Category Archives: Ubuntu


How to Install MATE Desktop Environment in Ubuntu 12.10

Unity is the default desktop environment in Ubuntu 12.10. Although, it has improved a lot but if you’re still looking for an alternative desktop with classic GNOME 2 style layout then you may try MATE.

MATE is a GNOME 2 based desktop, it’s easy to use, and the it’s stable too. it’s the default desktop environment in Linux Mint, an Ubuntu based distribution, more human-friendly for beginner users.


Installing MATE

MATE Desktop environment is available for various platform, including ubuntu, fedora, etc. In Ubuntu, the best way to install MATE would be through the official PPA.

Open a terminal and execute the commands –

sudo add-apt-repository "deb quantal main"
sudo add-apt-repository "deb quantal main"
sudo apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-core
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

Applications Menu in MATE Desktop (running with Ubuntu 12.10)

Applications Menu in MATE Desktop

Update! Fixed some errors!

Removing a PPA from software-sources

How to remove a PPA in Ubuntu 12.04/12.10

PPA(Personal Package Archive) is great  for  installing new and cool apps/utils in Ubuntu or similar GNU/Linux distro such as Linux Mint etc. Due to PPA, publishing and distributing apps has become very easy.

Sometimes you may want to remove an application installed using PPA (may be because some sort of conflict occurred between the app installed from official repository and PPA) or may be you added a wrong PPA address and you get some error messages (on terminal, e.g file not found) or update manager is not working properly due to broken PPA etc. In that case, just follow any of the method (to uninstall the ppa) –

Removing a PPA address in Ubuntu 12.04/12.10/.. Linux Mint / similar_distro

Method #1. remove the ppa file(*.list) from  /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory. Open a terminal and execute the command

ls /etc/apt/sources.list.d
ppa_1.list       ppa_2.list       ....  ppa_no_longer_required.list

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ppa_no_longer_required.list


Method #2. If the ppa contains a newer version of standard package, then you have to use the command –

sudo ppa-purge <ppa_address>

ppa_address will be in the format of ppa:name/sub_directory (if required)

(so that it fall back to old version of the application as if there was no PPA)

Removing a PPA from software-sources

Method #3. From Software Sources – go to Ubuntu Software Center -> software sources -> other software (In Ubuntu 12.10, you can directly go to software sources) and uncheck the ppa you want to remove.

Finally, update the package cache, using the command –

sudo apt-get update
Live Preview : Retext

Markdown editor for Ubuntu 12.04/12.10

Markdown is a lightweight markup language. Using markdown, you can write content in a simple and easy to read plain text, and finally, it will generate the equivalent html(valid XHTML or html) for publishing on web. So, it’s certainly more human friendly for web writers, specifically if you are looking for a simple and efficient replacement for WYSIWYG editor.

ReText : markdown editor
Editing Markdown with ReText

Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 comes with a plain text editor called – gedit. gedit is good text editor, you can also use it as a markdown editor (it will highlight the syntax well) but the problem is that – you can not preview your document. You can’t export your markdown text to html or pdf or any format. You will have to manually export it using the command line utility and if anything goes wrong, then again – edit -> save -> export. That’s not very efficient.

So a dedicated a Markdown editor is obviously, a better choice. There are many markdown editors available for Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 such as ReText, Uberwriter etc but ReText is the best one!

ReText – Markdown Editor for Ubuntu/Linux

ReText is a text editor for markdown and reStructuredText. It’s a simple and easy to use editor but it has lot of cool features. It’s written in Python, so you can run it everywhere, not just in Ubuntu or Linux Mint (check recommended links section for official page where you can download it for other platforms).

Live Preview : Retext
Live Preview(Ctrl+L) in ReText

Few basic features of ReText :

  • Export to various formats such as HTML, PDF, ODT
  • Preview (normal and live modes)
  • spell checker
  • Shortcuts for quick editing (Ctrl+b for bold, Ctrl+i for italics and Ctrl+u for underline)

Installing ReText in Ubuntu / Linux Mint / similar_distributions

Open a terminal and execute the commands –

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mitya57
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install retext

Recommended Links

Installing nvidia-drivers

Install/activate NVIDIA graphics card drivers in Ubuntu 12.10

In Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal), there is no additional drivers section in system settings, in fact, it has moved to a new tab in software sources. If you’re using NVIDIA, ATI or any other graphics card and the graphics performance looks bad (poor rendering, noisy textures etc), then it means, you need to install the proprietary graphics card drivers.

There may be a default open source driver (alternative driver, Nouveau display driver) enabled by default, but that doesn’t perform well in some cases, probably in high end graphics cards, in that case, you have to install the official driver from the manufacturer. Ubuntu should automatically detect and recommend the appropriate driver for your device.

Installing nvidia-drivers

To install the driver, go to Software Sources -> Additional Drivers and select the appropriate driver. (I selected the first one, because it’s the appropriate driver for my graphics card, it’s tested and of course, it really worked – now the graphics performance is satisfactory). Then click on Apply Changes, it will download and install the drivers. Finally, restart your computer and you’re done!

Cuckoo : Alarm App

Cuckoo – a simple Alarm app for Ubuntu / Linux Mint

If you’re looking for a simple alarm application in Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 (or Ubuntu based distributions such as Linux Mint 13), then you must try Cuckoo.

Cuckoo – A simple Alarm App for Ubuntu!

Cuckoo : Alarm App

it’s a very simple and easy to use alarm app – with all the basic features such as creating/editing/deleting alarms, custom sound, etc. The UI looks very intuitive and cool. It’s really a great app for those who like apps with minimal features.

You can easily control the app from Unity launcher or indicator. Alarm management is also very easy as you can easily create/save alarm lists. Alarms can be toggled from the apps dashboard, creating alarm, editing existing one or deleting is just a matter of click.

Editing an Alarm in Cuckoo

Install Cuckoo in Ubuntu 12.04

You can find it in Ubuntu Software Center or fire up  a terminal and type –

sudo apt-get install cuckoo

If it’s not there in package repository (in Ubuntu 12.10 or in older version of Ubuntu or in similar distributions such as Linux Mint), then install Cuckoo through the PPA.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:john.vrbanac/cuckoo
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cuckoo