Ubuntu Theme Pack – for a Fresh Green Look

Here is a cool theme pack I was using last month for my Ubuntu desktop. The theme color for this customization is green. So, I have included a green login screen, a green theme, and a green icon pack with a green wallpaper.

Wallpaper

This Wallpaper is from Deviantart :

Ubuntu Wallpaper
Ubuntu Wallpaper

The download page goes here :   Here.

Theme

The theme is named “Aqua Dreams.”

Ubuntu Theme
Ubuntu Theme

Get the theme Aqua Dreams :   here.

GDM

An excellent login manager theme to go with this theme.

GDM MAnager
GDM MAnager

The link is : Leaf Gnome.

Icon Pack :

Icon pack lets you change all system and GDM icons.

Ubuntu Theme pack
Ubuntu Theme pack

The Icon Pack is from this website.

That is all the way to going green. Do not forget to share your desktops, screenshots.

How to Change MAC Address in Linux?

Many times we do things over our network which gets us banned or suspended from the network. Common reasons might include massive torrent downloads, bypassing protections, erratic logins as multiple users etc. These situations are quite annoying.

Basically, in windows your identity on the network is your IP address, your computer name and your MAC address. For Linux it is just the IP address and the MAC address.

So all you need to do, is change your IP address, your MAC address and hop back in. The IP address can be changed from a GUI, but there is no GUI to change the MAC address. Here is an easy way to change your MAC address from the terminal in four easy steps.

  1. Key in sudo ifconfig eth0 Here eth0 is my ethernet network controller. This command displays the hardware information of your ethernet controller.
  2. Next, enter sudo ifconfig eth0 down,this command turns off your ethernet.
  3. Now, change your MAC address with sudo ifconfig eth0 hw ether AA:MA:CA:DD:RE:SS Here replace “AA:MA:CA:DD:RE:SS” with a valid mac address.
  4. Finally, turn back your ethernet on by entering sudo ifconfig eth0 up

That is all. You are back on the network.

Create your Custom Linux Distro with Remastersys

This is strictly for Debian based systems.

Remastersys is a free and open source application which lets us create custom distributions of our system. Many websites list it as a backup tool, but it is actually far from being just a backup tool.

So, Remastersys lets us create a custom distribution of Linux. The custom distribution created includes all our installed softwares, and user data. Similar applications are available for other distributions. We have mklivecd for Mandriva and remasterme for PCLinuxOS.

The software has been developed by one lone developer Tony Brijeski.

There are many Linux distributions which have been created with Remastersys. One of them is Klikit.

To install Remastersys,

  1. Add the deb http://www.remastersys.klikit-linux.com/repository remastersys/ repository to your /etc/apt/sources.list file.
  2. Update your source, using sudo apt-get update.
  3. Install the software usingsudo apt-get install remastersys

The interface is easy to work with and the software is pretty much self explanatory.

Wifi On Ubuntu – Installing Atheros Drivers

Wifi is one area which Ubuntu can not still address. The result of Atheros or Broadcom not submitting any generic code for their respective hardwares, takes a toll on Linux, as their wifi drivers are not supported out of the box.

Faster Firefox
Wifi

Here is a quick tip to get a fully functional Wifi on Linux for the wifi Atheros Network Adapter.

You need your driver CD/DVD for this.

  1. Copy the ar****.inf file and the ar****.sys file to your home directory.
  2. Open a terminal. Enter :
    sudo ndiswrapper -i ar****.inf

    Where ar****.sys is the file you copied. This installs the required driver. Make sure the ar****.sys file is also present in the same directory. Alternatively you can copy the files to any location and navigate to the location from the terminal before doing the above.

  3. Now enter:
      sudo depmod -a
      sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

    This loads the driver you just installed, and logs any error(if any) to /var/log/messages.

  4. Next, key in :
    sudo ndiswrapper -m

    This sets up the driver to load with the other network drivers at bootup.

That is all. Your wifi should be working like a breeze.

Slow Internet Connection and Linux? Use Ziproxy

This is for network administrators.

Ziproxy is a free and open source application for Linux which speeds up the internet connection over a network considerably. Opera, an ever-innovative browser, had started a new turbo feature offering compression of images and text for faster page-loads on the client side, Ziproxy is very similar in usage but is for the Server.

Faster Firefox
Faster Firefox

Many of us use wireless networks at some point of time. For those who are required to manage networks for internet access to a whole organization or institution, resolving a bottleneck here creates another there, and sometimes, you end up serving a connection which just barely works. Ziproxy is a little something to make things better.

Ziproxy, is basically a forwarding http proxy. In addition to that, it also offers :

  1. Image compression(at the cost of quality).
  2. GZip compression of text and html.
  3. Address resolution by a well defined priority.

This increases browsing speeds by at least 100%.
Alternatively, Ziproxy can also be installed on the client to support unsupported image formats, as Ziproxy has options to deliver both JPEG 2000 and JPEG.

A detailed understanding of how the software works is given here.

Linux Drop Down Terminals

Linux has a cool list of applications. Today, I will talk about the most widely used application, the terminal. The terminal is always required whenever we move out of the premises of inbuilt applications and installed softwares. These three terminals have one thing in common. They can be launched with a single click, and they fly-roll out of the top panel just like in Quake, or UT.

Tilda:

Faster Firefox
Faster Firefox

Tilda is a terminal which comes up on a special keystroke. It is one of those game type console screens with no border and a “roll out from top” startup. At just 300 KB it is a really cool geek-terminal resting on your desktop. Tilda can be customized for a transparent background also. It has support for tabs as well.

For more information on tilda Visit their Tilda project page at SourceForge.

Guake:

Faster Firefox
Faster Firefox

Guake is another drop down terminal much like Tilda. One good thing about Guake is that it has been bundled for a number of Linux distros, so there are more chances of it running for your distro. Guake homepage.

Yakuake:

Faster Firefox
Faster Firefox

Yakuake is a real game style terminal with the actual roll-out effect found in games. the scrolling is smooth and it supports a tabbed interface as well. Yakuake is available for KDE only. For more information and dowlnoad, visit Yakuake homepage.

Well, so now that you have the list,let me know which of those you are planing to use. Tilda is my first choice though.

Create Screencasts On Linux With RecordMyDesktop

Ever wanted to create a video tutorial in Linux? You have tried every software on the Internet and they do give results but far from good? Check this out, RecordMyDesktop is what you need.

RecordMyDisk
RecordMyDisk

recordmydesktop is pretty simple to use. It has a CLI (command line interface) design but also has a GUI called “the gtk-recordmydesktop".

RecordMyDesktop is an open source software and is available free of cost.

It uses py-gtk and py-qt34 (the python graphics toolkits for windowing) for the front-end and C language for the back-end. The video is saved in ogg format, and the software has support for recording sounds as well.

The recording is fully customizable and the GUI rests on the panel-tray as a record toggle button.

To install recordmydesktop ::

Key in the following code in your terminal

sudo apt-get install recordmydesktop gtk-recordmydesktop

That is pretty much all. You should be able to capture videos of your workstation now. I used it for the first time to capture videos of the compiz effects.

For more information on recordmydesktop, visit the homepage at : recordmydesktop homepage

Linux – Ignorance So Not Bliss

Linux has finally captured 1% of the worldwide PCs. But what are the rest of the 99% doing. Do they dual boot or do they at all know a thing about Linux, let aside using it!

Being a student, you are always around people from related interest groups. So I am usually on the safe side. But sometimes, some of the questions people ask need a good amount of effort on my part to “not laugh out”.

Linux Fear
Linux Fear

Here are some of the n00b questions/statements I had to face about Linux, and simple answers to them.

1. “Where do I install the software?”

Linux is not just a software. It is one whole operating System. So you install it in a partition just like you install windows.

2. “Can I run windows with Linux?”

Absolutely yes, there is no problem with dual booting windows with Linux.

3. “Where do i get softwares for Linux?”

Every distribution of Linux has a repository for it’s softwares from where you can download it or install it directly.

4. Does Linux have a GUI?

Yes, Linux has a beautiful GUI with compiz which is one really powerful window manager. It is not “completely command line oriented”.

5. How do I know if a particular Linux distribution is for me or not?

Firstly, you can try out Linux even before using it. Linux has brought about this concept of Live CDs with which the OS can be tried out without installation.

6.I installed Linux yesterday, but I did not like it. How do i remove it now?

All you need to do is format the Linux partition, and from the recovery console of your windows disk, key in “fixboot” and “fixmbr”. Your boot menu should be back.

7.I formatted the linux partition yesterday, and now my computer wont’ boot. What now?

See last answer.

8. I need a PC for home usage. Linux is not for me.

Well, even if you are a home PC user, just use Linux in your own way, and it is for you. All softwares are free. There are no annoying activations and trial license issues.

9.What about viruses? People say Linux has none!

No, that is not true. Linux has viruses, but they getting into your system has a 1/1000 chance of every virus getting into a windows system. What say!

10. Where do I buy it?

Once again, it is totally free. There is no “Buying” with Linux. And those who buy some distros( RedHat, Suse, Solaris) know enough not to read this article. Canonicals has a system of distributing free copies of Linux. Order yours anytime.

Do you also know, Linux does not need any extra drivers, can be modified and recompiled by programmers to run on almost anything, and has a large community of developers working on it on the concept model of Open Source Software.

Installing Fonts On Linux Made Easy

We all know windows stores it’s fonts in the   c:\windows\fonts folder. So to install any font all we do is copy the font file and paste it into the folder. Alternatives include opening the font files and installing them one by one.

Well, Linux also, manages it’s fonts in a similar manner. It uses folders to store fonts. You can see the folders used for storing fonts in your distro, from the file :

/etc/fonts/fonts.conf

So, what we need to do is copy and paste the font into any of the mentioned locations from the file. Common locations include :

/usr/share/fonts,

/usr/local/share/fonts,

/home/<username>/.fonts

where <username> is your username. The last location stores fonts forspecific users. So, you can install your own fonts(for your personal use) here.

To install fonts,

run :

gksu nautilus /usr/share/fonts/truetype

Now, create a new directory there. Put all your fonts in that directory.

Finally, update the font cache with the command :

sudo fc-cache -f -v

Log out and login back to see changes.

This is a very helpful trick as the fonts that come with Linux distros are really poor in quality. Hope they will invest some resources to that in future releases.

Measure Your System Boot Performance With Bootchart

The boot up process on Linux can get pretty messed up sometimes due to a slow driver-load, a driver search, a slow process startup etc. Bootchart is a simple application for Linux which lets you check your boot up performance. It aggregates the resource utilization and information of various processes using a script running in the boot up and creates an image through a java application after bootup.

Bootchart
Bootchart

This result can be checked for possible optimizations and analyzing processes.

To install Bootchart, just run the command :

sudo apt-get install bootchart

The result gives detailed information on process CPU utilization. It is seen that Laptops lack a floppy drive but the floppy-drive driver load takes four seconds on some systems. In Ubuntu, cupsys, the print utility takes a long time to load and creates a hog during boot up. For installation of the software and more such results, visit the project homepage at : Bootchart Homepage