Aario's blog about life and technology

Archive for June, 2010

>How to pimp your Ubuntu?

>(Please listen to my podcast)
This episode I will talk about how to make your ubuntu looks better than commercial Operating systems like Windows Seven or even Mac OSX.
If you transfered from windows to Linux, You may see your new operating system more secure and powerfull than in windows, but you have one more step to enjoy the freedom of open source softwares:
Pimping your linux distro

3D Workspace
If you’ve seen Mac OSX before, you may seen that beautiful dock under the screen, and those seperate workspaces which you can move windows across them. Also I you’ve worked with Windows Vista or Seven, you may seen 3D windows when switching windows with Win+Tab keys. What if your linux has this eyecandys together with its security? Linux Can be even more beautiful that Windows or Mac. There are a lot of pimping eyecandy in Compiz Project which makes your linux PC just like those computers in Sci-Fi movies.

What is Compiz?
Compiz is such a composite window manager. As I know, Compiz is a library of codes that makes your current workspace (Gnome, KDE or XFCE) 3D and with more effects and options like fading windows, scaling windows near each other to select one of them, 3D rotate your windows to switch between them, and so on. If you are interested in installing compiz, Let’s assume that you have Ubuntu, because I have ubuntu myself and I know that compiz is already accessible in Ubuntu and Ubuntu based linux distros in Synaptic Package manager. But first of all you must make sure that your graphic driver supports 3D accelerated graphics.

How to activate your graphic driver in ubuntu?
You may have a powerful graphic card, but not have the appropriate driver for it. The easies way to install graphic driver and compiz together is to right click on your desktop, select “Change desktop background”, and go to Visual Effects tab page. Click and select Extra. After many seconds it asks you to download and install properietry drivers and after restarting your system you can sense changes to your system appearence. For example windows are elastic and shaking when you move them by mouse. Or desktop will move smoothly when you change active workspace with workspace switcher applet on gnome panel.

How to install Compiz config settings manager?
If you are familiar with synaptic package manager then you may install compiz-config-settings-manager package via it. This is a graphical user interface lets you customize whole behavior of compiz 3D effects on your system. As you can see on the image on left, There are a lot of options which guides you to several pages where you can set-up and disable or enable individual visual effects like 3D and Rotation of desktops. Below you can see some effects which may be disabled by default but you can enable the trough Compiz-Config-Settings-Manager (CCSM). CCSM is accessible from System\Preferences\Compiz-Config-Settings-Manager Item in main menu.

How to install and activate Emerald?
But there is also some other thing you need to have to make your linux event better than MAC or Windows Seven. If you want semi-transparent title bars just like in Vista or Seven, without the risk of being infected by dummy windows viruses, you don’t need to install windows! You just need to install Emerald. Install it the same way you installed CCSM. Open emerald from System\Preferences\Emerald item in main menu. There you may see a default theme or nothing. By the way you can download and a lot of themes from “Compiz” section of http://www.gnome-look.org website and import downloaded theme into emerald window by clicking on “Import” button. You can also modify each theme the way you like by navigating other pages in Emerald window.
After all you may notice that even by importing and selecting a theme in emerald window, Nothing changes. This is because of the fact that gtk has taken control of window title-bars in you system. You must replace it with your emerald themes by running this command:
emerald –replace
You can run commands by pressing Alt+F2 key on your keyboard.
How to install Avant Window Navigator?

Just one more thing. You can install a fancy dock more beautiful than the one in Mac OSX. How? By installing avant-window-navigator package trough synaptic. Avant Window Navigator is a python based dock application which has several applets to add to your panel and several appearance effects to for example turn your dock in 3 dimmensions or make your dock semitransparent. As you can see in avant project home page wiki.awn-project.org/Installation, you may install trunk packages or universe packages for your ubuntu distro. Universe packages is the packages which are in Ubuntu Synaptic repositories by default, but you may add other repositories from other project sites to always have more updated packages in your system.
If you want the more updated avant (And also more beautiful one), you can add trunk repositories of this package into your repositories. You can find address of those repositories in avant official project site. Also you can find how to add repositories to your ubuntu distro by searching internet. And I guess I have not enough time to explain it all just in this post!
And about widgets on your desktop like an analoge clock or a weather monitor, well you may install screenlets package via synaptic and use it as well. Maybe I will write another how to about that later. 
But untill that day, you can see an screenshot of my PC desktop with ubuntu, compiz,emerald, and Avant.

So happy pimping! Come back soon and don’t forget to comment me.


>Why I like ubuntu?

>(Please listen to my pod cast).
Hi every body. This is ArioLogs Pod cast #1. The pod casting of Ario’s personal blog “ArioLogs.blogspot.com”.
There are several Linux distributions and other open source X based operating systems around wourld. But I want and suggest you to use Ubuntu as your notebook and desktop pc. This time I will argue about why I choose Ubuntu as my favorite Linux distribution.
Package management
The most important thing for me when choosing a Linux distribution is it’s package manager. I love Linux, I like its stability, It’s security, personality, and it’s freedom. But I don’t have much time to compile every application I want to use, by myself. So as I need to download binary packages of applications, It’s important to me what is the package management system of the distribution I want to use.
When you try to install something on Linux, As most of Linux applications are open source applications, their code is written dependent to other open source applications of Linux. You may install for example an office application, and It’s installer size is only 10MB, and if you compare the size of application, you may be amazed of how small size of the installer file. But the installer itself usually needs some other programs to be installed called ‘Dependencies’. Because when someone is programing something for Linux, He or she may not try to write everything by himself. For example, writing codes for drawing menu’s, buttons, playing music, asking user a question, saving files. All of such operations are written for Linux before, and All that Linux programs is needed, is to call some part of other open source program codes into his/her application. Then me and you when trying to install this application must first make sure that dependent applications which parts of their codes are inserted into main application are installed on our system. As an application may requires many dependencies and it’s dependencies requires many more, we can not install all of them just by hand. The set of websites for holding open source applications installer files, the format of installer files, and softwares to gather, download and install those applications on Linux computer is called package management system. There are different package management systems for Linux and I like those distributions which using deb as package management system.
Why deb?
So the question is why deb as package manager? deb is the first term of the name of an old days Linux distribution, Debian. Debian is a Linux distribution, which has a big huge ocean of compiled software packages in deb package management system websites, called repositories. If you can’t find an open source application installer in deb format, the you will be less likely to find it elsewhere! I heard the are about 20’000 or 40’000 software packages in deb format, So I choose Linux distributions based on deb package management system because then I have every software I need, compiled and stored on those repositories.
What about RPM?
RPM is also another package management system with a lot of softwares on it’s repositories. You can find a huge archive of those packages on repository websites like rpm.pbone.net. But I still choose deb. because:
Synaptic Package Management Software

If you use a linux distribution based on deb package management system with gnome environment, you may see Synaptic in it’s System/Administration menu. Synaptic is the most powerful usable application for automatically download a software with it’s all dependent packages and then install them all, one by one. It can save software names chosen to be installed on a small file, so you can make your selection and try to install them later. For example when you are connected to Internet. It can even make a list of softwares to be downloaded as a script, and you may run this script file later. This last thing, is why I like deb system. I can make this list by synaptic and set up my computer to download them at night when I’m asleep. You know, sometimes I select to download and install more than 1GB of packages trough deb system and It will download them one by one trough night and so cheaper Internet connection.
I didn’t seen synaptic on RPM based distributions, only once I installed openSuse, and it was very buggy, old version, and it even forgot to download some of packages I think. So I think synaptic is written exactly for deb system and So I like Deb.
Why Ubuntu?
There are a lot of Linux Distributions based on deb package management system, specially Debian. But I Like Ubuntu. Because of:
Several updates a year
It’s important to me when my operating system is planned to be updated with a new version. It takes 3 or 4 years sometimes for a new version of Debian to be distributed. But it is just 6 months for Ubuntu.
The distribution popularity
Also it’s important to me the popularity of my Linux distribution. Have you ever tried to by something that no one else is bout this before? You may get involved with such a problem, and then you may find your self alone with it and no one helps you, because your the only one who tried such thing on the earth! I do not have enough time to solve all my issues with my computer by myself, So I will install and use Ubuntu, cause whenever for example I have a problem installing my laptops webcam on it, there are a lot of people around the world, with the same laptop and webcam, whom installed Ubuntu and involved with this problem too, whom may be able to help me handle it.
Ubuntu is the first Operating system in Distributions list by page-hit-ranking of distrowatch.org website.
Linux Mint is also popular now. But as Linux Crazy said, It is like a dressed up of Ubuntu it self, And I want to dress it up my self, not using Linux mint.
You may like another distributions. You may using it already. But if you are not decided which distribution to use, then I will suggest you to use UBUNTU!
Thanks for reading my weblog or listening to my pod cast. Will come back soon and talk a lot more, so come back soon too:).

 And this is my personally dressed up Ubuntu.