If you’ve ever wondered where you can find a Debian package, look no more! This search engine for Debian packages allows you to “search the contents of Debian [Linux] distributions for any files (or just parts of file names) that are part of packages. You can also get a full list of files in a given package“. Wicked sweet!
Yes, you fellow newbie Ubuntu users! 😉 This is for you… these are the type of packages (programs) that you can download and install by double-clicking the file. 🙂
Bookmark it now!
Day 5, Part 2
Itsy Bitsy Customizations
The one thing I don’t like about Ubuntu is having a panel at the top of my screen. Why? Because I’m use to handling windows (which I generally always keep maximed) by throwing my mouse cursor at the menu bar and then clicking or double-clicking.
For example, if I want to close a window, I simply throw my cursor to the top right of the screen without even looking, and then I click. The cursor hits the corner edge and my click closes the window. You can’t do that if there’s a panel at the edge of your screen. Doing this with Ubuntu’s default settings will make you click on the red “power” button.
Solution? Click and drag it to the bottom of the screen. Nice and simple!
I also don’t like the “Applications | Places | System” menu bar. It takes up too much space on a panel. This is easily fixed by right-clicking on it and selecting “Remove from Panel”. It’s just an applet, so no big deal.
But now I don’t have anything there. What I DO want is ONE button, like in Windows. Not because I’m used to Windows, but because it saves screen space.
So lets add a ONE-BUTTON menu to our panel… Right-click on the panel and select “Add to Panel…” Find the Main Menu applet (shown in the figure) and drag it to where you want the button on your panel. Now you have one tiny button which will open a menu that contains the Applications menu, the Places menu, and the System menu! Sweet…
Weather At-A-Glance, Please!
When I want to know what the weather is like outside, my logic tells me to look in the system tray with the date and time. But there’s nothing there… so let’s add the weather down there!
Right-click on the panel and select “Add to Panel…” and in the Accessories section, you will find the Weather Report applet. Drag it beside the Date and Time Applet or wherever you wish. Right-click on it, select Preferences, and search for your city within the Location tab. You can also set your unit preferences in the General tab and then click close to finish. Wicked sweet…
Is My Network Connection On?
I always like to see if my network connection has any activity going on… at a glance, again. So I also add the Network Monitor applet to my panel.
And a few more…
Misbehaving apps? Add the “Force Quit” applet for quick access.
My Window List is too small. I like having two rows of windows to maximize the amount of windows I can see without reducing the size of the button. Therefore, I right-click on the panel containing my Window List applet and select Properties. The default is set at 24, so I double it to 48… anything smaller will only give me one row.
And then I remove all the application icons from my Panel and I add all my favorite or most frequently used applications. Yes, I remove Firefox because I like Swiftfox (installed through Automatix). Essentially, Swiftfox IS Firefox, but with some tweaks specific to your CPU (automatically detected and set by Automatix). I remove Evolution because I prefer Thunderbird, and I remove the Help icon, cause I don’t use it. Once all my icons are set and nicely spaced, I lock them all by right-clicking on them and selecting “Lock to Panel”. This prevents accidental moves.
That’s it! My very basic customizations are done. And you know what? The best thing about it is, nothing crashed, nothing reset itself, and it does exactly as I tell it to. Microsoft Windows CAN’T do that whatsoever!
It’s been a while since my last post in this series. Only because once I used Automatix to install all my applications, I was basically finished with my system. Since my last post in this series, I’ve been busy customizing the look and feel of Ubuntu, which I find is the funnest part of using Ubuntu! There are so many options and themes and icons and window borders and wallpapers… but let’s keep that for another post.
There are still some things I needed to go through to make it the best system… well, for me, anyhow!
Hidden Menu Entries: Showing Them!
After Automatix installations, I realized that my Applications menu was missing some menus and entries. By default, Ubuntu doesn’t show all applications available to a user. It hides the ones that are redundant or may cause problems for new users if not used properly.
One example of this is the Configuration Editor. Think of this like a “Registry Editor”. It allows you to select and configure settings for many installed applications and also for the system.
In the left pane, you will see your menus. If you select the System Tools menu (shown in the figure), you will see many options that are unchecked. One of these is the Configuration Editor. Select it and it will instantly appear in your menu.
I wanted to show the Configuration Editor in the first place so that I can add some regular icons on my desktop, like in Windows.
While you have the Menu Editor, why don’t you go through it and enable/disable applications you will use/not use? You can also add new entries that aren’t there, if you want to.
I usually add and entry in the System Tools called “Refresh Desktop” which contains the command:
killall gnome-panel nautilus
This will reload your panels and your desktop (Nautilus). Then I chose a nice icon that fits with it by looking in /usr/share/icons.
Lost your GRUB boot menu because you installed or re-installed Windows? Follow these steps to recover your list of Operating System (OS) choices:
This will be good when upgrading to Windows Vista and you lose your GRUB menu… Of course, that’s if you decide to use Windows Vista at all. .oO(Ubuntu is all you need!)
The new version of Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) shipped with a version of OpenOffice that contains a critical bug that will cause Writer to crash when you attempt to copy from Writer and paste to another application, causing you to lose your work. I blogged about this bug when I first installed Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft).
The LaunchPad bug report contains a “semi-fix” by adding a few resource lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list that will allow installation of “testing” packages that fixes the bug.
To fix your OpenOffice, add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list file (sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list):
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude upgrade
… to install the packages.
Edit: The first deb line above is wrapped to the next line. Ensure that when you paste that first line to your sources.list file that it’s all on ONE LINE.
An Ubuntu Forum staff member (aysiu) has just posted a HowTo on the Ubuntu Forums on using a few scripts that he wrote (with the help of ciscosurfer) to change the default file manager in Gnome to Konqueror or Thunar. He also provides a script to revert back to Nautilus if you aren’t happy.
Since I’m currently using Krusader as my file manager, I’m hoping he’ll also include a script to change the default to it (I’m not good at scripting, yet!).
You can find his instructions and scripts on his website. (Great resource, by the way!)
How to Install the Most Common Applications in Ubuntu 6.10 in One (or Two) Click(s)!
My next task was to get all multimedia related applications installed and formats to work. Of course this includes MP3 playback, DVD playback, etc. I also wanted to get all my major and favorite applications installed and working correctly.
The Answer (with a capital ‘A’)? Automatix (with a capital ‘A’)!
Automatix is an awesome and quick way to install the most common applications users use in Ubuntu. The newest Automatix2 has a nice and easy to use user interface. This new version also gives you the ability to uninstall them the same easy way it was to install them! Awesome!
As of this writing, Automatix can install and tweak 56 applications! Here is the list taken from the Automatix website:
- Acrobat Reader (Adobe Acrobat Reader and plugin for Firefox 1.5)
- AMSN 0.95 (MSN client with webcam support)
- Amule (Latest version of a P2P file sharing client)
- Archiving Tools (Additional archiving tools (rar, unrar, ace, and 7zip))
- AUD-DVD codecs (NON-FREE Audio and DVD codecs) (Installation of this option is illegal in the United States of America)
- Avidemux (Video Editing Tool)
- Azureus (Installs Azureus bittorrent client)
- Backup and Restore (A graphical backup and restore solution for Ubuntu (GNOME))
- Beagle (A Mono-based search program)
- Bittornado (Bittorent Client)
- Boot-up Manager (Easy configuration of startup and shutdown scripts and services)
- Checkgmail (A nifty gmail checker)
- Ctrl-Alt-Del (This configures Ctrl-Alt-Del to Open Gnome System Monitor (GNOME ONLY))
- DCPP (Linux DC++ client)
- Debian Menu (Shows all installed applications on your system)
- Democracy Player (Internet TV platform)
- DVD Ripper (DVD ripper)
- Extra Fonts (Additional fonts and msttcorefonts)
- Flashplayer (Adobe Flash Player for FF)
- Frostwire (P2P file sharing client (GPL clone of Limewire))
- Gdesklets (eyecandy for Gnome)
- Gaim 2.0 beta3 (The latest version of a popular IM client compatible with YIM/MSN/AIM/Jabber etc)
- GFTP (FTP client for GNOME with ssh capability)
- Gizmo Project (VoIP phone)
- Gnomebaker (The best GTK2 CD/DVD burning software)
- GnomePPP (Graphical dialup connection tool (GNOME ONLY))
- GnuCash (Money management software for GNOME)
- Google Earth (Satellite Earth imagery application from Google)
- Google Picasa (Photo editing application from Google)
- iLinux (iLife Alternative (Banshee, F-Spot, Kino))
- Liferea (A RSS reader for GNOME)
- Listen Media Manager (Latest version of a new media manager and player for GNOME)
- Media Players (Totem-xine, VLC and Beep Media Player (with docklet))
- MPlayer & FF plugin (MPlayer and Firefox 1.5 plugin)
- Multimedia Codecs (Commonly needed audio and video codecs)
- Multimedia Editing (Audio (Audacity) Video (Kino) and ID3 Tag (Easytag) editors)
- Nautilus Scripts (Open Nautilus, and any file with gedit with a right click, as root (GNOME ONLY))
- NDISWrapper (A driver wrapper that allows you to use Windows driver for network cards)
- Network Manager (A program and menu applet that allows you to easily change networks)
- NVIDIA Driver (Installs NVIDIA drivers on select NVIDIA cards)
- Opera Browser (Opera Web Browser)
- OpenOffice Clipart (clipart in OpenOffice)
- Programming Tools (Anjuta (C/C++ IDE), Bluefish (HTML editor), Screem (web development), NVU (HTML editor)
- RealPlayer (RealPlayer)
- Rhythmbox (Latest version of Rhythmbox)
- Ripper and Tuner (Streamripper (rips Internet radio streams) and Streamtuner (Internet radio client))
- Security Suite (ClamAV AntiVirus and Firestarter Firewall)
- Skype (A free (as in free beer) Voice Over IP software)
- Slab (Novell’s “Slab” menu used in SLED 10)
- SUN JAVA 1.5 JRE (Sun’s version 1.5 JRE & The Firefox plugin)
- SUN JAVA 1.5 JDK (Sun’s version 1.5 JDK (Most users DON’T need this))
- Swiftfox Browser (optimized Firefox browser for your specific CPU)
- Swiftfox Plugins (Java, Flash, Acrobat, Mplayer, MS fonts)
- Thunderbird 1.5 (Email client)
- Wine (Installs Wine)
- XChat (a popular IRC client)
And that’s just the list for Ubuntu. There are some minor differences in Kubuntu and other flavours. You can view them all here.
To install Automatix in Ubuntu, follow the quick and easy steps outlined on the website here. Once installed, run it from System Tools > Automatix. From there, you can install whichever applications you want.
I realized that after using Automatix to install most of my favorite applications that it saved me a lot of days of work if I were to do it manually.
Now I can concentrate on my customizations and other applications that I’ve discovered along the way that I absolutely love.
Stay tuned to find out more about these personal favorites!