(Ubuntu 19.04 running Inkscape and System Info)

This is the traditional recommendation to do and and tips & tricks for users who just installed Ubuntu 19.04. This recommendation I tried to limit the stuffs to built-in applications only, with less customization, such as, making presentation with LibreOffice Impress using Ubuntu artworks, subscribing to Ubuntu & GNU/Linux podcasts such as MintCast & Ubuntu Podcast in Rhythmbox, saving online accounts credentials using GNOME Seahorse (similar to KeePass), along with the usual Firefox addons and changing Nautilus default view & making desktop shortcuts for apps. Of course, you will Finally, I hope you enjoy 19.04 with this article. Happy working!

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Read more about Ubuntu 19.04: Installation Guide | The GNOME 3.32 | Desktop Customization | Useful Extensions | Tray Icons

Summary

 

  • 1. About Repository
  • 2. About File Manager
  • 3. About Podcast & Audio Player
  • 4. About LibreOffice Impress
  • 5. About Web Browser and Addons
  • 6. About Password Manager
  • 7. About System Settings
  • 8. About Email Client
  • 9. About Online Accounts (Google Drive sync on File Manager)
  • 10. About Traditional Desktop

1. Switch Repository Mirror, Install and Upgrade Applications


For example, in Indonesia, personally I find that either Kartolo by Datautama company or Kambing by Indonesia University is the most reliable, fastest mirror. For you country where you live, you can either use Select Best Server button or find by yourself trying from among choices available. By default, Ubuntu chooses not either one of them, but id.archive.ubuntu.com which is considerably far slower. I changed my mirror heading to Kartolo immediately after I finished Ubuntu installation.
 (Software & Updates blue logo)

  • Click 3x3 dots menu button on bottom
  • Search Software & Updates with blue logo
  • Click the Download from button > click Others
  • Select your country > select a mirror among mirrors available there
  • Click Choose Server > click Close
  • Select Reload if asked
  • You repository mirror changed

(Left: software-properties-gtk window showing repository sources enabled; right: list of repository mirrors selection of Indonesia)


(Ubuntu Software orange logo)

Browsing for applications is easy thanks to Ubuntu Software (the app center) or I prefer to call it Software Center instead. The Software Center presents you applications from the official Ubuntu repository as well as applications from Snapcraft.io (in other words, gives you both DEB and Snaps). However, it mixes together between free and proprietary software there. To know whether a program is free, click the application, click License section, you will see it's described as Free (mostly with permission called "GPL"), otherwise it's described as Proprietary.

(Ubuntu Software Center with Krita professional drawing & animation program as featured application)

To install application:
  • Click software name
  • Click Install button
  • Wait the process (this depends on the program size and your net speed)
  • Application installed
  • Find the application in the start menu

To remove application:
  • Same as above, but click Remove button instead

To upgrade application:
  • Go to Updates tab
  • Press Reload button on top-left corner
  • Wait the process
  • You will see list of applications available to be upgraded
  • Click Update button on application
  • Application updated
  • Run the application and go to (mostly) menu bar Help > About to see the version number

2. Nautilus


If you come to 19.04 straight from 16.04, you will find Nautilus changed a lot. It's far more simpler with many options removed from the screen. But your settings are still familiar, for example, show List View everywhere and show file size on Thumbnails View.

(Nautilus File Manager icon)

(Left: file manager with normal (thumbnails) view; right: file manager with detailed (list) view)

To put applications on desktop, you cannot drag and drop icons from menu straight to desktop area. Instead, you copy applications from /usr/share/applications/ to ~/Desktop directory. Next step, right-click every application on desktop > Allow Launching. Finally, you can run every one of them.

(How to copy manually every app to ~/Desktop and make them executable on desktop area)

3. Rhythmbox


Starting the new Ubuntu 19.04 with community podcasts is a good thing! Podcast is, simply, internet radio broadcasting you can download as MP3 or OGG audio file, which regularly published weekly or monthly, by individuals among our community. In our Ubuntu and Free/Libre Open Source Software community, podcasts talk about daily life using Ubuntu itself, gaming, hardware tweaking, security, and some about internal development of various GNU/Linux distros. You can play podcast using Rhythmbox.

(Rhythmbox aka GNOME Music logo)

You can start downloading podcasts from these podcast sources:


(Rhythmbox playing a podcast from Linux Unplugged #266, Rhythmbox playing a podcast from Choose Linux Show #5)

If you love to subscribe instead, in Rhythmbox you can even automatically get latest podcast as long as your internet access is on. Please remember that this requires more bandwidth than you download podcast audio file one by one. To do so, for example with two RSS feed URLs from Ubuntu Podcast and Linux Unplugged:
  • Click Podcast section on the left panel under Library
  • Right-click on the Feed panel > New Podcast Feed
  • Rhythmbox will download list of podcasts available
  • Click Subscribe button
  • All podcasts from this source subscribed
  • Repeat those processes for another podcast source

(See "Podcast" section on left? See Subscribe button on center? See list of podcasts on bottom? It's Rhythmbox subscribing to Linux Unplugged podcast RSS feed)


4. LibreOffice Impress Presentation


You can create amazing presentation in Impress using artworks you can download from Ubuntu. You can find many logos, including Ubuntu logo itself, along with the iconic dialog balloon you saw on installation progress.

(Impress logo)

Here's where to download artworks:

(Quote Pictogram artwork is located at bottom-right of the page)

For example, let's make slide decoration:
  • Download the Quote Pictogram from https://design.ubuntu.com/downloads.
  • You got quote-pictogram.svg file. 
  • Drag and drop the SVG file into Impress.
  • Right-click the balloon > Crop > cut it off to fit its left edge with left edge of the slide. 

((1) insert the picture (2) select > right-click > Crop (3) move the handle a little bit to right and press Enter (4) picture cropped properly)

Some slides as example:

(Creative Impress presentation slide using artwork from Ubuntu Official)

(Second slide, with other artwork, but same cropping technique)

5. Firefox


Ubuntu comes with Mozilla Firefox web browser. It has automatic updates feature for its search engine, addons, and the Firefox itself. If you prefer to update everything manually, like me for example, turn them off below. And, below you will find addons recommendation you can use.

(Ctrl+Shift+A on Firefox brings the addons management page)


Addons you can find helpful:

This way, you can install Desktop Extensions you love from GNOME website. There are a lot of extensions to boost up your productivity and comfortability using Ubuntu 19.04, such as, Drop Down Terminal. See extension recommendation article for more.


(E.G.O. website showing a lot of extensions)

6. Password Keeper


Yes, Ubuntu 19.04 comes with a secure password keeper program. You can use it to save your online accounts (usernames & passwords) so you can open them at any time. It's Passwords & Keys on start menu and originally named GNOME Seahorse.

 
(GNOME Seahorse logo)

To save an email account:
  • Click the + button on the title bar > Select Password
  • Select keyring Login
  • On Description, type your email address
  • On Password, type the password
  • OK
  • Your account saved under Login keyring among other accounts
  • Click the black lock logo beside Login keyring > type your Ubuntu password > OK
  • Now all your saved passwords are safe

 (Personal accounts credentials saved on GNOME Seahorse)

(Seahorse itself can be locked, just like any other password manager program)

To open your saved password:
  • Click the black lock logo > type your Ubuntu password > OK
  • Double click your email address
  • Your account password shown in dots with Copy button beside. 
  • Click the key button to show/hide the password.

(Opening an entry to see username and password we had saved)

7. System Settings


  • Night Light
  • Tap to click
  • Natural scrolling
  • Privacy
  • Language
  • Keyboard
  • Volume more than 100% 

(System Settings logo)

Night light: set it to Sunset to Sunrise to make it automatically adapts screen color warmth. As many of you know, for users with long duration in front of screen, this helps reduce eye strain and sleeplessness.

(But, if you choose manual, you can instead move the slider to set permanent color temperature)

Touchpad settings: for laptop users, enable Touchpad, Tap To Click, and Two-finger Scrolling options, and disable Natural Scrolling.

(Disabling Natural Scrolling is needed for laptop which does not have touch screen display)

Privacy settings: there are six aspects of personal info transmission:
  • 1) Screen Lock: you can choose the delay time to lock from 30 seconds to 1 hours. 
  • 2) Location Services: it's actually Mozilla Location Service, if enabled, you allow applications (and highly probable, their developers) to know your location. Privacy wise, it's better to disable this.
  • 3) Usage & History: recent files can be disabled by disabling this. You can also delete them by pressing Delete button there.
  • 4) Purge Trash & Temp. Files: you may choose to automatically delete everything on trash bin and temporary. 
  • 5) Problem Reporting: enable this and you can report problems and bugs on your system easily and automatically to Ubuntu Developers. Disable this if you do not want to see Apport Error Notification bugs you anymore.
  • 6) Connectivity Checking: do you often go to public wifi hotspot? If this enabled, Ubuntu will show the login page of the hotspot (Captive Portal)

(Privacy settings)

(Full view of Privacy settings)

Region & Language settings:

  • 1) Language: this changes the language of all applications user interface.
  • 2) Formats: this changes date/time, numbers (100.000,00 / 1,000,000.00), measurement (Metric / Imperial), and paper size (A4 / Letter). 
  • 3) Input source options: you can choose whether to apply one keyboard layout to all applications, or to make some exceptions.
  • 4) Keyboard layout: add new keyboard layout (like Russian, Japanese, Arabic, etc.) and switch the order among them. Adding new layout shows them on top bar of your desktop. 
  • 5) Install more languages: shows Language Support dialog to search and download more user interface languages.

(Adding keyboard layouts and choosing among them)

Volume settings: Ubuntu 19.04 can amplify volume beyond 100%. This helps for listening by speaker when raining, or, when you are in a noisy public place.

(Adjusting volume up to 150%)


8. Thunderbird & Gmail Account


In brief, here's how to assign a Gmail account, username and password, into Thunderbird Mail Client. Thunderbird on Ubuntu is replacement to Outlook on Windows. Longer explanation with screenshots I've explained on Gmail IMAP on Thunderbird. (See also here to setup it as Google Calendar client and as RSS feed reader.)
  • Set Gmail Web to accept IMAP client
  • Run Thunderbird
  • Create new account
  • Type your Gmail address and password
  • Let Thunderbird scans everything for you
  • Make sure you see IMAP (remote folder) option selected
  • Go ahead

(Quick setup Gmail account in Mozilla Thunderbird)

9. Online Accounts


For example, you want to connect to Google Drive using file manager, and take back your personal data to keep them in your local custody. Go to System Settings > Online Accounts > Google > type your username > type your password > type verification if asked > OK > make sure Files option is enabled there. Once enabled, go to File Manager, you will see your email address there. Click it to access your Google Drive.

(System Settings logo)

System Settings showing Files section ON aka synchronized to Google Drive.

(System Settings in Google Account options)

Accessing Google Drive using file manager:

(After setup, you will see your files in Nautilus File Manager)

10. Make it traditional once again


Previous tutorial explained how to make this GNOME desktop look more desktop-oriented rather than smartphone-oriented. For this purpose, you will need GNOME Tweak Tool installed and GNOME Integration enabled. The extension, Dash To Panel, will automatically turn left panel to bottom taskbar including system tray. If you prefer KDE Plasma or Windows 7 style of panel positioning, you will like this customization. Enjoy!

(Ubuntu 19.04 with traditional desktop)


This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


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