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Bad Ubuntu.svg
Ubuntu was an excellent user-friendly operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux, but has recently started becoming very corporate and playing some dirty corporate tricks like installing spyware and preventing users from having control over what's installed and what's not. We've been using Debian on our servers, but Ubuntu on our desktops for the last five years or so, but we'll now begin migrating over to pure Debian for our desktops as well.

Gnome 3

The first thing I do after a basic update and upgrade is not install Gnome 3 as I can't stand the Unity desktop.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

Adobe Acrobat Reader

The default evince document viewer that comes with Ubuntu is very good, but it doesn't handle some of the more sophisticated aspects of PDF document handling such as editable forms. To do these things currently still requires the Adobe package which can be installed from the Medibuntu repository.

echo deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ jaunty free non-free >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update
apt-get install acroread

See also