Ubuntu offers to encrypt your home directory during installation. The encryption has some drawbacks – there’s a performance penalty and recovering your files is more difficult. If you change your mind later, you can remove the encryption without reinstalling Ubuntu.
Ubuntu offers to encrypt your home folder during installation. If you decline the encryption and change your mind later, you don’t have to reinstall Ubuntu. You can activate the encryption with a few terminal commands.
Ubuntu can quickly encrypt USB flash drives and external hard drives. You’ll be prompted for your passphrase each time you connect the drive to your computer – your private data will be secure, even if you misplace the drive.
Ubuntu is pretty snappy out-of-the-box, but there are some ways to take better advantage of your system’s memory and speed up the boot process. Some of these tips can really speed things up, especially on older hardware.
If you’re a Linux user, you’ve probably heard that you don’t need to defragment your Linux file systems. You’ll also notice that Linux distributions don’t come with disk-defragmenting utilities. But why is that?
Ubuntu includes its own firewall, known as ufw – short for “uncomplicated firewall.” Ufw is an easier-to-use frontend for the standard Linux iptables commands. You can even control ufw from a graphical interface.
Vi is a powerful text editor included on most Linux systems. Many people swear by vi and find it faster than any other editor once they’ve learned its key bindings. You can even use vi key bindings in Bash.
Ubuntu and Linux Mint are two of the most popular desktop Linux distributions at the moment. If you’re looking to take the dive into Linux – or you’ve already used Ubuntu or Mint – you wonder how they’re different.
Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions use the GRUB2 boot loader. If GRUB2 breaks — for example, if you install Windows after installing Ubuntu or overwrite your MBR — you won’t be able to boot into Ubuntu.
SSH offers more than just a secure, remote terminal environment. You can use SSH to tunnel your traffic, transfer files, mount remote file systems, and more. These tips and tricks will help you take advantage of your SSH server.
Tiling window managers make your life easier by automatically arranging windows on the screen for you. Xmonad is a minimal one that’s easy to get started with — all you have to do is learn a few keyboard shortcuts.
We’ve written about using GNU Screen to multitask in the Linux terminal in the past. GNU Screen is the granddaddy of these programs, but tmux and dvtm+dtach are other solutions you may prefer.
Whether you want to shrink your Ubuntu partition, enlarge it, or split it up into several partitions, you can’t do this while it’s in use. You’ll need a Ubuntu live CD or USB drive to edit your partitions.
Ubuntu 12.04 doesn’t ship with any screen savers, just a black screen that appears when your system is idle. If you’d rather have screensavers, you can swap gnome-screensaver for XScreenSaver.
If you’ve just updated to Ubuntu 12.04, you may notice an option missing in its system menu. The Hibernate option is now hidden by default, but you can get it back if you prefer to hibernate your system.
Ubuntu’s sound menu contains Rhythmbox by default. Any other media players you install will also appear in the menu, assuming they support the MPRIS2 specification. You can hide media players in the menu or add any application you like.
Ubuntu’s Unity desktop is a change of pace, whether you’re coming from Windows or another Linux distribution with a more traditional interface. Unity has its own way of doing things, including powerful keyboard shortcuts.
GNOME Shell has been criticized for lacking many familiar features found in GNOME 2, but you can add them yourself with extensions. If you’ve installed GNOME Shell and didn’t like it, don’t write it off until you try some extensions.
Ubuntu’s default configuration tools don’t expose a lot of options for customizing your Ubuntu desktop. Ubuntu Tweak fills the gap, exposing a wide variety of settings unavailable in the default interface.
Programs, such as Nautilus or gedit, allow you to browse or view all the files on your system, but they only allow you to change or create new files in your home directory (e.g., /home/lori) and its subfolders.
If you’re dual-booting Windows and Linux, you’ll probably want to access files on your Linux system from Windows at some point. Linux has built-in support for Windows NTFS partitions, but Windows can’t read Linux partitions without third-party software.
You can use a graphical file manager to find files in Linux, such as Nautilus in Gnome, Dolphin in KDE, and Thunar in Xfce. However, there are several ways to use the command line to find files in any Linux desktop manager.
Give GNOME Shell a spin if you’re looking for a slick, new Linux desktop environment. It’s similar to Unity in some ways, but more flexible in others – GNOME Shell supports extensions, which can add missing features.
Our final edition of WIG for April is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as Google Drive for Linux is in the works, 1 in 5 Macs is harboring some type of malware, Hotmail accounts were being hacked for $20 apiece, and more.
The dash on Ubuntu’s Unity desktop allows you to search for applications, files, music, and videos – but you’re not just limited to these. Install custom lenses and scopes to extend the dash with more features.