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.
Firefox Sync allows you to access your open tabs, bookmarks, history, passwords and preferences everywhere, whether you’re using a laptop, desktop or smartphone. Firefox Sync also works as a backup for your browser data.
Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android is the complete package. Not only will it show you the channels used by nearby wireless networks on a slick graph, it’ll recommend the ideal channel to reduce interference on your wireless network.
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.
Opera contains hidden features that aren’t exposed in its user interface. They’re on internal pages, which you can access by typing Opera: into the address bar, followed by the name of the page.
Storing your passwords in the cloud is convenient, but security can be a concern. LastPass provides two free multi-factor authentication methods to lock your password vault up tight: a mobile app or a piece of paper.
Google Chrome’s internal chrome:// pages contain experimental features, diagnostic tools and detailed statistics. They’re hidden in Chrome’s user interface, so you have to know they exist to find them. These hidden pages are Chrome’s version of Firefox’s about: pages.
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.
Mozilla Firefox has a variety of hidden Easter eggs, configuration settings and diagnostic information hidden away in its internal about: pages. You can access each page by typing about: into the address bar, followed by the name of the page.
Opera, like all popular web browsers, contains features that sacrifice privacy for convenience. Opera contains some features that send every website you visit to its servers, but also offers excellent, fine-grained control of cookies.
Tired of Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment? Try Cinnamon, the latest desktop environment from Linux Mint. Cinnamon offers a more traditional, GNOME 2-like layout, but it’s based on the modern GNOME Shell — and you can install it on Ubuntu.
W3M is a terminal web browser for Linux. It’s got a few tricks up its sleeve, including support for images, tabs, tables, frames and other features not usually included with terminal web browsers.
Heard of Pidgin? You should have. It’s one of the best multi-protocol instant messaging apps for Windows and Linux, and it’s open source. Pidgin includes some interesting plugins and features that you might not know about.
If you’ve spent any amount of time playing multiplayer PC games online, you’ve probably encountered Ventrilo. It’s one of the most popular VoIP apps among PC gamers, but its user interface is hostile to newbies.
Use Internet Explorer 9? It may be sending your entire browsing history to Microsoft. Or, it may be automatically blocking tracking websites. It’s all in how you tweak Internet Explorer’s privacy settings.
Vi is a powerful text editor included with most Linux systems, even embedded ones. Sometimes you’ll have to edit a text file on a system that doesn’t include a friendlier text editor, so knowing Vi is essential.
Ubuntu’s Grub boot loader lets anyone edit boot entries or use its command-line mode by default. Secure Grub with a password and no one can edit them — you can even require a password before booting operating systems.
Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment has customizable keyboard shortcuts and animations, but its options are all hidden. We’ll show you how to get started with the CompizConfig Settings Manager and point out some of Unity’s more interesting configuration options.
The cron daemon on Linux runs tasks in the background at specific times; it’s like the Task Scheduler on Windows. Add tasks to your system’s crontab files using the appropriate syntax and cron will automatically run them for you.