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Avid Linux users are adept at configurations via editing the gamut of configuration files. For those who are just starting out, there is Ubuntu Tweak that lets you tweak some settings according to your liking. Another application and the one which is the center of attraction in this write up, that makes installing software, configuring them and tweaking Ubuntu a lot easier is Ubun-student.

Ubun-student is an interesting application that enhances your Ubuntu experience and makes Ubuntu easy to use for new users, including things like how to install software, change configurations and tweak things around. It is not included in official Ubuntu repositories so would have to configure software sources and add the PPA for Ubun-student if you want to install it using apt-get. Here is how you can do that quickly: (open up a terminal and issue these commands)

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubun-student
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install ubun-student

This will install Ubun-student on your computer. If you prefer, you can also install it from sources, as detailed at Ubun-student Google Groups page. Once it is installed you will find it listed under System Tools in the Gnome menu.

Go ahead, fire it up and we shall see what it can do.

By default, it opens in the Apps view, where in you can easily install software. You might think that synaptic and the new Ubuntu software center already made it pretty easy to install new software, however with Ubun-student you can look for applications by category as well as by what they will help you achieve. As an example – if you look under the Development section, not only will you find common tools that are useful while developing software, but you will also find an entry: Make gedit more suitable for programmers. Click on it and you will find that it installs gedit-plugins package and also does other cool stuff using GConf tool like displaying line numbers and setting auto save etc. There are plenty of such actions (if I may call them so) under the apps sections that not only downloads the necessary packages but also configures the already installed software for you.


If it is the configuration and tweaking that you are more interested in, go ahead and click on Adjustments. You can now change various configuration settings related to your Ubuntu installation. The settings are appropriately named and the application gives you additional details if you hover over them.

Ubun-student also offers an awesome hardware and system information tool. Click on Info and then choose either Hardware information or Ubuntu Information to get details about the hardware capabilities and the current Ubuntu install respectively.

Ubun-student also makes it a snap to configure a number of third-party repositories. It offers Google, PlayOnLinux and Dropbox repositories by default. Now this list is missing a number of repositories that you might like to add software from. For a more comprehensive list, check out the guide to the New Ubuntu Karmic Koala. That said, you can enable the listed repositories by simply clicking the checkbox and hitting apply. Ubun-student than lets you launch Ubuntu software store or Synaptic package manager to install software form these repositories.

There is also a menu entry named Study, that basically lists a few web pages offering tutorials like “How to compose a latex paper?” and also lets you revisit Tips that Ubun-student offers when it first starts up. I feel that a dynamic listing of articles/tutorials from respectable sources would have made more sense in here. It would be interesting to see how this develops in future.

Overall Ubun-student is a great application that makes Ubuntu easy to use. It provides access to a number of common functions that a beginner to intermediate Ubuntu user might want to perform. If you are new to Ubuntu, it will help you along and you also let you learn what it is doing, if you are an intermediate users Ubun-student will save you some time that you would have spent installing, configuring or tweaking the traditional way.

Do you know of any other similar software that might be of help to new Linux users? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Dennis
    April 17, 2016 at 4:53 am

    If you notice the dates on this. it iw way out of date and useless as the install directions don't work.. update your information before sending it out.. don't be so intellectually lazy.

  2. Phil
    March 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

    In case you haven't yet tried Ubun-Student it has now been renamed to Ailurus and has since been updated. The update includes even more features than the earlier Ubun-Student. This is an excellent package and I can't say enough for it - I love it.

    Thanks for alerting us to it Varun


  3. Kelvin
    March 5, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Nice post, took a few extra steps to get it done for my Jolicloud Orz

    Those of you who use Jolicloud, Jolicloud uses Ubuntu 9.08 Janty (for now) so add-apt-repository won't work. You will have to do it the old fashion way -- add the PPA manually to your source.list and use apt-key to add the repository

  4. Mike
    January 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Reminds me of TweakUI for Windows...

  5. Jackson Chung
    December 8, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Updated the post. Thanks.

  6. Richard Jackson
    December 8, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Thanks for a great article - but can you please update the code so it works!

    * sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubun-student
    * sudo apt-get update
    * sudo apt-get install ubun-student

    The first line should be

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubun-student

    You have the add and the apt the wrong way around - hence the other 2 comments on this!

    Thanks - Richard

  7. Anita Lewis
    December 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I could not find the 'apt-add-repository' command or the package that contains it; so I did got the repository added the old fashioned way as shown in

    • Mark
      December 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm

      I wound up doing the same thing after failing in my attempt to install, which seems to have offered that functionality.