Ubuntu 11.10 gets a new desktop called Unity. It’s still in its infancy thus a few tweaks will be needed if you are new to this desktop environment like most people are.
First thing, install “classicmenu-indicator“. Without this, you’ll have a hard time to find out where all the applications are. As a minimum, you can quickly get to Software Center where you can install more packages.
Another two things useful: Install “dconf-tools” and use it to configure systray notification to allow ‘all‘ programs to send notifications to the systray. And install “compizconfig-settings-manager” to configure desktop parameters. Both can be get to from Software Center.
For more insightful tweaks, check out this blog about things to tweak.
[update 2011-11-14] As someone commented, installing “gnome-shell” will bring it back to the familiar gnome desktop environment. Thus you don’t really need to install the “classicmenu-indicator”. Just start “software-center” and install “gnome-shell” from the GUI.