Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Friday, April 27, 2018 at 01:00

This is the traditional article to give you suggestions what to do after installing Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver". I divide the discussions in two parts, with and without internet. You will start with familiarizing yourself to the new desktop in Ubuntu and finally find your favorite applications using Ubuntu Software. I hope this quick guide helps you a lot. Enjoy 18.04!

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This is the suggestion article, if you want something else, read the Ubuntu 18.04 installation guide or the upgrade guide from 16.04 or the review of prerelease version.

Without Internet

1. Familiarize Yourself to the Desktop

The desktop receives many changes so you might need to change your habits. So here's a summary:
  • The menu button is now on the bottom of the vertical panel.
  • The control buttonsare now on the right again, like in the GNOME 2 era.
  • It does not have HUD.
  • It does not have global menu.
  • It does not have Unity scopes.
  • But the vertical panel and top panel are still there.
  • But the system tray is still there too.
  • The calendar/time-date is now on the center of top panel.
  • Pressing Super key shows all running applications overview.
  • Pressing Super+S shows overview, pressing Super+A shows menu of applications.

This picture shows how it looks at first glance:

Your new user interface

This picture shows how the menu looks like:

Your new menu

2. Familiarize Yourself to the File Manager

It is still the same Nautilus like your 14.04's or 16.04's one but it's changed so many and renamed GNOME Files now. To help you adapting, here's another summary:

  • Toolbar and titlebar are now unified in one.
  • Menubar is gone, the menu is now unified under one menu named Files.
  • Sorting is now simpler with one button ruling all kinds of sorting.
  • Views button is also simpler now with one button (toggle) to change between Icons and Detailed List view.
  • It has Open in Terminal feature.

Your new Nautilus

3. Familiarize Yourself to the Settings

The control panel has been changed since 16.04 with new appearance in which you will need to adapt. It is still the same Gear & Wrench logo, but with new face. To start with, I suggest you to play the Dock section > change the Position value and see how your desktop panel changes.

Your Settings, Your Control Center

With Internet

4. Find Applications for You

Open up your orange 'A' bag icon, the Ubuntu Software, to find and install a lot of programs available for all purposes you need. Here's a picture showing the Graphics & Photography category in it with many applications available (see there Inkscape, GIMP, Blender, MyPaint, etc.). If you select one, you will see the program description in details, screenshots, and its license.

Your gate to thousands of programs

Note: if you come from Microsoft Windows, you might want a table comparing software applications between it and Ubuntu. See a friendly list here and great also to see FSF Free Software Directory that lists so many. Then install programs you want using the Ubuntu Software.

A screenshot of table from FSD

5. Find Favorite Extensions

Your desktop is now called GNOME 3 and it has extensive number of extensions (add-ons) you can download. To make sure you can install them, follow GSE tutorial. You will like them, such as:

You control your GSEs using the Tweaks (but install it first)

6. MP3 & MP4 Support

Ubuntu by default supports OGG and WEBM, the free formats (the user is free) of audio and video. But Ubuntu by default does not support MP3 and MP4 because such formats are nonfree (the user is not free), they remove anyone's right to distribute programs that can play them (this called 'patent'). However, now you can install things you need to play MP3 & MP4 by invoking commands:

$ sudo apt-get install gstreamer1.0-fluendo-mp3 gstreamer1.0-libav
Type and then press Enter

Further References

When you finished the after-install tasks, if you want to learn more about Ubuntu, go ahead, see references below:

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.