Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 16:24

This is the traditional welcome article "WTDAI" for elementary OS 5.0 which has been available to download three days ago (17 October 2018). Here, you'll find how to add network indicator applet on Wingpanel, install paid apps at no cost (and donate later if you wish), enable Night Light, adjust some power management, and finally --for app developers-- getting started in making elementary OS desktop apps! This article is just simple list for things I hope many will need and love it. I hope this article will help you a lot especially if you're just switched from other OS today. Enjoy!

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Read also about 5.0: Downloads (+torrents) | Installation GuideShort Review | Beta2 | Beta1

0. Know How To Play

Nice shortcuts you'll use often are Super+H (minimize), Super+Up (maximize), Super+Space (start menu)

Press Super key so you see the overlay. This one informs you things like Super+Ctrl+Left/Right=tile window and other movements in how-to-play.

1. Install Basic Tools

Office suite and PDF reader are two must-have apps. Actually, Evince PDF Reader is already installed although it's not appearing on start menu. But LibreOffice is not installed, so install it. It's available on AppCenter.

2. Pin-Up Files & Terminal

Put the Files (your file manager) on the dock. Feel free to put Terminal as well, and more apps you love the most. Run the program > right-click it on the dock > Keep in Dock > okay, done.

3. Disable Single Click

Run your Terminal and execute this command:
$ gsettings set io.elementary.files.preferences single-click false
To enable it back, simply change false into true.

4. Set Night Light

Go to System Settings > Displays > Night Light > turn it on and let it be. It will automatically adapt you screen (it will look more red) hour-by-hour based on your system's geolocation. Thanks Daniel Fore, elementary OS project leader and also all developers, this feature you built really helps us who use screen display in really long duration!

5. Hello, NetSpeed Indicator!

Finally, we can have a really decent NetSpeed indicator on elementary OS 5.0. It's called Wingpanel System Monitor Indicator (WSMI) created by Tudor Plugaru. The only one note is it's still unavailable on the repository so we need to install it from source code (it's really quick, don't worry). Do it once and leave it forever. Just copy and paste 4 command lines:

$ sudo apt-get install git libglib2.0-dev libgtop2-dev libgranite-dev libgtk-3-dev libwingpanel-2.0-dev meson valac #get dependencies
$ git clone && cd wingpanel-indicator-sys-monitor/ #download source code
$ meson build --prefix=/usr && cd build/ && ninja #build software
$ sudo ninja install #put software to your system

Wait a few seconds. Now you can see a upload/download indicator on your panel.

6. Install Paid Apps in Zero Price

Yes, all paid apps on AppCenter can be downloaded gratis. Turn the price to zero and click the Free button. All progams are full progams (free software, not trial). You can donate and fund the author later by turning back the price to any amount you'd like to send and go.

7. Are You Interested in Creating Apps?

elementary OS has a unique platform for indie software developers so they can make free/libre open source software for desktop and sell them on the AppCenter. It's actually similar to what Google did with Android's Play Store and Apple with iOS' App Store; except it's for a desktop GNU/Linux operating system we love. So again, are you interested to become an elementary OS app developer? First, see Developer Central and also Getting Started first.

Lastly, install Develop (an app by Alcadica). It's not a text editor, it's only an automatic template generator for 3 kinds of software: Apps, Switchboard Plugins, and Wingpanel Indicators. Once generated, you'll find  folders and source code files generated for you so you can later edit them by using elementary's Code text editor. See illustration below. It's beautiful!

End Words

That's all for now. You can explore more on AppCenter. You can join the active community on Reddit, StackExchange, and Twitter. You can help the development by contributing and funding their Patreon. Ah, yeah, if you're a decent programmer, you can make money by fixing their bug bounties at BountySource. Last but not least, good luck with your new operating system!