In this article we’re going to look at 7 useful tips to make your Ubuntu experience even better. This is particularly aimed at newbies, and shows you step by step how to tweak Ubuntu with some must have extras.
1. ubuntu-restricted-extras – Installing this package will pull in support for MP3 playback and decoding, support for various other audio formats (gstreamer plugins), Microsoft fonts,
Java runtime environment, Flash plugin, LAME (to create compressed audio files),
and DVD playback.
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
2. NTFS-Config – manage your NTFS formatted drives easily without manually editing fstab. Add/remove drives, create mount points and enable external NTFS write support. Great when dealing with NTFS partitions on a dual boot system. Much better than manually editing /etc/fstab .
sudo apt-get install ntfs-config
3. Better sticky notes – an easy addon for the main toolbar gives you one click access the yellow goodness. It’s time to leave behind the paper ones and save some trees.
4.Upgrade without burning the Ubuntu CD – why waste that CD and the time it takes to burn it when you can upgrade from the command line? Downloading all the packages and installing them may take a while, a decent broadband connection is recommended.
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
5. Better photo management – Picasa, Google’s photo management software.
The interface is great, it has basic photo fixes for white balance, contrast, crop etc. and even effects. Prints, emails and uploads directly to Blogger and Picasa Web Albums.
6. Better music jukebox and video player – Amarok and VLC.
Amarok is by far the most advanced player out there, although it’s a bit unstable under Gnome.
sudo apt-get install amarok
VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. VLC supports a lot of themes and decodes everything from avi to matroska.
sudo apt-get install vlc
7. Hardware testing – Let the developers know about your hardware – what works and what doesn’t, so they can fix it.
Main Menu>System>Hardware Testing
It’s a 2 minute wizard that guides that tests audio, display, networking and mouse/keyboard and then send the results, a list of your computer’s hardware and your comments to the developers.
Bonus Tip – The Matrix on your desktop:
Are we living in a simulation? We are certainly capable of creating such a system, just look at Spore. Now imagine the computing power 50 years from now. Scary, huh?