Category Archives: Tips and Tricks


Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) Keyboard Shortcuts for Unity

Ubuntu 11.10 has unity as the default window manager; based on Gnome 3. In Ubuntu 11.10, you would notice a lot of improvements in Unity (simply, it has evolved! I didn’t like unity on 11.04 but on 11.10, I’m loving it, despite of the fact that Gnome is my most favorite Desktop (classic as well as shell interface)).

That’s why, I’ve written this post to explain some of the basic shortcuts of unity desktop, specifically for beginner users; most of the shortcuts I’ll write here, are already available in system settings ->keyboard, where you can define your own keyboard shortcuts or just edit/customize the existing shortcuts. I’ve already covered some of the unity related Ubuntu 11.04 keyboard shortcuts , only few of them has changed.

16 Most useful keyboard shortcuts for Ubuntu 11.10 users (beginner)

  1. Ctrl + Alt + t : Opens the Terminal
  2. Ctrl + Alt + L : Lock the screen
  3. Ctrl + Alt + Delete : Logout from the current session
  4. Ctrl + Alt + Left/Right/Up/Down : To change workspace [e.g hit Ctrl+Alt+Right (Arrow Key) for moving to right workspace]
  5. Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Left/Right/Up/Down : To move windows to different workspaces [e.g Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Down will move the selected window to down workspace]
  6. Super : focus on Unity Launcher (left panel), with some unique number for each Apps [super key is the one with window logo]
  7. Super + {n} ; where n = 0 1 2..9 : it will launch the corresponding Application
  8. Super + t : Opens trash program
  9. Super + d : toggle between the All Windows Minimize/Restore state
  10. Super + s : shows you – the all available workspaces, it has the same action as if you click on workspace icon in launcher.
  11. Alt + Tab : Switch Applications
  12. Alt + F4 : Close the window
  13. Alt + Space : Activate the window menu
  14. Alt + F7 : Move Window
  15. Alt + F8 : Resize Window
  16. Alt + F2 : Opens the run command dialog

Download Ubuntu 11.10 Keyboard shortcuts wallpaper

Here is a default wallpaper of Ubuntu, with some keyboard shortcuts (edited by me; to download the wallpaper, click on the image below and right click -> save) –

wallpaper with keyboard shortcuts

Setting Up your own custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Go to system settings -> keyboard ->Custom Shortcuts , and click on + button to add one.


The keyboard shortcuts I’ve described above are few most commonly used shortcuts, if you have some new shortcuts to share – then please consider sharing with us – through comment(s). Have Fun!! :-)


how to install tar.gz or tar.bz2 files/packages in ubuntu

If you’ve been using Ubuntu for a while then you might noticed that ‘all applications do not come with a native debian package (installer.deb), in that case you will have to install the application from the archive or the source code itself’. Installing packages from source code is not so difficult, in fact it’s quite easy; all you need is some build tools (e.g make) and what ? nothing.. just relax (Oh! you should at least know how to execute commands in terminal, if you don’t, then – Learn basic Linux Commands from Google Code University (it’s free and openly available for all) and come back here to begin).

In this article you are going to learn about installing applications from tar.gz or tar.bz2 packages (commonly called as tarball), in few simple steps, on Ubuntu [11.04/11.10/10.10/10.04…] (Although it should also work on other Linux distributions such as Linux Mint, Fedora, OpenSuse, Debian, CentOS etc with little or no change). Before moving to the actual steps first let me explain you little about tar files. tar (name comes from tape archive) is a file format as well as the name of program which handles compression/decompression of those formats. GNU tar is the default application in most of the Linux based operating systems including Ubuntu. Tar is typically used with some compression/decompression software such as gzip or bzip2.tar.gz

tar.gz is the most commonly used archive format for distributing source code for open source softwares, tar.bz2 archive is also used in the same way (Firefox uses bz2 format). How the packages will be installed it varies according to the application but a common/generic steps would include –

Installing tar.gz/tar.bz2 packages in Ubuntu

step #1 : After you got the source code, extract it, using following commands (it will extract it in the same directory)

for tar.gz type :

tar -xvzf source_code.tar.gz

for tar.bz2 type :

tar -jxvf source_code.tar.bz2

step #2 : Move to the directory, Read the readme file to go further (if necessary). Some applications may have installation script such as or something like that, you just need to execute that script using

cd source_code


command. If it’s the source code then you may need to first configure it by using the command –


step #3 : Now use a build automation tools such as make to create executable from the source code; it scans makefiles to get instruction on how to derive target file.


step #4 : Now install the application using the command (followed by your login password) –

sudo make install

Recommended Reading(s)

  • GNU Tar – Official website contains more details about the tar although you can also use tar --help command from your terminal for quick help.
  • Make – Wikipedia page explains about the build automation tools make.

best Linux distro for Gaming

Now a days, Linux based distros rocks! not only in server environment but also in desktop environment – for common users to accomplish common tasks such as Web Browsing, Document Editing, watching movies or listening songs, playing games etc. Ubuntu (11.04 – latest stable release; upcoming version – 11.10), A Linux based distribution (started by forking Debian) has a great role in making Linux more popular among desktop users (Although it’s a different fact that the share of Ubuntu is increasing rapidly in server market). This post explore about the gaming scope on Linux based operating systems, as a game player (or developer).

Linux based distros has always been criticized for poor graphics performance, up to some extent they are right but things have changed a lot in Linux environment. Now, Linux based systems such as Ubuntu uses Gnome or KDE like modern desktops which provides much visual experience than Windows or other OS, and of course they consume more resources; unlike the past when Linux users used to work with just a Terminal/shell, these-days also people uses shell (I use ssh for my VPS, because it’s far more convenient and efficient than a typical cpanel) but it’s not an absolute necessity for common desktop users. There are also some other reasons behind the poor performance – like lack of graphics drivers for Linux distributions (in fact most of the graphics card manufacturers or other accessories (e.g Logitech Webcam, There is no driver available for Linux distro, So I’m using generic driver provided by cheese which results in poor performance as compared to the performance on Windows, the same is true for graphics cards specifically ATI cards do not perform well on GNU/Linux) do not provide/update driver software for Linux distro because of the low market share).

Ubuntu : The best Linux distribution for Gaming


Why Ubuntu is the future of Linux Gaming ?

  • It’s the most popular Linux desktop (it has around 50% share in total of the Linux desktop users)
  • it runs on almost all hardwares and most of the graphics card run smoothly with ubuntu(as compared to other distro)
  • Ubuntu has huge number of users, community, blogs (it’s one of them :)).. for sharing, exploring and fixing problems & solutions
  • Some popular games are already available for Ubuntu (as a *.deb) while most of them (not available directly) run well using Wine.
  • Its popularity is increasing exponentially so in upcoming years the graphics performance will be better enough to migrate a gamer from Windows to Ubuntu…

Try Ubuntuhow to install ubuntu 11.04 [using USB or CD/DVD]

Also checkout : Best Gaming Laptops – India


keylogger for ubuntu (11.04/10.10/11.10)

Keylogger or Keystroke logger is some kind of software or hardware device (or may be combination of both) that is used to track the keys struck of the keyboard (The process is called ‘keylogging’) in such a way that the person whose keyboard actions are being monitored is totally unaware of that. Therefore keylogger can be used in many situation for getting all the data entered (So if the user press any key then it will be recorded) from keyboard e.g Passwords, Credit Card, critical conversation (mail, IRC chat …) and other confidential information.

Keylogger is one of the most popular spying software in the history of computer. This post is aimed to explain about a free and open source keylogger software (desktop utility) and hardware devices that you can use on Ubuntu (11.10/10.10/10.04/11.10).

So what do you think about keylogger ? is it really illegal to monitor someone’s keystrokes (of course without permission, otherwise there will be no problem at all – In that case either the user won’t use the system or they don’t care!) ? it depends! (it can be called legal if you are not using the captured data to harm others; certainly you have full right to install such Apps or monitor keyboard activities on your computer) but in some situation it may be really useful; you can easily guess when, Right? Just Think about it.

Software Keylogger for Ubuntu


A number of keylogging programs/applications are available for Ubuntu, and a good one that I’ve used is logkeys. Logkeys is a keylogger for Linux based operating system, it’s free and open source (hosted at Google Code). it has a lot of advanced features and it works smoothly in the background.

How to Install Logkeys Keylogger on Ubuntu

Open terminal and type the command (Enter your password if required)

sudo apt-get install logkeys

Using Logkeys to start keylogging process

Open terminal and type (it will create a log file in your current directory (most probably in your /home/your_user_name/spy.log), where your target file will be stored)

touch spy.log
sudo logkeys --start --output spy.log

Now your keylogger is running in background you can close the terminal. The output will be stored in the spy.log (it’s just for example purpose, don’t use filenames like this :) ).

kill logkeys process to stop keylogging

sudo logkeys  --kill

Reading keystrokes recoreded by keylogger

strings spy.log

Read official Documentation for more options and tutorials.

Hardware Keylogger for Ubuntu

There are many hardware based devices available for capturing keyboard events. Some of them works at BIOS level while some are based on keyboard level. They do not need any software to capture keyboard strokes, but it can’t be done remotely, because you need physical access to the computer.

(1)  4MB USB Keylogger


It doesn’t require any driver or software and works with all Linux based OS as well as with Windows XP/Vista/7. it is capable of recording all keys strokes.

Buy it from Amazon (Price : $68.99)

(2)  64K PS/2 hardware keylogger


Buy it from Amazon (Price : $39.89)

How to protect yourself from keyloggers

Many of us uses public computer or  any computer other than your personal one, in that case there might be a keylogger running on that system. Really ? yeah! but don’t worry it’s very simple to protect from most of the keyloggers. The simple tips is to always use on-screen keyboard to enter confidential data on untrusted computers, although you should also avoid using public computer for such confidential work.

Warning!  The purpose of this post is to explain keylogging on Ubuntu! So if you use this information for illegal activities then you will be responsible. Remember, whether the keylogging is legal or illegal, it all depends on how you are using the captured data (Your Karma and intention), e.g just for learning or research => legal use; on the other hand if you use it for cracking into other accounts or stealing credit card details then of course it will be illegal.