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Thread: Oneiric Classic (No effects) Tweaks and tricks

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Re: Oneiric Classic (No effects) Tweaks and tricks

    Thanks for the post - I just used a few of them, but reading Step 15 just wanted me to point out Gnome Do (package is gnome-do, http://do.davebsd.com/) to you. It's similar to OSX's highlight search, but customizable with a lot of plugins. In default, you summon it with Win+Space, and you just type whatever you want to launch/open/calculate/search etc. On my box, it's much faster and a lot more useful than Unity's Dash. And as the Win+Space shortcut is incompatible with Unity, it's the main reason I don't want to use Unity.

    Disclaimer: I'm not (yet) a contributor to Do

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    10,407

    Re: Oneiric Classic (No effects) Tweaks and tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by domsom View Post
    Thanks for the post - I just used a few of them, but reading Step 15 just wanted me to point out Gnome Do (package is gnome-do, http://do.davebsd.com/) to you. It's similar to OSX's highlight search, but customizable with a lot of plugins. In default, you summon it with Win+Space, and you just type whatever you want to launch/open/calculate/search etc. On my box, it's much faster and a lot more useful than Unity's Dash. And as the Win+Space shortcut is incompatible with Unity, it's the main reason I don't want to use Unity.

    Disclaimer: I'm not (yet) a contributor to Do
    Thanks for this info. Personally I'm quite happy with Unity on some of my machines, and Lubuntu on others, but I'm going to need a classic LTS solution for others in Precise so I decided to get started early and just wanted to share what I've learned.

    I'll certainly have a look at Gnome Do sometime in the near future.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Re: Oneiric Classic (No effects) Tweaks and tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by kansasnoob View Post
    Before beginning please understand that I'm no genius, far from it, but only about three weeks ago I inquired at "Ubuntu +1 (Precise Pangolin)" about the sustainability of a thread to discuss 'gnome-session-fallback'. The response should be apparent because one of the mods thereafter started the Gnome Classic Megathread , but that's only for Precise! After only about two weeks of playing with "Classic (No effects)" in Precise I was shocked at just how easy it was to get really close to a classic look and feel, so I decided to have a play with "Classic (No effects)" in Oneiric.

    I'm now fairly satisfied with the results, so I felt it was time to share what I've learned about setting up a Oneiric Classic (No effects) DE. My focus has been on Classic (No effects) only because I've never cared for compiz anyway and from what I've read it seems to be difficult to get it to run in a classic Oneiric DE. So, if you want compiz this particular post is NOT for you, sorry. However I see someone has tried to expand on using Compiz in Oneiric Classic.

    I've tested this quite a bit, but only with fresh, fully updated Ubuntu Oneiric installs. Your mileage may vary with installations that have other underlying problems. I can only say that it works for me, no more and no less. There are no guarantees! Please DO read this all before beginning and remember it's only for Ubuntu Oneiric. I'll try my best to answer any questions but ultimately if you break it you own it!

    Additionally I'd ask that everyone do their best to keep this thread on track. My only intent is to share what little I've learned, not to express an opinion regarding any specific desktop environment or distro. Opinions and general chit-chat belong at the Community Cafe or Testimonials & Experiences. I will not hesitate to ask the mods to move off-topic or inflammatory posts!

    ************

    Important warning: Some of the changes made here can and will break Unity so I highly recommend first testing this either in a virtual machine or a multi-boot. I personally prefer an actual multi-boot but that's just a matter of choice.

    Another safe way to try this would be to create a new user account with administrative rights, that way the configuration files you change will only effect that new account. It's actually quite simple to create a new user account:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/11.10/ubuntu...-accounts.html

    Then if you decide to apply the changes to your original user account the needed PPA's and packages will already be installed, so you'll only need to complete those steps needed to obtain the desired configuration. And then the new user account could be deleted.

    ************

    Important note: This guide is almost totally reliant on copy-n-pasting commands into gnome-terminal. Why? Quite simply not ALL of this can be completed using GUI tools like Ubuntu Tweak or 'gnome-tweak-tool', and installing 'gnome-tweak-tool' results in installing a great deal of unneeded packages including 'gnome-shell', and my only concern is getting a "classic w/o effects" DE running efficiently. Should someone care to use either Ubuntu Tweak or 'gnome-tweak-tool' I have no problem with that, I just prefer the CLI.

    But copying and pasting commands that are "wrapped" in code tags couldn't be simpler as I explained here:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...&postcount=160

    Also, if I didn't include "sudo" in the command then it's not needed, and in rare instances may result in changed permissions, so please just copy-n-paste! If something appears to fail please copy the full output from the terminal and paste it into a reply here along with an explanation and I'll try my best to help you.

    Note: If a "step" can be performed using Ubuntu Tweak and/or 'gnome-tweak-tool' I will mention it briefly at the end of that individual step.

    ************

    First let's look at what I ended up with and then I'll explain how I got there:

    Attachment 207947

    You'll notice that I prefer only one panel at the bottom. I realize some may want two panels, or one at the top only, it's purely a matter of preference. Be patient and I'll do my best to explain things. Just FYI my panel layout (beginning from the left) consists of:

    Hide button/Main Menu/Terminal/Workspace Switcher/Screenshot/Opera/Firefox/Window List/_________/CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor/Caffeine/Indicator Applet/Clock/Trash/Hide button

    And you'll notice that the Indicator Applet displays: /Update notifier/System Monitor Indicator/Hardware Sensors Indicator/Network widget/Mail widget/Volume widget

    And this is as good a time as any to pause and discuss changes to the menu(s) and panel(s). You'll notice that the menu(s) have changed as shown in a later screenshot, but I think you'll likely find what you want if you just spend a couple of minutes familiarizing yourself with the new menu layout, be sure to check the Other, Accessories, and System Tools > System Settings categories. You'll find most of what you were used to seeing in System > Administration and System > Preferences is now just relocated.

    You also need to know that you must now hold down either Alt key while right-clicking on a panel or applet to be able to edit panel preferences or to add/edit/move/remove more applets. That was an intentional move by the Gnome devs to prevent people from unintentionally breaking things. And you also can't just add application applets by right-clicking them and selecting "add to panel" anymore. You must now open the "add-to-panel" window and select Application Launcher > Forward, then the window changes and you can click on the "bullet" to the left of each category to display and add any app in the menu to the panel:

    Attachment 207948

    But lets also look at Panel Properties settings. Note here that in Panel Properties > Background I've found that 'Solid color' > Color > Color name #3F3E39 / Style > Opaque results in vastly improved appearance of the Workspace Switcher, a picture's worth a thousand words:

    Attachment 207949

    To be perfectly honest I now forget I'm even using Gnome 3 most of the time other than learning the new keyboard shortcuts which still confuse me. I do know that Ctrl + Alt + T launches gnome-terminal but even it can be fiddly. I suspect that the new keybindings are truly designed for Gnome Shell, not the "fallback" DE, which I expect to see disappear altogether eventually (hopefully not before the release of Precise Pangolin though).

    ************

    Now it's time to move on to how I got there, one step at a time.

    Step #1: We simply need to install 'gnome-session-fallback' which is already in the Ubuntu repos:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback
    ************

    Step #2: You'd quickly find that 'indicator-applet', 'indicator-applet-complete', and 'indicator-applet-session' are lacking in "Add to panel". You'll really need either 'indicator-applet' or 'indicator-applet-complete' to display some of the notifications such as mail, the hardware sensors and/or system monitor indicators, and the update-notifier. (I personally only use 'indicator-applet' but we all have individual preferences). So we need to install Jason Conti's PPA and our first additional packages:

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jconti/gnome3
    Code:
    sudo apt-get update
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install indicator-applet indicator-applet-complete indicator-applet-session
    When that is complete it's time to take your first look at the new "classic" DE by simply logging out, then clicking on the "gear" to the right of your user name on the login screen, selecting Classic (No effects), entering your password, and logging back in. You'll hopefully see this:

    Attachment 207950

    ************

    Now, before continuing, please understand that all of these additional steps are optional. No two people want the exact same look, feel, or function out of a DE! This is just what I wanted. Pick and choose to suit your own desires.

    ************

    Step #3: I quickly realized that the purple background of the terminal was killing my eyes so in terminal I clicked Edit > Profile Preferences > Colors and unticked the "Use colors from system theme" box. Then, in the same window, I clicked on the color block next to "Background color" and used the eyedropper to set the background to white. Ahhhh, much easier on the eyes.

    ************

    Step #4: I found the screen lock thing very annoying, I live alone and don't like having to enter my password everytime the screen-"blanker" acivates. So you can just go to System Tools > System Settings > Screen and select Lock = Off. (I call it a screen-"blanker" mostly as a joke because it hardly resembles a screensaver anymore).

    ************

    Step #5: Even after setting Lock to Off I found it annoying to have the screen-"blanker" activate while trying to watch videos or such. In Gnome 2 I used to be able to use 'gnome-inhibit-applet' but it's not available in Gnome 3. No worries, I found a very good replacement, Caffeine:

    https://launchpad.net/~caffeine-developers/+archive/ppa

    In my original screenshot the caffeine applet shows up next to the indicator-applet. I find it to be a sweet replacement for the old 'gnome-inhibit-applet'. Once installed and set up it allows you to "inhibit" the screen-"blanking", I think a picture is worth a thousand words so here:

    Attachment 207951

    Should you choose to install it you can setup Caffeine by going to Other > Caffeine preferences. Installation is easy:

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:caffeine-developers/ppa
    Code:
    sudo apt-get update
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install caffeine
    Note: This works equally well in Unity.

    ************

    Step #6: In Unity the update-notifications now show up in the Launcher but without the Launcher we now get no persistent update notifications. Still no worries, I got it to show up in either 'indicator-applet' or 'indicator-applet-complete' in gnome-panel by running the command:

    Code:
    gsettings set com.ubuntu.update-notifier auto-launch false
    You can revert that by running:

    Code:
    gsettings set com.ubuntu.update-notifier auto-launch true
    ************

    Step #7: I really liked using either 'gnome-sensors-applet' or 'computertemp' to display system temps in the panel but again they're not available with Gnome 3. Again no worries, Hardware Sensors Indicator comes to the rescue:

    https://launchpad.net/~alexmurray/+archive/indicator-sensors

    More about that here:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...01&postcount=4

    To install just run these three commands:

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexmurray/indicator-sensors
    Code:
    sudo apt-get update
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install indicator-sensors
    It then shows up in System Tools > Hardware Sensors Indicator. After launching it the first time you must click on the new "applet" which just says "No active sensors" and click on Preferences. From there you can select which sensors to display and other options.

    ************

    Step #8: It's also sometimes nice to display CPU and memory usage in the panel, so here's System Monitor Indicator:

    https://launchpad.net/indicator-sysmonitor

    More about it here:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...&postcount=208

    To install just run these three commands:

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexeftimie/ppa
    Code:
    sudo apt-get update
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install indicator-sysmonitor
    It then shows up in Accessories > System monitor indicator. Do not confuse it with System Monitor in System Tools. I think setting it up is almost self explanatory.

    ************

    Step #9: I found the overlay-scrollbars to be inconsistent and annoying in the classic DE so I removed them, but that was totally a matter of preference, and this is one of those steps that really seems to somewhat break Unity! Should you want to remove them run:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get purge liboverlay-scrollbar-0.2-0 liboverlay-scrollbar3-0.2-0 overlay-scrollbar
    Note: You'll likely have to reboot for that change to fully take effect.

    ************

    Step #10: At this point I decided the window-management buttons really needed to be back on the right so I ran:

    Code:
    gconftool-2 --set "/apps/metacity/general/button_layout" --type string ":minimize,maximize,close"
    Note: to restore the defaults run:

    Code:
    gconftool-2 --set "/apps/metacity/general/button_layout" --type string "close,minimize,maximize:"
    Note: This step (#10) can also be performed using Ubuntu Tweak.

    ************

    Step #11: At this point I'm fairly happy but the scrollbar color is hard on my eyes. It's like trying to differentiate between two shades of white. I'd really prefer having the scrollbars match the dark gray panel or window title-bar with a white background but I haven't been able to figure that out yet. The best alternative I've found so far is changing the metacity and gtk themes this way:

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/themes
    Code:
    sudo apt-get update
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install shiki-colors-metacity-theme zukitwo-dark-gtk-theme
    Code:
    gconftool-2 -s --type string /apps/metacity/general/theme Shiki-Colors-Metacity
    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme Zukitwo-Dark
    I found that fairly pleasing to my eyes (it also replaced the drastic orange with a nice grayish-blue and I like the "retro" look of the window management buttons) but if you should decide to revert to the default Ambiance themes just run:

    Code:
    gconftool-2 -s --type string /apps/metacity/general/theme Ambiance
    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme Ambiance
    Note: Both Ubuntu Tweak and 'gnome-tweak-tool' can be used for applying themes, but NOT installing themes.

    I'm very open to suggestions about theming, this is simply the best combo I've come up with so far.

    ************

    Step #12: I also dislike the missing menu and button icons so I run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface menus-have-icons true
    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface buttons-have-icons true
    Note: This step (#12) can also be performed using Ubuntu Tweak.

    ************

    Step #13: This one is the hardest for me to explain. By default the Oneiric desktop is set to NOT display any icons, but it's possible for the desktop to display any combination of these icons/"actors":

    Code:
    Computer...........(computer-icon-visible)
    Home...............(home-icon-visible)
    Network............(network-icon-visible)
    Trash..............(trash-icon-visible)
    Mounted volumes....(volumes-visible)
    But to do so you must first set the "stage" by running:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true
    But that only sets the stage for the actors, now you must decide which actors you want on the stage. You're now the director.

    After running that command either reboot or log out and log back in. When you get back to a blank DE background decide what you want displayed. (Hint, the "true" or "false" at the end of these commands is the key):

    To show the Computer icon run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop computer-icon-visible true
    To hide the Computer icon run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop computer-icon-visible false
    To show the Home icon run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop home-icon-visible true
    To hide the Home icon run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop home-icon-visible false
    To show the Network icon run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop network-icon-visible true
    To hide the Network icon run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop network-icon-visible false
    To show the Trash icon run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop trash-icon-visible true
    To hide the Trash icon run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop trash-icon-visible false
    To show Mounted Volumes run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop volumes-visible true
    To hide Mounted Volumes run:

    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop volumes-visible false
    Note: This step can also be performed using either Ubuntu Tweak or 'gnome-tweak-tool'.

    ************

    Step #14: You may or may not find that you need to disable the Firefox and/or Thunderbird global menu add-ons. It seems to depend on the panel configuration, but I'm not quite sure. To do so in Firefox just go to Tools > Add-ons > Global Menu Bar integration and select Disable. You'll then be prompted to restart Firefox. I don't use Thunderbird so I can't be sure of the specific procedure with it, but I'd think it's similar.

    Update: If you use only a bottom panel as I do you may notice after updates on Feb. 17, 2012 that the Unity top panel (aka: menu bar) is back on the desktop. This was also a problem immediately after the release of Oneiric but it was fixed shortly thereafter. This time I decided to actually kill it for good

    I did so with one command:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get purge appmenu-gtk appmenu-qt indicator-appmenu appmenu-gtk3
    Then just log out and log back in.

    ************

    Step #15: Thanks to Flynsarmy I've discovered another useful tweak. In Gnome 3 the "prescribed" method of launching the terminal is 'Ctrl+Alt+T' but I've found it to be fiddly and somewhat unreliable, like sometimes it either doesn't work or it launches multiple terminals. That post showed me how to get the "Run Command Prompt" back by pressing Alt+F2 just as it was in Gnome 2, and I love it.

    It really couldn't be much simpler, just go to Applications > System Tools > System Settings > Keyboards > Shortcuts > System and highlight the line that says "Show the run command prompt". Then position the mouse pointer over where it says "Disabled" and left-click the mouse. Then you'll see "Disabled" change to "New shortcut". Then just press Alt+F2 and you'll see that change as you do so, while actually launching the classic run command prompt for the first time.

    ************

    That's it for now. I hope others will share their favorite Oneiric classic tips and tricks. I'll be glad to edit this and add links to other threads or posts related to Oneiric classic. Maybe someone can even share how they got classic to run with Compiz since that's not my thing.

    I recently realized that I left out credit where credit is due. I certainly owe a large number of other Ubuntu end users and early testers a debt of gratitude, along with the developers of the "add-on" apps/applets discussed here, but the webupd8 team has been invaluable at providing not only great information but also providing the theme PPA needed to perform step #11.

    I hope NOT to blow up too many computers.
    Many thanks, Keep it ..(Your Help) On

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