19 Dec 2013

A collection of 12 Tweaks for Ubuntu and related OS

Here are some tweaks I used on Ubuntu 12.04. Most of them had been gathered from the net.

Many thanks to the dedicated Linux users who posted them.

1. Become a sudoer (access to files with super-user permission)

Careful with this priviledge; wrong usage can stuff things up.

If you are not already a sudoer then add your name to sudoers.
In a terminal issue: gksu nautilus > give your password
In the file-browser navigate to /etc/sudoers which is a read-only text file
Right click > Properties > Permissions > Owner: root
Temporarily change Access to: Read and write
Open the file and below:


type the following:

yourname ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

Save changes, close and change Access back to Read only.

2. Install the Package-Manager Synaptic

It is more comprehensive and useful than the Software centre.
In a terminal issue: sudo apt-get install synaptic

Tweak Synaptic in Settings > Preferences > General:
> Show package properties in the main window
> Do not consider recommended packages as dependencies
> Apply changes in a terminal window
> Ask to quit after the changes have been successfully applied

3. Changing window buttons back to the right

Install the g-configuration editor: sudo apt-get install gconf-editor

Then start gconf-editor and follow the path apps > metacity > general > button layout. Change the values to:

4. Installing a Display Manager

The Display Manager that gives more options, e.g. selecting another language or selecting a different desktop if installed.

In a terminal issue: sudo apt-get install gdm

Administration > Groups and Users > Adding group 'gdm'

Adding system user 'gdm'

Adding new user `gdm' with group 'gdm'

Restart and if gdm works then: sudo apt-get remove lightdm

5. Show All Startup entries

To show all startup entries in Preferences > Startup Applications, issue in a terminal issue:

sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

6. Keyboard Shortcuts

System Settings > Keyboard Layout > Options > Check

Key Sequence to kill the X-server: Control + Alt + Backspace
This brings you back to the Display Manager Login Screen (e.g. in case of a freeze-up)

Key to change keyboard layouts: Alt + Shift or any other appropriate (if you use a second language)

7. Add Root File-Browser to menu

This runs the file browser with super-user permission. Take care!

Preferences > Main Menu > Administration > Add new item. Specify there the following details:
Type: Applications
Name: Root File-Browser
Command: gksu nautilus

8. Super Key showing the Main Menu

The Super key is second from your left at the bottom row of keyboard keys. It usually shows the Windows logo.

In a terminal issue: gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/panel_main_menu --type string "Super_L"

9. Nautilus File-Browser showing Arrow up to parent folder again

This was omitted in newer versions of Ubuntu.

At: https://launchpad.net/nautiluspatchtogglelocationbar download the version that matches your version of nautilus and OS. Then, in a terminal issue:

cd Downloads (or wherever the file ended up)
sudo dpkg -i nautiluspatch_v3.4.2-0ubuntu8-1_amd64.deb (or whatever the filename is)

In Nautilus Preferences > Toolbar > check: Show up icon
There are other useful choices too.

10. Enable Login Sound in a Gnome Desktop

This was omitted in newer versions of Ubuntu.

In a terminal issue /usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login" --description="GNOME Login sound"

11. Re-Enabling the Hibernate Function in the Shut down menu

This was omitted in newer versions of Ubuntu.

To open the configuration file, in a terminal issue: gksu gedit /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/com.ubuntu.enable-hibernate.pkla

Then add the following lines:
[Re-enable hibernate by default]

12. Creating a Delete History (Privacy) Application

Preferences > Main Menu > System Tools > Add new item:
Specify the following details:
Type: Applications
Name: Delete History
Command: ~/del-history

Then create a text file in your home folder (or ~/bin/ folder) and name it: del-history

Type (or copy & paste) the following lines into this text file; but not what's inside the brackets:

rm ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel
rm -R ~/.cache/mozilla/firefox/*.default/Cache/*
rm ~/.cache/mozilla/firefox/*.default/thumbnails/*.png
rm ~/.thumbnails/fail/gnome-thumbnail-factory/*.png
rm ~/.thumbnails/normal/*.png
rm ~/.kde/cache-*/http/* (this and next one only if you have any KDE apps installed)
rm ~/.kde/share/apps/RecentDocuments/*.desktop
rm -R ~/.macromedia/Flash_Player/macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/sys/*/
rm -R ~/.macromedia/Flash_Player/#SharedObjects/*/
rm -R ~/.wine/drive_c/users/user/ApplicationData/Macromedia/FlashPlayer/macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/sys/*/ (this and next one only if you have wine installed; replace “user” with your name)
rm -R ~/.wine/drive_c/users/user/ApplicationData/Macromedia/FlashPlayer/#SharedObjects/*/
rm -R ~/.opera/cache/* (only if you have Opera installed)

Save, close, right click & check > Properties > Permissions > Execute > Allow executing as program.

I have included all these tweaks into my latest version of 4CLIX distribution, which is based on Ubuntu 12.04. The ISO image and the installation guide, etc can be found here.

This is another guest post by Rolf Sommerhalder, who is a regular contributor to Linux Notes from DarkDuck


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