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Ubuntu 12.10 - Desktop

10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 12.10

After a fresh install, you need to install/configure few programs in order to get things done on Ubuntu 12.10 (a.k.a Quantal Quetzal, it’s the code name for this release). Since Linux based distributions (such as Ubuntu) are based on Configuration Over Convention principle, so they can’t just do all the things by default.

There are some licensing problems too, with proprietary libraries and codecs. But no one is stopping you, from doing what you want – so go ahead and customize your Ubuntu (12.10) desktop as you want; before you move on to some advanced stuffs, here are few essential things you should complete first.

Ubuntu 12.10 - Desktop
Ubuntu 12.10 – Unity, The default desktop

These steps are not strictly required but might help you in getting a better experience with Ubuntu 12.10 and possibly save a lot of time later if you’re a beginner Ubuntu user.

#1. Update your system

software-updater in Ubuntu 12.10

Update your package repository cache so that next time when you install something, it will have the latest details about that application/package. You can just run the Software Updater (the new update manager) or just execute the commands –

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

#2. Install some necessary programs/ media codecs

As explained earlier, the media codecs for playing your music files (mp3), flash player for playing flash content while browsing with Mozilla Firefox etc are missing and they are crucial for everyday things (even though web is moving from Flash to HTML5, the transition has not been completed yet). To install these common media codecs – simply install the ubuntu-restricted-extras package (which bundles all the commonly used proprietary codecs/libraries). Open a terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Although, the above command will install some popular proprietary libraries/plugins but still you won’t  be able to play encrypted DVDs (most of the commercial DVDs are encrypted using CSS(Content Scramble System), some sort of DRM technique). libdvdcss is the free and open source solution for that. To install libdvdcss, execute the command –

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

File Compression/Decompression utility

For compressing/decompressing popular file formats such as zip, rar, 7z, xz, tar, gzip, bz2, xar etc install 7zip, type the commands –

sudo apt-get install p7zip-full p7zip-rar

#3. Install Drivers for your devices

Although most of the things works out of box and you don’t need to install any drivers for the basic devices. But for other devices such as printer, graphics card, tablet, etc you will have to install the appropriate device drivers, in order to work.


Installing Webcam software
For controlling your webcam, you can try cheese or guvcviewer (looks better than cheese, certainly for video recording). To install cheese, simply execute –

sudo apt-get install cheese

or install guvcview webcam software using the PPA –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pj-assis/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install guvcview

Installing Graphics Card drivers

Installing nvidia-drivers

The Additional Drivers section, which used be there in system settings (in older version of Ubuntu), has moved to a new tab in Software Sources section. So if you’re using a graphics card (e.g a Nvidia Graphics card or whatever) then you might want to enable proprietary drivers (select a driver which is tested by Ubuntu developers) from that, unless you’re not experiencing any graphics problem with the open source driver (nouveau driver, in the above screenshot), enabled by default. When you select and apply changes, it will download/install the drivers. You may also have to restart your computer.

Installing Printer Drivers

Installing Printer Driver

When you connect printer to the computer, the automatic driver installation setup should be started, you just need to select the correct model and it will automatically download and install the correct driver for printer/scanner (it’s far easier when you’re using HP or Canon printer). On the other hand if the automatic detection/setup process doesn’t begin you can manually start the process or in worst case you can download/install the driver manually from the official website of your printer/driver.

Read More about installing a printer/driver in Ubuntu

#4. Install VLC – “All in One” Media Player

Playing VLC in Ubuntu 12.10

VLC multimedia player is a must have application, it supports a variety of file formats. TO install vlc simply execute –

sudo apt-get install vlc


#5. Find and Install your favorite application

Ubuntu Software Center has thousands of free and open source apps, now even paid apps. So there is more likely that you will find a free and open source equivalent of your favorite window app, probably a better one (not kidding).


Don’t like Firefox ? or just want a secondary browser, Try Google Chrome or Chromium!

Download and Install Google Chrome Browser (open the *.deb file with Ubuntu Software Center)

Want an image editing App ? like Adobe Photoshop, Try GIMP!
sudo apt-get install gimp
A simple Music Player like winamp ? Try Audacious!
sudo apt-get install audacious


Open Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager (or terminal, if that’s what you prefer – use sudo apt-cache search <app_name>) and explore your favorite apps. In Software center, there are user ratings and comments, which will also help you in filtering great apps.

Few cool apps you might want to try –

  • SMPlayer – a great MPlayer front-end
  • Chromium – another great browser
  • Kazam – for creating screencast
  • Clementine Music Player – A powerful music player
  • Shutter – featured rich screenshot app
  • Pinta – image editing program for beginners
  • Hotot – a cool Twitter CLient
  • Pidgin – Chat client
  • Bleachbit – CCleaner for Ubuntu
  • Filezilla – FTP Client
  • NitroTasks – a TODO management application
  • K3b – Disk writing program

and don’t forget to try integrating some cool web apps, right into your desktop. Go to System Settings -> Online Accounts for managing various accounts.

#6. Disable Amazon search results in Unity Dash search

Privacy Settings - Online Search option

If you don’t like the amazon products in unity search results, then you can turn it off from the privacy settings. Go to Privacy Settings -> Search Results and adjust the settings.Or, you can just uninstall unity lens for shopping, using the command (you may have to reboot the computer) –

sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping

You should also checkout some other privacy options and adjust it as you want.

#7. setup a backup program

Configure the Default backup client

You should always have a backup of all your important files and it’s pretty easy too (and free). Dejadup is the default backup program installed in Ubuntu  12.10, you just need to configure it (locate the important files/directories and select a remote backup location such as Dropbox, Ubuntu One, Amazon S3 etc)



If you have used (or want to give it a try (or if you have Ubuntu One account then you can start using that instead)) Dropbox before then first install the app.

sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox

Then start the application and login or Create a free account (if you don’t have already one) and you’re reay to upload/sync your critical stuffs.

Ubuntu One


Ubuntu One is another great client that offers 5GB of free storage, it’s the default backup client for Ubuntu, already installed. You just need to enter your login info and you’re done! (or sign up if you don’t have an account)

#8. Don’t like Unity ? Try alternative Desktop Environments!

Unity is the default desktop environment (more accurately – it’s a shell (just like GNOME shell), made on the top of GNOME 3). For any reason, if you’re not happy with unity, then you can checkout some alternatives such as Gnome Shell, Cinnamon, Mate, FLuxbox, LXDE, KDE, XFCE etc.

Cinnamon Desktop

Lightweight weight desktop environment : XFCE

To install xfce desktop environment, simply execute –

sudo apt-get install xfce4

Installing KDE Desktop environment

To KDE desktop, execute the command (it will standard the minimal set of apps, you could also choose standard or full edition, read this post for more options on kde packages)

sudo apt-get install kde-plasma-desktop

GNOME 2 style desktop : GNOME3 fallback session, Cinnamon, MATE

Install GNOME3 fallback session

If the graphics performance of your system is not good or may be you just want a old classic GNOME2 style desktop, then you can try GNOME 3  fallback session. To install simply type –

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback
sudo apt-get install indicator-applet-appmenu
Install MATE Desktop
sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu quantal main"
sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/ubuntu 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
Installing Cinnamon Desktop
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon

#9. Customize and Tweak Desktop settings

Unsettings App : For customizing Unity

Customizing Ubuntu is pretty easy, there are lot of tools available to customize various things like themes, icons, fonts, login-settings, unity launcher, unity lens behavior, graphics effects, app menu (e.g global menu options), applets, startup applications etc.

You can customize a lot things using System Settings but for more advanced options/tweaks there are many apps available such as Unsettings, MyUnity, Ubuntu Tweak, Gnome Tweak Tool etc.

Unsettings : for customizing Unity

Unsettings is useful for various unity settings like panel, dash, lenses etc. To install Unsettings simply execute the commands –

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:diesch/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unsettings
Gnome Tweak Tool : for customizing Gnome 3 shell
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
Install Ubuntu Tweak


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

#10. Install Synaptic Package Manager


Synaptic package Manager is an advance app management software, it’s a fast and easy to use app. If you don’t like the bloated software center then it may be a good alternative for you. To install synaptic package manager, simply execute the command –

sudo apt-get install synaptic

Finally, relax, explore and enjoy :)

Update 1 : fixed some errors and added few links for more relevant stuffs.


10 Awesome Apps for Ubuntu 12.04

In Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, you can explore new upcoming apps or undiscovered cool apps – easily using Ubuntu Software Center. Now, some proprietary cool games are also available, besides the huge collection of free softwares. Here are some cool – collection of some most useful apps – that you must try in Ubuntu 12.04 or equivalent distributions such as kubuntu, Linux Mint etc.

Top 10 Apps for Ubuntu 12.04 users!

#1. Nitro

nitrotasks - Task Management App

Nitro is a cool app for managing your tasks, your todo list – in an easy way.

Installing Nitro-tasks in Ubuntu/Linux Mint (Using PPA)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cooperjona/nitrotasks
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nitrotasks

#2. Synapse


Synapse is a graphical launcher (more accurately – a semantic file launcher), also very useful in searching stuffs. If you’re looking for an equivalent of Unity HUD (e.g while using Cinnamon or XFCE on Ubuntu) then you must try it.

Installing Synapse File launcher in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

sudo apt-get install synapse

#3. Miro


Miro is a music player – that can play videos from the web, you can also download it if you want. Enjoy watching videos from the popular sites like YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Mp3 store as well as the podcasts and video feeds. Additionally, it can also do some video format conversion works for you.

Installing Miro Video aggregator in Ubuntu /Linux Mint

sudo apt-get install miro

#4. Shutter


Shutter is a full featured screenshot application. You can easily capture screenshot of a window or a specified rectangular area – with or without a delay. You can also edit your screenshot using the embedded drawing tool, apply cool effects, and upload/export images automatically to the configured ftp host or Ubuntu One.

Installing Shutter in Ubuntu [12.04] /Linux Mint (13)

sudo apt-get install shutter

#5. Eidete


Eidite is a Screencasting application, it’s designed for simplicity and it works! You must checkout if you’re not happy with the other screen recording application such as recordMyDesktop or Kazam.

Installing Eidete in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

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

#6. Steadyflow

steadyflow Download Manager

Steadyflow is a simple download manager, with an easy to use GUI and great features.

Installing Steadyflow download manager in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

sudo apt-get install steadyflow

#7. Zim


Zim is a wiki application. It has some nice features (sync, links, formatting, images etc) with a nice UI. it’s really good for wiki style notes. The sync features keeps your notes updated (if you use it on multiple computer, using Ubuntu One or Dropbox) and safe.

Installing Zim Desktop Wiki in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

sudo apt-get install zim

#8. Catlooking


Catlooking is a distraction free writing app for those who love writing and looking for a text editor with minimal features.

Download Catlooking and install it using a gdebi package installer (in Linux Mint) or Ubuntu Software Center (in Ubuntu).

#9. Handbrake

Handbrake is a video transcoder application, available for all platforms. It has lot of cool features and it supports variety of formats, so it can convert your video files for any devices you want.

Installing Handbrake Converter in Ubuntu 12.04

open a terminal and type the commands –

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

#10. OpenShot


OpenShot is a simple and easy to use video editor, like a good substitute for the windows movie maker. it has nice features and it’s really good for beginners.

Installing OpenShot Video editor in Ubuntu [12.04] / Linux Mint (13 – Maya)

If it’s not already there in your system package, install it using the PPA (otherwise skip the first two commands)

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:openshot.developers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openshot

Update 1 : Added the ppa for nitro tasks. (Thanks to reddit users)


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

rm useless.sh

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

Top 10 Open Source Applications for Children

Ubuntu (12.04) holds a significant percentage in Desktop market (50% in GNU/Linux desktop share) and most importantly – it’s growing very fast. A lot of schools and universities have also switched to Ubuntu (most of them were using Windows XP). Since Ubuntu is very easy to use – kids also prefer Ubuntu or some other Light weight GNU/Linux distro specially designed for children. So I’ve come up with some cool applications that kids would love to try – Some are educational (in form of games or other) while some are purely for fun and entertainment.

Top 10 Free ‘n’ Open Source Softwares/Games for Kids

I assume you are using Ubuntu or some derivatives of Ubuntu such as edubuntu or some other GNU/Linux distribution. Although, I’ve selected the apps from Ubuntu Software Center (Using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) but you can find these apps in package repository of your distro.

1. Tux Paint – A drawing program for kids.


2. Tux Math – Learn Math with Tux



3. Extreme Tux Racer – Sliding Tux on Mountain


4. Comix – Comic Book Viewer

comix - Comic Viewer


5. KWordQuiz – Flash card program for Vocabulary Learning


6. SuperTux 2 – A classic 2D jump game


7. Sudoku – Sudoku Puzzle Game


8. Celestia (GNOME) – Explore this Universe (space simulation program)


9. Anki – A memory training program


10. Supertuxkart – A kart racing game



Top 10 Gnome Themes for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) uses Unity as the default desktop, developed on the top Gnome 3. So if you’re using Unity or Gnome Shell interface with Ubuntu 12.04, you can try these cool GTK 3 themes – to have more fun in desktop experience with Ubuntu or any other GNU/Linux distributions that uses Gnome 3 (e.g Linux Mint, Fedora etc).

Most of these themes are based on the users ratings and popularity (no_of_downloads) at gnome-look.org or deviantART, download link (to theme page) is there – below each theme.

#1. Zukitwo


Download Zukitwo Theme

#2. MediterraneanNight

mediterraneanNight Theme

Download it

#3. Gray Day


Download Gray Day Theme

#4. Adwaita Cupertino


Download Adwaita Cupertino

#5. Elegant Brit

elegant-brit Theme


#6. Orion


Download This Theme

#7. OMG Suite


Download it

#8. Malys


Download it

#9. Hope



#10. A new Start


Download this theme

Enjoy :)

Thanks to the theme developers for their awesome themes and screenshots.