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How to do it: maintenance-free Ubuntu computer for unpretentious users (grandparents)


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How to do it: maintenance-free Ubuntu computer for unpretentious users (grandparents) Linux, especially Ubuntu, is an ideal choice for low-cost users. It does not spoil them with unnecessary, quietly ensures security, etc. How to set up Ubuntu so you do not have to touch it for a long time? Linux is a good choice not only for advanced computer users but paradoxically for beginners or those who use computers only occasionally. Compared to Windows on Linux, we can see two significant benefits: 1) if the system works, it rarely happens to stop working. 2) Linux distributions do not ask for users, they do not bother with different pop-ups, program updates, etc. As you know, there is no need for antivirus on Linux. So if you need a computer, for example, for parents or grandparents w..

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How to do it: maintenance-free Ubuntu computer for unpretentious users (grandparents)

Linux, especially Ubuntu, is an ideal choice for low-cost users. It does not spoil them with unnecessary, quietly ensures security, etc. How to set up Ubuntu so you do not have to touch it for a long time?

Linux is a good choice not only for advanced computer users but paradoxically for beginners or those who use computers only occasionally. Compared to Windows on Linux, we can see two significant benefits: 1) if the system works, it rarely happens to stop working. 2) Linux distributions do not ask for users, they do not bother with different pop-ups, program updates, etc. As you know, there is no need for antivirus on Linux.

So if you need a computer, for example, for parents or grandparents who browse the web, sometimes browse photos, videos, or write a simple document, you are at the right address. Specifically, I recommend Ubuntu. Its Unity interface is simple and intuitive for beginners. But the main reason is the five-year support of the LTS release, which is great for desktop distributions. In practice, this means that you do not need to do anything on a computer for 3-5 years (depending on which phase of the cycle you are installing).

Another advantage of Ubuntu is a very good default configuration that does not need much change. However, it's still time to install and install a few things to install and save a few worries. Let's look at them.

Install non-free add-ons

When installing, you will get the option to install third-party software. These are a few codecs, Flash, some fonts, and so on. For license reasons, it is not a default installation, but is very good. Later, they can be installed with the ubuntu-restricted-extras package.

Install updates

Even when you install it, you can check that you want to install updates, but only the most important ones are installed. Therefore, it's a good idea to upgrade to the latest versions of packages that are in repositories after installation. Either graphically through Update Manager or through the known apt update commands and apt upgrade.

Install language packs

Localization is another thing you can choose during installation, but not always installed correctly or completely. After installation, Ubuntu may offer you the option of installing additional language packages. If not, you can call it in the Settings → Language Support section.

I want the controls or not?

By default, free graphical drivers are used in Ubuntu. From the Additional Drivers menu, you can install proprietary driver from the manufacturer (Nvidia or AMD). Although they have better performance, but free ones are more stable and better tested with desktop applications. If you do not play more challenging games on your computer, which is probably not the case in our case, I recommend staying with free drivers.

Install the VLC Player

Even though there are some basic codecs in the system, they will not play all formats by far. Therefore, I recommend installing a well-known universal VLC player and setting it as the default on the Settings → Details → Default Application menu. You may also want to check the default subtitle encoding, and the VLC has often been set incorrectly. In the VLC Settings → Subtitles menu, if you want the Eastern Europe encoding (Windows-1250) - than it must be selected.

Please install other programs

Although Ubuntu still belongs to smaller distributions, it basically contains almost everything the user desires - including the LibreOffice office suite. I would still recommend installing a GIMP graphics editor and possibly a Brasero burner if your computer has an optical drive. Although these programs are unlikely to be used often, it is useful to have them at hand. Otherwise, install other programs to which the user is used. They can be, for example, service clients such as Spotify, Skype, and others.

Enhancement of the environment

Especially for older users with weaker eyesight, the scale of the environment may be too small. In Ubuntu, individual elements can be increased, but unfortunately not all at the same time, so you have to play it a bit. The interface itself can be enlarged in the Settings → Displays → Menu Scale and Window Header.

As far as font size is concerned, Ubuntu is not normally available. You need to install Unity Tweak Tool (unity-tweak-tool) from standard repositories. Then simply point to the Appearance → Fonts and size menu, or change the font. You also have the option to use the large cursors in the Appearance → Cursor menu.

Move the launcher

Unity has the alias launcher on which the application representatives are located on the left. In my opinion, it is an ideal location. However, parts of the users might want to do better, especially if they have some experience with newer Windows. Launcher dospod move this command: gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher launcher-position Bottom

Set updates

Since we want to keep the system maintenance-free and safe, I recommend installing automatic updates for safety updates daily (see figure). Security updates tend to be smaller and do not change much, so they rarely happen to break anything. Having upgraded libraries like OpenSSL is really important, so I definitely do not recommend updating completely or leaving it on a user who usually likes to click on a cross and does not solve more.

As far as functional updates are concerned, they are not even theoretically needed. In addition, they are a little more likely to break something. In theory, however, the API may change some services and the older version of the program will stop working. So, it depends on you, like the imaginary administrator of the computer, and the specific user. The options are basically three: do not update until a problem occurs, update it only once in a few months, or have updates on the user - just basically just click OK when the update system offers.

Beware of the backlight

Nowadays it will be very rare for you to have standard hardware installed after installation. Relatively often, however, it does not work to modify the backlight of the laptop display. And that's a thing you do not need to register at first glance. I recommend testing the backlight and eventually selecting a solution for a particular notebook model. It is often a simple modification of the GRUB loader parameters.

Alert the user for help

This point may sound somewhat stupid, but ... A lot of users do not realize that some help exists or is there for them to use it. Moreover, when it is almost completely translated into your language. In addition, there is also a localised wiki or a major English wiki. Many problems can be solved with a little patience using these resources, so the user may not be an expert.

Conclusion

Installing Ubuntu takes up to half an hour, adjusting the settings according to this article similar to the time. Within an hour, you have a system for common users, which you will not have to reach for a few years in luck. Similarly, other Ubuntu derivatives, or other distributions, can also be used.



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