Ubuntu beginner’s tricks

  • Automatic layout switcher: x neural switcher
  • Disable Pidgin’s pop-ups on user login: Pidgin > Tools > Plug-ins > Libnotify Popups > Configure Plug-in > Disable ‘Buddy signs on’
  • Nice screen effects: compiz
  • Install additional plugins for Compiz: sudo apt-get install compiz-fusion-plugins-extra
    • This also provides additional animation window effects (maximize, close, minimize)
  • Terminal transparency: run gnome-terminal > Edit > Profile preferences > Background > Transparent background > Adjust the position of the slider.
  • Run file manager: nautilus
  • Install smth. from a command line: sudo apt-get install application_name.
  • Uninstall smth. from a command line: sudo apt-get purge application_name.
  • Remove packages which are no longer needed: sudo apt-get autoremove
  • Install LaTeX: sudo apt-get install texlive
  • Shortcuts: System > Preferences > Keyboard shortcuts
  • After installing Octave, I don’t have documentation installed, upon typing doc, Octave says that the file octave3.2.info is missing. Install it with sudo apt-get install octave3.2.info
  • Add volume control to Ubuntu notification area: description
  • Access additional characters (em-dash, en-dash, French quotation marks, degree etc.): System > Preferences > Keyboard > Layouts > Options > Compose key position > Right alt (for example). Then
    • Right Alt, –. gives en-dash
    • Right Alt, — gives em-dash
    • Right Alt, oo gives the degree sign
    • Full list of symbols and key combinations is here
  • Enable the Window Screenshot on Alt+PrtScr: sudo sysctl -w kernel.sysrq=0 or assign another key combination (like Win+PrtScr). See here and here and here and here for explanation and solutions.
  • How to disable top applications menu in Ubuntu Unity: according to this link, login with Ubuntu Classic desktop, “right click the panel, deselect “Lock the panel”, then right click the AppMenu and remove it. The menu will then instantly be available in the application window.” There is also a description of how to do it with Unity in that link.

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