Category Archives: Ubuntu 10.10

How to install and manage Screenlets on Ubuntu

Screenlets are small applications to represent things such as sticky notes, clocks, calendars around on your Ubuntu desktop. You can launch a pre-installed screenlet from Screenlet Manager, or install a new one into the Manager for launching it. Here are the steps for installing and launching a screenlet, for example, WaterMark System Information.
– Install Screenlets Manager if it has not been added.
– Go to Applications (or Main Menu) > Ubuntu Software Center.
– Enter screenlets in the Search Box.
– Select Screenlets, click the “Install” button.
– Download the screenlet e.g. “WaterMark System Information” to a folder.
– Go to Applications (or Main Menu) > Accessories > Screenlets.
– Click Install, select Install Screenlet and click OK.
– Browse to the folder, select the file downloaded and click “Open” to install the screenlet into the Screenlets Manager.
– Select the screenlet “WaterMark” and click “Launch/Add”. (Tips: you can add more than one WaterMark screenlet and set it to display other system information.)
More screenlets are available for installation from screenlets.org. AddThis

Terminate unresponsive programs on Ubuntu

Xkill is part of the X11 utilities pre-installed in Ubuntu and a tool for terminating misbehaving X clients or unresponsive programs. You can easily add a shortcut key to launch xkill with the steps below:
– Go to System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts.
– Click the Add button to create a custom shortcut.
– Enter xkill to both the Name and Command boxes and click the Apply button.
– Click on Disabled at the xkill row in the Keyboard Shortcuts window (Disabled is then changed to New shortcut…).
– Press a new key combination, e.g. Ctrl+Alt+X (New shortcut… is then changed to Ctrl+Alt+X).
– Click the Close button.
Xkill is ready for use. Press the above key combination to turn the cursor to an X-sign, move the X-sign and drop it into a program interface to terminate the unresponsive program, or cancel the X-sign with a right-click. AddThis

Changing the default text editor on Ubuntu

There is a few software that will use the editor command to find out what text editor to use. Example commands will be dch to add a new .deb changelog entry, revision control softwares when prompting for commit a message …
There is basically 2 ways for changing the default editor:

1. System Wide
Run Terminal and type:
$ sudo update-alternatives –config editor
And then choose whichever editor you want to be default.

2. User Level
As a user, you cannot change the setting for the whole system, but you can add an alias for editor to let say vim.
Open and edit ~/.bashrc and add:
alias editor=vim
Next time you will open a bash prompt, your default editor will be vim. AddThis

Auto Mount Drives at System Startup on Ubuntu

Ubuntu is capable of reading and writing files stored on Windows formatted partitions, but partitions must be ‘mounted’ before they can be accessed each time you start up the system. With these steps, you can auto mount the drives or partitions without the need to manually mount them for access.
Install Storage Device Manager if it has not been added.
– go to Applications (or Main Menu) > Ubuntu Software Center.
– enter pysdm in the Search Box.
– select Storage Device Manager, click the “Install” button.
– go to System > Administration > Storage Device Manager.
– extend the list of sda and select the sda you want to auto mount, click ‘OK’ to configure.
– click the “Assistant” button.
– uncheck “Mount file system in read only mode” and keep “The file system is mounted at boot time” checked.
– click the “Mount”, “Apply” then “Close” button, and restart the system.
In case you wish to remove the auto-mount of a certain drive or partition, you can similarly use Storage Device Manager to do the setting.

Note: If you need to identify disk partitions by label, paste ls /dev/disk/by-label -g in Terminal, or to view partition sizes and file systems, enter sudo fdisk -l. Disk Utility mentioned in “Name or Label a Partition” also gives you a glance of device numbers, partition types, sizes and labels. AddThis mp3 link

Enable Windows 7 Aero Snap in Ubuntu

In Windows 7, you can click and drag a window to the left or right edge of the desktop and it will fill half of the screen, or snap a window to the top edge of the desktop and it will be maximized.

In Ubuntu, you can click and drag a window to the left, right or top edge of the desktop to achieve the same result.

In addition to CompizConfig Settings Manager, install WmCtrl if not added:
– go to Applications (or Main Menu) > Accessories > Terminal.
– enter sudo apt-get install wmctrl
– enter password when prompted.
– go To System > Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager.
– select “General” from the left panel and click “Commands”.
In Command line 0, 1 and 2, paste the following codes:

Command line 0, paste:

WIDTH=`xdpyinfo | grep ‘dimensions:’ | cut -f 2 -d ‘:’ | cut -f 1 -d ‘x’` && HALF=$(($WIDTH/2)) && wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -b add,maximized_vert && wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -e 0,0,0,$HALF,-1

Command line 1, paste:

WIDTH=`xdpyinfo | grep ‘dimensions:’ | cut -f 2 -d ‘:’ | cut -f 1 -d ‘x’` && HALF=$(($WIDTH/2)) && wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -b add,maximized_vert && wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -e 0,$HALF,0,$HALF,-1

Command line 2, paste:

wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -b add,maximized_vert,maximized_horz

In the same window, click “Edge Bindings” tab.
Change Run Command 0, 1 and 2 from “None” to “Left”, “Right” and “Top” respectively.
Click “Back” button and select “General Options”, change “Edge Trigger Delay” to about 500. AddThis mp3 link

Name or Label a Partition using Ubuntu

Nautilus file manager shows the root directory as File System for your Ubuntu system partition. If you have other partitions (or volumes), it shows them as xx GB Filesystem if they’re not named or labelled.
Using Disk Utility is one of the effective ways to name a partition easily:
– go to System > Administration > Disk Utility
– select the item Hard Disk.
In the Volumes section, click a partition you want to label then:
– click “Edit Filesystem Label” (Note 1)
In the Label box, enter a name, e.g. Data-Disk, and click Apply.
The file manager should now show the partition label, such as Data-Disk, instead of xx GB Filesystem.

Note 1: If the option for “Edit Filesystem Label” is not shown, click “Unmount Volume” before hand. In case you can’t unmount a volume, try Storage Device Manager to unmount it. See Auto Mount Drives at System Startup.

Note 2: This tip is for naming a partition using Disk Utility, use other advanced features such as format, edit or delete partition with caution as they can delete data on your disk. AddThis mp3 link

Set your Ubuntu Desktop Fully Transparent Panel

When you set the panel to be transparent in the default Ambiance theme in Ubuntu 10.10 or 10.04, you will find that some panel items’ backgrounds are not transparent, but you can make them transparent and consistent with others, following these steps:
– Go to Applications (or Main Menu) > Accessories > Terminal.
– Enter: cp -R /usr/share/themes/Ambiance ~/.themes/
– Enter: gedit ~/.themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/apps/gnome-panel.rc (for Ubuntu 10.10) OR gedit ~/.themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc (for Ubuntu 10.04), to open the file with gedit.
– Search for this line bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = “img/panel.png” (for Ubuntu 10.10) OR bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = “panel_bg.png” (for Ubuntu 10.04)
– Comment out the line by placing a # at the beginning of the line, like this: #   bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = …
– Save the file.
– Go to System > Preferences > Appearance, switch to the other theme and then back to the Ambiance theme.
Note: If you’d like to change to the Radiance theme, replace Ambiance with Radiance in the above command lines, but you’d like to change to the New Wave theme, then enter: cp -R /usr/share/themes/”New Wave” ~/.themes/ in step 2, enter gedit ~/.themes/”New Wave”/gtk-2.0/gtkrc in step 3, search for and comment out this line bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = “Images/Panel/PanelBarLong.png” in steps 4 and 5 respectively. AddThis mp3 link