Some things to do after installing Elementary OS Freya

The latest release of Elementary OS, code-named ‘Freya’ after a Norse goddess[1][2], is sure to attract new users each of whom will have varied experience with Elementary OS. The primary purpose of this post is to assist those who are relatively new to the distribution or Linux in general. I will assume that you know enough about Linux to get your system set up properly (i.e. installing updates and drivers) before following this tutorial.


Install the Elementary Tweak tool

The Elementary Tweak tool will prove to be your ‘go-to’ program when attempting to modify various aspects of your Elementary OS experience. To install the tweak tool in Freya, run the following commands in a Terminal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mpstark/elementary-tweaks-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaks

After the above commands have finished executing, you will find the Elementary Tweak tool under your System Settings.

Change your window controls placement

You may find that the standard Elementary OS window controls are not to your liking. To change the placement of your window controls, open your tweak tool by navigating to System Settings > Tweaks. Once there, navigate to the ‘Window Controls’ menu and select an operating system that is familiar to you. Personally, I prefer the window controls found in Ubuntu (close, minimize, and maximize on the left) so I selected OS X.

Elementary OS window control placement

Remove the single-click file function

If you have opened your files folder in Freya, you may have noticed that you only have to click the file once to open it. While this may prove useful after further acquainting oneself with it, I decided to revert to the standard of requiring a double-click to open files. This can be achieved by navigating to your tweak tool (System Settings > Tweaks) and deselecting the single click function under the ‘Files’ navigation item.

Elementary OS single-click function


Install Oracle Java via Webupd8

To run some of your applications, you may find that you need to install Java on your fresh Elementary OS install. This can be done multiple ways, however I personally prefer using the Webupd8 method[3]. Run the following commands in a Terminal to install Java 8 via Webupd8.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Install LibreOffice

LibreOffice comes pre-installed on many other Linux distributions but you will have to install it manually on Elementary OS Freya. Unlike the previous programs, LibreOffice can be found in the Software Center, however I personally prefer to install it via Terminal. To install LibreOffice, open a Terminal and run the following command.

sudo apt-get install libreoffice

Install the Chrome browser

Freya ships with the lightweight Midori browser pre-installed. Although Midori is generally considered to be a good browser, I personally prefer Google Chrome. To install Google Chrome, you should head over to https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/index.html and download the appropriate .deb package.

Please note that sometimes Midori will save the 32bit .deb file even though you requested the 64bit version, double check that your file mentions 64bit and not i386. To see the progress of your download, navigate to the Settings gear icon in the top right of Midori and select the ‘Tansfers’ option. You will get errors if you try to open a .deb file that is not fully downloaded.

Once the .deb file is downloaded, click it (or double click if you have disabled the single-click function) and you will be brought to the Software Center. Select install and viola! You will have Chrome installed.

Prevent double icons in Chrome

When you lock Chrome to your bottom dock (formally called Plank) you may notice duplicate icons when you instantiate a new window of Chrome. The duplicate icon is functional, however it is heavily pixelated and seemingly has nothing to do with the icon you locked to your Plank in the first place. Luckily, the solution for this is relatively simple[4]. Open a Terminal and run the following command.

cp /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

After the above command has executed, edit the desktop file using the following command.

nano ~/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop

Use your arrow keys to navigate the cursor below ‘Name=Google Chrome’ and insert the following line.

StartupWMClass=Google-chrome-stable

The finished product should look like the screenshot below. Don’t forget to save the file! Use the following sequence of commands [Ctrl+o] [Enter] [Ctrl+x].

ElementaryOS Chrome duplicate icon

After editing the .desktop file remove the Chrome icon that you locked to your Plank originally and shut down every instance of Chrome. With no instances of Chrome open, open a new instance of Chrome and lock it to Plank. You should not see double Chrome icons ever again!


Install MenuLibre

If you’ve been sequentially installing every program listed in this post, you may notice that your applications menu is becoming a bit crowded (thanks LibreOffice). Fortunately, this is relatively easy to fix by using the MenuLibre tool. You can install MenuLibre by opening a Terminal and running the following commands.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:versable/elementary-update
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install menulibre

Once the above commands have finished executing, you may open your MenuLibre tool by searching for “menu” in your applications search bar.

To hide a particular application from your applications menu, search for the name of the application within the MenuLibre search box. Once you have found the application you would like to hide, select it and check the option that says ‘Hide from menus’. Please note that you will still be able to find the application by searching for it in the applications search bar.

ElementaryOS hide applications with MenuLibre


Conclusion

Elementary OS has a beautiful uniqueness about it, however switching operating systems is hardly ever easy. I hope this post has helped you find some familiarity with your new Elementary OS Freya installation and that you now feel somewhat comfortable with your new OS!


Further reading

Install Spotify and listen to some tunes with this tutorial.


References

[1] http://blog.elementary.io/post/116134677986/freya-is-here <Accessed on April 21, 2015>

[2] http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/the-vanir-gods-and-goddesses/freya/ <Accessed on April 21, 2015>

[3] http://www.webupd8.org/2012/09/install-oracle-java-8-in-ubuntu-via-ppa.html <Accessed on April 21, 2015>

[4] http://itsfoss.com/rid-google-chrome-icons-dock-elementary-os-freya/ <Accessed on April 21, 2015>

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One thought on “Some things to do after installing Elementary OS Freya

  1. infiltratedanonymous June 25, 2015 / 11:54 pm

    Thanks for such a great post – that single click and lack of OSX-type window control were two things that, without solution, would have pushed me right back to Ubuntu (after years of absence). Your apt-get for the tweaks bundle was the only one I could get to work – seems like outdated articles are using outdated repositories.

    Thanks so much!

    Like

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