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Complete desktop

None of the installers provides a detailed selection of the software to be installed; only the server installation lets you choose which server applications to set up. Otherwise, the standard Ubuntu desktop, GNOME 2.22, is installed with the most important applications: OpenOffice, the Evolution PIM and email client, Firefox 3.0, the Pidgin IM client, the GIMP image editor, photo manager F-Spot, and a number of multimedia applications. The usual Linux tools for the command line and various tools for system management, most of them in the system menu, are included.

Under "System administration", you find graphical tools to configure network setting, hardware drivers, and software management for all users of the computer. "Settings" gives access to parameters that only affect the user currently logged in – the appearance of the desktop, preferred applications, screen resolution, and a tool called Seahorse for managing keys, which allows applications to save passwords safely.

Other applications are easy to install afterwards from the internet or a DVD. Ubuntu 8.04 offers two tools for this task: "Add/remove applications" offers fast access to a number of desktop programs for Linux. Found in the system administration menu, Synaptic allows all program suites available for the Ubuntu universe to be installed. Here, you can also add additional repositories. In the server version, you use the command-line tool aptitude to install additional program packages. An applet in the panel shows you when new versions of the software you want to install are available and performs the update on request.

Like previous versions, Ubuntu 8.04 spreads the available software across four different repositories: the official repository of the main distribution ; Universe, with additional open source software; Restricted, which contains proprietary drivers; and Multiverse, with software that is problematic in terms of copyright and patents. In Synaptic, the various repositories can be easily selected and unselected.

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