Shiny purple design and aesthetics, Me Menu for staying connected to Twitter and other social networks, PiTiVi for editing videos, easy-to-use Software Center for installing applications and interesting games such as Sudoku and Gbrainy. Lucid Lynx has made the switch to Ubuntu even more tempting.
What should you do after installing Ubuntu Lucid Lynx to make it even more sexy and a more efficient workhorse?
1. Mount your hard disk partitions automaticallyIf you have used Ubuntu earlier, you know it can be a trouble if you mount partitions in wrong order. Ubuntu does not assign drive letters to partitions, instead it names them as disk-1, disk-2, etc., in the order they are mounted. so if you mounted your 90GB partition first, it becomes disk-1. Now you import your music from this partition to Rhythmbox music player and listen to music. When you start Ubuntu next time, you start Rhythmbox to listen to music. You get a no disk error. Now instead of mounting the 90GB partition, you mount another partition first. So the 90GB partition is now disk-2. When Rhythmbox tries to locate the music files on disk-1, it won't be there. It's now on disk-2. This problem will arise with applications as well.
To solve this problem, we should automate the process of mounting the partitions. It will also keep the names of partitions consistent, avoids the above errors. Use this tutorial to automate mounting of partitions on Ubuntu.
2. Install Ubuntu TweakUbuntu Tweak is a must-have application. It makes tweaking Ubuntu possible from an easy-to-understand and intuitive interface. You can also install your desired applications from Ubuntu Tweak. Download the latest .deb installation file from Ubuntu Tweak website and run it to install the application.
3. Remove the icon of mounted disks from desktop
By default all disks mounted in Ubuntu system are shown on the desktop. If you want a clean desktop, start Ubuntu Tweak (System Tools > Ubuntu Tweak).
In Ubuntu Tweak, go to Desktop > Desktop Icon Settings, and tweak to your satisfaction.
4. Customize StartupAgain use Ubuntu Tweak to change startup settings (Ubuntu Tweak > Startup). Choose the applications that should be started at Startup. Also customize login settings from Ubuntu Tweak. Scroll down in the Login Settings tab in Ubuntu Tweak and click on unlock button and enter your password. Now you can make your choice.
5. Create shortcuts for application in Ubuntu
Go to Applications in the top panel. Now locate the application for which a shortcut has to be created. I will create a desktop shortcut for GIMP in this example. After locating GIMP Image Editor in the menu, right-click on it. Choose "Add this launcher to desktop". Adding a shortcut to the panel (the bar at the top) is more convenient as one doesn't have to go to the desktop for starting applications. For this, choose "Add this launcher to panel".
6. Installing necessary applications, tools and codecs.To install an application, go to Ubuntu Software Center or use Ubuntu Tweak interface (it has some additional applications). Search for your application and install. What should one install on Ubuntu? A few suggestion given below:
- Ubuntu restricted extras: It will install media codecs required to play various music and media formats such as MP3, MPEG4, etc., along with support for Flash and Java and populat Microsoft fonts. You can alternatively install just Gstreamer codecs for playing media.
- VLC Media Player: The Swiss knife for playing media. I haven't come across a music or video format that VLC can't play.
- Adobe Flash: Must if you watch a lot of videos on YouTube and other video-sharing sites. It's also required by several websites. (Not required if you installed Ubuntu restricted extra package.)
- Chromium web browser (Google Chrome): Though Ubuntu Lucid Lynx ships along with versatile Mozilla Firefox browser, Google Chrome will serve as good alternative browser in case you don't want to use it as your default web browser. Why need for an alternative browser? Sometimes a website wont open on one browser.
- GIMP Image Editor: Must for editing images.
- Thunderbird email client
- Liferea RSS reader
- Gnome Do application launcher
- Iced Tea Java Plugin or Sun Java Plugin (Not required if you installed Ubuntu restricted extra package.)