Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn saw the light a couple of days ago. As we do with each release of this popular distro, here are some things you should do after making a installation from scratch.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Run the Update Manager
- 2 2. Install Spanish Language
- 3 3. Install codecs, Flash, additional fonts, drivers, etc.
- 4 4. Install additional repositories
- 5 5. Install help tools to configure Ubuntu
- 6 6. Install compression applications
- 7 7. Install other package and configuration managers
- 8 8. Find more applications in the Ubuntu Software Center
- 9 9. Change interface
- 10 10. Install Indicators and Quicklists
- 11 11. Install the Compiz & plugins Configuration Manager
- 12 12. Remove the global menu
- 13 13. Remove "commercial" searches from Dash
- 14 14. Integrate the web to your desktop
- 15 15. Ubuntu Desktop Guide
1. Run the Update Manager
It is likely that after the launch of Utopic Unicorn, new updates have appeared for the different packages that the ISO image distributed by Canonical comes with.
For this reason, after finishing the installation it is always recommended to run the Update Manager. You can do it by searching for it in Dash or by executing the following from a terminal:
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade
2. Install Spanish Language
In the Dash I wrote language support and from there you will be able to add the language you prefer.
Dictionary in Spanish for LibreOffice / OpenOffice
In case you do not have the spell checker in Spanish, it is possible to add it by hand as follows:
1. Go to the LibreOffice extension center
2. Search the Spanish dictionaries
3. Download the dictionary of your preference (general or specific to your country)
With this we will have an OXT file. If not, you have to change the extension of the downloaded file.
4. Open LibreOffice / OpenOffice, select Tools> Extensions and click Add, we go to the directory where the downloaded file is located and we install it.
To see a complete guide explaining how to install the Spanish spelling and grammar checker in LibreOffice / OpenOffice, I suggest reading this old article. We have also prepared a guide to install the Spanish spell checker in Firefox / Chromium.
3. Install codecs, Flash, additional fonts, drivers, etc.
Due to legal issues, Ubuntu cannot include by default a series of packages that, on the other hand, are very necessary for any user: codecs to play MP3, WMV or encrypted DVDs, additional sources (widely used in Windows), Flash, drivers owners (to make better use of 3D functions or Wi-Fi), etc.
Fortunately, the Ubuntu installer allows you to install all of this from scratch. You just have to enable that option in one of the installer screens.
In case you haven't already done so, you can install them as follows:
Video card driver
Ubuntu should automatically detect and alert you to the availability of 3D drivers. In that case, you will see an icon for a video card on the top panel. Click on that icon and follow the instructions. It is also possible to install the proprietary drivers from the Dash> Additional Drivers.
Proprietary codecs and formats
If you are one of those who cannot live without listening to MP3, M4A and other proprietary formats, as well as you could not survive in this cruel world without being able to play your videos in MP4, WMV and other proprietary formats, there is a very simple solution. You just have to click on the button below:
or write in a terminal:
sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras
In order to view some videos and view flash web content in your web browser, you need to install the flash plugin. It is possible to install it directly from the Software Center and entering the word "flash" or from a terminal with the following command:
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer
To add support for Encrypted DVDs (all "originals"), I opened a terminal and typed the following:
sudo apt install libdvdread4 sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh
4. Install additional repositories
GetDeb & Playdeb
Playdeb, the game repository for Ubuntu, was created by the same people who gave us getdeb.net, the purpose of the project is to provide Ubuntu users with an unofficial repository with the latest versions of the games.
5. Install help tools to configure Ubuntu
The most popular tool to configure Ubuntu is Ubuntu Tweak (although it is worth clarifying that in recent days it seems that its development will end, at least on the part of its creator). This wonder allows you to "tune" your Ubuntu and leave it as you like.
To install Ubuntu Tweak, I opened a terminal and typed:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa: tualatrix / ppa sudo apt update sudo apt install ubuntu-tweak
UnSettings is a new tool for customizing Ubuntu. There are other programs like MyUnity, Gnome Tweak Tool, and Ubuntu-Tweak that do the same job, but this one includes some unique features.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa: diesch / testing sudo apt update sudo apt install unsettings
6. Install compression applications
In order to compress and decompress some popular free and proprietary formats, you need to install the following packages:
sudo apt install rar unace p7zip-full p7zip-rar sharutils mpack lha arj
7. Install other package and configuration managers
Synaptic - is a graphical tool for package management based on GTK + and APT. Synaptic allows you to install, update or uninstall program packages in a versatile way.
It is not already installed by default (as they say by space on the CD)
Installation: Search Software Center: synaptic. Otherwise, you can enter the following command in a terminal ...
sudo apt install synaptic
aptitude - Command to install applications from the terminal
It is not necessary since we can always use the "apt" command, but here I leave it for those who want it:
Installation: Search Software Center: aptitude. Otherwise, you can enter the following command in a terminal ...
sudo apt install aptitude
gdeby - Installation of .deb packages
It is not necessary, since when installing the .deb with a double click, the Software Center opens but it may be of interest to some nostalgic people.
Installation: search Software Center: gdebi. Otherwise, you can enter the following command in a terminal ...
sudo apt install gdebi
Dconf editor - It can be useful when configuring Gnome.
Installation: Search Software Center: dconf editor. Otherwise, you can enter the following command in a terminal ...
sudo apt install dconf-tools
To run it, I opened Dash and typed "dconf editor."
8. Find more applications in the Ubuntu Software Center
In case you can't find an application to do what you want or you don't like the applications that come by default in Ubuntu, you can go to the Ubuntu Software Center.
From there you will be able to install excellent applications with just a few clicks. Some popular picks are:
- OpenShot, video editor
- AbiWordSimple, lightweight text editor
- Thunderbird, email
- Chromium, web browser (free version of Google Chrome)
- Pidgin, chat
- Deluge, torrent
- XBMC, media center
- GIMP, image editor (Photoshop type)
9. Change interface
To the traditional GNOME interface
If you are not a fan of Unity and want to use the traditional GNOME interface, please do the following:
- Log out
- Click on your username
- Look for the session menu at the bottom of the screen
- Change it from Ubuntu to GNOME Flashback
- Click Login.
In case this option is not available, try running the following command first:
sudo apt install gnome-session-flashback
If you want to try GNOME Shell instead of Unity.
Installation: enter the following command in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell ubuntu-gnome-desktop
Cinammon is a fork of Gnome 3 used and developed by the creators of Linux Mint that allows you to have a lower task bar with the classic Start Menu.
sudo apt-get install cinnamon
MATE is a fork of Gnome 2 that emerged as an alternative for GNOME users after the drastic change that this desktop environment underwent when using its controversial Shell. Basically, MATE is GNOME 2, but they changed the names of some of their packages.
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment
10. Install Indicators and Quicklists
Indicators - You can install many indicators, which will appear on the top panel of your desktop. These indicators can display information about many things (weather, hardware sensors, ssh, system monitors, dropbox, virtualbox, etc.).
A complete list of indicators, along with a brief description of their installation, is available at Ask Ubuntu.
quicklist - Quicklists allow you to access common functionalities of the applications. They run through the bar that appears on the left on your desktop.
Ubuntu already comes with several installed by default. However, it is possible to use some custom quicklists. A complete list, along with a brief description of its installation, is available at Ask Ubuntu.
11. Install the Compiz & plugins Configuration Manager
Compiz is the one who makes those amazing stationery that leaves us all speechless. Unfortunately Ubuntu does not come with any graphical interface to configure Compiz. Also, it doesn't come with all the plugins installed.
To install them, I opened a terminal and typed:
sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra
To remove the so-called "global menu", which makes the applications menu appear on the top panel of your desktop, I simply opened a terminal and typed the following:
sudo apt remove appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-gtk appmenu-qt
Log out and log in again.
To revert the changes, open a terminal and enter:
sudo apt install appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-gtk appmenu-qt
Window menus in the title bar
Before, the menus of applications that were not maximized also appeared in the global menu. However, it is now possible for the menus in these windows to appear in their own title bar. To do this, you just have to open the Dash, write "Appearance", go to the "Behavior" tab and select the option "Show window menus in the title bar."
13. Remove "commercial" searches from Dash
To disable online searches, I opened the dashboard System Settings> Privacy and Security> Search. Once there, deselect the option "Include online results."
To deactivate only the "commercial" searches that appear in the Dash, you can go to Applications> Filter Results> Type> Extensions. Click on the plugin and select Deactivate.
To disable all "commercial" searches (Amazon, Ebay, Music Store, Popular Tracks Online, Skimlinks, Ubuntu One Music Search & Ubuntu Shop) in one fell swoop you can open a terminal and execute the following command:
wget -q -O - https://fixubuntu.com/fixubuntu.sh | bash
14. Integrate the web to your desktop
Add your social media accounts
To get started, I accessed the dashboard System Settings> Online Accounts. Once there, click on the "Add Account" button.
Supported services include Aol, Windows Live, Twitter, Google, Yahoo !, Facebook (and Facebook Chat), Flickr, and many more.
The applications that use this data are Empathy, Gwibber and Shotwell.
Ubuntu WebApps allows websites such as Gmail, Grooveshark, Last.fm, Facebook, Google Docs and many others, to integrate seamlessly with the Unity desktop: you will be able to search the site through HUD, you will receive desktop notifications, quicklists will be added and it will even be integrated with the messages and notifications menu.
To get started, just visit one of the supported sites (there is a complete list here.) and click on the "install" pop-up, which will appear as shown in the image above.
15. Ubuntu Desktop Guide
Nothing better than taking a look at the official documentation (in Spanish) for Ubuntu. It is an excellent help for newcomers and, in addition to being very comprehensive, it was written with new users in mind, so it is very useful and easy to read.
You will be able to find information about what's new in Ubuntu and information on how to use the launcher to start applications (which can be confusing for those who have never used Unity), how to search for applications, files, music and much more with Dash, how to manage applications and settings with the menu bar, how to close the session, turn off or change user and a very long etcetera.