Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) will launch on April 25, but to make the most of it, users should take some additional steps.
Some Ubuntu users don't know that there are a few necessary extra steps that need to be taken in order to get the most from their operating system.
Everything you might need is embedded in the repositories and in the system, or it can be easily imported from third-party developers.
Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) cannot be packaged with some sensitive software, such as Adobe Flash Player. It has to be installed separately. This problem also encompasses Microsoft fonts and even the Ubuntu fonts.
You will have to install a few supplementary packages, but this job can be done better with the help of an application called Synaptic.
Synaptic is a package manager that was installed by default in Ubuntu, but Canonical decided that Ubuntu Software Center should take over its job. The software is still available in the official repositories.
Open a terminal (everybody loves terminals) and enter the following command. Follow the instructions to the letter:
sudo apt-get install synaptic
After the application is installed, open Synaptic and access Settings > Repositories. In the first tab make sure that the “Proprietary drivers for devices” is checked. Hit Close and Reload.
The next step is to install a package called ubuntu-restricted-extras. This contains all those sensitive bits we have mentioned earlier. You can install it from a terminal or from Synaptic. If you're installing it from a terminal, just enter the following command:
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
Users can also customize Unity and one of the recommended steps is to resize it and make it smaller. This can be done very easily by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting “Change Desktop Background. On the bottom right there's a slider for the launcher. This works in real time.
In the same menu, you can switch to Appearance and enable the Show Desktop button and the Workspace Switcher.
If you are using an Nvidia video card, you might want to install the proprietary drivers, which are a lot better than the ones used by default. This can be done very easily, from a terminal. Don't forget you will have to restart the system:
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current
The last advice is about the social network integration of Ubuntu 13.04. Open the Unity's Dash and search Online Accounts. Set up your favorite online services and all the activity will be displayed in a small notification bubble, in the upper right side of the screen.
This is all you will have to do in order to enjoy a complete Ubuntu 13.04 experience. Don't forget to check back on Softpedia, on April 25 and get your copy of Ubuntu.