GNOME vs Unity vs KDE

What is your Favorite Desktop ?

GNOME

The most Popular Linux Desktop, Latest version : 3.0 (Released on April 6, 2011), Other major version : 2.3. it’s free and open source software, developed by GNOME community, developers around this planet. it’s based on GTK framework. Most of the Popular distros like Fedora, Ubuntu (not in 11.04) etc. uses GNOME as their default Window Manager.

KDE

Another Popular Desktop (free and released under LGPL), based on Qt framework.

Unity

a new desktop, Developed by Canonical, will be the default desktop for upcoming versions of Ubuntu.

So let’s decide, what’s the best desktop among them and why ( explain it,  through comment(s) ) ??

Which is your Favorite Desktop ??

Tell us through this Poll –

gnome-3-snapshot

how to install GNOME 3 on Ubuntu 11.04

GNOME 3 had finally released, few week s ago, in the beginning (on April 6, 2011) of this month. As usual, we expected a lot of new innovative features from GNOME community, So let’s evaluate what we got. Yesterday I installed, gnome 3.0 on my desktop (Running Ubuntu 11.04 and 10.10 in dual boot mode), and now I’m using it. If you are an Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) or 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) user, then better go here – install gnome 3 on Ubuntu 10.10/10.04 , because the PPA (Personal Package Archives) for both the versions are different.

In this post, I’ll explain how to install Gnome 3.0 on Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), because it uses ‘Unity’ desktop by default, which you may not like (probably due to the fact that We (Ubuntu Users) are using GNOME from years, and want to stick with it, ..and of course GNOME 3 is Great! atleast you should give it a try, even though you are a ‘Unity’ lover).

gnome-3-snapshot

Few words about : GNOME 3, The Next Generation Desktop

GNOME 3.0 has been designed and developed from scratch instead of developing it on the top of existing versions (just adding some functionality to Gnome 2.3). it seems robust,fast and good looking. The usability factor is also very high as compare to previous versions, the navigation (e.g switching from one window to other) is much simpler, efficient and quick. You don’t need any maximize and minimize buttons, and you can divide the desktop in to partition (Then work independently on both the side) with a single click. In Gnome 3, workspace can be created and deleted in a single click, (Unlike 2.3 where you had to define the number of desktop, then switching between them is so boring and difficult).

Finally I can say that – Gnome 3.0 is great! because it’s something that we can call a next generation Desktop but it has a lot of negative points too. First of all, it is extremely unstable; I don’t think that’s the problem of Gnome, all open source software suffers from this problem because most of them are suffering from “high – version release frequency” problem (I mean they release a lot of buggy versions with minor improvements which often causes instability and so not suitable for productive environment). Let me explain it through a simple example – I am an Ubuntu user, and currently using the stable version of Ubuntu let say X.04 (possibly released on Nov 200X). Initially a lot of bugs were there and most of them got fixed; I have customized the desktop I wanted and enjoying learning/working/programming with Ubuntu X.04. Oh.. suddenly I heard that – version X.10 is coming with a lot of charming and exciting features. Within a few months (probably in April 200X+1 ) the next version X.10 got released..and I couldn’t stop myself by installing the new version. That set, Again the same thing repeats as happened with its previous version, until the next version possibly Y.04 arrives (where Y=X+1). That’s where most of the open source software sucks. I personally, just don’t like (I should say ‘hate’ but that’s the word which is not in my dictionary 🙂 ) Unity Desktop, KDE is too complicated/heavy, and Gnome is something I really like but it’s next version 3.0 is available only for Fedora and OpenSuse. So I’ve been using Gnome 2.3 from last few days ..and I think it will be continued until Ubuntu 11.10. $whereami ? Let’s come to our point.

Installing GNOME 3 on Ubuntu 11.04

Open Terminal ( Default shortcut is : CTRL+ALT+T ) and Type the following commands (Make sure that you haven’t opened Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager while installing package from the command line).

Update 1 : (I forgot to include the warning message regarding the Gnome 3 installation).

Warning : Installing Gnome 3.0 on Ubuntu 11.04 using this PPA, will break Unity and your system might become unusable.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
Then Restart your computer; select the GNOME 3 desktop at login prompt (Default is Ubuntu, which means Unity).
Update 2 :

How to Remove/uninstall Gnome 3 from Ubuntu 11.04

Type this simple command at terminal if you want to roll back to previous state..
sudo ppa-purge ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
how-to-tweak-ubuntu 11.04

How to tweak Ubuntu 11.04 : Install ‘Ubuntu Tweak’

Ubuntu 11.04 (code named as ‘Natty Narwhal’) or any other Linux distribution, isn’t so easy to configure/customize, for a windows guy. That’s where Ubuntu Tweak will help a lot, it makes Ubuntu customization much easier. Ubuntu 11.04 got new desktop – ‘Unity’ as the default desktop, which is probably difficult to customize as compared to Gnome 2.3 (or may be Gnome 3.0), that’s why this post will help you in installing that small application (or tool or utility) – ‘Ubuntu Tweak’ Latest version 0.5.10.

Ubuntu Tweak : Configure Ubuntu in much easier way

Ubuntu Tweak is a free and open source application, that will allow you to explore new options and settings in Ubuntu, that you don’t get with Default Desktop Environment (GNOME or Unity or KDE).

how-to-tweak-ubuntu 11.04

Important Features of Ubuntu Tweak

  • session control
  • easier management of startup programs
  • control login settings
  • power management settings
  • explore basic system information
  • configure compiz
  • panel configuration

Installing Ubuntu Tweak on Ubuntu 11.04

#1 : Download the Application – Ubuntu Tweak from it’s website.

Download Ubuntu Tweak

#2 : Install it by opening with Ubuntu Software Center (Right Click -> Select) or from Command Line. TO install from command line type –

sudo dpkg -i ubuntu-tweak_0.5.10-1_all.deb

#3 :That’s all..if any dependencies problem occurs, like python < 2.7, then reinstall the Python version >= 2.7.

Cheese Webcam Booth

Webcam Software for Ubuntu 11.04

Webcam or web Camera (Integrated with Laptop or Desktop Monitor or comes separately, usually connected via USB port). Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) doesn’t include any default application for webcam. That’s why we need to install an application that will install the webcam drivers. If the webcam manufacturer provides teh driver software for Linux based OS like Ubuntu, then you won’t need to install any third party apps, but it’s not the case, they usually provides drivers just for Windows (or may be for Mac).

So, this post will explain about, a basic appsCheese, that you can use for capturing videos and pictures, on Ubuntu 11.04. Cheese is a great application, that allows you to take pictures (videos) with a lot of funny graphics effects. it’s a free and open source software; you can find it in package repository or Ubuntu Software Center. On the official website of cheese, it has indicated that – cheese requires Gstreamer and Gnome (version 2 or above), in order to work, but it works fine with Natty, if any problem occurs then switch to classic gnome desktop.

Cheese : Webcam Software for Ubuntu

Installing Cheese on Ubuntu 11.04

From Ubuntu Software Center

#1 : Open Ubuntu Software Center (Search in Top Left Menu or left icon panel) and search for ‘cheese’.

installing-cheese-on-ubuntu-11.04

#2 : Now click on install button to begin the installation procedure.Wait for the installation to complete.

#3 : That’s all..have Fun! with Cheese

From Terminal (Command Line)

Open Terminal/shell and enter the following command(s), followed by your password (I mean ubuntu login password) —

sudo apt-get install cheese
skype-on-ubuntu-11-04

how to install Skype on Ubuntu 11.04

Skype is a freeware (limited) Application that is used in Instant messaging, voice calls (VoIP,Voice over Internet Protocol) and video conferencing. You can also call to mobile or landline telephones with some charges (Debit type). Skype (originally called as : sky peer-to-peer) is one of the most popular apps for video calling.

Skype is different from other VoIP software, due to its architecture, other VoIP software are based on client server system (e.g Google Talk) while Skype uses peer to peer system (probably that’s the reason why Skype consumes a lot of bandwidth in comparison to other VoIP application). On Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), empathy is installed by default, but it’s video/audio quality is very poor, skype is better than that. This article will explain you – how to install skype (Latest beta version : 2.2) on a freshly installed Ubuntu 11.04. Since Skype is a proprietary application, you can’t find it in Ubuntu Software center or Synaptic Package Manager, so it can be installed after downloading the package (Debian Package, with extension .deb).

skype-on-ubuntu-11-04

Features of Skype

  • Instant Messaging
  • Audio/Video Calling
  • Video Conferencing
  • File Transfer
  • Screen/Desktop Sharing
  • Facebook News Feed
  • call transfer
  • group calling

Installing Skype On Ubuntu 11.04

#1 : Download the *.deb file (select latest version of Ubuntu and your computer architecture) from it’s official website –

download Skype for Ubuntu or 32bit || 64bit

installing-skype-on-ubuntu-1104

#2 : Install skype – either by ‘Right Click -> Open with Ubuntu Software Center ->Install’ method or from command line using dpkg, Type the following command(s), followed by your user account password (Here I assume your computer architecture is 32 bit, if you have other package, then just change the command according to that):

sudo dpkg -i skype-ubuntu_2.2.0.25-1_i386.deb

#3 : Wait, until the installation is complete. That’s all..access it from Main Menu (Top Left) or pinch it to the letf icon panel (as a launcher), if you use it frequently.