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Ubuntu Tweak for "Maverick"
If you have spent a lot of time with Windows, you surely know how many tweaking options and separate tweaking programs exist. Well, the number of tweaking programs and options for Ubuntu and Linux in general might not be as impressive but there are still a few good programs you can use. One of them is Ubuntu Tweak.
If you are using some of the Ubuntu-based distributions, such as SuperOS, there is no need to install Ubuntu Tweak because it is already there for you. You just need to go to the System Tools menu and you will find it there. However, on Ubuntu itself, the program is not part of the default installation and this is why you need to install it. To install Ubuntu Tweak, open a terminal and execute the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak
After you have successfully installed Ubuntu Tweak from the repository, open it. When you open Ubuntu Tweak, you will see a welcome screen similar to the one below:
From here you can access the tweaks, conveniently grouped into several categories: Applications, Startup, Desktop, Personal, and System. These categories contain numerous options, but I won't discuss all of them because this is impossible. Instead, I will mention some of the most important ones and will leave it to you to explore the rest.
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The Applications section contains some interesting options you can use if you want to mess with the applications and packages on your system. From here (the Package Cleaner subsection) you can clean unneeded packages from your system, including from the cache, config, and the kernel. Hopefully, this will not only clean disk space but it will also make your system faster.
The Source Center subsection, shown in the next screenshot, is also interesting because it allows to add sources for your applications. You can add applications, which are not included in the official repositories and they will also be synchronized with the remote server their sources are available from.
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If you want to tweak startup and login options, you can do it from the startup subsection. From the Login Settings subsection you can change the startup logo and login screen background, disable the user list in GDM, or hide the restart button (though I don't find this very useful except in a few specific cases). From the Session Control subsection (shown in the screenshot below) you can set the desired default file manager, panel, and window manager. You can also opt to automatically save applications when logging out (careful with this one because you might save changes you wouldn't like to save) and to suppress certain confirmation dialogs (logout, restart, and shutdown in particular).
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Tweak Ubuntu Desktop
The options in this section are quite numerous and I won't discuss them all. Basically, there are options to change the desktop, menus, windows, etc. From the Compiz Settings section you can also install Simple Desktop Effects Settings Manager and Screenlets Widget Application.
The Desktop Icon Settings and Desktop Recovery subsections deal with what icons are shown on the desktop (i.e. “Computer”, “Home Folder”, “Trash”, etc.) and ways to backup and recover your desktop and application settings, respectively.
The GNOME Settings section allows to make some useful tweaks to GNOME panels, menus and other desktop elements. The last subsection on the Desktop section is Window Manager Settings and it is shown in the screenshot below.
The Window Manager Settings tweak the look and feel of Ubuntu window manager. One of the most useful tweaks is the option to change the window titlebar layout. By default it is on the left, which is somehow confusing because generally in most left-to-right operating systems these buttons are on the right and users are used to this layout. You can also modify the window titlebar actions, rearrange the buttons there, and add some effects.
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Ubuntu System Tweaks
The last section of Ubuntu Tweak contains system tweaks. Here you can see computer details (and change your hostname), manage registered file types, Nautilus settings, power settings, and security. The Security Related settings (see the screenshot below) are kind of interesting because they allow to disable the Run dialog and Lock Screen, as well as printing, saving to disk, and Fast User Switching.
The Ubuntu Maverick tweaks you can perform from this program might modify your system in a way you don't like. This is why you need to proceed with care. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility! You will hardly render your system useless but still use caution when you mess with core Ubuntu settings.
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Image Credits and References
- Ubuntu Tweak site, http://ubuntu-tweak.com/
- All images provided by the article author.