Thursday, 26 February 2009

25 Useful Shortcuts To Make Life Easier

The one thing that I really like with using Ububntu is the amount of shortcut keys that you can use. Shortcut keys can really speed up your tasks, and make like so much more easier for you. I have listed what I find the most useful shortcuts below. I have decided to leave out the ones that I think everyone will know - like the Copy & Paste etc.


Window Management

Some of the below shortcuts may require Compiz to be enabled on your Ubuntu system to work.

Switch Workspace
Switch Workspaces in Ubuntu (win + E)

1. Win +E - Shows all workspaces in a nifty way and lets you switch between workspaces easily.

2. Alt + Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow - Move to Workspace on Left/Right

3. Alt+Ctrl + Shift + Left/Right Arrow - Move current window to another workspace

4. Alt + Shift + Up Arrow - This initiates a cool looking window switcher interface with which you can switch between windows using Arrow keys while holding Alt + Shift.

Ubuntu Window Shifter
Ubuntu Window Switcher (Alt + Shift+ Up Arrow)

5. Alt + F9/F10 - Minimize/ Maximize current window.

6. Alt + F5 - UnMaximizes Current Window.

7. Alt + F7 - This shortcut activates the move window option that lets you move current window using arrow keys. You can even move window to
other workspace.

8. Alt + F8 - Resize current window with arrow keys.

9. Ctrl + Alt + D - Show Desktop/ Restore open windows if show desktop used earlier

10. Alt + Shift + Tab - Switch Windows in Reverse Direction as done using Alt+Tab


11. Shift + Ctrl + N - Create New Folder, Very useful shortcut

12. Alt + Enter - Show properties of a selected file/folder without requiring to right click on it and select Properties.

13. Ctrl + 1/2 - Change folder view to icon/list.

14. Ctrl + W - Closes the current Nautilus Window

15. Ctrl + Shift + W - Closes all open Nautilus Windows

16. Ctrl + T - Open a new tab in Nautilus

17. Alt + Up/Down Arrow - Move to Parent Folder/ Selected folder

18. Alt + Left/Right Arrow - Move Back/forward in Nautilus

19. Alt + Home - Move directly to your Home Folder

20. F9 - Toggle display of Nautilus Side-pane

21. Ctrl + H - Toggle Display of hidden files and folders


22. Ctrl + Alt + L - Quick shortcut to Lock Screen if you nipping to the loo

23. Alt + F1 - Open Applications Menu

24. Alt + F2 - Open the Run Application dialog Box

25. Win + Mousewheel - Zoom in / Zoom out Desktop. This shortcut is useful if you are having a wireless keyboard/mouse.

If you know of any other useful Ubuntu shortcuts, feel free to share them with everyone in comments below.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Using wget To Download Entire Websites

Basic wget Commands:
To download a file from the Internet type:

If you are downloading a large file, for example an ISO image, this could take some time. If your Internet connection goes down, then what do you do? You will have to start the download again. If you are downloading a 700Mb ISO image on a slow connection, this could be very annoying! To get around this problem, you can use the -c parameter. This will continue the download after any disruptions. eg:
wget -c

I have came across some websites that do not allow you to download any files using a download manager. To get around this,
wget -U mozilla

This will pass wget off as being a Mozilla web browser

Downloading Entire Sites:
Wget is also able to download an entire website. But because this can put a heavy load upon the server, wget will obey the robots.txt file.
wget -r -p

The -p parameter tells wget to include all files, including images. This will mean that all of the HTML files will look how they should do.

So what if you don't want wget to obey by the robots.txt file? You can simply add -e robots=off to the command like this:
wget -r -p -e robots=off

As many sites will not let you download the entire site, they will check your browsers identity. To get around this, use -U mozilla as I explained above.
wget -r -p -e robots=off -U mozilla

A lot of the website owners will not like the fact that you are downloading their entire site. If the server sees that you are downloading a large amount of files, it may automatically add you to it's black list. The way around this is to wait a few seconds after every download. The way to do this using wget is by including --wait=X (where X is the amount of seconds.)

you can also use the parameter: --random-wait to let wget chose a random number of seconds to wait. To include this into the command:
wget --random-wait -r -p -e robots=off -U mozilla

Other Useful wget Parameters:
--limit-rate=20k : Limits the rate at which it downloads files. (20Kb/s)
-b : Continues wget after logging out. Very useful if you are connecting to your home PC via SSH.
-o $HOME/wget_log.txt : Logs the output of the wget command to a text file within your home directory. Useful for if you are using wget in the background, as you can check for any errors that may appear.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Top Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu

You have just installed Ubuntu, and you are staring blankly at the human themed desktop... Now what?

1. Enable Multiverse Repositories
The first ting to do on any new install is to enable the Multiverse Repositories. This will then give you access to the 'non free' applications, allowing you to install many more programs.To do this navigate to System -> Administration -> Software Sources
Once the new window has appeared, make sure that there are a tick in all of them boxes

Multiverse Repositories

2. Install Some Must Have Applications
Alien : Convert RPM files to DEB's
Cheese : An application that uses your webcam to take pictures and videos
Dia : Diagram editor, capable of creating UML Models
EasyTag : small application to edit the ID3 tags of your MP3 & OGG files
Feh : Simple image viewer. (Can also be used to set an image as your desktop background)
GParted : Partitioner editor for Gnome
Terminator : Open up multiple terminals in one window. Gives you the ability to split the current terminal horizontally or vertically.

To install all of the above, run this command:
sudo apt-get install alien cheese feh dia easytag gparted terminator

3. Install All Needed Codecs
Due to legal reasons, the codecs to play MP3, AVI (and a few other) file formats cannot be included within the default installation. Installing them is an easy process, and after doing so, you will be able to play all of your Music & Video files.

To find out how to install the codecs, please visit the following page on Ubuntu Geek.

4. Install Shiki-Colors Theme
Although I like the default color scheme, I know many people don't. The best theme that I have came across for Ubuntu is the Shiki-Color theme. NOTE: This will only work on Ubuntu using the Gnome environment

[Click Image To Increase Size]

wget && tar -zxvf colorizeme-shiki-0.2.tar.gz && sudo ./install

This will download, unpack and install your new themes - giving it the sexy new look that you want!

5. Disable Un-needed Services
Ubuntu has many services that are enabled by default. As I don't use a printer, there is no need for this service to be enabled. Disabling the ones that you do not need will speed up the boot time for Ubuntu. To disable the ones you do not need, navigate to: System -> Administration -> Service Settings Unlock, and un-tick all un-neded services (eg: bluetooth, samba)

6. Install Microsoft Fonts
Having the default microsoft fonts could benefit you in may ways if you are viewing presentations or word documents that were created within windows.

To install these fonts:
sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

More information on installing Microsoft fonts can be found here: /2008/10/install-microsoft-fonts-in-ubuntu.html

7. Install ubuntu-restricted-extras
This is a must have install for any new Ubuntu install. This package includes:
> Ability to play quick time files
> Flash Plugin for Firefox
> MP3 support
> Java 6 Runtime
> Microsoft Core Fonts
> Un-Rar
& many other codecs for videos and music

To install this package, run the following command:
sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras

If you have any other things that you do after installing a fresh copy of Ubuntu that you would like to share, then please leave a comment!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Add/Remove Applications Shows No Applications

It's not often that I use this feature, but this morning when I tried, It would not show any applications.

No Applications
[Click To Enlarge]

After a little bit of searching online, I found out that many people have had this problem after installing Adobe Air. I am not quite sure on why this is, so if anyone does, please do share with us!

To resolve this problem, re-installing the Add / Remove application will do the trick. To do this, run the following command into the terminal:
sudo apt-get --reinstall install gnome-app-install

Monday, 2 February 2009

Oxygen Mouse Cursor Theme

Bored of the default mouse cursors that come with Ubuntu? Yeah, it doesn't take long to get fed up of them really. Well luckily, there is a great set in the repositories available for download.

Apart from the default white set that you can get [above] that wo other colors to choose from: black or gold set. Personally I prefer the white...

To install this cursor theme:
sudo apt-get install oxygen-cursor-theme oxygen-cursor-theme-extra

Below is a video from Youtube that I found , demonstrating the new cursors: