Ubuntu Gnome Desktop

After dropping Fedora I switched to Ubuntu Gnome Desktop. It works pretty well, even my kids can use it.
This page contains some random tips about it. See my other pages about Gnome and Fedora on Lenovo.

Installation tips

  • BTRFS: If it would work then turning on compression (lzo or snappy) would be a good way to increase performance and battery life on laptops.
    See this post if you've already installed your system. Use the following mount options: noatime,compress=lzo.

Post installation tasks

Install additional software

UbuntuUpdates.org contains a wide selection of them.
See this github page for a list of additional software to install.

Get rid of some unwanted apps and clean up the mess

apt-get purge evolution rhythmbox totem myspell-en-au myspell-en-za
apt-get -f install
apt-get -y autoclean
apt-get autoremove
apt-get -y clean

Tips and tweaks

Check my Gnome3 tweaks page for more tips and tricks regarding the GUI.

  • 13.10 and 14.04 has a very buggy language switcher. See this bugreport for possible solutions. For me, the following two commands fixed the bug (pretty strange, but the first command was needed for the second to work):
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-input-source "['<Super>space']"
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-input-source "['<Alt>Shift_L']"
  • Closed-source video drivers can enhance your desktop experience (video, browsing, etc.) and lower CPU usage in general.
    Sometimes they could be slower or cause more problems. Personally, I had many problems with ATI binary drivers.
    Frequent kernel upgrades can cause problems though. Use akmod package instead of kmod to avoid this.
    Don't forget to generate your xorg.conf after installing the drivers. E.g. for AMD run aticonfig --initial -f
  • You can tune btrfs if you skipped that part during the installation. It's not too late to enable compression. (Might not work in older Ubuntu installs.)
  • Check hardware acceleration in your browser!
    Firefox status page (about:support) shows that (see at the end), you can also run performance tests.
  • The Flash plugin is also vulnerable to performance problems. See this forum thread. Some posts indicate this might not work with new flash versions.
    You can use HTML5 instead of Flash on many websites, like Youtube. See www.youtube.com/html5
  • Tailor touchpad settings to your needs, e.g.: palm detection (it's a must IMHO), two finger scrolling, disabling tapping, etc.
  • If you have problems with suspend/resume, try installing pm-utils and follow this guide.

Other places to check