If you long for the days of GNOME 2 and just can’t get along with Unity or GNOME 3, MATE is here to save you. It’s an actively developed fork of GNOME 2, and it’s easily installable on Ubuntu.
APTonCD is an easy way to back up your installed packages to a disc or ISO image. You can quickly restore the packages on another Ubuntu system without downloading anything.
There are several different ways to create custom Ubuntu live CDs. We’ve covered using the Reconstructor web app in the past, but some commenters recommended the Ubuntu Customization Kit instead. It’s an open-source utility found in Ubuntu’s software repositories.
Window Maker is a Linux desktop environment designed to emulate NeXTSTEP, which eventually evolved into Mac OS X. With its focus on emulating NeXTSTEP, it eschews the task bars and application menu buttons found in many other lightweight desktop environments.
ImageMagick is a suite of command-line utilities for modifying and working with images. ImageMagick can quickly perform operations on an image from a terminal, perform batch processing of many images, or be integrated into a bash script.
Whether you’re an inexperienced terminal user or a grizzled veteran, you won’t always know the right thing to type into the Linux terminal. There are quite a few tools built into the terminal to help you along.
Whether you want to download files, diagnose network problems, manage your network interfaces, or view network statistics, there’s a terminal command for that. This collection contains the tried and true tools and a few newer commands.
Déjà Dup is a simple — yet powerful — backup tool included with Ubuntu. It offers the power of rsync with incremental backups, encryption, scheduling, and support for remote services.
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.