20 things to do after installing Elementary OS 0.2 Luna

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Elementary OS Luna

Elementary OS is another very cool linux distro based on Ubuntu. It has an intense focus on visual design and user experience. It comes with its own desktop environment called Pantheon that is designed to resemble mac.

In this post we are going to tweak elementary OS right after a fresh installation and also install some essential apps to fully load the desktop for the best experience.

1. Enable all software repositories

Launch the terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T. Type in the following command and hit enter.

$ sudo software-properties-gtk

It shall launch the dialog box for configuring software sources. Go to the tab named "Other software" and check all boxes named "Canonical Partners" and "Independent".

2. Update the system

Next, update the package cache and install all upgrades for all applications. Run the following commands.

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

After the upgrade completes, reboot the system.

elementary os luna desktop

3. Install Aptitude, Synaptic and Gdebi

These are the original package management tools that work better and faster than the Software Center.

$ sudo apt-get install aptitude synaptic gdebi-core

4. Elementary Tweaks and other goodies

Elementary Tweaks is a tool that allows you to customize the elementary desktop further. It can be used to configure the themes, icons, dock, window buttons, desktop effects etc. It comes from a separate ppa.

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:versable/elementary-update -y
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaks

The ppa provides wallpapers, themes, icon packs and more applications

$ sudo apt-get install elementary-wallpaper-collection

Wingpanels slim and super

$ sudo apt-get install wingpanel-slim super-wingpanel

Themes and icon packs

$ sudo apt-get install elementary-.*-theme elementary-.*-icons

The themes, icons, and wingpanel settings can be edited from System Settings > Tweaks

Synapse indicator is a search tool to find apps and files quickly. Install as follows







$ sudo apt-get install indicator-synapse

After installation logout and login back, and you should see a search icon in the wingpanel system tray.

The versable repository also got some apps that you might want to try out -

audience – Media player
birdie-granite – Twitter client
cable – IRC client
etube – Youtube viewer
feedler – RSS reader
foto – Image viewer
gazette – Clock, news and weather widget for desktop
nuvolaplayer – cloud music player

5. Get more browsers

Elementary OS comes with the Midori browser which is a lightweight browser but has lesser features than Firefox or Chrome. Also its difficult to get flash to work on 64bit installation of elementary.

So we can get Firefox, Chromium and its commercial version Chrome (:p)

$ sudo apt-get install firefox

For firefox, you can also install the Elementary firefox theme, to make firefox look visually similar to elementary.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/elementary-firefox/

Chromium

$ sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

Chrome

# 64 bit
$ wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
$ sudo gdebi google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

# 32 bit
$ wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb
$ sudo gdebi google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb

6. Install flash plugin

The following will install the flash plugin for Firefox and Chromium.

$ sudo apt-get install adobe-flashplugin

Google Chrome has flash player inbuilt.

7. Vlc - media player

VLC is one of the best media players for most of your video and audio formats. Grab it from the Software Center or run the following command from the terminal.

$ sudo apt-get install vlc

8. Multimedia codecs

Extra codecs allow for decoding and playback of additional multimedia file formats that are otherwise protected by patent laws in some countries.

$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras libavcodec-extra-53

Support for playing encrypted dvds -

$ sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
$ sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

9. Install support for archive formats

To ensure support for as many archive formats as possible, install the following packages. This includes support for creating and extracting rar archives.

$ sudo apt-get install unace rar unrar p7zip-rar p7zip sharutils uudeview mpack lha arj cabextract lzip lunzip

10. Skype - Voip telephony

Skype is available in the canonical partner repository.

$ sudo apt-get install skype

The version in the respository might be outdated. To get the latest version, download the Ubuntu deb installer from the skype website and install it using gdebi.

11. Dropbox - Cloud storage

Install dropbox to be able to save and sync files from the cloud. Download the Ubuntu deb installer from the dropbox website - https://www.dropbox.com/install?os=lnx and then install using gdebi

$ sudo gdebi dropbox_1.6.0_amd64.deb

There is another cloud storage service named Copy that has a native Linux client for syncing files easily. Check out the website at copy.com.

12. Bittorrent client

Elementary does install a torrent client on its own. Some of the torrent clients available in the software repository include Transmission, QBittorrent and Deluge.

$ sudo apt-get install transmission
$ sudo apt-get install qbittorrent
$ sudo apt-get install deluge

13. Uget download manager

If you frequently download files, specially large ones then uget is a good download manager to manage all the downloads in one place.

$ sudo apt-get install uget

14. Libreoffice - Office suite

Elementary did not have an office suite either. So lets get Libreoffice. Openoffice is also available in the repository

$ sudo apt-get install libreoffice

15. Gimp - graphics editing

This is an option tool, if you do not do any kind of graphics editing.

$ sudo apt-get install gimp

16. Pidgin

Empathy is installed by default. However Pidgin has been a very popular multi protocol chat client. So if you are pidgin user then install it.

$ sudo apt-get install pidgin

17. Clipboard manager

A clipboard manager keeps a history of items that you copy paste here and there. It can be accessed from the system tray. Some of the gtk based clipboard managers are glipper, clipit, diodon etc.

$ sudo apt-get install glipper

18. Guake - dropdown terminal

Guake is a terminal that shows up on the press of a key and hides away when out of focus. Its a handy tool to access the terminal quickly without having to launch it using an icon or menu.

$ sudo apt-get install guake

19. Install proprietory drivers

If you are using nvidia or ati based graphics cards or broadcom wifi card, then install the proprietory drivers available from the vendor. The drivers perform better than the open source versions and get the best hardware performance.

Launch jockey ( System Settings > Additional Drivers ) to check if your system needs to install any additional drivers.

$ sudo jockey-gtk

Any drivers that are needed for your system would be displayed. To install the latest Nvidia drivers using ppa follow our previous tutorial

How to install the latest Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

20. Install java for browser

The java browser plugins enables browsers like Firefox to play java applets.

$ sudo apt-get install icedtea-plugin

Note that Chrome now uses the Pepper api for plugin and the above plugin will not work with Chrome. For the time being there is no Pepper based implementation of java runtime for Chrome.

Although the same applies for Chromium as well, but since the version of Chromium is outdated in the elementary software repository, the icedtea java runtime will still work.

21. Display hidden startup applications

Startup applications can be configured from System Settings > Startup Applications. There are lots of applications/services that are configured for autostart, but not visible in the startup applications list. To make them visible run the following command.

$ sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

Once they are visible, it is easy to turn them off if needed.

22. Make partitions writable

If there are more partitions alongside elementary OS and other flash drives that you use frequently, then its a good idea to make them writable from without needing root privileges. Just open the file manager with root privileges

$ gksudo pantheon-files

Go into the partition or drive you wish to make writale. Right click > Properties > More , and give Write privilege all users, that is Owner, Group and Everyone. This shall make the partition writable and you would not need to use sudo everytime.

Cleanup

After having installed everything, its time to cleanup the system by removing packages not needed

$ sudo apt-get autoremove

More apps

If you are looking for more applications for a specific task or just to waste your disk space and network bandwidth, then here is a small list of some good ones that are available from the Software Center.

clementine - Music player with loads of features
gufw - Gui tool to configure firewall
gtk-recordmydesktop - Recording desktop, screencasting tool
handbrake - Dvd ripping and video convertor
shutter - versatile screenshot tool
birdie - twitter client from the versable repository
thunderbird - mail client

Last Updated On : 13th July 2014

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About Silver Moon

Php developer, blogger and Linux enthusiast. He can be reached at m00n.silv3r@gmail.com. Or find him on

  • lucius-cornelius

    There’s a feature in Voyager Linux that I’ve never seen in any other distro. When dealing with iso image files, under the right click menu there’s an “Open with” entry “Open with ‘Disk Image Mounter’. This mounts the iso and allows you to browse/run the disk without having to either burn it first or muck about with creating a folder and then doing the mount -o loop, thing.
    It’s pretty much for this reason that I’m using Voyager at the moment and not eOS. Do any of the archiving apps you list add this function?

  • Stephen Green

    Ah you know it’s getting crowded out here in the world of Linux.
    I suppose it’s a good thing overall for Linux, but really, the field
    is getting, well, overblown. Especially the Ubuntu ones….

  • Luna

    thank you so much – as a total Linux noob, this was just what I needed

  • ElectricPrism

    Looks like a good guide overall, Bookmarked, gonna compare against my personal Google Doc script for 0.2 Luna Installs.

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