Ubuntu tweaks I can’t live without

I recently did a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 on my Dell netbook (because the upgrade process didn’t work smoothly) and in doing so I re did some of my Ubuntu tweaks I am used to. For my own sake (meaning so I don’t have to remember these again) and yours (in case you’re not familiar with these) here they are.

Enabling Window Scaling (like OSX Exposé)

1. Install ‘Advanced Desktop Effects Settings’ in the Ubuntu Software Centre

2. Enable Window Scaling under Preferences->CompizConfig Settings Manager (I set mine to top left)

3. Move the mouse to the top left of the screen (or wherever you have set) to activate it

Enabling useful ‘non-open’ stuff in one go

If you’re like me, sometimes you can’t live without some of the stuff that doesn’t adhere to Ubuntu’s strictly open policy. So, luckily, Ubuntu makes it easy to install this stuff, like mp3 support, flash, java runtime, microsoft fonts etc. in one click using the Ubuntu Software Centre. It’s called “Ubuntu Restricted Extras” and is one click away from being yours.

Enabling Bluetooth Internet Tethering to your Phone

If you’re like me and occasionally want to access the Internet from your netbook and like to use your phone’s 3G connection, it’s easy to get Ubuntu to do this. A Bluetooth Manager (BlueMan) is already installed, and the only slightly tricky part is to ensure it shares it’s Bluetooth connection with Ubuntu’s Network Manager.

This is done by enabling the property “NMPANSupport” under the Bluetooth Manager Plugins.

Getting your Firefox bookmarks/passwords/settings with Firefox Sync

I am a big fan of Firefox Sync (previously known as Weave), because it means setting up a new computer is a breeze. All that’s needed is to enable the Firefox Sync Addon and login, and tada, all your bookmarks/passwords/settings are synced with your other machines. Very neat stuff.

There We Go

That’s it for now. Let me know if you have any Ubuntu tweaks you can’t live without.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

2 thoughts on “Ubuntu tweaks I can’t live without”

  1. i can’t live without amarok 1.4 music player, also ubuntu scripts in right click, also without GIMP, VLC, i remove the lower bar and move the window list to the top as well as trash icon, i need to put a terminal icon on the task bar on the top, i need to install beagle, i need to remove ekiga and empathy, i like pidgin better, i install wine always.


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