Saturday 22 May 2010

10 Things to do after a Fresh Ubuntu Install

Often, there are certain things that people do after a fresh install of their operating. I often install my operating systems once a while (and find such re-installs painfully horrible) because I manage to screw something up with an application or tweaking some setting results in an improperly functioning operating system.

However, I also manage to install Ubuntu (or nubuntu for me) every 6 months because there's always a newer version of it. And it keeps getting better every time, forcing me to upgrade to the latest version. Of course, I could always just upgrade through the software update tool, but I find that a clean install often works out better.

So for my own notes and for everyone else here's what I do (or end up doing) after every fresh Ubuntu install. Sadly, most of these things involve installing proprietary drivers, which seem to be necessary for the functioning of the system.

1. Get some Microsoft fonts. While not necessary, most of the documents I deal with use Microsoft related fonts (and sometimes I end up using these fonts due to document style requirements).

2. Install the Gstreamer plugins - I seem to have a lot of stuff

3. Install Adobe Flash/Moonlight (Silverlight)

4. Tweak my font appearance. Often helpful to make fonts look good, although I must say that the present Ubuntu version (10.04) seems like it doesn't need this tweak.

5. Set-up Email - I seem to be leaning towards Evolution, since it seems to integrate nicely with the OS. Thunderbird is good too.

6. Set-up IM - Empathy plays nice with my MSN passport account, which is good. Although I almost always end up using email over IM.

7. Get the Simple Compiz Config Settings Manager so that I can enable the Scale feature and set active screen corners like on a mac

8. Set-up Xmarks in Firefox - One of the best tools out there for me since it helps me sync all my bookmarks.

9. Install other interesting apps, or apps that I think I might need... this list varies from time to time but may include:
  • Chromium
  • Thunderbird (with its other extensions)
  • CodeBlocks (for C and other such development)
  • Bluefish
  • Google Earth
  • Apache, MySQL and PHP for web development
  • Emacs for org mode and its other features
  • Other productivity applications...
10. Install Dropbox to make sure I backup any important work I do.

Finally: Check for updates - sometimes by the time the OS is out, there are already some updates for the system. And thankfully, installing those updates through the update manger app is really easy too.

Feel free to share your own way of doing things / the apps you cannot live without in the comments below!

Got a question, tip or comment? Send them to and we'll try to answer it in a blog post!

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