Things to do after a new Ubuntu installation

As a modern operating system, Ubuntu features online update, not only for system component, but also for various application software. You can find all kinds of software in Ubuntu repository.

The first thing to do after you have installed Ubuntu, is to go to your System -> Administration -> Software Sources to change the location of system repository. After open to setting window, you will see a Ubuntu Software tab and there’s a drop-down box named Download from. Hit the drop-down box and select Others …, another dialog will pop out to let you to Choose a Download Server. You will notice that there is a button named Select Best Server in the right portion of the dialog. Click it to make it to detect the fastest mirror site for you. Press Choose Server button.

Software Sources will try to reload the index of the online repository after you change the location so you need to have Internet connection. After the index is reloaded, you can use System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager. If you are unfamiliar with how the software is organized on the advanced system such as Ubuntu, you should not skip the introductory message shown when you first run Synaptic. You can install any software you want in the interface offered by Synaptic.

You should press Mark All Upgrade to upgrade your system up-to-date. Ubuntu constantly update their repository and you should upgrade to the most current version timely for your goodness. Your system will automatically check the online to see if upgrade is needed, but in general it doesn’t happen right after your installation of system. Therefore you should manually upgrade. After Mark All Upgrade, if there’s anything needs to be upgraded, the Apply button will be enable. Just click it and Synaptic will download the software packages and install them.

The current release of Ubuntu (9.10) included a buggy network-manager package. It is responsible for manage your network connection such as Ethernet or WiFi. Usually it works fine, but when it comes to WiFi connection with PEAP, you could experience random disconnection and it can’t remember your seetings. The workaround now is not to use the default network-manager package, but to install another “network manager” named wicd. You can install it in Synaptic.

wicd is far more stable than the network-manager included in Ubuntu 9.10. Although the user interface of wicd is a little bit different than network-manager, the network settings is still trivial.