Previously (in 2008) I wrote about “Things to do after installing openSUSE 11.0“. Well I felt like it was time to start this up again, but this time I’ll be expanding the “Things to do” to more distributions, including this one for Ubuntu.
So here I’ll assume that you’ve installed Ubuntu using whatever means necessary and you’re booting up for the first time. Here are some things that I typically do, when I build up a new Ubuntu box for personal use. I am also targeting this for people who are not comfortable or like to use the command line tools.
The first thing I do is set up my wireless, so I have internet connectivity without being strapped down to a leash. My machine I’m installing on is a Dell Latitude D620. You can setup the wireless by going to the wireless icon in the top panel, and clicking on it to list available networks available.
My secured wireless, BK Wireless, shows up on the list with a lock (showing it’s secured). I click to connect to it, and am prompted for my password.
Once all is setup, and configured the wifi icon will look like the one to the left. Now you have internet connectivity and you can come back and checkout freetechie.com to read the rest of this article.
Updating Your Installation
Even thought you’ve just installed your new Ubuntu, that doesn’t quite mean that the Operating System is fully updated. I highly suggest you upgrade to the newest packages using the Ubuntu Update Manager which can be found in System –> Administration –> Update Manager
This will launch update manager, and you’ll see which packages you need to update. Click on Install Updates, and if you want to see more details of the packages being installed you can expand the Description of update.
You’ll be given a status window, so you won’t be completely in the blue
Once completed, you’ll be sent back to the Update Manager with a message that your system is up to date.
If you’re lucky enough to have a desktop / laptop that’s newer then mine, or one that has a much better video card (ie ATI / NVIDIA) or have the requirement for another proprietary hardware driver, you can go to the Restricted Driver Manager in System –> Hardware Drivers
Obviously this section will be different from person to person, but I think everyone should change their font hinting to full hinting. There are other things I change, like the font size, and the theme (I like slim themes, honestly I’m used to KDE, so I can’t suggest a great GNOME theme yet). Go to System –> Preferences –> Appearance
Here you’ll have the opportunity to setup your Themes, Background, Fonts and Visual Effects
Back to fonts agan I highly recommend setting your hinting to full. I personally lower the fonts to 7 or 8.. I’m still in my 20’s so my eyes aren’t bad …yet.
Of course you want to set stuff up as you like it, but for me I found the following theme to be lighter and a bit nicer on the eyes.. You can customize this, keep the default theme or do what you will to make it “yours”.
Oh.. don’t forget to change the hideous background.
32-Bit Machines w/ 4GB+ of Memory
You guys are a bit special here, since you will require the pae kernel to be able to access the full range of your memory. To do this, you’ll need to install the following packages, which can be done in the Software Center (see below). The packages you will need are linux-headers-server, linux-image-server and linux-server. Once you install those 3 packages you’ll need to reboot and boot into the newly installed PAE kernel.. I’ll write more on this later (if I can scrounge up a machine with more memory then I have in mine).
Install Some Packages
Ok, here is where my gripe comes in with Ubuntu. As you know, during the installation you don’t have the option to choose what you do, or don’t want to install. So this is done after the installation process (which means you may have to purge / uninstall some applications, along with adding some more).
This is done by going to the main menu, and clicking on Ubuntu Software Center.
Here you’ll be brought to a beautiful (sorry, had to use that phrase, couldn’t find a better fit) Software Installation Center which will allow you to install and/or remove any packages you would like. The Software Installation Center by default also uses the Connical Partners Repositories, so you have access to a plethora of applications at your fingertips. Here are some of the packages I highly recommend doing:
Install Ubuntu Restricted Extras (this will also give you flash and sun java)
Install Pidgin (uses less screen real estate)
Install Dropbox (this is a pretty sweet app)
Install Docky (gotta love functional eye candies)
Here are a few shots of the process of adding / removing using the Ubuntu Software Center
Again obviously your fit may be different but those are the ones I use above.
There are other applications I use that aren’t within the Software Center, like Opera and googsystray.
Download and Install googsystray
I’ll talk about googsystray and the installation of it, but not Opera since I just want to cover the basic method of installing a .deb (Debian Installer) using the GUI.
First download the googsystray debian package from sourceforge onto your hard drive.
Now open your file manager (Nautilus by default) and browse to the location where you saved the downloaded file
Double click the debian installer package. This will bring up the installer and allow you to install the package.
If you’re bored you can watch the progress of the installation and once complete you’re welcome to close the screen (looks for the staple button that says “That Was Easy”
Install Microfox for Firefox
Ok.. this one is stupid.. just saying.. Mozilla by default takes way too much real estate with its theme. I always install Micro Fox, which can be found here
There you have it, your new self configured Ubuntu Lucid 10.04