We begin with the usual list of things you pretty much always do after installing every Linux OS. Why these things are not automatically done for you on installation is a bit mysterious, but down deep there are generally reasons (legal reasons) for some of these things. In fact, pretty much everything here, with some minor tweaking you can ignore, is the same as for Ubuntu 16. And 15, probably. If you’ve been upgrading to the latest Ubuntu on a regular basis, this might all be pretty automatic for you by now!
Anyway, after installing Ubuntu 17.04, consider these next moves:
Update and Patch Up
Update your operating system by opening a terminal and typing in these things (sudo will cause the terminal to ask for your password).
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
Turn on the “Canonical Parter” repositories. Canonical is the company that makes and maintains Ubuntu. Go to Software & Updates and under the Other Software tab, check off Canonical Partners.
Go to “software and updates” and pick the tab for “Additional Drivers” and pick the graphics drivers that show up there as options, if necessary.
Most people will want to install media codecs so you can listen to, or better listen to, or watch, things.
It is easiest to do this from the command line (the terminal) by typing:
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
Install Gdebi package installer, which I think is not already installed on this distro. This is a program that installed the contents of “.deb” packages, which you will occasionally (like, in a bout one minute from not likely) download in order to install some programs. Gdebi allows you to right click, or in some other easy way, deploy the package (which will be a folder with stuff in it) to have it all install automatically.
Find and learn to use the software installation system that comes with Ubuntu.
You will want to install the Unity Tweak tool because it allows you to … tweak Unity in ways the system configuration interface does not. Why are all the tweeky configury things not automatially in one place? I don’t know, and this to me is a major failing of the effort to get people to use the Linux Desktop.
Anyway, type this:
sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool
Since Unity is will never be deployed with a distribution again after 17.04, that will be the last time you do that!
Install your favorite additional software
The distribution comes with piles of software already, but there are a few things you may want to install because you use them. Use the software installer to do so, or go to the appropriate web site to download the deb file (which you’ll use gdebi to install).
I install Chrome Browser (others install Chromium, but I don’t think that is the best option). Go to the Google Chrome web site to find it.
I use Dropbox, and if you do, go to the Dropbox site and install the latest version.
Skype is installed from the Skype site as well.
I like GIMP image processing. That should be in your software installer center.
I like VLC as a media player. This should be in your software installer center.
The Unity Tweak tool lets you change how application windows are managed, including minimizing them. Play around with the tweak too.
Go to the configuration panel and select the theme you like, or leave the theme along. I’m kind of beyond changing my theme all the time but it is fun if you are into it, go for it!
Many will suggest system cleaning and monitoring tools. I don’t think most of these tools do much or provide much information beyond what you can get by using the command line tools that have always been there. Linux is not Windows. It takes care of itself and is not a crybaby. It is much more like a Mac in this way, and for good reasons: Both are Xnix operating systems, in the same family.