Top Things To Do and Tips & Tricks for Ubuntu after Installation [Ubuntu 14.04]

Top Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 14.04/13.10/13.04/12.10/12.04


Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and  its official flavours have been released a couple of days before. In this brief how-to, let us discuss how we can enhance Ubuntu 14.04 and other older versions further for day to day activities. This post we will share some interesting insights and ideas about what you can and should do after a successful installation of Ubuntu.

If you have already a previous release of Ubuntu, and want to upgrade to the latest 14.04 version, then please follow our step by step guide upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr.

First of all, after fresh installation of Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty, check the following few things first.

If sound is not working, check our previous post to resolve the issue.

1. Update System

Before proceeding to upgrade, the first and important thing to do is update/upgrade software repositories and make sure your systems contains latest versions of all software.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

2. Configure And Tweak Ubuntu

2.1 Disable Unity Dash Online Search feature

Whenever, you start typing in Unity Dash to search for an application or a file in your computer, your search terms will be automatically sent to third parties such as Amazon, and the third parties will display the relevant results (mostly ads) depending upon your search terms. If you don’t like this feature and feel this is really annoying to you, you can disable it.

Read the more details in the following link.

2.2 Ubuntu Tweak

Ubuntu Tweak is a must have application for Ubuntu and it’s derivatives. It is an application to configure Ubuntu easier for everyone. It provides many useful desktop and system options that the default desktop environment doesn’t provide. Using Ubuntu Tweak you can install all needed applications with a simple click, you can change the window buttons from Left to right…etc.

Install Ubuntu Tweak

Read our previous to know how to install and use Ubuntu Tweak.

2.3 Ubuntu After Install

Like Ubuntu Tweak, there is an another similar tool called “Ubuntu After install” available. Ubuntu After Install is a tool that can be used to install some of the best and essential software after installing the Ubuntu desktop. It has a bunch of useful applications, and will automate the installation process on a newly installed machine to get near perfect desktop. I would not say a complete desktop for all users, but a near perfect desktop. This tool saves your time and effort, and installs all latest versions of softwares by automatically adding the respective PPA’s to keep the installed softwares up to date on your Ubuntu system.

For more details about installation and usage of Ubuntu After Install Check out the following link.

The above two tools are enough to get a near perfect Ubuntu desktop for daily usage. These tools will help you to install every essential applications and tweak your system as per your needs for daily usage. You can omit all other things given below. Still you want to continue, go on and check them.

3. Desktop Environments

3.1 Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a GNOME 3 fork that allow you to have a panel at the bottom with a classic Menu, this is useful for people that want to use Ubuntu with a classic Bottom Menu.

Cinnamon latest version for Ubuntu 14.04 is not yet ported to the stable PPA, however we can install it using nightly builds which is not recommended for the production system.

If you want to install the most recent version of cinnamon, then follow the steps below.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-nightly
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon

Logout from the current session and select Cinnamon as your desktop session at the user login prompt. Now you’ll able to get the Cinnamon Desktop Environment.


3.2 Gnome

To install GNOME 3 in Ubuntu 14.04, enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell ubuntu-gnome-desktop

During installation, the installer will ask you to select the login manager of your choice (LightDM is the default Unity manager and GDM is the GNOME default — Both will work).

4. Configure Online Accounts

One of the top things you need to do is to setup your online accounts (Facebook, twitter…). To do that click on thegear button on the top right corner and select System Settings.


Then, select Online Accounts (see below).

System Settings_006

Now setup your online accounts and get notifications in Ubuntu. For example, if you want to add your Facebook account, click on the Facebook icon.

Online Accounts_007

Enter your facebook username and password, and click Log in to authorize.

Online Accounts_009

5. System Monitoring & Eye Candy Tools

5.1 Conky

Conky is a free, light-weight system monitor for X, that displays any information on your desktop. There are many nice themes available for conky that can display clock, CPU usage, RAM usage, swap, disk, net and more. Check our previous post for installation and configuration of conky in Ubuntu 14.04/13.10/13.04/12.10/12.04.

5.2 Don’t like the default icons, Wanna try some cool icons?

Try the following cool Icon collections.

Want to change the default icons to something that match your taste? Check this nice collection of icons for Ubuntu (PPA included).

6. Multimedia

6.1 VLC Media Player

VLC is the best media player for Linux it play almost everything, it has many features that you can not find in any other media player, read this post if you want to know what VLC can do: 25 things you can do with VLC Media player!

You can install VLC from Ubuntu Software Center or via terminal by using the following command:

sudo apt-get install vlc

Or install the most recent version 2.1.1 using the following PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vlc

6.2 XMBC

XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub for digital media. XBMC is available for Linux, OS X, Windows, and the original Xbox. While XBMC functions very well as a standard media player application for your computer, it has been designed to be the perfect companion for your HTPC. Supporting an almost endless range of remote controls, and combined with its beautiful interface and powerful skinning engine, XBMC feels very natural to use from the couch and is the ideal solution for your home theater.

Open terminal and copy the following commands:

sudo apt-get install xbmc

6.3 Openshot video editor

My favorite Video editor is Openshot, the best existing actually for Linux. You can install Openshot from Ubuntu Software Center, but if you want to install the latest release, you can do that by adding the following repositories:

Note: PPA is not yet working in 13.10 at the time of writing this article. Hope it will be updated soon.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openshot.developers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openshot openshot-doc

6.4 Handbrake

Check our previous article to know about the powerful video encoder called “Handbrake”.

7. Install Common Codecs And Enable DVD playback

Perhaps, installing a few common codecs might give you better playback for your media files.

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly libxine1-ffmpeg gxine mencoder libdvdread4 totem-mozilla icedax tagtool easytag id3tool lame nautilus-script-audio-convert libmad0 mpg321 gstreamer1.0-libav

To play encrypted DVDs, the libdvdcss2 package is essential. libdvdcss is a simple library designed for accessing DVDs like a block device without having to bother about the decryption.

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/./

7.1 Enable Flash Support On Browsers

For Ubuntu 32 bit & 64 bit: To be able to watch some videos and see flash website in your browser (Firefox/Chrome), you need to install flash plugin, go to Ubuntu Software Center and search word “flash” and install it.

Alternatively enter the following command to install flash plugins.

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer

8. Torrent Softwares

8.1 uTorrent

uTorrent is a lightweight and efficient BitTorrent client for Linux, Windows OS and Mac OS. The installation of uTorrent in Linux is different from Windows and Mac OS. In Linux, uTorrent runs as a web server. You will access uTorrent from your browser. You should start the uTorrent server in order to access it from your browser.

Check our previous article to know more about uTorrent.

8.2 Deluge

The Deluge application was designed to be a full-featured torrent client. Deluge uses libtorrent in its back-end and PyGTK for its user interface and is currently usable on POSIX-compliant operating systems. It is intended to bring a native, full-featured client to GTK desktop environments such as GNOME and Xfce. An official Windows port is also available.

Open terminal and type the following commands:

sudo apt-get install deluge

9. Messengers

Here is the list of recommended Messengers for your system. Don’t install everything. Install one by one and pick up the right one for your requirement and delete the rest.

9.1 Pidgin

The best messenger client and 30 plugins, you can do voice and video chat with friends.

To install Pidgin, enter the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install pidgin

9.2 aMSN

aMSN is a free windows Live Messenger clone. aMSN attempts to emulate the look and feel of Windows Live Messenger, and supports many of its features.

aMSN has many features which are not present in Windows Live Messenger. Users can set alarms, are able to see others who have removed them from their contact list, and are able to open many profiles at once. It is also very customizable, with extensions and themes available at the main site.

To install aMsn, enter the following command in your terminal.

$ sudo apt-get install amsn

9.3 Skype

If you’re want to install Skype, check our previous post.

9.4 Jitsi

Jitsi is an open source and multi platform audio/video Internet phone and instant messenger written in Java. It supports some of the most popular instant messaging and telephony protocols such as SIP, Jabber/XMPP (and hence Facebook and Google Talk), AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger.

For details about Jitsi please check our previous article in the following link.

10. Gaming & Emulators

10.1 Steam

As you may know, Steam is an ultimate gaming platform developed by Valve corporation. Steam is available for GNU Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Recently, Valve has developed and released SteamOS, a Linux based distribution built around Steam client. You can either download and install SteamOS on your system, or just download and install the steam client to play games on your existing operating system.

To install Steam On Ubuntu 14.04, enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install steam

Click Ok to continue.

sk@sk: ~_008

Accept the License agreement.

sk@sk: ~_009

Now, the steam will be installed on your system. Launch it either from Dash or Menu.


At the first launch, Steam will check for updates and download and install them if updates available.


After updating Steam, you can enter into steam and start playing games.


If you don’t have an account, create it using the CREATE NEW ACCOUNT link.

This is how my Steam dashboard looks.


10.2 Gaming made easy with Playdeb

If you are a grate fan of gaming so is important to add PlayDeb repositories to your Lucid Lynx. PlayDeb is a gaming repository for Ubuntu aimed to provide titles already available on in an easier to install and update format. You can install many games by a simple click.

10.3 Wine

Wine enables Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, and Solaris users to run Windows applications without a copy of Microsoft Windows. Wine is free software under constant development. Other platforms may benefit as well.

sudo apt-get install wine


Please follow instructions in our previous post.

11. Sharing Files/Folders

11.1 Samba

In order to share folders in Raring Ringtail with other Linux and windows machines in your network, you will need to install and configure Samba share, for instructions how to configure Samba in Ubuntu check our previous post.

11.2 Gigola

Gigola is an another option to share files between Linux and Windows systems. Unlike Samba, we can use Gigola to send files between Linux-to-Linux and Linux-to-Windows systems.

Learn more about Gigola from the below link.

12. Extras & Miscellaneous

12.1 Install Archive Management Apps

Install the following packages will allow you to deal with almost all and any zip formated files.

sudo apt-get install unace unrar zip unzip p7zip-full p7zip-rar sharutils rar uudeview mpack arj cabextract file-roller

12.2 Y PPA Manager

Y PPA Manager is a GUI tool to easily add PPAs, search a package in all Launchpad PPAs, remove duplicate PPAs (only works with separate .list files), backup PPAs and other PPA-related tasks. Check out the Launchpad page for a complete features list.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install y-ppa-manager

Y-PPA-Manager can be launched either from Dash or Menu.

12.3 Install Java 7

Java is fast, secure, and reliable programming and computing platform. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. To install java simply run the following command from your terminal.

sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk

If you want to try oracle-java 7, try the following steps.

First you need to remove OpenJDK for this run the following command from your terminal:

sudo apt-get purge openjdk*

Now you can install Java 7 by adding the following repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

To remove Java 7, run this in terminal:

 sudo apt-get remove oracle-java7-installer

12.4 FileZilla

Filezilla is one of the best ftp client for Linux.

Install it via command line:

sudo apt-get install filezilla

12.5 Dropbox

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. Dropbox also makes it super easy to share with others, whether you’re a student or professional, parent or grandparent.

Download the Dropbox package

12.6 Oracle VirtualBox

If you want to run another OS in a virtual machine, install Virtualbox.

For installation, follow the instructions in our previous post.

12.7 Cheese: Web Cam Software

Cheese uses your webcam to take photos and videos, applies fancy special effects and lets you share the fun with others. To install cheese on your Ubuntu desktop, enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install cheese

12.8 digikam

digiKam is an advanced digital photo management application for Linux, Windows, and Mac-OSX. It can be used by Photographers to view, manage, edit, enhance, organize, tag, and share photographs under Linux systems.

You can easily install it using command:

sudo apt-get install digikam

12.9 Gimp

Regardless of whether you need to edit images daily on a professional level or just a hobbyist, GIMP is an essential tool for all.

sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-data gimp-plugin-registry gimp-data-extras

12.10 Install Compiz

To install Compiz use the following command:

sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins

13. Desktop Effects

Want to spice-up your desktop with awesome wallpapers, well you can use the following two programs to change your desktop wallpapers in a particular interval.

13.1 Variety

Variety is a wallpaper changer for Ubuntu which is feature-full, yet slim and very easy to use. It can automatically download wallpapers from various online sources such as Flickr,, World sunlight map (a live wallpaper that changes as the day progresses),, NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, etc. It allows rotating them on a regular interval or on demand, and provides easy to use ways to separate the great images from the junk.

To install it under Ubuntu follow our previous post instructions.

13.2 Wallch

Wallch is an application that can be used to change your Ubuntu (Ubuntu derivatives) desktop wallpapers automatically at a particular period of time. It supports Gnome and Unity. It also let you to stop/start wallch, change to next/previous wallpaper. You can adjust/change the wallpaper changing interval. Wallch supports live Earth wallpapers which updates automatically every half an hour, therefore you can set the live Earth wallpapers as your desktop background.

To install it under Ubuntu follow our previous post instructions.

14. Other worth trying applications

14.1 App Grid

App Grid is a light weight alternative for Ubuntu Software Center. It allows you to filter applications by installed, pending, categories, name and rating. It is released under proprietary license and is available for Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10, 13.04 and 13.10.

For more details about App Grid, check our previous article in the following link.

14.2 Boot UP Manager(BUM)

Boot-Up Manager is a Perl-Gtk2 application to manage runlevels configuration of any Ubuntu/Debian derivative systems. Using this program we can easily start and stop boot-up scripts, without the necessity to handle through complex symbolic links and permissions.

For more details about BUM, check our previous article in the following link.

14.3 TLP: Improve Battery performance

TLP is an advanced power management tool for Linux that gives the settings and tweaks to enhance your existing power management automatically without the need to know every technical details. It is purely a command-line tool and doesn’t have a GUI. It should work on almost all laptops.

For more details about TLP, check our previous article in the following link.

14.4 BleachBit: Clean up your system

BleachBit deletes the unnecessary files, free up cache, delete cookies, clear internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn’t know was there. This tool can be used in both Windows OS and Linux systems. And it will support the following applications such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and more. It not only deletes the files, but it includes some advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster.

For more details about BleachBit, check our previous article in the following link.

14.5 Timeshift

Timeshift a application that provides functionality similar to the System Restore feature in Windows and theTime Machine tool in Mac OS. TimeShift protects your system by taking incremental snapshots of the file system at regular intervals. These snapshots can be restored later to bring your system to the exact state it was in at the time when the snapshot was taken.

For more details, refer the following link.

14.5 TypeCatcher

TypeCatcher is an Open Source application developed by Andrew Starr-Bochicchio. It allows you to easily download and install Google webfonts for off-line use.

For more details, refer the following link.

14.6 Apt-fast

Apt-fast is a “shell script wrapper” for apt-get and aptitude that can drastically improve APT download times by downloading packages with multiple connections per package. apt-fast uses aria2c or axel download managers to speed up the APT download time. Just like the traditional apt-get package manager, apt-fast supports almost all apt-get functions such as install, remove, update, upgrade, dist-upgrade etc. And one more notable feature is it supports proxy too.

The installation and usage instructions can be found in the following link.

14.7 Apt-proz & ProZilla

apt-proz is a shell script similar to apt-fast that increases the download speed of apt-get and aptitude by many times (at least for the developer!). While apt-fast uses Axel or aria2c download manager, apt-proz uses ProZilla download accelerator instead.

ProZilla is a full featured command line download accelerator for Linux operating systems. It downloads a files by splitting into multiple pieces and downloads them simultaneously form multiple connections. It supports pause/resume, http/ftp protocols.

You can find more details of the above tools in the following link.

Also install the following useful software’s if you like.

  • Opera – The fastest browser on Earth is even faster. But that is not all. Use Opera Turbo to double your page-download speed on slow connections.
  • Google Earth – Travel to cities across the globe, dive into the depths of the ocean, explore remote islands or even fly to faraway galaxies.



Tips and Tricks for Ubuntu after Installation [Ubuntu 14.04]



Ubuntu UnityUbuntu is a free operating system or a Linux distribution (“distro”) which currently receives the second highest hits after Linux Mint atDistroWatch.

The recent versions of Ubuntu have used Unity as a default user interface for the GNOME-3 desktop environment. If you have installed a new version of Ubuntu operating system with the Unity user interface on your PC, you might find these tips and tricks useful for working with the system.

Looking for a desktop interface with a start menu that looks closer to the traditional Windows system? Then give Linux Mint a try and check out Tips and Tricks for Linux Mint 17 Qiana Cinnamon Edition orMATE Edition.

Note: The tips and tricks included in this article work well with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr. Please see this article if you’re using an older version of Ubuntu.


Adjust the Launcher Icon SizeAuto Hide the LauncherMake Revealing the Launcher EasierDisable Shopping SuggestionsDisable or Enable the Global MenuOpen Up a Window in CenterCustomize the ThemeDisable Overlay ScrollbarChange Wallpapers AutomaticallySet a Default View in Files ManagerPreview in Files ManagerChange a Folder IconCreate an Advanced Files ManagerAdd or Change Keyboard ShortcutsTerminate Unresponsive ProgramsEnable Media PlaybackInstall ScreenletsInstall Oracle Java PackagesAuto Mount Drives at System StartupManually Mount a USB DriveName or Label a PartitionAuto Start Up an ApplicationClean Up Old Crash ReportsEnable Log-in SoundChange Default Boot OptionsClean Up the Boot MenuAuto Shutdown the SystemUbuntu and Unity Tweak ToolsAdd More Useful Software


Adjust the Launcher Icon Size

Ubuntu DesktopUbuntu includes a launcher on the left of your screen. If it appears that the size of the icons on the launcher is either too small or too big, you can adjust it to the size you like.

  1. Click the Control Gear and select “System Settings”.
  2. Click “Appearance” under “Personal”.
  3. Under the Look tab, drag the slider of “Launcher Icon Size” to the left for a smaller size, or right for a bigger size.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Auto Hide the Launcher

Depending on the version of Ubuntu you use, the Launcher is set to always either appear or hide on the screen by default. You can change this default setting easily.

  1. Click the Control Gear and select “System Settings”.
  2. Click “Appearance” under “Personal”.
  3. Under the “Behavior” tab, switch on or off the button of “Auto-hide the Launcher”.

To reveal the Launcher temporarily, just press and hold the Super (aka Windows) key, or move your mouse cursor to the far left of the screen. You can adjust the reveal sensitivity with the slider under the “Behavior” tab mentioned above. If it still doesn’t work very well, you can adjust the amount of mouse pressure in the following tip.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Make Revealing the Launcher Easier

After auto hiding the Launcher, you can reveal it by moving the mouse cursor to the left edge of the screen. But when you feel that you have to actually knock the mouse cursor against the screen edge hard enough to get the Launcher revealed, then it’s better that you adjust the ‘mouse pressure’ using CompizConfig Settings Manager.

  1. Install CompizConfig Settings Manager from the Ubuntu Apps Directory if the application is not available in your system.
  2. Press Alt-F2 and type ccsm into the box, press Enter to run this program.
  3. Select “Desktop” from the left panel.
  4. Click “Ubuntu Unity Plugin”.
  5. Under the “Launcher” tab, adjust the preset value of “Launcher Reveal Pressure” or “Launcher Reveal Edge Responsiveness” where applicable, to lower to make the launcher easier to reveal, or higher to do otherwise, click “Back” and “Close”.

Try the Launcher again and enjoy.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Disable Shopping Suggestions

When you do a search from the Dash in Ubuntu, it offers additional search results including shopping suggestions, a feature known as “Shopping Lens” or “Unity Smart Scopes”, underneath the local search results by default. If you don’t like these suggestions, you can turn them off or back on.

  1. Click the Dash Home icon on the Launcher and click “Filter results” next to the search box.
  2. Deselect the categories or sources that you want to exclude from the search results.

To turn the online search results permanently, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click the Control Gear and select “System Settings”.
  2. Under Personal, select “Security & Privacy”.
  3. Under the Search tab, turn off “When searching in the Dash: Include online search results”.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Disable or Enable the Global Menu

Move buttons to rightUbuntu system places the application menu (File/Edit/View) (also known as AppMenu or Global Menu) on the top bar by default, but it also allows for a locally integrated menu (LIM). If you want to opt for a LIM which moves the menu back to the application’s window, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Control Gear and select “System Settings”.
  2. Click “Appearance” under “Personal”.
  3. Under the Behavior tab, check “In the window’s title bar” to show the menus for a window.

The menu appears when you mouse over the window’s title bar. To enable the global menu, re-check “In the menu bar” to show the menus for a window.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Open Up a Window in Center

If you run an application without maximized and the system always puts it in the left-top corner of the desktop, but you are allowed to set a program window to open up in the center of the desktop area.

  1. CompizConfig Settings ManagerInstall CompizConfig Settings Manager from the Ubuntu Apps Directory if the application is not in your system.
  2. Press Alt-F2 and type ccsm into the box, press Enter to run this program. (You may receive a warning to use this advanced tool with care.)
  3. Select “Windows Management” from the left panel.
  4. Click “Place Windows”.
  5. Change Placement Mode from “Smart” or other modes to “Centered”, click “Back” and “Close”.

Ideally, the window manager in Ubuntu should restore the last known position of an application window, but it does not do that unless an application remembers its own window position. (See reported bugs)

Back to Index  Back to Index


Customize the Theme

Themes in Ubuntu can be customized to suit your needs. The default theme “Ambiance” has the menu (File, Edit, View, etc) printed in white on a dark background, but you can easily switch to another theme such as “Radiance” to have the menu printed in black on a light background. These are easy steps to customize a theme.

  1. Click the Control Gear and select “System Settings”.
  2. Click “Appearance” under “Personal”.
  3. Under the Look tab, select a theme from the drop-down menu.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Disable Overlay Scrollbar

In new versions of Ubuntu, the scrollbar button is hidden until you mouse over it. You can revert it to the normal scrollbar by changing the settings.

Either enter this command in the Terminal: gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal

Or edit the value using dconf-editor:

  1. Press Alt-F2, type dconf-editor into the box, and press Enter to run it.
  2. Browse to com > canonical > desktop > interface, look for “scrollbar-mode” on the right panel and change the value from overlay-auto to normal.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Change Wallpapers Automatically

You can right click your desktop, select “Change Desktop Background” and choose any one of the wallpapers pre-installed, but you need to do it each time you want to change a wallpaper. What about changing a wallpaper automatically within a certain time interval? Try to install the wallpaper changer Variety.

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-T to run Terminal.
  2. Enter sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa
  3. Enter sudo apt-get update
  4. Enter sudo apt-get install variety

With this wallpaper changer, you can change wallpapers in a fixed time interval from the sources you set and run it with several other settings such as randomly applying filter effects, color and size, customizing the indicator icon and so on.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Set a Default View in Files Manager

Windows Explorer allows for users to set a default view to all folders. In almost the same way, Ubuntu’s Files Manager allows for these settings:

  1. Set File BrowserClick the Files icon on the Launcher.
  2. From the menu, click “Edit” then “Preferences”.
  3. Under Default View, change “Icon View” to “List View”, to see more details in columns.
  4. Tick “Show hidden and backup files” if that’s your choice.

Other various settings, such as single or double click to open items, icon captions, list columns and preview files can be done in the same Files Preferences window as well.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Preview in Files Manager

Sushi is a quick previewer of files in Files Manager. You can download the previewer from here if it’s not in your Ubuntu system. With this handy tool installed, you can preview text, PDF, audio and video files, and other supported documents in a single step when using the Files Manager.

  • Select a file, press Spacebar to preview.
  • Press Spacebar again or Escape to close a preview.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Change a Folder Icon

When running the default Files Manager, you will see that the folder icons are predetermined by the theme you set. If you wish to change a folder icon to another for it to stand out from the system-wide icons, follow these steps:

  1. In the Files Manager, right click a folder icon, select Properties.
  2. Under the Basic tab, click the icon image to open up the “Select Custom Icon” window.
  3. In the Location field, type /usr/share/icons, press Enter. (You can hide or unhide the Location field by clicking the Edit button on the top-left of the window.)
  4. Browse and select an icon you want.
  5. Click the Open button on the bottom-right of the window to confirm.

Note: You can change your custom folder icon back to the default by clicking the “Revert” button in the “Select Custom Icon” window at Step 2 above.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Create an Advanced Files Manager

In the Ubuntu file system, you can use “Files” Manager to browse most files but can only write files in your home folder /home/your_name and its sub-folders such as Desktop and Documents. If you have to rename a folder or write files outside of your home folder using the Files Manager, you won’t be able to but you can create a shortcut to run an advanced Files Manager for this purpose.

  1. Click the Dash Home icon on the Launcher (or tap Super), then type keyboard into the Search box and press Enter.
  2. Under the “Shortcuts” tab, select Custom Shortcuts, then click the “+” sign to create a custom shortcut.
  3. Enter a name such as Advanced Files Manager in the “Name” box.
  4. Enter gksu nautilus in the “Command” box, then click the Apply button. (See note below)
  5. Click on Disabled at the Advanced Files Manager row in the Keyboard Shortcuts window (Disabled is then changed to New accelerator…).
  6. Press a new key combination, e.g. Ctrl+Alt+N (New accelerator… is then changed to Ctrl+Alt+N).

Now you can easily access the Advanced Files Manager by pressing the shortcut key you assigned. But be careful since you can use it to delete or change any files on your system.

Note: For Ubuntu 14.04, “gksu” is not available by default. You’ll need to enter sudo apt-get install gksuin the Terminal for it to work. If you’re using the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, enter gksu-properties in the Terminal after installing gksu and set the authentication mode to sudo.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Add or Change Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are preset in the system, but you can add new ones or change them easily. For instance, you can add a keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+C to run Calculator conveniently in a few steps below:

  1. Keyboard ShortcutsClick the Dash Home icon (or tap Super), type keyboard and press Enter.
  2. Under the “Shortcuts” tab, select “Launchers” on the left panel
  3. Click “Launch calculator”, and it shows “New accelerator…”
  4. Press Ctrl+Alt+C keys simultaneously, and it shows Ctrl+Alt+C
  5. Close the window and try the new shortcut.

   To disable a shortcut, press Backspace when it shows “New accelerator…” after the step 3 above.

   Keyboard shortcuts can also be set by changing keybinding values with Configuration Editor. In Ubuntu, press Alt+F2 and enter dconf-editor, then navigate to org > gnome > desktop > wm > keybindings.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Terminate Unresponsive Programs

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.

  1. xkillClick the Dash Home icon on the Launcher (or tap Super), then type keyboard into the Search box and press Enter.
  2. Under the “Shortcuts” tab, select Custom Shortcuts, then click the “+” sign to create a custom shortcut.
  3. Enter xkill to both the Name and Command boxes and click theApply button.
  4. Click on Disabled at the xkill row in the Keyboard Shortcuts window (Disabled is then changed toNew accelerator…).
  5. Press a new key combination, e.g. Ctrl+Alt+X (New accelerator… is then changed to Ctrl+Alt+X).

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.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Enable Media Playback

Ubuntu only includes completely free software by default and does not configure proprietary media formats such as mp3 and mp4 ‘out of the box’. The required codecs however can be easily installed for the default player to playback these files following a few simple steps below.

  1. Double click an mp3 file in a folder.
  2. Click the “Install” button to download and install the recommended codecs. (See Note below)
  3. Restart the player after the codecs are installed.

You might need to do the same for other restricted media formats such as mp4 too.

Note: As an alternative, you can also download and install Ubuntu restricted extras from Ubuntu Apps Directory right away for media players to playback some restricted formats.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Install Screenlets

Screenlets are small applications to represent things such as sticky notes, clocks, calendars around on your desktop. You can launch a pre-installed screenlet from Screenlets 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.

  1. WaterMark ScreenletInstall Screenlets manager if it has not been added from the Ubuntu Apps Directory.
  2. Download the screenlet “WaterMark System Information” to a folder.
  3. Press Alt-F2, type Screenlets into the box and press Enter to run the manager.
  4. Click Install, select Install Screenlet and click OK.
  5. Browse to the folder, select the file downloaded and click “Open” to install the screenlet into the Screenlets manager.
  6. 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

Back to Index  Back to Index


Install Oracle Java Packages

Other than using OpenJDK, some web services may need the Oracle Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to be installed in the system for running the services properly. If you would like to get the proprietary Oracle Java packages for your system, you can download and install them following these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-T to run Terminal.
  2. Enter sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java to add the partner repository.
  3. Enter sudo apt-get update to update the source list.
  4. Enter sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer to download and install the Oracle Java packages.
  5. Enter sudo java -version to check the version of the Java used in the system.
  6. Enter sudo update-alternatives –config java to choose the default Java for use in the system when necessary.

Note: The new version of Oracle Java may not allow you to run applications or services that are unsigned or self-signed. If you trust the services that you’re using, you may configure the security level of JRE or add the services to the Exception Site List using the Java Control Panel. To run it, press Alt-F2, type jcontrol then press the Enter key.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Auto Mount Drives at System Startup

Ubuntu is capable of reading and writing files stored on Windows formatted partitions using NTFS file system, but partitions must be ‘mounted’ before they can be accessed. With these steps, you can auto mount the drives or partitions without the need to manually mount them for access each time you start up the system. Below is a way of doing it by adding an entry in the fstab file.

  1. In the Terminal, enter sudo blkid to get the UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) of the partition you want to mount.
  2. Enter sudo mkdir /media/ntfs to create a mount point
  3. Enter gksu gedit /etc/fstab and add the following line in the fstab file: (see Note below about gksu)
    UUID=1234567890123456 /media/ntfs ntfs rw,nosuid,nodev,noatime,allow_other 0 0
  4. Replace the above 16-digit number with the UUID you’ve got from step 1, then click ‘Save’.

Restart the system and check if the partition is mounted.

   To identify disk partitions by label, either use sudo blkid or ls /dev/disk/by-label -g in the Terminal. The “Disks” utility mentioned in “Name or Label a Partition” also gives you a glance of device numbers, partition types, sizes and labels.

Note: If “gksu” is not available, enter sudo apt-get install gksu in the Terminal to install it. If you’re using the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, enter gksu-properties in the Terminal after installing gksu and set the authentication mode to sudo.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Manually Mount a USB Drive

A USB storage device plugged into the system usually mounts automatically, but if for some reasons it doesn’t automount, it’s possible to manually mount it with these steps.

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-T to run Terminal.
  2. Enter sudo mkdir /media/usb to create a mount point called usb.
  3. Enter sudo fdisk -l to look for the USB drive already plugged in, let’s say the drive you want to mount is /dev/sdb1.
  4. Enter sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /media/usb -o uid=1000,gid=100,utf8,dmask=027,fmask=137to mount a USB drive formatted with FAT16 or FAT32 system. OR:
    Enter sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /media/usb to mount a USB drive formatted with NTFS system.

To unmount it, just enter sudo umount /media/usb in the Terminal.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Name or Label a Partition

Auto Start Up ApplicationsThe Files Manager shows the root directory as Computer for your Ubuntu system partition. If you have other partitions (or volumes), it shows them as xx GB Volume if they’re not named or labelled.

Using Disks utility is one of the effective ways to name a partition easily:

  1. Click the Dash Home button (or tap Super), type Disks to search for the utility and run it.
  2. Select the item Hard Disk.
  3. In the Volumes section, click a partition you want to label.
  4. Click the ‘More actions’ button below the Volumes section then select “Edit Filesystem…”
  5. In the Label box, enter a name, e.g. Data-Disk, and click Change.

The Files Manager should now show the partition label, such as Data-Disk, instead of xx GB Volume. This tip is for naming a partition using the utility; use other advanced features such as format, edit or delete partition with caution as they can delete data on your disk.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Auto Start Up an Application

In Windows, you can place a program shortcut in a startup folder for running a program automatically when the system starts. In Ubuntu, you can do the same in this way:

  1. Auto Start Up ApplicationsClick the Dash Home icon (or tap Super), type ‘Startup Applications’ to search for the application and run it.
  2. Click the “Add” button.
  3. Name a program.
  4. Click the “Browse” button and navigate to “Computer” > usr > bin, where programs are usually installed.
  5. Select a program, click the “Open” button followed by the “Add” button.

The above program will then be listed in additional startup programs. Check if the program runs automatically by logging out and back to the system.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Clean Up Old Crash Reports

System program problem detectedIf your Ubuntu system always pops up a dialog saying “System program problem detected” each time you log in even though you’ve already reported the problem, you might need to clean up all old crash reports by entering a command line below in the Terminal.

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-T to run Terminal.
  2. Copy and paste sudo rm /var/crash/* in the Terminal and press Enter.

Log out and log back in the system, check if the dialog still appears.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Enable Log-in Sound

Ubuntu doesn’t have a log in sound that it used to have? If so, you can enable it easily:

  1. Click the Dash Home button and type “Startup Applications” to search for the application and run it.
  2. Click the “Add” button.
  3. In the Name field, type “Login Sound” (no quotes) or any other name you like.
  4. In the Command field, copy and paste this line: /usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play –id=”desktop-login” –description=”GNOME Login”
  5. Give a comment you like, such as “Plays a sound when I log in”.
  6. Click the ‘Add’ button.

Log out and log back in to check whether the log-in sound works.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Change Default Boot Options

After full installation, Ubuntu is set to be the default operating system to boot up if no key is pressed within a few seconds on a multi-boot system. You might want to set your preferred operating system to boot up by default. This can be done easily with Grub Customizer.

Press Ctrl-Alt-T to call up Terminal, copy following codes and paste (Ctrl-Shift-V) them inside Terminal to install Grub Customizer.

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
  2. sudo apt-get update
  3. sudo apt-get install grub-customizer

After installation, run Grub Customizer to set the default boot options with the following steps.

  1. Press Alt-F2, type grub-customizer into the box and press Enter to run it.
  2. Under the “General Settings” tab, select the default entry you like to boot up from the drop-down menu.
  3. Adjust the timeout value if needed, then press the Close button and the Save button.

Avoid changing timeout to 0 seconds if you need to select a system to boot up from a multi-boot menu.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Clean Up the Boot Menu

Each time when Ubuntu updates to a new Linux kernel, the old one is left behind and the boot menu gets complicated. If your new Linux kernel works well, it’s safe to clean up the boot menu. Do take these steps carefully as incorrectly hiding the items can make your system unbootable. You can check the Linux kernel version you’re running by entering this command line uname -r into the Terminal.

To clean up the boot menu, it’s pretty straightforward with Grub Customizer used in the tip above.

  1. Press Alt-F2, type grub-customizer into the box and press Enter to run it.
  2. Remove the entries you want to hide from the boot menu.
  3. Click the Save button.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Auto Shutdown the System

A simple command can be entered in the Terminal to schedule a time for the system to shut down.

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-T to run Terminal.
  2. Enter sudo shutdown -h +m (replace m with the number of minutes, e.g. +60).
    OR: enter sudo shutdown -h hh:mm (replace hh:mm with the time on the 24hr clock, e.g. 23:15).
  3. Enter password and minimize the Terminal window.

The system will then shut down within the minutes or at the time specified. To cancel a scheduled time, enter sudo shutdown -c in the Terminal.

   Alternatively, you might want to download and install GShutdown, which is a GUI program for scheduling a time to shutdown the system.

Back to Index  Back to Index


Ubuntu and Unity Tweak Tools

With Ubuntu Tweak, you can configure Ubuntu system and change its settings much easier. Download this useful application from here and save it to a folder, then double click the downloaded .deb file. This will bring up the Ubuntu Software Center for you to install the application.

Ubuntu Tweak includes the settings for the appearance, startup login settings, desktop and system, plus these useful tools:

  • QuickLists Editor to re-order shortcut items on the Launcher.
  • Janitor to clear cache.

Besides Ubuntu Tweak, try also Unity Tweak Tool available here. It’s designed to adjust the settings specifically for the Unity desktop with a simple and easy-to-use interface. With this tool, you are able to fine tune the Launcher, Search, Panel, Switcher and more.

Back to Index  Back to Index



Source :

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s