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Showing posts with label Free Stuff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Free Stuff. Show all posts

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Ubuntu Desktop Effects FAQ


What is Compiz Fusion?

Compiz is what is known as a "compositing manager." It enables your desktop to run faster than with traditional window managers, and allows you to be more productive. Compiz controls the effects you see on your desktop: Shadows, animations, "the cube," and a whole bundle of other fun effects.
Ubuntu 7.10 with Compiz Fusion enabledImage via Wikipedia

I know if Compiz is enabled (How can I disable Compiz?)

On Ubuntu 7.10 and up:
Open System > Preferences > Appearance. Click on the Visual Effects tab. If Compiz and desktop effects are enabled, NormalExtra, or Custom will be selected. If Compiz is disabled, None will be selected. To switch modes, simply click on another selection. Changes take effect immediately.
Why is my card "Blacklisted?")
What is a quicker way to enable/disable Compiz? - Gourgi

Install the package fusion-icon and reload your session for a notification icon to switch between Compiz and the standard window manager.
How can I install Beryl?

Beryl was merged back into the Compiz project to create what is now know as Compiz Fusion. Beryl is no longer supported or developed meaning that if there is a bug, no one will fix it. Therefore it is recommended that you use Compiz Fusion which comes installed by default in Ubuntu.
How can I get Custom to appear in the Visual Effects dialog?

Custom only appears if the package simple-ccsm is installed. When you install simple-ccsm, a new selection will be available in Visual Effects, which allows you to customize what effects are active on your desktop. You can also customize the effects from System > Preferences > Simple CompizConfig Settings Manager.
Simple CompizConfig Settings Manager doesn't provide enough options or effects. Are there more?

Simple CompizConfig is just that, simple. If you are looking for more options, install the package compizconfig-settings-manager. Be sure to keep simple-ccsm installed so that the Custom option remains available in Visual Effects.

You can also access it from System > Preferences > Advanced Desktop Effects Settings or by opening a terminal (or Alt+F2) and typing ccsm.
I can't find some of the plugins mentioned in this FAQ. Where are they?

As of recent Ubuntu releases, these are now available in compiz-fusion-plugins-extra, which is not installed by default.
Desktop Effects could not be enabled?

See the following thread to find out why:Compiz-Check 
Is compiz for Ubuntu and Kubuntu only?

Nope! Xubuntu has it too!

Just to add, if you want to use emerald for window decorations, don't forget to type in alt+f2:
emerald --replace
The gtk-window-decorator cannot be controlled by Applications > Settings > Settings Manager > Window Manager since it only control xfwm4. However, you can load .cgwdtheme files through the terminal. I recommended emerald since it is really cool.
Where did my window borders go?

This is a common mistake caused by disabling some plugins in CompizConfig Settings Manager. To fix, open the manager (System > Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager) and find the "Window Decorations" plugin. Check the box and you're all set.
How can I get the "cube" effect?

(Image) First, install compizconfig-settings-manager. Then, in System > Preferences > Advanced Desktop Effects Settings, go to General Options, Desktop Size tab, and make sure Horizontal Virtual Size is set to 4. Go back to the main window, and enable the Desktop Cube and Rotate Cube plugins.
You can "spin" the cube by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Left and Ctrl+Alt+Right, or hold Ctrl+Alt and click and drag.
What is the "dodge" effect?
How do I beam up my windows to space?

Capt. Picard: Prepare to beam up.
Data: Beaming up in 6 nanoseconds.

Press alt+f2 and type in
(Alternatively, go to System > Preferences > Advanced Desktop Effects Settings in GNOME)

Go to Animations and on the close animation tab, click on the top animation (by default, that would be Glide 2) and press edit. Look for Beam, click ok and close. That's it! Enjoy
What are some other keyboard shortcuts?
How do I install a Compiz plugin from git?

7.10 Gutsy
8.04 Hardy
What is Emerald?

Emerald is a replacement window decorator which supports many more effects than gtk-window-decorator, GNOME's built-in window decorator.
How do I install and enable Emerald?

Install the emerald package from Synaptic.
The package emerald-themes provides some themes to use in 8.04, but it is currently missing from the repositories. Themes must be installed manually for the time being.

To enable Emerald on login, go to System > Preferences > Sessions. Click the Add button, and type in Emerald for Name and emerald --replace for Command. Click OK and close the Sessions window. The next time you sign in, Emerald will be running.
Where can I download additional themes for my desktop?

Themes for Ubuntu (GNOME) can be found at:
Themes for Kubuntu can be found at:
How can I install a custom cursor theme? - Armed Nuke
What is the Mac-like dock I see in some screenshots?

The dock is known as Avant Window Navigator. Instructions on how to install and configure it are available here:

Another dock available is Cairo-dock:
How do I get desktop widgets?

There are several programs which allow you to put widgets on the desktop. The most popular is a program called Screenlets. To install it, open up System > Preferences > Synaptic Package Manager, and search for "screenlets". Install the "screenlets" package that comes up by double clicking on it and clicking apply on the top bar. Once it is installed, go to Applications > Accessories > Screenlets (or System > Preferences > Screenlets) and enable the screenlets that you want.
I really love these Screenlets, are there more?

Of course! You can download screenlets either from the 3rd party Screenlets Repository or from the Gnome-look Screenlets section.
My Screenlets package is outdated, how can I get an up to date package?

Add these to your sources in System > Administration > Software Sources; Third Party Software; Add.
deb gutsy main universe
deb hardy main universe
See for additional sources.
How can I set up different wallpapers for each virtual desktop, with Conky, and get rid of GNOME panels?

Useful Links

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Saturday, 8 May 2010

Instant Messaging in Ubuntu Linux 10.04 Lucid Lynx GNOME 64Bit

 Review style Screencast Tutorial on how to use the built-in Social Networking & Instant Messaging software in Ubuntu Linux 10.04 Lucid Lynx GNOME Desktop Interface. I show Empathy IM Client, Emesene, & Skype, and the gwibber setup for Status updates.
Original video production by the Tech Show.


Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Advanced 3D Desktop

This video is made to show the advanced things you could do configuring ubuntu with compizconfig-settings-manager and adding extra plugins, hope you enjoy the video.


Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx My First Impressions

Yeah, I know. There are about a million blog articles of this nature floating around on the web, but what the heck. Blogging is all about freedom of speech and expression of opinions and ideas. Here's what I've got so far on the Lucid Lynx.

First off, I was amazed by the fact that I could quickly and easily download the ISO for the 32-bit desktop. It was only about 24 hours after the initial release when I gave it a shot, and there were no delays at all. I find torrents obnoxious, so I did the straight download directly from No muss, no fuss. 

I joke that I don't try a new Windows desktop OS until the first service pack is released. That's usually pretty good advice, but even with Linux, I don't download and install a brand new release of a distro on my production machine. In this case, I ran the ISO directly in VMware Workstation 7 to give it a shot. I used the easy install option just for giggles. This bypasses the manual configuration for the OS which isn't always a good idea, but I figured the worst that could happen is that I'd experience a major fubar and have to blow away the VM.

Everything worked well. Installation was quick and the current version of VMware Workstation automatically installs VMware Tools for Linux, so it's an almost totally hands off experience. Then, when the GUI came up, I hit a snag. The mouse worked fine, but the keyboard was totally non-responsive. This could have been an Ubuntu issue, a VMware issue, or maybe wireless Dell keyboards just don't work and play well with Ubuntu. I fired up Google and started my search.

I found just about a ton of posts in different threads at the Ubuntu forums including 
this one and this one. They all give more or less the same advice about solutions, but I specifically referenced a thread dealing with Ubuntu 10.04 and VMware Player, which worked out for me just fine. After using the virtual keyboard option to enter my password, I was able to login and thereafter, my wireless keyboard behaved as expected.

I haven't had a lot of time to play with the Lucid Lynx VM as yet, but there were a few things I took care of right away. First, I installed
Ubuntu Tweak, if for no other reason, than to be able to put a folder for my home directory on the desktop. It offers a lot of other great features as well, but it disappoints me that so many simple configuration options don't come with Ubuntu "off-the-rack".
There are a large number of "what to do after you install Ubuntu 10.04" blogs and tutorials around, and I chose the one featured at because it seemed to be reasonably comprehensive and wasn't afraid to use the apt-get system to tweak Ubuntu.

I didn't follow most of the steps in the tutorial, at least so far, but I did run 
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras to enable Adobe Flash Player, JRE with Firefox plug-ins, and a few other things. I might even get around to installing the Google Chrome browser just to try it out on Linux, but Firefox serves me for now.

Oh, and I installed GIMP, which was a breeze using the Ubuntu Software Centre. I'll post more details as I get the chance to do something more substantial with the Lynx.


Essential Software You Must Install On Ubuntu Lucid Lynx

Ubuntu 10.04 has been released finally, thanks to Varun Kashyap we have a complete guide to the best software to install after a fresh installation of your Lucid Lynx distro. 

This ubuntu distribution looks to be smooth fast and secure, and would arguably be the best realese of Ubuntu so far. In making that statement I must also comment my disgust in regards to the location of the minimize and maximize icons within Nautlius now located on the left hand of the screen. If any of my readers know of a way to place the icons on the right hand side of the Nautilus panel please leave a comment!

Normally when a new release comes out, a lot of people (myself included) like to start over with a fresh install.
There are 3 reasons for doing it this way:
  • Distro updates sometimes work, sometimes fail and at other times they “sort of” work leaving you with a system that is not as snappy as it should be or has some other trouble which was not there before the upgrade.
  • You just need to backup the home folder and you are good to go, even that is not required if you have the home folder on a separate partition.
  • Installation takes about 20-30 minutes, all of which you can spend on Facebook/Twitter if you are installing using the Live CD.
This time around Ubuntu 10.04 is touting some great UI and design changes. Moreover, this being an LTS release, there are all the more reasons to go with the fresh install route. So if you decide to do so, come the 29th, here are some of the Ubuntu applications that you might want to install on a fresh Lucid Lynx install.

Ubuntu Restricted Extras

While not strictly an application in the true sense, Ubuntu Restricted Extras takes care of a number of software and codecs that other Ubuntu applications may require and that cannot be shipped with Ubuntu for legal reasons. All you have to do is fire up a terminal and issue the following command
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
This will install Java, Flash, some proprietary fonts and a bunch of codecs, enabling you to view most video files and play your favorite audio formats and a lot more essential software that you may not use directly but is important all the same.

Google Chrome

Yes, Ubuntu ships with Firefox and to some Firefox is good enough, but Google Chrome is definitely the faster of the two and a good choice for an alternate browser if not the primary browser. It is not uncommon to have more than one browser on a computer.
Ubuntu 10.4 applications
Installing Google Chrome is easy, head on over to the Google Chrome Page, click on the big Get Chrome button, choose the 32-bit or the 64-bit deb package depending upon your computer, when the download completes double click to install Chrome. Google quietly adds its repositories to software sources so that you can get automatic updates.


Ubuntu no longer installs GIMP out of the box. They say the GIMP is aimed at intermediate to advanced users, and not everyone’s cup of tea. While that makes sense, I think it is too useful a software to not have on your computer.
Installation of this Ubuntu application is easy – you can use the new Ubuntu Software Center (Applications > Ubuntu Software Center), search for The GIMP and click install or a quick sudo apt-get install gimp would suffice as well.
Ubuntu 10.4 applications
If using the Ubuntu Software Center you can also install additional GIMP plugins and brushes while you are at it.


One of the best media players out there. Not only does it play a variety of file formats you can also do a lot more with it, as this Lifehacker post would no doubt show you. The this Ubuntu application is available via Ubuntu Software Center.


Ubuntu applications
Ubuntu 10.04 includes what is called the MeMenu. Justin wrote about it a few days back. While it does an excellent job of integrating chat, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, it is nice to keep tabs with your Gmail account(s) as well.
Sure you can configure evolution to sync with your Gmail account, however if all you need is a notification when a new mail arrives you can try Checkgmail. It supports multiple accounts and Google Apps accounts as well as labels within your Gmail. Available via Ubuntu Software Center or a simplesudo apt-get install checkgmail.

Gnome Do / Launchy

Gnome-do and Launchy are Ubuntu application launchers that can help you start applications without having to find your way around the menus. You hit a hot key, type in the first few characters of the name, hit enter and the application is there. In addition both of these can do additional work like calculations, Twitter updates etc via plugins. While Gnome-Do is available via the Ubuntu Software Center, you would have to download a deb package to install Launchy.


best ubuntu applications
Beagle gives you desktop search on Ubuntu. It indexes your files and allows you to search within file contents as well. Beagle is also available in the Ubuntu Software Center. Once installed, give it some time to build up the index, then you can search.


best ubuntu applications
Cheese is a software for your webcam. It allows you to use your webcam to record videos and take photos. What makes it interesting are the different types of effects that you can play with while clicking photos. It gives you live previews of the photo with the effect applied. Very cool.


best ubuntu applications
If you like a little eye candy you should get one of the many docks available for Ubuntu. Docky, which was originally available as a plugin for Gnome-do is our favorite and most feature rich. Other alternatives include AWN dock and Cairo dock.

Compiz Settings Manager

If you have a relatively new computer you can take advantage of the eye-candy Compiz offers. While some of the effects are enabled by default and you can choose to use “extra” effects via System > Preferences > Appearance, you get real control using Compiz Config Settings manager. It is available via the Ubuntu Software Center (search for “ccsm”) or you can do a quick sudo apt-get install ccsm. Once installed you can tweak Compiz to your liking getting all the effects like you want.
There are so many other Ubuntu applications that we can write about. We have tried to include the apps most users would like to have on their computers. You can definitely find tons of software for any niche you are interested in. I for one like to install VIM as soon as I can, while Eclipse, Inkscape, Conduit, Dropbox are some of the other favorite ones. Ubuntu tweak is also a great software that lets you tweak various aspects of Ubuntu.
How about sharing some love and letting us know what you like to put on a fresh Ubuntu install?


Sunday, 25 April 2010

Free Computer To Phone Calls with Google Voice and Gizmo5!

VoIPStunt is a VoIP service which lets you make cheap phone calls to normal PSTN (your regular landline phone) or mobile phones. I’m a huge fan of this service as it allows me to make free phone calls to lot of countries and I just have to charge it for a small amount but I get to make lot of free calls to various countries and make use of each and every penny I invest in this service or rather much more than that.
So, while I shifted to Linux, I noticed that VoIPStunt didn’t have Linux version and that did dishearten me. However, luckily they support SIP protocol (the protocol behind Google Talk) and that allowed me to configure VoIPStunt and use it on my Ubuntu!
Here’s what I did to ensure that I could use the dirt cheap services of VoIP Stunt :
1. Open Ekiga softphone (Applications->Internet->Ekiga Softphone)
2. Follow the wizard of setting up the softphone and put these settings, when required :
Account : VoIPStunt
Registrar :
Username : your voipstunt username
password : your voipstunt password
That’s all is really required and it worked like a charm, like this you can configure any SIP based VoIP services. You just need the Registrar information and in some cases, you may need to change the port too, but you’ll get that information from the service provider.

I am so happy Google Voice is out, and it got released in perfect timing, cell phone rates are high, home phone rates are high and people are getting broke quicker, including myself(already broke) Google voice also has the ability to send/recieve free texts!, and you may be able to get free calls by adding your number to your service if you are allowed to call certain favorite people for free :) Now I'll explain how to make free calls with Gizmo5 and Google Voice to save you some money!

Google voice also had the ability to send/recieve free texts!

Ok First and foremost you need to have a Grandcentral account as of this moment for migrate over to Google Voice.

If your an existing Grandcentral user you will need to login 
here and click upgrade to google voice

Or create an account at if it lets you yet, because Google Voice will be rolled out slowely all over the united states.

Once you got a Google Voice account all set up, grab Gizmo5 from 
Here(There is also other os versions at that link as well!)

Grab the debian .deb

Double click it to install, click Accessories->Internet->Gizmo5

Follow the directions to create a gizmo5 account.

Once created Click Home->Edit Profile

Now Copy your Sip #

1. Sign in to Google Voice.
2. Go to the Settings link at the top right of the page.
3. Click the Add/Edit Number link right above your phones, to the right of the page.
4. Click the Phones tab.
5. Click Add a new number.
6. Select Gizmo in the Phone Type drop-down menu.
7. Enter your SIP number without 1.
8. Enter a name for that phone, if you want.
9. Click Save.

Woohoo ok now we are all done setting it up, now lets get to calling :)

You will need to place all your calls with your Google Voice account, you click Call, Enter the number you want to call, select Gizmo with the dropdown list of phones you want to ring, then select Place Call.

Gizmo will ring and connect you to any United States phone number for Free.

Also if you have a Android Based G1, in a few days Evan will have an app released for the G1 to make calls with Google Voice More Info 

How to get ubuntu CDs sent to your Mailbox!

For those of you who are missing out on ubuntu because you have dialup and do not want to pay to have cds shipped to you, well you can order them for free right from ubuntu! You can order ubuntu, edubuntu, and kubuntu cds for no cost at all.

All you do is put your address and request the amount of cds you want! To order more then one like ubuntu and kubuntu at the same time, make an order for one you want then go to the other one and change your order. It will have both in the same order!

Below are the links to order the CDs.


Friday, 23 April 2010

Ubuntu Wallpaper

Finding sets of nice looking Ubuntu wallpapers was one challenging task and here’s what I managed to collect. I hope you like them!

Free Powered by Ubuntu Stickers

Hey everyone FREE Powered by Ubuntu Stickers from System 76! Yippie thanks alot guys!!! If any of my readers find any other free goodies related to Ubuntu, do us a favor and post a comment!!

United States


Four 'Powered by Ubuntu' stickers
Four 'Ubuntu Key' stickers

Send a self addressed stamped envelope to:

System76, Inc. (Free Stickers)
1582 S. Parker Rd. Ste. 310
Denver, Colorado 80231


Four 'Powered by Ubuntu' stickers

Send a self addressed stamped envelope to your local address:


Ubuntu Sticker Offer
Av. Maipu 2259 PB C
ZIP: 1636
Buenos Aires

Thanks to the Ubuntu Argentina Team!


Sticker Offer
P.O Box 1412
Lavington, NSW 2641

Thanks to the Ubuntu Australia Team!


Powered by Ubuntu - stickers
p/a Lange Vesting 100
8200 Brugge

Thanks to the Ubuntu Belgium Team!


Rolando Espinoza La Fuente
Calle 16 de Julio #424 / Zona Central
Cochabamba, Cochabamba

Thanks to the Bolivian Ubuntu LoCo Team!


Comunidade UbuntuBR
A/C Etiquetas Ubuntu
Av. Rui Barbosa, 2095 cj63
Santana - Sao Jose dos Campos/SP
CEP: 12211-000

Thanks to the Ubuntu Brazil Team!


Ubuntu Sticker Offer
2448 Cadboro Bay Rd.
Victoria BC
V8S 4C1

Thanks to the Ubuntu Canada Team!


Stickers Ubuntu Chile
Arlegui #573 E-11
Viña del Mar

Thanks to the Ubuntu Chile Team!


Javier A Miranda R
Carrera 118Bis N°89A-26
Int. 4, Apto. 102
Bogota, DC -111011

Thanks to the Colombian Ubuntu Team!


Thanks to the French Ubuntu Team!


Thanks to the German Ubuntu Team!


Ubuntu Hungarian LoCo Team
ORY Mate
H-1163 Budapest
Gordonka u. 32.

Thanks to the Hungarian Ubuntu Team!


Baishampayan Ghose
214/4, Sher-e-Punjab Society
Andheri (E), Mumbai --- 93

Thanks to the Ubuntu Indian LoCo Team!


Palma Salvatore
Via Magna Grecia, 14
87029 Scalea (CS)

Thanks to the Italian Ubuntu LoCo Team!


Stickers Ubuntu
Avenida Adolfo Lopez Mateos Condominio 1 Casa 41
Fraccionamiento Rancho San Lucas
Metepec, Mexico
CP: 52172

Thanks to the Mexican Ubuntu LoCo Team!


Ubuntu Stickers
Hyacintstraat 13
4587 AV Kloosterzande
The Netherlands

Thanks to the Dutch Ubuntu Team!

New Zealand

Ian Beardslee c/o C/- Catalyst IT
PO Box 11053
Manners St
Wellington New Zealand

Thanks to the New Zealand Ubuntu Team!


Ubuntu Stickers Scandinavia
c/o FreeCode AS
Nydalsveien 30 B
0484 OSLO

Thanks to the Norwegian Ubuntu Team!


Gonzalo L. Campos Medina
Av. Peru K-134 / Urb. Garibaldi

Thanks to the Peruvian Ubuntu Team!


Ivan Jelic
Bore Stefanovica 2/1
36000 Kraljevo

Thanks to the Serbian Ubuntu Team!


Stichwort: Ubuntu-Stickers
c/o Ruben Richiger
Dietlistrasse 2
9000 St. Gallen

Thanks to the Swiss Ubuntu Team!


Ubuntu Stickers
B.P. 57 Monastir République
5060 Monastir

Thanks to the Tunisian Ubuntu Team!


Atila Sendil
Bilgi Sistemleri Md.
Korfez / Kocaeli

Thanks to the Turkish Ubuntu Team!

United Kingdom

The Linux Emporium
Bridge House
17a Maybrook Road
Sutton Coldfield
B76 1AL UK

Thanks to the United Kingdom Ubuntu Team!


Nathalie Colina
Calle Dabajuro
Casa # 4
Urbanizacion El Señorial
Puerta Maraven
Punto Fijo, Estado Falcón

Thanks to the Venezuelan Ubuntu Team!

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