What is a Ubuntu PPA?


What is PPA?

PPAs are for non standard software/updates. They are generally used by people who want the latest and greatest. If you are going extra lengths to get this kind of software, then you are expected to know what you are doing. The selection in the Software Centre is ample for most human beings.

Command Line

On the command line you can add a PPA using add-apt-repository, e.g.:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwibber-daily/ppa

To remove a PPA remove the corresponding files in /etc/apt/sources.list.d (this does not remove the packages you installed from the PPA). To see the packages available from a PPA or remove packages installed from a PPA press the “Origin” button on the lower left of the Synaptic window and choose the PPA from the list.

With can use the usual Software Sources dialog and add ppa:gwibber-daily/ppa where it asks for a APT line and enable or disable them just like other repositories.

As anybody can create a PPA there’s no guarantee for quality or security of a PPA – just like with any other unofficial software source you have to decide yourself if a PPA it’s trustworthy or not. And like any other unofficial software packages from a PPA can cause all sorts of difficulties especially when upgrading to a new release of Ubuntu.

If you get an error that the add-apt-repository command could not be found:

  • On 12.04 and earlier, install the python-software-properties package:
    sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
  • On 14.04 and later:
    sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

How to Customize Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr: 11 Must-Use Tweaks

How to Customize Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

1. Install Gnome and Unity Tweak Tool

We all know how powerful Gnome and Unity is – It’s one of the most easy to manage tool for Ubuntu desktop interface. With Unity and Gnome tool you can customize your Ubuntu’s look and feel. It helps you to customize the appearance of Ubuntu desktop.

To install Unity and Gnome, type the following command (one after another):

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

If you don’t want to write tow separate commands to install Unity and Gnome one by one, you can type the following single command:

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool gnome-tweak-tool

You may be asked your system password, input you password to install. To open Unity, open Dash and type Unity. Now you can see unity tool icon, click it to access.



2. Install New Minimize on Click Fuction – CompizConfig Settings Manager CCSM

Ubuntu 14.04 comes with “minimise on click” Unity feature which allow app windows to be minimised by clicking on its respective icon in the Unity Launcher. It will function just like a Window OS click launcher and the app windows can be restored once user re-click on the app icon. The minimise option will be turned off by default and users will have to enable it via CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM).

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Once installed, go to Dash and type CCM and open CompizConfig Settings Manager. Under Compizconfig Settings Manager, click Ubuntu Unity Plugin and under the Launcher tab, tick the  option “Minimize Single Window Applications (Unsupported).”

UCCM-ubuntu 14

3. Show Username on the Panel Bar

Displaying your username on the panel bar is like adding signature to your Ubuntu. You can add name to Ubuntu panel bar in two ways:

Using Terminal – type the following command:

gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.session show-real-name-on-panel true

Using Unity Tweak Tool (See first customization – how to install Unity/Gnome Tweak Tool)

  1. Open the Unity tweak tool (open Dash and type Unity and click on UNity tool icon)
  2. Under Unity tab select Panel option
  3. Now under indicators tab, click “Show my name.”

If you ever wish to remove your name from the panel bar, type the following command in the Terminal to remove name from panel:

gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.session show-real-name-on-panel false

This command will remove your username form the panel bar and it will be restored to the default settings.

4. Disable Online Search and Shopping Suggestions From Ubuntu 14.04 Dash

When you search an application in Dash, it show few online suggestions – shopping and search options. This is really annoying and looks bad, when suggestions crop up into the Dash interface.

Luckily, we have a command and a script to disable online search and suggestions. To disable it, open the Terminal and type the following commands:

To disable online search:

wget -q -O – https://fixubuntu.com/fixubuntu.sh | bash

To disable shopping suggestions:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Lenses disabled-scopes “[‘more_suggestions-amazon.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-u1ms.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-populartracks.scope’, ‘music-musicstore.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-ebay.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-ubuntushop.scope’, ‘more_suggestions-skimlinks.scope’]”

Please write the second line of the command in a single sentence.

Shopping and Search-Ubuntu 14.04

5. Install Java and Flash in Ubuntu 14.04

Open the Terminal and type the following command:

To install Java in Ubuntu 14.04

sudo apt-get install icedtea-7-plugin openjdk-7-jre

To install Java in Ubuntu 14.04

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer

You can also install unsupported updates from canonical partners. Open System Settings > Sofwtare & Updates > Other Software (tab) and tick all options to get additional support.

6. Access and Manage Your Online Accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Windows Live and Yahoo!

You can manage all your online accounts- Facebook, Flickr, Gmail, Google Drive, Twitter, Windows Live and Yahoo! from Ubuntu 14.04. To start accessing you online accounts, go to System Settings > Online Accounts and cofigure each of your online accounts you wish to use.


Online Accounts

7. Change Launcher Icon Size and Auto-Hide The Launcher

Many people don’t like the default launcher in Ubuntu 14.04, it takes extra space and looks bulgy. Luckily, you can auto-hide it and you can also change the launcher icon size to adjust it according to your screen.

To auto-hide the launcher, go to Sytsem Settings and click Appearance. Now to auto-hide the Ubuntu 14.04 launcher, under Appearance tab, select Behavior and click Auto-hide the launcher. (slide the button to ON).



To change the launcher icon size, go to Appearance and under Look tab, set the lauher icon size slider to a new size.



8. Add Show Desktop Icon in the Launcher and Enable Workspaces Icon

Show desktop icon is one of the most widely used icon in any OS – Linux or Windows. By default, the new Ubuntu 14.04 launcher dock doesn’t show the workspaces nor the show desktop icon.

Here is how to get show desktop and workspaces icon in the launcher.

  1. Go to System Setting > Appearance
  2. Click Behavior tab and select (tick) “Enable Workspaces” and “Add show desktop icon to the launcher.”

9. Remove White Dots From Ubuntu 14.04 Login Screen

By default, Ubuntu 14.04 login screen shows tiny white stars/dots across the screen. This is a bit annoying and here is the way to remove white dots/tiny stars from the Ubuntu 14.04 login screen.

Open the Terminal and type the following commands:

sudo xhost +SI:localuser:lightdm
sudo su lightdm -s /bin/bash
gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter draw-grid false;exit

10. Customize Ubuntu for Multimedia – Install Media Codecs and Enable DVD Playback

To install all the media codecs and plugins, open the Terminal and type the following command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Enable DVD playback

Type the following command in the Terminal to enable DVD playback:

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

This step is very useful for users who enjoy watching movies on their Ubuntu PC or work upon multimedia files.

11. How to Enable / Disable Overlay Scroll Bar

Ubuntu 14.04 comes with the overlay scroll bar – which remains auto-hidden and is only shown when you hover your mouse over the edge of the screen. You can disable it and switch to the normal scroll bar.

To disable the overlay scroll bar, type the following command in the Terminal:

gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal

To bring the overlay scroll bar back, type:

gsettings reset com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode

Overlay Scrollbar