app-menu in cairo Dock

“COOL” Dock Applications for Ubuntu 12.04

Dock  is Cool, specially if you don’t like the default panel in your desktop (or if you just want an eye candy desktop).

In Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin), a lot of users complained about the Unity Desktop (which is the default one) –  the loss of productivity due to sudden changes, ease of use etc. In that case, you may try some other desktop or try using Dock as a substitute for panel. It looks beautiful – and of course it would be more easy to start/find apps and manage windows using this dock app.

Best Dock Apps for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

1. GLX Dock (Cairo Dock + OpenGL)

GLX Dock

GLX-Dock  is nothing but the Cairo Dock, mixed with some other plugins and components so that it can use your computer’s graphics capabilities in better way (hardware acceleration). Cairo Dock is a light-weight, simple and easy to use dock application.

It has lot of cool features – taskbars, launchers, shortcuts, GNOME 2 style application menu, plugins (to extend the default features), workspace switcher, themes etc. You can easily customize cairo dock – the look, animation, effects, features, shortcuts, applet/plugins and default apps for Music, Mail, Chat etc.

Gnome 2 style App Menu

app-menu in cairo Dock


Shortcuts in Cairo Dock


Install Cairo Dock/GLX-Dock in Ubuntu 12.04
It’s there in Software Center – so just search there and install in few clicks or use terminal –

sudo apt-get install cairo-dock

 Customizing Cairo Dock with Cairo Configuration Manager


For advanced customization, go to  Help -> Cairo Dock -> Configure. Then a Cairo Dock Configuration Window will appear (above snapshot) – where you can customize everything such as Appearance, Add-ons and Keyboard Shortcuts.

Don’t forget to checkout the Add-On section – it contains a lot of useful and funny applets. Some of the most useful plug-ins are – Clipboard History, Drop to Share, Messaging Menu, RSS Reader, Switcher, Slider, Stack, Power Manager etc. Just select the plug-ins you want to try and click Apply to get the immediate effect.

2. Docky – A Dock that just works!

Docky is another elegant, cool and powerful Dock application. It’s very fast and easy to use. By default, it looks very simple – in 2D mode but you can enable 3D mode from settings to make it more cooler.


Docky doesn’t uses OpenGL but it works out of box, in GNOME Desktop environment (without any unnecessary configurations). So if you want a Dock that just works – then Docky is best for you.

Install Docky in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

sudo apt-get install docky

Top 17 Terminal Commands Every Ubuntu user should know About

Terminal Commands are cool and very handy sometimes (even for common users who don’t like terminal), also useful in learning some cool stuffs about Ubuntu or GNU/Linux in general (so it’s also good for learners).

I’ve prepared a list of few terminal commands – that anyone can learn and master (in couple of minutes), in order to enjoy a better experience with Ubuntu or other Linux distributions (and don’t worry about – the Ubuntu version you are using such as – 12.04 LTS – “Precise Pangolin” or 11.10 or may be the upcoming one – 12.10, because it doesn’t change often unlike the other things in Ubuntu :), same for Ubuntu derivatives such as Linux Mint 13(Maya)).


Top 17 commands for Ubuntu Beginners

Basics GNU/Linux Commands

#1. ls : list directory contents


If you want to see hidden files/directories (beginning with dot.), the use -a flag.

ls -a

Check the manual for more detail (man ls).


#2. cd : Change Directory

cd ../
cd /home/Desktop


. represents the current directory

.. represents the parent directory

~ represents the home directory (of the user)


#3. pwd : print the current/working directory



#4. mkdir : make/create directory.

mkdir funny_stuffs


#5. rm : remove/delete file/directory


NOTE : it removes directories only if it’s empty, unless you specify -f flag for force deletion. But you must be careful with the arguments such as -r, -f. (-rf is very dangerous).


#6. sudo : superuser do, to gain root privilege


sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

Then enter your user account password, and you would be able to do administrative tasks like root. So if you’re getting any permission error using a command, then adding sudo as a prefix, might help.


#7. mv : rename or move a file/directory

mv file1 ~/Downloads/Archive/

the above command will move the file from the current directory to target directory.

mv logo_2.jpg new_logo.jpg

it will rename the file to new_logo.jpg.


#8. cat : View File contents

cat install.log


#9. man : A Reference manual for utils/commands/programs

e.g if you want to know more about rm command, then type –

man rm


#10. cp : Copy Files/Directories

cp movie_name.mp4 ~/Downloads/movies/

The above command will copy the movie_name.mp4 to the specified directory.


#11. wget : Download files from server

GNU Wget or wget is very handy in downloading stuffs from internet, over the command line.

wget url_of_the_content


#12. gksudo : Run GUI Application with Root privilege

gksudo nautilus

The above command will open nautilus with root privilege. It’s just like sudo, but in GUI mode.


#13. shutdown : To shutdown the computer from terminal

shutdown -h 

where time can be 0 if you want to shutdown now or specify the exact time such as 10:30.


#14. restart : Restart the computer


Package Management

These are Ubuntu Specific commands. It Requires root privilege, so just add the sudo prefix before each command (it will ask for the user password and you’re done!).

#15. apt-get : Command Line Tool for handling packages
There are various options such as

install – To install package.
e.g Install the program PyRoom (A distraction Free Text Editor)

sudo apt-get install pyroom

remove – To remove package

sudo apt-get remove kate

update – To update the package cache

sudo apt-get update


#16. add-apt-repository – To add a PPA (for your favorite Application)

e.g add the PPA for the App Eidete (Screencasting program)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shnatsel/eidete-daily

After, adding the PPA, apt-get update command is required.


#17. apt-cache : To access the Package details from cache

search : search for the related packages in the apt-cache

apt-cache search image editor

Eidete – A Screencasting Application that really works on Ubuntu 12.04

In Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) LTS, there are few great applications available for screencasting – such as RecordMyDesktop, Kazam and built in tool (starts/resumes with Ctrl+Alt+Shift+r) in Gnome shell desktop (although it doesn’t record voice) but none of them worked well in Ubuntu 12.04 (with Unity).

Kazam was irritating like hell – when I completed the recording it crashed and I couldn’t save anything (although it was working fine for smaller duration (couple of minutes)), besides that – it was consuming a lot of RAM (so there may be some sort of ‘memory leak’). RecordMyDesktop was also behaving very strange, User Interface is very confusing and it also crashes a lot (resource consumption was also very high, my pc became unresponsive for a while).

Eidete : Screencast Recording Software for Ubuntu

Finally, I tried Eidete – it worked like charm. I’ve recorded more than 6 videos(till now) and there was no problem at all. So if you guys had any problem recording screencasts with Ubuntu, then I recommended you to try Eidete.


Eidete is a simple application, it has all the basic features such as audio/video options, recording area selection, display mouse behavior and clicks, timer countdown, pause/resume etc. Finally, it saves the screencast into web friendly format (.webm).


Recording is very easy, after hitting the record button, the recording process starts within 5 seconds (timer). Finally, if you want to finish then click on Eidete Launcher, and click Finish(then you will get a new window for saving the recorded file).

How to Install Eidete in Ubuntu 12.04

Since, it’s not there in official package repository so you need to add the PPA for Eidete. Open a terminal and execute –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shnatsel/eidete-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install eidete

Recommended Link(s) : 

Eidete on Launchpad

MyPaint - Digital Painting App

Digital Painting Application for Ubuntu (12.04) : MyPaint

GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc are becoming most popular among desktop users (even the non-technical users prefer Ubuntu or windows), the user base is growing very fast. When it comes to digital and graphics applications, Ubuntu lacks few cool apps mostly from Adobe (e.g Photoshop, Illustrator etc) but there are good alternatives such as GIMP, Blender, Inkscape, MyPaint etc.

MyPaint – Digital Painting with Ubuntu (Using Wacom)

MyPaint - Digital Painting App

MyPaint is a simple and easy to use application, for digital painters. It comes with a large collection of brushes and most importantly – it works well with wacom graphics tablet (and it’s also pressure sensitive) – which is the largest manufacturer of pen displays devices – graphics tablets.

How to Install MyPaint in Ubuntu 12.04 or (Linux Mint)

Open a terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install mypaint

Note : Although, you can also use MyPaint from older version of Ubuntu but you are recommended to install (upgrade) 12.04 as it’s the latest stable release (and it’s a Long Term Support release) from Canonical. Unity, the default user interface in 12.04, has also improved a lot – and it looks very promising for new users.


GIMP Paint Studio Plugin for GIMP 2.6 : Cool Brushes and More

GIMP Paint Studio is a collection of cools brushes and tools that makes GIMP more suitable for digital painters and graphic designers.

Although, for Digital Painters – there is a dedicated program called – MyPaint (it’s available there in Ubuntu Software Center) but if you’re a GIMP user and want to leverage you GIMP skill rather than learning a new program (BTW, MyPaint is very easy to learn) then you must try this GIMP paint studio plugin.


Install GIMP Paint Studio Plugin in Ubuntu (12.04)

Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute –

sudo apt-get install gimp-paint-studio

If it’s not already there in your package repository (or you get some kind of error like – no package found), then first – you can add the PPA using the command –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shnatsel/gimp-paint-studio
sudo apt-get update

That’s All, Now start GIMP and you will notice some awesome cool stuffs like brushes, gradients etc.

Recommended Link(s)