Best things to do after installing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

This article is written based on experience with Ubuntu 16.04 Beta 1 release. Though this can be applied to final release as well.
In this article, I would like to explain some best things to do after installing Ubuntu 16.04 in your system. This article will help you to have a more usable system. The terms 'usability', 'best' are completely relative. So, In this post, I'm trying to explains some things that I feel important.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Desktop

As every GNU/Linux distribution, Ubuntu is also about choice. You will have several ways for doing same thing. In this article, I will be focusing more on command line way of doing things as it is more straight forward.

1. First thing first : Update your package repository.

Probably this will be the first thing that you've to do before performing any software management actions(installation, removal, update ..etc). Ubuntu Software Update package may take care of this automatically.

Software package repository can be updated by executing following command on terminal. Also provide password if it is asking for.

If you're a newbie and not aware about terminal, just goto ubuntu launcher and search for terminal. You can find terminal application there. Open it by clicking on it.
:~$ sudo apt-get update
[sudo] password for xxx:
Get:1 xenial InRelease [95.8 kB]     
Hit:2 xenial-security InRelease        
Hit:3 xenial-updates InRelease
Hit:4 xenial-backports InRelease
Fetched 95.8 kB in 2s (36.6 kB/s)
Reading package lists... Done

2. Removing unnecessary software packages.

Well. Ubuntu comes with several software packages by default. It is not necessary that you will prefer to have all of them. Removing unnecessary software packages will help you to reduce bandwidth usage while updating your system.

This step is completely your choice. You can explore packages already used in your system to find packages that you might not be using.

Personally I prefer to remove following packages.
  • yelp - Ubuntu help document
  • thunderbird - Mail Client
  • rhythmbox - Music player
  • eog - An Image Viewer. There is a better image viewer already installed, then why to keep this?
You can remove all these packages using apt-get utility.
Open terminal, execute following command and provide password if it is asking for
~$ sudo apt-get remove yelp thunderbird rhythmbox eog
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree     
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  gir1.2-rb-3.0 gir1.2-secret-1 libdmapsharing-3.0-2 libgpod-common libgpod4 librhythmbox-core9 libsgutils2-2 media-player-info
  python3-mako rhythmbox-data
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  eog gnome-user-guide rhythmbox rhythmbox-plugin-zeitgeist rhythmbox-plugins thunderbird thunderbird-gnome-support thunderbird-locale-en
  thunderbird-locale-en-us ubuntu-desktop ubuntu-docs yelp
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 12 to remove and 174 not upgraded.
After this operation, 214 MB disk space will be freed.

3. Update your system

So far, we've updated our software repository and removed unnecessary packages. Now, it is time to update our system. Software Update is important because, it will help us to get more bug fixes and security improvements.

Your system can be updated using following command on terminal and provide password if it asking for. This may take sometime depending on size of packages to be downloaded and speed of internet connection that you are using.
 $ sudo apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree     
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages have been kept back:
  gstreamer1.0-plugins-base libubuntugestures5 linux-generic linux-headers-generic linux-image-generic
  qtdeclarative5-ubuntu-ui-toolkit-plugin ubuntu-ui-toolkit-theme
The following packages will be upgraded:
  account-plugin-facebook account-plugin-flickr account-plugin-google binutils bluez bluez-cups bluez-obexd bsdmainutils bsdutils
  xorg-docs-core xserver-common xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-core xserver-xorg-input-all xserver-xorg-input-evdev
  xserver-xorg-input-synaptics xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse xserver-xorg-input-wacom xserver-xorg-video-all xserver-xorg-video-amdgpu
  xserver-xorg-video-ati xserver-xorg-video-fbdev xserver-xorg-video-intel xserver-xorg-video-nouveau xserver-xorg-video-qxl
  xserver-xorg-video-radeon xserver-xorg-video-vesa xserver-xorg-video-vmware yelp
173 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 7 not upgraded.
Need to get 187 MB of archives.
After this operation, 4,478 kB of additional disk space will be used.

4. Configure touchpad (Laptop Only)

By default, Ubuntu  use two finger scrolling. If you don't like this, surely I don't like this. That is why I'm mentioning this here. You can configure this using Mouse and Touchpad utility present in Ubuntu.

To open Mouse and Touchpad utility, open system launcher and search for touchpad, this will bring up Mouse and Touchpad utility. Open it by clicking on it. In newly opened window you can select options as you wish. Personally I prefer to select edge scrolling and natural scrolling options.

5. Install restricted packages.

By default, Ubuntu does not comes with some proprietary plugins, fonts and drivers. These are essential to play some most commonly used media files and all. These restricted packages can be installed using following command.
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree      
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  cabextract chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra flashplugin-installer freepats gstreamer1.0-fluendo-mp3 gstreamer1.0-libav
  libopencv-video2.4v5 libopenjpeg5 libopus0 liboxideqt-qmlplugin liboxideqtcore0 liboxideqtquick0 libpgm-5.1-0 libpostproc-ffmpeg53
  libschroedinger-1.0-0 libshine3 libsidplay1v5 libsnappy1v5 libsodium18 libsoundtouch1 libsoxr0 libspandsp2 libsrtp0 libssh-gcrypt-4
  libswresample-ffmpeg1 libswscale-ffmpeg3 libtbb2 libtwolame0 libva1 libvdpau1 libvo-aacenc0 libvo-amrwbenc0 libwildmidi-config
  libwildmidi1 libx264-148 libx265-79 libxvidcore4 libzbar0 libzmq3 libzvbi-common libzvbi0 mesa-vdpau-drivers oxideqt-codecs-extra
  ttf-mscorefonts-installer ubuntu-restricted-addons unrar va-driver-all vdpau-driver-all vdpau-va-driver
Suggested packages:
  x-ttcidfont-conf ttf-bitstream-vera | ttf-dejavu ttf-xfree86-nonfree xfs frei0r-plugins libbluray-bdj libchromaprint-tools
  python-acoustid firmware-crystalhd libdvdcss2 libvisual-0.4-plugins opus-tools sidplay-base srtp-utils xvba-va-driver libvdpau-va-gl1
  libgstreamer-plugins-bad1.0-0 libgtkglext1 libkate1 libmad0 libmimic0 libmjpegutils-2.1-0 libmms0 libmodplug1 libmp3lame0 libmpeg2-4
  libmpeg2encpp-2.1-0 libmpg123-0 libmplex2-2.1-0 libmspack0 libofa0 libopenal-data libopenal1 libopencore-amrnb0 libopencore-amrwb0
The following packages will be upgraded:
  libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0-0 liboxideqt-qmlplugin liboxideqtcore0 liboxideqtquick0
4 upgraded, 106 newly installed, 1 to remove and 175 not upgraded.
Need to get 93.1 MB of archives.
After this operation, 158 MB of additional disk space will be used.

6. Installing Adobe Flash player.

Some multimedia contents available in web will be in flash format. Adobe flash is required for playing these multimedia contents.

In Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, adobe flash player can be installed using following command.
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree      
Reading state information... Done
Suggested packages:
  x-ttcidfont-conf ttf-mscorefonts-installer ttf-bitstream-vera | ttf-dejavu ttf-xfree86-nonfree xfs
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 180 not upgraded.
Need to get 6,774 B of archives.
After this operation, 58.4 kB of additional disk space will be used.
0% [Connecting to (]y
Get:1 xenial/multiverse amd64 flashplugin-installer amd64 [6,774 B]
Fetched 6,774 B in 1s (5,930 B/s)                      
Preconfiguring packages ...
Selecting previously unselected package flashplugin-installer.

7. Installing VLC media player

Ubuntu comes with a standard video player. Once, you finish installation of restricted multimedia plugins, it will support all popular media formats. If you are not happy with that, you may install VLC Media Player - The Universal Media Player.

VLC installation is straight forward as any other installation process. To install VLC execute following command on terminal.
$ sudo apt-get install vlc.

8. Installing Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox is used as default browser in Ubuntu. If you're not happy with that, you can install Google Chrome in your system. For installing google chrome, goto official page of google chrome and download .deb package. Take care to download package matching with your system architecture. And then open this package using Software Center. Then follow on screen instructions.


Thus, I have covered some basic steps that needs to be done after installing Ubuntu 16.04. This is just a start point. There are a lot of things that you can do with Ubuntu. Just go and explore different possibilities. If you've any concern regarding steps mentioned above, don't hesitate to comment it.

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24 April 2016 at 09:51 delete

You uninstall thunderbird, so what email program do you use?

25 April 2016 at 07:31 delete

It is all about our own choice. I don't like to use any heavy email clients, atleast in my personal laptop. I prefer to use web browser for going through emails.