Less than 24 hours ago Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri is available. There are still a couple of brothers to make the launch official, but the main version is not one of them, and we can already download it from the official website. Some users decide to switch to Ubuntu after a new release, and they don’t even know where to start because everything is different from what they have been using. This type of article is intended, above all, for those switchers.
Ubuntu 21.10 comes with some very colorful new features, starting with GNOME 40 which, although it is true that it looks very similar to GNOME 3.38, only the gestures of the touch panel take it to another level. In the following list there are suggestions or adjustments that we can make, and some of them are more important than others, but they are all useful.
Update Ubuntu 21.10 packages and remove excess software
As we have already said, it takes less than 24 hours between us, but there can always be something to update, especially if we have waited a while. For that reason, the first thing we can do is update the packages. There is probably nothing to update, but we can make sure with the sudo command apt update && sudo apt upgrade or by opening the Software Update application. What is worth doing is uninstall software that we are not going to use, like, for example and if you don’t want to play, games like Sudoku or mine. It can be done from Ubuntu Software. To avoid this, you can choose the minimum installation, but we may later miss something.
Use additional drivers
Although in Linux it is not necessary and everything works from the beginning, it is likely that something will not go well if we do not use the additional controls, such as the HDMI port. So it’s worth checking if there is something for us in Software and updates. Ubuntu generally installs open source drivers, but performance and reliability may improve if we use proprietary ones.
To see if there is such a driver, we will open software and updates and go to the tab «More drivers». As a tip, although it is not very difficult to reverse the change, it is worth remembering what we have installed. I would also leave things as they are if everything works as expected.
Install what we need
It is also required install what we will need. Each one will have some preferences, but, for example, you can install GIMP, Kdenlive, Openshot or any other video editor, GNOME Sushi (to preview files), Kodi, VLC or Telegram, which reminds me and brings me to the next point.
Install GNOME Software on Ubuntu 21.10, and add support for flatpak packages
This point seems to me to be one of the most important. Ubuntu Software seems to offer us everything we might need, but it doesn’t. For starters, prioritize snap packages, and many of us still prefer DEBs or official repositories. Also, it is not compatible with flatpak packagesSo if we want to install, for example, a Telegram update sooner or use the latest version of Audacity, we have to add support. To do this, we will follow the steps described in this article. I also remove the default store from the dock and put the GNOME Store as a favorite. In fact, I do not recommend uninstalling the official store to avoid problems, but I put it in “quarantine”.
Activate Night Light
Although Apple did not invent it, in fact and as far as I know “borrowed” the idea from a Cydia tweak, the Cupertino people popularized the use of this feature. What it does is it changes the colors on the screen to improve the circadian cycleBecause when looking at a screen with its normal tones, our body still does not understand that the day is over and it does not relax as and when it should. It is disabled by default, but it can be enabled from Settings / Monitors / “Night Light” tab. We can tell you what times it will change or let it change automatically based on when it is day and night in our time zone. The color change is done gradually, so we won’t even know that it looks “worse.”
Choose your energy profile
This is something that I have used more in Windows because it seems to me that everything is very slow, but it is also available in Ubuntu. In Settings / Power and designed for notebooks, we can choose if we want it to consume less battery, prioritize performance or a midpoint.
Show the battery icon on the top panel
When I use KDE, I don’t make this change because it looks awful, with the percentage above the icon. That doesn’t happen in GNOME, so I do activate it. Doing so is as simple as opening the Settings application, going to Energy and activating the percentage option.
Customize your Ubuntu 21.10
This is the most important thing: leave our operating system as we like it best. Each one must make the changes that best suit their needs, but I always do these:
- Change the speed and sensitivity of the touch panel from Settings / Mouse and touch panel. If we wish, we can also tell it to move with natural displacement.
- Put the buttons to the left. When I first used Ubuntu, the buttons were on the left. I also had a Mac (I still have it) and they were in the same position. Canonical changed them, probably to make things easier for Windows users, but I always change them back out of habit. They can be put to the left by opening the terminal and typing gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout ‘close, minimize, maximize:’ . From the above, the final two points would be the center of the window, so to the left of the center will be Close, Minimize, and Maximize.
- Put the dock down, something that can be done from Settings. You can also make other changes that I have not made lately, such as changing the opacity or centering it and making it grow when we open apps as It’s explained on our brother blog. What I do do is activate the minimize when clicking on the dock icon.
Get used to the Ubuntu 21.10 touchpad gestures
If you are an Ubuntu and / or GNOME user, you have to get used to new gestures, not so new if you are only a GNOME user in some other distribution like Fedora. What will be used the most are three fingers up to enter activities and raise them again to access the application drawer. You can also swipe left and right with three fingers to switch to another desktop. It’s productive, but it’s also fun and worth getting used to. GNOME 40 is the most important novelty of Ubuntu 21.10, and although getting used to it is not a change, it has to be done.
Any changes that you will make to Ubuntu 21.10 and want to share with us?