Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Disable Bluetooth on Startup [Ubuntu Tweaks]

On some laptops, like my Lenovo Ideapad Z360 there is no separate on/off switches for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Therefore Bluetooth was always enabled upon startup, using up power (that is precious when running on battery) and simply unused.
I can turn off Bluetooth using Bluetooth panel applet but I often forget it and it's not convenient.

However, there is a very easy way!

  1. Press Alt+F2 to open Run dialog
  2. Type:

    gksu gedit /etc/rc.local

  3. Add the following line before the "exit 0" line:

    rfkill block bluetooth

Reboot your Ubuntu computer and Bluetooth is automatically disabled.

You can still turn on Bluetooth using the Bluetooth panel applet as usual.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Has Been Released - See What's New In Both Desktop And Netbook Editions [WebUpd8]

Ubuntu perfect 10

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat final has just been released. I'm taking this opportunity to review the major changes (mostly on the UI) in both Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop and Netbook editions. If you're a regular WebUpd8 reader, you should already know all these changes but even so, read on for a new Unity video (recorded today) as well as a recap of the changes to Ubuntu Software Center, Unity and so on. 

Please note that as usual, the Netbook Edition video and screenshots have been taken on my desktop - that's because I personally do not like Unity and prefer my own netbook setup, but it has nothing to do with the Unity performance (which by the way works great now).

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Desktop Edition

Ubuntu Software Center Ubuntu Software Center has got a lot of changes in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat:

- A new look:

Ubuntu 10.10 Software Center

In the above screenshot you can also spot the "What's new" category which will hold new applications (application which are not available in the Ubuntu 10.10 official repositories at the Ubuntu 10.10 release date but are made available later on).

- A history tab shows what applications you've installed, removed or upgraded, day by day:

Ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshots

- A feature called "Where is it" displays the menu entry where you can find the newly installed applications. Also, for applications which have some plugins available, these are displayed below the application in the Ubuntu Software Center:

Ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshots

- The first paid application is available in Ubuntu Software Center in Ubuntu 10.10:

Ubuntu Software Center paid app

Yes, only one application for now - for testing purposes, but more are expected starting with Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

- Ubuntu Software Center now also handles .deb file installation (so when you double click a .deb file, it opens in Ubuntu Software Center).

Sound menu
Ubuntu 10.10 screenshots sound menu

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat comes with a new sound menu which by default displays the currently playing song in Rhythmbox, the album art (if the respective plugin has been enabled in Rhythmbox) and controls for previews / next tracks as well as play / pause. Other music players will be able to take advantage of this new Sound Menu, like Banshee (already available through an extension), Amarok and so on.

Ubuntu Font Familiy as the default desktop font
Ubuntu 10.10 screenshots font

The Ubuntu Font Family, which has been in private beta for almost the whole Ubuntu 10.10 development has been made the default desktop font. The font is default for Application, Window title, and Desktop only and the size has been set to 11.

This change should be available in all the Ubuntu flavors: from Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition to Kubuntu and so on.

F-Spot out, Shotwell in

F-Spot photo manager has been replaced in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat with Shotwell. Among Shotwell's features are tags and ratings support, basic editing like cropping, red-eye and color adjustments and publishing images to Facebook, Flickr and PicasaWeb.

Ubuntu One Ubuntu One has got lots of improvements, most under the hood, but there's one in particular that is worth mentioning: you can now stream music to your Android or iPhone. The applications for Andoid and iPhone are currently not available (they are in beta), but here is a screenshot thanks to Lifehacker:
Ubuntu One Andoid App

Light Themes (Ambiance and Radiance) There weren't major changes to the Ubuntu "Light" themes, but they did get some further polishing. Futher more, Radiance has been tweaked to look like it was initially intended: a lighter version of Ambiance, not a separate theme.

Ubuntu 10.10 Ambiance theme screenshot

(Ambiance - the default Ubuntu 10.10 theme)

Ubuntu 10.10 Radiance theme


Wallpapers Like with every new Ubuntu release, Maverick Meerkat too got a new default wallpaper:

Ubuntu 10.10 default wallpaper

And of course, new community wallpapers:

ubuntu 10.10 screenshot

Revamped installer
Ubuntu 10.10 installer

The Ubuntu installer got a new look, new slideshow and along with these, some new features:

- It can now install mp3 playback support so you can have that from your first Ubuntu login. You'll need a working internet connection for that though:

Ubuntu 10.10 screenshots installer

- Once you select the partition where you want to install Ubuntu, the formating and installation begins. So the installation takes place while you complete the rest of the process like selecting your location or entering your password thus the time required to install Ubuntu has decreased by simply changing the order installer steps order:

Ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshots

Here is a video (1 week old, but everything is the same in the final release) with the whole Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat installation process I've recorded:

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Netbook Edition (Unity) For Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Netbook Edition, everything is new compared to 10.04. Unity has replace the old Netbook interface and along with it, there are some other features designed to improve the usability on a netbook.

Unity comes with a launcher on the left side of the screen - it allows you to pin applications and it comes with some applets by default like a trash applet and a workspace switcher applet. It also has 2 quick access applets for the applications and files views (called Dash):

Ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition screenshot

(Unity launcher)

Unity workspaces

(Unity - workspaces)

Ubuntu 10.10 Unity interface

(Unity - applications pane)

Unity Ubuntu 10.10 files

(Unity - files pane (Dash))

The files and applications pane use Zeitgeist for displaying the recently used and most used items. The files are organized by type and date they were last accessed (as you can see in the screenshot above).

Clicking the Ubuntu logo in the top left corner will open the main application categories:

Ubuntu 10.10 Unity screenshot

Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition also comes with an Applications Menu - the applications menu is now displayed on the top panel (which by the way does not support any kind of customization, you can't remove or add applets - and it's not like in 10.04 when the panel was locked, now the panel itself doesn't support any customizations) and is not displayed in the actual applications anymore (Mac OSX style):

Ubuntu 10.10 screenshots

This however does not work for some applications like Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice and so on.

Also, the maximize applications titlebar is automatically removed and the window title along with the close, minimize and maximize buttons are also displayed on the top panel:

Ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition unity

All these are designed to provide more vertical space for netbooks.

You can't really get an idea on what Unity is from the screenshots, so I've recoded a video with Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Maverick Meerkat final:

(Video available in HTML 5 if you've enabled it on YouTube - watch it in HD!)

Multi touch out of the box
Ubuntu 10.10 multitouch

If you have a multi-touch capable device, expect an out-of-the-box touch experience that "just works" on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. This is installed by default in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Netbook Edition but you can install it on the desktop edition too (sudo apt-get install utouch).

Here is an old video (sorry, I don't have a multi-touch device to record a video myself) with this amazing feature - for an application which doesn't support multi-touch by default (Inkscape):

And of course, there are new versions for each application like Evolution 2.30.3 (even though Ubuntu 10.10 ships with GNOME 2.32.0), OpenOffice 3.2.1, Empathy 2.32.0 (with metacontacts), Gwibber (with OAuth support for Twitter), PiTiVi (video editor) 0.13.5, Brasero 2.32.0 and so on. One note: Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat has been released with Firefox 3.6 so we might not see an official way of installing Firefox 4.0 in this release.

Please note that there have been many more changes but I've only covered the most important ones or the changes I personally enjoy most in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. For the whole thing, install Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat yourself.

Download Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat (or any 10.10 Ubuntu flavor)

Now, let's hear something from you too: did you upgrade to Maverick (Desktop / Netbook / Kubuntu or any other flavor)? And if so, how is everything working for you?

And that was it, we've covered it all. Well, almost. From the early Meerkat alpha to the final 10.10 (.10) version. If you want to follow the next Ubuntu version development (11.04 Natty Narwhal), do not forget to subscribe: RSS | Twitter | Facebook. More options in the top menu.

What To Do After A Fresh Ubuntu 10.10 Install? Run These Commands! [WebUpd8]

In case you were wondering, there won't be a new Ubuntu Start script version, at least not for Ubuntu 10.10. There are many reasons for this but I'd rather not get into details.

To get you started with your fresh Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat installation, I'd though I'd share the commands I use to install the basic stuff. For everything else there's Ubuntu Tweak or manual installation, however these following should get you started.

What To Do After A Fresh Ubuntu 10.10 Install? Run These Commands!
Software Sources

Important: before running the commands below, you need to enable the restricted, multiverse and partner repositories. To do this, open the Ubuntu Software Center, select Edit > Software Sources, and on the first tab (Ubuntu Software), check all the repositories. Then switch to the second tab (Other Software) and check the "Canonical Partners" repository.

1. Install Adobe Flash, Java, fonts, codecs and other restricted stuff (I don't use "ubuntu-restricted-extras" because it also installs some stuff I really don't need while it doesn't install a lot of the applications that I do need):

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-pitfdll gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good libdvdnav4 libdvdread4 libmp4v2-0 libxine1-ffmpeg ffmpeg flashplugin-nonfree sun-java6-fonts rar unrar p7zip-full p7zip-rar unace unp zip unzip ttf-mscorefonts-installer ttf-liberation mencoder mplayer sun-java6-plugin
2. Medibuntu is not ready for Maverick yet, but you can still play encrypted DVDs. Simply run the following command:
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/
3. If you occasionally build applications from source or make your own deb files, here are some basic packages you should install:
sudo apt-get install build-essential automake make checkinstall dpatch patchutils autotools-dev debhelper quilt fakeroot xutils lintian cmake dh-make libtool autoconf git git-core subversion bzr
4. The following applications should really be default in Ubuntu but anyway, install VLC, OpenShot, GIMP (removed from the default installation a few releases back), gThumb, Pidgin, Skype, Adobe Air, Wine (ok, these last 2 shouldn't be in a default install), aptitude (removed from the default installation starting with Maverick) and Chromium using the following command:
sudo apt-get install vlc mozilla-plugin-vlc openshot gimp gthumb pidgin skype adobeair wine aptitude chromium-browser

Disclaimer / notes: Like I said, this is just the basic stuff to install after a fresh Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat installation and it includes a lot of non-free / restricted applications as well as some very popular non-default applications. If you'd find some applications which you've never heard of, it wouldn't be a "what to do immediately after installing ubuntu" post anymore but a regular post about new applications with a catchy title. Also, if I'd write about each and every application I use, it would probably be useless because not everybody uses what I like - instead simply browse around WebUpd8 for that. So this is a simple post about getting you started with a fresh Ubuntu 10.10 installation.

For a complete Ubuntu, you could use Linux Mint, Manhattan OS, Pinguy OS or mFatOS - everything installed by default - less hassle.

But let's hear it from you. What do you install or tweak after a new Ubuntu installation (or upgrade)?

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat is Released [Announcement]

Some time ago a group of hyper-intelligent pan dimensional beings decided to finally answer the great question of Life, The Universe and Everything.  To this end, a small band of these Debians built an incredibly powerful distribution, Ubuntu. After this great computer programme had run (a very quick 3 million minutes...or 6 years) the answer was announced.  The Ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is...42, and in its' purest form 101010.  Which suggests that what you really need to know is 'What was the Question?'.  The great distribution kindly pointed out that what the problem really was that no-one knew the question. Accordingly, the distribution designed a set of successors, marked by a circle of ultimately bring Unity to all things living... Ubuntu 10.10, to find the question to the ultimate answer.

And with that, the Ubuntu team is pleased to announce Ubuntu 10.10. Codenamed "Maverick Meerkat", 10.10 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

Read more about the features of Ubuntu 10.10 in the following press releases:

 Desktop and Netbook editions
 Server edition

Canonical has also launched the ‘Ubuntu Server on Cloud 10’ program.
Anyone will be able to try out Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition on Amazon EC2 for free for one hour. Visitors to the download pages will now be able to choose to experience the ease and speed of public cloud computing and
Ubuntu.  For a direct link to the trial, please go to

Ubuntu 10.10 will be supported for 18 months on desktops, netbooks, and servers.

Thanks to the efforts of the global translation community, Ubuntu is available in 37 languages.  For a list of supported languages and detailed translation statistics for these and other languages, see:

Ubuntu 10.10 is also the basis for new 10.10 releases of Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, UbuntuStudio, and Mythbuntu:

 Ubuntu Studio

To Get Ubuntu 10.10

To download Ubuntu 10.10, or obtain CDs, visit:

Users of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS will be offered an automatic upgrade to 10.10 via Update Manager.  For further information about upgrading, see:

As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats and workarounds for known issues.  They are available at:

Find out what's new in this release with a graphical overview:

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren't sure, try asking on the #ubuntu IRC channel, on the Ubuntu Users mailing list, or on the Ubuntu forums:

 #ubuntu on

Helping Shape Ubuntu

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways
you can participate at:

About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, netbooks and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases.  A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world.  For more information about support, visit:

More Information

You can find out more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website:

To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu's very low volume announcement list at: