Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 17:04

This article introduce some suggestions after installing elementary OS 0.4 Loki. They are including installing Firefox, LibreOffice, BitTorrent client, Inkscape and GIMP, and educational software. We write and made them easy to help complete beginners in GNU/Linux especially in elementary OS. We hope these suggestions really helpful for you.

About Multimedia Codecs

elementary OS Loki is already shipped with preinstalled all* multimedia codecs. For example, Loki is capable to play proprietary standard like mp4, mp4, flv; and also capable to play free/open standard like ogg, ogv, flac, and webm. As a comparison, it is complete opposite with Linux Mint 18 which is no longer shipping with proprietary/closed-format multimedia codecs.

*) The term "all" here refers to both free/open multimedia formats (such as ogg) and proprietary/closed formats (such as mp3). Multimedia codecs like Fluendo GStreamer framework is free software, not proprietary software.

1. Reload

One thing we need to do is synchronizing elementary OS system with the repository. This synchronization is part of elementary OS package management, represented with command line apt-get update. We simply call it reload*.

First, open Terminal (Super+T) > check your software sources by this command line > you must see the same output like the picture following. Just copy and paste this command into Terminal.

cat /etc/apt/sources.list | sed '/\#/d'
Second, in the same Terminal, perform this "Reload" command line. It costs around 38 MB:

sudo apt-get update

Note: once reload finished, you should see your AppCenter program shows full list of more than 50000 installable software packages. And you should able to search any software from command line apt-cache search <program_name>.

*) Reload (or actually apt-get update) is merely a process of downloading index files from the repository. It does not download or install any software package.

2. Change Repository

If you want to change location of your repository into your own country, or even your city, change it by looking at list of Ubuntu mirror repositories worldwide For your information, elementary OS is derived from Ubuntu so it uses Ubuntu mirror  repositories directly.

First, examine your software sources first. There are three command lines for that, showing below as bolded lines in three separated blocks. They are lines of software sources URLs. What you need to change is only the first blocks.

master@master:~$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list | sed '/\#/d' | sed '/^$/d'
deb xenial main restricted
deb xenial-updates main restricted
deb xenial universe
deb xenial-updates universe
deb xenial multiverse
deb xenial-updates multiverse
deb xenial-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb xenial-security main restricted
deb xenial-security universe
deb xenial-security multiverse

master@master:~$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elementary.list
deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

master@master:~$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/patches.list
deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

Second, to change the repository location, edit the sources.list file above by Scratch text editor. Just replace the country code in every line into your country identifier. For example, replace "id." with "jp." for Japanese mirror, or replace "id." with "de." for Germany mirror, and so on. Follow command line and picture below.

sudo scratch-text-editor /etc/apt/sources.list

3. Upgrade

elementary OS provide complete upgrading service for whole the system and for all your installed software. If you would like to do upgrade, you can do it from AppCenter. Just view the tab Updates and click Update button.

But if you like console, do it in Terminal instead:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get upgrade-dist

4. Install Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is not installed by default, so you can install it yourself from AppCenter.

But if you prefer console, here is the command line:

sudo apt-get install firefox

5. Install LibreOffice

LibreOffice is not installed by default, so you can install it from AppCenter.

Or if you prefer console, choose one of command lines below:

# install the complete suite
sudo apt-get install libreoffice

#install only each component

sudo apt-get install libreoffice-writer
sudo apt-get install libreoffice-calc
sudo apt-get install libreoffice-impress
sudo apt-get install libreoffice-math
sudo apt-get install libreoffice-draw
sudo apt-get install libreoffice-base

6. Install BitTorrent Client

Any BitTorrent client is not installed by default. But there are so many BitTorrent software available in the repository. You may install either Transmission, Deluge, qBittorrent, or KTorrent, from AppCenter.

Or, if you like console, perform one of these command lines:

sudo apt-get install transmission
sudo apt-get install deluge
sudo apt-get install qbittorrent
sudo apt-get install ktorrent

7. Change Dock Behavior

You can change bottom dock (Plank) behavior, either to hide or not to hide. Open System Settings > Desktop > Dock > slide off the Hide when option slider.

You can also change that Plank hiding behavior, by slide on the slider and choose one the these options:

8. Arrange Desktop Icons

elementary OS has no desktop shortcuts icon like in Microsoft Windows desktop (also, it has no right-click on desktop). But elementary OS has bottom dock called Plank. You place your icons there.

  • To add an icon to dock, for example: open desktop menu > right-click Files icon > Add to Dock
  • To remove an icon from dock, for example: right-clik an icon > uncheck "Keep in Dock" checkbox.

9. Install Desktop Software

elementary OS Loki doesn't ship with common desktop software like Inkscape and GIMP. They are installable from AppCenter.

Here are command lines to install some of them.

sudo apt-get install inkscape

sudo apt-get install gimp

sudo apt-get install shutter

sudo apt-get install scribus

10. Install Education Software

elementary OS is suitable for educational purposes, and it provides so many educational software starting for children until university level. For example, there are GCompris for kids, Marble and KGeography for geographical learning and teaching, Kig and KAlgebra for mathematics, Kalzium for chemistry, and so on. They are installable via AppCenter.

Here are command lines to install some of them.

sudo apt-get install gcompris

sudo apt-get install kalzium

Dr. Geo

sudo apt-get instal drgeo

11. Install Communication Software

elementary OS doesn't ship with any IRC client and instant messaging program. You have many choices among them, for example HexChat for IRC and Pidgin for instant messaging. You can install them from AppCenter, or, at your option, from console.

Here are command lines to install some communication software.

sudo apt-get install pidgin

sudo apt-get install hexchat