So you have installed a fresh copy of Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal. Canonical offers a number of new features in Ubuntu 12.10 which we have already talked about. This post is to help an Ubuntu newbie to get a more comfortable Ubuntu experience. Because you do need to configure few things or install some applications to get the seamless and pleasant computing experience with Ubuntu. The post is actually a checklist of the stuff which I mostly do every time I install Ubuntu. Lets see the must to-do stuff after installing Ubuntu 12.10:
1. Install Media Codecs:
Since not all types of Media formats are “completely” free and open source, Ubuntu does not provide them by default with the installation. For example if you want to listen to Mp3, watch flash videos or play an avi file, you have to install these media codecs. Ubuntu has bundeled the codecs for most common type of media formats in what it calls “ubuntu-restricted-extras”. Use the following command in terminal to install this package:
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
2. Install Additional Drivers:
Some propriety drivers such as Broadcom wireless drivers or nVidia graphics drivers are not installed by default in Ubuntu. Ubuntu has now moved the “Additional Drivers” to Software Sources. Previously it was available in Unity Dash. To install additional drivers, open software sources:
And then go to Additional Drivers tab to find the available additional drivers for your computer:
3. Install GIMP
Previously, GIMP was dropped from Ubuntu so as to keep the final ISO image size less than 700MB. Though Ubuntu 12.10 has dropped the 700 MB CD version, GIMP is still not included in it. Install GIMP in terminal:
sudo apt-get install gimp
4. Install Cloud Storage:
Ubuntu comes pre-installed with its default cloud storage service Ubuntu One that offers 5 GB of free storage. You just need to login (or create an account for it). I am not sure if many people use Ubuntu One but Dropbox is definitely used by a huge number of people. Undoubtedly it is the king when it comes to cloud storage and sync services. You can install Dropbox in terminal:
sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox
Alternatively, you can install it from its website.
5. Install VLC media player:
Ubuntu’s default video player Totem is pretty good in itself but VLC media player is by far the best player to play video files. It plays “almost” all type of video formats. Handles subtitles effectively and the best part is that you can enhance the volume up to 400% of the maximum you can get from your computer. Believe me, it helps a lot when you have a video/movie with really low audio. Install the VLC media player in terminal:
sudo apt-get install vlc
6. Set a Backup:
Most people just skip this step deeming it complicated or feeling lazy about it. Though the truth is, it is ridiculously easy to setup a backup. Trust me on this, having a backup saves your behind in unfortunate events. Ubuntu’s default backup program Deja Dup is really easy to configure. Just locate all your important files and/or directories and save it (preferably) to a remote location such as external storage or Dropbox/Ubuntu One.
7. Tweak Ubuntu Unity:
Though Ubuntu 12.10 has stunning looks yet it does not mean you should not customize it to your own preference. There are a number of tools available to customize desktop settings like themes, icons, fonts, login-settings, unity launcher, unity lens behavior, graphics effects, startup applications etc. Two popular tools to tweak the settings in Ubuntu are MyUnity and Ubuntu Tweak.
Install Ubuntu Unity:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:myunity/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install myunity
Install Ubuntu Tweak:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak
8. Install Chromium or Google Chrome Web Browser:
Some people will just swear by Mozilla Firefox. But as an experienced computer user you may agree that it is better to have two web browsers instead of one for a number of reason and ease of use is one of them. The best alternate to the default Mozilla Web Browser is Chromium Web Browser. Chromium is an open source project and the popular web browser Google Chrome is based on it. You can install either of the two. Chromium can be found in Ubuntu Software Center while Chrome can be downloaded from its homepage. If for some (unknown) reason you do not like Chrome, then Opera is a worthy opponent of Firefox.
9. Install Useful Indicator Applets:
There are a number of indicator applets that will greatly enhanced your desktop experience. These app indicators lie on the top panel and the users can use these applets to control and/or access the application without even opening it. Some of the basic but necessary applets are weather indicator, performance indicator etc. Check the complete list of must have applet indicators for Ubuntu for more information.
10. Turn Off Amazon Shopping Suggestions [Optional]:
You might have heard of the recent monetizing effort from Canonical which has triggered heated discussion across the Linux world. Canonical partnered with Amazon to show shopping results in suggestions each time you searched for anything in Unity dash (and believe me, the suggestions are mostly irrelevant and outright stupid). The huge uproar forced Ubuntu to provide a way to turn off these online shopping suggestions. This is more of a work around than a solution as it turns off all internet based searches for all the lenses and not just Amazon. So you will no longer be able to use your favorite Unity lens. In case, you really cannot withstand these sponsored search suggestions, turn it off using the following command:
sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping
This was from the top of my to do list after installing Ubuntu. What do you do after installing Ubuntu? Do share your experience with us.