Archive for August, 2008

Get ctrl+alt+del working in ubuntu

Ctrl+Alt+Del is something a windows user needs when the computer hangs. So he needs to use it very frequently. The need for something like that in ubuntu is completely pointless. But this guide can also help you assign shortcuts to a no. of other applications. We have 10 user definable commands in ubuntu. Let us start then.

First i shall introduce you to an application similiar to the task manager in windows.

Goto System –> Administration –> System Monitor go to the processes tab.

Now to run this applicaion when we press Ctrl+alt+del.

Press Alt+F2 . The run dialog box appears. Type gconf-editor and press Enter.

Goto Applications –> Metacity . We need two sections here.  Global key Bindings(It lets you define the shortcuts) & keybinding commands(lets you define the commands to be run).

now in global_keybindings, type in the value of run_command_1 to be ” <Control><Alt>Delete ” (without quotes)

in keybinding_commands, type in the value of command_1 to be ” gnome-system-monitor ”

Now press ctrl+alt+del. Voila!

(in my case only left ctrl+alt works. please comment me yours)

Now as you might have guessed, there are 9 more customizable commands. Let us try those.

select global_keybindings . I will give you some idea on how to create commands.

ctrl+alt+e                – <Control><Alt>e

alt+F2                     – <Alt>F2

super(windows)+d     – <Mod4>d

Set your own keybinding commands.

now under keybinding_commands you can select what application should run when you press the keys. Just give the command to run the application under value.

Here another problem arises. We have to know what command runs the application. I will tell you what i do.

i create a launcher in my desktop by rightclicking. (see the screenshot)

now rightclick on the launcher, select properties and go to Launcher tab.

you get the command to run the application. You can now delete the launcher from the desktop.

Let us do something interesting. Set the keybinding to, say <Control><Alt>e.

Let the command be ” eject “. Now press Ctrl+alt+e . Good, isn’t it. The command to reverse it is “eject -t “.


Make your terminal window transparent

Bored with the black and white terminal?? Here is something for you

It is really simple in fact. Open your terminal, goto edit–>current profile

Select the colours tab.

Change the following :

Text color : #0EFF00

Background Color : #000000  (u can have anything u want. this is something i liked)

Goto Effects tab, and you know what to do for transparency

What you need for a cool desktop…!

First and foremost : choose an operating system. I chose ubuntu. So u will have to do that too coz u r reading my guide. Ubuntu is flexible than many other i have seen. So here goes.

To get the cool look on your ubuntu, some packages are to be installed.

For this goto System –> Administration –>Synaptic Package Manager.

Click on the search button and search for the each of the following packages.


Click on the package and select mark for installation. Click apply to complete installation.

Now we have everything we need for style. All you need now is creativity.

Let us start…

Goto Applications –> System Tools –> Compiz Fusion Icon

Right click on the fusion icon and select window manager as compiz. Select window decorator as emerald. You can quit the application now if you want to.

Now we can go for the desktop cube. For that we need 4 desktops. Right click on the desktop switcher applet on your panel(the bottom one most probably) and set the no of desktops to be4.

Now goto System –> Preferences –> Advanced Desktop Effects (Compizconfig Settings Manager or something similiar)

Check the desktop cube option. If a popup occurs click ‘disable Desktop wall’. Also check the rotate cube, Expo and 3D windows option. Now do  Ctrl+Alt+Click and drag. Now click on the desktop cube option and the transparent cube tab. Change the ‘opacity during rotation’ to near 60. Check out the other options too. Try the key bindings to know the keyboard shortcuts.

Water Effect, Paint fire on screen, Wobbly Windows etc are pleasing effects.
Under Window management, try using the Application switcher, Shift Switcher and ring switcher.

Now to give special effects to windows. Select animations under effects. The first tab ‘close animation’ describes how the window closes. Select the first option and click edit. Change the close animation and click close. Now try opening a window and closing it. Check out other animations too.

Now for the dock. Right click on your bottom panel and delete it. Now select Applications –> Accessories –> Avant Window Navigator. Customize the dock by right click –> preferences.

To change your titlebar theme System –> Preferences –> Emerald theme manager.

You can resize the desktop icons as you wish. Try right clicking on the icons.

You can find really cool themes at

Here are some of my desktop screenshots

Read manoramaonline in ubuntu using firefox

This is perhaps the simplest answer. Install Padma, a firefox addon.

If anyone still experience problems, please comment.

Connect to internet in ubuntu 8.04 : a simple guide to windows users

This guide is intended to help windows users who have recently switched to ubuntu and who connect to the internet using a broadband ADSL modem.

I recommend connecting the modem via Ethernet and not using USB.

Now let me divide the users into two.

  1. If in windows you use a connection that is always on (i.e you get connected to the internet when the modem is switched on), you are lucky. There is no need for further configuration in ubuntu. Just switch on the modem and get going.
  2. If you connect to the internet in windows by using a ‘broadband connection which requires a username & password’ (i.e you double click on the internet icon on the desktop and click connect), you have to do the following.

goto Applications –> Accessories –> Terminal

type sudo pppoeconf and press enter. Follow the onscreen instructions.

After doing this, you need to manually start and internet connection.

  1. sudo pon dsl-provider to start the connection
  2. sudo poff to end

some really cool firefox addons…

I haven’t been using firefox for long. In fact i started using it when i got the version 3beta5 along with ubuntu 8.04 & within no time firefox had a new admirer. To be exact never used IE again even when i used windows(I work on ubuntu almost 99% of my time). Oh! not really. I used it while browsing from some internet cafes. But only to download & install the latest version of firefox.

The tabbed browsing feature of firefox was what attracted me 1st. I dont think there is any  need to mention its advantage here. IE7 has already adopted this feature. The general interface was cool fulfilling all the needs of a normal browser. It had a search a search box which supported a no. of search engines. I had no problems with the beta version. But like many i waited for the official release of firefox3.

It created a lot of public interest prior to its release. The media was giving out reviews of firefox and i dont think i missed even one. It was then that i came to know about the best and coolest feature of firefox. Addons. There are many who fail to see why addons matter this much. I think i can explain it in a single sentence. It gives firefox infinite features. i.e you can customize firefox the way you want i to be.

You can find out all firefox supported addons at

I have listed some of the addons which I found intersting.

  1. DownThemAll : A superb download manager and accelerator that works within firefox. It can pause and continue downloads. The advanced accelerator increases the speed upto 400%. It has options to download all the links form a page or all the links pointing to a certain extension.
  2. Video DownloadHelper : Download youtube and other embedded videos without any external software. It even converts the flv files to avi for you. A really useful addon for youtube freaks.
  3. Gmail Notifier : A gmail checker that resides in the bottom right corner of your firefox window. Checks for new mail every x minutes(you specify the x). Capable of managing more than one account. Ideal for those who keep their gmail inbox always open in a background tab.
  4. gTalk Sidebar : well….. the name says it all. Simple but cool.
  5. New Tab Button on Tab Right : A new tab button. no more boasting IE7 has a new tab button and it is easy to use.
  6. Tab Renamizer : Rename all background tabs with a simple ctrl+shift+z. People usually find different uses for this.
  7. Tab Wheel Scroll : Switch tabs by scrolling ure mouse wheel.
  8. Google Notebooks : Take notes on-the-go. Uploads notes to your google notebook account. Google service. Requires a google account.
  9. Speed Dial : For opera fans. Thumbnails of selected sites in a new tab. Get direct access to favorite sites.
  10. Extended Status Bar : Another opera like service. A great addon. Displays details about current page like size, no. of images etc. Can be used as a replacement or along with the firefox status bar.
  11. Pacman : Play pacman.

These are just some which i found out. Ill update this when i find out something exciting.

Please let me know if you know any good addons.

My Rants :

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August 2008
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