10 Things To Do After You Install Ubuntu

23 06 2007

Ubuntu is a great distro, but it still needs some slight tweaking to get it just right. I’m going to show you how to use Automatix2 to get your OS perfected. For those of you unfamiliar with Automatix2, its basically software that makes installing add-on software easier in Ubuntu. There are ways to grab these packages without Automatix2 but you might have to get your hands dirty, so for simplicity’s sake bear with me. In random order:

1. Install Non-Free Audio/DVD/Multimedia Codecs

For legal reasons Ubuntu cannot play MP3’s or other proprietary formats by default, so have Automatix2 install them for you, and go back to listening to music that you pirate using Deluge. You might be wondering why I install codecs when Feisty does them for you? Well Feisty is missing some packages – check out the Automatix wiki for more info!

2. Install Extra Fonts

We live in a Microsoft dominated world. Most webpages use Microsoft Fonts like Arial, Tahoma etc. which don’t come standard in Ubuntu. Luckily Automatix2 lets you install the msttcorefonts package so you can view your webpages without feeling alienated.

If you want to go the extra mile and smoothen out your fonts, go to System > Preferences > Fonts and enable sub-pixel rendering for anti-aliased goodness.

3. Install Swiftfox and Plugins

Swiftfox is an optimized version of Firefox that is tuned to your specific processor. The web is chock full of plugins, like Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash, Java and the works which require manual installation. Why not get them all and spend time browsing the web instead of individually installing these plugins (I’m looking at you non-Linux users)?

4. Install Unarchiving Tools

Most of us just unarchive zip or tar.gz files most of the time, but sometimes you get those funky formats like ace, or rar when you’re pirating software when working with certain files. Automatix will set up all the right packages so you can extract just about any file with your eyes closed.

5. Install Nautilus Scripts

Power users will agree with me, you get things done faster with the terminal. Its command-line country in the Linux world and sometimes you just need to fire up the trusty shell. I like to have the best of both worlds – use Nautilus to navigate to some deep directories and then go straight to that location in the shell. How is that possible? Nautilus scripts baby.

6. Install VLC

Ultra lightweight media player. Plays any format you can think of. Period.

7. Install Audacity

We live in a mobile world, and having cool cell phones with fun ringtones higher your social status amongst many. Audacity is a sweet audio editor, but I like to use it to make 15-30 second ringtones out of my music that I pirate.

8. Install Video Drivers

Intel chipset users can install auto915Resolution. This one isn’t in Automatix2, but here is a link from Roland Lopez’s blog that tells you how to set it up. If you’ve got an Intel 8xx-945 chipset, and want to bump up your resolution the above script will adjust Ubuntu’s settings so that you can choose a resolution higher than 1024×768.

NVidia and ATI drivers can automatically be picked up by Feisty’s Restricted Drivers Manager, however they can be installed from Automatix2 as well.

9. Install AbiWord and Gnumeric

These files are in the universe, so they can be easily installed by using Ubuntu’s Add/Remove Software feature. Open Office is a great document and spreadsheet editor, but sometimes you just want to view a file. I’m too impatient to wait for Open Office to load up, just so I install AbiWord and Gnumeric – two very light weight apps that make opening docs and spreadsheets a quicky.

10. Uninstall Apps That You Won’t Use

I keep things clean. Get rid of some of the bundled apps you know you won’t use. I know I’ll never use Ekiga Softphone so to oblivion it goes.

If you have any additional tips, please feel free to share!

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25 responses

24 06 2007
mark

because i am using the sexy cousin of ubuntu, linux mint cassandra, i have to guess if this is an accurate post to your list of suggestions. downlaod k3b for burning cd’s and dvd’s, also i prefer open office over abiword and so i download open cllpart for garphics use.

24 06 2007
leszek

Automatix should not be advised on recent versions of Ubuntu!

All you need to know on restricted codecs (mp3,dvd, … ) here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats

you can microsoft install extra fonts with the add/remove GUI

swiftfox is not advised on Ubuntu ! See: http://getswiftfox.org

Install archiving tools, not needed by most of the people but you can install rar with the add/remove GUI

“Install auto915Resolution”
This is very specific, it has no place in a general howto.

“Uninstall Apps That You Won’t Use”
Again bad advice, in some case it will remove the ubuntu-desktop meta-package which could create problem later on.

24 06 2007
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24 06 2007
Jeff

thanks :D

24 06 2007
meneame.net

10 cosas a hacer después de instalar Ubuntu[Eng]

10 consejos básicos (en inglés) para poner totalmente a punto una distro Ubuntu después de haberla instalado.

24 06 2007
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[…] 10 Things To Do After You Install Ubuntu [image] Ubuntu is a great distro, but it still needs some slight tweaking to get it just right. I’m going to show […] […]

24 06 2007
snotty

Good one… Automatix2 really makes it easy.

Posted to fsdaily.com

Cheers

24 06 2007
24 06 2007
artul

If you uninstalling ekiga (or other bundled apps) then you’ll be forced to uninstalling the ubuntu-desktop metapackage, which is needed if you want to to upgrade your distribution.

24 06 2007
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25 06 2007
syalam

Artul – you are partially correct about uninstalling Ekiga or some of the bundled apps in the ubuntu-desktop metapackage. Ubuntu-desktop isn’t an actual package – it signifies a bundle of included apps such as Ekiga and Evolution etc. You will still be able to upgrade your distribution without it however because Ubuntu is intelligent enough. I was using Ekiga merely as an example of an application that I don’t really need. Thanks for your tips however!

25 06 2007
syalam

Leszek – you can install any of these applications without Automatix2, however it might require mucking around in the terminal which can be a lengthy process (not that I’m saying the term is bad :]). Thanks for your tips.

25 06 2007
leszek

No, you don’t need the terminal at all to install these applications. All can be done with the add/remove GUI or/and the synaptic package manager.

Automatix was great for previous version of Ubuntu but is now not only not needed anymore but also unsupported and has been known to break systems.

25 06 2007
youtubeclone

Thanks for the nice tips, i am just moving to linux desktop, now using CentOS, fonts are one of the problem in using linux for browsing.

25 06 2007
assistantmanager

This isn’t necessary for an Ubuntu install that you do for yourself, but in the case of a lot of the Ubuntu (and other Linux distro) installs that come into my shop, a lot of the various diagnostic tools don’t get installed by default along with things like gcc which a novice won’t need but are absolutely necessary for tasks like installing oddball drivers.

But before all of that I make a proper root account, because while sudo is handy and leaving a root account in the hands of a novice is a bad idea, a lot of the scripts that I’ve written over the years assume root access. Not to mention that continually typing “sudo” gets annoying fast.

25 06 2007
syalam

youtubeclone – thanks for the comments! I’m glad this has helped you out. I faced these problems as well when I first started, but getting things up and ready is a breeze =)

assistantmanager – you are most certainly correct about having to do these things yourself. An OS should work out of the box, and Ubuntu is really getting there quick. Hang on tight for Gutsy Gibbon in October!

25 06 2007
Vivin

mplayer – also plays anything you can think of :).

25 06 2007
aligue

Very intresting article for ubuntu users.
I am using Debian etch 4.0, and you may need to do all that 10 things for Debian too. Don’t you forget? Ubuntu is based Debian.
I am an open source fun because of the ideology behind it!!!

25 06 2007
syalam

Vivin – mplayer is yet another great app, definately up there with VLC.

Aligue – I can’t wait for the next update of Ubuntu to include some more Etch features, the Debian community is great and I completely agree with your stance on the open source ideology! As an Ubuntu user I have geared most of my blog entries towards Edgy Eft and Feisty Fawn, however they can be applied to any Debian based distro as well =).

25 06 2007
aligue

syalam – I agree with you that the Debian community is a bit slow, but you must know that Ubuntu is based on the n-1 version of Debian! In fact Debian releases a non stable version every 6 months and Canonical takes this version makes it stable and releases it after 6 months! This is the production cycle between Ubuntu and Debian. By this way Ubuntu profits from the Debian knowledge and vice versa Debian profits as the bugs corrected in Ubuntu are sent to the Debian community! The Ubuntu success is no more that the Debian success!
For me it is the same thing Ubuntu or Debian! I had tried the two OSes but I still prefer Debian!! ;)

25 06 2007
www.teknear.com

10 tareas inmediatas a realizar luego de instalar tu Ubuntu (ING)

Este post fue agregado a Teknear para su votación. Votalo!

7 07 2007
cecepswp

Good article…
That’s helping me to learn more about Ubuntu, because I’m a new user :)

7 07 2007
syalam

cecepwsp – glad to hear I could help!

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