If you’re going to be installing a freshly minted copy of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS later today or this weekend then the following list of 10 reader submitted post-install must-do’s will help ensure that you’re off to a flying start with your new OS.

1. Run Update Manager

Just because you’ve installed the latest version of Ubuntu doesn’t mean that there won’t already be a handful of bug fixes updates or patches waiting for you. Make sure you run the update manager (if it doesn’t update you first) so that you’re benefitting from the latest fixes and features.

2. Enable graphics card drivers for 3D fun

If you want to use advanced desktop effects such as Compiz (3d Cube, wobbly windows) then you will need to enable the “official” drivers for your graphics card.

Ubuntu should automatically detect and alert you that 3D drivers are available. If so, you will see a ‘circuit board’ icon appear on the top panel. Click this and follow the prompts.

If Ubuntu fails to detect any hardware (do be patient as this isn’t always instant) then you can manually run the hardware configuration tool yourself from the System > Preferences menu.

3. Enable playback of MP3s, MP4s & more

It’s a shame this step has to be included at all but sadly Ubuntu aren’t allowed by law to ship certain multimedia codec’s out of the box. Installing them yourself is a breeze – just click the button below!


4. Install more themes

Want a bigger selection of themes to choose between? You can find many beautiful and stylish ones in the Community Themes package, whcih is available to install out-of-the-box in Ubuntu 10.04.


5. Change font and/or font size

I know what you’re thinking: those fonts look huge, huh? Set them to a smaller size via the Appearance menu (Shortcut: Right click on Desktop > Change Background > Fonts).

Most readers find size 9pt works well but if you have a very wide display 8pt may suit you better.
If the default font isn’t to your taste a lot of readers suggested installing DroidSans.


Many users also recommend you install the Microsoft Core fonts package for better web browsing:

6. Set up UbuntuOne file sync

If you don’t already use UbuntuOne now is the perfect time to do so. You’ll get 2 GB of free storage, you are able to sync your Firefox bookmarks, Tomboy notes and Evolution contacts between computers – as well as any file or folder you wish.

Head to Applications > Internet > UbuntuOne to get started.

7. Install Ubuntu Tweak and make your life easier

Ubuntu Tweak is a one-stop shop for managing and installing extra applications, tweaking your desktop (such as putting the window controls back on the right and choosing which icons show on the desktop) and allowing you to keep your system in tip-top shape with the built in system cleaning options. (Ubuntu tweak recently won our ‘Best System Cleaners’ poll by a landslide – and for good reason!)


8. Visit the Software Centre to find great apps

One size certainly does not fit all so if you’re wanting to add VLC, install Photoshop rival The GIMP or play some awesome games then look no further than the Ubuntu Software Centre which can be launched from the Applications menu.

Everything is one-click install so browse around ” make sure you check out the featured applications section, too!

9. Download the Ubuntu Manual

The ‘Ubuntu Manual’ (which is actually called “Getting Started with Ubuntu 10.04” but ‘Ubuntu Manual’ sounds cooler) is a fantastic source of information for both newcomers and those who consider themselves apt with Ubuntu.

It has a straight-forward and easily accessible style, lots of screenshots and step-by-step instructions how how to get the best out of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.


10. Enjoy using it!

Forget about finding new apps or tweaking some part of Lucid for an hour or so and just use Ubuntu like anyone else would: Browse the net, chat on Empathy, type up that letter in Open Office and listen to something awesome in Rhythmbox.

Enjoy the awesomeness of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS as your survey your desktop like you are a king surveying your estate. Look at the woodland, the peacocks on the lawn. Be the king of your own calm kingdom.


Whilst we are at it, why not subscribe to OMG! Ubuntu! to find out about the latest news, cool applications, tips, tweaks, gorgeous themes and wallpapers and a healthy side-serving of opinion and bad jokes? C’mon, you know you want to.

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