Archives For Howtos

The upcoming Windows 11 has leaked online a few days ago. Here’s how to implement the new look and feel in Ubuntu 20.04, and/or Ubuntu 21.04.

Gnome has a large collection of extensions to get additional and optional functionality. You can use dash to panel to combine the top-bar and the left dock into single. And Arc Menu extension is available to replace the default system app launcher.

So your Ubuntu Desktop can be customized to look like the picture shows:

Install Dash To Panel to get single system panel:

1.) Install Dash to Panel extension:

For Ubuntu 21.04, simply press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal and run command to install the extension:

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-dash-to-panel

For Ubuntu 20.04, though the previous command works I recommend to do following steps instead to get the newer version:

a. First run command to install required tools for installing & managing Gnome extensions:

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

b. Next go to Dash-to-Panel web page and turn on the slider icon to install it:

If you don’t see the toggle icon, install browser extension via “Click here to install browser extension” link and refresh the web page.

Enable & Configure Dash to Panel:

Once installed the extensions, restart Gnome Shell by pressing Alt+F2, type r in popup ‘Run a Command’ box, and hit Enter.

Or just log-out and back in if you’re running on Wayland session.

Next enable the extension via either Gnome Extension app or Gnome Tweaks tool.

Finally right-click on blank area of the new panel, and go to ‘Dash to Panel Settings’. There do:

  • Toggle off ‘Show Applications’ button.
  • Change the position of ‘Left box’, ‘Taskbar’, and ‘Center box’. Use ‘Centered’ or ‘Monitor Center’ depends on your display.
  • Change panel background opacity, icon size, etc in next tabs.

Install Arc Menu as Start Menu:

Though the Arc Menu is available to install via apt command, I recommend to install it from your web browser. That’s because the one in apt repository is the un-maintained versions though it still works in current releases.

1.) First run command to install the required tools, if you didn’t do it in previous step:

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

Next go to Arc Menu web page and turn on the slider icon to install it:

If you don’t see the toggle icon, install browser extension via “Click here to install browser extension” link and refresh the web page.

You may need to press Alt+F2, type r, and hit Enter to restart Gnome Shell, or log out and back in to enable the extension. If you don’t see the new start menu, enable Arc Menu via either Gnome Extension app or Gnome Tweaks tool.

Finally right-click on new start menu and open settings. Under ‘Menu Layout’, choose the menu style. No Windows 11 menu layout so far. Here I use Windows 10 instead.

At ‘Menu Theme’ settings, do:

  • Toggle on ‘Override Menu Theme’
  • Click ‘Browser Presets’ and import.
  • Choose a theme preset that you like, and tweak the theme settings.
  • Finally click Apply button at buttom.

Under ‘Button Appearance’ choose your favorite icon for the start menu and enjoy!

How to Restore:

Simple turn off or remove the two extensions via Gnome Extension App will restore your desktop appearance. If not, restart Gnome Shell via Alt+F2 run command box or log out and back in.

Wine

A new development release of the free open-source implementation to run Windows apps on Linux, Wine 6.11 is out!

The release introduced theming support in all builtin programs. As well, it features all remaining CRT math functions imported from Musl; MP3 support requires libmpg123 also on macOS; and support for codepage 720 (Arabic).

Also, there are dozens of bugs fixed in the release for Windows applications, including Microsoft SyncToy 2.1, Hogs of War, Notepad++, Starcraft 2, and more. See the announcement for more details.

How to Install Wine 6.11 in Ubuntu:

Wine has its own apt repository for Ubuntu, Linux Mint based systems. Open terminal from system app launcher. When it opens, run following commands one by one:

1.) Run command to enable 32 bit architecture (if you don’t have it):

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

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

2.) Install the repository key by running command:

wget -O - https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/winehq.key | sudo apt-key add -

3.) Add wine repository

Note there’s A BLANK SPACE before the code name (e.g., focal, groovy, hirsute, bionic) in each command!

  • For Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20.x, run command ():
    sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ focal main'
  • For Ubuntu 20.10, run command:
    sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ groovy main'
  • For Ubuntu 18.04, run command:
    sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ bionic main'
  • For 21.04, run command:
    sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ hirsute main'

Don’t know your system edition? Run lsb_release -a command in terminal to check out.

4.) For Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19.x only, libfaudio0 library is required to install from a third-party repository by running command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cybermax-dexter/sdl2-backport

5.) Finally install Wine 6.11 via command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install --install-recommends winehq-devel

If you get unmet dependency issue, try aptitude command instead:

sudo apt install aptitude && sudo aptitude install winehq-devel

Still getting unmet dependency issue? Try running command to manually install some missing libraries. The command worked in my Ubuntu 20.04.

sudo apt-get install libgnutls30:i386 libldap-2.4-2:i386 libgpg-error0:i386 libxml2:i386 libasound2-plugins:i386 libsdl2-2.0-0:i386 libfreetype6:i386 libdbus-1-3:i386 libsqlite3-0:i386

Uninstall wine:

You may remove the PPA by launching Software & Updates utility and navigating to Other Software tab.

To remove wine 6.11, run command in terminal:

sudo apt remove --auto-remove winehq-devel

For those sticking to the latest Sigil ebook editor, here’s Ubuntu PPA maintains the 6.0 release packages for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Linux Mint 19 & 20.

Sigil is a free and open-source ebook editor designed to edit books in ePub format (both ePub 2 and ePub 3). The software offers official binary packages only for Windows and Mac OS.

The editor in Ubuntu repositories is always old. And no Flatpak or Snap package for Sigil. So far, using a third-party PPA is the only way besides compiling from the source tarball.

Install Sigil via Ubuntu PPA

So far, this can be the only PPAs that maintain the most recent Sigil packages. Unlike others, the guy maintains the packages for each Ubuntu releases individually.

Which means you have to find out your Ubuntu edition either from About settings or via cat /etc/issue command. Then select a command below to add the PPA.

1.) First, open terminal either from system app launcher or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When terminal opens, run command to add the PPA:

For Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19.x run command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xiota/stuff-18.04

And for Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20, run command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xiota/stuff-20.04

For Ubuntu 21.04, use command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xiota/stuff-21.04

2.) Next run command to install the ebook editor:

sudo apt install sigil

Ubuntu 18.04 needs to run sudo apt update first to refresh package cache.

Once installed, open the epub editor from system app launcher and enjoy!

How to Remove Ubuntu PPA and/or Sigil:

The Ubuntu PPAs also contains other software packages, e.g., Foliate ebook reader, Geeqie image viewer, Xournal, Xournal++, etc.
You can remove it by opening Software & Updates utility, then remove relevant line under Other Software tab.

To remove Sigil ebook editor, run command in terminal:

sudo apt remove --auto-remove sigil sigil-data

Ubuntu lists all the available user accounts in the GDM login screen. You can however remove them to protect your privacy.

Gnome, the default desktop environment, has a hidden option to force users to type the username and then password to login. If you’re working on public places, it will be good to enable this option for privacy concern.

1.) Firstly open terminal either from system app launcher or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. Because the login screen is handled by gdm, you have to firstly run command to allows it to make connections to X server.

xhost SI:localuser:gdm

Though it says for X, you also need to run the command in Wayland session to avoid error to disable user list.

2.) Now run gsettings command to disable user list via user gdm:

sudo -u gdm gsettings set org.gnome.login-screen disable-user-list true

Type user password, no asterisk feedback, for sudo prompt and hit Enter.

In next boot, you will no longer see the user accounts. Instead, you need to type username and then password to login.

How to Reset:

To restore the login screen setting, also run both xhost and gsettings commands in a terminal window.

To be lazy, I’ll combine the two commands into single, so it will be:

xhost SI:localuser:gdm && sudo -u gdm gsettings reset org.gnome.login-screen disable-user-list

In addition for more Login Screen settings, e.g, disable ‘Power Off’ menu option, toggle authentications, you can open Dconf Editor (install it first from Ubuntu Software) via user gdm:

xhost SI:localuser:gdm && sudo -u gdm dconf-editor

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.