We begin with the usual list of things you pretty much always do after installing every Linux OS. Why these things are not automatically done for you on installation is a bit mysterious, but down deep there are generally reasons (legal reasons) for some of these things. In fact, pretty much everything here, with some minor tweaking you can ignore, is the same as for Ubuntu 16. And 15, probably. If you’ve been upgrading to the latest Ubuntu on a regular basis, this might all be pretty automatic for you by now!

Anyway, after installing Ubuntu 17.04, consider these next moves:

Update and Patch Up

Update your operating system by opening a terminal and typing in these things (sudo will cause the terminal to ask for your password).

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Turn on the “Canonical Parter” repositories. Canonical is the company that makes and maintains Ubuntu. Go to Software & Updates and under the Other Software tab, check off Canonical Partners.

Go to “software and updates” and pick the tab for “Additional Drivers” and pick the graphics drivers that show up there as options, if necessary.

Most people will want to install media codecs so you can listen to, or better listen to, or watch, things.

It is easiest to do this from the command line (the terminal) by typing:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Install Gdebi package installer, which I think is not already installed on this distro. This is a program that installed the contents of “.deb” packages, which you will occasionally (like, in a bout one minute from not likely) download in order to install some programs. Gdebi allows you to right click, or in some other easy way, deploy the package (which will be a folder with stuff in it) to have it all install automatically.

Find and learn to use the software installation system that comes with Ubuntu.

You will want to install the Unity Tweak tool because it allows you to … tweak Unity in ways the system configuration interface does not. Why are all the tweeky configury things not automatially in one place? I don’t know, and this to me is a major failing of the effort to get people to use the Linux Desktop.

Anyway, type this:

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

Since Unity is will never be deployed with a distribution again after 17.04, that will be the last time you do that!

Install your favorite additional software

The distribution comes with piles of software already, but there are a few things you may want to install because you use them. Use the software installer to do so, or go to the appropriate web site to download the deb file (which you’ll use gdebi to install).

I install Chrome Browser (others install Chromium, but I don’t think that is the best option). Go to the Google Chrome web site to find it.
I use Dropbox, and if you do, go to the Dropbox site and install the latest version.
Skype is installed from the Skype site as well.
I like GIMP image processing. That should be in your software installer center.
I like VLC as a media player. This should be in your software installer center.

______________________
Book suggestions:

Ubuntu Unleashed 2017 Edition (Includes Content Update Program): Covering 16.10, 17.04, 17.10 (12th Edition)

The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction

______________________

Refinements

The Unity Tweak tool lets you change how application windows are managed, including minimizing them. Play around with the tweak too.

Go to the configuration panel and select the theme you like, or leave the theme along. I’m kind of beyond changing my theme all the time but it is fun if you are into it, go for it!

Don’t bother

Many will suggest system cleaning and monitoring tools. I don’t think most of these tools do much or provide much information beyond what you can get by using the command line tools that have always been there. Linux is not Windows. It takes care of itself and is not a crybaby. It is much more like a Mac in this way, and for good reasons: Both are Xnix operating systems, in the same family.

Comments

  1. […] So, to install Ubuntu 17.04, which you may not want to do (I’d wait until 17.10 if you want the Gnome interface) go HERE and follow the instructions. It is possible that you can upgrade your current installation to the new release, but if you have a non-Ubuntu OS or an older version, you may need to download an image and reinstall. Then, when you are done, you may want to do these things. […]

  2. #2 MikeN
    May 8, 2017

    Given how Google monitors everything its users do, is Chrome browser a good browser to use?

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    May 8, 2017

    You can have whatever relationship you want with Google. In the end, if you chose to have a google account and use one of their browsers, I suggest chrome over chromium.

    The reason people use chromium instead of chrome is that the former is more OpenSource which in this case, means slightly more out of date and modestly broken. I don’t think you get any privacy differences.

    With Firefox, you get a very broken browser that is only considered less intrusive because they tell you it is less intrusive. Sort of how Julian Assange and his supporters tell you they would never spy on you, specifically, just them.

    Yes, if you don’t want Google in your life, do not use either browser! But, a very large number of users of many desktops seem to ignore the already installed firefox or variant and install chrome-ish browsers.

    About 13% of the readers of this blog use Firefox, by the way.

  4. #4 Doug Alder
    Canada
    May 9, 2017

    “Things to do after installing Ubuntu 17.04” and therein lies the problem with all linux distros, including Ubuntu the most end user friendly one. As a desktop OS linux is losing ground – it’s peak market penetration was in 2015 at 1.91% and has shrunk to 1.51% as of February ’17. Great for geeks not so great for Jane and John Doe. Until it gets to a point where you do not, as a matter of course, have to use the CLI to update. upgrade, install apps etc., that is until users never have to open the CLI unless they want to, it can’t hope to grow much further.

  5. #6 Greg Laden
    May 9, 2017

    Doug, note that there have always been things to do when Windows is installed, and many of those were things you could not do without a great deal of trouble, if at all, because of junkware. I’ve actually had to return a piece of hardware because a piece of junkware wold not allow itself to be removed (net nanny).

    So I simply do not accept that the tweaking and stuff one does after installing Linux has nothing to do with the size of its market share.

    There are reasons for the smaller market share. One is that the Linux desktop developers do not understand the average consumer. The other is passive aggressive refusal to develop basic apps that would make Linux useful to more people. Another is the fact that many developers, even those who might benefit from doing so, do not develop for Linux even though it is easy compared to developing for proprietary operating systems.

    I think a big reason is that it has always been free and associated with free software. People assume that fee means junky or unsafe, which is a falsehood.

    Having said all that, Linux is probably the most widely used OS on the planet. The server share and the Android portion are huge.

    As far as desktop share goes, I’m pretty sure there is something wrong with those numbers since Linux is the official distribution in China. That is obviously not being counted here.

    Anyway, the Linux desktop is not for everyone. It is, mainly, for smart people.

  6. #7 Doug Alder
    Canada
    May 9, 2017

    Greg – Re: your first paragraph. Aside from doing security/OS patching updates after installation – something all OSs require, that’s really not been my experience From Win 7 on, and rarely in Win 95. Win 3.1 lots of problems (IRQ conflicts etc) no question. For me, it’s just been install the OS add the programs you use from CD or download, update the software, and away I go. But that’s just my experience YMMV of course.

    Of course at the server level Linux is predominant. My servers have always been Linux and I’ve enjoyed playing with them

  7. #8 Frank
    USA
    May 11, 2017

    Gotta wonder what Linux OS’s Ole Doug is using where he has to do everything by CLI. You are a little behind the times. Ever hear of synaptic or gdebi? Windows is now essentially banned in Russia and China because of all the back doors.
    For the average home user Linux Mint,Ubuntu,Opensuse and the Arch based Manjaro works just fine. Try Libre Office which is compatible with Microsoft Office. You have software like Shotwell and Digikam for you digital cameras. Browsers,let’s see,Firefox,Chrome,Opera,Qupzilla,Epiphany,Tor Browser ect. VLC player,SMplayer,Gnomeplayer,Audacious,Amarok,Clementine for playing music and vids. And a host of others like Skype, Qbittorrent,Virtual Box(Put Windows or any other OS on Virtualbox and run them on your Linux machine),KODI, Steam ect. You are about 20 years behind the times.

  8. #9 Frank
    USA
    May 11, 2017

    Looks like my pro-Linux comment got censored.

  9. #10 Greg Laden
    May 11, 2017

    Frank, the comment(s) of a new commenter are automatically tossed in moderation until I release them.

  10. #11 Greg Laden
    May 11, 2017

    Doug, windows does work better these days than in the past. It is still saddled with security issues. Also, the interface is not flexible like Linux us, and has gone the way if the evil ribbon.

  11. #12 Wow
    May 11, 2017

    Two words that strike fear into the hearts of any Windows network user: Roaming Profiles.

    The words mean nothing to UNIX, since the design was always for roaming profiles. Only windows is STILL demanding you installed everything on the local C drive…

  12. #13 Wow
    May 11, 2017

    “The other is passive aggressive refusal to develop basic apps that would make Linux useful to more people.”

    More than slightly unfair.

    For one, if they aped a basic app like some established player on windows, they’d be sued. See Lindows.

    Second, if they aped a windows app, they’d be derided (and they are) for being a “me too”.

    Third, if they don’t ape a windows app, they’re dismissed as “not standard”. See GIMP et al.

  13. #14 Wow
    May 11, 2017

    ““Things to do after installing Ubuntu 17.04” and therein lies the problem with all linux distros, including Ubuntu the most end user friendly one. ”

    So how is it different from Windows? You still admit you have to install the apps you use form CD.And read and agree to the license.

    And most of that stuff is included on the average linux install DVD. Several programming languages, several semi-professional photo apps (including darkroom style ones like Digicam), an office suite (including full RDBMS) or two, typesetting, document converters out the wazoo, and so on. Already installed.

    And most of the things not there are not there because the law makes giving them to you illegal in dumbass backward countries. Like DVD viewing software.

    Which is also not included in Windows either, by the way.

  14. #15 Wow
    May 11, 2017

    “Until it gets to a point where you do not, as a matter of course, have to use the CLI to update. upgrade, install apps ”

    So ever since 2011 or maybe 2007, depending on your distro choice.

  15. #16 Greg Laden
    May 11, 2017

    Wow, I have not suggested aping Windows or Windows apps.

    And yes, the cli is it needed for the average desktop user in Linux no more than in windoze

  16. #17 Wow
    May 12, 2017

    No, but complaints about Linux replacing Windows is ALWAYS about how X (frequently Adobe PS, which includes stuff that is patented and licensed in its technology, which interferes with ANY program doing the same thing in the USA and Germany) isn’t there and the replacements “not suitable”.

    And see my “Third….”.

    About the CLI, Remote Desktop is a VERY BAD way to get around having to have a CLI. Instead of saying by word what command and options to put into the command line, you have to say “Go to this menu, look for the icon that looks like a dog pissing on a policeman’s helmet… Double click on that unless you’ve set single click in the options… what? You don’t know if you have? Well, you may get two copies of the same program up, then…” and so on and so on and so on. And if they have a different version of the program, the menu items icons and hierarchy will have changed, so your instructions will merely confuse.

    So they have to open up their computer COMPLETELY to some internet person to run to get the fix.

    The CLI is pretty effing easy to helpdesk.

    When I have to help someone with a Windows app, I know computers well enough to know roughly what I’m looking for, so it’s some hunt-and-peck for the right thing. That can only be done with complete control of their PC, though. Command line commands are fairly invariant and are entirely, necessarily, word-based. Even if there’s a lot of silly “punctuation” with “backslash dash colon” going on.

    Windows tried to hide DOS and DOS was pretty minimal and pointless (Borland made their money because DOS was so worthless), and they brought that hiding into every windows OS since. They don’t troubleshoot the PC with command lines in house so they don’t see why anyone else needs it either. So they don’t get it.

    Same with Windows roaming. They work like that and see no reason to do anything anyone else does if it means changing the assumptions basic to the way windows works (like sole user of the same PC every day), and when they want to change the use-case, they tack on some crud to keep the paradigm and avoid looking too deep into the code to start from a better place.

    After all, changing the paradigm only gets them a lot of work to no change they can sell as an improvement.

    And it sells AD to help roaming work. And when AD is being “sold” to laymen or justified by them, they go and ask “What do you do to do $THIS in Linux, eh?” when $THIS is a kludge done by Windows to allow something UNIX (therefore Linux) has been doing since the 50s in a different way that doesn’t require the hoop jumping and kludging.

    But since it doesn’t have $THIS, it’s “not sufficient” and “incomplete”.

    Again, it has to ape what Windows does, even if it doesn’t have to, to be accepted as a replacement for Windows.

  17. #18 dean
    May 18, 2017

    Not Linux on computer, but wondered if Greg has seen this: a “command line” launcher for Android phones.

    https://goo.gl/FQl4TF

  18. #19 Wow
    May 18, 2017

    Probably a good idea to put at least the summary of the product so people don’t have to click on another random URL in a discussion that is happening around the latest SMB worm infection…