What to do after installing Ubuntu 13.10?

NOTE: This may not be the blog post you are looking for. If you have installed Ubuntu 14.10 and want to tweak that, GO HERE.

So, you’ve installed Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander and now you want to fix it up real nice? Here’s what I did.

Enable Additional Drivers. Software Sources –> ’Additional Drivers’ in search box, and install the thing called “Additional Drivers.” This is over 100 mb of stuff and may take some time.

Run a full update and reboot. When I did this using the software updater, the updater was initially unable to function so I used the command line.

Fastest way to update:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Resist the temptation to remove unity. You opted for Ubuntu, use unity or move on to some other system. If you wanted XFCE or KDE you would have installed Debian or Fedora. So you’ll need to fix Unity because it comes badly broken, but in sticking with Unity you’ll find other things work well.

Install Google Chromium. I used the software center to do this so, perhaps, there would be automatic updates.

Get rid of the crap in Dashboard. The dashboard fills the heads up display with crap it finds from the Internet. You do not want this. Nobody wants this. To get rid of it open the dash and type in the word “privacy” and hit enter to open “security and privacy.” Pick the “search” tab and unselect the include online results thingie. Ubuntu was hoping to make some money on commissions on stuff you bought. Go to the Ubuntu home page and give them ten bucks if you feel badly about turning this off.

But before you do that, go back to the dash, type in privacy, and look at the search results that come up. Hahaha. OK, now turn the damn thing off and get to work.

Install restricted drivers, codexes, and stuff:

$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

You will be asked to say OK and Yes and so on .

You might need to install flash:

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer

If that was unnecessary you’ll be told it’s already there, no harm done.

Do you use Evernote? Install everpad. You’ll probably have to use a ppa.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nvbn-rm/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install everpad

Good luck getting it to work, that hasn’t happened to me yet. I use the web interface from Linux.

Make Unity have Multiple Workspaces. Under Application Appearance in the settings app you can turn on workspaces, which should be default or it’s not really Linux, but Ubuntu apparently feels differently.

There’s a lot more than this you can do. Check out this, this, this, and this for more suggestions, especially related to media players and such which I do not have much use for on the laptop I just upgraded (and thus did not discuss).

Later, we’ll look in to installing emacs on your computer. It’s very easy but you need to have a good .emacs file or it will be frustrating.


If you install Dropbox the panel indicator may not work which is important if, for example, you want to use selective sync or otherwise manage your dropbox settings. According to THIS source, you can do this:

A reader has pointed out that there is a simple solution to this problem. Just run this command and then log out and log it:

sudo apt-get install libappindicator1

That worked for me.


  1. #1 magicthighs
    November 18, 2013

    Correction, if you do sudo apt-get dist-upgrade instead of sudo apt-get upgrade it’ll update your kernel too if there’s a new version.

    Feel free to delete my previous comment.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    November 18, 2013

    Yes, but hopefully you just installed a new kernel and that’s why you’re tweaking it.

  3. #3 Aleks
    November 19, 2013

    Don’t remove unity but install Cinnamon and use that as the default

  4. #4 Esa Riihonen
    November 19, 2013

    Evernote seemed interesting – however (as you predicted) I didn’t get the everpad working in my Ubuntu 12.04 (LTS) either.
    The web interface should have been good enough also for me, but I decided to try wine – and after some tinkling[$] I think I got it working just fine (admittedly I have not played with it too long yet).
    [$] Perhaps not too surprisingly the main problem was the rendering of the windows fonts which is a admittedly general wine-issue not directly connected to Evernote.

    But in any case, I’m now happy with this new tool/toy – thanks for the suggestion.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    November 19, 2013

    There are other evernote options as well besides everpad.

  6. #6 Razin
    November 24, 2013