We install Ubuntu, we started the system first time And now what? Linux-based operating systems have a lot of packages that offer us a whole world of possibilities. On the other hand, there may be things to Ubuntu that we do not need. So where do we start? At Ubunlog we tell you, especially to users who have never touched the operating system developed by the Canonical team.
Update the system
When we install a system, chances are pending updates. Many times, the Software Update application opens automatically notifying us that there is newer software that we can install. If it doesn’t open automatically, all we have to do is press the Windows key (or click on the launcher’s Ubuntu icon) and start typing the word “Update”.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the app icon is a circle where outside it has two semicircular arrows, with an “A” on a black background inside. If there are updates, we just have to click on “install”, then put the key of our user and give it to Enter.
Install / Remove applications
Now that we have the system up to date, we will need to install the applications we deem necessary. It is true that Ubuntu has many useful applications installed, but there are always some that we can add. For example, I use the VLC player on all my devices and install it to play any video I can download in the future. Another application that may be interesting is Skype, one of the most used messaging applications on computers. One thing I like about using it since the first time I installed Ubuntu is the Synaptic package manager, which is similar to the Software Center but shows more information.
One recommendation I make is don’t go too crazy. Linux operating systems are highly configurable, but what is an advantage can also be a problem. The problem can appear if we install many packages that we do not use and do not clean the system well once we uninstall the main application, which leads me to another point: uninstall applications that we will not use.
To uninstall applications that we will not use, simply open the Software Center and click Installed. Here we will see all the applications we have installed separated by categories, which makes it quite easy to find what we want to uninstall. Just click on what we want to remove and right click on Uninstall. For example, the Brasero Recorder. Why do I want a disc burner on a computer that doesn’t have a burner?
sudo apt-get install gimp
This will install the Gimp image editing program.
sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool
This will install Unity Tweak on the system to configure and modify the Unity desktop.
sudo apt-get install calendar-indicator
This will set up a calendar that syncs with our calendars like iCalendar.
sudo apt-get install my weather-indicator
The above will show us weather conditions.
Java and Flash (?)
Although HTML5 is becoming more and more important and Adobe has given the final push to its Flash player, you may still need to install Flash and Java in order to view, for example, a web page. To install Java August we will open a terminal and write the following:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java sudo apt-get update apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
To install Flash will depend on the browser. Firefox, what we need to do is:
- We open Software and updates.
- We check the box that at the end puts «multiverse».
- Then we opened a terminal and wrote sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer
If you decide to install Flash, keep in mind that most security flaws that are discovered in Linux are the fault of these types of plugins. I do not recommend installing it.
Install codecs and drivers
If we are connected to the Internet, Ubuntu will download what we need when we need it. But, of course, as I said, if we are connected to the Internet. For example, if we are going to play a video that uses a codec that we do not have installed, Ubuntu will ask us if we want download the codec to be able to play the video, but what if we are not connected? This is why it is advisable to install these codecs and drivers before we need them.
To install these drivers you need to search (Windows button and search) additional drivers. In this window we will see a list of options and most likely we are using a generic driver to make everything work properly on our PC. What we need to do is choose the right driver for our computer.
To install the codecs just open the Ubuntu Software Center, look for the package Restricted Ubuntu extras and we install it.
Definition of security and privacy options
This type of configuration gained importance after the espionage scandal of the NSA. It was at that time that users realized that we could do more to protect our information, and while Ubuntu is a fairly secure system, we can always set up some options to provide more or less information about our internet usage. . To configure our security and privacy options we will do the following:
- We perform a search by pressing the Windows button. We must seek security and privacy.
- We click on Files and applications.
- Uncheck the boxes for what we don’t want to share.
One personal recommendation that I know you won’t follow many users is to set the DuckDuckGo search engine to default. It has little to do with what has been explained at this point, but it does provide us with much more privacy due to its policy of not tracking or saving our searches.
Customize the interface
The next thing we need to do is configure the interface so that we are comfortable when we use the computer. The first thing I do is remove these launcher icons that I will never use. It also changes the behavior of the launcher. To do this, go to Preferences / Appearance / Behavior.
My settings are the ones in the screenshot above:
- Active work areas.
- Minimum sensitivity.
- Displays window menus in the menu bar.
- Hide the launcher automatically.
We can also go to Appearance and resize the launcher, among other things that I leave as they come by default.
Install other graphical environments
If we don’t like Unity, we can too install a graphics environment. I have to confess that I like it more and more, but on my computer it’s a bit heavy. I have the MAT environment installed, which is the old GNOME that Ubuntu used until version 11.10.
Installing a graphical environment is fairly straightforward. We just need to know which one we want and install via terminal, Software Center or Synaptic. To install the MAT environment we must write the following:
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment
To install the Cinnamon environment (Linux Mint) we will write the following:
sudo apt-get install cinnamon
And for GNOME, the following:
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
I sometimes use the MAT graphical environment and it looks like you see in the following screenshot:
Add Your Accounts Online
We all have different accounts for different internet services and in Ubuntu we have an option to add them. This option is found by searching for Online Accounts from the Ubuntu icon or by pressing the Windows key. As you can see in the image below, we can set up our Facebook, Google, Flickr, Jabber, Yahoo !, Health, and AIM accounts. Twitter is missing.
I think we would have everything set up, but Ubuntu can add many more options and modifications. Although I’m not a big fan of touching systems a lot, you can do any research in the Software Center to see if you find something you find interesting. There is also a section with the most popular apps, where there are also some games. What do you recommend?