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Julian Fernandes: What to do after you install Ubuntu 12.10?


Published Nov 16 2012 via RSS

Another Ubuntu version is out and, once again, many users rush to download and install the orange operating system. But release after release we ask ourselves: what to do after installing Ubuntu?

Ubuntu desktop

Installed Ubuntu and have no clue about what to do now? Keep reading then :)

There is no easy answer for this question, because every person have different needs, but in this post you will find some essential steps to make your Ubuntu desktop perfect.

It’s a compilation of softwares and tips I use to make my Ubuntu ready for daily use. Ready? Then let’s get to work :)

Golden tip: update your system

The first thing to do after your install Ubuntu is update it. Canonical usually release a update package after the release, so this step is really important.

Open Unity’s dash with the <Super> key (the one with the Windows logo) and type software channels, clicking on the result after that. When the software is open, configure it like the images below:

Ubuntu software sources

Ubuntu software sources

Important: some of the settings above will install non supported updates. If you wish to install only tested and stable updates, leave them alone.

When you are done with the settings, open the software updater (use Unity’s dash to find it) and update your system.

You only have to adjust the settings once, but you should update your system at least once a week. Different from what happens on Windows, you don’t need to restart your computer after an update (unless it’s a kernel update).

Add a delete option to Nautilus

Nautilus is the default file browser on Ubuntu since forever, but it only let you move files to the trash by default, instead of permanently delete it. If you don’t like the use keyboard shortcuts, you can change Nautilus’s settings and add that option.

Open your home folder and go to Edit -> Preferences -> Behavior. On this tab you will see the option to include a delete command, so just select it, like the image below:

Nautilus on Ubuntu 12.10

Select the option “Include a Delete command that bypasses Trash”

General settings and propriety drivers

Configuring your system’s settings is really easy with Ubuntu, since it have a software called system settings. To access it, click on the little cog on the top right of your screen.

There you can configure lots of stuffs, like backups, online accounts, privacy and more. The most important ones for me are the power, privacy and appearance ones, but you will probably need to install the propriety drivers too.

Power settings

To start, let’s change the way Ubuntu handle a closed lid. By default the system will suspend, but i’m not a big fan of that, so I always change it to do nothing.

Ubuntu power settings

Keep in mind: my laptop is always on a power source, so I’m not taking battery usage into consideration here.

Privacy settings

Since Ubuntu 12.04 we have an option on system settings to improve our privacy. Here you can tell Unity to not show folders or files on dash, do online searches and other things.

If you don’t like the remote searches Unity does, like on YouTube, Gwibber and Amazon lens, you can configure it like the image below:

Ubuntu privacy settings

On the files tab, you can add folders that you don’t want showing up on the dash, like your porn secret FBI files and stuffs like that.

Messing around with the other options you can tell some softwares to not log anything and even tell Canonical if it’s okay for them to collect error reports from your computer.

Appearance settings

If you want to tweak Unity and the overall system look a bit, appearance settings is your next stop. Here you can change your wallpaper, the size of the system’s icons and the behavior of the launcher.

To make Unity’s launcher hide for example, change your settings like the image below:

Ubuntu appearance settings

You can also tweak the launcher’s sensitivity here.

Online accounts

A cool new feature introduced with Ubuntu 12.10, the online accounts let you configure all your favorite online services in a easy way.

If you log in to your Google account for example, Empathy will be set up and your Google Drive and Picasa files will appear on Unity’s dash, so you can search them without opening your browser.

Pretty cool, huh? :)

Propriety drivers

If you have an AMD or NVidia graphic card on your computer, you will want to install the propriety drivers for better performance.

Different from Windows, you don’t need to go hunt drivers down on the internet. To install them on Ubuntu, just open the software sources and click on the Additional Drivers tab.

Quick tip: if you have a Intel integrated card you don’t need to do this step, because Intel have open source drivers only, as far as i know.

Set up Ubuntu One, your personal cloud

Ubuntu One is one of the best features Ubuntu have. With this service, that gives you 5 gigabytes of free storage, you can access and sync your files from anywhere, even your Android phone or Windows PC!

Sign up for Ubuntu One and get 5.5GB of storage on the cloud

To set up the client and start using the service, click on the Ubuntu One icon on your launcher. After that, just follow the steps.

Uninstall the Amazon shopping lens

One of the biggest controversy to ever land on the Ubuntu world, the Amazon shopping lens shows you products from the company when you do a search on Unity’s dash.

This way you can end up finding something you like, buy it and help Canonical on the way. I live on Brazil and Amazon store isn’t here yet, so it’s useless for me. It might be useful for others.

If you don’t like it you can uninstall the lens using the Ubuntu Software Center. Search for shopping lens on it and hit the uninstall button. Pretty easy, you don’t have to avoid Ubuntu just because of that.

Install Nautilus 3.6 and enjoy the new look

Due to the numerous resources taken from the 3.6 version of the default file manager for Ubuntu, Canonical decided to ship an older version instead. That leave us with more resources, but also with an old look.

If you don’t mind the missing resources, like extra pane, you can update your version of Nautilus and have the new look on Ubuntu 12.10.

To update it, open terminal with <Ctrl + Alt + T> and copy/paste the command below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3 && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade && killall nautilus

The command above will add the Gnome’s repositories to Ubuntu, update your repositories and then, update your system.

Important: the command above will also update other Gnome stuffs, like Empathy. If you don’t want that to happen, i suggest you to stick with the older version of Nautilus.

Integrate some websites to your system

Another awesome feature that came with Ubuntu 12.10, the Unity Web Apps lets you integrates over 30 popular websites with elements of the Ubuntu desktop.

If you integrate Grooveshark for example, you can control all your musics from the sound menu. Pretty cool, isn’t? It only works with Firefox and Chromium for now, but support for Google Chrome might be added one day.

Install GetDeb’s repositories

GetDeb is a non official repository that let you install the latest version of your favorite open source softwares on Ubuntu. It also have a lots of softwares and games that aren’t on Ubuntu’s repositories, so it’s pretty good to have it.

To install it, download the file below:

Download the GetDeb installer

When the download is finished, you can double click it and install with Ubuntu Software Center.

Install Google Chrome on Ubuntu 12.10

While i do like Firefox and gave it many chances, it always disappoint me. Google Chrome on the other hand, is fast, secure, simple and integrate itself just perfectly with the Google services i use.

Installing it on Ubuntu is very simple. Click on the link below to download the installer and after that, just double click it and use Ubuntu Software Center to install it:

Download Google Chrome for Ubuntu

Check out my top 5 apps from Chrome Web Store:

Install media codecs, Flash and Java

For legal reasons, Ubuntu don’t bring certain music and film codecs out of the box, but they are pretty easy to install.

Rochard soundtrack

I gotta find my way outta hell ♪

If you did not choose to install 3rd party codecs when you installed the system, click on the button below to install it and run everything you ever dreamed about:

Install Ubuntu Restricted Extras

But if you are looking for updated codecs and support for encrypted DVDs, the non official Mediabuntu repository is what you will need to install.

To install it, open your terminal with the <Ctrl + Alt + T> shortcut and copy/paste the commands below:

sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get --quiet update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras non-free-codecs libdvdcss2 faac faad ffmpeg ffmpeg2theora flac gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly icedax id3v2 lame libflac++6 libjpeg-progs libmpeg3-1 mencoder mjpegtools mp3gain mpeg2dec mpeg3-utils mpegdemux mpg123 mpg321 regionset sox uudeview vorbis-tools x264 arj lha p7zip p7zip-full p7zip-rar rar unrar unace-nonfree

Install Ubuntu Tweak on Ubuntu 12.10

Configure and customize Ubuntu is a fairly easy task, despite Unity being kinda stuck on this subject, but that does not mean we can’t make it easier.

Ubuntu Tweak is a software that offers thousands of options, allowing you to leave the system with your face.

To install it, open your terminal again and copy/paste the commands below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak -y

Install the limited-access beta of Steam on Ubuntu

The limited-access beta of Steam for Linux just started, and lots of Ubuntu users are already testing it, me included.

Team Fortress 2 is the game Valve chosen for this beta, but there are over 20 other games that you can buy and start playing, like Amnesia, World of Goo and Serious Sam 3.

Steam on Ubuntu

Steam running natively on Ubuntu 12.10

To install it on Ubuntu, click on the link below to download the installer and after that, just double click it and use Ubuntu Software Center:

Download the Steam for Linux installer

Install KeePassX on Ubuntu 12.10

If you are using Ubuntu, you already made a big step towards security, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it.

Strong passwords are essential if you use lots of internet services, like blogs, social networks and internet banking, and a good password manager is a great thing to have.

KeePassX

To see your database, you have to insert your master password and a file

I choose KeePassX for this task, because if his simplicity. The software will manage your passwords, generate strong ones, encrypt your database and more!

Click on the button below to install it:

Install KeePassX

Install Wine on Ubuntu 12.10

With Wine you can install and run many games and softwares from Windows on Linux, like Photoshop, Counter Strike and MS Office.

Photoshop on Wine

Photowineinception!

While it’s always better to find native alternatives, different people have different needs. If you want to install it, click on the button below:

Install Wine

Install Oracle JAVA 7 on Ubuntu 12.10

OpenJDK is enough for me, but sometimes you will need the Oracle version to access online banking or to run some incompatible software.

Open your terminal and copy/paste the command below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install oracle-jdk7-installer -y

Credit for this PPA goes for the great guys at WepUp8. You should go check they blog, it’s pretty cool :)

Install JDownloader on Ubuntu 12.10

If you download lots of files like i do, a good download manager is essential. JDownloader support servers like Rapidshare, Mediafire and Hotfiles, and is the best download manager i have ever found for Ubuntu.

To install it, open your terminal and copy/paste the command below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jd-team/jdownloader && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install jdownloader -y

Give Ubuntu Software Center a chance and install other softwares

For the final part of the after install process, open the Ubuntu Software Center and search for softwares you use daily. It’s all organized into categories and sub categories, really easy to navigate.

If you want to install some software i use, open terminal and copy and paste the following commands:

sudo apt-get install vlc deluge synaptic bleachbit xchat trimage filezilla -y

The command above will install the following softwares:

  • VLC player: audio and video player that plays anything you want;
  • Deluge: torrent client very similar to uTorrent for Windows, but better in some ways;
  • Synaptic: a package manager for Ubuntu. Kinda like Ubuntu Software Center, but less user friendly;
  • Bleachbit: similar to CCleaner for Windows, this software will clean your system up;
  • XChat: the best IRC client for Ubuntu;
  • Trimage: software for image compression without quality loss. The algorithms are superior to the Smush.it, which makes it essential for anyone working with website optimization;
  • Filezilla: popular FTP client.

That’s all folks!

After this tutorial your Ubuntu will be ready for daily use. Since I’m a sadistic and format my laptop every 3 or 4 weeks, you can expect updates on this tutorial.

My desktop, after all this process and some customizations, looks like this:

My Ubuntu Desktop

How does your desktop looks like? What do you do to make Ubuntu perfect? What software do you usually install? Leave your comments below! And say thanks if I helped you somehow, please. It always keeps me motivated :)

This is a translation of my original post at Ubuntu-BR-SC. If you are speak Portuguese you should check it out.

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