Getting Scribus on Ubuntu/Kubuntu up and running

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This article is part of the HOWTOs series.
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BIG FAT WARNING: Scribus users on Kubuntu Dapper Drake will experience difficulties while changing values in real number spinboxes. This is a long standing bug which has been reported to both Ubuntu and Scribus bug tracker. As long as there is no real solution, you can use the following easy workaround: launch Scribus in this way: LC_ALL=C scribus

Please refer also to this metabug for other *buntu issues that may diminish its suitability as a good platform for Scribus and DTP

Operating System:   Ubuntu/Kubuntu Linux  
Scribus Version:   1.2.* and 1.3.*
DTP skills:   novice
OS skills:   novice

Adding repositories with Scribus related packages

Note that there are packages for Ubuntu/Kubuntu Dapper, Edgy and Feisty. Edgy or Feisty users should simply replace "dapper" by "feisty" or "edgy" in the belowmentioned repositories:

  • Kubuntu: go to KDE menu/System/Adept (Package Manager)
    Ubuntu: System/Administration/Synaptic (Package Manager)
  • Kubuntu: in Adept go to Adept/Manage Repositories
    Ubuntu: in Synaptic go to Settings/Repositories/New
  • Kubuntu: Add the following repositories one by one using the Add field and click on Apply:
    Ubuntu: Fill the fields and use the OK button to add the following repositories:

# - Primary repository
deb dapper main restricted
deb-src dapper main restricted
# - Backup repository
deb dapper main restricted
deb-src dapper main restricted

Adding scribus repositories.png

Using cryptographic repository signatures

Our repositories are cryptographically signed for added security. Add the gpg-keys for our repositories to avoid having to confirm your installation choice to the package manager each time you update a scribus or scribus-ng package.

New keys
"If you are using our upstream repositories of Debian/Ubuntu Scribus packages you will notice during your next package upgrade that apt/aptitude complains about not having the right key. The reason for it is that as of today the key used for signing our repositories has been changed." by Alex (Malex).

root$ gpg --keyserver --recv-keys EEF818CF
root$ gpg --armor --export EEF818CF | apt-key add -

or as a normal user (with an appropriate entry for apt-key in the sudoers file):

user$ (sudo) gpg --keyserver --recv-keys EEF818CF
user$ (sudo) gpg --armor --export EEF818CF | sudo apt-key add -

Installing Scribus and related packages

Launch Adept (on Kubuntu) or Synaptic (on Ubuntu) and install the following packages:

  • scribus – Scribus 1.2.x or
  • scribus-ng – Scribus 1.3.x. scribus-ng package can be installed paralelly to the scribus package
  • scribus-template – developer and user-contributed additional templates
  • scribus-doc – Scribus 1.2.x documentation, which has to be provided as a separate package due to its non-free nature by the Debian Free Software Guidelines
  • scribus-ng-doc – Scribus 1.3.x documentation, which has to be provided as a separate package due to its non-free nature by the Debian Free Software Guidelines
  • icc-profiles – a collection of common ICC profiles to use with Scribus and other color profile-aware software
  • lprof – hardware color profiler that can be used to create color profiles for your hardware to be used with Scribus
  • qt3-qtconfig – Ubuntu users are strongly advised to install this package for finetuning the Scribus GUI with their Gnome desktop
  • gs-afpl – The AFPL Ghostscript PostScript interpreter, the Ghostscript version recommended by the Scribus team

Optionally, install the following high quality font packages:

  • t1-xfree86-nonfree
  • ttf-bitstream-vera
  • ttf-gentium
  • ttf-xfree86-nonfree

Finetuning Scribus

Default GUI font (Ubuntu users only)

  • Launch gtconfig: ALT + F2 / enter "qtconfig" / hit Enter
  • Go to Fonts tab and choose the font family and size to match your Gnome settings


External tools and additional fonts

  • Launch Scribus and go to File/Preferences/External Tools
  • PostScript Interperter: enter gs-apfl
  • Image Processing Tool: gimp-remote
  • Go to Fonts subsection and add/disable/enable additional fonts

External tools.png

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