Automating my laptop system setup - Ansible

As I always say, I like to avoid manual boring work, and manual repetitive work is always boring for me! So I used to automate my system I use on my laptop with most of stuff I used to use.

Although I'm not big fan of changing my main system too much. And as I'm the author of "Simply Ubuntu" book. I really enjoy using Ubuntu as DevOps engineer as well as end-user.

Using Unity interface for around 8 years, then moving to Gnome-Shell in Ubuntu 18.04 needed a major change in my automation playbook. So I found it nice to post that now! And most of it not just the installation but the configuration too (thanks for dconf).


  • vim
  • terminator
  • virtual-box
  • docker
  • kubectl
  • jq
  • (long list of tools and utils goes here).
  • Tabs to 2 spaces.
  • Support for syntax highlighting like go, py, yml ... etc.
Gnome Shell:
  • Application menu to top.
  • Scroll over dock icons.
  • Dock size and fav apps.
  • Show date with time and 12h format.
  • (another list of UI customizations goes here)
Gnome Shell extensions:
  • clipboard
  • system-monitor
  • unity
  • refresh wifi
  • alternate tab
  • move clock
  • Disable history limit.
  • Copy to clipboard via xsel.
  • Kubectl shell auto-completion.
  • Set UI customizations.
  • Add some Arabic font customizations. (for example Facebook Arabic font is shitty!)
  • Disable menu toggle using `alt` key.
  • Schema.
  • Set font.
  • Tabs to 2 spaces.
  • Configure name and email.
  • Add some sort cuts like tree view.
  • Config Terminator profile.
  • Disable snapd -_-
  • Make dist upgrade.

That's mostly it, when I decide to setup a new system, I just have 90% of my setup done with one line :-)

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Hello, my name is Ahmed AbouZaid, I'm a passionate Tech Lead DevOps Engineer. 👋

With 16+ years of open-source contributions, 12+ years of professional hands-on experience in DevOps, and an M.Sc. in Data Engineering from Edinburgh Napier University (UK), I enjoy facilitating the growth of both businesses and individuals.

I specialize in Cloud-Native and Kubernetes. I'm also a Free/Open source geek and book author. My favorite topics are DevOps transformation, automation, data, and metrics.

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