25 Things to Do After Installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa)

Canonical finally announced the availability of Ubuntu 20.04, the new release came with many updated packages and programs which is very good for people who are looking for the most updated packages.

In this article, we’re going to explain some of the key things you need to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04, to get you started with using Focal Fossa.

First, you may like to view our tutorial about upgrading or installing Ubuntu 20.04 on your machine.

  1. How To Install Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop
  2. How to Install Ubuntu 20.04 Server
  3. How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 from Ubuntu 18.04 & 19.10

Things to Do After Installing Ubuntu 20.04

Follow these quick tips to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04.

1. Check and Install Package Updates

The first step is to check and install updates to keep your computer’s software up to date. This is the single most important task you need to do to protect your system.

To install updates, open the Update Manager by pressing ‘Alt+F2’, then enter ‘update-manager’ and hit Enter.

Open Update Manager
Open Update Manager

After the Update Manager opens up, if there are updates to be installed, you can review and select pending updates and also check for new updates. Click the ‘Install Updates’ button to upgrade the selected packages, you will be prompted to enter your password, provide it to proceed.

Install Ubuntu Updates
Install Ubuntu Updates

Alternatively, open a terminal window and simply run the following commands.

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Note that Ubuntu will keep notifying you for security updates and non-security updates on a daily and weekly basis respectively. You can also configure your system to automatically install updates, under the Update Manager.

2. Set Up Livepatch

Livepatch (or Canonical Livepatch Service) enables Ubuntu users to apply critical kernel patches without rebooting. This also helps to keep your system secure by applying security updates without a system restart. It is free for personal use with up to 3 machines. To enable it, all you need is an Ubuntu One account.

Go to Activities, search for Livepatch and open it, or simply open Software & Updates and click on the Livepatch tab. If you have an Ubuntu One account, simply Sign in, otherwise create one.

Enable Ubuntu Livepatch
Enable Ubuntu Livepatch

3. Opt-in/Opt-out from Problem Reporting

Canonical uses reports of technical problems to help improve Ubuntu. You can choose to send error reports to the Ubuntu developers or not. To edit the settings, click on Activities, search and open Settings, then go to Privacy, then Diagnostics.

By default, sending error reports is configured to be done Manually. You can also choose Never (not to send at all) or Automatic (so that the system keeps sending error reports automatically every time they happen).

To fully understand how the information you share is used, click on Learn more.

Configure Ubuntu Error Reporting
Configure Ubuntu Error Reporting

4. Sign in to Snap Store

If you have a Snap Store account, you can get access to private snaps, from app developers. Alternatively, use your Ubuntu One account to sign in. But you do not need an account to install public snaps.

To sign into Snap Store, open Ubuntu Software, click on the menu option, then click on Sign in.

Ubuntu Snap Store
Ubuntu Snap Store

5. Connect to Online Accounts

Next, sign in to your online accounts to enable you to connect to your data in the cloud. Go to Activities, search and open Settings, then click on Online Accounts.

Ubuntu Online Accounts
Ubuntu Online Accounts

6. Set Up a Mail Client

By default, Ubuntu ships with Thunderbird Mail application, which offers cutting edge features such as speed, privacy, and latest technologies.

To open it, click on the Thunderbird icon and set up an existing email account or do a manual configuration as highlighted in the following screenshot.

Set Up Mail Client in Ubuntu
Set Up Mail Client in Ubuntu

7. Install Your Favorite Browser

The primary means of surfing the internet is by using a browser. Mozilla Firefox (a lightweight and feature-rich browser) is the default web browser in Ubuntu. However, Ubuntu supports several other browsers including Chromium, Chrome, Opera, Konqueror, and many more.

To install your favorite browser, go to the official browser website, and download the .deb package and install it.

Download Google Chrome for Ubuntu
Download Google Chrome for Ubuntu

8. Install VLC Media Player

VLC is a simple yet powerful and widely-used multimedia player and framework that plays most if not all multimedia files. It also plays DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs as well as numerous streaming protocols.

It is distributed as a snapcraft for Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions. To install it, open a terminal window and run the following command.

$ sudo snap install vlc
VLC Media Player for Linux
VLC Media Player for Linux

9. Install Media Codecs

The Ubuntu maintainers want to include only free and open-source software, closed-source packages such as media codecs for common audio and video files such as MP3, AVI, MPEG4, and so on, are not provided by default in a standard installation.

To install them, you need to install the ubuntu-restricted-extras meta-package by running the following command.

$ sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras

10. Install GNOME Tweaks

GNOME Tweaks is a simple graphical interface for advanced GNOME 3 settings. It enables you to easily customize your desktop. Although it is designed for the GNOME Shell, you can use it in other desktops.

$ sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

11. Install Useful GNOME Extensions

The easiest way to add functionality to GNOME is by using extensions that are available on GNOME’s website. There you will find a multitude of extensions you can choose from. To make installing the extensions really easy, simply install the GNOME shell integration as a browser extension and native host connector.

For example, to install the GNOME host connector for Chrome or Firefox, run these commands.

$ sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell
OR
$ sudo apt install firefox-gnome-shell

After installing the browser extension, simply open your browser to enable or disable extensions as shown in the following screenshot.

Enable Gnome Extension
Enable Gnome Extension

12. Install Additional Archive Utilities

Ubuntu ships with tar, zip and unzip archiving utilities by default. To support different archive files that you can use on Ubuntu, you need to install other additional archiving utilities such as rar, unrar, p7zip-full, and p7zip-rar as shown.

$ sudo apt install rar unrar p7zip-full p7zip-rar

13. Select Default Applications

In any desktop operating system, once you double-click a file in the file manager, it will be opened with the default application for that file type. To configure the default applications to open a file type in Ubuntu 20.04, go to Settings, then click Default Applications, and select them from the drop-down menu for each category.

Set Default Application
Set Default Application

14. Configure Keyboard Shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts can increase your productivity and save you lots of time when using a computer. To set your keyboard shortcuts, under Settings, simply click on Keyboard Shortcuts.

Set Keyboard Shortcuts
Set Keyboard Shortcuts

15. Enable GNOME Night Light Mode

GNOME Night Light mode is a protective display mode that helps to protect your eyes from strain and sleeplessness, by making the screen color warmer. To enable it, go to Settings, then Displays and click on the Night Light tab. You can schedule when to apply it, time, and color temperature.

Enable Night Light
Enable Night Light

16. Enable the Canonical Partners Repository

The Canonical Partner repository offers some proprietary applications such as Adobe Flash Plugin, that are closed-source but don’t cost any money to use. To enable it, open Software & Updates, once it launches, click on the Other Software tab.

Then check the first option as highlighted in the following screenshot. You will be prompted to enter your password for authentication, enter it to proceed.

Enable Canonical Partners
Enable Canonical Partners

17. Install Wine for Running Windows Apps

If you intend to run Windows applications in Ubuntu 20.04, then you need to install Wine – is an open-source implementation of the Windows API on top of X and POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, BSD, and macOS. It allows you to integrate and run Windows application cleanly, on Linux desktops by translating Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly.

To install Wine, run this command.

$ sudo apt install wine winetricks

18. Install Steam for Games

If you are a gamer, then you also need to install a Steam client for Linux. Steam is the leading video game distribution service that allows you to play and discuss games. Game developers and publishers can also create and distribute their games on Steam.

Run the following command to install the steam client on your Ubuntu 20.04 desktop.

$ sudo apt install steam

19. Install Additional Proprietary Graphics Drivers

For gamers, apart from installing steam (as shown above), you also need to install additional graphics drivers to improve your gaming experience on Ubuntu. Although Ubuntu provides open-source graphics drivers, proprietary graphics drivers perform orders of magnitude better than open-source graphics drivers.

Unlike in earlier versions of Ubuntu, in Ubuntu 20.04, it is much easier to install proprietary graphics drivers without the need to enable third-party repositories or web downloads. Simply go to Software & Updates, then click on Additional Drivers.

First, the system will search for available drivers, when the search is complete, the list box will list each device for which proprietary drivers could be installed. After making your selections, click Apply Changes.

Install Additional Graphics
Install Additional Graphics

20. Add Your Favorite Apps to the Dock

To add your favorite applications to the Ubuntu Dock (which is situated on the left side of your desktop by default), click on the Activities overview, search for the application you want e.g terminal, then right-click on it and select Add to Favorites.

Add App to Favorites
Add App to Favorites

21. Install Laptop Power Saving Tools

If you are using a laptop, then you might want to install Laptop Mode Tools, a simple and configurable laptop power-saving tool for Linux systems. It helps to extend your laptop’s battery life in so many ways. It also allows you to tweak some other power-related settings using a configuration file.

$ sudo apt install laptop-mode-tools

22. Install Apps from the Ubuntu Software and Third-party

Last but not least, go ahead and install more software that you intend to use. You can do this from the Ubuntu Software (or install apps from third-party repositories).

Simply open the Ubuntu Software and use the search feature to find the software you want. For example, to install midnight commander, click on the search icon, type its name, and click on it.

Install Additional Apps
Install Additional Apps

23. Install Timeshift

Timeshift is a useful backup utility that creates incremental snapshots of the file system at regular intervals. These snapshots can be used to restore your system to an earlier working state in case of disaster

$ sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install timeshift

24. Install JAVA

JAVA is the most popular programming language and many applications and websites will not work properly unless you have it installed on your system.

$ sudo apt-get install openjdk-11-jdk

25. Try Different Desktop Environments

Ubuntu distribution is not only restricted to Gnome, but it can also be used with different desktop environments such as cinnamon, mate, KDE and others.

To install cinnamon you can use the following command.

$ sudo apt-get install cinnamon-desktop-environment

To install MATE, use the following command.

$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-mate-desktop

That’s all! If you have any additional ideas about things to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04, please share it with us via the feedback form below.

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