Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

creating-user-in-ubuntu

how to create a sudo user in Ubuntu

If you’ve installed Ubuntu 11.10 (or older version such as 11.04 or any other similar linux distributions such as Linux Mint 12) – then during installing process, you created a super user by default, but sometimes you need to create another user with root power i.e you want to create a sudo user, right? Yeah! because it’s not a good idea to use (or enable, because it’s disabled by default) root account for administrative tasks.

Creating another user or simply the user management in Ubuntu is not a complex task – as you can easily create/delete/update users from a clean, simple and easy to use graphical interface (Go to Top Right -> Click on Your Name -> Then click on your Icon). That’s it. No, there is another way to do that – from terminal – using some funky terminal commands.

creating-user-in-ubuntu

The above snapshot, explains the process of creating a new user account in Ubuntu 11.10 (running Gnome 3 with Gnome Shell Interface, wondering what theme? it’s Zukito; Isn’t it cool :)). Everything seems to be self explanatory. So lets move on to terminal approach which is more funky, powerful and preferred among linux users.

Create a User

To create a user in Ubuntu, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute the command (replace user_name with the username of your choice etc coolgeek).

sudo adduser user_name

(Then you will be prompted to Enter the details for the new user such as password, Name, Room Number, Phone Number etc, just enter the details correctly and hit ‘y’)

Granting sudo power to the User

Now, you’ve created the user, you can add the user to sudo group (which is created by default in Ubuntu, you could also use admin group) using the following command –

sudo adduser user_name sudo

OR

sudo adduser user_name admin

create-sudo-user

In the case if sudo group doesn’t exist or you want to create your own group then use the following commands –

Creating a Group (User Group)

First create a group using the command (Replace group_name with the group you want to create e.g geeky)-

sudo addgroup group_name

Then add that group to sudoers file, to do that first open the file using the command –

sudo visudo

and  add the following line to the bottom of the file (then save the file and exit).

%group_name  ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

Although creating groups isn’t necessary but it makes user management (with different privileges) much easier. Anyway, if you just want to grant root permission to any user then add this line to the sudoers file –

user_name  ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

That’s All. Enjoy :)

vlc player on linux-mint

10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 12

Linux Mint 12 (alias : Lisa) released, now it’s time to configure and install some mandatory applications/packages to start working on it. Although, Linux Mint 12 has already made the desktop little more user friendly, specifically for beginner users (who are coming from the windows(XP/Vista/7) world) but still there few things that you need to do for a complete usable – Linux desktop.

I’ve already published a post about 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10 and most of the tips should work seamlessly with Linux Mint 12 (as it is based on Ubuntu 11.10). Anyway, this post is supposed to help you in getting started on Linux Mint 12.

#1. Install restricted packages

First of all, you should install some proprietary codecs (audio/video/flash)and plugins (e.g Adobe flash player) and packages. These packages includes –

  • Adobe Flash Player plugin for browser
  • proprietary audio/video codecs (don’t you want to play mp3 songs?)
  • java runtime environment etc

So open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute the command –

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

If you want to play encrypted DVD then execute the following commands –

sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

#2. Install VLC Player

vlc player on linux-mint

VLC is the most popular – ‘all in one’ open source media player, specially good for playing various video files. VLC supports variety of input formtas including – flv, avi, ogg, mp4, mp3, wmv, wma. mkv, ogm etc. To install VLC media player in Linux Mint 12, fire up a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute the command(s) –

sudo apt-get install vlc

#3. Install Chromium or Google Chrome

chromium-browser

Firefox is installed by default but even if you use firefox as primary browser, sometimes you may need a secondary browser – then Google Chrome or Chromium seems to be a good alternative. Try Chromium or install Google Chrome on Linux Mint.

To install chromium, execute –

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

Here is the detailed description about installing Chrome on on Linux Mint 12.

#4. Install Audacious Music Player

audacious on Linux Mint

Audacious is a simple and easy to use – cool music player. To install audacious, type –

sudo apt-get install audacious

#5. Install New Gnome shell themes

Gnome shell Themes for Linux Mint

Linux Mint 12 has Gnome Tweak Tool, installed by default, which allow you to configure advanced options for Gnome Shell desktop as well as for managing themes. To install icons, simply put the icon theme(downloaded packages) to ~/usr/share/icons directory. I’ve already covered a detailed post about installing Gnome Shell Themes on Linux Mint 12. (So you are supposed to refer the link)

#6. Install Ubuntu One

ubuntu-one in Linux Mint

Ubuntu One is a Dropbox like backup solution and the free plan offers 5GB storage which may be sufficient for a lot of users. Ubuntu One is well integrated with nautilus and so it will allow you to backup more easily. So whether you’ve used it earlier in Ubuntu or not, you should give it a try.

To install Ubuntu One execute following commands –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuone/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntuone-control-panel-gtk ubuntuone-client

#7. Configure GRUB options

grub-customizer

To customize grub menu or configure boot options there are two popular applications – startup manager (simple and easy to use) and second one is grub customizer (it has a lot of features and options).

customizing-grub-menu

Installing grub customizer,open terminal and execute –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer

On the other hand if you want to try startup manager, then execute –

sudo apt-get install startupmanager

#8. Install Ubuntu Software Center

ubuntu-software-center

If you have used Ubuntu Software Center in Ubuntu 11.10 or 11.04, then you might have noticed that on Linux mint there is another programs installed by default, for managing applications. Software Manager is the default program for installing/removing applications in Linux Mint, Synaptic Package Manager is also there. If you are missing some of the cool features of USC then you can install that in one simple command –

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-software-center

#9. Try MATE if you don’t like Gnome Shell

Gnome Classic - MATE

If you don’t like Gnome Shell interface, with a bunch of cool extensions then MATE is probably for your – for Gnome 2 lovers. MATE is a fork of Gnome 2 project, it looks very similar to Gnome 2.3 desktop. You can see (above screenshot of MATE) the Gnome 2 style menu in Top left corner of the screen – appears like Gnome 2. It’s installed by default – just logout from the current session and select Gnome classic (with or without effects, whatever suits your computer hardware).

#10. Install Bleachbit to clean up

Bleachbit is equivalent to CCleaner(of Windows). It will allow you to remove/delete unnecessary files from your computer, in a couple of clicks. To install bleachbit, simply execute the command –

sudo apt-get install bleachbit

Reference(s)

Linux Mint Forums

Have Fun! :)

Audacious Music player

Best Applications and Tweaks for Ubuntu 11.10

Ubuntu 11.10 (Alias : Oneiric Ocelot) released last week, If you are using an older version of Ubuntu or not using it at all (I mean you have never used Ubuntu or any Linux based OS, possibly you are a mac or Window user), then probably you are missing a lot of Fun and Joy! Better upgrade your existing version of Ubuntu to 11.10 or install Ubuntu 11.10 on a new partition (hey! non-Ubuntu user, just give it a try, you will love it; don’t think too much – it isn’t going to hurt anyway, as you can install it as Dual Boot without altering your existing operating system or even you can give it a try using Live CD or USB without installing it on your hard disk).

After a fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.10 you might be looking for some cool tips, tricks, hacks or customization tips so that you can enjoy Ubuntu in your own way. That’s a good thing and of course, this post will help you a lot, in customizing Ubuntu 11.10.

Just After fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.10

If you are new to Ubuntu, then you might have noticed that a lot of basic applications, codecs and plugins are missing (for example mp3 decoders – it means you can’t play mp3 files without it). Most of those programs/softwares are proprietary, that’s the reason why they aren’t included with default installation (Although from 11.04, there’s an option to install those package during installation) – to avoid copyright problems. Another obvious reason is, in order to make the size of installation file (ISO archive) as minimum as possible.

I’ve already written a post about the programs/downloads that is mandatory after a fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.10, so I’m not going to repeat that here, Just follow the link : things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10 and come back when you’re done!

Best Free Applications for Ubuntu 11.10 users

Here are some cool and best open source applications that you must try on Ubuntu 11.10. It’s not necessary that the collection of best Apps will be in a harmony with your favorite ones but it’s worth trying as it is based on my few years of experience with Ubuntu and community ratings/reviews over the web. Anyway, if you have some cool apps to share then do share it through comment.

1. Audacious : The Best Music Player

Audacious is a simple and easy to use audio player with a lot of cool features. The look is very similar to Windows’s Winamp player specially when you will choose the appropriate theme in preferences option. You may try other music players such as Clementine or Amarok (for more sophisticated features) but Audacious works great and It just works!

sudo apt-get install audacious

Audacious Music player

2. Google Chrome : Best Web Browser

Although, Firefox’s performance has improved a lot on Ubuntu but Google Chrome(or try Chromium, it’s there in the Software Center) is the best web browser. Latest cutting edge features, a lot of plugins/extensions and other cool features makes Google Chrome the best. To install chromium use the command –

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

or read more about installing google chrome in Ubuntu 11.10.

google-chrome-snapshot

3. VLC : Best Video Player

VLC is one of the most popular open source and cross-platform media player, the best thing is that – it is a some sort of All in One player. A lot of free plugins are available to add more functionality and features. It is available in Ubuntu Software Center so you can install it in one simple click or just type the command at terminal –

sudo apt-get install vlc

playing-vlc in Ubuntu 11.10

4. FileZilla : Best FTP Client

FTP(File Transfer Protocol) client is a simple GUI application that will allow you to upload/download or manage remote files, typically hosted on your shared or Private(VPS/Dedicated) web server. It is a must have application for web developers because it is very useful in editing remote files in real time, in nice and easy to use interface, with your favorite code editor such as gedit. FileZilla is cross-platform application. It also supports file transfer in secure(encrypted) mode i.e SFTP.

sudo apt-get install filezilla

filezilla-snapshot

5. gedit : Best Text Editor

gedit is the default text editor for most of the GNU/Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc. It is a simple text editor with a lot of powerful features, and flexible enough to make it suitable for any work you want. e.g I use gedit as a code editor for Ruby on Rails development, to make it look like Textmate (the Most popular rails IDE) – there is a plugin gmate, which tends to make it more programmer friendly (as it adds a lot of plugins for better productivity; like auto bracket completion, code snippets, highlighting embedded codes etc). To install gmate execute these commands –

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-on-rails/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gedit-gmate

That was just one example, a number of free plugins are available to customize it as you want.

gedit-text-editor

6. Geany : Best Lightweight IDE for web developers

Although, there are number of sophisticated IDE (e.g Eclipse, Netbeans, Aptana, BlueJ etc) are available for Ubuntu but Geany is for you if you are looking for a simple and lightweight IDE that just works. It has a lot of good features (such as code completion, folding, embedded terminal etc) for web developers – php lovers will probably love it. It is there in the repository so if you want to install Geany IDE on Ubuntu (or other similar distributions), then fire up a terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install geany

geany IDE

7. GIMP : Best Image Editor

GIMP : For Advanced user/graphics designers
If you’ve been using Adobe Photoshop and looking for an open source alternative on Ubuntu, then try GIMP Image Editor. It has lot of sophisticated features like Adobe Photoshop (Some Photoshop users might not agree here), and it’s very simple to use. Although, it doesn’t have a lot cool brushes/effects installed by default (unlike Photoshop) but There are lot of good plugins and brushes available there on Web – so just Google it. To install gimp, open terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install gimp

gimp image editor

If you want some more brushes and plugins like Save for Web (image optimizer, may be useful for those who want to publish graphics work on web), then install that in one simple command –

sudo apt-get install gimp-plugin-registry

Pinta : For beginners
If you want to get started with image editing business then probably Pinta will be sufficient for you. it is far simpler than Gimp and it does have nice features. Its look is very similar to MS paint. To install Pinta on Ubuntu, execute the command –

sudo apt-get install pinta

MyPaint : For Digital Painters

If you’re a digital painter, then MyPaint is the best. It is an open source and cross-platform application, with a lot of cool features for painters. To install MyPaint, open terminal and execute the command –

sudo apt-get install MyPaint

8. Tomboy Notes : Best Note taking Application

Tomboy Notes is one of the coolest default application, included with Ubuntu 11.10 (may be it will also be available in the upcoming version – 12.04). If you have ever used Evernote or other similar application (such as Nevernote – an open source clone of Evernote) then you need no explanation about what really it is. As the name suggest – it’s a simple application that will allow you to take small notes, you do not need to hit save button or Ctrl+S, just write it on a note and you’re done. It will even synchronize it with the Ubuntu One cloud (or other local or remote location of your choice). I use it daily – for writing new post ideas or tips for this blog.

tomboy-notes

9. OpenShot : Best Video/Movie Editor

There are lot of open source video/movie creators/editors available for Ubuntu but OpenShot is the best one. It is very simple, stable and powerful. it has a lot of features such as Drag and Drop support with Gnome desktop, unlimited tracks/layers, a number of audio/video formats are supported, cool transition effects, 3D animated titles, digital zooming of video clips, high definition video support (HDV, AVCHDV), plus a lot of other features that you can expect from a modern video editing software. To install OpenShot, execute –

sudo apt-get install openshot

openshot-video-editor

10. Shutter : Best Screenshot program

If you want to take a screenshot of whole screen then a PrtScn button on your keyboard may do the job easily, but that’s not all you want always. In some cases, you will need to select a portion of the screen after a delay or some other complex case might occurs then you will need a dedicated screenshot program. That’s where shutter comes into mind. Shutter is the best screenshot program because of its ease of use and a bunch of cool features – multiple screenshot, delay, region selection with co-ordinates, editing features (to draw arrow or watermarks) and the most cool feature is effects (collection of plugins to apply some cool effects such as 3D reflection, Shadow etc). To install shutter – simply execute the command –

sudo apt-get install shutter

11. Handbrake : Best Video converter

handbrake

Handbrake is the most popular video converter application and it’s a cross-platform application. It has a lot of cool features which makes it the best, and of course it’s very easy to use (you don’t need to read a lot of manuals in order to get a video for your iphone or ipad or whatever). To install Handbrake, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute these commands –

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install handbrake

12. Pidgin : Best Chat client

Pidgin is the most popular chat client (or instant messaging application) among Linux users. The reason is – it has cool features with lot of options and it is very simple to use. It supports a lot of protocols and allow you to chat using Google Talk , Facebook, AIM, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, MySpace etc. The default chat application ‘Empathy’ is also good. To install pidgin, open terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install pidgin

That’s all, now you can add an account to starting chatting with your buddies.

pidgin

13. Thunderbird : Best Email Client

Thunderbird is the most popular open source and cross-platform application for sending and receiving email right from your Desktop i.e it’s an Email client. You enter your email provider details and send/receive emails in one click. A lot of plugins are also available to extend the core functionality (according to your need). It is already installed in the latest version of Ubuntu 11.10 (in other versions of Ubuntu or other Linux distro search in Software Center or synaptic package manager).

thunderbird

14. K3b : Best Disc (CD/DVD) Burning Application

K3b is a great DVD/CD burning program for Ubuntu or other Linux distributions. It is specially useful for beginners. It has very simple and easy to use interface with default configurations that just works. To install K3b, open terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install k3b

k3b - dvd burner
DeVeDe – To create video DVD/CD
If you want to create DVD for your DVD players, then DeVeDe is the best. Install it in one click from Ubuntu Software Center or just execute the command –

sudo apt-get install devede

What about Tweaks ?

I’ve already covered a post about that – so you are supposed to follow the link –

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks for Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)

gnome-shell-screenshot

Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Ubuntu 11.10

Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) is expected to release on 13th of this month, I’ve tried the beta versions. Few months ago, just after the release of Ubuntu 11.04, I published a post on Ubuntu 11.04 Tips ‘n’ Tricks, and it was a big hit – I got a lot of positive feedback. In fact, it was lot useful for a beginner Ubuntu users – specifically those who are coming from the Windows background. Some of the tips explained there are also valid for 11.10 (perhaps for all version of Ubuntu or may be for all Linux based OS) but most of the tricks are obsolete due to some major change like GTK 3 (instead of 2.3).

That’s why I thought to write an updated version of those cool tips ‘n’ tricks, and the expected users are absolute beginners but intermediate and advanced users might benefit from it. If you’ve just installed a fresh version of Ubuntu 11.10 then first go through this post – 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10, then come back here and apply some tips/tricks  to customize the Ubuntu in your way.

So here is my most favorite collection of Tips and Tweaks, for a beginner Ubuntu 11.10 user. If you have something to say (e.g if you want to add or improve an existing tips or you want to share you experience or have some feedback) then feel free to share with us (using comment box).

Top 10 – Ubuntu 11.10(Oneiric Ocelot) Tips ‘n’ Tricks

The tips and tricks described here, are primarily aimed for Ubuntu 11.10 users but some of the tips may works seamlessly with other Linux distributions (specifically Debian based) such as Linux Mint, Opensuse, Fedora, Debian, or other Ubuntu derivatives such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, MythUbuntu, Ubuntu Studio etc. So feel free to experiment but – always keep a backup to encounter any unexpected results.

1. Try GNOME Shell

Ubuntu 11.10 uses Gnome 3 (based on GTK 3) but the default user interface is Unity. Unity has improved a lot, but if you want to try something new or you like Gnome 3 (or you might be hating Unity), then it’s time to enjoy the next generation revolutionary desktop – GNOME 3. Gnome 3.2 is the latest version. It has a lot of new and innovative features.

gnome-shell-screenshot

GNOME 3 has been developed and designed from scratch rather than just adding some new feature in the predecessor version. The whole idea is to make desktop computing more fun and productive (switching between workspaces and windows takes very little time as compared to earlier max/min approach, distraction is also very less). So if you want to use Gnome 3 with Gnome Shell then you just need to install the second one i.e only the gnome shell (The User Interface for Gnome 3) because Gnome 3 is already installed by default (and unity is running on the top of it).

To install Gnome Shell, Open a terminal and Execute

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

I’ve already covered a post about Installing Gnome Shell in Ubuntu 11.10, so refer that for detailed instructions.

2. Mount hard drive (partitions) automatically at startup

When your computer starts, it won’t mount any other hard drives or its partitions other than the File System (The partition where you’ve installed the Ubuntu). It means the other partitions will not be available by default, so you will have to mount it each time you log in to your computer before you use it.

For example, if you are using Ubuntu in dual boot mode with Windows 7 or any other OS then you may have multiple other partitions (including NTFS, FAT or other EXT4), so in that case if you’ve any desktop links which points to such partitions or any playlists whose contents resides on that drive, then it’s better to mount such partitions when the computer starts so that it will be available for use without any manual mount.

To mount drives/partitions automatically at startup (during system boot) you can use a simple utility – PySDM, a Storage Device Manager. It’s a cool application written using PyGTK and very helpful in customizing mount points for your hard drive(s)/partitions.

How to Install PySDM ?

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

sudo apt-get install pysdm

storage device manager
Then start the application either by searching it in apps menu or press Alt+F2, type pysdm and hit Enter. Now you can customize it the way you want – Select the drive/partition, configure it and click on Apply. To avoid any possible loss from your silly mistake – Just Backup!

3. Advanced GNOME 3 Settings – using Gnome Tweak Tool

Gnome Tweak Tool is a simple application that will allow you to change/customize Gnome 3 desktop in an advanced way. If Gnome Tweak Tool has lot of options such as Shell, Themes, Fonts, Desktop, Icons, etc to tweak the appearance and look. So it’s a must have Apps for Enthusiastic Ubuntu users.
gnome tweak tool
To install Gnome Tweak Tool, open the terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

4. Sync Tomboy Notes using Ubuntu One Cloud

Tomboy Notes is a simple note taking application – with a lot of features. If you have been using Evernote on Windows or Mac OS X, then you will be disappointed to know that – it’s not available for Linux based OS such as Ubuntu. Tomboy is a great application – it doesn’t have all those features but it’s a good alternative to evernote or other note taking programs. The most exciting feature of evernote is Sync – it automatically synchronized your notes with the main copy (stored in the remote server/cloud), which can be accessed from any where -computer(Windows/Mac), iPad, iPhone or Android. Tomboy has all these features by default – you just need to configure it. The default functionality can be easily extended, using plugins(add-ins).

tomboy-notes
To enable sync feature in Tomboy Notes you can use Ubuntu One (it provides 5 GB free storage for everyone). Ubuntu One and tomboy both are installed by default in Ubuntu 11.10. So –

tomboy-preferences

To start synchronizing your Tomboy Notes, first configure Ubuntu One for backup, Then Open Tomboy Notes and go to Edit -> Preferences and select Synchronization tab. From the list of various sync option -select Ubuntu One!

5. Configure Boot Options – GRUB, using StartUp Manager

Startup Manager is a simple application that will allow you to customize GRUB and splash screen, in GUI mode. There are various options such as display size of GRUB menu(in pixels), default operating system to boot, timeout(in seconds) etc. To install startup manager, open a terminal and execute the command –

sudo apt-get install startupmanager

startup manager

6. Customize the appearance of LightDM Login Screen

The default background at LightDM login prompt isn’t cool, Right? Probably yes! Using a simple application or tweak you can’t only change the background image but also the logo. It’s Fun!
I’ve already discussed a lot about changing background screen in Ubuntu 11.10.

simple lightdm manager

7. Backup Your important Files using DejaDup

DejaDup is a simple, easy to use and fast backup program. In Ubuntu 11.10, DejaDup has been included in default programs installed with standard distribution package. So you got dejadup installed by default on your system but you need to configure it before it will start any backup job. DejaDup is a very powerful backup tool – it has lot of options to backup, e.g you can backup your data anywhere you want – local file system or remote location (on a standard server or Cloud such as Amazon S3).

dejadup-backup for Ubuntu 11.10

If you want more detailed explanation then refer the post – how to backup Ubuntu 11.10, where I’ve explained about different backup options, in detail.

8. Install Cool themes and icons

The default theme and icons is cool but you may want to try something else. That’s very easy because a lot of free Gnome 3 themes and icons are available free to use. If you aren’t sure about which themes or icons to try then refer these posts – best Gnome 3 themes or Top 10 Gnome Shell Themes (if you are using Gnome shell), where I’ve sorted few best and good looking themes for Unity and Gnome Shell interface.

How to install themes/icons in Ubuntu 11.10 ?

step 0 Open nautilus with root power. To do that, open a terminal and execute the command –

gksu nautilus

step 1 To install GTK 3 themes you just need to copy the theme package to the usr/share/themes directory.

step 2 To install gnome shell themes – First, copy the gnome-shell directory from the theme_package to usr/share/gnome-shell. Second, rename the existing theme directory to default-theme (for backup purpose). Third, rename the gnome-shell(the one you’ve copied) directory to theme. Finally press ALT+F2, type r and your new shell theme will be reloaded (or you can just logout from the current session, and on next login, you will be enjoying something new!).

step 3 To install icons – copy the icon package to usr/share/icons

gnome-tweak-tool

step 4 Finally You can select the theme or icon you want to use, through the help of Gnome Tweak Tool (see above if you don’t know)

9. Screencast Recording with Gnome Shell

screencasting in gnome-shell
Recording Screencast in Gnome Shell

screencast recording feature is built-in feature in Gnome shell interface. So if you want to record a screencast in Gnome shell, then you don’t need to install any application. You can start recording screencast just by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+r (press again to stop/start). When the screen recording will begin, you will notice a red dot at bottom-right corner of the screen. Finally the file will be saved in home directory of the user with the file name like this – shell_today_date.webm.

10. Cool shortcuts for productivity

Keyboard shortcuts are very useful for speeding up your productivity to some extent. Since Ubuntu is an open source OS, there is no limit on how much you can customize. If you have been using shortcuts for a while, then first thing you would want is to change the default(if it doesn’t matches with yours) keyboard shortcuts.

keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu 11.10

To set your custom keyboard shortcuts go to System Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts and define your own shortcuts.

Bash Aliases are also cool if you play a lot with Terminal. For example, if you are a ruby on rails developer, and install a lot of gems using the command gem install gem_name, then you can save a lot of typing by defining an alias for that. I’ll make it more clear with an example.

Creating alias commands for Terminal

step 1 Open terminal and type

gedit .bashrc

step 2 Now, insert these lines at the bottom and save the file.

# My custom commands aliases
alias gi='gem install'
alias s5='sudo shutdown -h 8:00'

creating bash-alias

step 3 Next, reload the bash profile to propagate the changes, using the command –

source ~/.bashrc

terminal-shortcuts

step 4 That’s All..now you can see the command(defined in right side) in action – just by typing its alias name.

Have Fun!

gnome-shell-keyboard-shortcuts

Top 10 GNOME Shell Keyboard Shortcuts

GNOME 3 – The Next Generation Desktop is optimized for speed and productivity. If you haven’t installed the Gnome Shell in Ubuntu 11.10, then you must give it a try – because by default you are using the unity interface of Gnome 3 instead of Gnome Shell (Latest Version : 3.2). Gnome 3 has arrived with lot of exciting and innovative features that you can expect from a modern desktop. This post is dedicated to provide some cool keyboard shortcuts – which will further help you in maximizing the speed as well as in customization.

The keyboard shortcuts will work not only with Ubuntu 11.10 but also with other Linux distributions running Gnome3. I’ve already covered a post about unity keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu 11.10, but this will focus on Gnome Shell (although some shortcuts may be common for both).

Top 10 most useful Keyboard shortcuts for Gnome Shell

  1. Alt+Tab : Pop Up Application Switcher
  2. Alt+Shift+Tab : Similar to above but in reverse order
  3. Alt+F2 : Pop up command dialog, typically helpful for launching apps
  4. Alt+F2 then type ‘r‘ and hit Enter to reload Gnome Shell Theme
  5. Alt+F1 or System Key (Windows Key) : overview of desktop (same when you slide the mouse to top left corner (Hot Corner))
  6. Ctrl+Alt+Tab : Pop up Accessibility switcher
  7. Ctrl+Shift+Alt+R : Start and end screencast recording
  8. Ctrl+Alt+Up/Down Arrow key : Used to switch between workspaces
  9. Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Up/Down Arrow key : Moves the current window to a different workspace
  10. Ctrl+Enter : Launch a shell command in new Terminal window

How to add a custom Keyboard Shortcut ?

gnome-shell-keyboard-shortcuts

Go to System Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts to view the existing shortcuts or to add one or edit the existing one as you want.