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Beginners: Ten programs/tricks for Ubuntu
10 cool programs/tricks for Ubuntu Karmic Koala (plus 1 for luck)

1. brightside is a program that makes the corners of your screen "hot" so you can do things like activate the screensaver (and, if you've got it set for it, lock the system), mute the volume, etc, just by moving your mouse to a corner. Mac OS X has this functionality, and it's rather cool.

Installing brightside is as simple as opening a Terminal and putting in (remember, pasting into the terminal is CTL-SHIFT-V, and after a "sudo" you're likely to have to enter your password):

Quote:sudo apt-get install brightside

Now, it used to be that a menu item would appear in System-->Preferences called "Screen Actions", and this would allow you to modify which corners do what. For some reason, this may not appear in Karmic. You can create a new menu item by going to System-->Preferences-->Main Menu and making a new item in the System-->Preferences menu called "Screen Actions" with the program setting as:


From there, you can adjust things to how you want them.

2. Some have noticed that many screensavers have disappeared from the transition from Jaunty to Karmic. This was probably down to Ubuntu's need for space for other programs. Is the screensaver you loved no longer there? You can get them all back and more with the following tip.

Go to the terminal and put the following in (if you copy it here, remember that pasting into the terminal is CTL-SHIFT-V):

Quote:sudo apt-get install rss-glx xscreensaver-gl-extra xscreensaver-data-extra

After that, go to System-->Preferences-->Screensaver and you'll see lots more options.

3. System cleaning: you probably know about the following Terminal commands to clear out bits of cruft that appear on your system after you uninstall some programs:

Quote:sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean

But there is another that clears out other files associated with removed programs. It's:

Quote:sudo aptitude purge `dpkg --get-selections | grep deinstall | awk '{print $1}'`

It will show you what files it wants to remove before you confirm their removal.

4. Font rendering problems in Firefox or Opera? If your fonts look a bit strange, then perhaps it's time to clear the font cache.

Again, this is easily done in the terminal:

Quote:sudo fc-cache -f -v

Afterward, a restart of your browser should show fonts better, if they weren't already good before.

5. Do you have Adobe AIR installed? No? Do you want to have it installed?

Download it here:

Open a terminal and navigate to the directory you saved it in.

Now first type in:

Quote:chmod +x AdobeAIRInstaller.bin

Then type in:

Quote:sudo ./AdobeAIRInstaller.bin

This should run the installer, letting you follow the normal steps to install. Now you can use Adobe AIR apps.

6. actually has a database, sort of like Access, but it's not installed by default on Ubuntu. Also, there is free clipart available, also not installed by default.

If you want them, again, go to a terminal and type in:

Quote:sudo apt-get install openclipart

Now you've got a fuller office suite.

7. Do you want a music applet something like Windows Media Player's taskbar thing? You can go to a terminal, typing in:

Quote:sudo apt-get install music-applet

Now that it's installed on your system, you can right-click your taskbar, select "Add to Panel", go down to "Music Applet" and double-click it. It should then appear on your task bar/panel. This can be moved about and locked into place by right-clicking on it, as is normal for items on the task bar/panel.

8. Do you want to give Empathy a go but find it's not as cool as Pidgin? Are you annoyed that it is buried in that "drawer" applet along with Evolution?

First, go to Empathy and, in the program itself, edit Preferences-->Notifications and untick "Use message indicators".

Now, right click on the envelope "drawer" applet that contains both Empathy and Evolution, and remove it from the panel.

Empathy should now appear in your system tray on its own. It gives better notifications this way, acting more like Pidgin, and you can click it directly.

9. Are you interested in having the bible on your computer? Try this in a terminal:

Quote:sudo apt-get install gnomesword sword-language-pack-en sword-text-web

This is a bit odd in that it installs an Arabic bible as default. That's fine if you speak Arabic, but what if you don't? You can remove that bit with the following:

Quote:sudo apt-get remove sword-text-arasvd

10. Want to mount a saved ISO file as if it were a CD/DVD? Go to a terminal and install:

Quote:sudo apt-get install gmountiso

The program will appear in your System Tools menu. Running it is easy enough. Find your ISO and mount it to "cdrom" if you've got nothing in your drive. It should then appear in Nautilus for viewing and extracting. You can then, when you are done, unmount it using the program.

11. Lots of Linux folks like logic puzzles. There's a cool game with lots of puzzle types that can be installed easily in a terminal:

Quote:sudo apt-get install gbrainy

Great fun! Also, if you are missing Hearts from Windows, try:

Quote:sudo apt-get install gnome-hearts

These are some of the things I like to do with Ubuntu after I install it. If you have any questions, please ask! Superman
Excellent and well written, did you write this yourself or was it leeched?
Thanks, I wrote it myself. They are just some extra things I do when I install Ubuntu, things I've learnt over the past couple of years.

Although it all uses the Terminal, I figured it's still for beginners in that I tried to explain it in detail.
Not bad, but Open Office is installed by default.
Good and Bad you Decide.
(11-12-2009, 03:14 PM)conrados1 Wrote: Not bad, but Open Office is installed by default.

Thanks, but Open Office Base (the database program) is not installed by default on Ubuntu. Just the word processor, presentation, and spreadsheet programs. And the extra free clipart is not installed either. It's all down to Ubuntu wanting to get as much as they can onto one CD (700MB). They decided not to include the Open Office database because most people don't use it and they wanted to save space (same for the clipart). Oui
Very nice tutorial, this helps me pretty good, because I'm new to ubuntu. Smile
Thanks. very useful Smile
Thanks, guys!

Oh, I forgot, if you want number one to work (the hot corners of brightside) each time you start your computer without having to start the program itself, you need to go to System-->Preferences-->Startup Applications and enter a new one. You can call it "brightside" and the command line bit is also "brightside".

This means that your computer will load brightside (for hot corners) every time it starts automatically. I do this, and it is really cool. I set my upper lefthand corner as starting the screensaver and locking the screen. Whenever I go away from my computer, I just send the mouse pointer up there and my machine is locked! Big Grin
Sweet! Thx for sharing! Smile

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