8 Things to do After: Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’ Edition
Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’ can be considered a minor upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla”. But for people who prefer to have the latest OS instead of the more reliable, long-term support releases like 20.04, follow these instructions to upgrade from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to 20.10 ‘Groovy Gorilla’. And to those who are already on Ubuntu 20.10, here’s how you upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo”.
For Ubuntu beginners who don’t know where to start, this can be a useful guide. A small but comprehensive list of things I did after installing Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’.
Make sure your system is up to date
Hit Super key (Windows key), find Software Updater and launch the app. It will do the rest.
Install Media Codecs
You must have noticed that Ubuntu 21.04 by default cannot play file-formats like MP3, MP4, AVI etc. Ubuntu can get into all sorts of legal trouble if they bundle restricted media codecs with default Ubuntu. No worries though, ubuntu-restricted-extras has got you covered.
Open Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run the command below.
sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras
Enter password when asked, and let it download and install all that is required. Apart from media codecs, the package also consists of restricted fonts and such. So this might take some time.
Dark themes, Light themes or a mix of both?
Ubuntu 21.04 defaults to ‘Standard’ theme by default, and it is a good compromise between dark and light themes in my opinion. But personally, I’m a big fan of dark themes. And thankfully, Ubuntu ‘Hirsute Hippo’ has it pre-installed. Launch the Settings app.
Go to Apperance tab, And choose between ‘Light’, ‘Standard’, and ‘Dark’.
Get GNOME Tweaks
GNOME Tweaks is unavoidable. If you want to manage GNOME Extensions, for example, there isn’t an easier way to do it.
Search for GNOME Tweaks on Ubuntu Software Center.
Bring GNOME Shell Extensions to Life
This is important. When you visit GNOME extensions home page, you will be prompted with a warning that says, “Although GNOME Shell integration extension is running, native host connector is not detected.” This is because Extensions support is not enabled by default in Ubuntu 21.04, or any previous iterations for that matter.
You have to install respective extensions for Firefox and Chrome, and install the host connector on Ubuntu desktop to enable full GNOME Shell Extensions support.
First, check whether these addons are installed in your respective browser. And if not, go ahead an install it.
Now, let’s install the host connector.
sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell
Don’t let the package name confuse you. Chrome-gnome-shell works flawlessly with both Firefox and Chrome. Now visit GNOME Extensions page on the web, install the ones you find interesting, and have fun. Use GNOME Tweaks to manage the extensions. Tweaks > Extensions
Show Battery Percentage and Day of the Week on top panel
Again, GNOME Tweaks has you covered. Tweaks > Top Bar.
Check whether your ‘Power Mode’ is set to the right settings
This is a new one. For laptop users, there is a new ‘Power Mode’ to manage your battery usage and system performance. Open Settings App > Power.
This menu can wary depending on your hardware. For supported platforms, there will also be a ‘Performance’ mode other than ‘Balanced Power’ and ‘Power Saver’ modes. Choose wisely.
Enable ‘Click to Minimize’
Opened windows or apps wouldn’t minimize when you click on its instance on the Ubuntu dock. If I were a new user, I would have intuitively expected it to happen. Open Terminal.
settings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action 'minimize'
That’s it. Another cool feature which I think should’ve been a default, or at the bare minimum should’ve been shipped with Ubuntu Tweaks app.
Install popular third party apps
- Spotify (click open and choose to open link in ‘Ubuntu Software’)
- Steam for Linux
- Google Chrome or better yet, Chromium.
- Firefox Nightly, if you want to experience the upcoming Firefox ‘Proton’ redesign NOW.
- Telegram Desktop
- Signal Desktop
- Visual Studio Code
- VLC Media Player
If the apt or snap links above are not working, you can simply open Ubuntu Software Center and directly search for the apps instead. Thanks for reading and see you on the other side. If you like what we do, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.