Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Friday, May 8, 2020 at 14:46

Upon the recent release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, I write this for people in Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. Please stay at home, don't get bored, and you can amuse yourself with Ubuntu. I mentioned here several ideas and suggestions for you to explore and have fun more with Ubuntu. Among them are to use Telegram and Jitsi, watching community conference videos and podcasts, making 3D games and playing them, reading ebooks and audio books, join the new world Fediverse, hacking your own computer, and beyond. All can be done gratis. Cheers up and go social again even at home!

(Enjoy awesome things on Focal Fossa)

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  • Communicating from Home
  • Join New Community, New World Online
  • Watch Community Videos
  • Listen to Community Podcasts
  • Reading Ebooks
  • Learning at Home
  • Having Fun at Home
  • Hacking
  • Playing Games

1. Communicating from Home

For example, as I have a GNU/Linux course, I teach my students from home with Telegram and Jitsi no matter they are in my country Indonesia or beyond. I find it is fun and far from boring, even I love it more and more and I always learn many new things. By these two tools, it means I communicate with text, voice, file sharing, and video with people. All can run on Focal Fossa. You can do that too even for other purposes!

[telegram] [riotim] [irc] [xmpp

Video conference:
[jitsi] [riotim] [bigbluebutton] [jami] [wire]

Voice chat:

(Despite the pandemic, I can keep teaching GNU/Linux online with my Telegram and Jitsi and can still meet my students very frequently)

2. Join New Community

Find new friends and even new world undiscovered in your hands.

For example, I can testify I am currently satisfied with Mastodon more than Twitter as I feel there are more people caring and be proactive with Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) and also responding awesomely when I talk to them. I recommend the instance maintained generously by Michael Downey.

3. Watch Community Videos

Our community makes many conferences every year. There are a lot of recorded videos of them you can watch. For example, I myself like video of 30 Years Using Emacs by a NetBSD developer as it introduced me to the software really and aside from that, is amusing, and very easy to understand.

Tips and tricks for this:
  • To download multiple YouTube videos at once, use YoutubeDL.
  • To watch any video format happily, use VLC

4. Enjoy Community Podcasts

Our community grows with podcasts. There are several popular ones worth listening:

 (Enjoy professional grade GNU/Linux podcasts for free)

  • Ubuntu Podcast - official, talks by Ubuntu Developer themselves since 2015.
  • Ubuntu Security Podcast - official, talks by Ubuntu Security Team themselves.
  • MintCast - Mint operating system's, Ubuntu derivative's, talks since 2008.
  • LinuxUnplugged - formerly Jupiter Broadcasting, formed by Bryan Lunduke, one of the most popular show about GNU/Linux world.
  • Jupiter Broadcasting - now the umbrella of LinuxUnplugged, joined with Linux Academy online training, providing even wider shows about Free/Libre Open Source Software including BSD.
  • GoingLinux - one among the oldest, a podcast show of review and tutorials with lightweight language really for us.
  • Freedom Decrypted - podcast by ThinkPenguin CEO talks about GNU/Linux in general and decentralization.
  • More podcasts await - here you will find almost of them all in one place.

5. Read Books 

There is Calibre the popular full-featured ebook manager available at Software Center. With Calibre you can manage all your ebooks in one place no matter whether the source is from your hard disk or your ebook reader device or the built-in feature instant search and download for ebooks / emagazines.

(Import your ebooks just by drag and drop!)

Have you heard about Librivox? It is an effort to make public domain books in audio format available for everybody freely. You can enjoy thousands books just by using web browser. For example, you can even find Sherlock Holmes novels here you can listed per chapter and read the text via Project Gutenberg. It does not require additional software. Up to today, Librivox successfully made 13000 audio books with 9000 voice readers joined this project and still counting.

(Enjoy high quality audio books!)

6. Learning at Home

For students or parents whom kids got their school closed temporarily, there are things you can install to Ubuntu to learn at home about language, science, geography, math, biology, chemistry, and more. All of these are available on Software Center.
  • World map - KDE Marble is a Google Earth alternative, but can be used offline.
  • Networking simulation - GNS3 is a complete free software solution to Cisco Packet Tracer with a logo almost similar to openSUSE to be honest.
  • Math fun for kids - TuxMath is a unique yet funny game to learn at home.

(This is Marble the 3D world map usable without internet access)

7. Having Fun at Home

By having fun I mean in computer ways. If you want video games, see next section. These are several suggestions you will find amusing to do with computers at home especially for tech-savvy persons.

[ LiveCD ]
LiveCD is running operating system completely without installation. It benefits infinitely without risks. All GNU/Linux systems are LiveCD today (except only few ones). The idea is: start downloading as many distros as possible and try them out without installing them. My recommendations are Manjaro, openSUSE, OpenMandriva, Netrunner, and Sabayon. You will find joy I found irreplaceable as I write here since 2015. You can create a LiveCD with tool included in Ubuntu: GNOME Disk Utility.

(I myself runs many LiveCD operating systems like in this photo almost everyday)

[ Multibooting ]
You can do this with MultiSystem, Multibootusb, or GLIM. Picture above is actually a multiboot usb worked very well I create with MultiSystem.

[ AppImages ]
Appimages are solutions. Although many people still do not know, AppImages are portable applications on GNU/Linux platform. Fortunately, there are increasing popular apps now downloadable as AppImages such as LibreOffice, Krita, Kdenlive, Godot, even OpenRA Red Alert (video game) among others. The idea is: you can start your journey once again to download each application from each website and run every one of them just with a double-click.

[ Making 3D Games ]
Do this with Godot Game Engine! Making games is very amusing and stress-relieving not to mention if you can do that easily just by clicks without programming.

(You can make a 3D game like this with Godot by drag and drop)

8. Hacking

Our Free Software community has many hacking stuffs and many of them can be done at home. This might require some degree of experience and understanding of computing. I listed here some of the easiest ideas you could explore.

(Freedombox is a distro (operating system) which enables you to run web, instant messaging, VPN services from your home)

[ Build a home email server ]
This can be done with Mailinabox.

[ Build your PC into server ]
This can be done with XAMPP+WordPress combo.

[ Build voip, video, voice, file, anything server at home ]
This can be done with Freedombox or alternatively Freedombone. 

[ Build your own complete Google Service ]
You can do that with Nextcloud!

[ Build your own podcast ]
You can and this article by Opensourcecom is a quick-start guide in podcasting.

[ Try BSD! ]
Berkeley Software Distribution or often known as BSD is another free software operating system other than GNU. It is completely different and does not use the Linux kernel. Today, user can use BSD by choosing one of three main products namely FreeBSD, NetBSD, or OpenBSD. They are challenging and in same time cool.If you do not have a spare computer to use, you can however use QEMU-KVM fully free software virtualization.

Here, I deliberately do not mention Raspberry Pi as it requires us to have the hardware or purchase first before hacking it thus may lead us to go outside. However, if you have a Raspberry Pi computer already, there are so many incredible hacking projects you could find at Raspberry Pi Magazine.

(The MagPi - your resorts of hacking Raspberry Pi for fun and profit)

9. Play Games

Ubuntu has a lot of video games in the Software Center. I picked up here three among them.

(Nostalgic - now we can play this legendary game once again in 2020 still with  the memorable Hardy Heron wallpaper)

GBrainy - a brain teaser game used to be included in the old Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron.

Warzone 2100 - a freed version of a PlayStation game with same name.

Build a civilization:
0.A.D. - a strategy game similar to Age of Empires you can play with family and friends.

Tips and tricks:

10. Seeking Beyond

I am not alone in making corona kit articles like this. There are many better ones from our community and some with real online services provided gratis.

( is a Google-like all in one provider but free-software and privacy oriented based on Netherland)

See Also

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.