So, you just installed Ubuntu 14.04? Well, it's time to make it your own. Here are ten little things you can do to make sure the already awesome Trusty Tahr becomes your computing home:


1. Install Ubuntu Restricted Extras

If you want to enjoy your favorite MP3s, your beloved online videos, and all the fonts that don't come pre installed, this is a one-step method to having all the goodies. Ubuntu Restricted Extras is a package that comprises all the tools you need to play restricted content on your Ubuntu desktop. Simply open your terminal and type in or paste the following commands:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Note that while the installation takes place, do keep an eye on the progress. There are a few packages in restricted extras that need your approval. So, this one time you might want to skip on that coffee break. But hey, once you are done, you get to binge on all your favorite TV shows!


2. Install Java

Well, it's 2014 but some of us, a very small minority, still need Java to have a complete computing experience. For us, the following command comes in handy:

sudo apt-get install icedtea-7-plugin openjdk-7-jre


3. Install Google Chrome

Though Firefox is the default browser, Chrome seems to have become the web browser du jour as far as the Internet-savvy crowd is concerned. With many extensions and OS-like apps, Chrome has proven itself to be Google's dark horse in winning back the web. You can download Chrome from HERE.


4. Install VLC

VLC is like the Swiss army knife to all your media needs. This open-source application plays pretty much everything you throw at it, and that's why, it's always a good idea to have it installed on your computer. To install it, type in or paste the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install vlc


5. Install Dropbox

Since Canonical has pulled the plug on UbuntuOne, the next best choice to all your file backup needs is Dropbox. It works across all computers and provides a sufficient storage space for all your back up needs. And, more importantly, it is one of the most tightly integrated online storage apps Ubuntu has. So, to install Dropbox right from the command line, open the terminal and type in or paste the following commands:

If you are on a 32-bit computer, type in the following command:

cd ~ && wget -O - "https://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86" | tar xzf -

If you're on a 64-bit computer, type in the following command:

cd ~ && wget -O - "https://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86_64" | tar xzf -

Once you are done, start Dropbox by typing in the following command:

~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd


6. Install DVD Support

Ubuntu 14.04 still lacks the ability to run encrypted DVDs out of the box, thanks to all the pesky licensing restrictions. Fortunately, you can overcome that restriction by typing in the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install libdvdread4 libdvdnav4

This will enable DVD reading and navigation for encrypted media.


7. Disable Shopping Suggestions

Unless you are a shopaholic, Ubuntu's pesky shopping suggestions that show up on your desktop can be quite an annoyance. That's why, type in the following long command in your terminal to get rid of them:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Lenses disabled-scopes "['more_suggestions-amazon.scope', 'more_suggestions-u1ms.scope', 'more_suggestions-populartracks.scope', 'music-musicstore.scope', 'more_suggestions-ebay.scope', 'more_suggestions-ubuntushop.scope', 'more_suggestions-skimlinks.scope']"

Note: Just paste the whole command as it is and then press enter.


8. Enable Minimize-to-click 

To revert to the sane desktop-like behavior that every user misses on Ubuntu, there is only one tweak involved. Ever since Canonical removed the ability for users to minimize an application by clicking on its launcher icon, the reaction to that decision hasn't been that good. Thankfully, Shuttleworth has given power back to the users this time by bringing back the removed feature. Though unsupported, it just takes one simple step to bring back minimize to click.

First, install Compiz Config Settings Manager by typing in the following command:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then, open Compiz settings manager by typing its name in the Dash. Once the tool is opened, click on Ubuntu Unity plugin. From there, select the Launcher tab. In the window, tick the box besides Minimize single window applications (unsupported) and enable it. Note that the feature is unsupported so don't expect any major stability.


9. Install Skype 

Skype is a great tool for keeping up with friends old and new. To install Skype on your Trusty Tahr desktop, go HERE.


10. Tweak Your Heart Out 

If you are someone who likes to tweak your desktop to your own liking, don't worry, there's an app for that. Unity Tweak tool, once installed, gives you quite a lot of options to choose from. To get the tool, type in the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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