Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 19:37

This is Part 3 of the newbie's guide to operate Ubuntu 17.10. Here you'll learn most basic settings in Ubuntu divided in 2 parts (basics & installing applications) plus special part (GNOME Tweaks and Shell Extensions) at end. Basic needs such as changing wallpaper and enabling touchpad are explained with pictures, including repositioning the dock to bottom (many users will like it) and choosing repository mirror source too. I wish this simple tutorial helps you to operate Ubuntu fluently. This is the last part and I will republish them soon as an ebook. Enjoy!

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Read newbie's guide the series Part 1 and Part 2. If you're looking to reviews, read our series (Ubuntu Part 1 until Part 7, Kubuntu, and Artful MATE).

Know the Tool!

Ubuntu 17.10 is shipped with Settings as your control panel tool. You can setup every setting of Ubuntu Desktop using this such as changing wallpaper or adding shortcut keys.

To open System Settings: press Super key (Win key in most keyboards) > type settings > see a gear+wrench icon appears > click that icon.


1. Change the Date & Time

Open the System Settings > Details (bottom end of left-column) > Date & Time > turn off Automatic Time Zone > click on Time Zone 'XYZ (City, Country)' > a world map shoring > click on your country or region > OK > now your time changed.

2. Autohide Vertical Panel

The dock (vertical panel on left) is always showing. If you have small screen, you need more space, so you may want to autohide the dock. To change that setting, go to Settings > Dock > slide ON at Auto-hide the Dock.

3. Change Wallpaper

Go to Settings > Background > Wallpapers > click a picture > press Select button.

4. Move Dock to Bottom

Go to System Settings > Dock > set Bottom at Position on Screen.

6. Change Keyboard Shortcuts

Go to System Settings > Keyboard > scroll to bottom end > press plus button > a dialog with 3 inputs appears > input 1: type a name > input 2: type the command line > input 3: click Set Shortcut and press a combination of keys > press Add button.

For example, this is a set of 3 inputs for taking screenshot:

7. Activate Touchpad

Go to System Settings > scroll to bottom > Devices > Mouse & Touchpad > see Touchpad section > turn on Touchpad and Tap to Click options > turn off Natural Scrolling.

8. Change Monitor Resolution

Go to System Settings > scroll to bottom > Devices > Displays > click at Resolution [AAAA x BBB (X:Y)] > select a resolution such as 1024x768 from selections > press Apply.

9. See Running Programs

Run System Monitor from desktop menu > see "Processes" tab. Here a table showing running applications/programs with its memory and CPU usage values.

10. See CPU/RAM Usage

Still at System Monitor > go to Resources tab. Here you see realtime graphs for CPU and memory. It shows you all your CPU cores and also swap. It shows network graph too with download/upload speed info.


For complete tutorials: read our Package Management articles or the Ebook.

To install applications, the universal way is using the command lines on Terminal. To open Terminal: press Super key > desktop menu showing > type terminal > a black-box "Terminal" icon appearing > click that icon.

1. Reload

Type this command > type your login password (no "dots" will showing) > press Enter.
$ sudo apt-get update

2. Change Repository Mirror Source

  1. Open desktop menu > find Software & Updates > run it.
  2. From the Software & Updates dialog: Download from: select Other.
  3. From the server selection dialog: select a country > select a mirror > press Choose Server.
  4. Back to Software & Updates dialog: now, your server address changed> press Close.
  5. A dialog asking for Reload. Press Reload.
  6. A dialog showing the Reload progress which is downloading new addresses for the server you selected. 
  7. When this dialog is finished, you can install any software from the server source you selected.

2. Search

Run this command line:

$ apt-cache search [your_keyword]
$ apt-cache search games
Sample Output:

Left column = package_name; right column = description

3. Install

Run this command line:

$ sudo apt-get install [package_name]
$ sudo apt-get install bzflag
Sample output:

Installing bzflag from package_name found previously

4. Remove

Run this command line:

$ sudo apt-get remove [package_name]
$ sudo apt-get remove bzflag
Sample output:

Uninstalling bzflag installed previously


Special: Install GNOME Tweaks

Run command line below. With Tweaks, you can configure GNOME Shell desktop more like installing themes.
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

GNOME Tweaks in action

Special: Install GNOME Shell Extensions

I've written tutorial for it here. Extensions extend your GNOME Shell desktop functionalities just like add-ons extend your Firefox, for example, adding timer/alarm or placing upload/download indicator at top panel. In short, how to do it:

  • Install the package:  sudo apt-get install chrome-gnome-shell
  • Install the Firefox add-on: download .xpi
  • Go to GSE website
  • Install any GSE you like (I recommend NetSpeed for first timers)

NetSpeed in action