want to use the pinta-daily PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pinta-maintainers/pinta-daily
sudo apt update
sudo apt install pinta-daily


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