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mare liberum

Installing Ubuntu on a Thinkpad X1 Carbon - Part 4

29 Dec 2014

Part 1 - Introduction and Hardware

Part 2 - Installing Linux

Part 3 - First impressions

Part 4 - Optimizing the System

After installing Ubuntu on the X1 Carbon, a few things need to be done to get things to work properly. These steps depend on your personal preferences and may be skipped.

Removing stuff

As I really dont need certain applications on my computer, I removed the following software by selecting it in the Ubuntu Software Center and clicking the "Remove" button:

Preventing Ubuntu from sending search queries to web servers

Ubuntu has been criticized for sending local search requests to web servers. This feature can be deactivated by switching off Ubuntu Settings > Security & Privacy > Search > Include online search results:

Deactivating Ubuntu online search

In addition, I ran the script provided by Fix Ubuntu. It disables remote search scopes and blocks connections to Canonical's product search servers. Finally, I installed dconf-tools to get rid of annoying suggestions from the Ubuntu Software Store in my local searches:

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Start the dconf-editor:


In the editor window, uncheck "display-available-apps":

Deactivating Ubuntu search suggestions

Installing stuff

As a substitute for the removed Flash plugin, I installed Google Chrome (not Chromium) on my Computer. Chrome has its own Flash plugin integrated and does not rely on the system-wide plugin. This way, I now have my standard browsers (such as Firefox) without Flash support and therefore not affected by Flash cookies and Flash tracking. If a website needs Flash to be properly displayed, I can still watch it in Chrome.

I also installed some other stuff that I felt I would need sooner or later:

Finally, I started to test different programs for importing and/or editing photos (namely Krita, Darktable, Photivo, and GIMP) to find the best possible substitute for Photoshop. But image manipulation in Linux is a long story, so maybe we'll come back to this later.

Things to do

There are still some things left to do:


Overall, it took me about three days to get to a system that is capable of most things that any Mac can do out of the box. Anyway, we're talking about free software here - the majority of the programs I now use are open-source and all of them are free (as in free beer). Independence comes at a price, and when it's just a couple hours of my spare time, I'm willing to pay. The open-source community is alive and active and provided solutions to any problems I faced during installation. Maybe this guide will help others who are willing to switch.