Archives For Howtos

For those sticking to the open-source graphics driver, the latest Mesa 3D graphics library is easy to install via an Ubuntu PPA.

Mesa is an open-source software implementation of OpenGL, Vulkan, VDPAU, VA-API, and other graphics API specifications.

Ubuntu uses Mesa as OpenGL implementation if no proprietary driver is in use. It is however always old. For users want to play some games with the open-source RadeonSI, RADV, Intel, or Nouveau drivers, you may try the latest Mesa via PPA.

Install Mesa via Ubuntu PPA:

A trustworthy Ubuntu PPA is available that contains the latest stable Mesa packages for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04. It also provides packages for Ubuntu 20.10 and Ubuntu 21.04, but not tested.

1. Add the PPA:

Search for and open terminal from system app launcher. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa

Type user password, no visual feedback, when it asks. Read the PPA description as you want and hit Enter to continue.

2. Install Mesa packages:

For Ubuntu 18.04, Linux Mint, you need to update package cache though it’d done automatically in Ubuntu 20.04 and higher.

sudo apt update

Finally install available upgrades of all packages including Mesa library via command:

sudo apt full-upgrade

3. Check mesa version:

To find out the package version, use command:

glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"

Restore Original Mesa packages:

To restore your graphics driver to the original status, firstly install ppa-purge via command:

sudo apt install ppa-purge

Next purge the Ubuntu PPA which will downgrade all the installed packages:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa

For Linux Mint 20, it’s recommended to add -d focal flag to work safely:

sudo ppa-purge -d focal ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa

By releasing recent update, the popular Arc Menu Gnome Shell extension finally adds Gnome 40 and Windows 11 layout support.

Arc Menu is a free open-source app menu extension for Gnome. It provides various menu layouts to choose from, as well as many options to customize the appearance. For users new to GNOME and looking for a Windows style start menu, this extension will be perfect for you!

With the extension along with dash to panel, you can make Ubuntu just look like Windows 11.

The new menu layout does not display a search bar by default. Just type and it will bring up the search box as well as results.

How to Install Arc Menu:

The extension requires Gnome 3.36 +, which means you can install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 21.04 and next Ubuntu 21.10.

1.) Firstly, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to install the required tools, if you don’t have it:

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.

Once installed, you can toggle on / off Arc Menu by opening Extensions from system app menu.

To select Windows 11 style start menu, right-click on start icon and go to settings. Then navigate to “Menu Layout -> Modern Menu Layouts”, choose ‘Eleven’ and click on Apply button.

Arc Menu follows your system theme. For dark mode menu, set Gnome Shell theme to dark.

Since Ubuntu 20.04, it shows your computer manufacturer logo on startup. It’s however easy to remove it, as well display the blank and white boot text message.

The Grub boot-loader offers option to toggle the settings in its configuration file. You can either manually edit the file or using a graphical tool called Grub Customizer.

Option 1. Manually configure Grub bootloader:

Firstly, search for and open terminal from system app launcher. When it opens, run command to edit the Grub configuration file:

sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

For Ubuntu flavors or based systems, replace gedit with your system text editor.

When the files opens, do:

  • Remove quiet and splash from line ‘GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash”‘. Keep other parameters if any. In my case, it will be GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=””.
  • (Optional) Enable GRUB_TERMINAL=”console” by removing # at the beginning. NOTE this will disable the boot-menu theme if any.

Finally apply changes by running command:

sudo update-grub

Option 2. Configure Grub via Grub Customizer:

The popular graphical configuration tool offers ability to change the boot parameters.

Firstly, install Grub Customizer either in Ubuntu Software or by running command in terminal:

sudo apt install grub-customizer

Next, launch the tool and navigate to ‘General settings‘ tab. There you can easily remove the ‘quiet’ and ‘splash’ boot parameters. And optionally enable ‘GRUB_TERMINAL=”console”‘.

Click on Save button. Changes will take effect at next boot!

Missing the old Dukto file transfer tool? The tool now is ported to Qt5 and easy to install via an Ubuntu PPA.

For those never heard about Dukto, it’s a free open-source file transfer tool for LAN (Local Network) use. With the clean elegant user interface, you can drag and drop to transfer files from one PC to anther, without worrying about users, permissions, operating systems, protocols, clients, servers and so on…

Dukto works on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. Though it’s not being developed for years, the tool still works well and available to download at:

However, the deb package does not install in Ubuntu since it requires old Qt4 libraries!

Thanks to community, the Qt5 port is available and can be installed from the developer’s PPA. So far, it supports Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10.

Install Dukto 6 via Ubuntu PPA:

Firstly, search for and open terminal from system app launcher. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xuzhen666/dukto

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

Next, update package cache though it’s done automatically in Ubuntu 20.04 & higher:

sudo apt update

Finally, install the Qt5 version of Dukto via command:

sudo apt install dukto

Once installed, open the tool from system app launcher. It will automatic find other machines that have the tool opens.

Uninstall Dukto:

To remove Dukto, simply open terminal and run command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove dukto

And remove the Ubuntu PPA via command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:xuzhen666/dukto

Want to remap your keyboard or gamepad keys in Ubuntu Linux? It’s easy to do this via Key Mapper.

Key Mapper is a free and open-source tool written in Python 3. With it, you can change the mapping for input devices, including mouse, keyboard, and gamepad.

It works on both X11 and Wayland, and supports for mapping to combined buttons (e.g., Control+A) and programmable macros.

The software has an easy to use interface. Simply choose your device from the drop-down box, you can then:

  • Add, remove, copy preset via left part buttons.
  • Apply current preset.
  • Choose or rename current preset.
  • Autoload – apply current preset automatically at login.
  • Add as many key mappings as you prefer in the right part for current preset.

Presets are saved in user’s .config/key-mapper/presets folder. You can use them in another machine that can read these “.json” files.

How to Install Key Mapper in Ubuntu:

The software offers official .deb package for Ubuntu / Debian based systems.

Grab the deb package, then open terminal and run command to install it:

sudo apt install ./Downloads/key-mapper*.deb

It should work on all current Ubuntu releases since it requires only a few python modules.

Once installed, open it from system app launcher and enjoy!

(Optional) For choice, there’s command to remove the tool from Ubuntu:

sudo apt remove --autoremove key-mapper