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.