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What Ubuntu tweaks, hacks or modifications do you find indispensable? It could be Gnome2 or Gnome3 based Ubuntu.

Rules:

  • Mention Ubuntu version (if not general tweak)
  • Include a short "how-to"
  • Include a link of original content (from forums, blogs,websites), if possible.
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closed as not constructive by Eliah Kagan, hexafraction, Tom Brossman, devav2, Jorge Castro Oct 6 '12 at 14:45

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Generally speaking, this site should only be used for Q/A; AskUbuntu is not a forum. This type of question may be more appropriate as a Community Wiki, but given how open-ended it is I doubt that would be useful either. As such, this may be better asked at the Ubuntu Forums. –  Christopher Kyle Horton Oct 27 '11 at 17:38
    
askubuntu.com/faq#dontask <- see the motivations part –  Greg Treleaven Oct 30 '11 at 17:35

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I use a script that does a lot of tweaks, configuration and modifications for me. Many of these can be made by hand, but with a script its easier than stumbling through menus and windows.

# Enable the firewall
sudo ufw enable

# Get some codecs to play media
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg

# Add third-party PPA repositories
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa

# Get some software I like
sudo apt-get install synaptic gnome-session-fallback blender chromium-browser gimp lm-sensors php5-cli stjerm wine1.3 xchat

# Get rid of annoying suggestions to buy music from the store
sudo apt-get remove unity-scope-musicstores

# Ignore HIG, we want a classic black terminal
gconftool-2 --set --type bool /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/use_theme_colors false
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/background_color '#000000000000'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/foreground_color '#FFFFFFFFFFFF'

# Save space by hiding my name from the me-menu, I already know my name, tyvm
gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.session show-real-name-on-panel false
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface show-input-method-menu false
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface show-unicode-menu false

# I need alt+click for apps and games, so lets use WinKey instead
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier '<Super>'

# Use WinKey instead of Alt for the window management hotkeys (Metacity)
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/metacity/window_keybindings/begin_move '<Super>F7'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/metacity/window_keybindings/begin_resize '<Super>F8'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/metacity/window_keybindings/maximize '<Super>F10'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/metacity/window_keybindings/minimize '<Super>F9'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/metacity/window_keybindings/unmaximize '<Super>F5'

# Use WinKey instead of Alt for the window management hotkeys (Compiz)
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/compiz-1/plugins/core/screen0/options/maximize_window_key '<Super>F10'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/compiz-1/plugins/core/screen0/options/minimize_window_key '<Super>F9'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/compiz-1/plugins/core/screen0/options/unmaximize_window_key '<Super>F5'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/compiz-1/plugins/move/screen0/options/initiate_key '<Super>F7'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/compiz-1/plugins/resize/screen0/options/initiate_key '<Super>F8'

# Settings for the civilized world
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/panel3-applets/clock/format '24-hour'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/panel3-applets/clock/speed_unit 'm/s'
gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/panel3-applets/clock/temperature_unit 'C'

Stuff for Firefox in about:config

privacy.donottrackheader.enabled;true
browser.tabs.closeButtons;3
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well i did not know super key could be used like that!...nice one..but can it (super key alone) be used to bring a particular application like synapse from hidden state? –  Khurshid Alam Oct 28 '11 at 16:32

Interesting question. I actually spent several minutes thinking about this, and I realized that I've mostly stopped tweaking per se. One thing I really love about Unity, is that additions doesn't plug in like in older versions. They just communicate with Unity, which in turn integrates it. I have added a weather indicator, for instance, which is really nice because it means I don't have to look outside my windows to see if it's raining or not. :)

I have added a few static quicklists to some of my apps, though. I have shortcuts for my terminal so I can attach to a remote screen very easily. I've added one to open Gedit with files relevant to a project, but that's not really useful and should be built into GEdit as dynamic quicklists instead.

But, while thinking about these things, one thing you might consider a tweak that I can't live without, became obvious. bzr. I've put my config directories under version control. This means that I can always see when a configuration has changed, exactly what has changed and I can always easily revert to an earlier version. That's quite nice and I'd recommend it to anyone.

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