Some readers contacted me about the possibility to write an article about things to do after a fresh installation of Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. In fact, there are many things to do after a new installation of Ubuntu 12.04, but in this guide I will try to give you what is important. If you think we have missed something interesting for Ubuntu 12.04, please mention it in the comment form given below.

1. Updating Your Repositories

The first thing to do is to configure Ubuntu to download packages from main Ubuntu servers instead of location-based servers to avoid the notorious 404 error when installing packages from the terminal using the "apt-get install" command. To do this, start the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run this command:

sudo software-properties-gtk

Make sure all options under "Downloadable from the internet" are checked on, then select Download from: Main server:


In the same window, open the "Other Software" tab and check on all unticked sources (Canonical, Independent, etc.):


Close the window and update now your repositories with these commands:

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get upgrade

2. Installing Hardware Drivers

Open the terminal and run this command:

sudo jockey-gtk

In the window that appears, install proposed hardware drivers (wifi, keyboard, proprietary graphics card drivers, etc.):


If you own a high-end graphics card from Nvidia or AMD, you need to install the latest open-source driver to get better graphics support and performance. We have written many articles about the installation of Nvidia/AMD drivers in this blog. You can check them here.

3. Add Support For Double Layer DVD In Ubuntu 12.04

To be able to read Double Layer DVDs on Ubuntu 12.04, you need to install the libdvdcss2 package with these commands:

sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list 
sudo apt-get --quiet update 
sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring 
sudo apt-get --quiet update 
sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2

4. Installing Multimedia Packages ( Ubuntu Restricted Extras)

Ubuntu needs some packages to be able to play certain audio/video format such as MP3, AVI, Mp4, etc. To install them, open the terminal and run this command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

5. Managing Unity & Desktop Visual Effects

If you need to do some modification for example on the launcher's icon size, transparency, backlights,  window decoration, add desktop 3d effects, and so on, the best choice is to use software like MyUnity and  Compiz Config Settings Manager. To install them on Ubuntu 12.04, run the following commands:

 - Compiz Config Settings Manager:


sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

 - MyUnity:



sudo apt-get install myunity

6. Clean up Ubuntu With Ubuntu Tweak


Ubuntu Tweak is an application with GUI that allows users to view system device details (CPU, Memory, etc.) and clean up your system from junk files that are unnecessary. You can install it on Ubuntu 12.04 or older with the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

8. Installing Oracle Java 7

To install Java 7 under Ubuntu 12.04, run the following commands from the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/java 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

9. Adding Themes To Unity & Gnome Shell

If you want to install GTK+ themes for Unity/Gnome Shell, you can get many of them here. The Gnome Shell interface is installed by default in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin). If it is not the case, you can simply install it with this command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell gnome-tweak-tool

 To enable this interface, logout the current session, select GNOME from the session menu, then log back in:


To install Gnome Shell themes (not GTK+themes) on Ubuntu 12.04, you can refer to this article. For Gnome Shell extensions, go to this website, or check this post that we have published recently containing many extensions for Gnome Shell 3.4. You can also find here a list of application indicators for Unity.

10. Download Manager

If you want to perform mass downloads with the ability to pause/resume file download, you can install on Ubuntu 12.04 the UGET download manager with this command:

sudo apt-get install uget

11. Graphics Applications

There are many graphics applications you can use on Ubuntu 12.04. Here are some popular ones that you need to install:

- GIMP 2.8

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-plugin-registry gimp-resynthesizer

- Inkscape Vector Graphics Editor

sudo apt-get install inkscape

- Pinta 1.2

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pinta-maintainers/pinta-stable 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install pinta

12. Media Players

There are many other powerful media players other than Rhythmobox such as VLC, Clementine, SMPlayer, and Audacious.

- VLC Installation:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install vlc

- Clementine Installation:

sudo apt-get install clementine

- Audacious Installation:

sudo apt-get install audacious

- SMPlayer Installation:

sudo apt-get install smplayer

13. Video Editing Software

You can simply use the Openshot video editor:

sudo apt-get install openshot openshot-doc

14. Bittorent Client

If you want to download torrent files, you can use Transmission. To install it on Ubuntu, run this command:

sudo apt-get install transmission-gtk transmission-common

15. Chat & Communication Software

The best communication software for Ubuntu to stay in touch with your friends and family is Skype, aMSN, and Pidgin. You can install Skype 4.0 with these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/chat 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install skype

aMSk with this command:

sudo apt-get install amsn

For Pidgin, run this command:

sudo apt-get install pidgin

16. Install Windows Applications On Ubuntu 12.04

There are many emulators that allow to run Windows applications and games on Ubuntu. The most popular one is Wine. You can install it with these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install wine1.5

17.  Virtualization Software

Your best friend here is VirtualBox which allows to install various operating systems under Ubuntu. You can install it with these commands:

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian precise contrib' >> /etc/apt/sources.list" 
wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add - 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.1

18. Installing More Web Browsers

If you want to use more than one web browser, you can install Google Chrome or Opera.

- Google Chrome:

wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add - 
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list' 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable

- Opera:

wget -O - http://deb.opera.com/archive.key | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ stable non-free" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/opera.list' 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo  apt-get  install opera

19. Installing A Web Server

If you are web developer, you can simply use the LAMP web server on Ubuntu. A tutorial here explains its installation on Ubuntu 12.04.

20. Synaptic Installation

Synaptic is no longer available in Ubuntu 12.04. This tool allows to easily install, remove, and upgrade Ubuntu packages. If you want to restore it, you can simply install it with this command:

sudo apt-get install synaptic

That's it!
 
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