Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”, Ubuntu’s latest version featuring GNOME 3 and an improved Unity has arrived. This is not an LTS version but an important release for Canonical as it is still reeling from the backlash it received for involving Unity. Ubuntu 11.10, titled Oneiric Ocelot, comes with a lot of new features and improvements many Ubuntuers have been waiting for.

We’ve already seen how Ubuntu 11.10 compares against the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Now, as Ubuntu 11.10 has been released, we’re pretty sure that some of you have already downloaded it on your system.

If you’re new to Ubuntu and are feeling disoriented after a fresh install, read on as we cover the 7 things that you need to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”.

1. Enable Restricted Drivers
Even though Ubuntu runs flawlessly on most of the modern computers, there are some proprietary drivers which you need to install to run Ubuntu 11.10 to its fullest potential. For example, folks who use computers with NVIDIA and ATI graphics card will need to install third-party drivers in order to run Unity 3D. To do so, just open your launcher (Tap the Super key) and search for the term ‘Additional Drivers’. There, you’ll find a utility that will let you install those drivers. Just follow the instructions, and restart your computer to enjoy Ubuntu in its full glory.

2. Learn Unity Shortcuts
Unity is Ubuntu’s new interface that was introduced 6 months ago. Even though the interface is not that complicated, there are a few tricks you can learn to make your usage even more efficient. Unity relies heavily on keyboard shortcuts, and once you master a few of them, it will definitely help you make your workflow smoother. Oh, and don’t worry about going through those creepy manpages to do that, there’s a simple wallpaper you can put up on your desktop to teach you those shortcuts without killing you with boredom.

3. Dress it up
Ubuntu 11.10 comes with a whole new set of wallpapers that make Ubuntu one of the most enviable desktops around. Just right-click anywhere on the desktop and start exploring various themes and wallpapers that come pre-installed on your Ubuntu.

4. Install New Apps
Oneiric Ocelot features a completely redesigned Software Center that will make your app experience even better. Start exploring the Software Center to find an app that suits your need. Ubuntu’s new store also features some great paid applications and games that are definitely worth your hard-earned cash.

5. Tweak it
Don’t like the default look? Ubuntu lets you customize the Unity interface any way you want. To do that, you’ll have to install Compiz Config Settings Manager (CCSM) first. Here’s how to do that:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

To open Compiz Config Settings, just search for ‘ccsm’ from the launcher.

Once installed, CCSM will let you tweak Unity any way you want. You would easily be able to change the transparency, launcher behavior and much more. One word of warning though, changing any of those settings might affect the stability of your desktop in a negative way.

6. Enable Quicklists on Chrome
The Unity launcher includes a great little feature called Quicklists. Quicklists allow users to access common menus, or perform common tasks within a program by right-clicking the launcher icon. The feature is very much similar to Jump Lists in Windows 7, which can be accessed by right-clicking the Windows task bar. By default, only a few applications support the feature and not having Quicklists for your favorite browser, that is Chrome, could be quite a turn-off. Don’t fret though as we’ve already written a guide on how to enable Quicklists on Chrome, so do make sure you check it out.

7. Tell your friends about it
Ubuntu 11.10 includes one of the most powerful mail clients around, that is Thunderbird. Make sure you write a quick email to your friends telling them about Ubuntu’s new features. Also, if you use Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, use the revamped Gwibber to let the world know about the awesomeness of Ubuntu.

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