Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) is rocking! It has gaining tremendous popularity among the common desktop users (specially developers). If you’ve been using Ubuntu for a while, then might be aware about some critical changes in last few versions. Unity is the default desktop environment – Gnome Shell is another popular desktop (the default interface for Gnome 3).
So, in Ubuntu 12.04, some users – specially Gnome lovers prefer Gnome Shell while some prefer Unity. Both seems to great and matured enough to use for common purpose as well as for production environment or heavy development purpose (despite of some bugs in initial release).
Ubuntu 12.04 comes with Unity, by default, based on Gnome 3.*, new features in Unity interface such as HUD seems to be cool but many people still doesn’t like Unity. Gnome Shell Interface is another great option for them. Since, both the interfaces are built on the top of Gnome 3.* – they have no compatibility problem at all. So you can run Unity and Gnome together – just select your favorite desktop at the Ubuntu login panel.
Gnome Shell requires little bit of extra graphics capabilities – but if your computer doesn’t support Gnome Shell then it will automatically fall back to the classic version of Gnome shell (with no fancy effects). Classic version mimics the appearance of Gnome 2.* desktop. Anyway if you are so interested in classic version then you should checkout Cinnamon Desktop. Ubuntu 12.04 Beta2 was released with Gnome 3.3.9.
The users who are using Ubuntu 11.10 or any other Linux based operating systems such as Linux Mint, Fedora etc which uses Gnome 3 /shell interface and are quite interested in a cool looking funky desktop – may want to try these Gnome Shell Themes. Now a days – Linux based desktops are preferred, not just by cool geeks (who may love to work with Terminal/Shell) but also by beginners (probably – they’ve just migrated from Windows) who want to work in cool looking GUI. The gnome shell themes described in this post will work not only with Ubuntu 11.10 but also with other Linux distributions which is based on Gnome 3/shell interface, e.g Linux Mint 12, Fedora, OpenSuse etc.
Use Gnome Tweak Tool to change or install themes although you can do it manually but it will make the task a lot easier. If you don’t know how to install these Gnome shell themes then first read this – installing Gnome Shell Themes (although the article explains using Linux Mint 12 but it works well with other Distro too) and come back to the super cool collection of fantastic themes.
Linux Mint 12 has released, with some innovative features – in fact it has integrated the features of Gnome Shell with Gnome 2 through the help of some cool gnome shell extensions. The overall performance and look is great – see the a recent review about Linux Mint 12, making it a perfect desktop for new Linux users.
In this post, you’re going to learn – how to install cool gnome shell themes on a freshly installed Linux Mint 12 (although instruction will also work on Ubuntu 11.10, but first you will have to install Gnome Tweak Tool, as it is not installed in Ubuntu 11.10, by default (Unlike Linux Mint 12) ).
First Get some cool Gnome Shell Themes
Download some cool Gnome shell themes then follow the instruction to install cool new themes. The default Linux Mint theme (GTK) looks very similar to Zukito, so you may try installing cool GTK3 themes but in this post we will stick Gnome shell themes, and the one more thing – you can manage theme manually but we will use Gnome Tweak Tool (Advanced Settings for Gnome Desktop), as it makes theme management a lot easier and fun.
Installing Gnome Shell Themes
#1. Open Gnome Tweak Tool (Advanced Settings from Menu or just search it).
#2. Then, Go to Theme -> Shell Theme and install new themes in a couple of click.
#3. After install new themes, you can select it from Shell Theme Menu. If the changes doesn’t appear instantly then hit Alt+F2 and type r (and press Enter to reload the shell theme).
#4. That’s all. Alternatively, you can also themes from PPA e.g Elementary Gnome shell themes can be installed in few simple commands –
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
Alt+Tab : Pop Up Application Switcher
Alt+Shift+Tab : Similar to above but in reverse order
Alt+F2 : Pop up command dialog, typically helpful for launching apps
Alt+F2 then type ‘r‘ and hit Enter to reload Gnome Shell Theme
Alt+F1 or System Key (Windows Key) : overview of desktop (same when you slide the mouse to top left corner (Hot Corner))
Ctrl+Alt+Tab : Pop up Accessibility switcher
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+R : Start and end screencast recording
Ctrl+Alt+Up/Down Arrow key : Used to switch between workspaces
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Up/Down Arrow key : Moves the current window to a different workspace
Ctrl+Enter : Launch a shell command in new Terminal window
How to add a custom Keyboard Shortcut ?
Go to System Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts to view the existing shortcuts or to add one or edit the existing one as you want.