This simple tutorial shows beginners how to easily wipe files, folder, and/or free disk space to protect your files from recovering in Ubuntu.

As you may know, any deleted files can be easily restored from the trash can. Even after you emptied the trash, files can still be recovered. So to prevent information leakage and protect privacy, you have to ‘wipe’ or ‘shred’ files.

1.) Firstly, open terminal either from system app launcher or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard.

2.) When terminal opens, run command to install nautilus-wipe:

sudo apt install nautilus-wipe

The package adds ability to wipe files, folders, and free disk space via context menu.

3.) Finally restart Nautilus file browser via command to apply change:

nautilus -q

After that, you can right-click on any file or folder to ‘wipe’ or ‘wipe available disk space’.

NOTE ‘wipe available disk space’ will overwrite the free space in your system disk, so your data will not recoverable. And the process can take quite a few minutes slowing down your system.

In addition to protect your privacy, you can use BleachBit to clear caches. As well, the tool offers options to shred files, folders, and wipe free space.

Though it’s not perfect, Global menu is still possible in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04 with the default Gnome Desktop.

It used to have a Gnome Global Menu extension to enable focused app menus (e.g., File, Edit, View, Help, etc.) in the top panel. It is however discontinued because GTK+ development is blocking the uniform support for the global menu to the Gtk+ applications.

Users can still use Fildem global menu to get the function in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and Ubuntu 21.04, though it does not work with most Gnome Apps.

1.) Install Fildem global menu extension.

Firstly, open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When terminal opens, run commands to install the packages for installing and toggling Gnome Extension:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell gnome-shell-extension-pres

Next, go to extension web page and turn on the slider icon to install it.

If you don’t see the toggle icon, click the top ‘Click here to install browser extension’ link to install browser extension and refresh the web page.

2.) Install and Configure the External App

To make the function work, you have to install the external app.

a.) Download and double-click to install the “fildem_x.x.x_all.deb” package from the link below:

Or install the package via sudo apt install ~/Downloads/fildem_*_all.deb command.

b.) Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to edit the .gtkrc-2.0 file.

gedit ~/.gtkrc-2.0

When the file opens, add gtk-modules="appmenu-gtk-module" to the end.

c.) Next edit the .config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini file via command:

gedit ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

And also add gtk-modules="appmenu-gtk-module" line to the end. Also, add [Settings] line before it if not exist.

3.) Start Global Menu:

Finally in a terminal window, run command fildem &.

Search for and open Extensions utility. When it opens, click on the gear button to configure the Gnome Extension:

  • Toggle off ‘Show menu only when the mouse is over the panel’ option.
  • Change the Button padding as you prefer.

Now global menu should work for apps, e.g., Google Chrome, Chromium, GIMP, Audacious, Shutter, LibreOffice, etc.

Sadly, most Gnome Apps as well as Firefox does not work with global menu. If you intend to get it work with Firefox, install the one from Ubuntu 18.04 repository (all current Ubuntu releases has the latest Firefox packages).

4.) Auto-start Fildem global menu:

To make the function work on startup, search for and open ‘Startup Applications‘ utility. Then click on Add button to add:

  • Type fildem in command box.
  • Type Name and Comment as you prefer.

How to Remove Fildem global menu:

To remove fildem package, open terminal and run command:

sudo apt remove python3-fildem --autoremove

And remove the extension via Extensions utility.

To remove the auto-start service, just remove which you created in step 4.

Got .HEIC photo images import from your iPhone? You may found that Ubuntu does not open the file format out-of-the-box.

It’s however easy to either enable this file format support or convert it to JPG or PNG image.

Enable HEIF/HEIC Support for the Default Image Viewer

In Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04 and higher, you can easily enable the HEIF / HEIC file format support via libheif libraries.

1.) Simply search for and open terminal from system app launcher (or press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard).

2.) When terminal opens, run command to install the library:

sudo apt install heif-gdk-pixbuf

Type user password (no asterisk feedback) when it asks and hit Enter

Now, double-click to open the .heic (or right-click -> Open with Other Application -> select Image Viewer) photo and enjoy!

For Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 users, the library is not available in system repositories. You have to add the third-party PPA by running command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:strukturag/libheif

Then refresh package cache via:

sudo apt update

And finally run the command in step 2.) to get it installed.

Convert HEIF/HEIC to JPEG or PNG

It’s also quite easy to convert the photo to another format in Ubuntu Linux.

Simply open the photo via either GIMP or Krita image editor (both available in Ubuntu Software), then select Export to JPG / PNG.

Too many HEIC photos to convert? Using heif-convert command will be more effective.

1.) Firstly open terminal and run command to install heif-convert tool:

sudo apt install libheif-examples

2.) Next you can convert a HEIC file to JPEG via command:

heif-convert -q 85 input.HEIC output.JPG

Here -q 85 specifies the output quality level. You can skip it to use default value 92.

To batch convert HEIC photos to JPEG, firstly navigate to the photo folder in file manager and select ‘Open in Terminal’ from context menu:

Finally run command:

for file in *.HEIC; do heif-convert $file ${file/%.HEIC/.JPG}; done
NOTE: Linux commands are case sensitive! If your HEIC photos have file extension in lower-case, replace HEIC with heic in the last command.

That’s all. Enjoy!

This simple tutorial shows how to add a system tray menu option to switch between Dark and Light system mode in Ubuntu.

By default, the System Settings -> Appearance page offers options to choose Standard, Light, and Dark window colors. It however only apply the app theme.

For system menu, notifications, date and time menu, etc, you have to install user themes extension, and change the Gnome Shell theme individually via Gnome Tweak Tool.

Here I’m going to introduce a new Gnome Shell Extension called ‘Ubuntu Appearance‘. With it, you can toggle fully dark and light mode easily via a few clicks.

The extension features:

  • Integrate Light, Dark, Standard option into system tray menu.
  • Toggle fully dark / light mode, not only app window colors but also system theme (e.g., system menu, calendar, notifications.).
  • Option name vary according to current system mode.
  • The user themes extension is not required.

Install Ubuntu Appearance extension:

1.) Firstly, open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When terminal opens, run required packages:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell gnome-shell-extension-prefs

2.) Secondly, go to the extension web page and click on the slider icon to install it.

Though the extension says for Gnome 40, it works well in my Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 21.04 machine.

Don’t see the toggle icon? Click the link ‘Click here to install browser extension’ to install browser extension and refresh the web page.

Once you installed the extension, the option should appear in system menu immediately. Log out and back in or restart Gnome Shell if you don’t see the option.

This is an easy to follow beginner’s guide shows how to encrypt the full file system while installing Ubuntu.

As you may know, it’s easy to hack against Ubuntu Linux physically. Though users can add password protect to the Grub boot menu, the file system is still accessible via a live system, e.g., bootable USB installer.

To prevent your Ubuntu from physical hacking ultimately, adding password protect to the full system disk can be the best choice. And you can do it during installing Ubuntu.

Important: If you forget the password, all data will be lost! No way to reset forgotten password.

1.) Firstly, this tutorial is not a full Ubuntu installation guide. If you are not getting started, take a look at this step by step how to install guide.

2.) If you’re going to install Ubuntu as the ONLY operating system in the hard drive, just choose ‘Erase disk and install Ubuntu‘ when you’re at Installation type page.

Then click on ‘Advanced features’ to choose either LVM or ZFS and enable ‘Encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security’.

3.) Mostly I’ll choose ‘Something else‘ to manually create partitions for Ubuntu file system.

Unlike Fedora and Manjaro, Ubuntu does not provide an ‘Encrypt‘ checkbox while creating an EXT4 partition. Instead you need to create a partition use as ‘physical volume for encryption’.

a.) Simply choose the free space and click on ‘+‘ icon on partition table. In the pop-up Create partition dialog do:

DO LEAVE 500 MB free space for /boot partition, and a few GB for Swap area if need.
  • Set the size for Ubuntu file system. 20 GB at least. For long time use, as large as possible.
  • Select use as ‘physical volume for encryption‘.
  • Set your password and confirm, and finally click OK.

b.) After clicking OK, wait for a few seconds. A new device ‘/dev/mapper/sdaX_crypt‘ will be created as EXT4 file system.

Highlight it, and click on ‘Change‘ button. In the pop-up dialog, set the mount point as /.

c.) Same to Fedora, you have to create a separated /boot partition, as it can not be encrypted.

To do so, select the free space and click “+” to create:

  • 500 MB should be enough. 1 GB will be better.
  • use as ‘Ext4 journaling file system’
  • mount point /boot

d.) Also create 250 MB ‘EFI System Partition‘ for UEFI boot machine, or 2 MB ‘Reserved BIOS boot area‘ for legacy BIOS boot machine. For small RAM, a swap area is also recommended.

Finally the partition table will look like:

Finally click on “Install Now” button. And confirm on pop-up dialog.

Once you successfully installed Ubuntu, restart and you’ll get into the password prompt when booting Ubuntu (see the top picture). As well, accessing the file system from any other OS need the password you set.