Things to do after installing ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Looking for a list of things to do after installing Ubuntu 18.04 LTS? Well, you’ve found one!

This list includes common sense suggestions, handy tips and tricks, and helpful advice

Our savvy selection of tips, tricks and ‘things to do’ can help make Ubuntu 18.04 easier to use. After all, that is the aim: give you the best possible experience.

From common-sense suggestions and nifty tweaks to helpful advice and pertinent pointers, our list doesn’t care if you’re a bash-hardened stalwart or a fresh-faced newbie. There’s something for everyone.

Use the comments section at the bottom of the article to share you own post-install must-dos with other readers.

11 Things To Do after Installing Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

1. See What’s New in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is big update. It features a raft of new features and significant changes. There’s a new desktop, a new Linux kernel, new apps — pretty much a new everything!

So before you do anything else you should get up to speed with what’s new in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

And to help you do exactly that that we put together a 3 minute 45 second video, which you can hit play on above!

2. Install Updates

Ubuntu 18.04 things to do - check for updates

New updates to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will have been released for the distro since you made your install USB or DVD.

To find out which security fixes and bug patches are waiting you should check for updates after installing.

Press the super key (also called a Windows key; or click the ‘apps’ button at the bottom of the dock) to open the application menu. Search for ‘Software Updater’. Launch the app to check for updates, and install any which are listed.

3. Enable Media Codecs

Ubuntu 18.04 installing codecs

Ubuntu oflfers to install third-party codecs, restricted extras (like the Adobe Flash plugin) and proprietary drivers automatically as part of the install process.

But if you if you didn’t notice the tick box during install (or forgot about it entirely) you won’t be able to play MP3 files, watch online videos, or take advantage of improved graphics card support until you install all of the relevant packages.

Install Media Codecs in Ubuntu

4. Enable ‘Minimize on Click’ for the Ubuntu Dock

The Ubuntu Dock is the task bar that sits on the left-hand side of the screen. The utility makes it easy to open, manage and switch between your favourite apps and those you have running.

I like to click on an app icon in the Dock to both restore, switch to and minimise it. This is the default behaviour in Windows.

But the Ubuntu Dock has this option turned off by default.

To enable minimise-on-click for the Ubuntu Dock run this command in the Terminal application:

gsettings set click-action 'minimize'

The change takes effect instantly.

You can also move the Ubuntu dock to the bottom of the screen. To do this open Settings > Dock and set your desired position from the drop-down menu provided.

5. Unlock hidden settings with ‘Tweaks’

the gnome tweaks app in ubuntu

The Tweaks app (which used to be known as the GNOME Tweak Tool) is a bona-fide must have app for the Ubuntu desktop — no question!

Tweaks lets you access an array of settings and options that the standard Ubuntu Settings panel doesn’t.

Using Tweaks you can:

  • Change GTK theme
  • Move window buttons to the left
  • Adjust mouse/trackpad behaviour
  • Enable ‘battery percentage’ in the top bar
  • Change system fonts
  • Manage GNOME extensions

And a whole lot more!

For this reason we think Tweaks is an essential tool to have around. Better yet, you can install it with a quick click:

Install the GNOME Tweaks App

6. Enable ‘Night Light’ for Better Sleep

Ubuntu 18.04 things to do - enable night light

Most of us know that staring at a computer screen before we head to bed can affect our ability to sleep properly.

For this reason zUbuntu 18.04 ships with a “night light” feature built-in. When turned on, this feature adjusts the colors of your display to appear warmer by reducing the amount of disruptive blue light your screen emits.

Studies show that a warmer, less blue screen helps to promote natural sleep patterns.

You can enable Night Light in Ubuntu automatically from sunset to sunrise (recommended), or as and when you need it via the Status Menu. You can also set up a custom schedule to match your sleep patterns.

To try the feature out just head to Settings > Devices > Displays and check the box next to “Night Light”.

7. Laptop Tweaks

manjaro laptop
Laptop tweaks may be required

Ubuntu 18.04 makes a couple of minor changes to the way the OS runs on laptops and portable devices.

For instance, to right-click method on touchpads without a physical button you need to perform a two-finger click (just tap anywhere with two fingers). Clicking in the bottom right area of the touchpad no longer works.

If you don’t like this behaviour — and there’s a fair chance you might not — you can use the Tweaks app (see step #5) to change the setting.

You can also use Tweaks to:

  • Change scrolling direction
  • Adjust right-click behaviour
  • Adjust power-off settings
  • Enable battery percentage in the top bar

Let us know what you think about this changes in the comments.

8. Install a Better Ubuntu Theme

ubuntu 18.04 with communitheme

See the desktop above? It’s the same Ubuntu 18.04 install you have but it’s using a different GTK theme.

Ubuntu’s ‘Ambiance’ theme is the default, and while it is perfectly pleasant …it hasn’t changed much since it was introduced… Which was back in 2010.

So one of my top things to do after installing Ubuntu 18.04 is to change GTK theme to something that’s more modern.

And the easiest way to give Ubuntu a new feel is to install the “Communitheme” from Ubuntu Software.

Install Communitheme on Ubuntu 18.04

Once installed you need to restart your computer,  and select the ‘Ubuntu with communitheme snap‘ session from the login screen:

Ubuntu GDM login screen - communitheme session

If Communitheme doesn’t float your boat check out our list of best GTK themes for Ubuntu to find something that suits your tastes!

9. Explore GNOME Extensions

Ubuntu’s switch to the GNOME Shell desktop is, as we note in our Ubuntu 18.04 review, a big deal.

There are plenty of pros and cons, but one define pro is one if you love adding extra functionality to your desktop.

You can install and use of hundreds of awesome extensions that are available for free on the GNOME Extensions website.

Like web browser add-ons extensions for the GNOME desktop are a quick way to add extra features and other functionality. Or, if you’re more daring, even transform the way your desktop looks entirely:

Ubuntu 18.04 with GNOME Extensions
Ubuntu 18.04 with GNOME Extensions

You can install GNOME Extensions using your browser, too. This means you won’t need to tussle with tarballs or muck around with manual downloads.

To get started you’ll need to install 1) a web-browser add-on (the website will prompt you to do this) for, and 2) the chrome-gnome-shell host connector on your desktop (despite having ‘chrome’ in the name it works with Firefox):

Install GNOME Extensions Connector

Once done you can browse the GNOME extension website in Firefox or Google Chrome. When you see an extension you want to try simply slide the toggle button from ‘off’ to ‘on’ to prompt installation:


But there are plenty more available too.

There are some of the best GNOME Extensions available include:

Feel free to share your favourite GNOME Extensions in the comments.

10. Stock up on Snap Apps

Ubuntu 17.10 desktop with Spotify, Skype and Chrome

Snaps are a great way for app developers to distribute software to Linux users, regardless of which distro they use.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS gives access to the Snap Store via Ubuntu Software center.

Snaps are a big deal on an LTS release because they allow app developers to release app updates more often than the standard repo allows.

You can install the latest versions of some well-known and popular software from the Snap Store, including:

  • Spotify – music streaming service
  • Skype – video calling
  • Mailspring – modern desktop email client
  • Cawbird – native desktop Twitter app for Linux
  • Simplenote – cloud-backed note taking
  • VLC – the media player that needs no introduction

No more post-install PPA panic!

11. Future Proof your system with Flatpak

the flat hub website redesign

Snaps aren’t the only “universal” packaging format in town. Flatpak also lets app developers distribute apps securely and safely to Linux users.

Ubuntu 18.04 supports Flatpak but it is not enabled out-of-the-box. To use Flatpak apps on Ubuntu you’ll need to install the following packages:

Install Flatpak on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Once done you’ll need to install the Flathub repository. This is the quasi-official Flatpak app store.

You can follow along to the official set-up guide on the Flatpak website. Alternatively, when you first download an app from the Flathub app store website the Flathub repo, the app you want, and any runtimes it needs to work are automatically pulled in.

Using Flathub you can install the latest versions of  popular apps like (get ready for déjà vu) Skype, Spotify, LibreOffice, VLC, and Visual Studio Code.

Some other software is available from Flathub, including:

  • Audacity – open-source audio editor
  • Geary – open-source desktop email app
  • Discord – closed-source voice chat
  • FIleZilla – open-source FTP & SSH client
  • Lollypop – open-source Linux music player
  • Kdenlive – open-source video editor

If you’re starting fresh try to resist the temptation to add a load of PPAs and external repos as everything you might want can be snagged from Flatpak, Snap or from the main archives.

Bonus Tip: Follow Us for the Latest Ubuntu & Linux News

ubuntu news
We deliver news – and a whole lot more

Oh, c’mon — we’re not above a bit of shameless self-promotion! ;)

I genuinely think that if you install Ubuntu, like what you find, and you want to get the best from it, you should add this website to your bookmarks.

Whether you’re after handy how-tos, want to keep track of development updates, or like hearing about new Linux apps, new themes, and new news, you can: follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and subscribe to our RSS feed.

We also have a free Chrome extension that will notify you of new posts (and it’s resource efficient, too).

Finally don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Trust me: you’re going to want to ;)

If you find this list helpful why not share this article with people you know? You never know, it could help them to love Linux and open source software as much as you do!

10 things to do ubuntu 18.04 LTS