Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 15:19

This is (again) the traditional article containing suggestions once a beginner finished installing Ubuntu and this time it's for 18.10 "Cosmic Cuttlefish". In this article you'll not only find some usual things like enabling normal touchpad scrolling & privacy addons, but also some new things like Snappy intro, Hide Top Bar, and Android integration (with GS Connect)! Have nice days with Ubuntu Cosmic an GNOME 3.30!

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Read also in 18.10: Short Review | Full Download Links | Installation Guide | GNOME 3.30

0. Adjust Privacy Settings & Tweak Scrolling

(Important: Canonical's privacy policy document is accessible via System Settings > Privacy > Problem Reporting > Privacy Policy)

Privacy: Ubuntu provides some privacy options by default and here's my settings example:
  • Screen Lock, (on, delay 30s, no notifications)
  • Geolocation Services, (off)
  • Recent Documents & History,  (off)
  • Auto-delete Trash Bin, (on, every 1 day)
  • Bug Reporting to Canonical, and (manual, show dialog before reporting)
  • Auto-detect for Wifi Login Webpage. (leave it as is)

Addons: install privacy addons on your beloved Firefox.
Optionally, if you are an advanced user, you can add uMatrix (alternative to NoScript) or LibreJS too.

(Ctrl+Shift+A on Firefox showing installed addons: H.E., P.B., StartPage Search Engine, u.O.)

Touchpad: by default, it's Natural Scrolling enabled on 18.10, and it will be uncomfortable for laptop user. You can disable it

(Natural scrolling disabled = normal scrolling for laptop)

1. Snappy: Search for Apps & Install Them

(See latest Canonical's worldwide stats about Snaps)

Snap (.snap) to Ubuntu is like APK (.apk) to Android, both backed by huge centralized distribution systems ( and Play Store, respectively). The uniqueness is Snap is not only for Ubuntu, but also for other GNU/Linux distros. Snaps are available to find and install from Ubuntu Software. To identify a snap, it must be from Snap Store if you look at Source on its details (see picture below).

Some Snaps you might like are, for example,

(left: GIMP, right: Inkscape from Snap Store, available in Ubuntu Software)

(NextCloud snap = a working NextCloud local server in one click)

2. Move Vertical Panel to Bottom

Go to System Settings > Dock > set Position on screen: to Bottom > OK. Optionally, you may also decrease icons size by sliding there from 48 (default) to 36 or even smaller.

(Bottom panel with 30px icons)

3. Dark Desktop Theme

(Don't have the tool? Easy, install GNOME Tweaks from the Ubuntu Software.)

Yaru theme --the default theme of Cosmic replacing Ambiance-- is available in Dark and Light versions. You can switch between both from GNOME Tweaks program: Appearance > Themes > Applications > switch it to Yaru Dark > all themes switched. To revert back, simply switch it back to Yaru.

4. Show Icons-on-Menu in LibreOffice

Go to Tools > Options > View > turn the Icons on menu: option into Show > OK.

5. Hide Top Panel

(See G.S. Extension installation guide)

With Hide Top Bar extension by tuxor1337, you can hide top panel in every condition except in window overview mode. It's almost like "Kiosk mode" or simply a single-panel mode of GNOME 2 era. To see top bar again press Super key. It's so simple.

(The top panel is gone! Yay!)

6. GSConnect: Integrate Ubuntu with Android Phone

Do you want to integrate your Android phone with Ubuntu? Don't want to install KDE? Then GSConnect by Andy Holmes by is your friend! For GNOME 3.30, hence Ubuntu Cosmic, you need to use v13 or later.

 (GSConnect integrates my Ubuntu desktop with my Android phone)

Installing the extension:

  • 1) Go to its GitHub download page
  • 2) Download the file named
  • 3) Create new folder ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/
  • 4) Extract the ZIP file there
  • 5) Correct extracting will looks like my Nautilus below
  • 6) Press Alt+F2 and type r and press Enter to enable it
  • 7) See GSConnect on your system tray on top

Integrating phone-computer:
  • 1) Be sure that KDE Connect mobile version is installed on your Android phone. I recommend you to get it from F-Droid.
  • 2) Create an AP hotspot from your Android phone. Connect Ubuntu to that hotspot.
  • 3) On your phone, run KDE Connect and request pair. 
  • 4) On Ubuntu, you should see pairing request notification with both devices' SSH IDs. Accept. Both devices paired successfully. 
  • 5) Now Ubuntu and Android phone are integrated.

Great things & some limitation:
  • You can remote your Ubuntu from Android: use phone screen as a mouse. This will be great for presentation.
  • You can send ping from Android to Ubuntu, and vice versa.
  • You can control Ubuntu's audio player playback, seek bar, and volume from your phone.
  • Limitation: I cannot integrate if the hotspot is from Ubuntu, only can if it's from phone.
  • Limitation: I cannot send file from Ubuntu's Nautilus to phone. 
  • Limitation: the 'Mount' option presented on desktop is not usable. No effect at all.

7. Setup Mail Client

Assuming most of you have Gmail accounts:
  • 1) Run Thunderbid.
  • 2) Setup an Account > Email > a dialog asking for your name, email account, and password.
  • 3) Type your Gmail account credentials there > Continue > it will scan the internet > it gives you two possible configurations (IMAP or POP3).
  • 4) Select IMAP and Done.
  • 5) Thunderbird presents your Gmail inbox for you.

You can add more Gmail accounts as you wish. With this, you can read, write, and send emails on your desktop without a browser.

(IMAP choice: emails on server are not deleted)

8. Power Management

To adjust power management , go to System Settings > Power >  adjust some options. For example, you can enable Dim screen and set Blank screen to 5 minutes or less to make laptop battery life longer.

(Example power management setting)

9. Switch Mirror

You may find apt-get downloads in slow speed. You can switch the download source ("mirror") to the one nearest to your country. For example, if you live in Indonesia you might love to use either Ubaya University's or Indonesia University's mirror. This way you could expect to get fastest speed possible when updating, downloading, and upgrading packages.

 (Change mirror source from the 'Download from:' option)

(Top: download speed 600KB/s, Bottom: reloading from nearby mirror)

End Words

That's all. Actually, there are still so many things you could do after having Cosmic. You can explore more by exploring Ubuntu Software, Store website, and if you encountered an error you can consult Enjoy Cosmic!


This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.