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Posts Tagged ‘unity

Xubuntu To The Rescue: Swap Ubuntu (Quantal) to Xubuntu 12.10 Sweet :-)

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12.04 to 12.10: Well that was the simplest upgrade I have ever done :-)

After testing Unity for years I have decided that it degrades my Linux experience and that I need to move on.

I still love Ubuntu, its just that the Unity UI is physically painful to use.

Xubuntu to the rescue!


Install Xfce (Xubuntu) on Ubuntu Linux

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

To upgrade to 12.10

Switch Notify me of a new Ubuntu version.

Set to “For any new version.”

Software Updater > Settings > Software Sources:


Notes: Appearance

Style: Clearlooks (Title bar is blue not orange, tool tips yellow not black).

Icons: elementary Xfce dark

Notes: Firefox

Create blank rule in Stylish: nodropmarker

.bookmark-item[container] > .toolbarbutton-menu-dropmarker { display: none !important; }

Notes: Thunar File Manager

EM: Unable to find or create wastebasket directory

Fix: Use Shift+Delete :-)

Notes: Update Manager Delay

Fix: No fix yet but it does start after 20 seconds.

Notes: VirtualBox Guest Additions not installing

Fix: Install the newest deb (no repository yet).

Ubuntu 12.10 (“Quantal Quetzal”)  i386AMD64

sudo dpkg -i package.deb


Download VirtualBox for Linux Hosts

Install Xfce (Xubuntu) on Ubuntu Linux

[SOLVED] Xubuntu 11.10 – Unable to find or create wastebasket directory

How to remove icons from FF 4 Bookmarks Toolbar? Waste of space!

Remove drop down arrow from containers on bookmarks toolbar


Written by SilverWav

October 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Bliss Unity Lens – Menu Style

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The Bliss Lens takes things old-skool: organising applications into category folders reminicisnt of the old GNOME 2 menus.

This is for those who prefer the more traditional approach to application-menu structure. Each application category is a folder. Inside each folder lay the respective application icons.

Created by Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen, Maintainer of the Unity Application Lens.


Step by Step Package Creation and Install.

1) Install some development tools:

sudo apt-get install bzr gnome-common checkinstall

2) Create a folder



bzr branch lp:unity-lens-bliss

3) From /projects/bliss/unity-lens-bliss$


./ --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc && make

4) Create a package for it:


sudo checkinstall


This package will be built according to these values:

0 –  Maintainer: [ Silverwave ]
1 –  Summary: [ Bliss Lens Hack for Unity ]
2 –  Name:    [ bliss-unity-lens—menu-style ]
3 –  Version: [ 0.0.1 ]
4 –  Release: [ 1 ]
5 –  License: [ GPL ]
6 –  Group:   [ checkinstall ]
7 –  Architecture: [ amd64 ]
8 –  Source location: [ unity-lens-bliss ]
9 –  Alternate source location: [  ]
10 – Requires: [  ]
11 – Provides: [ unity-lens ]
12 – Conflicts: [  ]
13 – Replaces: [  ]

Enter a number to change any of them or press ENTER to continue:

Installing with make install…

Done. The new package has been installed and saved to


You can remove it from your system anytime using:

dpkg -r bliss-unity-lens---menu-style


5) Log-out, log-in. Test.

From Unity Bliss: An Alternative Application Lens for Ubuntu.

Optional: You can remove the old lens via the package manager.

Its called “unity-lens-applications” and after removal you will need to log-out, log-in, again.


Note: The best way to use the Bliss lens is to hit SUPER + A.

Keyboard Shortcuts
SUPER + A – application lens
SUPER + F – files lens
SUPER + M – music lens

Written by SilverWav

November 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Posted in Feature

Tagged with , , , , , ,

11.04 Natty – Mouse & Keyboard Tips

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Keyboard Shortcuts


  • Hold Super – Invoke the Launcher.
  • Hold Super, then 1 or 2 or 3 and so on until 0– Open or focus an application. The number corresponds to the location of the icon on the launcher from top to bottom.
    • Adding Shift will open a new instance of the application if it’s already open.
    • Holding the key is also useful when you want to get to the Launcher but do not want to invoke the Dash.
  • SuperT – Open the rubbish bin/trash can.
  • AltF1 – Put keyboard focus on the Launcher, use arrow keys to navigate, Enter launches an application, Right arrow exposes the quicklists if an application has them.
  • CtrlAltT – Launch a terminal window.
  • SuperA – Open Applications place
  • SuperF – Open Files & Folders place


  • Tap Super – Opens the Dash
  • AltF2 – Invoke the Dash in a “special mode” to run a command. Typing in a Folder Name will find that folder in Nautilus, you can also use ~ as a shortcut in the field.
  • The Dash opens with focus on the search box to find applications and files. Using the arrow keys will navigate the results, use Enter to launch.


  • F10– Open the first menu on the panel, use the arrows keys to “scrub” across the menus. (There is no shortcut for the session menu, so hitting F10 and left arrow is a quick way to get there)
    • Press Esc to close the menus without choosing anything.

Window Management

  • SuperW – Spread mode, zoom out on all windows in all workspaces.
  • SuperD – Minimize all windows; hitting it again restores them.

Window Placement

If you cycle through the same key Unity will cycle through different placement widths, so experiment by hitting the numkey multiple times, for example Ctrl-Alt-numpad 5 5 5:

  • CtrlAltNumpad 7 – Place window in top left corner of screen.
  • CtrlAltNumpad 8 – Place window in top half of screen.
  • CtrlAltNumpad 9 – Place window in top right corner of screen.
  • CtrlAltNumpad 4 – Place window on the left side of the screen.
  • CtrlAltNumpad 5 – Center/Maximize the window in the middle of the screen.
  • CtrlAltNumpad 6 – Place window on the right side of the screen.
  • CtrlAltNumpad 1 – Place window in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • CtrlAltNumpad 2 – Place window in the bottom half of the screen.
  • CtrlAltNumpad 3 – Place window in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • CtrlAltNumpad 0 – Maximize window.

Workspace Management

  • SuperS – Expo mode (for everything), zooms out on all the workspaces and lets you manage windows.
  • ShiftAlt – Expo mode for all windows in the current workspace only.
  • CtrlAlt / / / – Change to a new workspace.
  • CtrlAltShift / / / – Place window to a new workspace.
  • CtrlAltL – Lock the screen.


  • PrtScn – Take a screenshot of the current workspace
  • AltPrtScn – Take a screenshot of the current window

Mouse Tricks


  • Clicking and holding an icon and then dragging it around will allow you to reorder it on the launcher. You can also drag it off to the right of the launcher to move it around. Note that you need to make an explicit movement to the right to move the icon off the launcher before you can move it around.
  • Dragging and Dropping an icon into the trash can will remove it from the Launcher. The program itself will remain installed and accessible through the dash.
  • Scrolling the mouse wheel while over the Launcher scrolls the icons if you have too many and need to move around quickly.

Window Management

  • Maximizing – Dragging a window to the top panel will maximize it.
  • Restore – There are two ways to restore, or unmaximize, the topmost maximized window of the current monitor for this workspace (not using the window controls)
    • Double clicking on the top panel (but not in the application’s menu)
    • Dragging the top panel down.
  • Middle click on Maximize – Maximize Window Vertically.
  • Right click on Maximize – Maximize Window Horizontally
  • Focus the topmost maximized window of the current monitor for this workspace: Left click on the top panel (but not in the application’s menu)
  • Cycle between maximized windows of the current monitor for this workspace: Middle click on the top panel (but not in the application’s menu)
  • Tiling – Dragging a Window to the left/right border will auto tile it to that side of the screen.
  • Middle click on an application’s launcher icon – Open a new instance of the application in a new window. If the application isn’t running it will just open it normally.
  • Middle click on the top panel (but not the menu) – send the current window behind all other windows.
From: askubuntu.
Licensed: under cc-wiki with attribution required.

Written by SilverWav

May 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Notes

Tagged with , , , ,

Ubuntu Natty Narwhal 11.04: Stunning and Beautiful.

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Elegant, Clever and Functional… Canonical Have A Winner.


OK this article is a work-in-progress and will be updated and edited as I learn more.


  • Reading the Release Notes would probably be a good idea… but I never do until something bugs me and I have to go looking for the cause.
  • If you are setting mount points in the installer, be aware that you may need to use “Paste” as there is a bug stopping text entry.
    That is, all you can choose are the items in the drop down list.
    I used gedit to copy my mount points text e.g. “/backup”.
    There is a screen-shot of what I am referring to later on in the post.
  • Use the recommenced Nvidia driver, or you will be sorry ;-)
    As an example I tried “173” but it didn’t cut it on my system.
    Current is working very well even with dual monitors :-D
  • Unity is only designed to work on the left, that is you need to have the launcher on the far left most side of your left most monitor.
    Don’t use it in the centre of two screens as this will cause issues.
  • Dual monitor system Launcher displays on start-up at the left of the right monitor?
    [Fix] Swap the dvi cables connecting the graphics card over :-D
    Now the left most monitor is the default monitor and you can enable the right most monitor via TwinView.
  • Unity Mouse & Keyboard Tips Here.
  • Show the Month, Date & Locations in the Indicator Here.
  • Panel Indicators (See Below). Pastie, syspeek, Weather Indicator, Indicator Multiload and Indicator Workspaces.
  • Remove the “Me Menu”. sudo apt-get remove indicator-me


First Thoughts

The Launcher is very slick and well thought out particularly for something this immature.

To add items, open the app, right click and choose “Keep in Launcher “.

You can pick an item and then move it up or down the stack, the mechanics of this are handled in a very cool way :-)

A search for “CCSM” brings up the CompizConfig Settings Manager. This allows you to tweak the  “Ubuntu Unity Plugin”. Search is already set for the Super Key. I set F1 for the Launcher and F2 for Run.

There are a lot of different ways to access your applications but if you get lost you can always use “Applications” from the bottom of the Launcher.

As you fill the Launcher with apps you will notice that they start getting stacked at the bottom :-D


I am playing about with various ways of using the Workplace Switcher…

The one I am having fun with ATM is to have Firefox in one space and Chromium in another. Just clicking on the app in the Launcher and BANG! I am straight into another Workplace… Nice.


Installing Natty

I publish to the web as a kind of script that I can follow when installing. You can do this as well, just choose to “Try Ubuntu” not “Install Ubuntu” at the CD prompt. You then get booted into a fully working OS off the CD. You have an install shortcut on the desktop and you can use Firefox to look up this post to help you with the install.

Note that I am performing a Clean Install not an Upgrade. My /home is on its own partition. This enables me to keep 99% of my configuration information, (Application Settings, Desktop, Panels, etc.) and is a huge time saver.

To make life interesting I am swapping the system HD with another and I am also reformatting my /home to ext4 from ext3.
This means I will need to copy all of my data back to /home after the format. I mention this in passing as I may add some extra information in regards to this so I don’t have to look it up the next time :-) .



Note your Partition details and send to the Web or Gmail, (I use GParted or Systems Monitor).
This will allow you to refer to these screen-shots from Firefox while you are installing.


Download an image: 11.04-desktop-amd64.iso or 11.04-desktop-i386.iso

  • It is advisable to use VirtualBox to do a dry run of the following in a VM prior to the real thing.
  • Backup your system.
  • Burn a CD with K3b at 4 speed and check integrity.
  • K3b will display a MD5 of the ISO, this should be “7de611b50c283c1755b4007a4feb0379” for ubuntu-11.04-desktop-amd64.iso.
  • Boot the CD and hold down shift key.
    Choose language. Choose test integrity.
  • Reboot, Choose “Try Ubuntu”.



  • Wait for the CD files to be uncompressed and loaded.
    This will take a while if you don’t have a Linux swap.
  • On the desktop click the short-cut “Install”.
  • I start the Installer and open Firefox on this post so I can check on details e.g. partitions.
  • I chose the 3rd option on how to “Allocate drive space”.
    • I went through each of the partitions in turn, hitting “change” and setting Type and Mount Point.
    • I didn’t have to create or size any partitions as I had used GParted prior to this.

  • Double checking is a good idea at this point.
    Have you set the correct file system for each partition?
    That tick box marked “format”, are you sure?
  • Reboot when the installer is finished.


Post Install Set-up

If needed, install the NVIDIA, or other restricted driver, then reboot.

Add Codecs and Packages

1. Add the Medibuntu Repository.

sudo wget  --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

2. Automatically Install Favourite Packages.
You will need the following two files:
Download the file

Create the file packages.list and add the code below (click “show source” then hover your mouse over the code and choose “view source” from the toolbar).
Copy and paste into the file you have just created.

# by silverwav - OpenPGP key:03187548 15 Apr 2009
# Any line starting with a # is ignored as are Blank lines.
# Any other lines, the first word is taken as the package name.

# Add Repositories before you start
# Add repo 1st!
# sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
# sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

#*** Extras
ubuntu-restricted-extras - Commonly used restricted packages
timer-applet - a countdown timer applet for the GNOME panel

#linux-headers-$(uname -r)

compizconfig-settings-manager - Compiz configuration settings manager
#simple-ccsm - Simple Compizconfig settings manager
hardinfo - UNIX/Linux hardware information

gparted - GNOME partition editor
firestarter - gtk program for managing and observing your firewall
bum - graphical runlevel editor
nvidia-settings - Tool of configuring the NVIDIA graphics driver

revelation - GNOME2 Password manager
#parcellite - A lightweight GTK+ clipboard manager
glipper - Clipboard manager for the GNOME panel

pcmanfm - an extremely fast and lightweight file manager for X
gmountiso - a PyGTK GUI to mount your cd images
#xfe - lightweight file manager for X11
#gnome-commander - nice and fast file manager for the GNOME desktop

#***Accessories - Search
catfish - file search tool that support several different engines
recoll - Personal full text search package with a QT GUI

#***Accessories - Text
notecase - hierarchical note manager (aka outliner)
emacs - GNU Emacs is the extensible self-documenting text editor.
vim-gnome - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor - with GNOME2 GUI

#doom-wad-shareware - Shareware game files for the 3D game DOOM
#prboom - clone of the legendary first person shooter Doom

gimp - The GNU Image Manipulation Program
gthumb - an image viewer and browser
mtpaint - painting program to create pixel art and manipulate digital photos
gwenview – image viewer for KDE 4
kolourpaint4 - simple image editor for KDE 4
kiconedit - icon editor for KDE 4
shotwell - digital photo organizer
xpdf - Portable Document Format (PDF) suite

pidgin - graphical multi-protocol instant messaging client for X
epiphany-browser - Intuitive web browser
ushare – lightweight UPnP A/V Media Server (x-box)


geany - A fast and lightweight IDE
meld - graphical tool to diff and merge files
regexxer - A visual search and replace tool

#***Sound & Video
#Add repo 1st!

#***Sound & Video - Codecs
libdvdcss2 - Simple foundation for reading DVDs - runtime libraries
lame - LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder

#***Sound & Video - Player
mplayer - The Ultimate Movie Player For Linux - Medibuntu package
mplayer-fonts - Fonts for mplayer
mplayer-skin-blue - blue skin for mplayer
mplayer-skins - Skins for the Ubuntu mplayer Package
mplayer-gui – movie player for Unix-like systems
#mozilla-mplayer - MPlayer-Plugin for Mozilla
vlc - multimedia player and streamer
xine-ui - the xine video player, user interface

#***Sound & Video - DVD
acidrip - ripping and encoding DVD tool using mplayer and mencoder
audacity - A fast, cross-platform audio editor
avidemux - a free video editor - gtk version
devede - program to create video DVDs
dvd95 - DVD9 to DVD5 converter
dvdrip - perl front end for transcode
k3b - A sophisticated KDE CD burning application
k9copy - DVD backup tool for KDE
mkvtoolnix-gui - mmg a set of tools to work with Matroska files - GUI frontend
arista - multimedia transcoder for the GNOME Desktop
pitivi - non-linear audio/video editor using GStreamer

#***Sound & Video - Sound Tools
padevchooser - PulseAudio Device Chooser
pavumeter - PulseAudio Volume Meter
soundkonverter - audio converter frontend for KDE
bbe – sed-like editor for binary files
normalize-audio – adjusts the volume of files to a standard volume level
mpeg4ip-server – end-to-end system to explore streaming multimedia
espeak - A multi-lingual software speech synthesizer

#***System Tools
samba - a LanManager-like file and printer server for Unix
nautilus-gksu - privilege granting extension for nautilus using gksu - Open as Administrator
nautilus-open-terminal - nautilus plugin for opening terminals in arbitrary local paths
nautilus-actions - nautilus extension to configure programs to launch
gconf-editor - An editor for the GConf configuration system
sysinfo - UNIX/Linux system information (MONO)
bleachbit - delete unnecessary files from the system
ttf-liberation - Free fonts with the same metrics as Times, Arial and Courier
testdrive - run the daily Ubuntu ISO in a virtual machine

This is a list of the packages that I use, you may have to adjust the list for your system.

For example note that I own a 64bit system which uses Nvidia graphics.

3. Make the script executable.

cd /home/sil/Downloads
chmod +x ./

4. Run the script and install the packages.

sudo ./

Note: Change …/sil/… to your user name.

If a licence pop-up appears, you may need to “page down” to the end and use space/tab, to get to the OK so that you can press enter.

Panel Indicators

Start via Alt + F2 “AppName” and enter.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hel-sheep/pastie
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pastie

Indicator Workspaces
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:geod/ppa-geod
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-workspaces

Indicator Syspeek
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vicox/syspeek
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install syspeek


Add PPA Repositories.

Only add these if you want the very latest features.

Low safety, daily packages have not undergone any quality assurance.
Sometimes very safe but sometimes may not work at all.


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:silverwave/one-daily-a-month-3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox-trunk

And possibly one of these

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-daily/beta
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-daily/dev
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-daily/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install chromium-browser



Manual install is needed for (Details here).

Copy /home to the New Partition
Copy all files, directories and sub-directories from your current /home folder into the new partition:

sudo rsync -axS --exclude='/*/.gvfs' /home/. /media/home/.

Check Copying Worked (from here).

sudo diff -r /home /media/home

Add VirtualBox 4.0 Oracle Repository Here.

Fix Virtualbox Error “Failed to access the USB subsystem” Here.