It is advisable to take a walk through the “System Configuration” menu where the user will find many options to configure Ubuntu. By default it is shows as part of the Launcher (launcher bar). It can also be opened it from the icon at “Shutdown> System Settings” on the right top panel.
In addition to the menu options mentioned above, there are many applications that can be installed to customize an Ubuntu installation, one of them is remarkable:
MyUnity – it is essential if the user wants a graphical tool for managing the system appearance (Desktop Themes, Icons, Cursors and appearance and behavior of the panel, Dash and Launcher (launcher bar) of Unity.
Installation: Search for myUnity in the Software Center:
sudo apt-get install myUnity
gnome-tweak-tool- (Advanced Gnome Configuration). Graphical tool to manage GNOME 3. Works with both Unity and Gnome-Shell.
Installation: Search for advanced settings in the Software Center:
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
DESKTOP ENVIRONMENTS AND GRAPHICAL INTERFACES
Tint2- For those who want a lower panel with a list of open windows running with Unity. It is lightweight and configurable.
Installation: Search for tint2 in Software Center:
sudo apt-get install tint2
And for those users who do not like Unity, they can install different Desktop Environments and Shells:
Classic desktop- Gnome desktop clone running under Gnome 2.x and 3.x, maintained by Ubuntu.
Installation: Search for gnome panel in Software Center:
sudo apt-get install gnome-panel
Gnome Shell- Desktop with Gnome Shell 3.x, replaces Unity
Installation: Search for gnome shell Software Center:
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
Cinnamon- Linux Shell created by Mint. Adds a bottom panel and a menu of applications to Gnome 3.x, among other things.
Mate – Fork of the missing Gnome 2.x (no support or development) which provides an alternative to those who do not want to use Gnome 3.x
Compiz is installed by default, but there is lack of a configuration tool that really gets all the power of the 3D effects.
Installation: Search for compizconfig in the Software Center:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
Activate the CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE keyboard shortcut to restart X
It has been turned off by default for long, this shortcut allows the user to restart the X server (graphical) when a problem causes the system to stop responding correctly so that it can get to the login screen (username and password).
Follow these instructions to activate it:
Open the “System Configuration> Keyboard Distribution” and click the “Options” button (bottom right).
A window, displays the “Key sequence to kill the X server” and check the “Ctrl + Alt + Backspace” box.
UNZIP FILES IN ZIP AND RAR FORMATS.
zip and rar must be installed.
Installation: search for 7zip in Software Center:
sudo apt-get install p7zip-full p7zip-rar rar unrar
MOUNTING AN IPOD:
Installation: search for ipod in software center:
sudo apt-get install gtkpod
To learn more about this application visit their official website.
BASIC SOFTWARE COMPILATION.
Sometimes it is required that the user compiles a piece of source code (.deb files) to get an executable.
To use commands such as “gcc” and “make”
sudo apt-get install build-essential
The user can also install the kernel development libraries necessary for certain packages:
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname-r`
AVANT WINDOW NAVIGATOR
Even though it is not required to install any dock when having Unity Bar launchers, there is a way to install this magnificent dock for those who really want it.
Installation: search for avant window navigator in the Software Center:
sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator
TEMPERATURE MONITORING OF HARDWARE
Installation: search for lm-sensors and hddtemp in software Cente:
sudo apt-get install lm-sensors hddtemp
Conky is a tool to monitor the system in a very lightweight way, while also being powerful and configurable, won several Linux awards, for being “more useful and better maintained.”
Installation: search for conky in the software Center:
sudo apt-get install conky
The screenlets are small desktop widgets that allow for having additional features in the desktop such as: clocks, battery consumption, weather, etc..
Installation: search for screenlets in the software Center:
sudo apt-get install screenlets
Continue reading about software in Ubuntu.