“$N things to do after installing $DISTRO_NAME”

The last one will blow your mind

We’ve all seen these listicles, detailing the various tweaks, installs, and removals you must do after installing whatever Linux distribution you’ve chosen. They’re easy fluff pieces that bloggers and YouTubers can crank out every couple of months to coincide with whatever flavour of the month distro has just been released.

Most are just lists of the author’s favourite applications and adjustments, or things they culled from other sites, and recycled from past articles. Indeed some are plucked out of the air by authors who don’t even daily drive that distribution at all. Shocking, I know.

Never one to shy away from a passing bandwagon though, let’s join in. We’ll attempt to do this topic justice with an evergreen, generic article that could apply to anyone, anywhere so that we never need to update it. 🤞

Here’s what we think you should do after installing whatever Linux distribution you chose to install, in the form of a list you’ll scroll through nod in agreement and then forget about.

Install Software

Install all these cool applications!

Or you know, don’t, we’re not the boss of you.

It turns out most desktop Linux distributions of the modern age will ship with a pretty functional set of applications that the average user can get going with. We’re not aware of any reputable distro that fails to ship a working web browser in whatever year you’re reading this.

So much these days can be done in the browser, is there even any need to install more junk? Possibly not. Spotify, Slack, Telegram, WhatsApp, Google Keep, YouTube and tons more all work just fine with no local software installation. So maybe, at least initially, don’t bother hunting down new software, and just try using the distro as nature intended, naked and basic.

Hey, it works for Chromebooks!

Make something

What’s your creative passion?

Uh-huh, cool! Use Linux to do that!

You don’t have a creative passion? Well, Linux can help you here, as there’s a ton of software and documentation you could consume to start a new creative journey. Whether you have ambitions of creating music, writing a book, developing a game or more desktop software, it’s all possible on desktop Linux.

Figure it out for yourself, it’s uniquely rewarding to be creative on a free platform.

Get Involved

You almost certainly got this Linux distro with no or minimal financial outlay, right? How does that feel? Pretty awesome huh? Now think of all those designers, artists, supporters, translators, advocates, programmers, packagers, release engineers, and more who made this distro come to life. They can’t do it on their own, they need help.

Maybe, if something doesn’t work, the best course of action might not be to write an angry Reddit post, Tweet at the developer or maybe phone them up? It’s possible the person or people responsible for the heinous crime of not delivering desktop perfection are asleep, so they might miss your tweet.

So it’s probably best to let them know in a respectful and kind way in a place where they’ll look, as soon as they wake up. Where do developers go, after they’ve had their morning coffee? Why the issue tracker of course!

You could revive some long atrophied brain cells by finding the right bug form for your issue. Then use your words to articulate how the problem manifests itself, what your expectations were and what you tried to solve it already. You never know, there may already be an issue filed, that you could positively contribute to with additional data.

There are so many, many ways to get involved in whatever Linux distribution or application you’re having trouble with. Indeed even if you’re not having issues, and everything is peachy, you can still help! Developers love people who help.

Share the Love

Tell all your friends and family about how amazing desktop Linux is!

Nah, we’re kidding, nobody cares, honestly. They’re just humouring you, like that time you got a clarinet.

Just use the computer, learn how to use it well, and do something with it. Show the people you care about the thing you actually made, whatever it is. If they want to discover desktop Linux, they’ll find it in their own time. Linux has plenty of advocates, and they don’t really need any more right now.

Go Outside

Turn the computer off now and then, and go outside. Spend some time with other humans, or animals if you prefer. Start conversations with people about things that aren’t Linux.

It’s lovely outside

Life is short, make the most of it. Your desktop Linux installation will still be there when you get back.

Peace 🕊️