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In this guide, I will propose some Ubuntu tweaks and tips that I make after a fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.04. I will also show you some basic programs I always use after installing Ubuntu. If you have something to add, use the comment form given below.



  • Updating My Nvidia Graphics Card Driver

After installing Ubuntu 11.04, the first thing I do is installing the latest driver for my Nvidia graphics card. You can find here a guide of how to update your Nvidia driver to the latest one. I haven't owned an ATI graphics card, that's why I have no idea about updating its driver.

  • Changing Ubuntu Theme

I like bright themes and hate dark ones, that's why I always select the Radiance theme after installing Ubuntu.




  • Installing Sun Java 6

To install Sun Java 6 on Ubuntu 11.04, check this tutorial.


  • Wine Installation

Sometimes I need to run Windows applications on Ubuntu, so I directly install Wine using this command:

sudo apt-get install wine

To install the latest version of Wine (1.3), you can check this tutorial (unstable release).


  • Restoring Old Panels

If you want to restore the top and bottom panels on Ubuntu 11.04, you can display them temporarily for the current user session with this command from the Terminal:

nohup gnome-panel


  • Hiding Desktop Icons
If you want to hide desktop icons so that you get a neat and clean desktop, run this command from the Terminal:

gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop false


To restore desktop icons, use this command:

gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop true


  • Making NumLock Turn On Automatically At Login Screen
At login screen, numlock needs to be turned on manually, you can make it turn on automatically by following the steps given in this tutorial.

  • Disabling Overlay Scrollbars
If you don't like overlay scrollbars, you can disable them with this command from the Terminal:

echo "export LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0" | sudo tee /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80overlayscrollbars


  • Monitoring System resources (CPU, Memory, Network Traffic, etc.)
I prefer to use Indicator-Multiload for monitoring system resources on Ubuntu 11.04, you can install it with these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:indicator-multiload/stable-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload





  • Unity Tweaks
To tweak the Unity interface, I recommend that you use CompizConfig Settings Manager. You can install it with this command:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager






Related Articles:

How To Change The Size Of Unity Launcher Icons - Ubuntu 11.04

Also Quicklist can help you manage items displayed in the Unity Launcher. To install it on Ubuntu, check this tutorial.




  • Installing Ubuntu Tweak
To configure some system and desktop settings, I prefer to use Ubuntu Tweak, you can find here how to install it on Ubuntu 11.04.




  • Resizing And Cropping Images
To resize and crop images on Ubuntu, I always use Gwenview because it is very simple to use and has a lot of features. You can install it with this command:

sudo apt-get install gwenview


  • Taking Screenshots
For taking screenshots on Ubuntu, I prefer to use KSnapshot for KDE. This program allows to easily take screenshots of the whole screen or specific area on your screen.  It also allows to take screenshots of system and programs menus. You can install it with this command:

sudo apt-get install ksnapshot






  • Image Editor
To edit images using a basic image editor, I use Pinta Image Editor, which is similar to Windows Paint. You can install it with these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:moonlight-team/pinta
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pinta




  • Display Weather Information On Top Panel
If you want to see weather information for any city in the world on the top panel of Ubuntu, then install this weather indicator using the terminal:

sudo apt-get install indicator-weather

You can then start it via Dash:






  • Using XKILL to Close Unresponsive Applications
Sometimes, a program becomes unresponsive unexpectedly, I force close it with the xkill command. You can run it (xkill) in the Terminal or by pressing Alt+F2, then click the window of the non-responding program.

  • Accessing Software Sources
To open Software Sources on Ubuntu 11.04, open the Sysnaptic Package Manager using Dash, then from the menu bar, click Settings >> Repositories.




  • Enabling Ubuntu Classic
If you don't like the Unity interface and want to use the classic menu of Ubuntu 10.10, you can disable Unity by selecting Ubuntu Classic in the login screen:




  • Screencasting On Ubuntu
I always use Tibesti Screencaster to record my screen, check this tutorial to install it on Ubuntu 11.04.


  • Managing Wireless Networks
To connect to WiFi networks, I prefer to use Wicd. You can install it from here.




  • Burnind Disks On Ubuntu
I recommend that you use Silicon Empire, you can download its deb package from here.




  • Sync Files
To sync files on Ubuntu, I prefer to use SparkleShare (Dropbox alternative). You can find here a guide showing how to install the latest version of SparkleShare on Ubuntu 11.04.



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