Tweak Ubuntu into oblivion

Some people are born with the desire to poke around inside their operating system's deepest settings. If you're one of them then take a look at Ubuntu Tweak, a program created by an Ubuntu community member. It brings to the surface usually hidden GNOME desktop settings to allow for true customization.

To install it, click System ^ Administration ^ Software Sources, then the Third-Party Software tab, and the Add button. Then type the following into the dialog box:

deb hardy main

Click the Add Source button, and agree to refresh the list of software when prompted. Following this, close Software Sources and use Synaptic to search for and install the ubuntu-tweak and compizconfig-settings-manager packages. Once installed, Ubuntu Tweak can be found on the Applications ^ System Tools menu.

The tweaks are split-up into six categories: Applications, Startup, Desktop, Personal, System, and Security, and the details are as follows (for an example of the interface, see Figure 3.53, on the following page):

• Applications: This section lets you install and remove some of the most popular Ubuntu software, including adding a handful of third-party APT repositories to add-in useful third-party applications. It's well worth investigating the lists of software provided because they filter out much of the dross available in the package archives.

• Startup: Here you can control what happens when the Ubuntu desktop appears, such as what programs automatically run, or

Figure 3.53: Ubuntu Tweak (see Tip 294, on the preceding page)

whether the splash screen appears. Much of the same functionality can be accessed using the System ^ Preferences ^ Sessions program.

• Desktop: This option gives control over the desktop and windows appearance/operation, such as whether desktop icons appear, or what happens when you double-click the title bars of windows. You can also configure some of the desktop effects functions (select the Compiz Fusion option), and unlike CompizConfig Settings Manager, as described in Tip 74, on page 131, everything is kept very simple and only the most pertinent options are offered for tweaking.

• Personal: This is something of a grab-bag of options related to your useraccount that don't fit elsewhere. You can alter the location of your document folders, for example, or add some template documents to the right click Create Document menu.

• System: Here you can change options relating to how the GNOME desktop used by Ubuntu functions, including the Nautilus file manager and also some specific power management settings.

• Security: This option lets you "lock down" some features of the Ubuntu desktop, such as stopping people hitting [Alt]+[f2 to run arbitrary programs. If you've followed Tip 50, on page 113, which explains how to "child-proof" Ubuntu, this could be very useful.

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