Next steps with Ubuntu

Last time I wrote about setting up Ubuntu on a virtual machine. Today I shall ramble on about stuff I have done with it so far. This will be more of a general ramble rather than a set of instructions, but it may be useful to anyone thinking of trying out a new operating system just for the giggles.

Ubuntu settings
The first job was to dive into the settings to try and personalise the experience a bit. Apart from changing the desktop background I went into 'Online Accounts' and connected a few services together. I do intend on using Ubuntu as a productivity machine, so it was important to link up my Google drive account. I added in my Microsoft, Flickr and Pocket accounts while I was at it. More about them later.

The Ubuntu desktop may look unfamiliar to a Windows user. The first place you will want to start is the 'Show Applications' button, which looks like this:

You will find the settings program on the menu that appears.

Some of the programs that come bundled with the current Ubuntu release.
Ubuntu comes bundled with various applications and utilities that will be of use to the general user. My next step was to link my Firefox and Spotify accounts. I wouldn't get far without some tunes and web tools.

Installing new applications

The bundle of applications that comes with Ubuntu is fairly rich, however, it is extremely likely that you will want to browse the store for more programs.  The software store icon looks like this:

The first application I installed was for Dropbox. Once installed and your account has been confirmed a DropBox folder will appear in your home folder your files will sync between your devices.

The time taken to sync will, of course, depend on the speed of your broadband, and the size of your Dropbox. If you intend to sync files in this way, then it is essential that you have chosen a virtual hard drive of the appropriate size when setting up the machine.

I am going to need a notebook, so the next application I chose to install was Zim. Zim is a 'wiki for your desktop' and is available for both Ubuntu and Windows. I am pretty sure that I already wrote about Zim once so I won't go into too much detail here, suffice to say that it is a pretty neat tool for notetaking.

I chose to save my first notebook into the new Dropbox folder so my notes are available on all my Windows devices as well as the virtual machine.

My current desktop showing Zim, a notebook where I keep all my world domination plans, and recipes for chilli sauce.
There were a few other applications that I installed next including 'Photos' which is a fairly good application that links with your Flickr account so you can see all of your selfies and duck faces.

It is also worth noting that Ubuntu comes with Libre Office pre-installed and the Thunderbird mail client, so if you are missing Windows and Office, then there are still document and email options available to you right out of the box.

Adding the file store

I have a network file store. Connecting to this was really easy under Ubuntu. First I opened the 'Files' file explorer and selected 'Other locations'. Then in the 'Connect to Server' edit box, I entered the path to the file store. This starts with the 'smb://' samba protocol, followed by the internal IP of the router, and then the folder that I was interested in - 'usb1'.

Setting up a samba connection.

Installing Apache

The last thing I did before writing this post was to install Apache web server. As this requires the use of the terminal commands in Linux, it is probably beyond the scope of this post so I will save it for another time.

If you enjoyed this post then you might want to take a long hard look at your life. If you are still awake, then you might also like to read about my experience with the RISCOS operating system, or maybe you just want to play a game.