Most of the time I am writing articles on getting users up to speed with specific tools, distributions, or desktops. This time, I am going to help you set up one of my new pet distributions so that you’ll spend less time figuring things out, and more time enjoying Bodhi Linux.

You should already know that Bodhi Linux is proud to be one of the few distributions that is a minimal, yet very functional, desktop Linux. What that means is you are going to have to actually install some software. That task is always the first thing I do upon completion of installation. Naturally everyone has their own list of favorite software they install, my list looks something like this:

  • The Gimp
  • LibreOffice
  • Audacity
  • Banshee
  • Gnucash
  • Lucky Backup
  • Speedcrunch
  • Fotowall
  • Calibre
  • Chromium Browser
  • Dropbox

That’s the basic list of applications that I generally install. That does not include everything necessary to really get Bodhi Linux up to speed. In order to do that, a few underlying systems and tools must be installed. I’ll be honest here, I’m not quite sure why some of these are left out … but they are. Anyway — here’s the gist.


You will notice, as you make your way around the main menu, there is no way to configure a printer. Those familiar with Linux and printing will probably know to open their browser and point it to http://localhost:631 where you can configure a printer via the CUPS web-based tool. Those less familiar will need an app for that. Well, just open up Synaptic, do a search for “printer” (no quotes) and install system-config-printer-common and system-config-printer-gtk. Once this is complete you can now navigate through Settings | All | System | Printing and use a fairly familiar printer administration tool (see above). From this point it should be simple to add a new printer onto your system.

This particular piece of software is one of those that should be included in the basic installation. Hopefully this software, or another piece that serves the same purpose, will be included in future releases.


This is one of those issues that someone just simply needs to resolve. How many of you install Linux and then go to play an MP3 or a video file only to find out the software won’t play the file? Because Bodhi is based on Ubuntu, getting MP3 (and other unsupported formats) to play is as simple as running a single command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

The above command should enable Bodhi to play both MP3 files as well as video files. If that doesn’t complete the process, make sure gstreamer and ffmpeg are both installed.


Although this isn’t nearly a crucial application, it can save you a bit of energy. By default Bodhi does not include the xscreensaver package. Without this you will find your display not hibernating. This is especially important with laptops as you will also not have any power management control. To resolve this issue, install the xscreensaver package (along with any special screensaver packages you might want). Once that is done you can then go to Settings | All | Preferences | Screensaver and set up both your screensaver and (from the Advanced tab) your power management.

In the end

This isn’t a completely exhaustive how-to, but that’s a challenge simply because everyone’s needs are different. But this will get your Bodhi install up to speed on my everyday challenges. I will continue this topic in upcoming articles (like setting up Samba on Bodhi and much more).

From your point of view, what can Bodhi Linux do to make this task easier from the initial installation? Help the developers out and share with your fellow TechRepublic members.