See: Ubuntu Unleashed
Here is a list of things to do after you have installed Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn.
There is some discussion of whether or not you should upgraded to 14.10 here, but the short version is, for most people an upgrade from 14.04 is not necessary but not a bad idea, and an upgrade from any earlier version is a very good idea. Mostly, though, you should just upgrade.
One could ask the question, should you be installing Ubuntu with Unity. You have to like Unity. I personally like to have a wider range of desktop options than Ubuntu with Unity allows, but for a notebook or laptop where you are going to be using one application at a time, usually use GUI apps, and like to have your computer integrated fairly seamlessly to social networking services, etc., it is a good option.
But, as is always the case with any operating system, you can either use it out of the box or change a few things. Because of OpenSource related licensing things a few things need to be done by you that would normally be done by the provider of the OS (but this is a free OS so you don’t get that) but most of these changes are just to make the OS more like you like it. So pick and choose.
First, before you do anything…
Run these commands to bring your system up to date, even if you just installed Ubuntu 14.10.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Reminder: When you start a command with “sudo” you will be asked to enter your password. If you use “sudo” again soon after, the system figures a bad guy did not konk you on the head to take over your computer, and it is probably you issuing the command so it does not ask for your password again. After a while, the system figures you probably did get konked on the head and will attempt to verify your identity by asking for your password.
Also, for the various commands being suggested here (and I should say you are totally on your own and I take no responsibility if you muck up your system, good luck and have a nice day) you may have to enter a “y” (for yes) or do some other things, so keep an eye on your computer.
Install Better or More Appropriate Graphics Card Drivers
Using Software & Updates ~ “Additional Drivers” tab ~ Do what it says there
Install Ubuntu Restricted Extras
This includes some fonts, java, the flash plugin, DVD playback ability, and so on. You need some of this stuff. Use this command:
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
Install additional extras for multimedia
To install DVD playback ability:
Some, many, users will want additional codecs:
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gxine libdvdread4 totem-mozilla icedax tagtool easytag id3tool lame nautilus-script-audio-convert libmad0 mpg321 libavcodec-extra
Adjust the degree to which the Ubuntu Unity Dashboard annoys you and violates your privacy
System Settings ~ Privacy and Security ~ Turn stuff off, especially the online items.
Unity now has the settings people usually turn off unset by default, so you may not need this.
If you do need to turn off all the settings check out Fix Ubuntu has a nice script that will maximally crack down on Unity. You can get the script and run it right away, if you are trusting (it looks trustworthy to me) with this nifty one liner:
wget -q -O - https://fixubuntu.com/fixubuntu.sh | bash
While you are addressing privacy, you may or may not want to disable system crash reports. Sending system crash reports to Ubuntu is probably the polite thing to do, but you may not want to. You will need to edit a file to do this.
Open the file with sudo because it is a file you can only modify and save as a quasi-super-user:
sudo gedit /etc/default/apport
Then find the line that says
and change it to
Save the file, close the text editor, and now at the terminal enter:
sudo service apport stop
Put your name back on the top menu bar panel
You might like the name of the user showing, especially if more than one entity uses your machine.
gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.session show-real-name-on-panel true
gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.session show-real-name-on-panel false
Put the damn menus where they are supposed to be
Ubuntu Macified their Unity experience a while back by moving the menus that go with applications to the menu bar on the top of the screen. This breaks the Linux Philosophy by requiring a menu bar in a particular place. Then, they made it even more useless by making the menus disappear until you run at them with the mouse. With 14.04 and now 14.10 you can undo this travesty.
System Settings ~ Appearance ~ Behavior ~ Show the menus for a window ~ In the window’s title bar
Resize menu bars and panels
Linux users apparently would not stand for having panels and menu bars unscalable. Another feature taken away by Ubuntu Unity, but now with 14.10, you can make this adjustment.
System Settings ~ Displays ~ Scale for menu and title bars ~ Use the slider thingies
Install TweakTools or Unity Tweak Tools
This will allow you to tweek things. TweakTools is a Gnome tool, Unity Tweak Tools is specificall for the Unity Desktop (that yo just installed). They are not the same, you may want both. They merely give you access to things that are already there that you can tweak.
sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool gnome-tweak-tool
Turn off the most annoying scrollbars ever invented
Some say you let designers design your operating system, and users will later catch up. I say to them, Baaaaa.
The odd weird looking essentially useless scrollbars that plague Ubuntu Unity can be gotten ride of by typing this command:
gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal
If you realize you like these new fangled scrollbars later, you can put them back like this:
gsettings reset com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode
Turn Nautilus Recursive vs Typeahead Search Off and ON
After you play around with the newest version of the file manager Nautilus, you may find that you prefer one or the other behaviors in the search bar. I’ve not decided. Switch recursive search on:
gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences enable-interactive-search false
Switch to typeahead search:
gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences enable-interactive-search true
Set up your online accounts (facebook, twitter, etc)
Seetings ~ Online Accounts ~ Then do obvious stuff there
Laptop users: Power Management
There are things one did with 14.04 to enable power management and related features, or to improve them. I am not certain what the best course of action is for 14.10, so I’m not going to suggest anything here. I’ll update this section at a later time. (Feel free to make suggestions below.)
Meanwhile, you may have a look at this, which covers 14.04 and other distributions.
Install a bunch of stuff
Ubuntu is a bit light on file archiving software. You may want to install more:
sudo apt-get install p7zip-rar p7zip-full unace unrar zip unzip sharutils rar uudeview mpack arj cabextract file-roller
Adobe Flash Plugin
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer
Install Copy, which is similar to Dropbox. Slower, but you get more storage for free. I’ve been using it for a while and I like it. (I actually use both.)
Some people like to clean up after themselves. I tend not to, but I know I should. These commands will get rid of some of the chaff you may have created while messing around with your system.
echo "Cleaning Up" &&
sudo apt-get -f install &&
sudo apt-get autoremove &&
sudo apt-get -y autoclean &&
sudo apt-get -y clean
So, you totally screwed up your installation, what do you do now?
Not everything you broke above can be undone easily, but you can reset some of it. Use the following commands. Then see what happens. Good luck. Did I mention that you are totally on your own here and I take no responsibility for anything that goes wrong?
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools
dconf reset -f /org/compiz/
Other posts of interest:
- How to get rid of spiders in your house
- Why is your poop green?
- How many cells are there in the human body?
- Is there really a plot hole in Harry Potter Goblet of Fire?
- How long is a human generation?
- Is blog ever really blue?
- How to not get caught plagiarizing
- The origin of the domestic chicken
- What are the three necessary and sufficient conditions of Natural Selection?
- How do I get rid of foot fungus?
- Which is better, Tap Water or Bottled Water?
- Has Global Warming stopped?
Also of interest: In Search of Sungudogo: A novel of adventure and mystery, set in the Congo.