10 Tips For First Time Linux Users
Software repositories are part of what make the Linux experience not only more convenient but inherently more secure. Instead of scouring the internet for random .exe files that may or may not be infected with some sort of malware, each Linux distribution has its own centralized software repository, or repo, where all of the various available software for that distribution is kept. Software Repositories are maintained and curated by the distribution’s developers to ensure that all of the software is compatible with the distribution, and is secure and free of malware. So whenever you want to install a new piece of software, just open up the Software Center and search for your desired application. In fact, you’re probably already used to this approach, because that’s exactly how Android and iPhone function. The overwhelming majority of the available software for your smartphone is available through either the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.By default, Ubuntu and Linux Mint come with their core repos enabled, but you can also enable additional repos to gain access to even more software.
In Ubuntu, go to Settings>Software & Updates, and under the Ubuntu Software tab, you’ll have the choice enable any extra repositories that aren’t already enabled, such as Universe, Restricted, and Multiverse. After that, click the Other Software tab and enable Canonical Partners.
In Linux Mint, everything is included in the main repository, so enabling any extra repos is unnecessary.
But suppose you want an application that isn’t available in the official repos? This is where Personal Package Archives, or PPAs, come into play. PPAs are essentially third-party repositories that you can add to your system repositories which enable the installation of even more software.
For example, one of the most popular and useful PPAs for Ubuntu from WebUpd8 Team, which you can add to your system with the following commands:
You should now see the webup8 PPA in your system by navigating to Settings>Software & Updates>Other Software. Once you’re familiar with Linux, you can create your own repositories. I’ll surely write an article on how to create a repository very soon. So stick with us.
One of the best things about Linux operating systems is the near-endless amount of customization available, so you can tweak your desktop as much as little as you desire. There are the more obvious things like Desktop and Lockscreen wallpapers, but there are also system themes, icons, and fonts; and you can even customize how the desktop environment itself behaves.In Ubuntu, install the Unity Tweak Tool with the following command and explore all the different customization options available:
Updates are critical to any operating system, whether the updates are for some of the installed software packages, or for the operating system itself. The main reason for this is security. As new vulnerabilities that hackers could potentially exploit are discovered, updates can fix them and continue to keep your system as hardened as possible against nefarious security threats. Of course, you can also gain new features and functionality from updates as well. Automatic updates are probably already enabled by default on your Ubuntu or Linux Mint installation, but if you want to see it for yourself or tweak any settings, navigate to the following menus:
Ubuntu: Settings>Software & Updates>Updates
Linux Mint: Open Update Manager and select one of three options: “Just keep my computer safe” which only automatically install security-related updates, “Let me review sensitive updates”, which will allow you to see any updates that are unrelated to security so you can review them before installing, or “Always update everything” which keeps everything automatically updated without user intervention.