Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 22:55

This is a 15-items after-install guide for Ubuntu 16.10, some suggestions for end-users. This is a WTDAI article after the latest WTDAI deepin GNU/Linux. It mentions some suggestions about Unity desktop arrangements, and some suggestions about software to install (including codecs, development, communication, and educational software). I understand the value of every suggestion here may vary for different users, but I hope this list will be helpful for everyone. Enjoy Ubuntu 16.10! (Ade Malsasa Akbar,
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1. Reload

The user should perform apt-get update (or Synaptic called it, Reload) to download "the map" of repositories ("the map" used by apt to download every package). Fire up your internet connection, open your Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), and then perform a command line below. It spends around 30 MB of data in my default Ubuntu 16.10 and does not download any software package.

sudo apt-get update

2. Disable PackageKit Daemon Service

In my machines, any GNU/Linux distro with packagekitd service enabled (Ubuntu, Fedora), always automatically eats huge amount of data (around 200 MB in less than 30 minutes) as soon as it connected to the internet without any permission from the user. It is very bad for me, because I am a low-bandwidth internet user. Unfortunately, Ubuntu 16.10 is the same and it happened again yesterday October 10th (I lost 200 MB automatically without knowing). So if you want to keep your bandwidth up, it is safe to disable packagekitd by this command line.

sudo systemctl status packagekit.service
sudo systemctl stop packagekit.service

sudo systemctl disable packagekit.service
sudo systemctl status packagekit.service

Important: the consequence of disabling packagekitd daemon is of course having its features disabled too. Fo example, you may experience Ubuntu Software Center running with some feature disabled. To enable packagekitd daemon, just change disable into enable

3. Show Battery Time & Percentage on Panel

For laptop users, it is comfortable to always know how much time left on battery power. So right-click on battery icon > activate Show Time > activate Show Percentage.

4. Show Date in Panel


For most users, it is always better to know what time is now from the desktop. You can show the date & year on panel, and even the seconds in real time. To show them, go to System Settings > Time & Date > Clock tab > on the In the clock, show: section > activate Date & Month > activate Year > choose between 12-hour and 24-hour formats > activate Seconds > OK.

5. Set Nautilus: Show File Size in Each File

It is always good for a desktop file manager to show the size of each file. You can configure it from global menu Files > Preferences > at Icon View Captions section > select First: Size > close.

6. Place Applications Icons on Launcher


To place an application icon on Launcher (the vertical sidebar), press Super key > drag an application icon to the Launcher > drop. Alternatively, when an application running, right-clik on its icon > Lock to Launcher. 

7. Create Desktop Shortcut Icons


By default in common way, user can not place any shortcut icon on the desktop (it's a directly opposite from Microsoft Windows desktop). Try to drag any icon from Ubuntu Desktop Menu and you have nothing.

But in a tricky way, you can place application shortcuts on desktop by copying file from /usr/share/applications/ directory into your desktop. Just Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V from Nautilus window (right) into the desktop (left) like picture below.

Whenever you install a new application, the icon of that application will be in this /usr/share/applications/ directory and you always can copy it into your desktop.

8. Install Firefox Addons

Ubuntu 16.10 ships with Firefox 48. But if you installed it, you get a fresh Firefox without any additional addon installed. So you can install them manually. But how if you forget their names? Here I mention some suggestions:

9. Install Synaptic & GDebi

I believe from time to time there are always users that need easy offline package management, and need a detailed GUI package manager. There are GDebi and Synaptic to satisfy those needs. Having Synaptic means having more detailed and advanced "Ubuntu Software Center", having GDebi means having GUI for easy offline package management. They are incredibly useful when the user has some internet connection difficulties (I've proved it myself).


sudo apt-get install synaptic

sudo apt-get install gdebi

10. Get The Manual and Documentation

Although there is no complete/comprehensive single-book documentation available yet for Ubuntu 16.10, but you still can read the documentation for 16.04 or some older versions, such as:

11. Install Multimedia Codecs (for nonfree audio/video formats)

Ubuntu includes only free audio/video formats support (.ogg or .webm), it does not come with nonfree formats support (.mp3 or .mp4). The reason behind this is the software patents (the obstacles to GNU/Linux community) behind the nonfree formats. But if you need that support (e.g. to transform nonfree into free format files) then here is the command line:
sudo apt-get install gstreamer1.0-fluendo-mp3 gstreamer1.0-libav gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad-faad gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad-videoparsers gstreamer1.0-plugins-ugly gstreamer1.0-plugins-ugly-amr

Or alternatively just install VLC Media Player to play any audio/video format:
sudo apt-get install vlc

Note: the nonfree things mentioned above are the standards, the "ideas" behind the audio/video formats, and not the software. The Fluendo GStreamer software above are all free software (free as in freedom), and VLC Media Player itself is also free software. They can not be included in Ubuntu ISO because they can play the patented formats.

12. Install Common Desktop Software

Ubuntu 16.10 comes without any popular desktop software, as usual. But once doing Reload, you can install them by yourself. Some common desktop software are image editor, vector editor, ebook reader, and screenshot tool. There are respectively GIMP, Inkscape, Calibre, and Shutter for each purpose.

sudo apt-get install gimp

sudo apt-get install calibre

sudo apt-get install inkscape

sudo apt-get install shutter

13. Install Communication Software 

Ubuntu 16.10 comes without any dedicated IRC client or instant messaging software. Moreover, it also does not come with any VoIP client. It comes only with Firefox and Thunderbird. So, you may install Hexchat, Pidgin, and Ekiga for each purpose respectively.

sudo apt-get install hexchat

sudo apt-get install pidgin

sudo apt-get install ekiga

14. Install Educational Software

Ubuntu 16.10 does not ship with any educational-purpose software. But truly there are so many education software available in Ubuntu repository (as always), such as preschool games, anagram, geographical, keyboard-typing game, and algebra software. You may install, for example, GCompris, KAnagram, Marble, TuxType, and KAlgebra for each purpose respectively.

sudo apt-get install gcompris

sudo apt-get install kanagram

sudo apt-get install marble

sudo apt-get install tuxtype

sudo apt-get install kalgebra

15. Install Development/Programming Software

For developers, especially Ubuntu Mobile app developers, there is a good news: Ubuntu SDK is already available for Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak through the official PPA. Besides that, you can also install any other of your favorite development environments, for example, Emacs, Qt Creator, and Eclipse.

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Ubuntu SDK (Software Development Kit)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-sdk

GNU Emacs
sudo apt-get install emacs

Qt Creator
sudo apt-get install qtcreator

sudo apt-get install eclipse

OpenJDK 8
sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jdk

OpenJDK 9
sudo apt-get install openjdk-9-jdk