That’s all I’ve managed to find so far. If you know of any more, drop me a message and I’ll add it to the list.
To add, though, I’ve just learned that the Gnome team doesn’t really provide the end user with theme support. It’s a function developed and headed by the community.
This kinda turns me off regarding Gnome Shell. Especially since it’s a lot of work for theme makers to make updates to their themes every time a new Gnome Shell release rolls out, just to make it work. This makes theme support harder to maintain.
Too bad, I was starting to like Gnome Shell. I’m also fascinated by Pantheon in Elementary, though. XFCE still has stellar theme support, and so does KDE, so that’s good too, even though I’m not a big fan of the latter.
Enjoy the above mentioned themes however, and the future isn’t exactly that bleak. Some designers do like to update their themes to work with 3.8, it’s just a matter of when they get down to doing it, if they do want to.
The latest iteration of the popular GNOME desktop, version 3.8, sees release today - but what are notable changes and improvements should you be looking out for? Here’s a list of our 10 favourite changes - in no specific order - new to this release.
My favorite thing about this though? The new Gnome Classic! Can’t wait to install it and try it out.
Also check out the post right after this on how to install (and remove,) Gnome 3.8 on Ubuntu 13.04.
Here’s a pretty extensive list of Desktop Environments and Shells available for your Linux operating system via a question asked on AskUbuntu.com.
Almost all the big names are here, and even though it’s not a complete list, it’s a pretty good single location for info on some of the more popular DEs’ and shells out there and the list is pretty big.
This has been around for quite some time now, a “preview,” version of Spotify for Debian and Ubuntu.
The following are the instructions from Spotify’s own blog post:
# 1. Add this line to your list of repositories by
# editing your /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free
# 2. If you want to verify the downloaded packages,
# you will need to add our public key
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 94558F59
# 3. Run apt-get update
sudo apt-get update
# 4. Install spotify!
sudo apt-get install spotify-client
It works pretty well, in fact, better than I expected it to. Enjoy.
Whenever anyone plans on transiting from Windows to Linux, the first Linux distro that everyone recommends is the Ubuntu LTS and for a good reason, that it is very easy to use than most of the other distros out there. But most new Linux users come to Linux with an impression that Linux is highly customizable. Though it is true for Linux, but Ubuntu with it’s Unity Interface is beautiful but it is not that customizable out of the box. And you need to do some changes to customize it beyond just changing the wallpaper. So without further waiting lets skip right on to the steps.
The Bumblebee-Project [a Must Have for Nvidia Optimus]
If working with an Nvidia graphics card or chipset wasn’t difficult enough on Linux (thanks for the horrible support, Nvidia,) there is the issue of working with Nvidia Optimus.
If you’re one of the people with a laptop touting the merits of Nvidia Optimus with a shiny sticker to prove it on the armrest, and haven’t heard of the Bumble-bee Project, you don’t know what you’re missing!
Or maybe you DID hear about it, like I did a year or so ago. But then you tried to further look into it and the fact that it somewhere down the road the project got divided into another side project, and the documentation wasn’t so great, and the installation itself wasn’t exactly an easy thing, you just decided it wasn’t worth the time.
Well, it’s time to reconsider the Bumble-bee Project, because with their latest release (3.0) things have never been as easy.
Not only does Bumblebee give you the option of configuring and switching between your Intel and Nvidia chipset, it also installs the Nvidia drivers for you.
I’m not going to waste anymore time, let’s get our hands dirty, shall we?
Add the repository
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
sudo apt-get update
Install Bumblebee and Nvidia drivers
sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia
Restart your computer!
There we have it, yo. More information on their website, as always. Enjoy!
Window Managers, Desktop Environments, and how to install/uninstall them. [Awesome, Fluxbox, Cinnamon and Mate]
As most Linux users know, one of the most love-able features of using Linux is the fact that you can tweak and customize any aspect of it. This gives you lots of room to experiment and find the software you like the most, to mix and match things together until you have your ‘perfect’ desktop.
One of the things I have been experimenting with for a while now are Desktop Environments and Window Managers. A lot of people get confused between the two, and things do get a little tricky when trying to figure out what each specifically does or is.
A quick Google search later, I come up with the following useful information.
There are three main layers to the Linux desktop:
X Windows – This is the foundation that allows for graphic elements to be drawn on the display. X Windows builds the primitive framework that allows moving of windows, interactions with keyboard and mouse, and draws windows. This is required for any graphical desktop.
Window Manager – The Window Manager is the piece of the puzzle that controls the placement and appearance of windows. Window Managers include: Enlightenment, Afterstep, FVWM, Fluxbox, IceWM, etc. Requires X Windows but not a desktop environment.
Desktop Environment – This is where it begins to get a little fuzzy for some. A Desktop Environment includes a Window Manager but builds upon it. The Desktop Environment typically is a far more fully integrated system than a Window Manager. Requires both X Windows and a Window Manager. Examples of desktop environments are GNOME, KDE, Xfce among others).
Now that we’ve gotten the technicalities out of the way, let’s talk about some of the popular and slightly more unique Desktop Environments and Window Managers. I’ll be going through how to install each one, uninstall each one, and also bringing to the table their own specific advantages and features.
I’ll be highlighting Awesome, Fluxbox, Cinnamon, and Mate. These particularly, because my search for an alternative desktop stemmed from the fact that I still go through Gnome 2 withdrawal. These DEs’ and WMs’ are known for being lightweight, and some are even forks or try to emulate Gnome 2 in certain ways. Most of all, I wanted to put all the helpful commands on how to install and uninstall them in one place.
Note 1: After Installing each of these, just Reboot or Log out, and select the one you just installed or want to try out from the drop down menu at the login screen.
Note 2: I am going to assume you already know what most of the commands mean. For instance, I won’t tell you why you’re running (or why it’s important to run) apt-get update after adding a PPA using add-apt-repository.
Let’s get on with it!
Awesome is a Window Manager, and more specifically, a tiling window manager. Their website and wiki have all the information you need, and more, so I highly recommend you read it.
Window Manager, this one built upon Blackbox, and adds it’s own set of features to the table. Uses a Lua configuration file, just like Awesome. Great documentation on their website and wiki, which I recommend reading if you plan on using Fluxbox.
Cinnamon was introduced by the Linux Mint team and comes packaged with Mint, but of course, other Debian based Distros are also invited to the party. It’s another Desktop Environment trying to follow in the steps of Gnome 2 in providing a traditional way of operating your desktop
A fork of the popular Gnome 2 that’s developed in collaboration with the Linux Mint team as well. Follows almost the same philosophy as Cinnamon in that it tries to provide users with the traditional environment they were used to with Gnome 2.
That’s it, folks! Happy experimenting, and don’t forget to have fun.
UPDATE: Whoops! Made a huge booboo. See, Fluxbox took off from Blackbox, and not Openbox as I originally proclaimed (d’oh! Got my boxes all mixed up.) Thanks to Everything Linux (http://everything-linux.co.cc/) for pointing the error out in a very understanding and kind manner.
The high class web browser, Opera, has a new release . Opera has been supported on Linux for quite a while now, and if you use this particular web browser, go grab the latest release by clicking the title/link above.
I decided to try out Xfce in Linux Mint, on my journey to find a Desktop Environment that resembles classic Gnome.
MATE, the fork of Gnome 2, is pretty close to the classic desktop environment, but not without it’s glitches and missing functionality. That can be understood however, because the creators themselves as well as Mint acknowledge that, and have warned people on it’s use.
Xfce is surprisingly similar to Gnome 2!
It is highly customizable, very light-weight, and is aesthetically both simple and minimalistic. This design philosophy does the same kind of wonders for Xfce, that it did for Gnome 2.
Love it. Look at screenshot below! Would you be interested in finding out exactly how I got that look?
Might just end up switching to Xubuntu, or install Xfce on Ubuntu 11.10.
To install yourself, just use:
sudo apt-get install update
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
Restart your computer, just because. Then pick Xfce at the drop down menu on the Login Screen!
I’ve been missing out on all the action on Tumblr and haven’t updated the blog in the longest time!
I hope you’re all still bearing with me, I just got way turned off because:
a) The whole Unity/Gnome Shell BS is/was NOT working for me at all.
b) I got a new Laptop - with nVidia Optimus and what not. Some hardware is too new for Linux at this point, and some other issues here and there.
Mainly, however, it had everything to do with how much I dislike Unity and Gnome shell both. I just can’t stand the fact that they’ve completely removed Classic Gnome and don’t plan on going back to it.
Save for MATE though. It’s a Classic Gnome fork that Linux Mint 12 comes packaged with. Now, realize that I haven’t completely switched ships - because Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu itself.
Expect all the news, links and great software in the near future then. =]
Running Ubuntu 11.04, I quickly realized that Emerald was broken and it wouldn’t decorate my windows even after setting it to do so.
To switch window managers and window decorators on the fly, I use Compiz Fusion Icon,(sudo apt-get install fusion-icon) which places a small icon on the top panel next to the battery status etc. Right clicking it brings up the menu and lets you select your Window Manager and Window Decorator on the fly.
There’s a quick fix for Emerald, all you have to do is add a PPA and update/upgrade your system:
There are several ways to connect to an iDevice (iPhones, iPods and iPads) using Windows, or Macs. On Linux, the support for these devices isn’t as cooperative, and can be disappointing.
However, remember that your choice to run a Linux distro makes you a power user, and you have several Linux tools pre-installed that allow you to do - in simple terms, whatever you want!
To do so in Windows or a Mac, you would need an SSH and FTP file browsing client to connect to the iDevice and then to transfer files. In Linux, all these tools are ready to be used and at your fingertips!
Nautilus, Ubuntu’s default file manager, has all the capabilities of FTP (File Transfer Protocol.) All you have to do is connect it to the right server, and you have many options to do this too, one of which is SSH.
In the following guide, I will teach you how to connect to your iPhone or iPod using SSH, and then transfer files.
Prerequisites: The following are the requirements to make all of the aforementioned things happen. Details about what each does also follows.
Your iDevice has to be Jailbroken. This is necessary, so you can manage wireless connections manually.
You need to have SBSettings installed.
You need to have OpenSSH installed - which provides SBSettings with the options to toggle SSH on or off.
You need Linux (d’uh!)
I am not going to go over how to jailbreak your iDevice, since several thousands of pages on the internet will walk you through just that. Remember, google is your friend.
SBSettings is an application for iDevices that gives you much more control and functionality than an iDevice usually would. It can be found in Cydia after you jailbreak your device. To see the SBSettings menu, just slide your fingers from left to right on the top panel of your iDevice (where the time and battery icon is.) Doing so will bring up the SBSettings menu, which has a lot of options you can customize and toggle on or off - for instance; Wifi, Bluetooth, and if you have OpenSSH installed, SSH too.
OpenSSH can also be found in Cydia, and once installed, the icon to toggle SSH on or off appears in the SBSettings menu. If you don’t see the option, click on ‘more’ from the SBSettings menu, and turn on the SSH option from the ”toggle menu list”.
If you have any troubles with the above mentioned steps (which are still only prerequisites to carry out the main task this post will talk about,) remember to use Google! Just like the Ubuntu community, the iCommunity is huge on the internet, and you can find whatever you are looking for on the internet.
Now, I’m going to assume you have a jailbroken iDevice, SBSettings, and SSH enabled using OpenSSH.
As I already mentioned, you don’t need to install any packages on your Ubuntu systems, everything is already available out of the box.
Your computer and your iDevice both need to be on the same internet connection (using WiFi,) so that they are on the same network.
Start by figuring out the IP Address that your network assigns to your iDevice. To do so, go into Settings > Wifi > Click on the small blue arrow next to your network connection which will bring up the settings. Your device’s assigned IP address will be found here. It’s going to be something like 192.168.x.xx (where the xs’ are numbers, d’uh.)
Browsing the inner directories and system folders of your iDevice:
Fire up Terminal, and use the following command to connect to your iDevice.
ssh 192.168.x.xx -l root
The IP Address has to be the one you just found out. The “-l” parameter is to specify a username, which is necessary because otherwise Linux is going to try to connect using your default system username. The username that is assigned to iDevices by default is ‘root’ which is why it’s placed after the -l parameter.
After running the command, your computer will try to connect to your iDevice using SSH, and will prompt you for a password.
The default password for iDevices is ‘alpine’. Once you enter this, you are in!
Side Note: If for some reason you cannot connect to your device using the above password, you can manually change the password on your device using MobileTerminal. This is a terminal emulator for iDevices and can also be found in Cydia. The command to change your default password is “passwd” as most bash and CLI users already know. This is also a safe practice to ensure no one else can SSH into your device as easily as you can. Google this if you want to learn more.
Once the connection is made, and you are in, you can browse all the hidden and system directories of your iDevice for whatever reason you want. I am going to specify some of the important directories in iDevices and where they are at the end of this post.
Remember that you will not be placed in the root folder, and will need to ‘cd ..’ a couple of times to make sure you see everything.
File Transfer using SSH and Nautilus file browser:
Nautilus, the default file browser in Ubuntu, is very powerful. It has FTP capabilities built-in to it, and you can connect to servers using SSH. I’ve been running Gnome Shell for a while, so the following instructions will be for that. Even though, it will not be much different if you are still running Gnome 2, or perhaps even Unity.
In Gnome 2, all you have to do is click on Places, Connect to Server (which will bring up the wizard,) and enter the following information:
And you’re in. You are now connected to your iDevice and should see a link to it in your file browser - which is probably Nautilus.
To do it in Gnome Shell, or by Nautilus itself, simply run Nautilus and navigate to the File Menu » and select Connect to Server.
Enter the same details as above, and you will have a working directory show up in the left folders pane which will allow you to browse your iDevice and all it’s folders.
That’s it! Now you can transfer files back and forth in between your devices. Simple, wasn’t it?
A concise list of the default iDevice folders:
The ‘iPhone’ directory is basically your root directory, which you can get to by hitting backspace multiple times or using ‘cd ..’ to navigate to it.
Media Files (Camera roll, etc): /private/var/mobile/Media/
It used to be that you could place specific files in each of these directories and they would show up on your iDevice as if they were originally placed and meant to be there. However, being the evil empire that Apple is, a lot of things have changed since things were so simple to do.
I recommend you get iFile from Cydia, which is a file browser for iDevices and lets you do simple things like adding pictures to the Camera Roll manually.
Hope all this information benefits you and that you enjoyed reading. If you have any questions, you know where to find me! And once again, I feel obligated to remind you: Google is your friend!
Paul McEnery’s repository contains the latest ‘libimobiledevice’ file which allows iDevices to be mounted and detected by Linux. After adding the repository and updating/upgrading your system, you will ensure you have the latest file:
Add pmcenery PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pmcenery/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
iFuse is another small app that allows the connection between your linux system and your iDevice to be made, so if the libimobiledevice file doesn’t support the connection any longer, it wouldn’t hurt to install the following:
Installing gnome-shell will most definitely break Unity. There is no workaround, all your configuration files will be switched over to gnome-shell, and going back to Unity is a very difficult task. In fact, if you decide you do want to go ahead and install gnome-shell, the only way you’ll have your previous vanilla install of Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity, is if you re-install.
After you’re done with the necessary decision making step of installing gnome-shell, you can go ahead and get started with the actual installation!
As you are probably already aware, there are multiple ways of installing things in Linux.
The two ways I’d feel comfortable installing gnome-shell with, are either the Graphical User Interface of the Ubuntu software center - or the command line.
I’m going to go over both these ways, and you can pick whichever you’re most comfortable with.
Graphical User Interface - Ubuntu Software Center:
This method should be suitable for people that aren’t much comfortable with the command line interface. If that is you, read through. Otherwise, installing gnome-shell via the command line is right after this part.
Open up the Ubuntu Software Center, click on Edit from the menu, and select Software Sources.
Click add in the Software Sources window. We will add the Gnome 3 PPA to your list of available software sources, so you can click and install it.
Add the following text, and click Add Source, and click close.
A new menu item called Gnome 3 will be added to your software sources list after you add the Gnome 3 PPA.
Now simply run Update Manager and apply all the updates. This will take some time, depending on your internet connection and the server, so go grab a soda and listen to a song or two.
After the update and upgrades are complete, you will need to manually install two packages. You can do so by searching for the following packages in the Ubuntu Software Center (or you can just click them):
- This is a tweaking tool that helps you get to a lot of options that aren’t right in front of you while using Gnome 3.
Command Line Interface:
This is my preferred method because it’s way easier and much less time consuming, since you don’t have to navigate menus and point and click much.
Add the repository:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
Update, and upgrade:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install gnome-session
Another upgrade and dist-upgrade:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
After that, simply log out and select “Gnome” at the GDM Login Screen. You’re all set!
UPDATE: After installing Gnome3, I noticed that my graphics didn’t look like they were supposed to at all! Specifically the window borders, and the scrollbars, etc. Upon some internet searching, I quickly found a simple solution. I just had to install some missing packages and restart Gnome3 to fix everything. I was just missing some theme files.
The following single command will install three theme related packages that will solve problems concerning how windows etc. look in Gnome Shell:
I finally had enough of Unity about a week ago, and have been using classic Gnome (2.xx) without thinking about it.
I also experimented with Enlightenment and Awesome Window Manager. The previous didn’t feel to special to me - so I’ve stopped using it, and the latter requires a lot of configuration to become a fully functional desktop. I’ve been lazy as hell, so that hasn’t happened either.
Even though I really liked Unity at the beginning, and thought it was an innovative approach, a few things have since turned me off. For example, an argument I read somewhere on the internet that really made me think was - “Unity makes the computer look like a toy.”
I realized this was true, the more and more I saw the colorful bright icons that kept popping up every time I moved my mouse cursor to the top left corner of the screen involuntarily. This was annoying, because I didn’t want the damn panel to show up, I was just moving my mouse around for the heck of it out of habit.
Also, Unity can not really be themed. My desktop looked the same every time I logged in. I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I went back to GTK 2.
However, I quickly realized that Unity had broken Emerald. You can’t use Emerald themes in Unity anymore by default, which really blows! I couldn’t theme my desktop to look like it did before anymore!
Therefore, I’ve decided to go ahead and install gnome-shell. I haven’t done this yet, because of the risks it imposed on ruining Unity. My dislike for Unity and sheer boredom, however, have persuaded me on going ahead and taking the risk.
Going to back up all my data now, and install gnome-shell. If all goes well, expect a tutorial and thoughts. Wish me luck!