Top 10 Things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.04 aka Natty Narwhal


I had recently freshly installed Ubuntu 11.04 in my system. Honestly it is sleek and has good looks (Unity) but it lacks the necessary video and audio codecs, essential softwares and necessary libraries. If you are new to Ubuntu you will find difficult in getting around. 

So, I have prepared a list of Top 10 Things (To Do’s) after installing Ubuntu 11.04. This is not a complete list, it only covers the basic things to do. You can read the complete list from HERE.

Lets assume you are complete new to Ubuntu (and lack basic knowledge)…in that case the ‘Terminal’ can be opened from Applications–>Acessories–>Terminal or Ctrl+Alt+T


1. Update Your System

Just because you’ve installed the latest version of Ubuntu doesn’t mean that your system is fully updated. An update is necessary to keep in line with the latest software features, revisions and patches.

To run an Update head to System–>Administration–>Update Manager and click ‘Install Updates

If you are familiar with the terminal open the terminal and type:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

2. Media Codecs and Player

Initially a fresh Ubuntu lacks several audio and video codecs like .avi, .mkv, .mp4 and so on. We need to install VLC media player and some necessary codecs. I would recommend you to also install a Tagging audio software like EasyTag.

Open the terminal and paste these codes:

For installing vlc

sudo apt-get install vlc

* Common packs

sudo apt-get install non-free-codecs libxine1-ffmpeg gxine mencoder mpeg2dec vorbis-tools id3v2 mpg321 mpg123 libflac++6 ffmpeg libmp4v2-0 totem-mozilla icedax tagtool easytag id3tool lame nautilus-script-audio-convert libmad0 libjpeg-progs libmpcdec3 libquicktime1 flac faac faad sox ffmpeg2theora libmpeg2-4 uudeview flac libmpeg3-1 mpeg3-utils mpegdemux liba52-dev

* Gstreammer 0.10

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3 gstreamer0.10-gnonlin gstreamer0.10-pitfdll gstreamer0.10-sdl gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-schroedinger gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse totem-gstreamer

* More programs

sudo apt-get install gstreamer-dbus-media-service gstreamer-tools ubuntu-restricted-extras

* Enable dvd support

sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 && sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/./

* Flash

sudo apt-get install gsfonts gsfonts-x11 flashplugin-nonfree

3. Tweak your System

Ubuntu 11.04 comes with may effects which are hidden and this can enabled and customized to your taste using Compiz Configuration Settings Manger (CCSM).

To install, open terminal and paste:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Now you access it by pressing Alt+F2 the typing about:config (Unity) or head to System–>Preferences–>CompizConfig Settings Manger

There are many Tweak to discover…Try it out

4. Where is the window(s)? Missing your apps

Open the Windows and let the breeze flow in. I know although there are many alternative for windows software, it takes quite a time to move on. And what about games? To relieve from the crisis you have to install ‘WINE’ and PlayOnLinux.

Something about Wine (Wine Is Not a Windows Emulator)…

Runs Windows Applications such as 7zip, Google Sketchup, AutoCAD, Dreamwaver, Flash MX, Fireworks MX, IE6, IE7, Safari, Itunes, Windows Media Player and many more…

Play Windows Games like Age Of Empires, Call Of Duty, Diablo, Fear, Fallout, Far Cry, Grand Theft Auto, Half Life, Halo, Hitman, Max Payne, Need For Speed, Prince Of Persia, Sim City Star Wars, The Simsworld of warcraft , Tomb Raider, Warcraft, World Of Warcraft, Counterstrike and many others can be played.

To install open terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install wine playonlinux

Now you can run windows software using wine and install games using POL. This is not perfect some softwares might return errors others might get stuck.

5. Archiver/ Packing software

It’s bad when you download a .rar file from the net and it doesn’t open in your Ubuntu. To prevent this bad situation, you have to install some unzipping software by pasting the following code in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install unace rar unrar zip unzip p7zip-full p7zip-rar sharutils uudeview mpack lha arj cabextract file-roller

6. Java runtime environment

Java is a very important app to install, now that many programs need it to run. So type in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ferramroberto/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin sun-java6-fonts

Next time you download a .jar file (Java Application) right click on the file and click Run with Java Runtime

7. Image Editor

Whether you’re interested in a simple editing program for quick fixes or you’re completely new to digital image editing, Gimp is a essential tool for editing.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-data gimp-plugin-registry gimp-data-extras

Access it through Applications → Graphics → GIMP Image Editor (Gnome).

8. Tune up with Ubuntu Tweak

Ubuntu Tweak allows you to tweak your system settings, all in one place. You can install new applications, customize your desktop settings, configure your startup applications, changing the system filetype association and many more tweaks in this single application.

Add the launchpad repository :

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

You can find Ubuntu Tweak under Applications → System Tools → Ubuntu Tweak (Gnome).

9. Music Players Extensions

Although Banshee is default in Ubuntu 11.10, it misses many useful extensions like Lyrics finder, Song details, Ubuntu one Stores and many more. Here are some useful extensions I have picked.

To install open terminal and paste the codes:

sudo apt-get install banshee banshee-extension-ubuntuonemusicstore libappindicator0-cil banshee-extension-appindicator banshee-extension-lyrics banshee-extension-mirage

10. Gadgets / Sidebar

If you just migrated from windows you would probably miss the Windows gadgets. But not to worry Ubuntu offers a set of gadgets similar to those of Windows. You install ‘Screenlets’, an awesome sidebar for Ubuntu.

To install Screenlet open the terminal and paste:

sudo apt-get install screenlets

Well if you prefer a System Monitor instead of the sidebar you can install Conky.

To install Conky open terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install conky

Then follow the below instructions

  1. Download Conky_Orange
  2. Now extract the downloaded file and copy-paste its contents, which are conkyrc_orange and conky_orange.lua into ~/.conky/ directory, where ~/ is your home directory
  3. Finally, to run Conky Orange, copy paste the following command into Terminal
    conky -c ~/.conky/conkyrc_orange

Now you can set it to open at the startup.

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