August 26, 2014

How To Install Mate Desktop In Ubuntu 14.04

The other week we saw about installing Cinnamon in Ubuntu. This week we’ll see how to install Mate desktop in Ubuntu 14.04.
I think you might have already heard of Mate desktop environment. A fork of now dead classic GNOME 2, Mate provides the classic desktop experience with latest applications. Mate is an official flavor of Linux Mint. While there is also an unofficial flavor of Ubuntu named as Ubuntu Mate.
We will actually use the packages provided by Ubuntu Mate team to easily install Mate desktop environment in Ubuntu 14.04. Please note that the same method is NOT applicable for installing Mate in Linux Mint 17.

Install Mate desktop on Ubuntu 14.04

Before you go on with Mate installation, I must tell you that Mate messes with Unity a little (not a lot). So you may face couple of compatibility issue if you come back to Unity. So no prizes for guessing that you should not try it on production system of if you want a stable system.
The PPAs we are going to use install several third party applications while installing Mate 1.8. Total download size amounts to 350 MB so pay attention to your network connection, if you have data limit or speed constraints.
Okay, so you have been warned :) Now, to install Mate in Ubuntu, open a terminal and use the following commands:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/ppa
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/trusty-mate
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-mate-core ubuntu-mate-desktop

Using Mate desktop in Ubuntu 14.04

Once you have installed Mate, log out of the system. On the login screen, click on Ubuntu sign, besides the username, to choose a desktop environment:
Change desktop environment in Ubuntu 14.04
In here, you’ll see plenty of options. Choose Mate to use Mate desktop environment:
Using Mate desktop in Ubuntu 14.04
Select that and enter your password and then you will be logged in to Mate desktop environment. Here is how did it look on my notebook. I really liked the Ubuntu Mate background.
Install Mate Desktop in Ubuntu 14.04
In my brief testing, I did not find any visible issue with Mate. But then, I didn’t try a lot of things. Experience was smooth and no glitches were seen.

Going back to Unity from Mate

If you want to switch between Mate and Unity, restart the system (I did not see logout option in my brief testing). At login screen, you can switch between desktop from the right corner screen:
swicth between Unity and Mate in Ubuntu
You may find that there are two network indicator applets running when you switch back to Unity.

Remove Mate desktop from Ubuntu 14.04

Okay! so you tried Mate and you did not like it. Now, how to uninstall Mate from Ubuntu? To do that, we shall be using PPA Purge. Install PPA Purge using the following command:
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
Once you have installed PPA Purge, use the following commands to purge all the packages installed by those PPAs and revert the system back to what was before:
sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/ppa
sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/trusty-mate
It just doesn’t end there. Uninstall remaining Mate packages also:
sudo apt-get remove mate-*
sudo apt-get autoremove
This will uninstall (almost) all the Mate packages. So now you won’t even see the Ubuntu Mate background while logging out. Unfortunately, by the time I am writing this article, I still have two issues remaining, one is that I still have two network indicator applets and second is that Unity Greeter is still showing the Mate version. I’ll fix them tomorrow perhaps, as I need to take my “beauty sleep”.
Did you install Mate in Ubuntu 14.04? How is your experience with it? If you face any issues or have questions, feel free to drop a comment. Ciao :) 

August 22, 2014

Google Chrome OS vs. Ubuntu

At the time of this article's creation, the Samsung Chromebook is the number one top seller on Chrome OS is attacking other operating systems head on.
In this article, I'll explore how Chrome OS stacks up against Ubuntu and whether the two operating systems are likely to appeal to the same user base.




One of the first considerations when comparing Chrome OS and Ubuntu is whether you will install the operating system yourself or select a PC with the OS already installed. Ubuntu is easy to install on any desktop PC and will run well on most notebooks. Or you can go with a pre-installed system, which promises compatibility out of the box, as that computer was built for Ubuntu.
With Chrome OS, you are limited to a few basic computer models. The most popular are the Chromebooks offered by Samsung and Acer. Samsung also offers a desktop model called the Chromebox for those who want to attach their own monitor. Outside of those two options, you won't find many other choices for PCs with Chrome pre-installed.

Ubuntu advantages and disadvantages: You can install Ubuntu on practically any computer or purchase it pre-installed through Linux-centric vendors found on the Web.
Unless you've purchased Ubuntu pre-installed, you're in charge of setting up wireless networking and selecting the proprietary video driver in software updates, among other related challenges. For experienced Linux users, this is a matter of investing a few minutes to run updates and install proprietary drivers/codecs if desired. But to a casual user who has no concept of software licensing and Linux, it's a heavy-handed learning experience.

Chrome OS advantages and disadvantages: If you buy a Chromebook, you won't be prompted to install proprietary drivers or have to decide which resolution is best. Chrome OS will simply make this choice for you. For some casual users, this is an attractive feature.
However, one person's feature could be another person's hassle. Speaking for myself, I'd want to choose which video driver I use. I also wish to select the resolution that's best for my eyes, not what's best for some random Google engineer. And I dislike the limited number of Chrome OS models available at this time.

Initial Impressions and Layout



Both operating systems present the end user with a clean-looking desktop. Default applications are comparable as well, as both offer a browser, office suite applications and other apps. Both operating systems require you to setup a username and password to login, and both allow you to remain offline if you'd like.
Where the two desktop experiences begin to differ is with Google passing off websites as applications. On the other hand, Ubuntu offers actual software, but it lacks consistency and uniformity. Neither option is a bad thing per se, but individuals users may have their own expectations as to how things should run.
Both options allows you to select your choice of wallpapers, set mouse tracking speed and configure your keyboard. However, only Ubuntu allows you to also adjust your power settings and choose a screensaver (without adding extra software).

Ubuntu advantages and disadvantages: The Ubuntu desktop offers locally installed software applications that don't require an Internet connection to run. Additional software can be installed with a USB key and added via software like APTOnCd. Ubuntu also offers power management and greater control over desktop themes and icons.
For geeks, Ubuntu updates are not a bad thing, but they confuse casual users. This isn't to say that the process of running the updates is difficult — rather that a newbie reading the update list would likely find themselves confused about the benefit.

Chrome OS advantages and disadvantages: Chrome OS offers seamless behind-the-scenes updates that require no action on the part of the end user. Because Chrome OS is targeting the average PC user, this is a good thing.
Also, since everything in Chrome OS takes place within the browser, the end user has a sense of continuity. It also means the software you enjoy in Chrome OS is also available on other operating systems through the Chrome browser.
On the other hand, none of Chrome's software is truly available offline. Yes, thanks to various caching technologies you can access docs and Gmail offline. However, installing software isn't possible unless you're connected to the Internet. Also, if you lose your user name and/or password, you may find it difficult to recover them despite Google's default login recovery methods.

Printing and Other Peripherals

Generally speaking, devices such as headsets, keyboards, mice and external media devices all work fine on both operating systems. Since both Ubuntu and Chrome OS use the Linux kernel, this makes sense. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that what works on one platform is going to work the same way on another.
For example, Bluetooth devices, USB headsets and webcams have the same level of compatibility across the board and generally work easily without any configuration. Printing and scanning, however, tend to be spotty on Chrome OS while working easily on Ubuntu.

Ubuntu advantages and disadvantages: There are very few USB devices that won't work out of the box on Ubuntu. Brand name webcams, storage devices, printers and other miscellaneous peripherals work flawlessly on the Ubuntu desktop. Ubuntu detects most printers with zero setup and scanners can be used with SimpleScan software.
However, sometimes wireless devices can be problematic on Ubuntu. Usually it's the USB 802.11n devices that give users the most trouble. The worst offenders are those purchased from big box stores on a whim, without doing any research first to check for compatibility. End users who wisely purchase their notebook computer from an Ubuntu pre-installed vendor instead of taking the DIY approach experience fewer of these hassles.

Chrome OS advantages and disadvantages: Chrome OS offers the same great USB device support as Ubuntu. Webcams, USB headsets, and other related peripherals all work just fine right out of the box. As for wireless devices, Chrome OS is installed on "built for Chrome" hardware which ensures that wireless also works.
On the downside, cloud printing and scanning are horrid on Chrome OS. If you want to scan something under Chrome OS, you need a Web-based scanning interface or an app like CloudScan. As for printing, you'll need a new CloudPrint-compatible printer. If you want to use a legacy printer, you'll have to print from another PC.

And the Winner Is...

I've given it a lot of thought and after much deliberation, I've come to this final conclusion: Ubuntu destroys Chrome OS.

Now, I'm not saying that the Chromebooks running Chrome OS aren't interesting. They do offer great functionality for the basic browser-based tasks. But if you ever plan to print or scan anything, you will need to make sure your peripherals are compatible.
In my honest opinion, unless you've never used a computer before or want a "kid's toy," you'll want to use Ubuntu over Chrome OS.

Think I'm wrong? Do a Web search for "Install Ubuntu on Chromebook." You'll notice a plethora of articles catering to Chrome OS users installing Ubuntu onto their Chromebooks. There's a reason for this. Chrome OS is painfully limited despite the added functionality made available in the Chrome Web Store.
Ubuntu mirrors Chrome OS by offering a software repository from which to download new titles. The difference is, you can run Ubuntu software without being connected to the Internet.
Am I being too harsh? Perhaps I am to a degree. I think Chrome OS is a great portable OS option, but it's hardly a replacement for a full operating system experience.


August 19, 2014

Viber 4.2 For Linux Available For Download

Quick update for Viber users: Viber for Linux was updated to version 4.2.x recently, finally catching up with the Windows version. Unfortunately, the application continues to be available for 64bit only.

Viber for Linux

For those not familiar with Viber, this is an application which has over 100 million monthly active users (and 280 million registered users), that sits somewhere between Skype and WhatsApp: it can be used to make free VoIP calls, send text messages, photos and video messages without having add any contacts manually (all phone contacts that have installed Viber are listed as Viber contacts). Viber is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, etc. and for the desktop (Windows, Mac and Linux).

Viber for Linux features:
  • HD quality voice calls;
  • video calls (desktop to desktop only);
  • text, photo and sticker messages;
  • group conversations;
  • full sync between the mobile and Linux clients;
  • transfer ongoing calls between devices;
  • no registration or password required.

Even though some websites wrote back in November that Viber 4.0 was released for Linux, it was actually just an updated 3.x version (see this AUR package comments for instance) which was then never updated until a few days ago, to version 4.2. So assuming I'm right, here are the changes / new features introduced with Viber 4.0 to 4.2 for desktops, which should now be available in the latest Viber for Linux:
  • sync all of your stickers from mobile;
  • support for dragging and dropping photos into conversation window
  • support for Viber Out calls to all land lines and mobiles (a feature released in December 2013 which allows users to call mobile and landline numbers and thus, people not using the Viber application - note that you need Viber Out credit to be able to use it). I didn't test this feature though;
  • support for video messaging so that you can stream videos sent to you on your desktop;
  • increased group capacity to 100 participants and automatic group sync from mobile;
  • "Seen" delivery status lets you know when your messages have been viewed
  • view descriptions sent with photo and video files;
  • new conversation feed;
  • dockable sticker menu;
  • improved video quality and performance;
  • see participants in each of your groups right at the top of the screen;
  • one-on-one conversations from within a group;
  • play voice messages;
  • "Last online" status lets users know when their contacts are online.

It's also important to note that a couple of bugs that were present in the initial release weren't fixed: the floating tray Viber icon is still displayed under Unity (in the top left corner and it can't be moved) but at least there aren't double Unity launcher icons now and also, the "Start Viber on system startup" option doesn't work.

Download Viber for Linux (64bit only)

Ubuntu / Linux Mint (64bit only!) users can download Viber from HERE (deb).

Arch Linux (64bit only) users can install Viber from AUR.

Other Linux distributions (64bit only): Viber binaries are available as a zip file HERE but please note that Viber was only tested on Ubuntu so it may not work on your system (to run it, double click the "" file).


August 14, 2014

You Can Now Watch Netflix On Linux

It is now possible to watch Netflix on any Linux system, so long as you run the Chrome browser starting with version 37. This will let you avoid having to use a Wine-based workaround to get the Silverlight plugin to work. More importantly, the latest releases of Chrome block this workaround anyway, so you would have only been able to use Firefox to watch Netflix. For the time being, you aren’t able to use Firefox to natively watch Netflix.

How Is This Possible?

Since the World Wide Web Consortium has added a portion of DRM (digital rights management) called Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) to the HTML5 specifications, Netflix was able to go ahead with its development of an HTML5 player that is meant to replace the Silverlight player it has been traditionally using. However, not only did Netflix have to develop this player, but browsers also had to add support for DRM. Chrome is now the first browser to do so, which Linux users can take advantage of.

netflix linux playback   You Can Now Watch Netflix On Linux Natively: Heres How

Firefox users currently aren’t able to watch Netflix natively because it does not have support for EME yet. Once this support is added to Firefox, it should start working.



How To Get Netflix Working

To get Netflix to work natively on your Linux system, you’ll first need to get the Chrome browser, at least version 37. Depending on when you read this, this may already be the stable version of Chrome, but at time of writing, version 37 is currently the Beta release.
Once you have Chrome version 37 or higher running on your computer, you’ll also need to make sure that you’re running the absolute latest versions of libnss. The installed version has to be at least 3.16.3, which Ubuntu 14.04 does not provide but Ubuntu 14.10 does. If you use Ubuntu, you can download the 32-bit or 64-bit updated packages of libnss3, libnss3-1d, and libnss3-nssdb. If you use a different distribution, you’ll need to make sure that you have all three packages and that all of them are at least version 3.16.3.
Great, you’re already halfway through! Next, you’ll need to install the User Agent Switcher extension for Chrome. This is needed because Netflix doesn’t officially support Linux, so it denies any users who have user agent strings that say they use Linux. We need this extension to pretend that we’re using Windows, and everything will go smoothly from there. Once it’s installed, you’ll need to right click on the icon in the top right corner, choose Options, and then add a new user agent string.

linux netflix uas info   You Can Now Watch Netflix On Linux Natively: Heres How

Then enter in the following details:
  • Name: Netflix Linux
  • String: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2114.2 Safari/537.36
  • Group: Just click into this box and it’ll fill in automatically with “Chrome”
  • Append?: Select Replace
  • Flag: Whatever you want it to be. Whatever you enter in here is what is displayed on the icon when it is active.
netflix linux uas permanent spoof   You Can Now Watch Netflix On Linux Natively: Heres How

On the left side of the User Agent Switcher options, click on Permanent Spoof Options. Then, type in “” in the Domain field (without the quotation marks), and choose the Netflix Linux user agent string. This way, you won’t have to touch anything and the extension will automatically make the necessary change when you visit Netflix, and revert the changes when you visit any other site.

netflix linux html5 prefer   You Can Now Watch Netflix On Linux Natively: Heres How

Lastly, log into your Netflix account, look at your Account Settings, and then Playback Settings. Make sure that the option to Prefer HTML5 player instead of Silverlight is enabled. Now, you should be able to pick whatever you want to watch and it’ll work.

We Have Netflix!

It’s great to finally be able to not have to use Silverlight, especially since we’d need Wine to make it work and Microsoft isn’t even really developing Silverlight anymore. It’s less complicated, faster, safer, and more seamless. Sure, it still takes a bit of work to set up via Chrome, but once you’ve done the initial work, you’re all set to use Netflix as easily as you can on a Windows or Mac computer.


August 12, 2014

Get A Chrome OS Look With The Budgie Desktop For Linux

By . You can’t ever have enough desktop environments for Linux systems! For each new desktop environment, there’s another choice for users that may suit their needs and preferences better than any other solution.
The relatively new Budgie desktop environment has recently appeared and is finally easy to install under Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. Let’s take a look at its design and features.

About Budgie Desktop

If you think Budgie desktop looks a lot like Chrome OS, the operating system found on Chromebooks, it’s not just you. This is completely intentional — the Linux distribution that this desktop environment is being developed for, Evolve OS, is trying to look a lot like the operating system that is becoming familiar very quickly among households, schools, and corporations.
And this isn’t necessarily trying to be a copy cat — it actually satisfies a very valid need. Chrome OS, while awesome, is only available for actual Chromebooks. In other words, you can’t just take your own computer and put Chrome OS on it to turn it into your very own Chromebook. The Chromium OS project does exist, and there have been other projects that have tried to take Chromium OS and package it in a way that turns it into the “Chrome OS for every computer”. But they came and went, because it’s not very easy to accomplish.
So, instead of trying to take the actual Chrome/Chromium OS and adapting it for use to other computers, Evolve OS tries to take traditional desktop Linux distros and make it look like Chrome OS. With the Chrome browser installed, it can very much act like a Chromebook, but at the same time it still has the power of a full Linux installation where you can also run more apps offline than you can with Chrome OS.

budgie desktop   Get A Chrome OS Look With The Budgie Desktop For Linux

That being said, the Budgie desktop environment is highly influenced by the Chrome OS desktop environment and has followed the design very closely. That means that you’ll get to enjoy the very noticeable minimalism, giving you less interruption from the desktop environment and more focus on the content that’s in front of you.Of course, there have been some slight modifications made so that it can still function like the full-fledged desktop Linux distro that it is. The primary difference in this regard is that the menu will launch the typical categories of applications, rather than a listing of Chrome apps that are installed. However, the latest versions of Chrome for Linux will add a category to this list of apps called “Chrome Apps”, so you’ll still get access to your Chrome apps through this menu, virtually the same way as you would in Chrome OS. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it’s familiar, and it works.


budgie windows   Get A Chrome OS Look With The Budgie Desktop For Linux

The Budgie desktop is pretty low on features right now. Besides the very simplistic interface that’s front and center, a lot of the other features are based around Gnome’s features, including the Nautilus file browser (which we’ve compared to others before) and the Gnome Control Center for the system settings. However, it all looks great and is functional. One caveat is that not everything is there yet in terms of features. Why? Keep reading.


budgie settings   Get A Chrome OS Look With The Budgie Desktop For Linux

If this is right up your alley, it sounds like a perfect desktop environment, right? Quite possibly, but it’s not for everyone at this moment. While there’s an increasing amount of hype around this desktop environment, it’s still in the pretty early stages of development. It’s come far enough that a lot of features are in place, but it still has a few to add and a ton of stability fixes left. The desktop environment also has various requirements that some distributions use, but others (like Ubuntu) don’t. It will take some time before it’s fully featured, stable, and easily available on your favorite distribution.

Try It Out

There are a few ways you can try the Budgie desktop. The best way to test it (especially without potentially messing up your system) is to download a copy of its “home” distribution, Evolve OS, and boot from a USB drive with it, or run it in a virtual machine. If you decide to install it to a testing machine or in your virtual machine, the always-important command to use for updating the system is sudo pisi up.
There are also unofficial repositories for Ubuntu, Arch Linux, openSUSE, and Fedora, as well as a tarball of files for all other distributions if you’re up to the challenge of installing that. For distributions with unofficial repositories, you should be able to add the repo, update your package lists, and then choose to install the metapackage which will pull in all other dependencies.
Ubuntu users can run the command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sukso96100/budgie-desktop && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install budgie-desktop
This will add the needed repository, update your package lists, and install the desktop environment. For other distributions, check the instructions for your specific distribution for exact instructions. Once it’s installed, you can log out and choose the different desktop environment at the login screen.

How Will Budgie Fare?

I’m excited to see how this desktop environment will look once it reaches stable status and how well it will be adopted by Linux users, especially those who have installed Linux on a Chromebook. I’m pretty optimistic about its future since it does fill a need that has existed since Chromebooks were created. If you’re interested in it, go take a look at it and see if it’s something for you.
What upcoming desktop environments are you fond of? Do you think we have too many desktop environments or not enough? Let us know in the comments!


July 13, 2014

Need Microsoft Office on Ubuntu? Install the Official Web Apps

office web app

By      It’s not everyone’s cup of joe, but Microsoft Office and its family of finicky file formats are a mainstay of many working and educational environments — for better or worse.
Reading, editing and saving to these proprietary formats is sort of possible on Ubuntu using the LibreOffice suite of apps. Writer, Calc and Impress all boast varying degrees of Microsoft Office file interoperability, though in my own real world experience (thankfully brief) it’s not perfect.
For the times you can’t go without using Office file formats (as ideological as most of us are about open standards, we shouldn’t be blind to practicalities) but you’ve no desire to purchase a full MS Office licence to run through WINE, the official set of Microsoft Office Online web apps are the perfect answer.

Install Microsoft Office Online Apps in Ubuntu

To make accessing these online versions easier from the Ubuntu desktop, the ‘Linux Web Apps project’ has created a small, unofficial installer that adds web app shortcuts (“glorified bookmarks”) to your application launcher.


These are nothing more fancy than shortcuts to the respective Microsoft web app that opens in your default system browser.  Sound nifty? You get application shortcuts for:
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • OneDrive
  • Calendar
  • OneNote
  • People
The package also creates a new application category housing the links, letting you view the shortcuts separately from other applications as well as under the regular “office” apps directory.
Are these essential? Not really. Are they useful? Depends on your workflow. But is it nice to have the option? For sure.
You can grab the .deb installer containing the links from the link below and is suitable for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and later.

Other Alternatives


A similar alternative is to install the official Office Online web applications from the Chrome Web Store, then add the app launcher to Linux. This will still create launchable shortcuts for them in the Dash, but ones that can be set to open in their own window frames and forgo the need to install any third-party packages.
Similarly,  Google recently folded in full Office capabilities (thanks to its purchase of QuickOffice) into its own Docs, Slides and Sheets applications, retired the QuickOffice Android application and rebranded the companion Chrome extension.
If you’re a heavy Google Drive/Docs user, this may be the better solution for you.


Linux Mint 17 Mate

I gave Linux Mint 17 Mate desktop a try and was pleasantly surprised. It is a very smooth and fast performing distro based on Ubuntu 14.04. The only annoyance is the Firefox search engine default which uses Yahoo and the Mint logo. I found a fix for this under a previous post. Otherwise a great distro for those who like the old GTK2 interface, yet is based on Gnome 3.13 kernel. They use the fine Caja file manager instead of Nautilus. It found my wireless card right from the live distro through to install.


You can get Linux Mate here:

July 8, 2014

How to remove Linux Mint's Firefox Yahoo search engine

Removing Linux Mint’s Google page hack from Firefox

10 Mar
I know this is a revenue stream for Linux Mint, but I just can’t do without the “more options” on the normal Google search results page that allow me to  limit searches to results from the last year, or the last 24 hours, etc. So, thanks to some folks at the Mint forum, here’s a quick way to restore normal Google pages:

1) go to this page and click “add to Firefox”
2) go to Google’s home page and Right-Click in the search box. Select “add to search bar.”
3) go to “manage search engines” (click the drop down arrow on the search bar)
4) remove the old Google search engine, and move the new one to the top.
Clem, if you can come up with a way to keep all of Google’s functionality on the results pages, I’d be more than happy to keep the Mint hacks in place.


Remove and Disable Yahoo! Search from Firefox
One of the neat tricks with Firefox is that when you type in a partial URL into the search field, say for example "netflix," Firefox will automatically direct you to ""

This is very useful because you do not have to type in "www" or ".com" or anything else.

Firefox does this trick by using Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature. So, while you never see, you are actually using the Google search engine to find the partial Web address that you have entered.

This all works great unless you somehow download the Yahoo add-on which makes Yahoo! Search the default browser for Firefox. If you have AT&T DSL service or if you installed Yahoo IM (Instant Messenger), you may have installed this Yahoo add-on without being aware. Yahoo does not alert you that this add-on is being installed to Firefox.

If you have the Yahoo add-on in Firefox and you type a partial Web address into the Firefox search field, you will not go straight to the Web site. Instead you will see a list of Yahoo Search results.

This is a step backward in terms of usability, but it is also very easy to remove/disable this Yahoo add-on feature from Firefox. To make Google your default search engine in Firefox, just follow these five easy steps:

Step 1:
Open a new Firefox browser window.
Step 2: Type about:config in the search field and press Enter.
Step 3: Click the "I Will Be Careful" button if necessary.
Step 4: Scroll to find a configuration key titled: keyword.URL
Step 5: Select "keyword.URL" and right-click, then hit "Reset" from the drop-down menu.

Firefox will automatically reset the URL value to
This should solve your problem and remove/disable Yahoo Search from Firefox and go back to Google.


July 5, 2014

July Desktop

I tried the new Radiance Manilla theme from my previous post for Ubuntu 14.04 and it is a fresh face for my desktop this month. I used the Gnome Colors Dust icons also. Below is a link to more variations for this theme. Enjoy.

You can download the new Ambiance and Radiance colors theme here:

July 2, 2014

Ambiance And Radiance Colors Theme Pack Gets 3 New Colors, Full Cinnamon

Ambiance & Radiance Colors, a theme pack that provides Ambiance and Radiance in various colors, was updated today with 3 new colors: Aqua, Teal and Manila, to match the latest Humanity Colors icons. 

The new release also includes full Nemo / Cinnamon support (with a Cinnamon theme) and other changes.

Ambiance Radiance Colors

With this update, the theme pack is now available in 12 color variations (the theme already included the following colors: blue, brown, graphite, green, orange - different from the default orange -, pink, purple, red and yellow), all available as both light (Radiance) and dark (Ambiance).

The theme pack supports Unity, MATE, Xfce and Cinnamon. Since the default/stock Ambiance and Radiance don't support client side window decorations, the Ambiance and Radiance Colors pack doesn't support it either, so GNOME Shell is currently not properly supported.

Besides the 3 new colors, the latest Ambiance & Radiance Colors 14.04.5 includes other changes such as:
  • improved window buttons color (it's now brighter / less dull) - white window buttons are also still available if you don't want to use colored window buttons (set the theme to Ambiance-COLOR-pro or Radiance-COLOR-pro to get white window buttons);
  • full support for Nemo file manager and the Cinnamon desktop (including a Cinnamon theme);
  • new menubar gradient for GTK3 apps. No longer a upside down one like it is in the stock Ambiance / Radiance themes;
  • Nautilus and Nemo now use a dark sidebar;
  • Xfce Virtual Desktop Pager is now more visible and uses prelight color for selected desktop (as opposed to grey);
  • fixes for some GTK2-based terminal apps - they now use a nice black/grey background;
  • fixes for dark MintMenu on MATE;
  • 2 new (optional) window border themes are available for MATE and Xfce with classic big window borders for easier resizing: 4px wide as apposed to 1px, as it was before. This is for use on MATE and Xfce without Compiz if you have issues with the window border resize area being too small (an issue that was introduced with all new "borderless" themes such as Ambiance and Radiance in Ubuntu 14.04);
  • other under-the-hood fixes and enhancements.

Note that in my test, MintMenu under MATE still has an issue: the favorites text is blurry. 

It's also important to mention that the Nautilus toolbar doesn't look like the original Ambiance/Radiance theme because of a limitation in its code (probably some Nautilus / Unity patch or something like that) - the Nautilus toolbar code is identical in both the stock Ambiance/Radiance themes and in Ambiance & Radiance Colors (so in theory, they should look the same, but that's not the case as you can see below):

Ambiance Radiance Colors

Here are a few more screenshots with some of the changes mentioned above:

Ambiance Radiance Colors

Ambiance Radiance Colors

Ambiance Radiance Colors
Ambiance Aqua - Cinnamon

Ambiance Radiance Colors
Ambiance Aqua - MATE

Ambiance Radiance Colors
Ambiance Teal Xfce

Ambiance Radiance Colors
Ambiance Teal - Unity

Ambiance Radiance Colors
Radiance Manila - Unity

As a reminder, for matching icons, see the Humanity Colors icon theme pack.

Install Ambiance & Radiance colors in Ubuntu 14.04 or Linux Mint 17

Ambiance and Radiance Colors can be installed in Ubuntu 14.04 or Linux Mint 17 (and derivatives: Xubuntu 14.04, etc.) by using the RAVEfinity PPA. Add the PPA and install the themes using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ravefinity-project/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ambiance-colors radiance-colors
For other Linux distributions or if you don't want to add the PPA, you can get the themes from HERE.

To change the theme in Unity, you can use a tool such as Ubuntu Tweak or Unity Tweak Tool

June 30, 2014

Things to do after install of Ubuntu 13.10

Tweaks/Things to do after Install of Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy is just released today, Ubuntu team has done really great work there aren't much new features in this release but many current features and issues improved in 13.10 saucy. So we can say canonical focused on stability of Ubuntu desktop. Unity is much much faster, responsive and a lot of things added like smart scopes, anonymous dash searches and many more. After a lot of digging to this release I was wondering what tweaks should we do with this release and than it will be completely ready to use for us. So tweaks work has been done by me and brought for you, after applying these tweaks your desktop will be complete. All tweaks has been tested by NoobsLab, So if you encounter any problem feel free to ask us. Lets start tweaking to 13.10 ...

1: Tweak Tools:

Gnome Tweak Tool is well-known powerful tweak tool, With this tool you can manage your Ubuntu environment like: Change theme, icons, fonts, cursor and so on options.
Unity Tweak Tool is a configuration tool for the Unity Desktop, providing users access to features and configuration options not (obviously) accessible, and brings them all together in a polished & easy-to-use interface.
Install Tweak Tools with following command:

Also Checkout Ubuntu Tweak

2: Synaptic and Compiz (CCSM) with extra plugins:

Synaptic is a graphical package management program for apt. It provides the same features as the apt-get command line utility with a GUI front-end based on Gtk+.
CCSM, short for CompizConfig Settings Manager, is a configuration tool for Compiz Fusion. It is used to configure the many plugins included in Compiz and Compiz Fusion, as well as the use of various profiles and intergrating better with existing desktop settings.

To install Synaptic Manager and CCSM enter following commands in Terminal:

Go to Dash and Search "CCSM" or "synaptic"

3: LightDM Tweaks

Remove White dots: If you want to remove white dots from login screen of Ubuntu 13.10.
Disable Remote Login and Guest account is enable by default in Ubuntu, It means anybody can login with guest account in your Ubuntu and remote to any computer.

To remove white dots, enter following commands in Terminal:

To remove guest account open Terminal and enter following command:

To remove Remote login open Terminal and enter following command:

Save and close file, Now Restart to see effect.

4: Improve Unity Performance, Remove Online Search Lenses:

If you don't like online searches in Unity, You can disable it from Settings -> Privacy then Turn off online search.
Alternatively you can remove online search lenses from Unity, Following commands will remove Music, Photos, and Video lenses and make Unity much responsive:

5: Disable overlay Scrollbars:

You can disable overlay scrollbars, if you don't like that.
Enter following command in terminal to disable overlay scrollbar:

If you want to get back overlay bar, enter following command:

6: Show username on panel:

UserName is disabled by default in Ubuntu, So here is tweak you can enable it very easily.
Enter following command in terminal:

To remove name from panel, Enter following command:

7: Disable System Crash Reports:

If you are experiencing something crashes in your Ubuntu, and you don't like to be notify with reports. You can disable them easily.
Enter following commands to disable crash reports:

Now text file will open, In the last line you will see "enabled=1" change it to "enabled=0". Save and close file.
Now enter following command in terminal to stop apport service:

8: Firewall for Ubuntu:

Linux don't need Anti-virus but Firewall is important for any kind of Operating System. UFW is installed by default in Ubuntu but it is command line and disabled by default. You can install best firewall GUFW enable and manage it graphically.
Enter following command in terminal to install firewall:

After installation open Dash and Search "GUFW" to configure it.

9: Move Minimize, Maximize, Close Buttons to Right:

If you are used to use these buttons on right side then this tweak is useful for you. You can move Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons to the right side.
Enter following command to move buttons to right:

10: Install tested drivers for your Hardware:

Ubuntu works perfect with latest hardware, It is better to use drivers offered by Ubuntu. You can choose best drivers for your hardware from additional driver and can enable/disable from there easily.
Open Dash and Search for "Software & Updates" Here you can find "Additional Drivers" in the last Tab.

11: Install Adobe Flash Plugin:

Flash player isn't available by default , So you can install flash player easily from Ubuntu repositories.
ubuntu flash
Open Terminal and enter following commands:

12: qBittorrent Torrent client:

The qBittorrent project aims to provide a Free Software alternative to Āµtorrent. An advanced and multi-platform BitTorrent client with a nice Qt4 user interface as well as a Web UI for remote control and an integrated search engine. qBittorrent aims to meet the needs of most users while using as little CPU and memory as possible.
Enter following command to install qBittorrent:

13: Integrate online accounts in Ubuntu

Ubuntu has Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Hotmail and other accounts support. It offers you different features of your online account within Ubuntu desktop. Go to Settings > Online Accounts and configure accounts.

14: Plugins for Rhythmbox (Like Equalizer):

Rhythmbox is default Audio player in Ubuntu 13.10, You can install plugins for rhytmbox. Plugins are: Audio-read, Album-art-search, Countdown-playlist, plugin-cover-art-browser, Equalizer, Jump-to-Playing, Jump-to-Window, lyrics, micro-blogger, open-containing-foler, radio-browser, Random-album-player, Remember-the-rhythm, repeat-one-song, rhythm-web, send-first, small-window, stop-after, suspend, tab-guitar, tray-icon, web-menu, stream-ripper
Enter following commands to install plugins.

After installation open Rhythmbox and Go to "Edit" -> "Plugins" and enable plugins.

15: Install Restricted Extras:

There are some Restricted extras in Ubuntu which can't be install while installation of Ubuntu by default but you can install these Restricted extras by yourself. Restricted mp3 playback and decoding, support for various formats, fonts, java, flash plugin, lame, dvd playback.

16: Codecs and Enable DVD Playback:

If you are multimedia user and use Ubuntu for multimedia then these codecs are very useful for you. You can install them by single command.

Following command for Enable DVD Playback:

17: Compression/Decompression tools:

You can compress and decompress 7z, zip, gzip, rar, xz, tar, bz2, xar, tar.gz,, and many others.
Enter following command in terminal to install:

18: Tools/Tweaks For Laptop Power Management

If you are using laptop then TLP and laptop mode tools are really important for your laptop battery and power consumption. These tools has ability to save battery life and some other features.
Enable laptop mode and other tweaks for laptops
Improve laptop power management with TLP

19: To Reset Unity:

>> to reset the Unity:

20: Must have Misc/Softwares for Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy:

Enable Transparent Desktop Cube and Wobbly Windows
Google Chrome
WineHQ (Windows Program Loader)
Install and Configure Samba Sharing between Windows and Ubuntu
Latest Nvidia Drivers (Only for those who own Nvidia Card)
Ati Amd catalyst Drivers (Only for those who own ATI Card)
Media Players: VLCXnoise
File Managers SunFlower Twin-Panel
Checkout Conky Collection
Checkout Themes Collection
Checkout Icons Collection

That's it.