Six things to do after installing Lubuntu
If you’re reading this, I assume you’ve successfully installed Lubuntu onto your hard drive and have gotten to know the user interface. You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed from the installation experience, so the idea of doing even more fiddling around might not appeal to you at this moment. However, there are several helpful things any user should consider after making a fresh install of Lubuntu.
This is probably the most important thing you need to do. Fortunately, it’s also one of the simplest. Go to the menu, hover your mouse over System Tools, and select Update Manager. Update Manager will then check the Ubuntu repositories for updates. If you didn’t update during the install or if any updates have appeared since then, a list of programs will appear. Click “Update” at the bottom of the screen and your computer will do the rest.
By default, Lubuntu will check for updates automatically. If any are available, it will bug you about it, so you probably won’t have to manually update the software unless you want to. It’s good to know how to do it, however, and it’s especially critical to download updates after installing Lubuntu so any bugs can be fixed.
#2: Check your screen resolution
In most cases, Lubuntu should automatically detect your monitor’s optimal screen resolution and set it appropriately, so you probably don’t need to worry about this. However, I put this on here just in case—I’ve had to jump through lots of hoops before just to get the correct resolution. Click the menu, hover your mouse over Preferences, and click on Monitor Settings. If you know what your monitor’s optimal resolution is—you can find it in your monitor’s documentation, or occasionally in one of the monitor’s menus—check to make sure the resolution listed is correct.
By default, Lubuntu’s system tray clock is set to a 24-hour format. For those of us who don’t live on military time, this might be a bit confusing.
Unfortunately, changing the clock isn’t as simple as it should be. Right-click on the clock in the system tray, select “’Digital Clock’ Settings,” and a dialog box appears. The time format is determined by a bunch of codes. Have fun entering values from this site to get it looking the way you want. Or, you can just copy and paste %I:%M %p into the dialog box, which will provide you with a nice and standard “12:47 AM.”
#4: Install lubuntu-restricted-extras
When you installed Lubuntu, you had a chance to check a box enabling you to install restricted addons that enabled things like MP3/DVD/Flash playback. If you forgot to do this, you can still install these packages by opening the Lubuntu Software Center (version 12.04 and later) in the menu under System Tools. Search for “lubuntu-restricted-extras” and, when the selection loads, click “Install.”
NOTE: It may be a good idea to install this package anyway, even if you selected the addons during the installation. The reason I say this is that there are fonts and other potentially useful packages that are part of lubuntu-restricted-extras that apparently weren’t installed on my machine by default.
#5: Install additional programs
Lubuntu has pretty much everything you need out-of-the-box: a web browser, a music player, even a word-processing and spreadsheet program. However, Lubuntu is also designed to be lightweight, so some very useful programs, such as LibreOffice (an excellent suite of office software compatible with Microsoft Office), are left out in the interest of keeping things lean.
However, even older computers can run LibreOffice, which is more full-featured and familiar for many users than AbiWord (which is included in the default Lubuntu installation). If you’d like to install additional programs, you can do so quite easily by accessing the Lubuntu Software Center (found in the menu under System Tools). Simply search for the program you desire, such as LibreOffice, and click “Install.”
If you’re specifically interested in installing a new browser (such as Firefox), I’ve written a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process. Although it’s primarily concerned with replacing Chromium with Firefox, the guide also serves as a good introduction to installing packages on an Ubuntu system.
I’m actually fond of Lubuntu’s minimalistic blue background: It represents the distro’s lightweight nature perfectly. However, if you want to change it (as we all do at some point), the process is fairly simple: Right-click on the desktop and select “Desktop Preferences.” In the dialog that pops up, click beside Wallpaper. From here, you can choose between other official backgrounds, or you can locate another file on your hard drive to use.
Posted on April 4, 2012, in Getting Started with Lubuntu and tagged change clock, lubuntu, post-install tasks, things to do after installing lubuntu, update system. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.