Archives For Ubuntu 17.10

gnome shell

After moving to Ubuntu 17.10 Gnome Desktop, you may find that some handy indicator applet switches has gone.

One of them is that neither ‘Settings’ nor ‘Gnome Tweaks’ show options to enable battery percentage in top panel.

Also there’s no options to configure the date and time display settings in the center of the top panel.

1. To show battery percentage in Gnome panel, install dconf editor from Ubuntu Software.

2. Then launch it and navigate to org -> gnome -> desktop -> interface, scroll down and turn on the switch for ‘show-battery-percentage’.

There you can also set clock time format, show or hide date and seconds.

gnome shell

‘Minimize on click’, click application icon on left panel to minimize the focused application window, is a great convenience in Ubuntu for the left panel.

However, both ‘Settings’ and ‘Gnome Tweaks’ utilities do not have an option for this in Ubuntu 17.10 Gnome Shell.

Fortunately, there are settings for ‘dash-to-dock’, the name of Ubuntu 17.10’s left panel, in dconf Editor that contains click action options for a running app.

1. Search for and install ‘dconf editor’ in Ubuntu Software utility.

2. Launch ‘dconf editor’ once installed, and navigate to org -> gnome -> shell -> extensions -> dash-to-dock.

Then scroll down and find settings for ‘click-action’, and do:

  • click the line to go into its configuration page.
  • turn off the default value switch.
  • select ‘minimize’ or ‘minimize-or-overview’ as Custom value.

That it. For those who prefer Linux command, you can do this via a single command:

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action 'minimize'

gsettings minimize on click

gnome shell

This quick tutorial is going to show beginners how to install and manage Gnome Shell Extensions in Ubuntu 17.10 while it uses Gnome Shell as default desktop environment.

Gnome Shell Extensions are small pieces of code written by third party developers. If you are familiar with Chrome Extensions or Firefox Addons, GNOME Shell extensions are similar to them.

How to Install Gnome Shell Extensions

Gnome maintains a website, extensions.gnome.org, for users to install or upgrade extensions. All extensions there are carefully reviewed for malicious behavior before they are made available for download.

To be able to install Gnome Shell Extensions in Ubuntu 17.10, do following steps:

1. Install add-on for your web browser:

2. Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T, or by searching “terminal” from app launcher. When it opens, run command:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

Input your password (no visual feedback while typing) when it prompts and hit Enter.

3. Finally go to extensions.gnome.org via your browser, install any Gnome Shell Extension by turning on the switch on the web.

Manage Gnome Shell Extensions

Gnome Tweak Tool has an page for managing installed Gnome Shell Extensions.

Search for and install ‘Gnome Tweaks’ in Ubuntu Software app:

Then launch it and manage installed Gnome Shell Extensions in “Extensions” tab.

Ubuntu 17.10

Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark will be released soon today. Here’s how you can upgrade from the Ubuntu 17.04 desktop.

Ubuntu 17.10 replaces Unity with Gnome Shell as its default desktop environment. It’s powered by 4.13 Kernel and runs Gnome on Wayland by default. Xorg is also available for choice.

A fresh install of Ubuntu 17.10 is recommended. But for those who want to upgrade from Ubuntu 17.04, do:

1. First is always backup your important data, bookmarks, and other user documents.

2. Launch Software & Updates utility from application launcher,

  • in first tab, choose “Download from” Main server
  • in Other Software tab, remove/disable all third-party repositories.
  • in Additional Drivers tab, choose an open-source driver if a proprietary one is in use.

3. Remove other desktop environments (KDE, Cinnamon, etc). Upgrading desktop packages may take a few more minutes in the upgrading process.

4. Make you system up-to-date by running command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

5. Finally launch Software Updater to get the upgrade option. Or run following command (-d is required before it’s officially announced):

sudo update-manager -d

Click the Upgrade button and confirm in the next release note dialog to start the upgrading wizard.

Note: while the upgrading process, you need a few clicks to confirm installing or removing some packages.

gnome shell

Boring with the default purple login screen background in Ubuntu 17.10? Well, here’s how to make a change by hacking the css file.

Ubuntu 17.10 switches to Gnome 3 Desktop and GDM display manager. Although there are options to change desktop wallpaper and lock screen background (it’s actually screen saver with date & time displayed), the login screen is always purple.

GDM login background

In the picture above, I’ve changed the login background to the image “Aardvark_Wallpaper_Grey_4096x2304.png” locate in /usr/share/backgrounds.

1. Move your favorite image to /usr/share/backgrounds:

It’s better to move the image you want to set as login background to system pictures folder: /usr/share/backgrounds.

To do so, open terminal via Ctrl+Alt+T, then either run command:

sudo cp PATH/TO/YOUR/IMAGE /usr/share/backgrounds/

or run command to open file browser via root and then do copy and paste in that window:

xhost +local: && sudo nautilus /usr/share/backgrounds/

2. Edit the css file that define GDM login background:

Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to edit file /etc/alternatives/gdm3.css, which is linked to /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gdm3.css:

xhost +local: && sudo gedit /etc/alternatives/gdm3.css

Input your password (no visual feedback while typing) when it prompts and hit Enter. And of course back up the file before editing.

3. When the file opens, go to menu (right after ‘Save’ button) -> find and find out following section:

#lockDialogGroup {
  background: #2c001e url(resource:///org/gnome/shell/theme/noise-texture.png);
  background-repeat: repeat; }

change the lines into:

#lockDialogGroup {
  background: #2c001e url(file:///usr/share/backgrounds/Aardvark_Wallpaper_Grey_4096x2304.png);
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  background-size: cover;
  background-position: center; }

Replace Aardvark_Wallpaper_Grey_4096x2304.png with your picture file name.

Finally save the file and restart your computer to apply changes.

NOTE: these changes may be overwritten in case of an system update with GDM packages. Please let me know if you find a good way to change the GDM3 login background in Ubuntu 17.10.