So Ubuntu 15.10 has been released and is time to find out what you can add to make your Ubuntu experience even better. It doesn’t matter if you are have a fresh install of Ubuntu 15.10 or just upgraded from Ubuntu 15.04 to Ubuntu 15.10 version, these tips will help you add some flavor to your Ubuntu install. So let’s begin, shall we?
1. Check for Updates
No surprises here. Even though you might have just installed Ubuntu 15.10, you will surely want to have all your packages updated to their latest stable version.
This should provide better stability and in some cases performance of your system. To check for new updates, you can start the “Software Update” application. For that purpose simply click the Unity button and type “Software update“:
The software will automatically check for newly released updates and install them automatically as shown.
Alternatively, you can start a terminal application and run the following command:
$ sudo apt-get update
2. Look and Feel
Ubuntu hasn’t change its outlook in quite some time now (few years if I’m correct). The ambiance and radiance theme are not looking bad at all, but they look somehow old compared to other operating systems. But let’s not forget that Linux is flexible and it can be customized. You can change the appearance of your Ubuntu by using the “System Settings” -> Appearance.
Here you can select:
- Different Desktop wallpaper
- Choose different theme (quite limited at first, but you can install more)
- Change the icon size of Unity
3. Install Unity Tweak Tool
If the “Appearance” menu is not providing enough settings for you, you may add some additional tweaking features by installing Unity Tweak Tool. It can be easily installed from the Ubuntu Software Center. Simply type “Unity tweak tool” and install it:
Unity Tweak Tool allows you to greatly customize Unity’s settings including – autohide, icons theme, panel settings, behavior, switcher and many many others. It’s fair to say that you can play with this tool for hours until you finally decide which settings are the best.
4. Install Graphics Drivers
Using the proper drivers for your graphics card is important cause you can get better experience on your system, without the laggy movement of different windows. Not only that, but you can also play games on your Ubuntu Linux system which will require the proper drivers to be installed.
To install your graphic drivers, simply start the Unity dash and type “Additional Drivers” and click on the icon. A new window will appear which will automatically search the proper drivers:
When found, choose the appropriate version and install it.
5. Install Media Codecs
Media is great part of the desktop experience. Whether is for listening music or watching movies, installing media codecs is a must! Due to some patent issues, the codecs are not included in the default Ubuntu install.
You can however choose to install them upon Ubuntu install. In case you have missed that, you can easily install them from here or you can directly install from ‘Ubuntu Software Center‘.
6. Install GIMP – Image Editor
GIMP is a free image manipulation software. It’s one of the best in it’s category for Linux and it’s your best friend if you need to edit an image on your Linux machine.
GIMP can easily installed either via the Ubuntu Software Center:
Or by simply running the following commands in a terminal:
$ sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-data gimp-plugin-registry gimp-data-extras
7. Integrate Online Account
Ubuntu supports different type of online accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and many others. You can easily integrate them via Unity Dash -> type “Online Accounts“. In the new window you will be able to choose which accounts to configure:
8. Install Google Chrome
This is probably the first thing I do whenever I install a new operating system. Google Chrome is currently the most used web browsers and if you have not given it a change yet, I highly encourage you to do so. It’s amazingly fast, easy to use and comes with thousands of useful extensions.
To install Google Chrome simply go to the following article and download and install the
.deb package that matches your OS (32-bit or 64-bit) as shown in the article.
- Install Google Chrome in Ubuntu
9. Install Synaptic Package Manager
Synaptic is a package manager that allows you to install/update/uninstall different packages as well as fix broken dependencies. And all this, with an easy to use graphical interface.
Installing Synaptic package manager is simple as:
$ sudo apt-get install synaptic
When the install is complete, you will be able to find Synaptic in Unity dash -> Synaptic.
10. Install some Media Applications
As mentioned earlier, Ubuntu does not come with great support for media files. This is why you can install some more apps to help you with media files:
All of the above can be found in the Ubuntu Software Center and can be installed with a single click.
11. Install Spotify
Spotify is probably the best alternative to iTunes right now and has millions of songs to enjoy on it. It’s a multi-platform program that can be installed on Ubuntu as well.
To complete the installation open a terminal and type the following commands:
$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys D2C19886 $ echo deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/spotify.list $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install spotify-client
After installation of Spotify, when you launch you will get a following error.
$ spotify spotify: error while loading shared libraries: libgcrypt.so.11: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
Its due to libgcrypt11 package is no long comes with default repositories and Spotify depends on it and will not be installed wihtout libgcrypt11 package.
To install and use Spotify on Ubuntu 15.10, all you have to do is to install the libgcrypt11 deb package for your distribution from HERE.