I have tried many different distributions over the years, yet still I find myself performing the same terminal commands after every install of any Ubuntu or Debian based.

Check out distrowatch.com for a complete list available distributions:

Before installing any software, configuring or theming of your system, open a terminal by pressing Shift + Ctrl + T, or pressing Super key (Windows key) + T.

Some distros require you to search for Terminal within the main menu, or click a command looking icon within its dock or panel.

Start with updates

# sudo pkcon update
(this checks and updates the package libraries available)

# sudo apt-get update
(this checks and reports how many packages and software updates are available)

# sudo apt-get upgrade
(this performs the upgrade)

You can choose to run this command with -y if you trust your system to auto update without confirming installation beforehand.

# sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Check system configuration

Install Neofetch or Screenfetch to view your system configuration.

# sudo apt-get install neofetch

# sudo apt-get install screenfetch

Neofetch in Pop!_OS 19.10
Neofetch in Pop!_OS 19.10

This terminal application shows which kernel version you are running, how many packages are installed, the desktop environment used, icon theme, memory and CPU type.

If you wish to use another application to show your system information, you might also like to try, Archey.

See 4 Best Tools To Display Linux Distribution Logo Art In Terminal for more information.

Choose your web browser

By default, most Linux distributions use Firefox as its default web browser.

If you regularly use Chrome, you might like to try its open source alternative – Chromium.

There are many other free alternatives available, which you can install via the Software Centre, or installed package manager.

In Pop!_OS, this uses its built in Pop!_Shop.

Internet category in Pop!_Shop
Internet category in Pop!_Shop

Browse to the Internet category and search for your favourite browser there.

Internet applications in Pop!_Shop
Internet applications in Pop!_Shop

For an alternative Chrome experience, I recommend using either Opera or Vivaldi on Linux.

As these browsers are snap based, you will need to source the terminal commands to run via snapcraft.io

If you need to install snap, use the following command:

# sudo apt-get install snapd

To install Opera, for example, use:

# sudo snap install opera

Snapcraft.io website