The much-awaited 8.04 version of the Ubuntu Desktop named ‘Hardy Heron’ was released yesterday. I downloaded the 699 MB ISO and managed to install it today. There have been really worthy improvements. We can only hope that this latest version brings a lot of users into the Linux World.
Ubuntu comes with functional and free software for all your needs, but still I’d like to recommend you the following five software that’ll make it even more better:
1. Compiz Advanced Settings Manager
Ubuntu comes with a set of graphic effects that are really a treat to your eyes, but you can just choose between three levels – normal, extra, and no graphics. Ubuntu doesn’t give you options to configure/add additional snazzy graphic effects for window movements.
By installing the Compiz Config Settings Manager, you can control the magical graphic effects by using a GUI. For instance, you can alter the window opacity settings, and add a bunch of rotating cube effects, etc.
Compiz Settings Manager can be installed by typing:
$sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
2. Startup Manager
Ubuntu does come in with a little msconfig-like startup program manager that can be accessed from System > Preferences > Sessions but it doesn’t give you many settings to play with.
You can download and install a program called Startup Manager that can help you modify a few cool settings. Have a look at the screenshot above this paragraph. It’s got the options to alter the GRUB settings, menu timeout, colours, background image, menu resolution, grub password, etc.
Startup Manager can be installed by typing:
$sudo apt-get install startupmanager
Did you know that you never need to defragment your Linux filesystems? So, a defragmenter is unneeded. However, you might want to manage your hard disk partitions if you have cluttered data all around.
GParted does the job for you. It’s an excellent, open source partition manager that can format, resize, delete and perform all sorts of operations on your hard disk partitions. If you keep tweaking your system, this is an essential utility.
GParted can be installed by typing:
$sudo apt-get install gparted
I use the number pad on my keyboard most of the time, but the fact is that when I boot into Ubuntu, the NumLock key is not switched on by default.
When I scouted for a way to turn it on, I came across this little package called numlockx that does the job perfectly. At less than 75 KB, this tool does what it says – turns on the NumLock key when the GUI starts.
Numlockx can be installed by typing:
$sudo apt-get install numlockx
5. Adobe AIR
AIR-based apps are getting quite popular by the day, and since I’m an active twitterer, I really need twhirl to access it. Twhirl is Adobe AIR-based, so I had to install the runtime.