16 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

SA 2017-08-26 Technology523 views

You’re reading this post because you either plan to upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or you already have — that makes you awesome!.

1. Make the terminal program handy

First, open a terminal. You may have already placed an icon for the terminal on the Task Panel; if so, click that. If not, hit the “super” key (the Key Formerly Known as the Windows Key) to bring up the Unity dash. Then, type in “terminal” and choose the icon for the terminal program.
Now that the terminal program is running, you’ll see it in the Task Panel. If you’ve not already locked the terminal icon to the Task Panel, right click on that icon, and opt to have the terminal icon always be in “the launcher” even if it is not running.

2. Update the software and operating system you just installed

Even if the system was updating while installing (that was an option you had during the install), there are probably still some things that need updating. If you have not done so yet, type or copy/paste this into the terminal (shift-ctrl-v to paste in a terminal) and hit enter:
sudo apt-get update

You will be asked for your password. Type it in and hit “enter.”
If you are asked a question with a “Y/n” answer, type in “y” and otherwise follow any obvious instructions.
The updated command is a quick and dirty way of making sure that the software you have installed is updated. Chances are that when you do this after install, almost nothing will happen because little or no software will be ready for an upgrade.
When all the gobbledygook is done in the terminal, type in:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The dist-upgrade command will, in short, do a more thorough job of updating the things that are installed on your sy stem (it does not upgrade you to a new distribution, it just updates the software with more awareness of what the distribution specifies in terms of packages and interrelations between packages). The details are not too important. What you need to know is that “apt-get update” is quick and useful, and “apt-get dist-upgrade” will take much longer to run, but do a much better job of updating things and cleaning up after itself, and should be done now and then.
If you are asked a question with a “Y/n” answer, type in “y” and otherwise follow any obvious instructions.

3. Make installing software easier

First, enable the Canonical Partners’ Repository. This will allow you easier access to some software. A repository is where software lives, and your installation programs know about only certain repositories, and ignore others.
  • Open System Settings (on the Task Panel, the gear and wrench icon)
  • Click on “Software and Updates”
  • Go to Other Software tab.
  • Click the check box for “Canonical Partners”
  • You may be asked for your password.
  • You will be asked to “reload” the repository info. Do that.

There are a couple of applications for installing and updating software, and you can have fun with them, but two tools that are really helpful that Ubuntu mysteriously does not install by default should be installed now. One is called “synaptic” and it is a menu drive graphical interface to your repositories, the other is gdebi, which allows you to install software that comes to you via download in a “deb” package.
sudo apt install synaptic
sudo apt install gdebi

If asked to choose Y/n at any point, choose Y

4. Install Linux graphics drivers

This may not be important, or it may be, depending on your hardware. So just do it and see what happens!
Unity Dash >>> Software & Updates >>> Additional Drivers

Do whatever it says there to install any graphics drivers that may be available.

5. Allow Workspaces To Work

I have no idea why a Linux distribution would not have work spaces right there in your face by default, but Unity seems not to. Workspaces is one of those desktop things that makes non-Linux users go “wow, that’s cool, now I want Linux!”
A workspace is a desktop, and multiple workspaces are multiple desktops, on which one or more applications are running. Macs have something like this now (stolen from Linux, but implemented poorly). The Linux implementation is better. You smoothly sail between desktops with Ctrl Alt Arrow Keys, and Linux does not randomly make new desktops for you like a Mac does.
System Settings >>> Appearance >>> Behavior

Check the box to enable workspaces, and the box to Add show desktop icon to the launcher.

6. Install Java

Java is required for running many application’s on Linux platform, So should install java using these three commands in sequence (one at a time).
sudo apt-get install default-jre

7. Fix app menu problem

One of the bad things about Unity was to cause application menus to become invisible and to not be on the application. If you want to see the menus where they belong, you can fix that.
System Settings >>> Appearance >>> Behavior tab >> ‘Show the Menus for a Window’

Check ‘In the window’s title bar’
Check ‘Always displayed’

8. Classic Menu

One of the things I miss most from an old fashioned Gnome 2.0 style desktop is a simple menu, with submenus, that includes all the software installed on my system. To me, this is really important.
And, solvable. We can add a Gnome 2.0 style menu thingie to the app panel in Unity.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install classicmenu-indicator

You will have to log out and back in again for the menu to show up. Use the gear icon in the far upper right of the screen to log out/shut down, etc.

9. Show Your User Name On The Top Menu Bar

It may be useful to show your user name on the Top Menu Bar (the strip along the top of your screen). Here is one way to do that, using the terminal.
gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.session show-real-name-on-panel true

If you want to turn this back off, do this:
gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.session show-real-name-on-panel false

10. What about Adobe Flash? And Therefore, Chrome?

This is complicated. Flash turns out to be something of a nightmare. Perhaps it was a good idea at the time, but increasingly developers and such are avoiding using it. But you probably need Flash now and then, but almost always in a browser window. So, the way to handle this is to use Google Chrome as your browser. Not Chromium.
The Firefox browser is installed by default in most Linux distributions. This is cultural, maybe even political. Firefox as a piece of software, and an organization, has been central to the development of OpenSource software, so it is sort of worshiped. I recommend ignoring it. So, when you get to the part below about installing Chrome, do that.

11. Install Dropbox…

To install dropbox.
sudo apt install nautilus-dropbox

12. Install VLC

Linux, and in this case, Ubuntu, comes with various multimedia playing software, but generally not with VLC, which is a very good piece of software. If you want, you can install it this way:
sudo apt-get install vlc browser-plugin-vlc

13. Install Gimp Image Editor

GIMP stands for “GNU Image Manipulation Program.” It is an OpenSource pixel-based image manipulation program for photographs, drawings, etc. In the old days, it was included in most Linux distributions but no longer is. If you want to install it:
sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-data gimp-plugin-registry gimp-data-extras

15. Install Skype…

… if you use it.
sudo apt-get install skype

16. Install the Unity Tweak Tool

You can configure, tweak, and generally mess around with your Unity Desktop using the installed System Settings and various esoteric bits of software, but if you install the Unity Tweak Tool you will probably find most of what you want to do, and more, there.
sudo apt install unity-tweak-tool

In the unlikely event that you end up messing up Unity with all your crazy tweaking….
…you can reset unity like this:
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools
dconf reset -f /org/compiz/
setsid unity
unity --reset-icons

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