Switching from Windows to Ubuntu is a big step, but you want to do it as smoothly as possible. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the top five things you need to do after the jump.
Just as you configure Windows and the desktop theme, install the latest updates and make adjustments to run the settings to your liking. This way, Ubuntu can be updated and set up to boost your productivity.
Sure, you just downloaded the latest Ubuntu ISO file and burned it to USB. Install Ubuntu on your computer using a USB flash drive. Install Ubuntu on your computer using a USB flash drive. Want to install Ubuntu but don’t have a blank DVD? Don’t worry! After downloading the ISO file, you can use a highly usable USB flash drive to get the job done. Read more or a DVD before installing. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to update. While the OS itself is as fresh as a daisy, some of the apps packed with it may not be.
To get the best performance on your new Ubuntu PC and avoid potential stability and security issues with older apps, you should update immediately. Do this either by opening the Update Manager, checking for updates and clicking Install Updates, or by opening the terminal and typing:
sudo apt-get update
To update your software repository information, and then:
Sudo apt-get Upgrade
With the second command, you will be prompted to press Y to confirm that the software is updated. Once everything is updated, you can enjoy Ubuntu.
(This is true for all Linux distributions, by the way).
Install video codecs
Of course, if you want to watch a lot of video clips, you can’t enjoy anything yet. You’ll need to install some video codecs to make this possible, if only for DVD playback.
To add codecs, open Terminal and type the following:
You can also install this from the Software Center
That should be it, but there is something else you can do. As with Windows, codecs aren’t really the answer – VLC is. 7 Top Secret Features of Free VLC Media Player 7 Top Secret Features of Free VLC Media Player VLC should be your media player of choice. The cross-platform tool has a bag full of secret features that you can use right now. Read more . Videolan player is full of audio and video codecs. So if you enter the following to install VLC, it may be the better option if you are only viewing media:
sudo apt-get install vlc
Both options should work for you and are much easier than the old days of Ubuntu (and the case with several other distributions). You don’t have to search for codecs anymore – they are all available in a simple installation repository.
Configure your desktop (or change it).
Ubuntu ships with the Unity desktop environment by default, but this has proven unpopular in the default configuration.
To be more productive, you should install the Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center, or by opening a terminal and typing the following:
After installation, you will have all the options available to control the launcher and startup window, window manager, theme, icons and much more. Just click on the option you want to customize and make the settings on the following screen.
sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool
However, you may want to abandon Unity altogether and swap your desktop for Gnome, LXDE, KDE. The new KDE Plasma 5 desktop is beautiful – here’s how to try it The new KDE Plasma 5 desktop is beautiful – here’s how to try it While the KDE framework is considered stable, not all things KDE have been modernized. However, you can test KDE 5 using other methods until it is generally available. Read more, MATE or one of the other, smaller alternatives. We recently took a look at the best alternative desktop environments. The choice is yours: the top 10 Linux desktop environments The choice is yours: the top 10 Linux desktop environments From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there’s a lot to choose from. Where should you start? Overwhelmed? Start here. Read more and how to install them.
Set up your cloud account
A few years ago, Ubuntu shipped with Ubuntu One to access your own cloud storage account. However, they have since abandoned this, which means you are now limited to cloud accounts that work with Ubuntu. Of the most popular, only Dropbox offers a desktop app for Linux computers.
You can easily install Dropbox by opening the Software Center and then searching Dropbox and installing it from the search results.
If you don’t use Dropbox or don’t want to, the cross-platform alternatives aren’t very good. Fortunately, a handful of Linux clients doom Ubuntu One. Try these 5 Linux-friendly alternatives. Ubuntu One is doomed to fail. Try these 5 Linux-friendly alternatives Ubuntu One, the cloud storage and music service designed specifically for Ubuntu users, is shutting down. Here are the best alternatives. More information is available for cloud accounts, but by and large Linux support is lacking from the major cloud storage players (we’re looking at you, Box.net)…
Synchronize your smartphone
Whether you don’t trust cloud apps or just want to make sure you have everything on your smartphone and your Ubuntu PC, it’s important to sync between devices.
Forget the talk of iPhones and iPads not playing well with Linux. As Danny demonstrated, there are ways to sync contacts and music between an iOS device and Ubuntu. Can you have an iOS 7 device that works well with Linux? Can you get an iOS 7 device that works well with Linux? Are you having trouble connecting your iOS device to your Linux computer? Here’s how you can do it right. Read more . It’s even easier for Android users, although Windows Phone users can also give up (and switch to another platform).
Those are five things we think you need to do right after installing Ubuntu. But what do you do differently? Tell us in the comments.