By Tim Miller
Last updated on

Out of the box, Ubuntu comes with a lot of applications already installed. However, there are some additional steps you may wish to add or configure after installing Ubuntu. If you don’t know what is Ubuntu, you should start by going here. You will be glad you did.

Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system which means it is free of charge. It will open your eyes to a brand new world you have never experienced before especially if you have been using Microsoft Windows all your life.

Installing a Firewall

Ubuntu is fairly secure. It runs with unused services disabled. If you are looking for more security, you can install a firewall. The firewall that is free and easy to use is called Firestarter. It is very easy to install. Run the following command to install Firestarter:

sudo apt-get install firestarter

Once installed, you can configure it by going to System -> Adminstration -> Firestarter. To learn more about Firestarter, go here.

How to Play MP3 Files in Ubuntu

If you ever used Windows Media Player running on the Microsoft Windows operating system, you know it plays MP3 files without any problems. On Ubuntu, MP3 isn’t supported by default. Due to patent and copyright restrictions, the ability to play MP3 files isn’t installed by default.

However, it does not mean you can’t play MP3 files on Ubuntu. It just means you have to do one additional step. Run the following command to play the most common multimedia formats, including MP3, DVD, Flash, Quicktime, WMA, and WMV:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Installing BitTorrent

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) communications protocol. By installing the BitTorrent client, you can share files over the network. To install BitTorrent, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install bittornado
sudo apt-get install bittornado-gui

Installing GTKPod

If you have an iPod, having iTunes installed on your Windows or Mac is vital to being able to download/upload audio files to/from your iPod. However, if you are running Ubuntu, this is an issue because there is no iTunes on Ubuntu.

Fortunately, there is an open-source software called GTKPod that allows you to transfer audio files to your iPod. To install GTKPod, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install gtkpod-aac

Installing VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is a movie player that is better than the default Totem Movie Player because it supports additional formats such as .mov files. To install the VLC movie player, run the following command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-esd mozilla-plugin-vlc

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