Since many of us Ubuntu users, have chosen the LTS (Long Time Support) 12.04 version to run on our computers, I have some hints about customizing it and installing what I consider must-have software for that flavor of Ubuntu.

     1.   Update

     Right after Ubuntu 12.04 installation is complete your system will restart. Before anything else, download and install the existing updates.

 

     2.    Additional drivers

    Reboot the system after all updates are installed. Normally, the next step is to look for and install the missing device drivers. For this, click on your dashboard and type “drivers”. Then click the application icon.

 

      Select the missing driver then click the “Activate” button.

 

      Repeat the action for each missing driver and then reboot the system in order to let Ubuntu use them.

     3.    Appearance

     Changing the desktop background and icon size it’s easy to be done by right-clicking an empty spot from your workspace and choosing the option “Change Desktop Background”. The following window appears.

 

      To modify the Launcher’s icons size, just drag the cursor until you are satisfied with the result. Click one of the predefined wallpapers to change your desktop background. If you want more options, you may use Ubuntu Tweak application. To install it, pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and type the following commands in the Terminal window:

 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

      Now, let’s change the login windows’ background. Go to dashboard and type “Tweak”. Click the application to launch it.

 

      Click the “Unlock” button to give the application root privileges. You will be asked for your login password. Then, click the “Set the same background as the current desktop background” button.

     That’s it! Next time you login, you will see the result.

     But there is more to be done with Ubuntu Tweak. Play around! You may change the fonts, login settings and window behavior. Also, you can choose another theme.

 

      4.    Recommended applications

     a)   VLC Media Player. In my opinion is the best multimedia player out there. Best of all, is free. It has all the needed codecs, is lightweight and can even play ISO images.

 

      To install it, type the following command in the Terminal window:

 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install vlc

     b)     Google Chrome. Although Chromium is a Linux targeted browser from Google, Chrome remains my great love. It’s faster than Firefox, the installation package already contains Flash Player and Facebook games work better in Google Chrome. Download it from here, then execute it with double-click.

     c)      Pinta and Gimp. For image editing choose Pinta. It’s fast and simple and offers 99% of the tools you need. If you want more, like a free Photoshop alternative, than get Gimp, a complex and complete, yet free software.

 

      To install Pinta, type the following in the Terminal window:

 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pinta-maintainers/pinta-stable

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install pinta

      To install Gimp, download it from here. Once the download finishes, double-click the file to launch the installation and follow the instructions.

 

     d)  TV-MAXE. You like watching TV? Me too, that is why I use TV-Maxe, a free streaming application which allows me to watch and record my favorites shows and movies.

 

      To install it, open the Terminal window and type the following:

 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:venerix/blug

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install tv-maxe

      There are many applications for Ubuntu that you could like. I picked the above ones because I believe they are the best and I use them daily.

      ~Adrian