Newbie-Friendly Post-Installation Ubuntu Usability Setup Guide

This tutorial is designed for new Linux users that are familiar with Microsoft Windows. The goal is to address some of the most common issues that these people face. (Namely, media codecs, and general terminology.) I tried to write it as someone might explain it vocally; I attempted to add humor in an effort to keep it interesting, although I make no guarantees that it is actually funny.

I strongly recommend that, as with any Linux-oriented tutorial, you read though it entirely before you try any of it.


1. Prerequisites

This guide will assume the use of a fresh installation of Ubuntu 8.10 (32-bit). Please also note that what happens on your computer may differ a bit from what happens on my computer. I tried to get at least one screenshot of each of the different prompts, but you may have an extra window here or there, or I may have an extra window here or there; it just depends. However, if you are presented with something I didn't cover, just do what seems like the right choice (for example, choose the default option, if it is a prompt of some sort), or ask about it on the forum.


2. Login

Okay, the first thing you should do is reboot the computer (if you haven't already. Then, you will be presented with a login screen:

Go ahead and type in the username you created during installation. It will be shown on the screen as cleartext:

Press the [Enter] key. Now, you should be at the password prompt:

Type in the password that you created during installation. It will be shown as a black dot for each character:

Press the [Enter] key again. After a few seconds, - maybe a little bit longer, depending on your machine - you should arrive at the desktop:

3. Updates

In that last picture, did you notice the red arrow with the exclamation mark inside of it, which is being pointed to by the balloon? That means you have updates available! We want those. So, click it. You will be presented with a password prompt:

Type in the same password you used to login, and then press the [Enter] key. Oh, look! It already has done the hard part for us - all of the checkboxes are already checked:

Great, now click the button that says Install Updates. After you do that, it will start off looking kind of like this:

You know you're close to being done when it looks like this:

When it finally finishes, you can close it, if it doesn't do that itself. Then, you'll probably see this:

Hmm... I think we should click the icon that the balloon points to. (It is two arrows, each pointing to the end of the other; together, they form a circular shape.) You get this prompt:

Well, we want to get all the updates ready to use, so click the button that says Restart Now. When your computer restarts, go ahead and login, and then continue below.

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From: gyffes at: 2009-11-04 15:40:42

you wrote "...The command lspci is used to all of the PCI..."


 should read "... is used to LIST all of the PCI..."



From: Logan at: 2009-11-05 13:16:10

So... You thought that since it looked like Windows, it has File Explorer?

Forget the OS... Any computer user with any brain at all will quickly realise that this is different software to what they're familiar, and, so, shouldn't be expecting things to be exactly the same.

Ubuntu does have something remarkably similar to File Explorer anyway. I'm a Windows user, and I'll be dual-booting with the latest version of Ubuntu as soon as my friend mails it to me. Tonight, I'll be installing Ubuntu 6, and I can promise you, I'll not be looking for Windows Explorer.

From: tyhee88 at: 2009-11-05 18:51:20

This is a good simple tutorial for new users.

Is this actually an old tutorial?  It seems strange to be seeing in November, 2009 a tutorial based on ubuntu 8.10, which is two versions ago and a year old.  I realize that the contents of the tutorial are still applicable to Ubuntu 9.10, but certainly the screenshots will all look different to those trying out a new version of Ubuntu.

 Another thing to consider is whether it might make sense to show users how to install Ubuntu-restrictedextras from Synaptic rather than installing individual codecs as they become necessary.  

From: gyffes at: 2009-11-04 15:47:56

Most refugees from Windows will also want to know where their file Explorer is..

From: t0ka7a at: 2010-07-21 10:36:27

I was bored to install again and again my preferred softwares each time I reinstalled Ubuntu. So, next step, I created a post-installation script infondlinux

It gives a model to personnalize user's own script. It is open source and security oriented.