Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver comes packed with many new updates and exciting features. The switch from Unity to GNOME and more updated snap apps. Below are 15 things to do, from customizing Ubuntu to enabling/disabling certain features using GNOME Tweaks tool and installing applications to boost your productivity.
1. Getting Familiar With GNOME
Two basic terms to get familiar with your new Ubuntu:
Overview:With overview, you get the bird’s eye view of all the applications you left open so it’s easier to switch to your preferred application.
Workspace:Workspace is the new way to multi-task with multiple windows, and in fact, the current desktop you are staring at is a workspace too.
2. GNOME keyboard shortcuts
Below are three common keyboard shortcuts to get familiar with and I guarantee you’ll use them on a regular basis:
Switch to overview: Super key
List all applications: Super key + A
Switch workspaces: Ctrl + Alt + Up/Down
3. Utilizing workspaces
Leaving too many applications open in one workspace is frustrating when you have to figure them out later switching between them again. Instead, organize them like you’d do with your work table. An example is leaving Multimedia player running in one workspace while working on a word processor program in another workspace.
4. Change background wallpaper
Right click on your desktop and select Change Background to change wallpapers. Set unique wallpapers for both Background and Lock Screen.
5. Dock favorite apps
Probably right now your Ubuntu dock might be empty. It’s time to dock your commonly used applications by right-clicking an app and selecting Add to Favorites.
6. Set up Auto-hide Dock
Open Settings and select Dock category. On the right, turn on Auto-hide the Dock. This will give you more desktop space when you launch an application (in the maximized state). To see the Dock, hover your mouse on the left edge with slight pressure and the Dock will reveal itself. Lightly hovering won’t work and it’s intended that way so you don’t get distracted if mouse has hovered on the left unintentionally.
7. Install GNOME Tweaks tool
GNOME Tweaks tool is a must if you seriously want to consider customizing the DE with themes and enable/disable certain features. To install the program, launch Ubuntu Software then type in “GNOME Tweaks” and click Install.
8. Remove that solitary trash icon
After installing Ubuntu, you might’ve noticed that trash icon sitting all alone on the desktop, and it’s annoying because Trashcan still is accessed from Files (Ubuntu file manager program). Launch Tweaks program you recently installed and under Desktop category, turn off Trash option.
9. In fact, get rid of desktop icons
This time it’s wise to utilize your user home directory more often i.e., by launching Files program and organizing your folders and files on the Home directory, rather than piling them on the desktop. Doing this will leave your desktop clean plus a nice view of your wallpaper.
To disable desktop icons, launch Tweaks program and under Desktop category, turn off Show Icons.
10. Enable Activities Overview Hot Corner
Ubuntu by default has disabled Activities Overview Hot Corner, which lets the user get to overview by hitting the mouse pointer on the top left corner. To enable this feature, open Tweaks program and under Top Bar category, enable Activities Overview Hot Corner.
11. Install previous Ubuntu wallpapers
Previous releases of Ubuntu wallpapers are memorable and in case you miss them, below is the command to install old Ubuntu wallpapers and grow your wallpaper list:
If you can't remember the name of the release, press tab key twice (after typing up to "wallpapers-") to list all the possible release names.
12. Install GNOME Pomodoro
Having trouble managing time or not feeling productive with computer work? GNOME Pomodoro is a time utility program that increases productivity and while this is not a recommended program for heavy gamers, users who wish to enjoy stress-free work environment can benefit a lot from this program. The program is not pre-installed so you’ll have to manually install it through Ubuntu Software.
13. Make to-do list
To Do is a program where you organize your task/work based on priorities (None, Low, Medium, and High) and schedules. It’s easy and intuitive for new users to get accustomed to. Don’t forget to dock it so it’s accessible when you need the program.
14. Customize Ubuntu look to the modern flat theme
If you’re growing weary of the same old Ubuntu Ambiance theme, you might want to consider customizing Ubuntu look to a new modern flat theme.
sudo apt install materia-gtk-theme
sudo apt install papirus-icon-theme
Launch Tweaks program, then select the listed options below:
Visit LinuxAndUbuntu theme page for more themes
15. Install tlp program for laptop users
And lastly, a must-have for notebook and laptop users. tlp optimizes your hardware and saves more battery power by slowing down your hard drive and enabling power saving features provided by your hardware vendor.
There we have it, 15 things to do after installing Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver. It's not really necessary that all of them should be done. For instance, some users can omit the disable trash icon or desktop icons because they might find it hard to live without them. You can leave the ones that don't fit your taste/personality and pick those that you find interesting. Above all, don't forget to regularly update your Ubuntu system to stay up to date and secure. Some interesting points worth mentioning missed out? Please share your views in the comment section below.
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