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Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr”: Tips and Troubleshooting.

1.- Run Command.

You can run any application in your path using the Run Command. Use Alt+F2.

 

2.- Turn off Hot Keys.

This is the most evil option on any operating system, in my opinion. A mis-stroke enables any number of random events. Unfortunately, this problem is pervasive in operating systems and is difficult to turn off.

 

Menu -> System -> Administration-> Advanced -> Input Actions -> General Settings -> check "Disable KHotKeys daemon"
 
Menu -> System -> Administration-> Advanced -> Input Actions -> Gestures Settings -> check "Disable mouse gestures globally"
 

If you wish to be selective about it (this doesn't often work, however), start by disabling unnecessary desktop hotkeys.

Menu -> System -> Administration-> Advanced -> Keyboard & Mouse –> Keyboard
tips-and-tricks
3.- Shortcuts.

Also, you may want to deactivate linking gestures to sticky and slow keys:

Menu -> System -> Administration -> Accessibility -> Activation Gestures -> uncheck "Use gestures for activating sticky keys and slow keys"

Note: You probably will have to disable hotkeys in many applications, as well.

Hotkeys from the Synaptics Touchpad can be selectively turned off using this information from the Ubuntu documentation.
 
4.- Associate default applications.
  • To assign the default DVD player (make sure you have enabled DVD playback capability first:
Menu -> System -> Administration-> Advanced -> File Associations -> x-content -> video-dvd -> Applications Preference order -> Add...
then choose your favourite media player. There are similar options for Blu-Ray (video-bluray) and HD DVD (video-hddvd). Set each individually.
  • To assign the default player for playing mpegs (or other video formats):
Menu -> System -> Administration-> Advanced -> File Associations -> video -> mpeg -> Applications Preference order -> Add...
then choose your favourite media player. You can do this for a host of video file formats, including .wmv (x-ms-wmv, or Microsoft WMV format), .flv (x-flv, or Flash video), quicktime, and so on.
  • To assign .pls audio streams to play through Audacious:
Menu -> System -> Administration-> Advanced -> File Associations -> audio -> x-scpls -> Applications Preference order -> Move Audacious to the top (or Add... it).
Make sure *.pls appears in the Filename Patterns section.
 
5.- Automatic user login.
  • To accomplish this (yet still require a user password):
Menu -> System -> System Settings -> Login Manager -> Convenience -> Enable Auto-Login (ticked) -> Lock session (ticked)
-> Pre-select user: Specified: Choose primary user
  • This ought to be combined with a password-protected screensaver.

6.- Autostart a program at bootup.

Any program (or script) can be made to Autostart at bootup by creating a symbolic link to that program (or script) in the ~/.config/autostart folder.

For example, to start Firefox at bootup, create a symbolic link:

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/firefox ~/.config/autostart

 

Choose Bootup/Startup services.

Preventing unneeded or unwanted services from loading at startup can improve system performance.

  • Install the GTK-based Bootup-Manager: sudo apt-get install bum
  • Run Bootup-Manager: Menu -> System -> Bootup-Manager
 7.- Run a script from a menu item.

It is possible to place a short script in a menu item / shortcut to answer an interactive query (such as a password query). Here is an example that is used to enter a password during an SSH negotiation. First, install the utility expect:

 

sudo apt-get install expect

 

The use a command in the Menu Item / Shortcut similar to:

 

expect -c 'spawn ssh -l sshuser -L 5900:127.0.0.1:5900 remoteserver.remotedomain.org -p 22 ; expect assword ; send "sshpassword\n" ; interact'

In this example the password sshpassword is returned when the ssh program requires a password. Expect waits for some text to be displayed in the command-line terminal then returns text in return. The Menu Item must be "Run in terminal", therefore.

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About Hugo Repetto

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that offers an operating system predominantly focused on desktop computers but also provides support for servers. Based on Debian GNU / Linux, Ubuntu focuses on ease of use, freedom in usage restriction, regular releases (every 6 months) and ease of installation.
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