You have questions and we have answers; once a week we round up a handful of reader questions and share the answers with everyone. This week we’re looking at removing Windows 8 from a dual installation, understanding Linux file permissions, and disabling the Scan and Fix popup in Windows.
Ubuntu One lets you easily synchronize files and folders, but it isn’t clear how to sync configuration files. Using Ubuntu One’s folder synchronization options or some symbolic links, you can synchronize configuration files across all your computers.
Zenity adds graphical interfaces to shell scripts with a single command. Shell scripts are a great way to automate repetitive tasks, but they’re normally confined to the terminal — Zenity brings them out of the terminal and onto your desktop.
LXDE is a lightweight desktop alternative to Unity, GNOME and KDE. It’s ideal for old computers or anyone looking for a fast, lightweight system. It’s even lighter than Xubuntu’s XFCE.
Linux: If you’re looking to easily time the tasks you do on and around your computer (like how much time you spend coding, goofing around on time wasting sites, etc.), Light Tasks makes the process dead simple.
To use the Linux terminal like a pro, you’ll need to know the basics of managing files and navigating directories. True to the Unix philosophy, each command does one thing and does it well.
PlayOnLinux provides a point-and-click interface to automatically install and tweak Windows software on Linux. It’s like a package manager — but for Windows games and other applications on Linux.
The Linux terminal has a number of useful commands that can display running processes, kill them, and change their priority level. This post lists the classic, traditional commands, as well as some more useful, modern ones.
The Trinity Desktop Environment is KDE 3, actively developed and updated. It’s ideal for KDE fans that never took to KDE 4 or anyone interested in what KDE was like.
The fdisk command is a text-based utility for viewing and managing hard disk partitions on Linux. It’s one of the most powerful tools you can use to manage partitions, but it’s confusing to new users.
Creating desktop shortcuts in versions of Ubuntu prior to 11.04 was as easy as right-clicking on the desktop and creating a launcher. However, now, you must install extra packages and then run a special command to create a shortcut.
As of Ubuntu 11.04, the bottom panel was removed from when the Unity desktop was added. When you minimize a program, it goes to the launcher, and you must scroll to access it, or press Alt + Tab.
As of Ubuntu 11.04, a new feature was added, called the Global Menu, which is a common menu bar shared by all applications (shown above). Most of us have been used to each application window having its own menu bar.
The hardest part of compiling software on Linux is locating its dependencies and installing them. Ubuntu has apt commands that automatically detect, locate and install dependencies, doing the hard work for you.
If you like the Unity desktop, but you’re used to the classic Gnome menu, there’s a way to install the Classic Gnome Menu on the top panel on the Unity desktop, allowing you to experience the best of both worlds.
Windows/Mac/Linux: Wildly popular open-source media player VLC has updated to version 2.0 and brought a mountain of new and upgraded features with it–including enhanced codec support, hardware decoding, and experimental Blu-ray support.
By default, Ubuntu 11.10 uses the Unity desktop. If you don’t like Unity, you can go back to the Classic Gnome Desktop from previous versions of Ubuntu, but it’s not included by default and has to be installed.
The Nautilus file manager in Linux Mint allows you to browse all the files on your system, but it only allows you to write files in your home directory (e.g., /home/lori) and its subfolders, such as Documents and Desktop.
The main menu in Linux Mint 12 contains a lot of items, but what if you wanted to add custom items, remove items, or rearrange items? To edit the main menu, you must use a menu editor program called Alacarte.
As of Ubuntu 10.04, the minimize, maximize, and close buttons on all windows were moved to the left side and the system menu was removed. Prior to version 11.10, you could use several methods to restore the original button arrangement.
Ubuntu and other Linux distributions have extensive package repositories to save you the trouble of compiling anything yourself. Still, sometimes you’ll find an obscure application or a new version of a program that you’ll have to compile from source.
If you have a lot of windows open on your Linux Mint desktop, wouldn’t it be nice to “roll up” windows to get them out of the way, but still see what you have open?
Linux is a great operating system, but its software catalog can be lacking. If there’s a Windows game or other app you just can’t do without, you can use Wine to run it right on your Ubuntu desktop.
Screenlets are small applications that are similar to Gadgets in Windows 7, that allow you to place things like sticky notes, clocks, calendars on your Linux Mint desktop. Screenlets represent items you might keep on a physical desktop, plus more.
Ubuntu displays an informative message, known as the message of the day, when a user logs in at the terminal. The MOTD is fully customizable — you can add your own text and other dynamic data.