If you’re a new comer to Ubuntu in 17.04 Zesty Zapus release, then welcome, this article is for you. This introduces some options you can do once finished installing Ubuntu. There are 13 options listed you can choose, mainly about applications and some tweakings. You’ll find some list about software replacements (if you come from Windows) and also educational apps. I hope this what-to-do article helps you to be a new Ubuntu user easier. Enjoy Ubuntu 17.04!
Open your Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and perform this command line. This will get “the index” of Ubuntu repository contents (not downloading any software package). Once finished, you can do software install/search through APT or Ubuntu Software Center.
$ sudo apt-get update
2. Install Dnscrypt
Dnscrypt is a tool “to escape” you from DNS spying while using internet. It encrypts all your DNS queries. It’s very important to your privacy. It’s recommended by PRISM Break and Privacy Tools Project. Once installed, dnscrypt enabled automatically.
$ sudo apt-get install dnscrypt-proxy
3. Install Network Speed Indicator
The name of this program is Indicator Multiload. It shows realtime up/down network speed on the top panel.
$ sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload
You can customize Indicator Multiload to show various info like this:
4. Disable Auto-Upgrade
Ubuntu has at least 3 daemons (aptd, unattended-upgrade, snapd) to download something from somewhere without user concerns. In a simplest sense, Ubuntu can do update & upgrade automatically and this may be dangerous for users with limited bandwidth. It’s up to you to disable these feature.
Disable aptd service:
$ sudo systemctl disable apt.daily.service apt.daily.timer
Disable snapd service:
$ sudo systemctl disable snapd.autoimport.service snapd.refresh.timer snapd.service snapd.socketsnapd.system-shutdown.service
Disable unattended-upgrade service:
$ sudo systemctl disable unattended-upgrades.service
Disable auto-checking for packages update:
Go to desktop menu > look for “Software & Updates” > go to Updates tab > set “Never” to the field Automatically check for updates.
Note: this is why I recommend Indicator Multiload so you can check anytime your download speed going wild without your concern.
5. Disable Firefox Auto-update
Despite the fact Ubuntu itself can do auto-upgrade, Mozilla Firefox can also do it. Again, it’s bad for limited bandwidth users. To disable auto-update, visit about:config address > search for “update” > and set to “false” (double-click) for all of these entries:
6. Install Firefox Addons
- Image Block: many times I need to disable all images completely and it really saves my bandwidth a lot.
- Load from Cache: this saves bandwidth as well, forcing Firefox to load images from already-saved cache not re-download them from server.
- Google Search Link Fix: it allows you to copy the real URL of any Google search result. It removes the too-long-garbage URL and enables you right-click > Copy/Save Link As. For a writer like me, it’s a mandatory.
- Tile View: it allows you to view two different tabs side-by-side. Again as a writer, it’s needed especially when I compare my writing with the reference.
- DownThemAll!: the best cross-platform IDM-like download manager and it’s free software.
- Task Manager: like my previous article, it allows you to monitor each of all tabs running how much MB of RAM they are using.
To install addon, press Ctrl+Shift+A on Firefox then do search for a name and press Install button on any addon you want.
7. Customize Time Applet
8. Install Synaptic
Synaptic is a full-control GUI package manager for Ubuntu. It’s needed when you find USC is not enough. Note that apt-xapian-index package is needed to enable Synaptic search bar.
$ sudo apt-get install synaptic apt-xapian-index
9. Explore Ubuntu Software Center
In case you decided not to install Synaptic, you can have an adventure with Ubuntu Software Center (USC). Ubuntu provides more than 50000 packages in repo covering all your daily needs and you can explore them via USC.
Audio & Video Category
10. Install Multimedia Support
Default Ubuntu Desktop can play free/libre format like OGG audio and WEBM video. If you need to play MP3/FLV, then you need to install support for them manually. Among other solutions, VLC is the best.
$ sudo apt-get install vlc
11. Install Common Apps
If you’re moving from Windows to Ubuntu, you’ll need app replacements. Here some free software for common use.
GIMP (2.8.20), Inkscape (0.92.1), Krita (3.1.2), Shutter (0.93.1). Respectively, they’re replacing Photoshop, CorelDRAW, Clip Studio, and ScreenshotCaptor.
$ sudo apt-get install gimp inkscape krita shutter
Midori & Iridium. They’re replacing Opera and Google Chrome.
$ sudo apt-get install midori
To install Iridium, follow previous tutorial.
Flowblade. It’s replacing Windows Movie Maker.
$ sudo apt-get install flowblade
SimpleScreenRecorder (0.3.8). It’s a surprise SSR finally came to official repo in 17.04. Before 17.04, Ubuntu users should install SSR from an external PPA.
$ sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder
12. Install Unity Tweak Tool
In case you want to customize your desktop, Unity Tweak Tool is a program specially created for it. It handles almost all customization including themes and panel. You can, for example, move the left panel to bottom.
$ sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool
13. Install Educational Apps
If you installed Ubuntu for another one’s computers, perhaps those are used for educational purposes at schools or universities. If so, then Ubuntu supplies many educational apps for kids, elementary students, and later.
$ sudo apt-get install gcompris tuxpaint
$ sudo apt-get install tuxtype tuxmath
KAlgebra, GNU Octave.
$ sudo apt-get install kalgebra octave
You’ll find FSF’s list of educational free software useful.