The stable LTS version of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver, was released on 26th of April 2018. Some of the features of Ubuntu 18.04 include: new default desktop GNOME 3.28, better boot speed, new “minimal installation” option, new default applications, Linux Kernel 4.15 and others.
This guide will list for you some selected things to do after installing Ubuntu 18.04.
Some of the recommendations might not be suitable for everybody, hence use it as a guide only and decide what suits you best according to your user needs.
Other Versions of this Tutorial
Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa)
Here are our recommendations:
Set the Fastest Repository Mirror
Ubuntu 18.04 includes a range of software available through its software repositories via mirrors accessible around the world. After installing Ubuntu 18.04 you can also install a variety of tools available for Ubuntu 18.04 over the Internet. In order to do so you need to select the fastest Ubuntu repository mirror, which is the closest mirror to your current location.
To set the fastest Ubuntu repository mirror navigate to
Software & Updates --> Ubuntu Software -->
Download from --> Other --> Select Best Server
Ubuntu will automatically test all available package repository mirrors and let the user choose from the top responding servers.
Check for Updates
It is important to check for your system updates regularly. Keeping your system updated will help you protect your computer against vulnerabilities that may be exploited by hackers’ malicious software.
You can find details on how to update Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver in our article How to Update Ubuntu packages on 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux. In this article we consider two ways of updating your system. That is, the command line and the graphical user interface method of updating Ubuntu 18.04.
By default the UFW firewall is installed but disabled. To increase security of your desktop you may enable the UFW firewall from the command line or install
gufw which is a graphical user interface for UFW.
Install Email Clients
The default email client for Ubuntu 18.04 GNOME desktop is Mozilla Thunderbird, which should already be installed on your system. It is a free and open-source email client including news client, RSS and chat client.
Some alternatives to Thunderbird include Mailspring and Hiri. Mailspring offers such features as open tracking, link click tracking, contacts enrichment data and more. Hiri focuses on businesses and features sending and receiving e-mails as well as calendars, contacts, and tasks management.
Install Graphics Drivers
Some of the Graphics Drivers you may wish to install on Ubuntu 18.04 is NVIDIA and AMD GPU. In the article How to install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux we discuss various ways of installing this graphic driver. These include an automatic install using standard Ubuntu repository, an automatic install using PPA repository to install NVIDIA Beta drivers and a manual Install using the official Nvidia.com driver.
If you’re planning on using an AMD graphics card with Ubuntu 18.04, we provide you with the install instructions in the article: How to Install The Latest AMD Radeon Drivers on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux.
Experiment with Desktop Environments
Did you know you can install a different desktop environment with a single command? Ubuntu 18.04’s default desktop environment is GNOME. However, this does not stop you to install and use some other desktop environments as there are many to choose from, see our article: The 8 Best Ubuntu Desktop Environments (18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux) . For example, Budgie and Mate desktop environments are shown in the screenshots below.
But there is a lot more to choose from. Experiment with different desktop environments to find the one that suits you most. We have provided you with instructions how to install various desktop environments in a range of articles.
Remove Amazon Launcher
You may wish to remove the Amazon launcher from you desktop.
Instructions on how to uninstall the Amazon package creating the left panel Amazon icon launcher icon can be found in our article How to remove the Gnome Amazon launcher package from Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Desktop.
Customize your Dock panel
There are variety of options for Dock customization on the Ubuntu 18.04 Gnome desktop. You may, for example, like to have a Unity like backlit Dock panel on your default Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Desktop such as the one below:
Install GNOME Tweak Tool
GNOME Tweak Tool or GNOME Tweaks (new name) is a free settings manager for GNOME which you can use for configuration of your desktop environment in Ubuntu 18.04.
We provide a guide to installing and starting your GNOME Tweaks in our article How to install Tweak Tool on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux.
Experiment with Ubuntu 18.04 Themes
The 10 Best Ubuntu Themes
Most Linux users like to make their computer their own, and there are a ton of excellent options to customize Ubuntu, and every Linux distribution, including beautifully designed GTK themes. Since Ubuntu 18.04 uses GNOME as its default desktop, it’s easier than ever to find great looking themes to spice up your desktop. Our article The 10 Best Ubuntu Themes (18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux) lists 10 themes among the best available right now.
Try the new Communitheme
Communitheme is currently a work-in-progress and therefore not part of the Ubuntu 18.04 daily builds. You can, however, try it out and install it on your system. It might include bugs so be aware of this issue. Communitheme is a flat GTK theme and features bold colors chosen from Ubuntu’s color palette.
Retrieve Weather Information
Using the gnome-weather application, an Ubuntu user can retrieve weather information for any location specified. The gnome-weather application will be also incorporated into the default desktop calendar window.
Install Steam, PlayonLinux and Lutris
You may be interested in installing Steam, PlayonLinux and Lutris on Ubuntu 18.04. Steam is a digital distribution platform, which features digital rights management (DRM), multiplayer gaming, video streaming and social networking services.
PlayOnLinux is a graphical front-end for the Wine software compatibility layer. It provides Linux users with a possibility to install Windows-based video games, as well as many other applications such as Apple iTunes and Safari on their operating system.
Lutris is a game manager for Linux-based operating systems. It features one-click installation for many games on its website and also integrates with the Steam website for easy install.
Instructions on how to install Steam on Ubuntu 18.04 using the standard Ubuntu repository as well as how to perform a manual installation using the official Steam package can be accessed through our article How to install Steam on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux.
Additionally, instructions on how to install PlayOnLinux wine front-end on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux can be found in How to install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux.
Finally, the article Install Lutris On Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux features easy to follow Lutris install instructions.
Install your Favorite Web Browser
There is a rather wide selection of Internet browsers you can install on Ubuntu 18.04. You may already have a favorite Web browser or you may be still deciding which browser is right for you. Below we list our installation guides of some selected Web browsers. These guides may also help you to choose which Web browser suits you best.
Install Messaging App
Some examples of popular messaging apps include Viber, Telegram and Slack. While Viber and Telegram are widely used, Slack focuses on messaging and file sharing for work teams.
Dropbox is a file hosting platform that features cloud storage, file sync, personal cloud as well as client software. Read How to install and integrate Dropbox with Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Desktop to guide you through this process.
Install Gnome Shell Extensions
GNOME Shell extensions will let you customize the default GNOME Shell interface. Parts of the interface, such as window management and application launching can also be configured.
For inspiration regarding the Gnome extensions visit our Top 10 Best Gnome desktop extensions for Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux page. To install Gnome Shell extensions follow instructions included in our guide on this topic How to install Gnome Shell Extensions on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux.
Add Start Menu to GNOME
If you miss the regular start menu on your gnome desktop you can install a GNOME extension to add GNOME menu start button.
Install Third-party Codecs & Extras
Due to copyright issues Ubuntu 18.04 does not provide a default access to various media codecs. You can, however, easily install them by opening your terminal and executing:
$ sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras
With the Ubuntu Restricted Extras package installed you will be able to play MP3, MPEG4, AVI and some other media files.
Enable Automatic Login
You may wish to enable automatic login in Ubuntu 18.04. This will allow you as a user to enter your session without being prompted for your password. There could be only one user with automatic login even though automatic login option appears for every user.
Turn on Night Light
The emission of blue light from your screen is automatically adjusted by the Ubuntu 18.04 Night Light feature. Depending on your location and time of day there is a different amount of blue light emitted by your PC or laptop.
According to research it is important for you to turn on this feature to promote natural sleep pattern and reduce eye strain. In the morning your screen returns to normal settings.
Settings --> Screen Display --> Night Light to switch this feature on as shown on the screenshot below.
Watch DRM content on Firefox
DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology allows you to watch video and listen to audio online services. At the same time it makes sure that the content provided by such online services is used in accordance with their requirements.
You can, for example, watch Netflix in Firefox on Ubuntu 18.04 by following just few simple instructions.
Text Editors for Programmers
If you are a programmer you may be interested in installing a code-centric text editor most suitable for you and your programming language. These editors offer syntax highlighting, have flexible interfaces and provide you with powerful search and navigation tools.
Whether your language preference is Java, Python or other, you can select a text editor from our list and install it with help of our install guides. Some text editors may work better with some specific programming languages so feel free to experiment with various text editors if you do not know yet which one is the most suitable for your needs.
One of the most popular text editors is Sublime Text visible in the screenshot below.
Install Virtualization Software
Virtualization software creates a virtual version of something. This can be, for example, a virtual computer hardware, storage device or a computer network resource. Two of the most known
virtualization software are VirtualBox and VMware Workstation.
Improve System Monitoring
Conky is one of the oldest and perhaps most useful system monitoring utilities available on Linux. It is highly configurable as it is able to monitor literally any aspect of your system from hard-drive temperature through number of users logged-in to currently played music song.
Another system monitoring tool that can be used on Ubuntu 18.04 is Stacer. Stacer allows Ubuntu 18.04 users to monitor and optimize multiple aspects of their operating system.
Stacer monitoring includes but is not limited to CPU load monitoring, disk performance and usage. Stacer also allows for number of system configurations as well as it is capable to perform disk clean up.
File Sharing Setup
Ubuntu users can use Samba, NFS or FTP services to share their files with other users on the Local network or even over the Internet. If you need something simple to start with, try configuring NFS as it takes only few minutes to set it up.
In case you need to share your files over the Internet make sure to provide some sort of encryption like for example a simple VPN tunnel.
Install Some Scientific Software
If you are a scientist, you may be interested in installing some software such as LateX or R with RStudio.
LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system. It is designed for scientists and used for writing technical and scientific documentations. It is a standard software used for publication of scientific documents.
There is a variety of editors available for LateX, which can be also installed on your system. For example, Gummi LateX editor is visualized below.
R is an environment for statistical computing, while RStudio makes R easier to use since it includes a code editor with debugging as well as various visualization tools.